26020

“Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.,” July 1839

“Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.,” July 1839

resorted to stratagem; and after removing their property out of their houses, which were nothing but log cabins, they actually set fire to their own houses, and then reported to the authorities of the state that the Mormons were burning and destroying all before them.40

Several Mormons later stated that non-Mormons burned their own homes and then blamed the Mormons in order to provoke state action against them. Other accounts added that non-Mormons burned their own homes after selling their property to the Mormons. In many instances, however, the Mormons did burn non-Mormon homes, as well as some stores. Soon not only the vigilantes but most of the non-Mormon population of Daviess fled the county. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 44; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 7, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Pulsipher, “Zerah Pu[l]siphers History,” 8; LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 117–124; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” chap. 7.)  


On the retreat of the mob from Daviess

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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, I returned to Caldwell

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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, hoping to have some respite from our enemies, at least for a short time; but upon my arrival there, I was informed that a mob had commenced hostilities on the borders of that county, adjoining to Ray co.

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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and that they had taken some of our brethren prisoners, burned some houses, and had committed depredations on the peaceable inhabitants.41

Responding to rumors of Mormon intentions to raid Ray County, Captain Samuel Bogart of the Ray County militia mobilized a company, including militiamen and volunteers, to patrol the border area between Ray County and Caldwell County and to guard against potential attacks. He then wrote to David R. Atchison, a major general in the state militia, for authorization. Atchison not only granted Bogart’s request for permission to “range the line between Caldwell & Ray County” but also charged him “to enquire into the state of things in Daviess County.” On 24 October, Bogart’s rangers began harassing Saints living on both sides of the Ray-Caldwell border and took three prisoners: Addison Green, Nathan Pinkham Jr., and William Seely. Green, and possibly Pinkham, belonged to a group of Mormon scouts reconnoitering the border. Sidney Rigdon later testified that a messenger reported Bogart’s men burned one house. (Samuel Bogart, Elk Horn, MO, to David R. Atchison, 23 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Samuel Bogart, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”; Rockwood, Journal, 25 Oct. 1838; Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. [12], photocopy, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; see also Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 219–225.)  


A company under the command of Capt. David W. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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, was ordered out by Lieutenant Col. Hinckle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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to go against them, and stop their depredations, and drive them out of the county.42

JS’s bill of damages also notes that “about day light next morning,” Hinkle “came up with them.” Parley P. Pratt, a participant in the expedition, recounted that “Captain [John] Killian (to whom Col. Hincle had committed the command of the troops in Far West, when he himself was not present) sent out a detachment.… This company, consisting of about sixty men, was sent to see what the matter was on the lines; and who was committing depredations, and if necessary, to protect or move in the families and property; and if possible, effect the release of the prisoners.”a Although the company’s commission may have included all the elements listed by JS and Pratt, other accounts focus on the mission of rescuing the men taken prisoner.b In an effort to free the Mormon prisoners held by Bogart, the company crossed over the Caldwell County line early on the morning of 25 October and attacked Bogart at his camp on Crooked River in the noncounty area attached to Ray County.c  


aPratt, History of the Late Persecution, 33.

bSee, for example, Charles C. Rich, Statement, ca. Feb. 1845, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1856, CHL; and Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion, 21.

cBerrett, Sacred Places, 4:267–268.

Upon the approach of our people, the mob fired upon them, and after discharging their pieces, fled with great precipitation, with the loss of one killed and several wounded.43

Moses Rowland was killed in the encounter, and at least six others of the Ray County militia were wounded. (Wyatt Cravens, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”.)  


In the engagement Capt. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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, (a man beloved by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance,) was wounded and died shortly after.44

In his bill of damages, JS states before Patten died, he “sent for me to pray for him, which request I complied with.”  


Two others were likewise killed and several wounded.45

Besides Patten, Gideon Carter was killed in battlea and Patrick (or Patterson) Obanion was fatally wounded.b Seven other Mormons were wounded.c  


aRockwood, Journal, 28 Oct. 1838; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 45.

bYoung, “Lorenzo Dow Young’s Narrative,” 51; John P. Greene, Affidavit, Quincy, IL, 17 Mar. 1840, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL; John L. Lockhart, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence.”

cBaugh, “Call to Arms,” 238–240.

