53991755

Letter from William W. Phelps, 27 February 1834

Clay Co.

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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Feb. 27, 1834.
Dear Brethren.—The times are so big with events, and the anxiety of every body so great to [w]atch them, that I feel some what impressed to write oftner than I have done, in order to give you more of the “strange acts” of this region. I have just returned 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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, the seat of war in the west. About a dozen of our brethren, among whom were br. [Edward] Partridge

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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, Corril [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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and myself

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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, were subpoenaed in behalf of the state, and on the 23d (Feb.) about twelve o’clock we were on the bank, opposite Evrit’s [William Everett’s] ferry, where we found Capt. Atchinson’s [David R. Atchison’s]

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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company of “Liberty Blues,” near fifty rank and file, ready to guard us into 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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. The soldiers were well armed with U. S. muskets, bayonets fixed, &c, and to me the scene was one “passing strange,” and long to be remembered. The martial law in force to guard the civil! About 25 men crossed over to effect a landing in safety, and when they came near the warehouse, they fired six or eight guns, tho’ the enemy had not gathered to witness the landing.
After we were all a cross, and waiting for the baggage wagon, it was thought not advisable to encamp in the woods, and the witnesses with half the company, marched nearly a mile towards 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
, to build night fires, as we were without tents, and the weather cold enough to snow a little. While on the way the Quarter Master, and others, that had gone on a head to prepare quarters in town, sent an express back, which was not the most pacific appearance that could be. Capt. Atchinson

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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continued the express to Col. [Shubael] Allen for the 200 drafted militia; and also to Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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for more ammunition; and the night passed off in war like style, with the sentinals marching silently at a proper distance from the watch-fires.
Early in the morning we marched strongly guarded by the troops, to the seat of war, and quartered in the block house, formerly the tavern stand of S. Flournoy. After breakfast, we were visited by the District Attorney, Mr. [Amos] Rees

2 Dec. 1800–29 Jan. 1886. Lawyer. Born in Winchester, Frederick Co., Virginia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1830. Married Judith B. Trigg, 15 July 1830, in Liberty, Clay Co. Prosecuting attorney for Clay Co., 1831–1834. Prosecuting attorney for Missouri...

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, and the Attorney General, Mr. [Robert W.] Wells. From them we learned that all hopes of criminal prosecution, was at an end. Mr. Wells had been sent by 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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to investigate, as far as possible, the 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
outrage, but the bold front of the mob, bound even unto death, (as I have heard) was not to be penetrated by civil law, or awed by Executive influence. Shortly after Capt. A.

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
informed me that he had just received an order from the Judge, that his company’s service was no longer wanted in 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
, and we were marched out of town to the tune of Yankee-doodle in quick time, and soon returned to our camp ground without the loss of any lives. In fact much credit is due to Captain Atchinson

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
, for his gallantry and hospitality, and I think I can say of the officers and company, that their conduct as soldiers and men, is highly reputable; so much so, knowing as I do the fatal result, had the militia come, or not come, I can add that the Capt

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
’s safe return, refreshed my mind, with Zenophon’s retreat of the ten thousand. Thus ends all hopes of “redress,” even with a guard ordered by 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 the protection of the court and witnesses.
Before a crop is harvested, it becomes ripe of itself. The dreadful deeds now done in 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
, with impunity, must bring matters to a focus shortly. Within two or three weeks past, some of the most savage acts, ever witnessed, have been committed by these bitter branches. Old father Linsey, whose locks have been whitened by the blasts of nearly seventy winters, had his house thrown down, after he was driven from it; his goods, corn, &c, piled together, and fire put to it, but fortunately, after the mob retired, his son extinguished it.
The mob has quit whipping, and now beat with clubs. Lyman Leonard one of the number that returned from Van Buren, had two chairs broke to splinters about him, and was then dragged out doors and beat with clubs till he was supposed to be dead—but he is yet alive. Josiah Sumner and Barnet Cole were severely beat at the same time. The mob have commenced burning houses, stacks, &c. and we shall not think it out of their power, by any means, to proceed to murder any of our people that shall try to live in that county, or perhaps, only go there.
Such scenes as are transpiring around us, are calculated to arouse feelings, and passions in all, and to strengthen the faith and fortify the hearts of the saints for great things. Our Savior laid down his life for our sakes, and shall we, who profess to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; shall we, the servants of the Lord of the vineyard, who are called and chosen to prune it for the last time; shall we, yea, verily, we, who are enlightened by the wisdom of heaven, shall we fear to do as much for Jesus as he did for us. No; we will obey the voice of the Spirit, that good may overcome the world.
I am a servant, &c,
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,...

View Full Bio
. [p. 139]
Clay Co.

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
Feb. 27, 1834.
Dear Brethren.—The times are so big with events, and the anxiety of every body  so great to [w]atch them, that I feel some what impressed to write oftner than I have  done, in order to give you more of the “strange acts” of this region. I have just re turned 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...

