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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

these corpses we immediately went to the black-smith’s shop where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead, the other, Mr. Simon Cox of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death and soon expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to a place of interment: This last office of kindness due to the relics of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies nor decency: for we were in jeopardy, every moment expecting to be fired on by the mob, whom, we supposed were lying in ambush, waiting for the first opportunity to despatch the remaining few, who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day. However, we accomplished without molestation this painful task. The place of burying, was a vault in the ground, formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously. Among those slain, I will mention Sardius Smith, son of Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

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, about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows in the shop, where he remained until the massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Corrill Carroll County, who presented his rifle near the boy’s head and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanley of Corrill, told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this deed all over 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.” ...

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.209

At least four men were later identified as having killed Sardius Smith: Ira Glaze, William Reynolds, Stephen Reynolds, and a “Mr. Moppins”—possibly Howard or Jesse Maupin, both of whom have been identified as participants in the massacre. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 417, 419.)  


The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter, was eighteen or nineteen, whose names, as far as I can recollect, were as follows: Thomas McBride

12 Mar. 1776–30 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Virginia. Son of James McBride and Mary White. Married Catharine John, 28 Sept. 1797, in Berkeley Co., Virginia (later in Jefferson Co., West Virginia). Moved to Lancaster, Fairfield Co., Ohio, 1810. Moved to Amanda...

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, Levi Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fullor Fuller, Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Campbell, Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

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, Sardius Smith, George Richards, Mr. William Napier, Mr. Harmar Austin Hammer, Mr. Simon Cox, Mr. Abbot Hiram Abbott

?–Dec. 1838. Son of Rufus Abbott. Resided in Ray Co., Missouri, by July 1838. Mortally wounded during attack at Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 30 Oct. 1838.

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, Mr. John York

Ca. 1778–30 Oct. 1838. Married Hannah Hammer, 8 Jan. 1801, in Randolph Co., North Carolina. Moved to Milford, Butler Co., Ohio by 1820. Moved to Henry Co., Indiana, by 1830. Likely baptized into LDS church. Moved to Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, ...

View Full Bio
, Wm. Merrick210

Actually Charles Merrick.  


a boy 8 or 9 years old and three or four more, whose names I do not recollect, as they were strangers to me.211

Alexander Baugh has identified John Byers and John Lee in addition to those Young listed by name. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” appendix J.)  


Among the wounded who recovered, were Isaac Laney Leany, who had six balls shot through him, two through his body, one through each arm, and the other two through his hips. Nathan K. Knight shot through the body; Mr. William Yokum who was severely wounded, besides being shot through the head, Jacob Myers

11 Aug. 1782–17 Oct. 1867. Farmer, millwright. Born at Pence, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Frederick Myers and Elizabeth Wirick. Married Sarah Colman, 5 Jan. 1804, at Jefferson Co., Ohio. Lived in Richland Co., Ohio, 1804–ca. 1836. Baptized into...

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, —— George Myers, Tarlton Lewis

18 May 1805–22 Nov. 1890. Farmer, carpenter, colonizer. Born in Pendleton, Pendleton Co., South Carolina. Son of Neriah Lewis and Mary Morse. Moved to Kentucky, 1809. Married Malinda Gimlin, 27 Mar. 1828, likely in Simpson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Macoupin...

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, Mr. Haunn

13 Jan. 1804–27 Jan. 1860. Miller, builder, carpenter. Born in Genesee Co., New York. Son of Henry Hawn. Consistently spelled surname as “Hawn” throughout life, but many contemporary records spelled name as “Haun.” Married Harriet Elizabeth Pierson, 18 Nov...

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, and several others. Miss Mary Stedwell, while fleeing, was shot through the hand and fainting, fell over a log, into which, they shot upwards of twenty balls.
To finish their work of destruction, this band of murderers, composed of men 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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, Livingston

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

More Info
, Ray

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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, 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.” ...