Great excitement now prevailed, and mobs were heard of in every direction who seemed determined on our destruction. They burned the houses in the country and took off all the cattle they could find.46

JS’s bill of damages notes that “amongst the cattle driven off were Two cows of mine.”  


They destroyed cornfields, took many prisoners, and threatened death to all the Mormons. On the 28th of Oct. a large company of armed soldiery were seen approaching 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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,47

Eighteen hundred militiamen under the command of Samuel D. Lucas arrived at Goose Creek, one mile south of Far West, on 30 October. (Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


They came up near to the town and then drew back about a mile and encamped for the night.48

The following three sentences do not appear in the bill of damages, which resumes with “The next day I was waited upon by Colonel Hinckle.” The soldiers encamped on Goose Creek. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:300–301.)  


We were informed that they were Militia, ordered out by the Govornor

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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for the purpose of stopping our proceedings; it having been represented to his excellency

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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, by wicked and designing men from Daviess

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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, that we were the aggressors, and had committed outrages in Daviess

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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&c.49

The “designing men from Daviess” were later identified as William Morgan, Samuel Bogart (actually from Ray County), William Peniston, Samuel Venable, Jonathan J. Dryden, James Stone, and Thomas J. Martin. (JS History, vol. B-1, 837; see also William Morgan, Affidavit, 21 Oct. 1838; William Peniston, Daviess Co., MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 21 Oct. 1838; Samuel Venable, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; Jonathan J. Dryden, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; James Stone, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; and Thomas J. Martin, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


They had not yet got the Governor

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

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s orders of extermination, which I believe did not arrive until the next day.50

Acting as commander in chief of the Missouri state militia, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued orders on 27 October 1838 that “the Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace.” Reed Peck, who parleyed with the militia on behalf of the Saints, wrote that the order did not arrive until “an hour or so before Sun Set.” However, Major General Lucas reported to Governor Boggs that he had received a copy of the order on the previous day, 30 October, at the Log Creek crossing on the road to Far West, and that he postponed meeting with Hinkle and the Mormon party on 31 October until two o’clock in the afternoon because he was preoccupied with “receiving & encamping of fresh troops, who were hourly coming in.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1838, p. 109, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


On the following morning, a flag was sent, which was met by several of our people, and it was hoped that matters would be satisfactorily arranged after the officers had heard a true statement of all the circumstances.51

Reed Peck wrote that Brigadier General Alexander Doniphan named him along with John Cleminson, John Corrill, and William W. Phelps to meet with Doniphan and other members of the militia delegation and that JS added Seymour Brunson and George M. Hinkle to the number. Corrill wrote that the delegation consisted of only himself, Peck, and Hinkle. According to Corrill, JS had instructed him to “beg like a dog for peace.” (Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839, pp. 108–109, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Corrill, Brief History, 40–41.)  


Towards evening, I was waited upon by Colonel Hinckle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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, who stated that the officers of the Militia desired to have an interview with me, and some others, hoping that the difficulties might be settled without having occasion to carry into effect the exterminating orders, which they had received from the Governor

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

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.52

The Mormon emissaries reported back to JS the conditions under which General Samuel D. Lucas would forgo extermination. As summarized by Corrill, they were to surrender certain church leaders, surrender their arms, give up their property as reparations for damages, and leave the state. Church leaders surrendered as prisoners would be allowed to decide whether to abide by those terms and remain prisoners or return to Far West to fight. General Lucas’s report to Governor Boggs specified that the Mormon prisoners were to be held as hostages to guarantee compliance with the conditions of surrender.a Corrill recounted that JS “said he had rather go to States-prison for twenty years, or had rather die himself than have the people exterminated.”b Colonel George M. Hinkle later maintained that he left to JS the decision whether to surrender and that JS sent word the following morning to agree to the terms.c  


aCorrill, Brief History, 41–42; S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.

bCorrill, Brief History, 41.

cGeorge M. Hinkle, Buffalo, Iowa Territory, to William W. Phelps, Nauvoo, IL, 14 Aug. 1844, The Ensign, Aug. 1844, 30–32.

