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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

church, they might stay and be protected there; and a number tried the experiment with success; and it is believed that some few of them are living there in peace, to this day.
We will return again to the night of the battle.56

4 November 1833.  


The mob sent their runners over the 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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, to stir up the feelings of the people, by misrepresenting the doings of the saints, so as to have them all turn out, and exterminate them at once. The people took their arms and started for Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, as fast as they possibly could, so that early the next morning there were hundreds there ready for war. Col. Thomas Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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pretended to call out the militia, as he said to quill quell the mob, and make peace between the parties; but the fact is he put himself, or was put, some said by L. W. Bogs Lilburn W. Boggs

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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, then lieutenant Gov., at the head of the mob, for the purpose of making a show of legality for what they did.
We must now return again to the evening after the battle, and bring up an other item. The body of saints near Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, learning in the evening, that the brethren were shut up in the jail, and as they supposed for the purpose of being put to death, sent word immediately to Br. Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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, (who lived about six miles off,)57

Apparently at the Blue River settlement. (See Higbee, Reminiscences and Diaries, [6].)  


of their situation, and requested help.58

In the Partridge manuscript, the preceding sentence originally appeared twice, once at this point and again three paragraphs above, after “to leave the county forthwith.” An editorial insertion at the earlier occurrence in the manuscript noted that the sentence should be moved down to this point.  


Colonel Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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collected together a hundred or more of the saints,59

The Partridge manuscript specifies that this gathering occurred the same night the request arrived. John Corrill estimated that Wight led a force of about one hundred fifty men. (Corrill, Brief History, 20.)  


who were but poorly armed, some having no weapons, but clubs, and in the morning marched them on the road towards Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, expecting to stop at the camp of the saints, near town; but hearing of the release of the prisoners, and of the agreement of the brethren to leave the 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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forthwith; and also that the militia were called out at Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
to make peace, before he had reached the brethren’s settlement, he turned aside his men into the woods, concluding to disperse soon and go home.— News flew to town, that Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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with a company of his brethren, were marching towards that place; this so enraged Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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, and his pretended militia, that he demanded that Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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and his company should give up their arms; and also those men who were in the battle the night before, should be given up, to be tried for murder; saying that if they would do those things, they should be safely protected, whilst removing out of the 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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; otherwise there was no peace for them. They reluctantly consented to these propositions, and were it not for fear of resisting the authorities of the country, they would sooner have shed their blood in the defence of their rights, and the liberty of their country,60

“And the liberty of their country” does not appear in the Partridge manuscript.  


than to have submitted to such oppression. However the arms were given up, amounting to fifty one guns, one sword and one pistol. And a number of those who were in the battle, gave themselves up as prisoners.61

Lilburn W. Boggs, lieutenant governor of Missouri, reported that three Mormons who participated in the battle were taken into custody. (Lilburn W. Boggs, Independence, MO, 16 Nov. 1833, Letter to the editor, Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 6 Dec. 1833, [3].)  


The saints then made all possible exertions to leave the 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...

More Info
. After detaining the prisoners a day and a night, and pretending to try them for murder; and also threatening and brick batting them,62

In this instance, “brick batting” may mean to insult or criticize. (See “Brickbat,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 2:538.)  


Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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took them into a cornfield, so that their lives would not be in danger, from his pretended militia; and after taking a watch from one of them for costs, he being the constable, said to them “clear.” Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

View Full Bio
promised to give back the brethren’s arms, whenever they left the 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...

More Info
, this he afterwards refused to do; Whereupon 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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’s order was twice obtained for them but he would not obey it, neither have they ever been paid for.63

Governor Daniel Dunklin first ordered Colonel Samuel D. Lucas to deliver the arms to representatives of the Saints on 2 May 1834. After Lucas moved to Lexington and resigned his commission in the militia without returning the arms, Dunklin sent an order directly to Pitcher. John Corrill followed up by enclosing a copy of the governor’s order in a letter to Pitcher. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Samuel D. Lucas, 2 May 1834, copy, [also in Whitmer, History, 64]; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 4 June 1834, copy; John Corrill, Liberty, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 10 July 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


The saints concluded to move south, into Van Buren county

Located south of Jackson Co. on western border of state. Area settled by pioneers, 1830. Created from southern Jackson Co; boundaries established, 16 Jan. 1833. Organized 1835. County seat, Harrisonville. Population in 1840 about 4,700. Features fertile prairie...

