27469

Journal, September–October 1838

19 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 19th— At home in the morning for breakfast, about 8 oclock.— also for dinner about 1 oclock and in the evening before bed time.

20 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 20th— At home from morning untill about 10 oclock went out on horseback & returned at about sunset or rather before it— at home all evening

21 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 21rst— Saw him at home at breakfast

22 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 22nd— At home early in the morning & at breakifast about 1/2 past 7 oclock saw him ride out a horseback about 9 oclock.

23 September 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 23rd— At home & at meeting all the day also saw him at home evening about 9 oclock.

24 September 1838 • Monday

Monday 24th— At home at breakfast and before, Saw him ride out on horseback about 1/2 past 8 oclock morning.
Returned home about 5 oclock evening

25 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 25th— At home for breakfast about 8 oclock saw him go out a horseback saw him again between 11 & 12 oclock at which he was untill about 1/2 past 5 evening Saw him at home in evening about 1/2 past 6.

26 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 26th— At home morning early also at breakfast between 7 & 8 oclock. Saw him ride out between 10 & eleven oclock and saw him at home again 9 oclock evening

27 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 27th— At home before & at breakfast 8 oclk saw him again at 4 oclock in the evening & between 5 and 6 oclock in the City

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
. [p. [4]]

19 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 19th— At home in the morning for break fast, about 8 oclock.— also in for dinner  about 1 oclock and in the evening before bed time.

20 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 20th— At home from morning  untill about 10 oclock went out on  horseback & returned at about sunset  or rather before it— at home all evening

21 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 21rst— Saw him at home at breakfast

22 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 22nd— At home early in the morn[in]g  & at breakifast about 1/2 past 7 oclock  saw him ride out a horseback about 9 oclock.

23 September 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 23rd— At home & at meeting all the day  also saw him <at home> evening about 9 oclock.

24 September 1838 • Monday

Monday 24th— At home at breakfast  and before, Saw him ride out on horseback  about 1/2 past 8 oclock morn[in]g.
 Returned home about 5 oclock ev[en]ing

25 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 25th— At home for breakfast  about 8 oclock saw him go out a horseback  saw him again between 11 & 12 oclock  at which he was untill about 1/2 past 5 even[in]g  Saw him at home in evening about 1/2 past 6.

26 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 26th— At home morning early  also at breakfast between 7 & 8 oclock.  Saw him ride out on between 10 & eleven oclock  and saw him at home again 9 oclock evening

27 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 27th— At home before & at breakfast 8 oclk  saw him again at 4 oclock in the even[i]ng & between  5 and 6 oclock in the City

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
.4

As JS resided within the boundaries platted for Far West, James Mulholland apparently meant that he had seen JS in or around the public square in the center of town.  


[p. [4]]
PreviousNext
This enigmatic document covers the period from early September to early October 1838, a month of mounting difficulties for JS and the Latter-day Saints living in northwestern 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...

More Info
. JS apparently hired 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 ...

View Full Bio
as a clerk in late August or early September, at which time Mulholland copied a revelation1

Revelation, 23 July 1837, in JS, Journal, 23 July 1837 [D&C 112].  


into the preceding journal, which covers March to September 1838. At the beginning of the present journal Mulholland noted that he “Commenced to write” for JS on 3 September 1838, which may refer to the date he began various clerking responsibilities or to the date of his first journal entry. Because the datelines of the first two entries, 3 and 4 September, appear to have been inscribed at the same time, Mulholland evidently began keeping the journal on the evening of 4 September or sometime on 5 September. Meanwhile, 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
was making the final week of entries for the preceding journal.
On 4 September, JS received legal counsel from 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...

More Info
attorney and militia general 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
regarding efforts then under way to prosecute JS and 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
for allegedly threatening Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
justice of the peace Adam Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

View Full Bio
. After Latter-day Saints who had come to vote in Gallatin

Founded and laid out, 1837. Unofficial county seat, beginning 1837. Officially named county seat, 1841. Several Latter-day Saints attempted to vote at Gallatin, 6 Aug. 1838, but were attacked by local residents. After Mormon-Missouri conflict erupted, Saints...

More Info
on 6 August were attacked, JS had led more than one hundred men to Black’s home, demanding that he sign a statement promising to uphold the law and protect the Mormons in their civil rights. An affidavit made by Daviess County citizen William Peniston

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
—which accused JS and Wight of unlawfully leading a group of armed Mormons in Daviess County and threatening Black’s life—resulted in the issuance of arrest warrants against the two Mormon leaders. Moreover, Black and Peniston ignited a wildfire of rumors about what JS and his vigilantes had done and intended to do in Daviess County. The rumors spread throughout northwestern 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...