I immediately complied with the request, and in company with elders 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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and 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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, 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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, and Geo. W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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, went into the camp of the militia. But judge of my surprise, when instead of being treated with that respect which is due from one citizen to another, we were taken, as prisoners of war, and were treated with the utmost contempt.53

JS was taken prisoner on Wednesday, 31 October 1838. (S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.)  


The officers would not converse with us, and the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted us as much as they felt disposed, breathing out threats against me and my companions.54

The previous sentence is not in JS’s bill of damages.  


I cannot begin to tell the scene which I there witnessed. The loud cries and yells of more than one thousand voices, which rent the air and could be heard for miles; and the horrid and blasphemous threats and curses which were poured upon us in torrents, were enough to appal the stoutest heart. In the evening we had to lie down on the cold ground surrounded by a strong guard, who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life.55

The phrase “who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life” is not found in JS’s bill of damages.  


We petitioned the officers to know why we were thus treated, but they utterly refused to give us any answer, or to converse with us. The next day they held a court martial, and sentenced us to be shot, on Friday morning, on the puplic square, as an ensample to the Mormons. However notwithstanding their sentence, and determination, they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution.56

A plan to execute JS was prevented by the intervention of Brigadier General Alexander Doniphan, who was also one of JS’s attorneys. (Burnett, Recollections and Opinions, 63; see also Maynard, “Alexander William Doniphan, Man of Justice,” 462–472; and Launius, “Alexander William Doniphan and the 1838 Mormon War,” 67, 90–93.)  


Having an opportunity of speaking to General Moses Wilson

1795–ca. 1868. Farmer, merchant, land developer, postmaster. Born in Virginia. Moved to Greene Co., Tennessee, by Dec. 1818. Married first Margaret Guin, 23 Dec. 1829, in Greene Co. Moved to Pike Co., Illinois, by Apr. 1832. Served in Black Hawk War, 1832...

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,57

Major General Lucas committed JS and the other prisoners to the charge of Brigadier General Wilson. (S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.)  


I inquired of him the cause why I was thus treated, I told him I was not sensible of having done any thing worthy of such treatment; that I58

The bill of damages here identifies JS as “a Democrat.”  


had always been a supporter of the constitution and of Democracy. His answer was “I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you, or have you killled.” The militia then went into the town and without any restraint whatever, plunderd the [p. 5]
resorted to str[a]tagem; and after remov ing their property out of their houses,  which were nothing but log cabins, they  actually set fire to their own houses,  and then reported to the authorities of  the state that the Mormons were burn ing and destroying all before them.40

Several Mormons later stated that non-Mormons burned their own homes and then blamed the Mormons in order to provoke state action against them. Other accounts added that non-Mormons burned their own homes after selling their property to the Mormons. In many instances, however, the Mormons did burn non-Mormon homes, as well as some stores. Soon not only the vigilantes but most of the non-Mormon population of Daviess fled the county. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 44; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 7, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Pulsipher, “Zerah Pu[l]siphers History,” 8; LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 117–124; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” chap. 7.)  


On the retreat of the mob from Da viess

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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, I returned to Caldwell

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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, hoping to  have some respite from our enemies, at  least for a short time; but upon my arri val there, I was informed that a mob  had commenced hostilities on the bor ders of that county, adjoining to Ray  co.

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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and that they had taken some of our  brethren prisoners, burned some houses,  and had committed depredations on the  peaceable inhabitants.41

Responding to rumors of Mormon intentions to raid Ray County, Captain Samuel Bogart of the Ray County militia mobilized a company, including militiamen and volunteers, to patrol the border area between Ray County and Caldwell County and to guard against potential attacks. He then wrote to David R. Atchison, a major general in the state militia, for authorization. Atchison not only granted Bogart’s request for permission to “range the line between Caldwell & Ray County” but also charged him “to enquire into the state of things in Daviess County.” On 24 October, Bogart’s rangers began harassing Saints living on both sides of the Ray-Caldwell border and took three prisoners: Addison Green, Nathan Pinkham Jr., and William Seely. Green, and possibly Pinkham, belonged to a group of Mormon scouts reconnoitering the border. Sidney Rigdon later testified that a messenger reported Bogart’s men burned one house. (Samuel Bogart, Elk Horn, MO, to David R. Atchison, 23 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Samuel Bogart, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”; Rockwood, Journal, 25 Oct. 1838; Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. [12], photocopy, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; see also Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 219–225.)  