More Info
, and Corrill Counties; led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, proceeded to rob the houses, wagons and tents, of bedding and clothing; drove off horses and wagons, leaving widows and orphans destitute of the necessaries of life; and even stripped the clothing from the bodies of the slain!
According to their own account, they fired seven rounds in this awful massacre, making upwards of fifteen hundred shots at a little company of men of about thirty in number!
I certify the above, to be a true statement of facts relative to the above mentioned massacre according to my best recolection.
(Signed) JOSEPH YOUNG

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
.
JANE A. YOUNG

14 Aug. 1814–15 Jan. 1913. Born in Utica, Oneida Co., New York. Daughter of Calvin Field Bicknell and Chloe Seymour. Moved to Geneseo, Livingston Co., New York, 1817; to Livonia, Livingston Co., by 1830; and back to Geneseo, by 1834. Baptized into LDS church...

View Full Bio
.
212

The remainder of this installment was based on the David Lewis statement. (See Editorial Note.)  


A short time previous to the massacre at Shoal creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

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, we made peace with the mob characters living near us, as declaration had been made by the leaders of the band, that all persons who would not take up arms against the society, should, with the Mormons, be driven out of 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
; and thus drawing the division line so close that we thought it necessary to ascertain the feelings of our neighbors around us. We met them and an agreement was entered into between us, that we would live in peace, let others do as they would. A large number of our company living at the mill at that time, were immigrants who had just came into the place. On the first day of November 1838, without apprehending any danger whatever from the mob, we were visited by about three hundred mounted men, coming with great speed, and fell upon us with the ferocity of tigers. They were not discovered until within one hundred and fifty yards of us. They immediately commenced firing upon us, without asking us to surrender, or giving us a chance to surrender, or even giving us to understand what they wanted, only as we were taught by the sound of guns, the groans of [p. 147]
these corpses we imm[e]diately went to  the black-smith’s shop where we found  nine of our friends, eight of whom  were already dead, the other, Mr. [Simon] Cox  of Indiana, struggling in the agonies  of death and soon expired. We im mediately prepared and carried them  to a place of interment: This last office  of kindness due to the relics of depart ed friends, was not attended with the  customary ceremoni[e]s nor decency: for  we were in jeopardy, every moment  expecting to be fired on by the mob,  whom, we supposed were lying in am bush, waiting for the first opportunity  to despatch the remaining few, who  were providentially preserved from the  slaughter of the preceding day. How ever, we accomplished without moles tation this painful task. The place of  burying, was a vault in the ground,  formerly intended for a well, into  which we threw the bodies of our  friends promiscuously. Among those  slain, I will mention Sardius Smith,  son of Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

View Full Bio
, about nine years  old, who, through fear, had crawled  under the bellows in the shop, where  he remained until the massacre was  over, when he was discovered by a Mr.  Glaze of Corrill [Carroll] County, who present ed his rifle near the boy’s head and  literally blowed off the upper part of it.  Mr. Stanley of Corrill, told me after wards that Glaze boasted of this deed  all over 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
.209

At least four men were later identified as having killed Sardius Smith: Ira Glaze, William Reynolds, Stephen Reynolds, and a “Mr. Moppins”—possibly Howard or Jesse Maupin, both of whom have been identified as participants in the massacre. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 417, 419.)  


The number killed and mortally  wounded in this wanton slaughter, was  eighteen or nineteen, whose names, as  far as I can recollect, were as follows:  Thomas McBride

12 Mar. 1776–30 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Virginia. Son of James McBride and Mary White. Married Catharine John, 28 Sept. 1797, in Berkeley Co., Virginia (later in Jefferson Co., West Virginia). Moved to Lancaster, Fairfield Co., Ohio, 1810. Moved to Amanda...

View Full Bio
[,] Levi Merrick, Elias  Benner, Josiah Fullor [Fuller], Benjamin Lew is, Alexander Campbell, Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

View Full Bio
,  Sardius Smith, George Richards, Mr.  [William] Napier, Mr. Harmar [Austin Hammer], Mr. [Simon] Cox, Mr.  Abbot [Hiram Abbott]

?–Dec. 1838. Son of Rufus Abbott. Resided in Ray Co., Missouri, by July 1838. Mortally wounded during attack at Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 30 Oct. 1838.

