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

at any time when they should get ready to go; but said, that he had not authority to keep a guard there for their protection.85

On 21 November 1833, soon after the Latter-day Saints were driven out of Jackson County, Attorney General Robert W. Wells wrote the Mormons’ legal counsel and informed them that “from conversations I have had with the Gov., I believe I am warranted in saying” that if the Mormons appealed to Dunklin to be restored to their lands, Dunklin would promptly call upon the militia to assist. Wells suggested that the Mormons should organize as a regular Jackson County militia unit for self-defense, presumably because long-term involvement of other militia personnel would be impractical. (Robert W. Wells, Jefferson City, MO, to Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, 21 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


That being the case they were advised, by some of the most influential men in the upper country, who were friendly to them, but not believers in their faith, to have enough of their brethren emigrate to that country, to enable them to maintain their rights, should the mob ever attemp to trample upon them again: and then get the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to set them back upon their lands. Accordingly word was sent forth to the churches to that effect; and in the summer of 1834, a large company emigrated from the eastern churches, to Clay co.

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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for that purpose.86

The Partridge manuscript numbers the company at “about 200” and further explains, “but few of them however moved their families because that they knew not what the result would be—it was but an experiment.” This expedition, known as the Camp of Israel and later as Zion’s Camp, departed Kirtland, Ohio, and Pontiac, Michigan, on 5 May 1834. Although Edward Partridge referred to the expedition as a company of emigrants, most intended to be in Missouri for a limited time. The expedition was made up almost exclusively of men, but the group included three families consisting of husband, wife, and one or more children; three families made up of a father with one or more children; and five married couples. (Crawley and Anderson, “Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” 406–420; and Radke, “We Also Marched,” 147–165.)  


Whilst this company was forming and going up to 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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, rumor, with her ten thousand tongues, was busily engaged, in circulating falsehoods about them; insomuch, that before they arrived at Clay co.

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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, there was considerable excitement, even there.87

A 29 April 1834 letter from the postmaster at Chagrin, Ohio, to the postmaster at Independence warned that the Mormons were recruiting volunteers to march to Jackson County under the protection of the governor of Missouri. The author suggested that the Mormons intended to engage in a “holy war” to “restore Zion . . . by force of arms” and reported learning from a dissenter that the Saints were trying to arrange for nearby Indians to join their invasion. (“Another Mormon War Threatened!,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 7 June 1834, [3]; italics in original.)  


The Jackson co.

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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people went over into Clay

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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, and called a meeting and stired up all the feelings there, that they possibly could against the saints.88

According to John Whitmer, Jackson County resident Samuel Campbell agitated in Clay County and gathered signatures from twenty people pledging to assist Jackson County vigilantes against the Mormons. (Whitmer, History, 66.)  


The anger of the people of Jackson co.

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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rose to a great height; they had furnished themselves with a number of cannon, and their neighbours of the adjoining counties, on the south side of the Missouri river

One of longest rivers in North America, in excess of 3,000 miles. From headwaters in Montana to confluence with Mississippi River near Saint Louis, Missouri River drains 580,000 square miles (about one-sixth of continental U.S.). Explored by Lewis and Clark...

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, volunteered by hundreds to assist them, provided that the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
should attempt to set the saints back upon their land in Jackson co.

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...

More Info
89

At a meeting in Jackson County in early June 1834, Samuel C. Owens was “unanimously elected Commander in Chief” of the anti-Mormon forces there. (“The Mormons,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 21 June 1834, [3].)  


The company from the eastern churches arrived in Clay co.

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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and their gentle manners, and peaceable deportment, soon convinced the people of that country, of the false reports which had been circulated about them.90

Officials from several counties met in northeast Clay County on 21 June 1834 with JS and others of the Latter-day Saint expedition to assess the Mormons’ intentions. After a long, animated exchange, Clay County sheriff Cornelius Gilliam wrote and signed a letter to the public explaining that he had been assigned to ascertain the Mormons’ position. Gilliam’s letter served as an introduction to a conciliatory statement composed by the Latter-day Saints and signed jointly by several of their representatives and by members of the Missouri delegation. Gilliam’s letter and the accompanying statement were published in Missouri and in the church’s newspaper in Ohio. Armed conflict was averted, but tensions remained high until the expedition disbanded after many of its members contracted cholera. (History of Jackson County, Missouri, 263; Cornelius Gilliam, Statement, The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1834, 176; “Propositions, &c. of the ‘Mormons,’” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1834, 176; Launius, Zion’s Camp, 145–154.)  