A company un der the command of Capt. [David W.] Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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, was  ordered out by Lieutenant Col. Hinck le

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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to go against them, and stop their  depredations, and drive them out of the  county.42

JS’s bill of damages also notes that “about day light next morning,” Hinkle “came up with them.” Parley P. Pratt, a participant in the expedition, recounted that “Captain [John] Killian (to whom Col. Hincle had committed the command of the troops in Far West, when he himself was not present) sent out a detachment.… This company, consisting of about sixty men, was sent to see what the matter was on the lines; and who was committing depredations, and if necessary, to protect or move in the families and property; and if possible, effect the release of the prisoners.”a Although the company’s commission may have included all the elements listed by JS and Pratt, other accounts focus on the mission of rescuing the men taken prisoner.b In an effort to free the Mormon prisoners held by Bogart, the company crossed over the Caldwell County line early on the morning of 25 October and attacked Bogart at his camp on Crooked River in the noncounty area attached to Ray County.c  


aPratt, History of the Late Persecution, 33.

bSee, for example, Charles C. Rich, Statement, ca. Feb. 1845, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1856, CHL; and Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion, 21.

cBerrett, Sacred Places, 4:267–268.

Upon the approach of our  people, the mob fired upon them, and  after discharging their pieces, fled with  great precipitation, with the loss of one  killed and several wounded.43

Moses Rowland was killed in the encounter, and at least six others of the Ray County militia were wounded. (Wyatt Cravens, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”.)  


In the  engagement Capt. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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, (a man be loved by all who had the pleasure of  his acquaintance,) was wounded and  died shortly after.44

In his bill of damages, JS states before Patten died, he “sent for me to pray for him, which request I complied with.”  


Two others were  likewise killed and several wounded.45

Besides Patten, Gideon Carter was killed in battlea and Patrick (or Patterson) Obanion was fatally wounded.b Seven other Mormons were wounded.c  


aRockwood, Journal, 28 Oct. 1838; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 45.

bYoung, “Lorenzo Dow Young’s Narrative,” 51; John P. Greene, Affidavit, Quincy, IL, 17 Mar. 1840, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL; John L. Lockhart, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence.”

cBaugh, “Call to Arms,” 238–240.

 Great excitement now prevailed, and  mobs were heard of in every direction  who seemed determined on our destruc tion. They burned the houses in the  country and took off all the cattle they  could find.46

JS’s bill of damages notes that “amongst the cattle driven off were Two cows of mine.”  


They destroyed cornfields,  took many prisoners, and threatened  death to all the Mormons. On the 28th  of Oct. a large company of armed sol diery were seen approaching 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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,47

Eighteen hundred militiamen under the command of Samuel D. Lucas arrived at Goose Creek, one mile south of Far West, on 30 October. (Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


 They came up near to the town and  then drew back about a mile and en camped for the night.48

The following three sentences do not appear in the bill of damages, which resumes with “The next day I was waited upon by Colonel Hinckle.” The soldiers encamped on Goose Creek. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:300–301.)  


We were in formed that they were Militia, ordered  out by the Govornor

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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for the purpose of  stopping our proceedings; it having  been represented to his excellency

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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, by  wicked and designing men from Da viess

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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, that we were the aggressors, and  had committed outrages in Daviess

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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 &c.49

The “designing men from Daviess” were later identified as William Morgan, Samuel Bogart (actually from Ray County), William Peniston, Samuel Venable, Jonathan J. Dryden, James Stone, and Thomas J. Martin. (JS History, vol. B-1, 837; see also William Morgan, Affidavit, 21 Oct. 1838; William Peniston, Daviess Co., MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 21 Oct. 1838; Samuel Venable, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; Jonathan J. Dryden, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; James Stone, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838; and Thomas J. Martin, Affidavit, 22 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


They had not yet got the Gover nor

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

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s orders of extermination, which I  believe did not arrive until the next  day.50

