30482

Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833

deem it almost superfluous to say is justified as well by the laws of nature as by the law of self preservation. It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves; for one or the other they undoubtedly are, made their first appearance amongst us and pretending as they did and now do— to hold personal communion and converse, face to face with the most high God, to receive communications and revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by the laying on of hands, & in short to perform all the wonderworking miracles wrought by the inspired apostles & prophets of old. We believed them to be deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves and that they & their pretensions would soon pass away, but in this we were decieved.
The acts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society and since the arrival of the first of them they have been daily increasing in numbers & if they had been respectable citizens in society & thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt & hatred, but from their appearance, from their manners and their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that with very few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came, lazy, Idle & vicious, This we concieve is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our county, little or no property with them, & left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon Car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to loose by the change, and we fear that if some of the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being chosen embassadors of the most high, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true colours. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had been tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions & raise seditions among them. Of this the Mormon Leaders were informed & they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend, but how specious are appearances? In a late Star published at 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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, by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes & Mulattoes from other States to become Mormons and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know would be to us entirely unsupportable and one of the surest means of driving us from 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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for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a cast amongst us would corrupt our blacks & instigate them to bloodshed.———— They openly blaspheme the Most High God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from Heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues; by direct inspiration, and by divers pretences derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion [p. 53]
deem it almost superfluous to say is justified as well by the laws of nature as by the  law of self preservation. It is more than two years since the first of these fana tics or knaves; for one or the other they u[n]doubtedly are, made their first appearance  amongst us and pretending as they did and now do— to hold personal communion  and converse, face to face with the most high God, to receive communications and  revelations direct from heaven, to heal the sick by the laying on of hands, & in short  to perform all the wonderworking miracles wrought by the inspired apostles & prophets  of old. We believed them to be deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves and that  they & their pretensions would soon pass away, but in this we were decieved.
The acts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded  in holding them together as a society and since the arrival of the first of them  they have been daily increasing in numbers & if they had been respectable citizens in  society & thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our con tempt & hatred, but from their appearance, from their manners and their conduct  since their coming among us, we have every reason to believe fear that with very few  exceptions, they were of the very dregs of <that> society from which they came, lazy, Idle &  vicious, This we concieve is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible  of proof, for with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our country county, little  or no property with them, & left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked  themselves to the Mormon Car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to loose by the  change, and we fear that if some of the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit  due to crime, instead of being chosen embassadors of the most high, they would have  been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters  in their true colours. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had  been tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions & raise sedi tions among them. Of this the Mormon Leaders were informed & they said they  would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend, but  how specious are appearances? In a late Star published at 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
, by  the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes & Mulattoes from  other States to become Mormons and remove and settle among us. This  exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of  their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know not would be to  us entirely unsupportable and one of the surest means of driving us from 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
 for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that  the introduction of such a cast amongst us would corrupt our blacks & instig ate them to bloodshed.———— They openly blaspheme the Most High  God, and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct  from Heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues; by direct inspiration, and  by divers pretences derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion [p. 53]
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John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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and William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, letter, 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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, MO, to JS, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, and others, Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, OH, 29 July 1833; handwriting of 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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; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 52–56; JS Collection, CHL.

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