2476281

Charges against Missouri Conference Preferred to Joseph Smith, circa March 1832

Charges against Missouri Conference Preferred to Joseph Smith, circa March 1832

We the undersigned having received and examined the minutes of the last general conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
held in the land of Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
1

Extant minutes of conferences held in Missouri after March 1832 suggest that no other general conference was held there until 1838, although holding a general conference of elders was proposed later in 1832. (See Minute Book 2, 15 Sept. 1832 and 6–7 July 1838.)  


on January 28–9–30th— 18322

This dating is apparently in error. The letter from Oliver Cowdery gives 23–24 January and 27 January 1832 as the dates of the conferences, and the minutes in Minute Book 2 date the first session as 23 January. Since Cowdery’s letter is dated 28 January, the complainants may have mistakenly assumed 28 January was the first day of the conferences and that they continued on 29 and 30 January. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832; Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832.)  


and from mature reflection and examination, and by comparing them with the revelations which we have received from our heavenly father to regulate his church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
in these last days, do find that they are illegal, and the proceedings of said confrence not according to the laws and regulations which we have received by revelation from our common redeemer and as such we do not consider them as binding on his church, neither do we feel ourselves authorized to acknowledge them as being of God nor yet according to the mind of the holy spirit. We therefore prefer the following charges against that conference to the president of the high Priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
our beloved brother Joseph who has been ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
unto this office by a conference held in Amherst

Located in northeastern Ohio on southern shore of Lake Erie. Area settled, ca. 1810. County organized, 1824. Formed from Black River Township, Dec. 1829. Population in 1830 about 600. Population in 1840 about 1,200. Parley P. Pratt settled in township, Dec...

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Lorain county ohio on the 25 of January 18323

Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832. According to a November 1831 revelation, the president of the high priesthood had the responsibility of handling “the most important business of the church & the most difficult cases of the church.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78].)  


First we deem if it of primary importance that every order & regulation in the church of Christ, established in wisdom, for its government should be preserved inviolate, & as the proceedings of this conference reported in its minutes relative to the appointment of a moderator are illegal as that office, by revelation was confered upon an individual, namely our beloved Brother 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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, Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
of the Church.7

It is unclear to which revelation the complainants are referring. A revelation dated 1 August 1831 instructed the elders of the church to hold a conference to be directed by Partridge, but this does not appear to be a standing appointment. Another revelation addressed to Partridge, dated 20 July 1831, does not specifically mention a role for the bishop as moderator of conferences. The minutes themselves do not elaborate on how or why Partridge was appointed moderator. Extant minutes from other conferences prior to November 1831 generally do not refer to the selection of a moderator. The minutes of the special conferences held the first two weeks of November 1831, however, all indicate that the conferences “appointed” a moderator at the beginning of each meeting, although the minutes do not provide details on the selection process. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:62]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57]; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832; see also Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831; Minutes, 8 Nov. 1831; Minutes, 9 Nov. 1831; and Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831.)  


We therefore charge the conference in this act of appointment with assuming a power with which it has not been invested.
Secondly), In said minutes we find the name of Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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associated with breatheren Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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and 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...

View Full Bio
in writing a letter to the agent in ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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on business [p. [1]]
We the undersigned having received and examined the  minutes of the last general conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
held in the land of  Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
1

Extant minutes of conferences held in Missouri after March 1832 suggest that no other general conference was held there until 1838, although holding a general conference of elders was proposed later in 1832. (See Minute Book 2, 15 Sept. 1832 and 6–7 July 1838.)  


on the January 28–9–30th— 18322

This dating is apparently in error. The letter from Oliver Cowdery gives 23–24 January and 27 January 1832 as the dates of the conferences, and the minutes in Minute Book 2 date the first session as 23 January. Since Cowdery’s letter is dated 28 January, the complainants may have mistakenly assumed 28 January was the first day of the conferences and that they continued on 29 and 30 January. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832; Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832.)  


and from mature  reflection and examination, and by comparing them with the  revelations which we have received from our heavenly <father> to regu late his church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
in these last days, do find that they are  illegal, and the proceedings of said confrence not according to  the laws and regulations which we have received by revelation  from our common redeemer and as such we do not consider  them as binding on his church, neither do we feel ourselves  authorized to acknowledge them as being <of> God nor yet according [ to] the mind of the holy spirit. We therefore prefer the following  charges against that conference to the president of the high  Priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
our beloved brother Joseph who has been ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
 unto this office by a conference held in Amherst

Located in northeastern Ohio on southern shore of Lake Erie. Area settled, ca. 1810. County organized, 1824. Formed from Black River Township, Dec. 1829. Population in 1830 about 600. Population in 1840 about 1,200. Parley P. Pratt settled in township, Dec...

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Lorain  county ohio on the 25 of January 18323

Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832. According to a November 1831 revelation, the president of the high priesthood had the responsibility of handling “the most important business of the church & the most difficult cases of the church.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78].)  