Acting as commander in chief of the Missouri state militia, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued orders on 27 October 1838 that “the Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace.” Reed Peck, who parleyed with the militia on behalf of the Saints, wrote that the order did not arrive until “an hour or so before Sun Set.” However, Major General Lucas reported to Governor Boggs that he had received a copy of the order on the previous day, 30 October, at the Log Creek crossing on the road to Far West, and that he postponed meeting with Hinkle and the Mormon party on 31 October until two o’clock in the afternoon because he was preoccupied with “receiving & encamping of fresh troops, who were hourly coming in.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1838, p. 109, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Samuel D. Lucas, “near Far West,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


On the following morning, a flag  was sent, which was met by several of  our people, and it was hoped that mat ters would be satisfactorily arranged  after the officers had heard a true state ment of all the circumstances.51

Reed Peck wrote that Brigadier General Alexander Doniphan named him along with John Cleminson, John Corrill, and William W. Phelps to meet with Doniphan and other members of the militia delegation and that JS added Seymour Brunson and George M. Hinkle to the number. Corrill wrote that the delegation consisted of only himself, Peck, and Hinkle. According to Corrill, JS had instructed him to “beg like a dog for peace.” (Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839, pp. 108–109, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Corrill, Brief History, 40–41.)  


To wards evening, I was waited upon by  Colonel Hinckle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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, who stated that the  officers of the Militia desired to have  an interview with me, and some others,  hoping that the difficulties might be set tled without having occasion to carry  into effect the exterminating orders,  which they had received from the Gov ernor

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

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.52

The Mormon emissaries reported back to JS the conditions under which General Samuel D. Lucas would forgo extermination. As summarized by Corrill, they were to surrender certain church leaders, surrender their arms, give up their property as reparations for damages, and leave the state. Church leaders surrendered as prisoners would be allowed to decide whether to abide by those terms and remain prisoners or return to Far West to fight. General Lucas’s report to Governor Boggs specified that the Mormon prisoners were to be held as hostages to guarantee compliance with the conditions of surrender.a Corrill recounted that JS “said he had rather go to States-prison for twenty years, or had rather die himself than have the people exterminated.”b Colonel George M. Hinkle later maintained that he left to JS the decision whether to surrender and that JS sent word the following morning to agree to the terms.c  


aCorrill, Brief History, 41–42; S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.

bCorrill, Brief History, 41.

cGeorge M. Hinkle, Buffalo, Iowa Territory, to William W. Phelps, Nauvoo, IL, 14 Aug. 1844, The Ensign, Aug. 1844, 30–32.

I immediately complied with the  request, and in company with elders  [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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and [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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, 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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, and  Geo. W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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, went into the camp  of the militia. But judge of my sur prise, when instead of being treated  with that respect which is due from  one citizen to another, we were taken,  as prisoners of war, and were treated  with the utmost contempt.53

JS was taken prisoner on Wednesday, 31 October 1838. (S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.)  


The offi cers would not converse with us, and  the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted  us as much as they felt disposed, breath ing out threats against me and my com panions.54

The previous sentence is not in JS’s bill of damages.  


I cannot begin to tell the  scene which I there witnessed. The  loud cries and yells of more than one  thousand voices, which rent the air and  could be heard for miles; and the hor rid and blasphemous threats and curses  which were poured upon us in torrents,  were enough to appal the stoutest heart.  In the evening we had to lie down on the  cold ground surrounded by a strong  guard, who were only kept back by the  power of God from depriving us of life.55

The phrase “who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life” is not found in JS’s bill of damages.  


 We petitioned the officers to know why  we were thus treated, but they utterly  refused to give us any answer, or to  converse with us. The next day they  held a court martial, and sentenced us  to be shot, on Friday morning, on the  puplic square, as an ensample to the  Mormons. However notwithstanding  their sentence, and determination, they  were not permitted to carry their mur derous sentence into execution.56

A plan to execute JS was prevented by the intervention of Brigadier General Alexander Doniphan, who was also one of JS’s attorneys. (Burnett, Recollections and Opinions, 63; see also Maynard, “Alexander William Doniphan, Man of Justice,” 462–472; and Launius, “Alexander William Doniphan and the 1838 Mormon War,” 67, 90–93.)  