The excitement was very soon done away, and the people appeared more friendly than before.
After the arrival of the brethren from the east, a council was held, and it was concluded, considering the great wrath of the people, south of the river, that it would not be wisdom to ask the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
to set them back at that time.91

As late as 21 June 1834, JS and other leaders of the expedition affirmed that “it is our intention to go back upon our lands in Jackson County by order of the Executive if possible” but proposed at the same time to buy the property of those in Jackson County who could not agree to live with the Latter-day Saints. The Saints had learned on 15 June that Dunklin declined to provide a militia escort to Jackson County. A revelation of 22 June stated, “It is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion.” (“Request of Cornelius Gilliam to J. Smith Jr & Others & Their Answer,” 21 June 1834, JS Collection, CHL; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 25; Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102:3, 1844 ed. [D&C 105:13].)  


The people of Clay co.

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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were mostly friendly to the saints, but there were a few exceptions. Nothing of importance occurred, however, for some time, a few threats and insults from those who were disaffected, was all the hostility manifested till the summer of 1836.
The suits which had been commenced against the Jackson co.

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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people, for damages, progressed so slow, and were attended with such an amount of costs, that they were all dropped but two; which were considered sufficient to try the experiment; to ascertain whether or not any thing could be obtained by the law. Near $300 cost had been paid by the brethren, to obtain a change of venue; the suits were then removed to 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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.92

Judge John F. Ryland of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri granted a change of venue from Jackson to Ray County on 26 May 1835 for two of the suits, Partridge v. Lucas et al. and Phelps v. Simpson et al. Attorneys for the plaintiffs earlier announced their intention to apply for a change of venue also for Allen v. Olmstead et al. and Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al. (Letter from William T. Wood et al., 13 May 1835, Jackson Co., MO, Circuit Court, Civil Cases, Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO.)  


Court after court passed, and the trials were continued. At last, in the summer of 1836, the time drew near, when it was supposed that the trials must come on: which was very gratifying to those who planted the suits. When the court came, their lawyers, instead of going to trial, as they should have done, made a sort of compromise, with the mobbers, by dropping one suit, without even having the cost paid, and that too without the knowledge or consent of their employers. On the other suit the defendants agreed to pay a few hundred dollars; though not as much as the lawyer’s fees had been. Thus the lawyers, after getting their pay, managed the cases;93

The phrase “after getting their pay, managed the cases” does not appear in the Partridge manuscript.  


had they been true to the brethren, as they were bound to be by oath, and brought their suits to a trial, instead of making a compromise, and laboured faithfully for them, as they ought to have done; and laboured as though they meant to earn their thousand dollar fee; there is no doubt but that, on the two suits, they would have obtained as many thousands of dollars, as they did hundreds by the compromise.94

Regarding the initiation of the civil lawsuits, see “History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:19. In July 1836, after the lawsuits were moved to Ray County, the cases were tried before John F. Ryland. In Partridge v. Lucas et al., Ryland found the defendants guilty of trespass by force and arms, as alleged, and awarded damages to Edward Partridge in the amount of one cent plus court costs.a In Phelps v. Simpson et al., for unlawful entry, Ryland also found in favor of the plaintiff, and William W. Phelps was awarded damages of seven hundred fifty dollars plus costs.b Partridge and Phelps each originally sought fifty thousand dollars in damages.c .)  


aPartridge v. Lucas et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Ray Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, vol. A, p. 249, microfilm 959,749, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

bPhelps v. Simpson et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Ray Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, vol. A, p. 250, microfilm 959,749, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

cDeclaration, Partridge v. Lucas et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836]; Declaration, Phelps v. Simpson et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Jackson Co., MO, Circuit Court, Civil Cases, Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO

No further attempts have ever been made to obtain a compensation for the losses and damages, sustained by the saints in Jackson co.

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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except last winter in petitioning the Legislature of 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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, among other things they asked the State

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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, for remuneration for them; which the Legislature did not see fit to grant.95

This sentence is not found in the Partridge manuscript. Two memorials introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on 19 December 1838 sought funds to redress the Mormons’ Missouri losses; the House acted on neither. Earlier in December the legislature passed a bill appropriating $2,000 to aid the Mormons in Caldwell and Daviess counties. (See Corrill, Brief History, 44.)  


In the summer of 1836 the mob party, in Clay co.

