31766

“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

cy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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, Illinois. This was in February, A. D. 1839.256

Rigdon left the jail 5 February 1839, a week and a half after he was officially released. He reached Quincy 16 February. (Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. [23]–[24], photocopy, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Editorial, Quincy (IL) Whig, 23 Feb. 1839.)  


In the May following, the remainder that were in the Liberty Jail, were taken to Daviess county

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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257

JS and his fellow prisoners were moved to Gallatin, Daviess County, 6–8 April 1839. (Hyrum Smith, Diary, Mar.–Apr. 1839, Oct. 1840, [12], [21]–[22]; Baugh, “We Took Our Change of Venue,” 61–62.)  


to be tried by a grand jury of the principal mobbers, in order to see if a bill of indictment, could be found as could be expected from the characters of the jury. Bills were found, they obtained a change of venue to Boone county,258

The hearing before the grand jury was held 9–11 April 1839 at Gallatin. Defense counsel requested and obtained a change of venue on the grounds that Judge Thomas Burch, having served as prosecuting attorney at the November court of inquiry at Richmond, should be disqualified from ruling on the case. (Daviess Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, Apr. 1839, vol. A, 66–70, Daviess Co., Courthouse, Gallatin, MO.)  


accordingly the Sheriff of Daviess county

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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, with guards,259

The prisoners were escorted from Gallatin by Daviess county sheriff William Morgan, along with William Bowman, John Brassfield, John Pogue, and Wilson McKinney. (William Morgan, Certificate, 1 July 1839; “Preamble,” William Morgan, Papers, CHL.)   


started to take them from Daviess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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to Boon county. On their way after journeying a day or two, one evening the guard got drunk they left them, and also made their escape to Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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, Illinois.260

JS and his fellow prisoners escaped 16 April 1839, four days after departing Gallatin, while near Yellow Creek in Chariton County. JS wrote that they got away after “the guard got intoxicated.” JS’s brother Hyrum Smith later testified that William Morgan informed the prisoners that Judge Burch privately instructed him not to escort them as far as Boone County. While his companions slept, one of the guards sold the prisoners two horses for their escape, and he later collected payment in Nauvoo. (JS, Journal, 16 Apr. 1839; Lyman Wight, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 32, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; JS, “Extract, from the Private Journal,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:7; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 25–26, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Promissory Note, JS to John Brassfield, 16 Apr. 1839, JS Collection, CHL.)  


Those that were in Ray County

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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Jail were brought to trial, but no bill of indictment was found against Darwin Chase

25 Feb. 1816–4 Feb. 1863. Miner, town officer, military officer. Born in Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., New York. Son of Stephen Chase and Orryanna Rowe. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Jackson Co., Missouri. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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and Norman Shearer, and they were released and sent home.— A bill was found against Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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, Morris Phelps, and Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

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for murder, and also a man by the name of King Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

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for robbery.— They also obtained a change of venue to Boon co., and were carried thither and put into jail and there remained until the fourth of July.261

Pratt, Phelps, and Gibbs petitioned Judge Austin A. King of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court for a change of venue based on the claim that it was impossible for them to have a fair and impartial trial in the fifth, sixth, or eleventh circuits because of the prejudice against them in those localities. King granted them a change of venue to Boone County, as he did for King Follett, who was indicted by a grand jury in Caldwell County and charged with burglary.a Boone circuit court records reported the change of venue, the detention of the prisoners in the jail at Columbia, and the escape of Pratt and Phelps.b  


aParley P. Pratt et al., Petition for change of venue, 17 May 1839, State of Missouri v. Pratt et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1839]; Trial proceedings, 23 May 1839, State of Missouri v. Follett [Caldwell Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri and State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia.

bRoger N. Todd, Statement, Columbia, MO, 6 Mar. 1841, Mormon War Papers, MSA; see also Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 59–64.

