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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

The Mormons then began to prepare for self-defence, but were badly armed. The citizens would collect together, and by night commit depredations on the Mormons, by pulling down their houses, whipping the men, &c., until some time about the fourth of November, 1833, a conflict took place, in which three or four persons were killed, and others wounded. This took place above Blue, eight or nine miles from 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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, and the news reached 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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a little after dark; at which time six or eight of the Mormons were undergoing a sham trial, under a pretence of law; but this news produced such confusion in 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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, and the people became so angry, that the court was obliged to shut up the prisoners in the gaol, to keep them from being murdered. The people continued to gather from different parts of the country, and such was the wrath and determination manifested, that before light the next morning, the Mormon leaders agreed for themselves and the church, 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...

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. 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, ...

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, who lived above Blue, eight or ten miles distant, on hearing that several Mormons were in gaol without just cause, and supposing they intended to take their lives, gathered up about one hundred and fifty men, partly armed, and marched 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
; but on learning that the Mormons had agreed 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
, they conceded to the same, and gave up their arms,—fifty-two guns, a pistol and a sword,—which Col. [Thomas] Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

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and others faithfully agreed to deliver up, as soon as they had left 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
; but this they afterwards refused to do, although required to do so, by a written order from 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...

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, and the Mormons have never received the guns nor an equivalent for them to this day
The Mormons all left Jackson County

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

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in the course of three or four weeks. Some went to Van Buren County; some to the eastward; but the major part went to Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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, where they were received in a hospitable manner. They were not suffered to return to Jackson County

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

More Info
, even to settle up their business.
During all these difficulties the Mormons were accused of many crimes. This, of course, was necessary for an excuse; but the people of Jackson

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
well know, that up to that time, the Mormons had not been guilty of crime, nor done any thing whereby they could criminate them by the law: and, in my opinion, the stories originated in hatred towards the Mormon religion, and the fear entertained of their overrunning and ruling 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 people of Clay

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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gave the Mormons employment, and paid them good wages; and by their industry they made themselves comfortable, with the exception of some families that found it difficult to get shelter. The number driven out was about twelve hundred.
Some time in the winter of ’33 and 4, 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...

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ordered the criminal acts of the people to be complained of, and laid before the grand jury of Jackson County

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

More Info
. For this purpose, he ordered Captain Atchinson [David R. Atchison]

11 Aug. 1807–26 Jan. 1886. Lawyer, judge, agriculturist, politician, farmer. Born at Frogtown, near Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of William Atchison and Catherine Allen. About 1830, moved to Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri, where he became a prominent...

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, with his company of Liberty Blues, to guard the witnesses over to the trial, which he did, much to the satisfaction of the witnesses. 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
also requested the Attorney General to go and assist; but, after getting there, and seeing the situation of things, and the spirit of the people, he advised the witnesses to go home, and not [p. 20]
The Mormons then began to prepare for self-defence, but were badly  armed. The citizens would collect together, and by night commit de predations on the Mormons, by pulling down their houses, whipping  the men, &c.,37

For reports of atrocities committed against the Latter-day Saints from late October to 3 November 1833, including assaults on Parley P. Pratt and David Bennett and on the Gilbert and Whitney store, see “History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:19–20, and Jan. 1840, 1:33.  


until some time about the fourth of November, 1833, a  conflict took place, in which three or four persons were killed, and  others wounded.38

Two Missourians, Thomas Linville and Hugh Breazeale, were killed in the exchange. Latter-day Saint Andrew Barber was mortally wounded; he died the next day. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 369–370; “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118; and “History, of the Persecution,” Jan. 1840, 1:34.)  


This took place above Blue, eight or nine miles  from 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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,39

That is, west of the Blue River, at the Whitmer settlement. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:102–103.)  


and the news reached 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
a little after  dark; at which time six or eight of the Mormons were undergoing a  sham trial, under a pretence of law; but this news produced such con fusion in 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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, and the people became so angry, that the  court was obliged to shut up the prisoners in the gaol, to keep them  from being murdered.40

Sidney Gilbert, Isaac Morley, John Corrill, and William E. McLellin were charged with assault and battery and also with false imprisonment of Richard McCarty, who they said was captured during the attack on the Gilbert and Whitney store at Independence on 1 November. (“History, of the Persecution,” Dec. 1839, 1:20, and Jan. 1840, 1:34.)  