Having an opportunity of speaking  to General [Moses] Wilson

1795–ca. 1868. Farmer, merchant, land developer, postmaster. Born in Virginia. Moved to Greene Co., Tennessee, by Dec. 1818. Married first Margaret Guin, 23 Dec. 1829, in Greene Co. Moved to Pike Co., Illinois, by Apr. 1832. Served in Black Hawk War, 1832...

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,57

Major General Lucas committed JS and the other prisoners to the charge of Brigadier General Wilson. (S. Lucas to L. Boggs, 2 Nov. 1838.)  


I inquired of him  the cause why I was thus treated, I  told him I was not sensible of having  done any thing worthy of such treat ment; that I58

The bill of damages here identifies JS as “a Democrat.”  


had always been a suppor ter of the constitution and of Democra cy. His answer was “I know it, and  that is the reason why I want to kill  you, or have you killled.” The militia  then went into the town and without  any restraint whatever, plunderd the [p. 5]
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The historical account contained in “Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.” was composed in the aftermath of the 1838 armed conflict between the Latter-day Saints and other Missourians, a struggle that culminated in the incarceration of JS and the expulsion of the Saints from the state

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. On 20 March 1839, from the jail in 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, JS wrote to the Saints instructing them to document “all the facts and suffering and abuses put upon them by the people of this state and also of all the property and amount of damages which they have sustained.”1

JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the church members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL [D&C 123:1–2]. In a letter to the church written three months earlier, JS had reflected on some of the causes leading to the expulsion. (JS, Liberty, MO, to “the church,” Caldwell Co., MO, 16 Dec. 1838, JS Collection, CHL.)  


A month later, on 16 April, JS escaped from the custody of Missouri lawmen, and on 22 April he was reunited with the Mormon exiles in 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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, Illinois. Within days he arranged extensive land purchases for Mormon settlement at nearby 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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, Illinois, and across the Mississippi River

Principal U.S. river running southward from Itasca Lake, Minnesota, to Gulf of Mexico. Covered 3,160-mile course, 1839 (now about 2,350 miles). Drains about 1,100,000 square miles. Steamboat travel on Mississippi very important in 1830s and 1840s for shipping...

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in Iowa Territory

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

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. JS himself was among the initial Latter-day Saints to relocate to Commerce in May 1839. On 4 June 1839, during a visit to Quincy, JS created a record of his own Missouri losses, titled “Bill of Damages against the state of Missouri.”2

JS, “Bill of Damages against the State of Missouri[:] An Account of the Sufferings and Losses Sustained Therein,” Quincy, IL, 4 June 1839, JS Collection, CHL; see also JS, Journal, 27 May–8 June 1839.  


Written in the handwriting of JS’s recently appointed clerk, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, the bill of damages was created as a petition to the federal government for redress, and it became the basis of “Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.,” published in July 1839. The reference to a “private journal” in the title notwithstanding, the article was not in fact based on a journal source; JS’s bill of damages is the only known manuscript source. The manuscript is much more than a simple bill of damages, however, and the historical narrative it contains bridges the chronological gap between JS’s last Missouri journal and his first 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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journal.3

The last entry in JS’s September–October 1838 journal is 5 October 1838. On that day, JS left Far West, Missouri, with a detachment of Mormon men to reinforce the besieged Saints in De Witt, Missouri; after an introductory overview, JS’s “Bill of Damages” begins with the De Witt conflict. The bill ends with JS’s escape from his captors on 16 April 1839 and his arrival in Quincy, Illinois, on 22 April 1839; the first two entries in JS’s 1839 journal resume JS’s journal keeping precisely at this point.  


After an introduction stating that JS encountered enmity from the moment of his arrival 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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in March 1838, “Extract, from the Private Journal” covers most of the significant episodes in the Missouri conflict. The first specific historical event is the siege of the Mormon settlement at De Witt

Located on bluffs north of Missouri River, about six miles above mouth of Grand River. Permanently settled, by 1826. Laid out, 1836. First called Elderport; name changed to De Witt, 1837, when town acquired by speculators David Thomas and Henry Root, who ...

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in Carroll County. The article then narrates the subsequent conflict around Adam-ondi-Ahman

Town located in northwest Missouri. JS revelations designated area as place where Adam blessed his posterity after leaving Garden of Eden and where Adam will return prior to Second Coming. While seeking new areas in Daviess Co. for settlement, JS and others...

