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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 11, October 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Oct. 1840, 1:177. The eleventh and concluding installment of the “History, of the Persecution” series reprinted a 5 November 1838 speech delivered in 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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by 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 in 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...

More Info
militia during the Mormon conflict.266

Rockwood, Journal, 5 Nov. 1838; James M. Henderson, Affidavit, Hancock Co., IL, 3 Jan. 1840, photocopy, Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL.  


Clark left no account of his speech, and it is unknown whether a text was originally created as the speech was given or whether it was written down later. Multiple copies of this address circulated in manuscript and print form beginning in early 1839. The first known text was recorded in a letter written by Albert P. Rockwood

5 June 1805–25 Nov. 1879. Stonecutter, merchant, prison warden. Born in Holliston, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Luther Rockwood and Ruth Perry. Married Nancy Haven, 4 Apr. 1827. Baptized into LDS church by Brigham Young, 25 July 1837, in Kirtland,...

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, and the first published text appeared in the 16 March 1839 issue of the Quincy Whig.267

Albert P. Rockwood, Quincy, IL, to Luther Rockwood, Holliston, MA, 30 Jan. 1839, Albert Perry Rockwood, Mormon Letters and Sermons, 1838–1839, Western America Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT; “The Mormons,” Quincy (IL) Whig, 16 Mar. 1839, [1].  


The speech was subsequently published in 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 Appeal to the American People and John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

View Full Bio
’s Facts Relative to the Expulsion.268

[Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 58–59; Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion, 26–27.  


The similar wording of all versions indicates that they originate from a single document. It is evident from textual similarities that the source for the version found in the “History, of the Persecution” was Rigdon’s Appeal. Slight textual differences among the different versions hint that the Quincy Whig served as the source for Greene’s version, which in turn was used for Rigdon’s Appeal.

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
.
 
The following address, was delivered 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...

More Info
, by Maj. Gen. 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...

View Full Bio
, to the Mormons, after they had surrendered their arms, and themselves prisoners of war:
Gentlemen—You whose names are not attached to this list of names will now have the privilege of going to your fields to obtain corn for your families, wood, &c. Those that are now taken, will go from thence to prison; be tried, and receive the due demerit of their crimes—but you are now at liberty, all but such as charges may be hereafter preferred against. It now devolves upon you to fulfil the treaty that you have entered into, the leading items of which I now lay before you. The first of these you have already complied with, which is, that you deliver up your leading men to be tried according to law. Second, that you deliver up your arms—this has been attended to. The third is, that you sign over your properties to defray the expenses of the war—this you have also done. Another thing yet remains for you to comply with, that is, that you leave 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
forthwith, and whatever your feelings concerning this affair—whatever your innocence, it is nothing to me. Gen. Samuel D. Lucas

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

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, who is equal in authority with me, has made this treaty with you.269

In surrendering to Samuel D. Lucas 1 November 1838, George M. Hinkle, commander of the Latter-day Saint forces at Far West, accepted the terms described here by Clark. (Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, copy; Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, 6 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


I am determined to see it executed. The orders of the Governor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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to me,270

Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA; also in “History, of the Persecution,” July 1840, 1:129].  


were, that you should be exterminated, and not allowed to continue in 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 had your leader not been given up and the treaty complied with before this, you and your families would have been destroyed, and your houses in ashes.
There is a discretionary power vested in my hands which I shall try to exercise for a season.271

Boggs instructed Clark that he was “authorized and full power is given you to take whatever steps you deem necessary, and such as the circumstances of the case may seem to demand to subdue the insurgents and give peace and qui[e]t to the country.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, 1 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


I did not say that you shall go now, but you must not think of staying here another season or of putting in crops; for the moment you do, the citizens will be upon you. I am determined to see the Governor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
’s Message fulfilled, but shall not come upon you immediately—do not think that I shall act as I have done any more—but if I have to come again, because the treaty which you have made here shall be broken, you need not expect any mercy, but extermination—for I am determined the Governor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
’s order shall be executed. As for your leaders, do not once think—do not imagine for a moment—do not let it enter your mind, that they will be delivered, or that you will see their faces again, for their fate is fixed, their die is cast—their doom is sealed.
I am sorry, gentlemen, to see so great a number of apparently intelligent men found in the situation that you are;— and, oh! that I could invoke the spirit of the unknown God to rest upon you, and deliver you from that awful chain of superstition, and liberate you from those fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound. I would advise you to scatter abroad and never again organize with Bishops, Presidents, &c., lest you excite the jealousies of the people, and subject yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you. You have always been the aggressors—you have brought upon yourselvs these difficulties by being disaffected, and not being subject to rule—and my advice is that you become as other citizens, lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon yourselves irretrievable ruin.”
-[concluded.]- [p. 177]

Installment 11, October 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Oct. 1840, 1:177. The eleventh and concluding installment of the “History, of the Persecution” series reprinted a 5 November 1838 speech delivered in 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...

More Info
by 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...

View Full Bio
, a major general in 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...