First we charge this conference with insulting the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
 in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
our beloved brother Edward

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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, by saying [illegible]
4

TEXT: Possibly “We of”.  


in  their minutes “appointed brother 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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moderator”  when he has been previously appointed moderator of the conferences  in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
by commandment, and also modrator by virtue of  his office as Bishop of the church in so doing assuming an  authority as a conference to which they had no right for when  God appoints authorities in his church let no
5

TEXT: “not” changed to “no” then canceled with the rest of the passage.  


conference take it  upon them to reappoint these authorities for in so doing  the[y] claim a right which is not granted to them
First we charge deem if [it] of primary importance  that every order & regulation in the church of  Christ, established in wisdom, for its government  should be preserved inviolate, & as the proceeding[s]6

TEXT: Likely “proceedings”, with the “s” written beyond the edge of the page.  


 of this conference reported in its minutes relative  to the appointment of a moderator are illegal  at as that office, by revelation was confered upon  an individual, namely our beloved Brother  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...

View Full Bio
, Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
of the Church.7

It is unclear to which revelation the complainants are referring. A revelation dated 1 August 1831 instructed the elders of the church to hold a conference to be directed by Partridge, but this does not appear to be a standing appointment. Another revelation addressed to Partridge, dated 20 July 1831, does not specifically mention a role for the bishop as moderator of conferences. The minutes themselves do not elaborate on how or why Partridge was appointed moderator. Extant minutes from other conferences prior to November 1831 generally do not refer to the selection of a moderator. The minutes of the special conferences held the first two weeks of November 1831, however, all indicate that the conferences “appointed” a moderator at the beginning of each meeting, although the minutes do not provide details on the selection process. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:62]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57]; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832; see also Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831; Minutes, 8 Nov. 1831; Minutes, 9 Nov. 1831; and Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831.)  


We therefore charge  the conference <in this act of appointment> with assuming a power with which  it has not been invested.
Secondly), In said minutes we find find the name <of> Oliver  Cowd[e]ry

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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associated with breatheren [Sidney] Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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and 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...

View Full Bio
 in writing a letter to the agent in in ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
on business [p. [1]]
Next
On 28 January 1832, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
wrote a letter to JS, transmitting minutes from two conferences

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
held over three days (23–24, and 27 January) in Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

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and 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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, Jackson County, Missouri. The minutes cover a variety of matters, including a report by 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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on the purchase of land 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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, Missouri, and a discussion relating to the migration of church members to 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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.1 The undated document featured here objected to several items in the minutes and charged that the conferences had not followed correct procedures in several instances. 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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wrote the document and signed it, followed by Jesse Gause

Ca. 1784–ca. Sept. 1836. Schoolteacher. Born at East Marlborough, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Gause (Goss) and Mary Beverly. Joined Society of Friends (Quakers), 1806. Moved to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, 1808; to Chester Co., 1811; and to Wilmington...

View Full Bio
, David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, Peter Whitmer Jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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, Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
, and Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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—all of whom were residing in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in early 1832.2

The signatories to this document held various offices in the church: Smith and Cahoon were appointed as counselors to Bishop Newel K. Whitney on 10 February 1832. Rigdon and the two Whitmers were ordained high priests in 1831. Gause and Rigdon were appointed as counselors to JS in the presidency of the high priesthood on 8 March 1832, suggesting that Gause had been ordained a high priest by early March. (Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 10 Feb. 1832; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Note, 8 Mar. 1832.)  


Details about the document’s preparation are scant, but it appears that it was created in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
in March 1832. Because it took approximately three to four weeks for a letter to travel between western 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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and northeastern Ohio, Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s 28 January letter, in which the minutes were transmitted, could not have reached church leaders in Ohio before the middle of February.3

Hartley, “Letters and Mail between Kirtland and Independence,” 176, 183–184.  


An 8 March note in Revelation Book 2 states that JS remained in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, Ohio, between 16 February—when he 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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experienced a vision there—and 29 February, when he visited Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio.4 JS probably did not see Cowdery’s letter, which was actually sent to Kirtland, before he arrived there. The 8 March note’s record of a “journey to Kirtland on the 29 Feby” suggests that JS traveled the roughly thirty miles between Hiram and Kirtland over the course of that day, arriving in Kirtland in the evening or night of 29 February. Rigdon, who likely traveled with JS from Hiram to Kirtland, presumably did not read Cowdery’s letter before JS did because it was addressed to JS.5

Before this 29 February trip, there is no evidence of Rigdon going to Kirtland from Hiram, where he was helping JS with the revision of the Bible.  


The document itself states that 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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and the other signatories decided to bring charges against 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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conference only after “having received and examined the minutes . . . and from mature reflection and examination, and by comparing them with the revelations,” indicating that they did not prepare the response in haste. As originally written, the document also referred to “the court of the high Priesthood, to be holden in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
,” indicating that the signatories already knew that JS was supposed to travel to Missouri, since he, as president of the high priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

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, was the only one who could call the court of the high priesthood.6

See Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78–79].  


The instruction to go to Missouri was given in a 1 March revelation, indicating the document was likely not created before 1 March.7

Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:9]. JS probably received Cowdery’s letter upon his arrival in Kirtland the night before the 1 March revelation was dictated.  