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, which was consented to by a number of the leading men. But before night word was sent to them that they might go north and east, but south and west they must not go, if they did, they would meet with trouble.64

An extra to The Evening and the Morning Star published in February 1834 stated that “upwards of 150” Latter-day Saints attempted to relocate to Van Buren County. David Pettegrew wrote that about eighty or ninety fled together to the county but were soon expelled. Eli Chase reported that after building cabins in Van Buren County the refugees were ordered to leave immediately. A correspondent to The Evening and the Morning Star wrote on 7 November 1833, “All hopes of going to the south was given up last night, when it was resolved that we should be driven forthwith into Clay county.” (Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2]; David Pettegrew, Affidavit, Lee Co, Iowa Territory, 21 Mar. 1840; Eli Chase, Petition for redress, 27 Feb. 1839, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL; “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 119; see also David Pettegrew, Petition for redress, photocopy, Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL.)  


Wednesday, Nov. 6, the arms having been taken from the saints; the mob now felt safe, and were no longer militia, they formed themselves into companies, and went forth on horse-back armed, to harrass the saints, and take all the arms they could find. Two of these companies were headed by baptist preachers. The Rev. Isaac McCoy

13 June 1784–21 June 1846. Preacher, surveyor, secretary, author, wheelwright. Born near Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William McCoy and Elizabeth. Moved to North Bend, Northwest Territory (later in Hamilton Co., Ohio), 1789, and to Jefferson...

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, headed one of about seventy, the other priest’s company, whose name is not now recollected, contained from thirty to forty. They went forth through the different settlements of the saints, threatening them with death, and distruction if they were not off immediately. They broke open houses, and plundered them, where they found them shut, and the owners gone. As it hap [p. 35]
church, they might stay and be pro tected there; and a number tried the  experiment with success; and it is be lieved that some few of them are living  there in peace, to this day.
We will return again to the night  of the battle.56

4 November 1833.  


The mob sent their run ners over the 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...

More Info
, to stir up the feel ings of the people, by misrepresenting  the doings of the saints, so as to have  them all turn out, and exterminate them  at once. The people took their arms  and started for Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
, as fast as  they possibly could, so that early the  next morning there were hundreds  there ready for war. Col. [Thomas] Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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pre tended to call out the militia, as he said  to quill [quell] the mob, and make peace be tween the parties; but the fact is he  put himself, or was put, some said by  L. W. Bogs [Lilburn W. Boggs]

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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, then lieutenant Gov., at  the head of the mob, for the purpose of  making a show of legality for what  they did.
We must now return again to the  evening after the battle, and bring up  an other item. The body of saints  near Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
, learning in the  evening, that the brethren were shut  up in the jail, and as they supposed for  the purpose of being put to death, sent  word immediately to Br. L[yman] Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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,  (who lived about six miles off,)57

Apparently at the Blue River settlement. (See Higbee, Reminiscences and Diaries, [6].)  


of their  situation, and requested help.58

In the Partridge manuscript, the preceding sentence originally appeared twice, once at this point and again three paragraphs above, after “to leave the county forthwith.” An editorial insertion at the earlier occurrence in the manuscript noted that the sentence should be moved down to this point.  


Colonel  Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
collected together a hundred or  more of the saints,59

The Partridge manuscript specifies that this gathering occurred the same night the request arrived. John Corrill estimated that Wight led a force of about one hundred fifty men. (Corrill, Brief History, 20.)  


who were but poor ly armed, some having no weapons,  but clubs, and in the morning marched  them on the road towards Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
,  expecting to stop at the camp of the  saints, near town; but hearing of the  release of the prisoners, and of the  agreement of the brethren to leave  the 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...

