26020

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

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

houses, and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants. They went to my house and drove my family out of doors.59

According to the bill of damages, this was done “under sanction of general Clark.” Major General John B. Clark, to whom Governor Boggs had assigned overall command of the expedition against the Mormons, did not arrive at Far West until 4 November, after General Moses Wilson had left for Independence with JS and other Mormon prisoners as directed by Major General Lucas. (John B. Clark, Richmond, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 10 Nov. 1838; Samuel D. Lucas, Independence, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 5 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


They carried away most of my property and left many destitute.—60

JS’s bill of damages lists stolen horses, harnesses, cattle, hogs, books, and store goods. Mormon exiles from Missouri later reported tremendous losses in plundered property. (See redress petitions in Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL and in Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL.)  


We were taken to the town, into the public square; and before our departure from 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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, we, after much entreaties, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while with a strong guard; I found my wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
and children in tears, who expected we were shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they should see me no more.61

JS’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, later recalled that when JS was taken prisoner she and Joseph Smith Sr. heard several gunshots and concluded that JS had been murdered. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 16, [2].)  


When I entered my house, they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifest in their countenances. I requested to have a private interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me, I was then obliged to take my departure, but who can realize my feelings which I experienced at that time; to be torn from my companion

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
, and leaving her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. My partner

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
wept, my children clung to me and were only thrust from me by the swords of the guard who guarded me. I felt overwhelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only reccomend them to the care of that God, whose kindness had followed me to the present time; and who alone could protect them, and deliver me from the hands of my enemies and restore me to my family62

The description of JS bidding farewell to his family was expanded from the bill of damages. The three sentences that follow are also an expansion of the bill’s text, which reads only, “We were then removed to Jackson County.”  


I was then taken back to the camp and then I with the rest of my brethren, viz: 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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, Hyram 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
, 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....

View Full Bio
, Lyman Wight

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

View Full Bio
, Amasa Lyman

30 Mar. 1813–4 Feb. 1877. Boatman, gunsmith, farmer. Born at Lyman, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Son of Boswell Lyman and Martha Mason. Baptized into LDS church by Lyman E. Johnson, 27 Apr. 1832. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, May–June 1832. Ordained an...

View Full Bio
, 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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, were removed to 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. They did not make known what their intention or designs were in taking us there; but knowing that some of our most bitter enemies resided in that 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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, we came to the conclusion that their design was to shoot us, which from the testimony of others. I do think was a correct conclusion.63

On 2 November Clark sent orders to Lucas to hold the seven prisoners until Clark arrived at Far West. Lucas apparently did not receive those orders before departing with the prisoners for Independence. Clark then sent orders on 3 November for Lucas to take the prisoners to Richmond. Lucas explained to Governor Boggs that he refused to comply with Clark’s 3 November order because Clark, being junior to Lucas in appointment as a major general in the Missouri militia, was not entitled to issue such a command to Lucas. By returning from the field of operations to his division headquarters in Independence and bringing the prisoners with him, Lucas maintained jurisdictional control over the situation. He reported to Boggs that he “march[ed] them to my head Quarters at Independence to await your further Orders.” (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838; Samuel D. Lucas, Independence, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 5 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; see also JS, Independence, MO, to Emma Smith, Far West, MO, 4 Nov. 1838, JS, Materials, CCLA.)  


While there, we were under the care of Generals Samuel D. Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

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and 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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, we had to find our own board, and had to sleep on the floor with nothing but a mantle for our covering, and a stick of wood for our pillow.64

Parley P. Pratt recalled that the prisoners were initially kept in a vacant house and then moved to a hotel. (Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 46–47.)  


After remaining there a few days we were ordered by General John B. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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to return; we were accordingly taken back as far as Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
, and there we were thrust into prison and our feet bound with fetters.65

According to JS’s bill of damages, “While we were in Jackson, General Clark with his troops arrived in Caldwell and sent an order for our return—holding out the inducement that we were to be reinstated to our former priviledges: but instead of being taken to Caldwell we were taken to Richmond.” Before arriving at Far West, Clark twice sent orders to Lucas to incarcerate the prisoners in the jail at Richmond. There is no indication in Clark’s correspondence that he ordered them returned to Far West. The prisoners were kept in Independence 4–8 November 1838. They were moved from Independence to Richmond 8–9 November. (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 62–65.)  


