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John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839

John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839

to let it be known, that the church might be gathered in. But this regulation was not attended to, for the church got crazy to go up to Zion, as it was then called. The rich were afraid to send up their money to purchase lands, and the poor crowded up in numbers, without having any places provided, contrary to the advice of the bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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and others, until the old citizens began to be highly displeased. They saw their 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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filling up with emigrants, principally poor. They disliked their religion, and saw also, that if let alone. they would in a short time become a majority, and, of course, rule the 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
. The church kept increasing, and the old citizens became more and more dissatisfied, and from time to time offered to sell their farms and possessions, but the Mormons, though desirous, were too poor to purchase them.
The feelings of the people became greatly exasperated, in consequence of the many falsehoods and evil reports that were in constant circulation against the church.
Thus matters grew worse and worse, until the people arose in their fury. On the 20th day of July, 1833, the citizens met at the Court-house

Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...

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, in 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
, and appointed a committee, who called upon six or seven of the leading Mormons, and required them to shut up all their work-shops, their store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
, and their printing-office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

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, and agree to leave the 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
. The Mormons required time to give them an answer, but they would grant only fifteen minutes. The Mormons then refused to comply with their proposals, and the committee then returned to the Court-house

Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...

More Info
, where the people were assembled, and related to them the answer of the Mormons. They then took a vote to demolish the printing-office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

More Info
, which they did immediately, and tarred and feathered the bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
and two or three others, and appointed the 23d to meet again and carry on the work of destruction. The day arrived and the people met, several hundred in number, and plainly manifested a full determination to carry on the work of destruction: some four or five of the leading Mormons offered their lives if they would spare the church, but they answered “no, every man should answer for his own life, or leave the 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
.”
The Mormons agreed to leave, and this appeased their wrath for that time. A part was to leave in January, and a part in the Spring. This agreement having been made in duress, the Mormons considered it illegal, and not binding, and supposed that the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
, or authorities, would protect them, if applied to, and not suffer them to be driven off in that manner.
Here, let me remark, that up to this time the Mormons had not so much as lifted a finger, even in their own defence, so tenacious were they for the precepts of the gospel,—“turn the other cheek.”
Between two and three months passed off in peace, when, towards the last of October, a petition was drawn up and circulated in the church, praying the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
for protection; but he said we must appeal to the civil law for redress. This we tried, but found it of no use for as soon as the people found out that we had petitioned the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
for protection, and that we were about to appeal to the law for redress, they became very angry, and again commenced hostilities. [p. 19]
to let it be known, that the church might be gathered in.30

A revelation dated 1 August 1831 instructed that money be raised by subscription and “put into the hands of the bishop, to purchase lands for an inheritance for the children of God.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 18:11, 1835 ed. [D&C 58:51].)  


But this re gulation was not attended to, for the church got crazy to go up to  Zion, as it was then called. The rich were afraid to send up their  money to purchase lands, and the poor crowded up in numbers,  without having any places provided, contrary to the advice of the  bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
and others, until the old citizens began to be highly displeased.  They saw their 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
filling up with emigrants, principally poor.  They disliked their religion, and saw also, that if let alone. they would  in a short time become a majority, and, of course, rule the 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
.  The church kept increasing, and the old citizens became more and  more dissatisfied, and from time to time offered to sell their farms and  possessions, but the Mormons, though desirous, were too poor to pur chase them.
The feelings of the people became greatly exasperated, in conse quence of the many falsehoods and evil reports that were in constant  circulation against the church.
Thus matters grew worse and worse, until the people arose in  their fury. On the 20th day of July, 1833, the citizens met at the  Court-house

Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...

More Info
, in 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
, and appointed a committee, who called  upon six or seven of the leading Mormons, and required them to shut  up all their work-shops, their store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
, and their printing-office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

More Info
, and agree  to leave the 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
.31

For a list of the Jackson County committee members and the Latter-day Saints involved in this meeting, see Whitmer, History, 42–43.  


The Mormons required time to give them an  answer, but they would grant only fifteen minutes. The Mormons then  refused to comply with their proposals, and the committee then return ed to the Court-house

Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...

