In Part I Russell gives a general overview of the theme of manifest destiny in the West and mentions various explorers who had tried to extend American influence into areas west of the Mississippi. He only mentions Joseph Smith briefly, but puts him in the perspective of the push for American control of the areas controlled by Mexico and Great Britain. Russell claims that Joseph ran for president motivated by this goal, and even promised the President that he (Joseph) would take twenty five thousand men to Oregon to resolve the Oregon issue. The Nauvoo Legion was also created in response to growing anti-American pressures. Russell feels that Joseph 'was thinking as an American of the destiny of America and not of his Church alone.' In Part II Russell deals with the slavery issue. He says that the main reason for persecution in Missouri was that the pro-slave people saw the Church as trying to free the slaves. The Missourians saw the Saints as New Englanders at a time when New England states were pushing for abolition. In Part III Russell deals with Texas. He says Joseph Smith wanted the annexation of Texas not because of the slave issue, but because he wanted to see America expand and fill its destiny. The rest of the article deals with Mexico,Missouri, persecution, etc., as well as various prophecies of Joseph Smith concerning war.