At this time the town was all hilarity and mirth at the celebration. They also made a flag and had it placed over the jail doors. In the evening when the Jailor brought in their suppers, they walked out at the door: that is, Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
, Morris Phelps, and King Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

View Full Bio
; Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

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continued, the others were closely pursued and Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

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was retaken and carried back; but the other two effected their escape to the state of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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. Some time afterwards King Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

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had his trial and was acquitted. Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

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remains in prison unto this day, 26th October, 1839.262

One source reported that Gibbs was also acquitted in a trial before circuit judge David Todd. Boone circuit court records reported Gibbs “was discharged from custody and after continuing the cause on the docket for some time it was dismissed.” Gibbs stated he was discharged by the circuit judge on 4 November 1839. (History of Boone County, Missouri, 216; Roger N. Todd, Statement, Columbia, MO, 6 Mar. 1841, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Luman Gibbs to Emer Harris, ca. Feb. 1840, Emer Harris, Papers, CHL.)  


As to those that were left in the Counties of Caldwell

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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and Daviess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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, they were making all possible exertions to get away all winter, contrary to the stipulations of Gen. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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and Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

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, granting them the privilege of staying until spring. Bodies of armed men were riding through the town of Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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in the County of Caldwell, threatening death to them if they were not out in the month of February, and otherwise insulting them. They continued however to exert themselves with all possible means in their power; many of them had no teams nor waggons.263

[Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, also noted many were sick.  


Having been robbed, yes completely robbed of all they had, great exertions therefore had to be made by those who had means. Through great exertions and timely perseverance they succeeded in getting them safely into the State of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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, where we all are now and where we have met with a kind reception.
Public meetings were held in Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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; contributions raised to assist the suffering, and every exertion which humanity dictated was made for our relief.—264

Public meetings were held in Quincy 27 and 28 February 1839 focusing attention on the sufferings and injustices to which the Latter-day Saints were subjected in Missouri and soliciting aid for the refugees. Merchants and individuals responded promptly with donations of food, clothing, and cash. (Editorial, Quincy [IL] Whig, 2 Mar. 1839, [2]; “The Mormons,” Quincy [IL] Whig, 16 Mar. 1839, [1]; Mace, Autobiography, 23–24.)  


But still we are, as a people, poor and destitute. We have been robbed of our all and many of us are without houses, living in tents and waggons. In consequence of our exposure, we have suffered this summer much sickness and numbers have died,265

A malaria epidemic occurred in Commerce, Illinois, and vicinity from early summer to late fall 1839. (JS, Journal, 8 July–15 Sept. 1839.)  


and our prospects for the ensuing winter are gloomy. But gloomy as they are, still we are not discouraged. A large majority of us are farmers, but our teams, as well as our flocks and herds and all our farming materials were taken from us. Many who were independent, are now working by days works, to maintain their families, numbers of them old men, sixty years old and upwards.— Such is our true situation, and as such we make our Appeal to the American People. [p. 165]
cy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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, Illinois[.] This was in February, A.  D. 1839.256

Rigdon left the jail 5 February 1839, a week and a half after he was officially released. He reached Quincy 16 February. (Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. [23]–[24], photocopy, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Editorial, Quincy (IL) Whig, 23 Feb. 1839.)  


In the May following, the remain der that were in the Liberty Jail, were  taken to Daviess county

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
257

JS and his fellow prisoners were moved to Gallatin, Daviess County, 6–8 April 1839. (Hyrum Smith, Diary, Mar.–Apr. 1839, Oct. 1840, [12], [21]–[22]; Baugh, “We Took Our Change of Venue,” 61–62.)  


to be tried by  a grand jury of the principal mobbers,  in order to see if a bill of indictment,  could be found as could be expected  from the characters of the jury. Bills  were found, they obtained a change  of venue to Boon[e] county,258

The hearing before the grand jury was held 9–11 April 1839 at Gallatin. Defense counsel requested and obtained a change of venue on the grounds that Judge Thomas Burch, having served as prosecuting attorney at the November court of inquiry at Richmond, should be disqualified from ruling on the case. (Daviess Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, Apr. 1839, vol. A, 66–70, Daviess Co., Courthouse, Gallatin, MO.)  


accordingly  the Sheriff of Daviess county

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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, with  guards,259