More Info
, where the people were assembled, and related  to them the answer of the Mormons. They then took a vote to de molish the printing-office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

More Info
, which they did immediately, and tarred and  feathered the bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
and two or three others,32

The two men tarred and feathered were Edward Partridge and Charles Allen. (“History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:18; see also Edward Partridge, Petition for redress, 15 May 1839, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL; and JS History, vol. A-1, 327–328.)  


and appointed the 23d to  meet again and carry on the work of destruction. The day arrived  and the people met, several hundred in number, and plainly manifested  a full determination to carry on the work of destruction: some four  or five of the leading Mormons offered their lives if they would spare  the church,33

One of the “leading Mormons” offering themselves as hostages was Corrill himself. The others were John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, Sidney Gilbert, Edward Partridge, and Isaac Morley. (Edward Partridge, “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115 .)  


but they answered “no, every man should answer for his  own life, or leave the 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
.”
The Mormons agreed to leave, and this appeased their wrath for  that time. A part was to leave in January, and a part in the Spring.  This agreement having been made in duress, the Mormons considered  it illegal, and not binding, and supposed that the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
,34 or authori ties, would protect them, if applied to, and not suffer them to be driven  off in that manner.
Here, let me remark, that up to this time the Mormons had not so  much as lifted a finger, even in their own defence, so tenacious were  they for the precepts of the gospel,—“turn the other cheek.”
Between two and three months passed off in peace, when, towards  the last of October, a petition was drawn up and circulated in the  church, praying the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
for protection; but he said we must ap peal to the civil law for redress.35

Dunklin’s response is found in Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Edward Partridge et al., 19 Oct. 1833, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL. Both the Saints’ petition and Dunklin’s response were printed in “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115 (excerpted in Whitmer, History, 68–70); see also “History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:19.  


This we tried,36

On 30 October 1833, Latter-day Saints employed Alexander Doniphan, David R. Atchison, Amos Rees, and William T. Wood to represent them in civil lawsuits seeking restitution for damages suffered in July at Independence. (William T. Wood et al., Independence, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 28 Oct. 1833; William W. Phelps et al. to William T. Wood et al., 30 Oct. 1833, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


but found it of no use  for as soon as the people found out that we had petitioned the Governor

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
 for protection, and that we were about to appeal to the law for re dress, they became very angry, and again commenced hostilities. [p. 19]
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John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, (Commonly Called Mormons;) Including an Account of Their Doctrine and Discipline; with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church, St. Louis, MO: “Printed for the Author,” 1839; two preliminary leaves, 7–50 pp.; includes typeset signature marks. The copy used for transcription is held at CHL; includes handwritten underscoring, notes, and other marks, as well as archival stamps.
This booklet was printed in octavo format on three sheets cut and folded into seven gatherings. The interior gatherings were made from half sheets folded into four leaves, and the initial and final gatherings were made from quarter sheets folded into two leaves, making a total of twenty-four leaves in the booklet. The text block measures 8½ x 5½ x ⅛ inches (22 x 14 x 0.3 cm). Examination of the copies at CHL and BYU, as well as images of a third copy,1

John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, microfilm (New Haven, CT: Research Publications, 1967).  


indicate that the booklet was originally side stitched. The binding of the copy at CHL has been altered.2

Needle holes along the center folds suggest that the CHL copy of the booklet was once bound with other similar-size works. The first page of the booklet bears the faded and now faint pencil notation “No 2.” on the upper right corner, a possible indication of the booklet’s arrangement in a collection of tracts. The first page of the booklet also bears a handwritten “20” in ink below the title. A photocopy made in 1971 or earlier shows that the CHL copy was not intact at that time. The copy at CHL is currently sewn through a new set of holes in the center folds. (Corrill, Brief History, photocopy, ca. 1971, CHL.)  


It appears to have been in church custody since at least the early 1880s.3

A circa 1881–1884 inventory of printed works at the Church Historian’s Office includes Corrill’s booklet. The copy held at CHL bears the extremely faded inscription “Historian’s Office” and includes purple Historian’s Office stamps, which were in use as early as the late nineteenth century. A circa 1971 photocopy shows a “Historian’s Office Library” adhesive label (since removed) on page 2 of the CHL copy. These archival records and marks indicate continuous church custody since the early 1880s. (“Church Works, Periodicals, and Pamphlets, Alphabetically Arranged,” 22, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Corrill, Brief History, photocopy, ca. 1971, CHL.)  


Facts