NAUVOO, a city of Hancock county, Illinois, U.S.A., on the Mississippi river at the head of the lower rapids and about 50 m.
Nauvoo is the seat of St Mary's Academy and Spalding Institute (,907), two institutions of the Benedictine Sisters.
"Commerce City" was laid out here in 1834 by Connecticut speculators; but the first settlement of importance was made by the Mormons in 1839-1840; they named it Nauvoo,' in obedience to a "revelation" made to Joseph Smith, and secured a city charter in 1840.
Four years later its population was about 15,000, and a large Mormon temple had been built, but internal dissensions arose, "gentile" hostility was aroused, the charter of Nauvoo was revoked in 1845, two of the leaders, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, were killed at Carthage, the county-seat, by a mob, and in 1846 the sect was driven from the state.
Three years after the expulsion of the Mormons Nauvoo was occupied by the remnant (some 250) of a colony of French communists, the Icarians, who had come out under the leadership of Etienne Cabet.
Nauvoo was never intended to be more than a temporary home for the Icarians.
This society tried a government quite different from that first adopted at Nauvoo, but it ceased to exist after about three years.
The strange phenomena of this region were known to some of the Indians; they were discovered by John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, in 1807; the region was visited by James Bridger before 1840; an account of the geysers was published at Nauvoo, Illinois, in The Wasp, a Mormon paper, in 1842; Captain W.
They succeeded in securing favours from the legislature, and their city of Nauvoo had courts and a military organization that was independent of state control.