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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strengthened itself considerably, and became quite bold; insomuch that they in one or two instances, began to whip the saints; and [p. 50]
at any time when they should get  ready to go; but said, that he had not  authority to keep a guard there for  their protection.85

On 21 November 1833, soon after the Latter-day Saints were driven out of Jackson County, Attorney General Robert W. Wells wrote the Mormons’ legal counsel and informed them that “from conversations I have had with the Gov., I believe I am warranted in saying” that if the Mormons appealed to Dunklin to be restored to their lands, Dunklin would promptly call upon the militia to assist. Wells suggested that the Mormons should organize as a regular Jackson County militia unit for self-defense, presumably because long-term involvement of other militia personnel would be impractical. (Robert W. Wells, Jefferson City, MO, to Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, 21 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


That being the case  they were advised, by some of the  most influential men in the upper coun try, who were friendly to them, but  not believers in their faith, to have  enough of their brethren emigrate to  that country, to enable them to main tain their rights, should the mob ever  attemp to trample upon them again:  and then get the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
to set them  back upon their lands. Accordingly  word was sent forth to the churches  to that effect; and in the summer of  1834, a large company emigrated from  the eastern churches, to Clay co.

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...

More Info
for  that purpose.86

The Partridge manuscript numbers the company at “about 200” and further explains, “but few of them however moved their families because that they knew not what the result would be—it was but an experiment.” This expedition, known as the Camp of Israel and later as Zion’s Camp, departed Kirtland, Ohio, and Pontiac, Michigan, on 5 May 1834. Although Edward Partridge referred to the expedition as a company of emigrants, most intended to be in Missouri for a limited time. The expedition was made up almost exclusively of men, but the group included three families consisting of husband, wife, and one or more children; three families made up of a father with one or more children; and five married couples. (Crawley and Anderson, “Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” 406–420; and Radke, “We Also Marched,” 147–165.)  


Whilst this company was forming and  going up to 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...

More Info
, rumor, with her  ten thousand tongues, was busily en gaged, in circulating falsehoods about  them; insomuch, that before they ar rived at Clay co.

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...

More Info
, there was considera ble excitement, even there.87

A 29 April 1834 letter from the postmaster at Chagrin, Ohio, to the postmaster at Independence warned that the Mormons were recruiting volunteers to march to Jackson County under the protection of the governor of Missouri. The author suggested that the Mormons intended to engage in a “holy war” to “restore Zion . . . by force of arms” and reported learning from a dissenter that the Saints were trying to arrange for nearby Indians to join their invasion. (“Another Mormon War Threatened!,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 7 June 1834, [3]; italics in original.)  


The Jackson co.

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...

More Info
people went over  into Clay

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...

More Info
, and called a meeting and  stired up all the feelings there, that  they possibly could against the saints.88

According to John Whitmer, Jackson County resident Samuel Campbell agitated in Clay County and gathered signatures from twenty people pledging to assist Jackson County vigilantes against the Mormons. (Whitmer, History, 66.)  


 The anger of the people of Jackson co.

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...

More Info
 rose to a great height; they had fur nished themselves with a number of  cannon, and their neighbours of the  adjoining counties, on the south side of  the Missouri river

One of longest rivers in North America, in excess of 3,000 miles. From headwaters in Montana to confluence with Mississippi River near Saint Louis, Missouri River drains 580,000 square miles (about one-sixth of continental U.S.). Explored by Lewis and Clark...

More Info
, volunteered by  hundreds to assist them, provided that  the Gov.

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
should attempt to set the  saints back upon their land in Jack son co.

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...

More Info
89

At a meeting in Jackson County in early June 1834, Samuel C. Owens was “unanimously elected Commander in Chief” of the anti-Mormon forces there. (“The Mormons,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 21 June 1834, [3].)  


The company from the eastern  churches arrived in Clay co.

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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and their  gentle manners, and peaceable deport ment, soon convinced the people of that  country, of the false reports which had  been circulated about them.90

Officials from several counties met in northeast Clay County on 21 June 1834 with JS and others of the Latter-day Saint expedition to assess the Mormons’ intentions. After a long, animated exchange, Clay County sheriff Cornelius Gilliam wrote and signed a letter to the public explaining that he had been assigned to ascertain the Mormons’ position. Gilliam’s letter served as an introduction to a conciliatory statement composed by the Latter-day Saints and signed jointly by several of their representatives and by members of the Missouri delegation. Gilliam’s letter and the accompanying statement were published in Missouri and in the church’s newspaper in Ohio. Armed conflict was averted, but tensions remained high until the expedition disbanded after many of its members contracted cholera. (History of Jackson County, Missouri, 263; Cornelius Gilliam, Statement, The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1834, 176; “Propositions, &c. of the ‘Mormons,’” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1834, 176; Launius, Zion’s Camp, 145–154.)  