The prisoners were escorted from Gallatin by Daviess county sheriff William Morgan, along with William Bowman, John Brassfield, John Pogue, and Wilson McKinney. (William Morgan, Certificate, 1 July 1839; “Preamble,” William Morgan, Papers, CHL.)   


started to take them from Da viess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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to Boon county. On their way  after journeying a day or two, one  evening the guard got drunk they left  them, and also made their escape to  Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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, Illinois.260

JS and his fellow prisoners escaped 16 April 1839, four days after departing Gallatin, while near Yellow Creek in Chariton County. JS wrote that they got away after “the guard got intoxicated.” JS’s brother Hyrum Smith later testified that William Morgan informed the prisoners that Judge Burch privately instructed him not to escort them as far as Boone County. While his companions slept, one of the guards sold the prisoners two horses for their escape, and he later collected payment in Nauvoo. (JS, Journal, 16 Apr. 1839; Lyman Wight, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 32, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; JS, “Extract, from the Private Journal,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:7; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 25–26, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Promissory Note, JS to John Brassfield, 16 Apr. 1839, JS Collection, CHL.)  


Those that were in Ray County

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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 Jail were brought to trial, but no bill  of indictment was found against Dar win Chase

25 Feb. 1816–4 Feb. 1863. Miner, town officer, military officer. Born in Ellisburg, Jefferson Co., New York. Son of Stephen Chase and Orryanna Rowe. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Jackson Co., Missouri. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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and Norman Shearer, and  they were released and sent home.—  A bill was found against Parley P.  Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
, Morris Phelps, and Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

View Full Bio
 for murder, and also a man by the  name of King Follet[t]

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

View Full Bio
for robbery.—  They also obtained a change of venue  to Boon co., and were carried thither  and put into jail and there remained  until the fourth of July.261

Pratt, Phelps, and Gibbs petitioned Judge Austin A. King of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court for a change of venue based on the claim that it was impossible for them to have a fair and impartial trial in the fifth, sixth, or eleventh circuits because of the prejudice against them in those localities. King granted them a change of venue to Boone County, as he did for King Follett, who was indicted by a grand jury in Caldwell County and charged with burglary.a Boone circuit court records reported the change of venue, the detention of the prisoners in the jail at Columbia, and the escape of Pratt and Phelps.b  


aParley P. Pratt et al., Petition for change of venue, 17 May 1839, State of Missouri v. Pratt et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1839]; Trial proceedings, 23 May 1839, State of Missouri v. Follett [Caldwell Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri and State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia.

bRoger N. Todd, Statement, Columbia, MO, 6 Mar. 1841, Mormon War Papers, MSA; see also Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 59–64.

At this time  the town was all hilarity and mirth at  the celebration. They also made a  flag and had it placed over the jail  doors. In the evening when the Jai lor brought in their suppers, they walk ed out at the door: that is, Parley P.  Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
, Morris Phelps, and King Fol lett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

View Full Bio
; Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

View Full Bio
continued, the others  were closely pursued and Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

View Full Bio
was  retaken and carried back; but the other  two effected their escape to the state of  Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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. Some time afterwards King  Follett

24/26 July 1788–9 Mar. 1844. Born at Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of John Follett and Hannah Oak (Oake) Alexander. Married Louisa Tanner, by 1815. Baptized into LDS church, spring 1831. Member of Whitmer branch at Jackson Co., Missouri, by...

View Full Bio
had his trial and was acquitted.  Luman Gibbs

14 Mar. 1788–11 Jan 1873. Basket maker. Born in Vermont. Married Philena, 1 Jan. 1810, at Ferrisburgh, Addison Co., Vermont. Served in War of 1812. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a priest by Oliver Cowdery, 25 Oct. 1831. Tended horses of Latter-day Saint...

View Full Bio
remains in prison unto  this day, 26th October, 1839.262

One source reported that Gibbs was also acquitted in a trial before circuit judge David Todd. Boone circuit court records reported Gibbs “was discharged from custody and after continuing the cause on the docket for some time it was dismissed.” Gibbs stated he was discharged by the circuit judge on 4 November 1839. (History of Boone County, Missouri, 216; Roger N. Todd, Statement, Columbia, MO, 6 Mar. 1841, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Luman Gibbs to Emer Harris, ca. Feb. 1840, Emer Harris, Papers, CHL.)  


