Letter from William W. Phelps, 1 May 1834

Liberty, May 1, 1834.
Dear brethren:—There are great moves in the west. Last week an  alarm was spread in Jackson county, the seat of iniquity and bloodshed, that  the “Mormons” were crossing the Missouri, to take possession of their lands,  and nearly all the county turned out, “prepared for war,” on Saturday,  and on Sunday took the field, near old McGees, above Blue [River]. But no “Mor mons” came; neither did [Michael] Arthur go over to see about his spilt whiskey, so  that the scene closed with burning our houses, or many of them. Our peo ple had about one hundred and seventy buildings in Jackson, and a bonfire  of nearly all of them, at once, must have made a light large enough to have  glared on the dark deed and cup of iniquity running over, at midnight.
The crisis has come: All that will not take up arms with the mob and  prepare to fight the “Mormons,” have to leave Jackson county.
I understand some have left the county because they refused to fight an  innocent people. It is said the mob will hold a “general muster” this week  for the purpose of learning who is who. They begin to slip over the Mis souri and commit small depredations upon our brethren settled near the riv er as we have reason to believe.
It is said to be enough to shock the stoutest heart to witness the drinking,  swearing, and ravings of the most of the mob: nothing but the power of  God can stop them in their latter day crusade against the church of Christ.
Our brethren are very industrious in putting in spring crops; and they  are generally in good health and the faithful in strong faith of a glorious  hereafter.
I remain yours, &c,
William W. Phelps, letter, Liberty, MO, to church leaders, [Kirtland, OH], 1 May 1834; The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1834, p. 162.