The ex citement was very soon done away,  and the people appeared more friendly  than before.
After the arrival of the brethren  from the east, a council was held, and  it was concluded, considering the great  wrath of the people, south of the river,  that it would not be wisdom to ask  the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
to set them back at that  time.91

As late as 21 June 1834, JS and other leaders of the expedition affirmed that “it is our intention to go back upon our lands in Jackson County by order of the Executive if possible” but proposed at the same time to buy the property of those in Jackson County who could not agree to live with the Latter-day Saints. The Saints had learned on 15 June that Dunklin declined to provide a militia escort to Jackson County. A revelation of 22 June stated, “It is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion.” (“Request of Cornelius Gilliam to J. Smith Jr & Others & Their Answer,” 21 June 1834, JS Collection, CHL; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 25; Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102:3, 1844 ed. [D&C 105:13].)  


The people of Clay co.

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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were most ly friendly to the saints, but there  were a few exceptions. Nothing of  importance occurred, however, for  some time, a few threats and insults  from those who were disaffected, was  all the hostility manifested till the sum mer of 1836.
The suits which had been commenc ed against the Jackson co.

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...

More Info
people, for  damages, progressed so slow, and were  attended with such an amount of costs,  that they were all dropped but two;  which were considered sufficient to try  the experiment; to ascertain whether  or not any thing could be obtained by  the law. Near $300 cost had been  paid by the brethren, to obtain a  change of venue; the suits were then  removed to 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...

More Info
.92

Judge John F. Ryland of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri granted a change of venue from Jackson to Ray County on 26 May 1835 for two of the suits, Partridge v. Lucas et al. and Phelps v. Simpson et al. Attorneys for the plaintiffs earlier announced their intention to apply for a change of venue also for Allen v. Olmstead et al. and Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al. (Letter from William T. Wood et al., 13 May 1835, Jackson Co., MO, Circuit Court, Civil Cases, Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO.)  


Court after  court passed, and the trials were con tinued. At last, in the summer of  1836, the time drew near, when it was  supposed that the trials must come on:  which was very gratifying to those who  planted the suits. When the court  came, their lawyers, instead of going  to trial, as they should have done,  made a sort of compromise, with the  mobbers, by dropping one suit, with out even having the cost paid, and that  too without the knowledge or consent  of their employers. On the other suit  the defendants agreed to pay a few  hundred dollars; though not as much as  the lawyer’s fees had been. Thus the  lawyers, after getting their pay, man aged the cases;93

The phrase “after getting their pay, managed the cases” does not appear in the Partridge manuscript.  


had they been true to  the brethren, as they were bound to  be by oath, and brought their suits to  a trial, instead of making a comprom ise, and laboured faithfully for them, as  they ought to have done; and laboured  as though they meant to earn their thou sand dollar fee; there is no doubt but  that, on the two suits, they would have  obtained as many thousands of dollars,  as they did hundreds by the comprom ise.94

Regarding the initiation of the civil lawsuits, see “History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:19. In July 1836, after the lawsuits were moved to Ray County, the cases were tried before John F. Ryland. In Partridge v. Lucas et al., Ryland found the defendants guilty of trespass by force and arms, as alleged, and awarded damages to Edward Partridge in the amount of one cent plus court costs.a In Phelps v. Simpson et al., for unlawful entry, Ryland also found in favor of the plaintiff, and William W. Phelps was awarded damages of seven hundred fifty dollars plus costs.b Partridge and Phelps each originally sought fifty thousand dollars in damages.c .)  


aPartridge v. Lucas et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Ray Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, vol. A, p. 249, microfilm 959,749, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

bPhelps v. Simpson et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Ray Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, vol. A, p. 250, microfilm 959,749, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

cDeclaration, Partridge v. Lucas et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836]; Declaration, Phelps v. Simpson et al. [Ray Co. Cir. Ct. 1836], Jackson Co., MO, Circuit Court, Civil Cases, Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO

No further attempts have ever  been made to obtain a compensation  for the losses and damages, sustained  by the saints in Jackson co.

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...

More Info
except  last winter in petitioning the Legisla ture of 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...

More Info
, among other things  they asked the State

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...

More Info
, for remunera tion for them; which the Legislature  did not see fit to grant.95

This sentence is not found in the Partridge manuscript. Two memorials introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on 19 December 1838 sought funds to redress the Mormons’ Missouri losses; the House acted on neither. Earlier in December the legislature passed a bill appropriating $2,000 to aid the Mormons in Caldwell and Daviess counties. (See Corrill, Brief History, 44.)  


In the summer of 1836 the mob  party, in Clay co.

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...

More Info
strengthened itself  considerably, and became quite bold;  insomuch that they in one or two in stances, began to whip the saints; and [p. 50]
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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].  


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