While in Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
, we were under the charge of colonel Sterling Price

Ca. Sept. 1809–29 Sept. 1867. Farmer, merchant, military officer. Born near Farmville, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. Son of Pugh Williamson Price and Elizabeth Marshall Williamson. Moved to Missouri, 1831. Married Martha Head, 14 May 1833, in Randolph Co.,...

View Full Bio
from Chariton county

Established 16 Nov. 1820. Village of Chariton named county seat, 1820. Keytesville named county seat, 1833. Population in 1830 about 1,800. Population in 1836 about 3,500. In Aug. 1831, while en route from Independence to Kirtland, JS met ten other elders...

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, who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us.66

Lieutenant Colonel Price served in Brigadier General Robert Wilson’s second brigade in Major General John B. Clark’s first division of the state militia. (See John B. Clark, Richmond, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 10 Nov. 1838; and Robert Wilson, Adam-ondi-Ahman, MO, to John B. Clark, 12 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful. After remaining there a few days we were taken before the court of inquiry,67

Austin A. King, judge of Missouri’s fifth judicial circuit, presided over a preliminary court of inquiry for sixty-four Latter-day Saint defendants at Richmond on 12–29 November 1838. (Madsen, “Joseph Smith and the Missouri Court of Inquiry,” 97–98; see also State of Missouri, “Evidence.”)  


but were not prepared with witnesses, in consequence of the eruelty cruelty of the mob, who threatend destruction to all who had any thing to say in our favor: but notwithstanding their threats there were a few who did not think their lives dear so that they might testify to the truth, and in our behalf, knowing we were unlawfully confined; but the court who was prejudiced against us, would not suffer them to be examined according to law, but suffered the State’s Attorney68

Thomas C. Burch. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 29, 66; JS History, vol. C-1, 858.)  


to abuse them as he thought proper.69

Sidney Rigdon claimed that some of the witnesses for JS and his codefendants were intimidated and fled the county before the hearing began, while those who did attend the hearing “were sworn at bayonet point.” Rigdon’s account of the hearing also claimed that Judge Austin A. King never allowed the defense attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution. King charged JS with “overt acts of Treason in Daviess county” and charged several other Latter-day Saints with treason, murder, larceny, and other crimes. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 66–67; Document Containing the Correspondence, 150; see also Madsen, “Joseph Smith and the Missouri Court of Inquiry,” 98–101.)  


We were then removed to Liberty jail in Clay county, and there kept in close confinement in that place for more than four months.70

JS was transported from Richmond, Daviess County, to Liberty, Clay County, on 30 November and 1 December, along with Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin. Some Mormon prisoners were transferred to other facilities. (Mittimus, 29 Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Treason [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], copy, JS Collection, CHL; Hyrum Smith, Diary, [9]; see also Jessee, “Prison Experience,” 24–25.)  


while there, we petitioned Judge Joel Turnham

23 Sept. 1783–24 Aug. 1862. Judge, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married Elizabeth Rice, ca. Feb. 1806, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jessamine Co., Kentucky, by 1810. Served in War of 1812 in Kentucky militia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1822. Clay...

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for a writ of habeas corpus, but on account of the prejudice of the jailor all communication was cut off;71

The Clay County jailer was Sheriff Samuel Hadley. (State of Missouri, Mittimus, 29 Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Treason [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], copy, JS Collection, CHL.)  


at length however, we succeeded iin getting a petition conveyed to him, but for fourteen days we received no answer. We likewise petitioned the other Judges but with no success. After the expiration of fourteen days Judge Turnham

23 Sept. 1783–24 Aug. 1862. Judge, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married Elizabeth Rice, ca. Feb. 1806, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jessamine Co., Kentucky, by 1810. Served in War of 1812 in Kentucky militia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1822. Clay...