The document was, however, likely written by the end of March, because JS, 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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, Gause

Ca. 1784–ca. Sept. 1836. Schoolteacher. Born at East Marlborough, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Gause (Goss) and Mary Beverly. Joined Society of Friends (Quakers), 1806. Moved to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, 1808; to Chester Co., 1811; and to Wilmington...

View Full Bio
, and Peter Whitmer Jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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departed for Missouri in the early days of April, leaving signatories David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
, and Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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.8

Sidney Rigdon, Account, 25 Mar. 1832, Sidney Rigdon, Collection, CHL; JS History, vol. A-1, 209; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 3 Apr. 1832. Both the JS and Rigdon accounts mismatch days of the week with dates, which introduces some uncertainty as to the exact days of their departures.  


It is difficult to ascertain when in March the document was created because there is no evidence of all six signatories being in the same place during that month. Although 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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, Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
, and Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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all attended a conference in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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on 1 March, there is no mention of the Whitmers (who were apparently residing in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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) or Gause

Ca. 1784–ca. Sept. 1836. Schoolteacher. Born at East Marlborough, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Gause (Goss) and Mary Beverly. Joined Society of Friends (Quakers), 1806. Moved to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, 1808; to Chester Co., 1811; and to Wilmington...

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being present in Kirtland at that time.9

Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 1 Mar. 1832; see also Shipps and Welch, Journals of William McLellin, 68; Minute Book 2, 11 and 25–26 Oct. 1831; 1–2 and 12 Nov. 1831; Cahoon, Diary, 9 Nov. 1831; and Luke Johnson, “History of Luke Johnson,” LDS Millennial Star, 31 Dec. 1864, 26:835. It is not clear where Gause was living, though in the fall 1831 he was located in North Union, Ohio, fifteen miles from Kirtland. For at least part of March, Gause was apparently helping JS with his Bible revisions in Hiram. (Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183.)  


Likewise, JS and Rigdon returned to Hiram on 4 March, but records indicate that Hyrum Smith and Cahoon stayed in Kirtland until 3 April, by which time JS and his group had already departed for 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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.10

Note, 8 Mar. 1832; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 1 Mar.–3 Apr. 1832.  


To complicate matters, Levi Jackman

28 July 1797–23 July 1876. Carpenter, wainwright. Born at Vershire, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Moses French Jackman and Elizabeth Carr. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, 1810. Married first Angeline Myers Brady, 13 Nov. 1817, at Alexander, Genesee...

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records that Peter Whitmer Jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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traveled east with him on a proselytizing mission during March. Jackman later wrote that the two departed “about the 1st of March” and seemed to indicate that they did not return until after JS and Rigdon were tarred and feathered by a group of men in Hiram on the night of 24–25 March.11

Jackman, “Sketch of Life,” [5]; Jackman, “A Short Sketch of the Life of Levi Jackman,” 2. Jackman stated that he traveled with “Peter Whitmer,” likely twenty-three-year-old Peter Whitmer Jr. rather than fifty-eight-year-old Peter Whitmer Sr. (“Records of Early Church Families,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine July 1935, 26:106; Dear, Two Hundred Thirty-Eight Years of the Whitmer Family, 10.)  


The attack left Rigdon incapacitated for a few days.12

According to a later JS history, JS visited Rigdon the morning after the attack “and found him crazy, and his head highly inflamed.” Rigdon “continued delirious some days.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 208.)  


Given all these circumstances, it seems most likely that the document was prepared and signed sometime at the beginning of March, before Peter Whitmer Jr. departed on his mission, or at the end of the month after Whitmer returned and after Rigdon regained his capacities and was fit to travel to Missouri.13

By the middle of the week following the attack, Rigdon was well enough to move his family from Hiram to Kirtland, even with the rest of his family sick with measles. After arriving in Kirtland, Rigdon could conceivably have presented the document to Cahoon and Hyrum Smith for their signatures. (JS History, vol. A-1, 209; Sidney Rigdon, Account, 25 Mar. 1832, Sidney Rigdon, Collection, CHL.)  


Although no other records mention this document and no response from JS or from 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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conference leaders is extant, some action may have been taken on its charges. While 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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copied the minutes of the 23 January session into Minute Book 2 in 1838, he did not include the minutes for the 24 January session or the 27 January conference, and most of the actions to which the complainants objected occurred during the sessions held 24 and 27 January.14

Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832. Robinson was apparently copying from a compilation of minutes made by John Whitmer. Because Whitmer’s compilation is no longer extant, it is not known whether Whitmer included the minutes from 24 and 27 January in his compilation. (Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return [Davis City, IA], Sept. 1889, 133.)  


In the initial draft of the charges, the complainants moved that the minutes be expunged from the record, though this passage was then canceled. Since the minutes for two days of meetings do not appear in the official minutes that are extant from these years, the complainants’ concerns may have been addressed.15

Minutes from Missouri conferences after March 1832 do not designate a moderator when Edward Partridge is present, perhaps because of the complaints made in this document. (See, for example, Minute Book 2, 26 May 1832; 3 July 1832; and 2 Oct. 1832.)  


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