This article accompanies the fable
Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln were contemporaries and similar in many ways, including the manner in which they met their deaths. When Smith was in Nauvoo, Lincoln was among those who voted to approve Nauvoo's city-state charter in the Illinois legislature of 1840. It appears Melville only met Lincoln once on a hand-shaking line; he didn't have much to say about it or about Lincoln, but his Civil War poems appeared in 1866 - Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War. Below is Frederic Edwin Church's stirring painting of 1860 on the eve of the Civil War, Twilight Wilderness. Blood in the sky...
Many Mormons married polygamously in the 1850s because they believed the Apocalypse was coming. In 1862, during the Civil War, Congress passed the Morrill anti-bigamy Act, and while it wasn't enforced at the time by Lincoln's administration, it initiated the conflict between the Mormons and the U.S. over polygamy that was largely resolved only in 1890.