View Full Bio
ordered us to appear before him, we went and took a number of witnesses, which caused us considerable expense and trouble; but he altogether refused to hear any of our witnesses. The lawyers which we had employed refused to act; being afraid of the people.72

JS’s bill of damages also states, “We likewise petitioned to Judge King and to the Judges of the supreme Court but they utterly refused.”  


This being the case, we of course could not succeed, and were consequently remanded back to our prison house.—73

Alexander Doniphan and Peter Burnett represented the prisoners at the 25 January 1839 habeas corpus hearing in Clay County. No record of the proceedings has been found. Burnett later recounted that Doniphan made a spirited defense of the prisoners at this time. Judge Turnham released Rigdon, finding insufficient proof of his culpability in the record of the November 1838 court of inquiry over which Judge Austin A. King presided. (Fearing for his safety, Rigdon remained in the prison until 5 February.) JS and the other prisoners were returned to jail pending a hearing before a Daviess County grand jury, scheduled for April 1839. (Jessee, “Prison Experience,” 29; Burnett, Recollections and Opinions, 53–55; Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. [23]–[24], Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  


We were sometimes visited by our friends whose kindness and attention, I shall ever remember with feelings of lively gratitude, but frequently we were not sufiered to have that privilege. Our vituals were of the coarsest [p. 6]
houses, and abused the innocent and  unoffending inhabitants. They went  to my house and drove my family out  of doors.59

According to the bill of damages, this was done “under sanction of general Clark.” Major General John B. Clark, to whom Governor Boggs had assigned overall command of the expedition against the Mormons, did not arrive at Far West until 4 November, after General Moses Wilson had left for Independence with JS and other Mormon prisoners as directed by Major General Lucas. (John B. Clark, Richmond, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 10 Nov. 1838; Samuel D. Lucas, Independence, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 5 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


They carried away most of  my property and left many destitute.—60

JS’s bill of damages lists stolen horses, harnesses, cattle, hogs, books, and store goods. Mormon exiles from Missouri later reported tremendous losses in plundered property. (See redress petitions in Material Relating to Mormon Expulsion from Missouri, 1839–1843, CHL and in Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL.)  


 We were taken to the town, into the  public square; and before our departure  from 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...

More Info
, we, after much entrea ties, were suffered to see our families,  being attended all the while with a strong  guard; I found my wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
and children  in tears, who expected we were shot  by those who had sworn to take our  lives, and that they should see  me no more.61

JS’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, later recalled that when JS was taken prisoner she and Joseph Smith Sr. heard several gunshots and concluded that JS had been murdered. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 16, [2].)  


When I entered my  house, they clung to my garments,  their eyes streaming with tears, while  mingled emotions of joy and sorrow  were manifest in their countenances.  I requested to have a private interview  with them a few minutes, but this privi lege was denied me, I was then oblig ed to take my departure, but who can  realize my feelings which I experien ced at that time; to be torn from my  companion

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
, and leaving her surrounded  with monsters in the shape of men, and  my children too, not knowing how their  wants would be supplied; to be taken  far from them in order that my ene mies might destroy me when they  thought proper to do so. My partner

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
 wept, my children clung to me and  were only thrust from me by the swords  of the guard who guarded me. I felt  overwhelmed while I witnessed the  scene, and could only reccomend them  to the care of that God, whose kind ness had followed me to the present  time; and who alone could protect them,  and deliver me from the hands of my  enemies and restore me to my family62

The description of JS bidding farewell to his family was expanded from the bill of damages. The three sentences that follow are also an expansion of the bill’s text, which reads only, “We were then removed to Jackson County.”  


I was then taken back to the camp  and then I with the rest of my brethren,  viz: 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...

View Full Bio
, Hyram [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
,  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....

View Full Bio
, Lyman Wight

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

View Full Bio
, Amasa  Lyman

30 Mar. 1813–4 Feb. 1877. Boatman, gunsmith, farmer. Born at Lyman, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Son of Boswell Lyman and Martha Mason. Baptized into LDS church by Lyman E. Johnson, 27 Apr. 1832. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, May–June 1832. Ordained an...

