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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

the dying, and the screams of the women and children, being only about forty in number, and wholly unprepared to engage in any contest whatever. We were forced to take shelter under cover of an old log building, used as a black-smith’s shop, which was neither chinked or mudded.
When men ran out and called for peace they were shot down; when they held up their hats and handkerchiefs and crying for mercy, they were shot down; when they attempted to run, they were cut down by the fire of guns; and when they stood still, they were shot down by putting their guns through the cracks of the building.— After pleading for mercy, and having none shown us, and seeing they were determined to slaughter us en masse, and many of our brethren slain around us, leaving our numbers but few, and seeing it was but death for us, we concluded to sell our lives as dear as possible, and soon commenced firing at the mob who were firing from all directions at us. But few of the mob were injured in consequence of their shielding themselves by trees and logs; women and children were equally brutally treated with the men, and found no place from the sympathies of these murderers. One woman by the name of Mary Steadwell was shot through the hand while holding it up in the attitude of defence. As she ran from the mob, others pierced her clothes; after running as far as she could, she threw herself behind a log, whilst a volley of balls poured after her, filling the log where she lay, twelve or fourteen of which were taken out and preserved for future generations to witness. Many other women had balls shot through their clothes, while fleeing into the woods with their children in their arms; others were brutally insulted and abused: One small boy was killed, having his brains blown out; and during the affray, two other boys, belonging to 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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, (who was also killed at the time,) hid themselves under the bellows; and when those murderers came into the shop, after killing all within except two men, (one wounded and the other not,) who lay concealed from their view by being covered with blood and dead bodies of the slain. The elder of the boys, crying for mercy from his hiding place, was immediately put to death by putting the muzzle of a gun to the lad’s ear and blowing off the top of his head. One of these savages who participated in this transaction, accosted his comrade, (while committing this horrid deed,) thus—“It is a damned pity to kill boys;” but was hushed by having the thought put into his head in reply, that “little sproughts soon became large trees” and if these boys were suffered to live, they, like their father, would be Mormons—a crime punishible with death even before committed,—a faith now extant 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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, where it is supposed to have its birth, and it is hoped will have its burial. The other lad was supposed to have been killed, but they did not quite accomplish their object the younger receiving a wound in his hip which carried off his hip bone.— While the mob were in the shop, if they perceived life remaining in any of the wounded, while struggling in the agonies of death, they were immediately dispatched, at the same time plundering the pockets of the dead stripping off their boots, shoes, and clothing. After the mob had learned that two men escaped with their lives they would declare publicly, that if they got into another such affair they would inspect more closely by sticking their knives in their toes. This Massacre took place about sun an hour high, on Tuesday, and continued until seventeen were killed and fifteen wounded, the remaining few escaping.
Among those who attempted to escape, was a man by the name of 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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, a soldier and Patriot of the revolution and a Justice of the Peace. While making the best use of his tottering limbs and worn out frame for his escape, he was met in his retreat by a young man from Daviess 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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by the name of Jacob Rogers

24 May 1811–20 Feb. 1853. Ferryboat owner, farmer. Born in Buncombe Co., North Carolina. Son of William Rogers and Nancy Holcomb. Moved to Carroll Co., Missouri, before 1834. Married Elizabeth Talbert Scott, 5 June 1834, in Carroll Co. Moved to Cravensville...

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, who immediately demanded the old man’s gun, which was delivered up, and was then shot down by said Rogers

24 May 1811–20 Feb. 1853. Ferryboat owner, farmer. Born in Buncombe Co., North Carolina. Son of William Rogers and Nancy Holcomb. Moved to Carroll Co., Missouri, before 1834. Married Elizabeth Talbert Scott, 5 June 1834, in Carroll Co. Moved to Cravensville...

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. This not killing the old man, he lifted his hands in the attitude of suplication and begged for mercy, at the same time appealing to his silvery locks as adding still more force, and credit to his cries and tales of suffering, while in the defence of his country

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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and the [p. 148]
the dying, and the screams of the  women and children, being only about  forty in number, and wholly unpre pared to engage in any contest what ever. We were forced to take shel ter under cover of an old log buil ding, used as a black-smith’s shop,  which was neither chinked or mudded.
When men ran out and called for  peace they were shot down; when they  held up their hats and handkerchiefs  and crying for mercy, they were shot  down; when they attempted to run,  they were cut down by the fire of  guns; and when they stood still, they  were shot down by putting their guns  through the cracks of the building.—  After pleading for mercy, and having  none shown us, and seeing they were  determined to slaughter us en masse,  and many of our brethren slain around  us, leaving our numbers but few, and  seeing it was but death for us, we con cluded to sell our lives as dear as pos sible, and soon commenced firing at  the mob who were firing from all di rections at us. But few of the mob  were injured in consequence of their  shielding themselves by trees and logs;  women and children were equally bru tally treated with the men, and found  no place from the sympathies of these  murderers. One woman by the name  of Mary Steadwell was shot through  the hand while holding it up in the at titude of defence. As she ran from  the mob, others pierced her clothes;  after running as far as she could, she  threw herself behind a log, whilst a  volley of balls poured after her, filling  the log where she lay, twelve or four teen of which were taken out and pre served for future generations to wit ness. Many other women had balls  shot through their clothes, while flee ing into the woods with their children  in their arms; others were brutally in sulted and abused: One small boy  was killed,213