As to those that were left in the  Counties of Caldwell

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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and Daviess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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, they  were making all possible exertions to  get away all winter, contrary to the  stipulations of Gen. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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and Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

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,  granting them the privilege of staying  until spring. Bodies of armed men  were riding through the town of Far  West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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in the County of Caldwell, threat ening death to them if they were not  out in the month of February, and oth erwise insulting them. They continu ed however to exert themselves with  all possible means in their power; ma ny of them had no teams nor waggons.263

[Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, also noted many were sick.  


 Having been robbed, yes completely  robbed of all they had, great exertions  therefore had to be made by those who  had means. Through great exertions  and timely perseverance they succeed ed in getting them safely into the State  of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

More Info
, where we all are now and  where we have met with a kind recep tion.
Public meetings were held in Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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;  contributions raised to assist the suffer ing, and every exertion which human ity dictated was made for our relief.—264

Public meetings were held in Quincy 27 and 28 February 1839 focusing attention on the sufferings and injustices to which the Latter-day Saints were subjected in Missouri and soliciting aid for the refugees. Merchants and individuals responded promptly with donations of food, clothing, and cash. (Editorial, Quincy [IL] Whig, 2 Mar. 1839, [2]; “The Mormons,” Quincy [IL] Whig, 16 Mar. 1839, [1]; Mace, Autobiography, 23–24.)  


 But still we are, as a people, poor and  destitute. We have been robbed of  our all and many of us are without hou ses, living in tents and waggons. In  consequence of our exposure, we have  suffered this summer much sickness  and numbers have died,265

A malaria epidemic occurred in Commerce, Illinois, and vicinity from early summer to late fall 1839. (JS, Journal, 8 July–15 Sept. 1839.)  


and our pros pects for the ensuing winter are gloomy.  But gloomy as they are, still we are  not discouraged. A large majority of  us are farmers, but our teams, as well  as our flocks and herds and all our  farming materials were taken from us.  Many who were independent, are now  working by days works, to maintain  their families, numbers of them old  men, sixty years old and upwards.—  Such is our true situation, and as such  we make our Appeal to the American  People. [p. 165]
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While incarcerated at Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Missouri, in March 1839, JS addressed a letter to the Saints, and to “Bishop [Edward] Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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in particular,” in which he called for the Saints to gather up “a knoledge of all the facts and sufferings and abuses put upon them” in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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that they might publish the records “to all the world” and “present them to the heads of the government.”1

JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the church members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL [D&C 123:1, 6]. An edited and slightly shortened version of the letter was published in two parts in the Times and Seasons, May and July 1840. The instruction to record the Saints’ Missouri history was part of the July installment. (“Copy of a Letter, Written by J. Smith Jr. and Others, While in Prison,” Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:99–104; “An Extract of a Letter Written to Bishop Partridge, and the Saints in General,” Times and Seasons, July 1840, 1:131–134.)  


Apparently in response to this assignment, Edward Partridge wrote a history that became the first three installments of “A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” an eleven-part series published in the church’s Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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newspaper, Times and Seasons, between December 1839 and October 1840. This series gave the first extended account of the Missouri period to be printed in the Latter-day Saint press. The editors of the Times and Seasons, Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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and Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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, announced in its first issue that the newspaper would “commence publishing the history of the disturbances in Missouri, in regular series,”2

“A Word to the Saints,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:12. After the first copies of the first number were printed in July, publication of the Times and Seasons halted for several months because both editors fell ill amidst a malaria outbreak in the Commerce, Illinois, area. The first number was reissued under the date November 1839.  


and the first installment appeared in the second issue.
“A History, of the Persecution” begins with Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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’s account of the Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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conflicts in the early 1830s. Partridge was a bishop of the church in Missouri, first in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, then in Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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following the Latter-day Saints’ expulsion from Jackson, and finally in Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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after the Saints relocated from Clay. By the time he wrote this account of the Mormons’ experiences in Missouri, the Saints had been exiled from the state and had relocated to Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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. Partridge lived first at Pittsfield, then at Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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. In July 1839 he settled in the Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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area, where he served again as a bishop in the new Mormon community being established there.3

Edward Partridge, Miscellaneous papers, CHL. This collection of Partridge papers includes other autobiographical writings about Missouri events.  


