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“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

Installment 4, March 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65–66. The author of this fourth installment is not known, and no manuscript version has been located.

A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS 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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.
 
continued.
 
In August, 1836, the saints commenced settling upon their new location, in great numbers; and made preparations for the coming winter, by constructing comfortable dwellings for themselves, and gathering as much food for their cattle, horses &c. as their straitened circumstances would permit. Here they settled with the fond anticipation of being permitted to dwell in quietness and peace upon their possessions without molestation; consequently large entries of the public lands were made by individuals of the society, and extensive farms were soon opened; those who had not means to purchase lands, were under the necessity of loaning it of the citizens, at very high rates of per centage, frequently being compelled to pay fifty per cent. Others who could not obtain money by loan, would procure two or three months provision for their families, and then go to Fort Leavensworth [Leavenworth] or elsewhere, and work until they had earned enough to enter a forty or an eighty acre tract; thus by dint of hard labor and untiring perseverance, almost every man, in a few months found himself in the possession of sufficient land to make a good farm. In a few months nearly or quite all the best land of the territory, now known as 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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, was purchased by the saints, several hundred buildings erected, and great preparations made for a crop the coming season. A principal part of the old inhabitants sold out and moved away, which however, were but few, there being only about fifteen or twenty families in the 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.” ...

More Info
.
Commencing a settlement at this season of the year, they were obliged to procure all their provision for themselves, and grain for their stock in the adjoining counties, and transport it some thirty or forty miles, which was a great detriment to the extensive improvements they were making. At the session of the Legislature, in the winter of 1836–7 an act was passed, calling the territory upon which the saints had settled, Caldwell co.

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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The following spring it was duly organized, with proper officers, both civil and military. The emigration increased very rapidly, so much so, that notwithstanding 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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had beed [been] laid out, and was building up very fast, yet several families, in the spring of 1837, moved still further north into the county of 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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, some of whom entered lands and settled upon them, there being one township then in market which lay on the south side of the county, and immediately adjoinimg 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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to the north. Others purchased pre-emtion rights, and settled upon the public domain, which was not in market, under the privilege of the pre-emtion law.
Some time in the month of July, a mob spirit began to manifest itself in Daviess co.

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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which continued to increase, until finally a lawless band of desparadoes some twenty or thirty, headed by Mr. Adam Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

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, a Justice of the Peace, and Mr. Penniston [William Peniston]

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

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a Colonel in the militia, went from house to house and warned every man, belonging to our society, to leave the 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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on or before a certain day by them specified, which was not far distant, or suffer the consequences, as they had resolved upon that day to clear the 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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of every Mormon in it. This intelligence, however, was not as terrifying as it might have been, had this been the first time that it had been proclaimed in the ears of the saints, but they, being made familiar with the sound in Jackson

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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and 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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counties, were disposed to treat the subject at this time properly; therefore they informed this lawless banditti, that as for the day, it might come and go like all other days, but if it brought a mob with it they might expect a warm reception as every man would be at home well prepared for all such visitors; and as it respected leaving the 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
, that, [p. 65]

Installment 4, March 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65–66. The author of this fourth installment is not known, and no manuscript version has been located.

A HISTORY, OF THE  PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LAT TER DAY SAINTS 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...

More Info
.
 
continued.
 
In August, 1836, the saints commen ced settling upon their new location,  in great numbers; and made prepara tions for the coming winter, by con structing comfortable dwellings for  themselves, and gathering as much  food for their cattle, horses &c. as their  straitened circumstances would permit.  Here they settled with the fond antici pation of being permitted to dwell in  quietness and peace upon their posses sions without molestation; consequent ly large entries of the public lands were  made by individuals of the society, and  extensive farms were soon opened;  those who had not means to purchase  lands, were under the necessity of  loaning it of the citizens, at very high  rates of per centage, frequently being  compelled to pay fifty per cent. Oth ers who could not obtain money by  loan, would procure two or three  months provision for their families, and  then go to Fort Leavensworth [Leavenworth] or else where, and work until they had earn ed enough to enter a forty or an eigh ty acre tract; thus by dint of hard la bor and untiring perseverance, almost  every man, in a few months found  himself in the possession of sufficient  land to make a good farm. In a few  months nearly or quite all the best land  of the territory, now known as Cald well 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.” ...

More Info
, was purchased by the  saints, several hundred buildings erect ed, and great preparations made for a  crop the coming season. A principal  part of the old inhabitants sold out and  moved away, which however, were but  few, there being only about fifteen or  twenty families in the 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.” ...