Sardius Smith.  


having his brains blown  out; and during the affray, two other  boys, belonging to 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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,  (who was also killed at the time,) hid  themselves under the bellows;214

Three boys originally hid under the bellows: Sardius Smith, his brother Alma Smith, and Charles Merrick. Merrick attempted to escape from the blacksmith shop, was wounded by gunfire, and died four weeks later. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 283–284.)  


and  when those murderers came into the  shop, after killing all within except  two men, (one wounded and the other  not,) who lay concealed from their  view by being covered with blood and  dead bodies of the slain. The elder  of the boys, crying for mercy from  his hiding place, was immediately put  to death by putting the muzzle of a gun  to the lad’s ear and blowing off the top  of his head.215

This paragraph implies that two boys were killed by gunshots to the head, but both instances describe the same event, the murder of Sardius Smith.  


One of these savages  who participated in this transaction,  accosted his comrade, (while commit ting this horrid deed,) thus—“It is a  damned pity to kill boys;” but was  hushed by having the thought put into  his head in reply, that “little sproughts  soon became large trees” and if these  boys were suffered to live, they, like  their father, would be Mormons216

David Lewis’s original account reported a conversation after the shooting, when the perpetrator “boasted of shooting the too little boys some of them thou[ght] it was not right others said a little sprout would [become?] a big tree.” Jacob Foutz, who was nearby at the time of the shooting, reported that “tha [they] replide that he must dy tht he woold be a mormn after a wile I heird the guns craking.” (Jacob Foutz, Statement, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL.)  


—a  crime punishible with death even be fore committed,—a faith now extant  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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, where it is supposed to  have its birth, and it is hoped will  have its burial. The other lad217

Alma Smith.  


was  supposed to have been killed, but they  did not quite accomplish their object  the younger receiving a wound in his  hip which carried off his hip bone.—218

The original Lewis account tells that the two Smith boys were shot from between the cracks of the blacksmith shop rather than from within the shop.  


 While the mob were in the shop, if  they perceived life remaining in any  of the wounded, while struggling in  the agonies of death, they were imme diately dispatched, at the same time  plundering the pockets of the dead strip ping off their boots, shoes, and cloth ing. After the mob had learned that  two men escaped with their lives they  would declare publicly, that if they got  into another such affair they would in spect more closely by sticking their  knives in their toes. This Massacre  took place about sun an hour high, on  Tuesday, and continued until seven teen were killed and fifteen wounded,  the remaining few escaping.
Among those who attempted to es cape, was a man by the name of Thom as 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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, a soldier and Patriot of the  revolution and a Justice of the Peace.219

McBride was born in 1776 and thus did not participate in the American Revolutionary War. The original Lewis statement said McBride was “a very old man and justice of the,” with no concluding word. (McBride, “Autobiography,” 17, 26.)  


 While making the best use of his tot tering limbs and worn out frame for  his escape, he was met in his retreat  by a young man from Daviess 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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 by the name of Jacob Rogers

24 May 1811–20 Feb. 1853. Ferryboat owner, farmer. Born in Buncombe Co., North Carolina. Son of William Rogers and Nancy Holcomb. Moved to Carroll Co., Missouri, before 1834. Married Elizabeth Talbert Scott, 5 June 1834, in Carroll Co. Moved to Cravensville...

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, who  immediately demanded the old man’s  gun, which was delivered up, and was  then shot down by said Rogers

24 May 1811–20 Feb. 1853. Ferryboat owner, farmer. Born in Buncombe Co., North Carolina. Son of William Rogers and Nancy Holcomb. Moved to Carroll Co., Missouri, before 1834. Married Elizabeth Talbert Scott, 5 June 1834, in Carroll Co. Moved to Cravensville...

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. This  not killing the old man, he lifted his  hands in the attitude of suplication and  begged for mercy, at the same time  appealing to his silvery locks as add ing still more force, and credit to his  cries and tales of suffering, while in  the defence of his country

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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and the [p. 148]
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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].  


Facts