View Full Bio
, Mr. [John] York

Ca. 1778–30 Oct. 1838. Married Hannah Hammer, 8 Jan. 1801, in Randolph Co., North Carolina. Moved to Milford, Butler Co., Ohio by 1820. Moved to Henry Co., Indiana, by 1830. Likely baptized into LDS church. Moved to Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, ...

View Full Bio
, Wm. Merrick210

Actually Charles Merrick.  


a  boy 8 or 9 years old and three or four  more, whose names I do not recollect,  as they were strangers to me.211

Alexander Baugh has identified John Byers and John Lee in addition to those Young listed by name. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” appendix J.)  


Among  the wounded who recovered, were  Isaac Laney [Leany], who had six balls shot  through him, two through his body,  one through each arm, and the other  two through his hips. Nathan K.  Knight shot through the body; Mr.  [William] Yokum who was severely wounded,  besides being shot through the head,  Jacob Myers

11 Aug. 1782–17 Oct. 1867. Farmer, millwright. Born at Pence, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Frederick Myers and Elizabeth Wirick. Married Sarah Colman, 5 Jan. 1804, at Jefferson Co., Ohio. Lived in Richland Co., Ohio, 1804–ca. 1836. Baptized into...

View Full Bio
, —— [George] Myers, Tarlton  Lewis

18 May 1805–22 Nov. 1890. Farmer, carpenter, colonizer. Born in Pendleton, Pendleton Co., South Carolina. Son of Neriah Lewis and Mary Morse. Moved to Kentucky, 1809. Married Malinda Gimlin, 27 Mar. 1828, likely in Simpson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Macoupin...

View Full Bio
, Mr. Haunn

13 Jan. 1804–27 Jan. 1860. Miller, builder, carpenter. Born in Genesee Co., New York. Son of Henry Hawn. Consistently spelled surname as “Hawn” throughout life, but many contemporary records spelled name as “Haun.” Married Harriet Elizabeth Pierson, 18 Nov...

View Full Bio
, and several oth ers. Miss Mary Stedwell, while flee ing, was shot through the hand and  fainting, fell over a log, into which,  they shot upwards of twenty balls.
To finish their work of destruction,  this band of murderers, composed of  men 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 ...

More Info
, Livingston

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

More Info
, Ray

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
,  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.” ...

More Info
, and Corrill Counties; led by  some of the principal men of that sec tion of the upper country, proceeded  to rob the houses, wagons and tents, of  bedding and clothing; drove off horses  and wagons, leaving widows and or phans destitute of the necessaries of  life; and even strip[p]ed the clothing  from the bodies of the slain!
According to their own account,  they fired seven rounds in this awful  massacre, making upwards of fifteen  hundred shots at a little company of  men of about thirty in number!
I certify the above, to be a true  statement of facts relative to the above  mentioned massacre according to my  best recolection.
(Signed) JOSEPH YOUNG

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
.
JANE A. YOUNG

14 Aug. 1814–15 Jan. 1913. Born in Utica, Oneida Co., New York. Daughter of Calvin Field Bicknell and Chloe Seymour. Moved to Geneseo, Livingston Co., New York, 1817; to Livonia, Livingston Co., by 1830; and back to Geneseo, by 1834. Baptized into LDS church...

View Full Bio
.
212

The remainder of this installment was based on the David Lewis statement. (See Editorial Note.)  


A short time previous to the massa cre at Shoal creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
, we made peace  with the mob characters living near  us, as declaration had been made by  the leaders of the band, that all per sons who would not take up arms  against the society, should, with the  Mormons, be driven out of 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
;  and thus drawing the division line so  close that we thought it necessary to  ascertain the feelings of our neigh bors around us. We met them and  an agreement was entered into be tween us, that we would live in peace,  let others do as they would. A large  number of our company living at the  mill at that time, were immigrants who  had just came into the place. On the  first day of November 1838, without  apprehending any danger whatever  from the mob, we were visited by  about three hundred mounted men,  coming with great speed, and fell upon  us with the ferocity of tigers. They  were not discovered until within one  hundred and fifty yards of us. They  immediately commenced firing upon  us, without asking us to surrender, or  giving us a chance to surrender, or  even giving us to understand what  they wanted, only as we were taught  by the sound of guns, the groans of [p. 147]
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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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