More Info
militia during the Mormon conflict.266

Rockwood, Journal, 5 Nov. 1838; James M. Henderson, Affidavit, Hancock Co., IL, 3 Jan. 1840, photocopy, Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL.  


Clark left no account of his speech, and it is unknown whether a text was originally created as the speech was given or whether it was written down later. Multiple copies of this address circulated in manuscript and print form beginning in early 1839. The first known text was recorded in a letter written by Albert P. Rockwood

5 June 1805–25 Nov. 1879. Stonecutter, merchant, prison warden. Born in Holliston, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Luther Rockwood and Ruth Perry. Married Nancy Haven, 4 Apr. 1827. Baptized into LDS church by Brigham Young, 25 July 1837, in Kirtland,...

View Full Bio
, and the first published text appeared in the 16 March 1839 issue of the Quincy Whig.267

Albert P. Rockwood, Quincy, IL, to Luther Rockwood, Holliston, MA, 30 Jan. 1839, Albert Perry Rockwood, Mormon Letters and Sermons, 1838–1839, Western America Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT; “The Mormons,” Quincy (IL) Whig, 16 Mar. 1839, [1].  


The speech was subsequently published in 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...

View Full Bio
’s Appeal to the American People and John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

View Full Bio
’s Facts Relative to the Expulsion.268

[Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 58–59; Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion, 26–27.  


The similar wording of all versions indicates that they originate from a single document. It is evident from textual similarities that the source for the version found in the “History, of the Persecution” was Rigdon’s Appeal. Slight textual differences among the different versions hint that the Quincy Whig served as the source for Greene’s version, which in turn was used for Rigdon’s Appeal.

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
.
 
The following address, was delivered  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...

More Info
, by Maj. Gen. [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...

View Full Bio
, to  the Mormons, after they had surren dered their arms, and themselves pris oners of war:
Gentlemen—You whose names are  not attached to this list of names will  now have the privilege of going to  your fields to obtain corn for your  families, wood, &c. Those that are  now taken, will go from thence to pris on; be tried, and receive the due de merit of their crimes—but you are now  at liberty, all but such as charges may  be hereafter preferred against. It now  devolves upon you to fulfil the treaty  that you have entered into, the leading  items of which I now lay before you.  The first of these you have already  complied with, which is, that you deliv er up your leading men to be tried ac cording to law. Second, that you de liver up your arms—this has been at tended to. The third is, that you sign  over your properties to defray the ex penses of the war—this you have also  done. Another thing yet remains for  you to comply with, that is, that you  leave 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
forthwith, and whatev er your feelings concerning this affair— whatever your innocence, it is nothing  to me. Gen. [Samuel D.] Lucas

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

View Full Bio
, who is equal in  authority with me, has made this trea ty with you.269

In surrendering to Samuel D. Lucas 1 November 1838, George M. Hinkle, commander of the Latter-day Saint forces at Far West, accepted the terms described here by Clark. (Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, copy; Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, 6 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


I am determined to see  it executed. The orders of the Gover nor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
to me,270

Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA; also in “History, of the Persecution,” July 1840, 1:129].  


were, that you should be  exterminated, and not allowed to contin ue in 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 had your leader not  been given up and the treaty complied  with before this, you and your families  would have been destroyed, and your  houses in ashes.
There is a discretionary power vest ed in my hands which I shall try to ex ercise for a season.271

Boggs instructed Clark that he was “authorized and full power is given you to take whatever steps you deem necessary, and such as the circumstances of the case may seem to demand to subdue the insurgents and give peace and qui[e]t to the country.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, 1 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


I did not say  that you shall go now, but you must  not think of staying here another sea son or of putting in crops; for the mo ment you do, the citizens will be upon  you. I am determined to see the Gov ernor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
’s Message fulfilled, but shall not  come upon you immediately—do not  think that I shall act as I have done  any more—but if I have to come again,  because the treaty which you have made  here shall be broken, you need not ex pect any mercy, but extermination— for I am determined the Governor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
’s or der shall be executed. As for your  leaders, do not once think—do not im agine for a moment—do not let it enter  your mind, that they will be delivered,  or that you will see their faces again,  for their fate is fixed, their die is cast— their doom is sealed.
I am sorry, gentlemen, to see so great  a number of apparently intelligent men  found in the situation that you are;—  and, oh! that I could invoke the spirit  of the unknown God to rest upon you,  and deliver you from that awful chain  of superstition, and liberate you from  those fetters of fanaticism with which  you are bound. I would advise you to  scatter abroad and never again organ ize with Bishops, Presidents, &c., lest  you excite the jealousies of the people,  and subject yourselves to the same ca lamities that have now come upon you.  You have always been the aggressors— you have brought upon yourselvs these  difficulties by being disaffected, and not  being subject to rule—and my advice is  that you become as other citizens, lest  by a recurrence of these events you  bring upon yourselves irretrievable  ruin.[”]
-[concluded.]- [p. 177]
PreviousNext
“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.

Facts