The people continued to gather from different  parts of the country, and such was the wrath and determination mani fested, that before light the next morning, the Mormon leaders agreed  for themselves and the church, 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
.41

Edward Partridge reported that Isaac Morley, John Corrill, and Sidney Gilbert, accompanied by the sheriff of Jackson County and two other individuals, left the jail about midnight to confer with other Latter-day Saints near Independence. They agreed to leave Jackson County and to persuade other Saints to do the same. They then returned to the jail before morning on 5 November. (“History, of the Persecution,” Jan. 1840, 1:34.)  


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, ...

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, who lived above Blue, eight or ten miles distant, on hearing  that several Mormons were in gaol without just cause, and supposing  they intended to take their lives, gathered up about one hundred and  fifty men, partly armed, and marched 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
; but on learn ing that the Mormons had agreed 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
, they conceded  to the same, and gave up their arms,—fifty-two guns, a pistol and a  sword,—which Col. [Thomas] Pitcher

Ca. 1806–17 July 1886. Farmer. Born in Kentucky. Moved to Blue Township, Jackson Co., Missouri, by 1827. Married Nancy Parish, 3 Jan. 1828, in Jackson Co. Appointed deputy constable in Jackson Co., by 1833. Commander of Jackson Co. militia, 1833. Elected ...

View Full Bio
and others faithfully agreed to deliver up,  as soon as they had left 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
; but this they afterwards refused to  do, although required to do so, by a written order from 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
,  and the Mormons have never received the guns nor an equivalent for  them to this day42

Governor Daniel Dunklin first ordered Samuel D. Lucas, a colonel in the state militia, to deliver the arms to representatives of the Saints 2 May 1834. After Lucas moved to Lexington, Missouri, and resigned his commission in the militia without returning the arms, Dunklin sent an order for their return directly to Thomas Pitcher. John Corrill followed up by enclosing a copy of the governor’s order in a letter to Pitcher. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Samuel D. Lucas, 2 May 1834, copy [also in Whitmer, History, 63]; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 4 June 1834, copy; John Corrill, Liberty, MO, to Thomas Pitcher, 10 July 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


The Mormons all left Jackson County

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

More Info
in the course of three or four  weeks. Some went to Van Buren County; some to the eastward; but  the major part went to Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

More Info
, where they were received in a  hospitable manner. They were not suffered to return to Jackson  County

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

More Info
, even to settle up their business.
During all these difficulties the Mormons were accused of many  crimes. This, of course, was necessary for an excuse; but the people  of Jackson

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
well know, that up to that time, the Mormons had not been  guilty of crime, nor done any thing whereby they could criminate them  by the law: and, in my opinion, the stories originated in hatred towards  the Mormon religion, and the fear entertained of their overrunning  and ruling 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 people of Clay

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

More Info
gave the Mormons employment, and paid them  good wages; and by their industry they made themselves comfortable,  with the exception of some families that found it difficult to get shelter.  The number driven out was about twelve hundred.
Some time in the winter of ’33 and 4, 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
ordered the  criminal acts of the people to be complained of, and laid before the  grand jury of Jackson County

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

More Info
. For this purpose, he ordered Captain  Atchinson [David R. Atchison]

11 Aug. 1807–26 Jan. 1886. Lawyer, judge, agriculturist, politician, farmer. Born at Frogtown, near Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of William Atchison and Catherine Allen. About 1830, moved to Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri, where he became a prominent...

View Full Bio
, with his company of Liberty Blues, to guard the witness es over to the trial,43

Governor Daniel Dunklin advised Atchison to carry out his duty “in the mildest manner possible” to avoid the “censure and displeasure” of the Jackson County citizenry. (Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson, MO, to David R. Atchison, 5 Feb. 1834, in “Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 8 Mar. 1834, [1].)  


which he did, much to the satisfaction of the wit nesses. 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...

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also requested the Attorney General44

Robert W. Wells.  


to go and  assist; but, after getting there, and seeing the situation of things, and  the spirit of the people, he advised the witnesses to go home, and not [p. 20]
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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