More Info
.
Commencing a settlement at this  season of the year, they were obliged  to procure all their provision for them selves, and grain for their stock in the  adjoining counties, and transport it  some thirty or forty miles, which was  a great detriment to the extensive im provements they were making. At  the session of the Legislature, in the  winter of 1836–7 an act was passed,  calling the territory upon which the  saints had settled, Caldwell co.

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.” ...

More Info
103

The Missouri legislature created Caldwell County 29 December 1836 from previously unorganized territory north of Ray County. (An Act to Organize the Counties of Caldwell and Daviess [29 Dec. 1836], Laws of the State of Missouri [1836], 46–47.)  


The  following spring it was duly organized,  with proper officers, both civil and mil itary. The emigration increased very  rapidly, so much so, that notwithstand ing 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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had beed [been] laid  out, and was building up very fast, yet  several families, in the spring of 18 37, moved still further north into the  county of 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 ...

More Info
, some of whom en tered lands and settled upon them, there  being one township then in market  which lay on the south side of the coun ty, and immediately adjoinimg Cald well

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.” ...

More Info
to the north.104

Land in Colfax Township, in the southwest corner of Daviess County, was already available for sale. Among the Latter-day Saints who obtained patents to public land in that township were Philo Dibble, David Osborn, Farnum Kinyon, Levi Taylor, Elisha Groves, James Emmett, and John Butler. (Land patents, Daviess Co., MO, nos. 10049, 10050, 10209–10211, 10657, 10942, 10947, 11244–11248, 12048, General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior.)  


Others purchased  pre-emtion rights, and settled upon the  public domain, which was not in mar ket, under the privilege of the pre-em tion law.105

During the 1830s, the United States Congress passed for the first time laws that recognized the preemption rights of squatters who settled on public land. Those who occupied tracts of public land could obtain the first right of purchase after official government surveys were completed and certified. Most public land in Daviess County would not become available to those holding preemption rights until 12–26 November 1838, during which time the land could be purchased at the federal land office at Lexington, Lafayette County. After that time the land was made available for others to buy. (Walker, “Mormon Land Rights,” 12–13, 33, 38.)  


Some time in the month of July, a  mob spirit began to manifest itself in  Daviess co.

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
which continued to in crease, until finally a lawless band of  desparadoes some twenty or thirty,  headed by Mr. Adam Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

View Full Bio
, a Justice  of the Peace, and Mr. Penniston [William Peniston]

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
a Co lonel in the militia, went from house to  house and warned every man, belong ing to our society, to leave the 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
 on or before a certain day by them  specified, which was not far distant, or  suffer the consequences, as they had  resolved upon that day to clear the  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
of every Mormon in it.106

The date set for Mormons to leave Daviess County and relocate to Caldwell County was 1 August 1837. (William W. Phelps, Far West, MO, 7 [July] 1837, Letter to the editor, LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1837, 3:529.)  


This  intelligence, however, was not as terri fying as it might have been, had this  been the first time that it had been pro claimed in the ears of the saints, but  they, being made familiar with the  sound in Jackson

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
and 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
counties,  were disposed to treat the subject at  this time properly; therefore they in formed this lawless banditti, that as for  the day, it might come and go like all  other days, but if it brought a mob  with it they might expect a warm re ception as every man would be at home  well prepared for all such visitors; and  as it respected leaving the 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
, that, [p. 65]
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“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints 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...

More Info
,” in Times and Seasons (Commerce/Nauvoo, IL), vol. 1, nos. 2–12: Dec. 1839, pp. 17–20; Jan. 1840, pp. 33–36; Feb. 1840, pp. 49–51; Mar. 1840, pp. 65–66; Apr. 1840, pp. 81–82; May 1840, pp. 97–99; June 1840, pp. 113–116; July 1840, pp. 129–131; Aug. 1840, pp. 145–150; Sept. 1840, pp. 161–165; Oct. 1840, pp. 177, 184–185; edited by 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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. The copy used for transcription is currently part of a bound volume held at CHL; includes light marginalia and archival marking.
Each segment in the eleven-part series begins on the first page of its respective number of the Times and Seasons. Each issue comprises eight leaves (sixteen pages) that measure 8⅝ x 5¼ inches (22 x 13 cm). The text on each page is set in two columns. At some point, the editors of the Times and Seasons reset and reprinted the December 1839 and January 1840 issues of the Times and Seasons; based on textual analysis, the version used for transcription appears to be the earlier typesetting of both.1

See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:94–95.  


It is unknown how long this volume has been in church custody.

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