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
,  were removed to Independence

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

More Info
, Jack son county. They did not make  known what their intention or designs  were in taking us there; but knowing  that some of our most bitter enemies  resided in that county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
, we came to the  conclusion that their design was to  shoot us, which from the testimony of  others. I do think was a correct conclu sion.63

On 2 November Clark sent orders to Lucas to hold the seven prisoners until Clark arrived at Far West. Lucas apparently did not receive those orders before departing with the prisoners for Independence. Clark then sent orders on 3 November for Lucas to take the prisoners to Richmond. Lucas explained to Governor Boggs that he refused to comply with Clark’s 3 November order because Clark, being junior to Lucas in appointment as a major general in the Missouri militia, was not entitled to issue such a command to Lucas. By returning from the field of operations to his division headquarters in Independence and bringing the prisoners with him, Lucas maintained jurisdictional control over the situation. He reported to Boggs that he “march[ed] them to my head Quarters at Independence to await your further Orders.” (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838; Samuel D. Lucas, Independence, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 5 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; see also JS, Independence, MO, to Emma Smith, Far West, MO, 4 Nov. 1838, JS, Materials, CCLA.)  


While there, we were under the  care of Generals [Samuel D.] Lucas

19 July 1799–23 Feb. 1868. Store owner, recorder of deeds. Born at Washington Co., Kentucky. Son of Samuel Lucas Sr. Married Theresa Bartlett Allen, ca. Nov. 1823, in Harrison Co., Kentucky. Member of Presbyterian church. Lived at Independence, Jackson Co...

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and 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...

View Full Bio
,  we had to find our own board, and had  to sleep on the floor with nothing but  a mantle for our covering, and a stick  of wood for our pillow.64

Parley P. Pratt recalled that the prisoners were initially kept in a vacant house and then moved to a hotel. (Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 46–47.)  


After remain ing there a few days we were ordered  by General [John B.] Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

View Full Bio
to return; we were  accordingly taken back as far as Rich mond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
, and there we were thrust into  prison and our feet bound with fetters.65

According to JS’s bill of damages, “While we were in Jackson, General Clark with his troops arrived in Caldwell and sent an order for our return—holding out the inducement that we were to be reinstated to our former priviledges: but instead of being taken to Caldwell we were taken to Richmond.” Before arriving at Far West, Clark twice sent orders to Lucas to incarcerate the prisoners in the jail at Richmond. There is no indication in Clark’s correspondence that he ordered them returned to Far West. The prisoners were kept in Independence 4–8 November 1838. They were moved from Independence to Richmond 8–9 November. (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 62–65.)  


 While in Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
, we were under the  charge of colonel [Sterling] Price

Ca. Sept. 1809–29 Sept. 1867. Farmer, merchant, military officer. Born near Farmville, Prince Edward Co., Virginia. Son of Pugh Williamson Price and Elizabeth Marshall Williamson. Moved to Missouri, 1831. Married Martha Head, 14 May 1833, in Randolph Co.,...

View Full Bio
from Chariton  county

Established 16 Nov. 1820. Village of Chariton named county seat, 1820. Keytesville named county seat, 1833. Population in 1830 about 1,800. Population in 1836 about 3,500. In Aug. 1831, while en route from Independence to Kirtland, JS met ten other elders...

More Info
, who suffered all manner of  abuse to be heaped upon us.66

Lieutenant Colonel Price served in Brigadier General Robert Wilson’s second brigade in Major General John B. Clark’s first division of the state militia. (See John B. Clark, Richmond, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 10 Nov. 1838; and Robert Wilson, Adam-ondi-Ahman, MO, to John B. Clark, 12 Nov. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


During  this time my afflictions were great, and  our situation was truly painful. After  remaining there a few days we were  taken before the court of inquiry,67

Austin A. King, judge of Missouri’s fifth judicial circuit, presided over a preliminary court of inquiry for sixty-four Latter-day Saint defendants at Richmond on 12–29 November 1838. (Madsen, “Joseph Smith and the Missouri Court of Inquiry,” 97–98; see also State of Missouri, “Evidence.”)  


