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Edward Partridge, History, Manuscript, circa 1839

As Whilst this company was forming and going up  <to Mo.> rumor with her ten thousand tongues was busy<ly> <engaged> <in>  circulating falsehoods about them insomuch that be fore they arrived at Clay Co. there was <considerable> a great excitement <even there> the  <People from> Jackson Co. people coming going <went> over <in>to Clay and <called held> holding a Co.  meeting and raised <stirred up> all the feelings <there that> they could against the  saints The anger of the <people of> Jackson Co. fear not rose to a great  pitch but <and> many in <the> counties adjoining them on the south  side of the river were determined that the saints should  not be set <go> back upon their lands <The people of> Jackson had furnished  themselves with <a number of> cannon and their n[e] ighbors from the  adjoining counties volunteered <by hundreds> to assist them provided  <that> the Gov. should attempt to set the saints back <again> into Jackson
The Co. from the east arrived in Clay Co. and their  <gentle manners &> peaceable deportment soon convinced the people of Clay <that> Co.  of the false reports which had been circulated about them the  excitement was done away in a very few days and the people  appeared more friendly than before
After the arrival of the brn. from the east a council was  held and it was concluded that considering the great  wrath of the people south of the river that it would not be  wisdom to ask the Gov. to <set> them back at that time
The people of Clay Co. were mostly friendly to the saints but  there were a few exceptions Nothing of importance occurred  till the summer of 1836 <however for some time> a few threats and insults from  those who were disaffected was all the hostility manifested  till the summer of 1836 * That summer the mob hostile party  strengthened it self <& became <quite> bold they whipped some & one day some> untill It was manifest that from their  threatenings and actions that they were determined to fall upon  the saints and drive them out of the Co. if they could. <some 60 or 70 of them assembled one day rode off a few miles & stopped a Co. of movers & turned them back> <they also whipped some> It was  equally <also equally> manifest that they saints were disposed to defend  themselves against mobs <even to the shedding of blood. At that time> The most inteligent & respecta ble citizens of the Co. saw plainly that if some thing were not  done to stop it blood would be shed, (for the mob party were  determined on driving & the saints were <as much> determined not to be <driven> drove  <by them> without first trying their strength). They had <They therefore> <Therefore called> a meeting of  those who were friendly to the Saints in which they appointed a [p. [17]]
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While incarcerated at Liberty, Missouri, in March 1839, JS addressed a letter to the Saints and to “Bishop [Edward] Partridge 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 that they might publish the records “to all the world” and “present them to the heads of the government.” (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].) 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 newspaper, Times and Seasons, between December 1839 and October 1840.
Partridge may have intended to tell the entire Missouri story himself, but he fell ill shortly after publication began and died 27 May 1840. Partridge’s manuscript, which he did not title, is provided here. The full text of “A History, of the Persecution,” which necessarily relied on other sources following Partridge’s demise, will receive comprehensive treatment in volume 2 of the Histories series of The Joseph Smith Papers and will eventually be posted to this website.
Partridge’s history begins with his account of the Missouri conflicts in the early 1830s. Partridge was a bishop of the church in Missouri, first in Jackson County and then in Clay County following the Saints’ expulsion from Jackson County. He also served as bishop in Caldwell County after the Saints relocated there from Clay County in 1836. By the time he drafted his account of the Mormon experiences in Missouri, the Saints had been exiled from the state and had relocated to Illinois.
Partridge’s narrative is based on firsthand observations and may also have relied on other records he kept. It begins, “In presenting to our readers a history of the persecutions,” indicating that Partridge wrote it for publication purposes. However, there are occasionally significant differences between the manuscript version and “A History, of the Persecution” as published.
The early custodial history of the Partridge manuscript is somewhat uncertain. However, the manuscript was presumably among materials in the possession of church historian and recorder Joseph Fielding Smith, who held that office from 1921 to 1970 and who had worked in the Church Historian’s Office many years prior. The manuscript became part of the First Presidency’s papers when Smith became church president in 1970, and, with other records (including Revelation Book 1 and two Howard Coray drafts of JS’s history), was transferred from the First Presidency’s office to the Church History Library in 2005.

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