More Info
, portending further legal trouble and retribution.2

LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 65–80; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 103, 107–119.  


At the 4 September meeting, 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
, in addition to urging JS and 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
to submit to a preliminary hearing, may have counseled JS to keep a daily record that could be used in a court of law to document his whereabouts. Whether or not JS was so counseled, this or something similar appears to be the purpose of the present “Memorandum.” Except for a five-day gap spanning 9 to 13 September, 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 ...

View Full Bio
recorded an entry for each day of this monthlong journal. The terse entries document little more than JS’s comings and goings from his home, noting the time of day when Mulholland saw him. Mulholland enjoyed a vantage point from within JS’s home, where Mulholland lived, apparently as one of the many boarders that JS kept over the years.3

Emma Smith, Sally Hinkle, Caroline Clarke, and James Mulholland, Statement, ca. Mar. 1839, in JS History, vol. C-1, 906.  


This journal may be the result of an assignment to Mulholland to document JS’s presence in Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

More Info
and witness JS’s time at home. For the period of overlap with JS’s preceding journal, it complements 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
’s record of JS’s activity when not at home.
The preceding journal recorded by 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
demonstrates that even after the 6 August skirmish at Gallatin

Founded and laid out, 1837. Unofficial county seat, beginning 1837. Officially named county seat, 1841. Several Latter-day Saints attempted to vote at Gallatin, 6 Aug. 1838, but were attacked by local residents. After Mormon-Missouri conflict erupted, Saints...

More Info
, JS continued to vigorously and openly prepare to settle additional Latter-day Saints in Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
despite mounting opposition to the growing Mormon presence there. Meanwhile, the failure to arrest JS and 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
based on Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

View Full Bio
’s and Peniston

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
’s accusations led to the marshaling of volunteers from surrounding counties to take the pair by force if necessary. JS and Wight signaled their willingness to submit to the legal process by appearing soon afterward before Judge Austin A. King

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
, but their appearance failed to quell the anti-Mormon vigilantism already in motion.
The present journal reports on four additional weeks of JS’s activities in 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
, but this journal’s skeletal entries give little hint of the gathering storm that soon engulfed the Mormons and their neighbors. With northwestern 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...

More Info
in an uproar, General 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
called out militia, who successfully averted armed conflict in Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
in September. But by mid-October an extensive network of vigilantes in northwestern Missouri began to eliminate substantial Mormon settlement outside Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

More Info
.4

Anderson, “Clarifications of Boggs’s Order,” 37–41.  


Some of the anti-Mormon forces that had been disbanded in Daviess County through militia intervention regrouped in Carroll County, where, after issuing an ultimatum to the 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 ...

More Info
Mormons to evacuate by 1 October, they and local anti-Mormons laid siege to the village. A militia force sent there to preserve peace proved unreliable for that purpose because many of its members sympathized with anti-Mormons. Learning of the plight of the De Witt Saints, JS mobilized two small companies of men that left Far West on 5 October to offer relief. JS led the second group, consisting of about twenty men, which arrived in De Witt the following day.5

Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 154–155, 163–173.  


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 ...

View Full Bio
’s entry for 5 October reported: “did not see him [JS] all the afternoon, understood that he went from home.” Mulholland then added a dateline under which to write an entry for the following day—suggesting that he expected JS to return by then. However, a round-trip journey 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
to 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 ...

More Info
and back would inevitably have taken more than one day, suggesting that Mulholland was not privy to JS’s thoughts and plans. The journal entry for 6 October remained blank, concluding Mulholland’s record.
After Governor Lilburn W. Boggs

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

View Full Bio
rejected an appeal for aid, JS assisted in evacuating the 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 ...

More Info
settlers to 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
, arriving there by 14 October.6

JS, “Bill of Damages against the State of Missouri on Account of the Sufferings and Losses Sustained Therein,” Quincy, IL, 4 June 1839, JS Collection, CHL; see also Perkins, “Prelude to Expulsion,” 276; and Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 163–181.  


Any attempt by 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 ...

View Full Bio
to observe and record JS’s movements in the following weeks would have been largely futile, given JS’s extended absences from home as events spiraled out of control.

Facts