but  were not prepared with witnesses, in  consequence of the eruelty [cruelty] of the mob,  who threatend destruction to all who  had any thing to say in our favor: but  notwithstanding their threats there  were a few who did not think their lives  dear so that they might testify to the  truth, and in our behalf, knowing we  were unlawfully confined; but the court  who was prejudiced against us, would  not suffer them to be examined accor ding to law, but suffered the State’s At torney68

Thomas C. Burch. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 29, 66; JS History, vol. C-1, 858.)  


to abuse them as he thought  proper.69

Sidney Rigdon claimed that some of the witnesses for JS and his codefendants were intimidated and fled the county before the hearing began, while those who did attend the hearing “were sworn at bayonet point.” Rigdon’s account of the hearing also claimed that Judge Austin A. King never allowed the defense attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution. King charged JS with “overt acts of Treason in Daviess county” and charged several other Latter-day Saints with treason, murder, larceny, and other crimes. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 66–67; Document Containing the Correspondence, 150; see also Madsen, “Joseph Smith and the Missouri Court of Inquiry,” 98–101.)  


We were then removed to  Liberty jail in Clay county, and there  kept in close confinement in that place  for more than four months.70

JS was transported from Richmond, Daviess County, to Liberty, Clay County, on 30 November and 1 December, along with Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin. Some Mormon prisoners were transferred to other facilities. (Mittimus, 29 Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Treason [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], copy, JS Collection, CHL; Hyrum Smith, Diary, [9]; see also Jessee, “Prison Experience,” 24–25.)  


while  there, we petitioned Judge [Joel] Turnham

23 Sept. 1783–24 Aug. 1862. Judge, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married Elizabeth Rice, ca. Feb. 1806, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jessamine Co., Kentucky, by 1810. Served in War of 1812 in Kentucky militia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1822. Clay...

View Full Bio
for  a writ of habeas corpus, but on ac count of the prejudice of the jailor all  communication was cut off;71

The Clay County jailer was Sheriff Samuel Hadley. (State of Missouri, Mittimus, 29 Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Treason [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], copy, JS Collection, CHL.)  


at length  however, we succeeded iin getting a  petition conveyed to him, but for four teen days we received no answer. We  likewise petitioned the other Judges but  with no success. After the expiration  of fourteen days Judge Turnham

23 Sept. 1783–24 Aug. 1862. Judge, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married Elizabeth Rice, ca. Feb. 1806, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jessamine Co., Kentucky, by 1810. Served in War of 1812 in Kentucky militia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1822. Clay...

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or dered us to appear before him, we  went and took a number of witnesses,  which caused us considerable expense  and trouble; but he altogether refused  to hear any of our witnesses. The  lawyers which we had employed re fused to act; being afraid of the people.72

JS’s bill of damages also states, “We likewise petitioned to Judge King and to the Judges of the supreme Court but they utterly refused.”  


 This being the case, we of course could  not succeed, and were consequently  [re]manded back to our prison house.—73

Alexander Doniphan and Peter Burnett represented the prisoners at the 25 January 1839 habeas corpus hearing in Clay County. No record of the proceedings has been found. Burnett later recounted that Doniphan made a spirited defense of the prisoners at this time. Judge Turnham released Rigdon, finding insufficient proof of his culpability in the record of the November 1838 court of inquiry over which Judge Austin A. King presided. (Fearing for his safety, Rigdon remained in the prison until 5 February.) JS and the other prisoners were returned to jail pending a hearing before a Daviess County grand jury, scheduled for April 1839. (Jessee, “Prison Experience,” 29; Burnett, Recollections and Opinions, 53–55; Sidney Rigdon, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. [23]–[24], Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  


 We were sometimes visited by our  friends whose kindness and attention,  [I] shall ever remember with feelings of  [li]vely gratitude, but frequently we  were not sufiered to have that privi lege. Our vituals were of the coarsest [p. 6]
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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