More Info
, the seat of war in the west. About a dozen of our brethren,  among whom were br. [Edward] Partridge

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
, Corril [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...

View Full Bio
and myself

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,...

View Full Bio
, were subpoenaed in behalf of the  state, and on the 23d (Feb.) about twelve o’clock we were on the bank, opposite Ev rit’s [William Everett’s] ferry, where we found Capt. Atchinson’s [David R. Atchison’s]

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
company of “Liberty Blues,” near fifty  rank and file, ready to guard us into 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
. The soldiers were well armed  with U. S. muskets, bayonets fixed, &c, and to me the scene was one “passing  strange,” and long to be remembered. The martial law in force to guard the civil! About  25 men crossed over to effect a landing in safety, and when they came near the ware house, they fired six or eight guns, tho’ the enemy had not gathered to witness the  landing.
After we were all a cross, and waiting for the baggage wagon, it was thought not ad visable to encamp in the woods, and the witnesses with half the compa[n]y, marched near ly a mile towards 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
, to build night fires, as we were without tents, and the  weather cold enough to snow a little. While on the way the Quarter Master, and oth ers, that had gone on a head to prepare quarters in town, sent an express back, which  was not the most pacific appearance that could be. Capt. Atchinson

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
continued the ex press to Col. [Shubael] Allen for the 200 drafted militia; and also to Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

More Info
for more ammunition;  and the night passed off in war like style, with the sentinals marching silently at a  proper distance from the watch-fires.
Early in the morning we marched strongly guarded by the troops, to the seat of war,  and quartered in the block house, formerly the tavern stand of S. Flournoy. After break fast, we were visited by the District Attorney, Mr. [Amos] Rees

2 Dec. 1800–29 Jan. 1886. Lawyer. Born in Winchester, Frederick Co., Virginia. Moved to Clay Co., Missouri, by 1830. Married Judith B. Trigg, 15 July 1830, in Liberty, Clay Co. Prosecuting attorney for Clay Co., 1831–1834. Prosecuting attorney for Missouri...

View Full Bio
, and the Attorney General,  Mr. [Robert W.] Wells. From them we learned that all hopes of criminal prosecution, was at an end.  Mr. Wells had been sent by 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
to investigate, as far as possible, the 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
 outrage, but the bold front of the mob, bound even unto death, (as I have heard) was not  to be penetrated by civil law, or awed by Executive influence. Shortly after Capt. A.

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
 informed me that he had just received an order from the Judge, that his company’s service  was no longer wanted in 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
, and we were marched out of town to the tune  of Yankee-doodle in quick time, and soon returned to our camp ground without the loss  of any lives. In fact much credit is due to Captain Atchinson

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
, for his gallantry and  hospitality, and I think I can say of the officers and company, that their conduct as sol diers and men, is highly reputable; so much so, knowing as I do the fatal result, had  the militia come, or not come, I can add that the Capt

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
’s safe return, refreshed my mind,  with Zenophon’s retreat of the ten thousand. Thus ends all hopes of “redress,” even  with a guard ordered by 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 the protection of the court and witnesses.
Before a crop is harvested, it becomes ripe of itself. The dreadful deeds now done in  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
, with impunity, must bring matters to a focus shortly. Within two or  three weeks past, some of the most savage acts, ever witnessed, have been committed  by these bitter branches. Old father Linsey, whose locks have been whitened by the blasts  of nearly seventy winters, had his house thrown down, after he was driven from it; his  goods, corn, &c, piled together, and fire put to it, but fortunately, after the mob retired,  his son extinguished it.
The mob has quit whipping, and now beat with clubs. Lyman Leonard one of the  number that returned from Van Buren, had two chairs broke to splinters about him, and  was then dragged out doors and beat with clubs till he was supposed to be dead—but he  is yet alive. Josiah Sumner and Barnet Cole were sever[e]ly beat at the same time. The  mob have commenced burning houses, stacks, &c. and we shall not think it out of their  power, by any means, to proceed to murder any of our people that shall try to live in  that county, or perhaps, only go there.
Such scenes as are transpiring around us, are calculated to arouse feelings, and pas sions in all, and to strengthen the faith and fortify the hearts of the saints for great  things. Our Savior laid down his life for our sakes, and shall we, who profess to live  by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; shall we, the servants of the Lord  of the vineyard, who are called and chosen to prune it for the last time; shall we, yea,  verily, we, who are enlightened by the wisdom of heaven, shall we fear to do as much  for Jesus as he did for us. No; we will obey the voice of the Spirit, that good may  overcome the world.
I am a servant, &c,
W[illiam] 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,...

View Full Bio
. [p. 139]
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,...

View Full Bio
, Letter, 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
, MO, to Church leaders, Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH, 27 Feb. 1834; The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1834, p. 139.

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