More Info
forthwith; and also that the  militia were called out at Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
 to make peace, before he had reached  the brethren’s settlement, he turned  aside his men into the woods, conclud ing to disperse soon and go home.—  News flew to town, that Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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with a  company of his brethren, were march ing towards that place; this so enrag ed Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

View Full Bio
, and his pretended mil itia, that he demanded that Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
and  his company should give up their arms;  and also those men who were in the  battle the night before, should be given  up, to be tried for murder; saying that  if they would do those things, they  should be safely protected, whilst re moving out of the 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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; otherwise  there was no peace for them. They  reluctantly consented to these proposi tions, and were it not for fear of re sisting the authorities of the country,  they would sooner have shed their blood  in the defence of their rights, and the  liberty of their country,60

“And the liberty of their country” does not appear in the Partridge manuscript.  


than to have  submitted to such oppression. Howev er the arms were given up, amounting  to fifty one guns, one sword and one  pistol. And a number of those who  were in the battle, gave themselves  up as prisoners.61

Lilburn W. Boggs, lieutenant governor of Missouri, reported that three Mormons who participated in the battle were taken into custody. (Lilburn W. Boggs, Independence, MO, 16 Nov. 1833, Letter to the editor, Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 6 Dec. 1833, [3].)  


The saints then made  all possible exertions to leave the 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...

More Info
.  After detaining the prisoners a day  and a night, and pretending to try them  for murder; and also threatening and  brick batting them,62

In this instance, “brick batting” may mean to insult or criticize. (See “Brickbat,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 2:538.)  


Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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took  them into a cornfield, so that their lives  would not be in danger, from his pre tended militia; and after taking a  watch from one of them for costs, he  being the constable, said to them  “clear.” Col. Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

View Full Bio
promised to give  back the brethren’s arms, whenever  they left the 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...

More Info
, this he afterwards  refused to do; Whereupon the Gover nor

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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’s order was twice obtained for them  but he would not obey it, neither  have they ever been paid for.63

Governor Daniel Dunklin first ordered Colonel Samuel D. Lucas to deliver the arms to representatives of the Saints on 2 May 1834. After Lucas moved to Lexington and resigned his commission in the militia without returning the arms, Dunklin sent an order directly to Pitcher. John Corrill followed up by enclosing a copy of the governor’s order in a letter to Pitcher. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Samuel D. Lucas, 2 May 1834, copy, [also in Whitmer, History, 64]; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 4 June 1834, copy; John Corrill, Liberty, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 10 July 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


The  saints concluded to move south, into  Van Buren county

Located south of Jackson Co. on western border of state. Area settled by pioneers, 1830. Created from southern Jackson Co; boundaries established, 16 Jan. 1833. Organized 1835. County seat, Harrisonville. Population in 1840 about 4,700. Features fertile prairie...

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, which was con sented to by a number of the leading  men. But before night word was sent  to them that they might go north and  east, but south and west they must not  go, if they did, they would meet with  trouble.64

An extra to The Evening and the Morning Star published in February 1834 stated that “upwards of 150” Latter-day Saints attempted to relocate to Van Buren County. David Pettegrew wrote that about eighty or ninety fled together to the county but were soon expelled. Eli Chase reported that after building cabins in Van Buren County the refugees were ordered to leave immediately. A correspondent to The Evening and the Morning Star wrote on 7 November 1833, “All hopes of going to the south was given up last night, when it was resolved that we should be driven forthwith into Clay county.” (Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2]; David Pettegrew, Affidavit, Lee Co, Iowa Territory, 21 Mar. 1840; Eli Chase, Petition for redress, 27 Feb. 1839, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL; “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 119; see also David Pettegrew, Petition for redress, photocopy, Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL.)  


Wednesday, Nov. 6, the arms having  been taken from the saints; the mob now  felt safe, and were no longer militia,  they formed themselves into companies,  and went forth on horse-back armed,  to harrass the saints, and take all the  arms they could find. Two of these  companies were headed by baptist  preachers. The Rev. Isaac McCoy

13 June 1784–21 June 1846. Preacher, surveyor, secretary, author, wheelwright. Born near Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William McCoy and Elizabeth. Moved to North Bend, Northwest Territory (later in Hamilton Co., Ohio), 1789, and to Jefferson...

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,  headed one of about seventy, the other  priest’s company, whose name is not  now recollected, contained from thirty  to forty. They went forth through  the different settlements of the saints,  threatening them with death, and dis truction if they were not off immediate ly. They broke open houses, and  plundered them, where they found them  shut, and the owners gone. As it hap [p. 35]
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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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