Partridge’s narrative is based on firsthand observations and may also have relied on other records he kept. The manuscript version of the history begins, “In presenting to our readers a history of the persecutions,” indicating that Partridge wrote it for publication purposes.4

Partridge, History, manuscript, Edward Partridge, Miscellaneous Papers, CHL. Significant differences between the first three installments of “History, of the Persecution” and the Partridge manuscript are described in footnotes herein.  


He may have intended to tell the entire Missouri story himself, but he fell ill shortly after publication of the “History of the Persecution” began, and he died 27 May 1840.
The fourth installment of “History, of the Persecution” provides a brief transition from Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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’s account, which ends in 1836 as the Saints were settling in what became Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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, to the conflicts in Caldwell and adjoining counties beginning in 1838. Though the source or author of this portion is not known, it may have been written by editors Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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and Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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. Perhaps prompted by Partridge’s illness, the editors sought elsewhere for source materials to continue the series. In April 1840, the fifth installment reprinted passages from Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (Detroit: Dawson and Bates, 1839), and the sixth in May excerpted Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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’s An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints; and of the Barbarities Inflicted on Them by the Inhabitants of the State of Missouri (Cincinnati: Glezan and Shepard, 1840).5

No manuscript is known to exist for Pratt’s published pamphlet. Rigdon is not named as the author on the title page of Appeal to the American People, but he is credited as such in the “History, of the Persecution” series and in advertisements for the pamphlet in the Times and Seasons. A manuscript version of Rigdon’s Appeal to the American People, titled “To the Publick” and inscribed by George W. Robinson, is found in the JS Collection at the Church History Library. Many textual differences exist between the manuscript and Appeal to the American People, and the editors of the Times and Seasons clearly used the published pamphlet, not the manuscript, as their source. (“History, of the Persecution,” May 1840, 1:99; Advertisement, Times and Seasons, 1 Jan. 1841, 2:272.)  


In June the editors again excerpted Pratt’s History of the Late Persecution, and in the three articles published from July to September they reprinted more of Rigdon’s work. The series concluded in the October 1840 issue with a reprint of the speech that John B. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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, a major general of the Missouri state militia, made to the Latter-day Saints at Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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, Caldwell County, on 5 November 1838.
The “History, of the Persecution” is representative of the many histories and individual petitions written at the time to document the Saints’ experiences in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. Its excerpts from Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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’s History of the Late Persecution and Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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’s Appeal to the American People provide a useful sampling of two published histories of the period and demonstrate that documenting these events was a widespread effort.6

Earlier published accounts of the Jackson County conflicts from Latter-day Saints include the broadside “The Mormons,” So Called, dated 12 December 1833, and its reprint in The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2]; a series titled “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” published in The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833–Mar. 1834 and May–June 1834; John P. Greene’s pamphlet Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order” (Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839); and John Taylor’s eight-page work, A Short Account of the Murders, Roberies, Burnings, Thefts, and Other Outrages Committed by the Mob and Militia of the State of Missouri, Upon the Latter Day Saints (Springfield, IL: By the author, 1839).  


Publication in the church’s periodical lent credibility to the series and ensured that it was the source from which many new Mormon converts learned the details of the church’s history in Missouri. What they read was not the work of neutral historians detached from the events described. When Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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, Pratt, and Rigdon wrote their histories, the persecutions and injustices against them were still fresh in their memories. All three authors suffered personally during the Missouri hardships, and as they and other Saints undertook to write about their experiences, their primary focus was to fulfill JS’s directive—to obtain redress by making known the “nefarious and murderous impositions that have been practiced upon this people.”7

JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the church members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL [D&C 123:5].  


Facts