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in Daviess County, the battle at Crooked River

Located in northwest Missouri. Rises in Clinton Co. and flows about sixty miles southeast through Caldwell and Ray counties; drains into Missouri River. Saints settled mainly on northwestern and southeastern sections of river, by 1835; main settlement also...

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with militia from Ray County

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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, and the siege 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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in Caldwell County. Also recounted are JS’s capture, imprisonment, and indictment, as well as the exodus of the Latter-day Saints 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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. The narrative draws to a close with JS’s escape and his flight from Missouri. Where the bill of damages ends with a list of losses and sufferings for which remuneration is sought, the “Extract” concludes with an address to the American people at large, appealing to the principles of liberty and justice.
“Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.” was published in the first issue of the church newspaper Times and Seasons. The prospectus published at the end of the issue declared that the newspaper would provide “a history of the unparallelled persecution, which we, as a people, received 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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”; the lead article in the issue, an “Address” from the editors, similarly announced that the newspaper’s mission included publication of “a detailed history of the persecution and suffering” experienced in Missouri.4

“Prospectus of the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:16; Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith, “Address,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:1.  


“Extract, from the Private Journal” directly follows, taking up half of the issue’s sixteen pages. Times and Seasons 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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printed only about two hundred copies of the July 1839 issue before a malaria epidemic left them debilitated.5

“To the Patrons of the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, Nov. 1839, 1:15–16; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” The Return, May 1890, 257–258.  


Months later they published a reprint of the first issue, including JS’s “Extract,” under a November 1839 date.6

It appears that there were three printings of the first issue of the Times and Seasons: the first in July; the second in November, from the same typesetting; and a third sometime thereafter, from a new setting of the text. The third printing, perhaps issued to satisfy increasing demand for the newspaper, retained the November 1839 date. Although minor spelling and punctuation changes appear in the later printings of the “Extract,” no changes were made to the wording. (See Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:94–95.)  


JS’s account of Missouri sufferings constituted part of a new genre of Mormon historical writing, and in the next issue, the Times and Seasons began publishing an eleven-part series on the Saints’ Missouri persecutions.7

See “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839–Oct. 1840.  


JS’s bill of damages was revised for publication as the “Extract” sometime between 4 June 1839, when the bill of damages was composed, and 12 July, when Wilford Woodruff

1 Mar. 1807–2 Sept. 1898. Farmer, miller. Born at Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Aphek Woodruff and Beulah Thompson. Moved to Richland, Oswego Co., New York, 1832. Baptized into LDS church by Zera Pulsipher, 31 Dec. 1833, near Richland. Ordained...

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recorded “looking over the proof sheet of the first number of the Times & seasons.”8

Woodruff, Journal, 12 July 1839.  


JS returned to 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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from 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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on 5 June and remained in the area until 12 July, except for a 15–26 June journey through western 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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. Therefore, JS’s narrative of 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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persecutions was likely revised in Commerce between 5 and 14 June or between 27 June and 12 July.9

JS’s journal records that he was “dictating History” 10–14 June and 3–5 July 1839, which may have included the historical narrative in the “bill of damages” along with his ongoing work on a complete history of the church. (JS, Journal, 10–14 June and 3–5 July 1839.)  


The first issue of the Times and Seasons was probably published within a few days of 12 July, the day Wilford Woodruff helped check the proof sheet.
The first two-thirds of the “Extract” was based closely on “Bill of Damages,” with only minor editorial changes. The changes softened some of the manuscript’s more strident rhetoric, omitted particulars regarding JS’s personal losses, and added details to emphasize the suffering of the Saints. Significant differences between the two documents are explained in footnotes herein. The final section of the article, which did not come from the bill of damages, may have been dictated or written by JS, perhaps with help from clerical assistants Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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, and George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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. The published “Extract” was disseminated to Saints throughout the nation via the newspaper, and the document shaped their memory of the persecution 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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and their pattern for rehearsing it. JS clearly intended to reach not only the Latter-day Saints subscribing to the church newspaper but also the greater American public. As part of JS’s effort to gain sympathy in the court of public opinion, this document became part of the broadening agenda of gaining redress for grievances suffered in Missouri.

Facts