53992725

Sidney Rigdon, Appeal to the American People, 1840, Second Edition

had fairly commenced, great exertions were made by the different candidates and their friends, to obtain the votes of the saints; each man, in his turn, making application. 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...

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, like the rest, made application also. Mr. [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 was a man of influence among the saints, was the one to whom said 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...

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made overtures. Mr. 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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, knowing that 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
had always been an enemy to the saints, took the liberty to ask 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
about his former hostilities, and his previous attempt to drive them from their homes; as well as many abusive things which he had said. 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
declared that he never had any intention of driving them from their homes; he only tried to scare them, and if he could not, he intended to let them alone: and as to the many abusive things which he had said; he said “they were very wrong; he had been deceived by false reports, without being acquainted with the people; and, since he had become acquainted with them, he found that they were first rate citizens.” And by many such sayings, he attempted to gain votes: but the saints, all the time knowing that he was corrupt man, and every way disqualified for the office after which he was struggling, would not be induced to vote for him at all. This he fully understood before the election, and made his arrangements accordingly: having his satelites at the election, to aid him in executing his purpose, in preventing the saints from voting. In the early part of the day, at the election, 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
made a speech; the object of which was, to excite the indignation of the people, to such a degree, that he could get a sufficient number to join the mob, to keep the saints from voting, if they attempted it. In this speech, he used the most abusive language that he was the master of; denouncing the saints in round terms, in a most ridiculous manner. Having his party ready, at the end of the speech, they began to throw out their threats, that none of the G—d d—n Mormons, to use their own language, should vote. These threatenings began to assume a very serious tone, very soon. One kept exciting another, and drinking very freely, until a man by the name of Richard Weldon, attacked a man by the name of Samuel Brown, who was but just able to be about, after a very dangerous fit of sickness. The said Weldon began to insult Mr. Brown in a most insolent manner; Mr. Brown very mildly told him, that he did not wish to have any difficulty with him, or any other person; the other swore that the Mormons were no more fit to vote than the d—d niggers, and that he would knock him down; and made an attempt to strike him. A man by the name of Perry Durfee, being near them, caught Weldon’s hand, and kept him from striking Brown. This was no sooner done, than Durfee was knocked down, and a number of men commenced beating him with clubs, boards, and any thing they could get. Durfee cried for help: several men ran into the midst of the crowd, to get Durfee out of their hands, for the cry was, “kill him, kill him, d—n him. The names of those who rushed into the crowd, were Jackson Steward, Hiram Nelson

12 Nov. 1797–27 July 1862. Stockman. Born at Orange Co., North Carolina. Son of Thomas Burton Nelson and Martha Williams. Married Mary (Polly) B. Roundtree, 4 July 1825, in Illinois. Baptized into LDS church by 1838, when he moved to Daviess Co., Missouri...

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, Henry Ormsted Harvey Olmsted, Abram Nelson, and one other man by the name of Nelson. They succeeded in saving the life of Durfee, but not until they had knocked down some twelve or fifteen men. A large number, of from twelve to twenty, rushed on to Steward, crying kill him, God d—n him, kill him. They had dirks and clubs, and other weapons; one of them dirked him under the shoulder blade; he called [p. 16]
had fairly commenced, great exertions were made by the different  candidates and their friends, to obtain the votes of the saints; each  man, in his turn, making application. 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
, like the rest, made  application also. Mr. [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
, who was a man of influence among the  saints, was the one to whom said 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
made overtures. Mr. 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
,  knowing that 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
had always been an enemy to the saints, took  the liberty to ask 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
about his former hostilities, and his pre vious attempt to drive them from their homes; as well as many abu sive things which he had said. 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
declared that he never had  any intention of driving them from their homes; he only tried to scare  them, and if he could not, he intended to let them alone: and as  to the many abusive things which he had said; he said “they were  very wrong; he had been deceived by false reports, without being  acquainted with the people; and, since he had become acquainted  with them, he found that they were first rate citizens.” And by many  such sayings, he attempted to gain votes: but the saints, all the time  knowing that he was corrupt man, and every way disqualified for  the office after which he was struggling, would not be induced to vote  for him at all. This he fully understood before the election, and made  his arrangements accordingly: having his satelites at the election, to  aid him in executing his purpose, in preventing the saints from voting.  In the early part of the day, at the election, 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
made a speech;  the object of which was, to excite the indignation of the people, to  such a degree, that he could get a sufficient number to join the mob,  to keep the saints from voting, if they attempted it. In this speech,  he used the most abusive language that he was the master of; denouncing  the saints in round terms, in a most ridiculous manner. Having his  party ready, at the end of the speech, they began to throw out their  threats, that none of the G—d d—n Mormons, to use their own lan guage, should vote. These threatenings began to assume a very  serious tone, very soon. One kept exciting another, and drinking  very freely, until a man by the name of Richard Weldon, attacked  a man by the name of Samuel Brown, who was but just able to be  about, after a very dangerous fit of sickness. The said Weldon  began to insult Mr. Brown in a most insolent manner; Mr. Brown  very mildly told him, that he did not wish to have any difficulty with  him, or any other person; the other swore that the Mormons were  no more fit to vote than the d—d niggers, and that he would knock  him down; and made an attempt to strike him. A man by the name  of Perry Durfee, being near them, caught Weldon’s hand, and kept  him from striking Brown. This was no sooner done, than Durfee was  knocked down, and a number of men commenced beating him with  clubs, boards, and any thing they could get. Durfee cried for help:  several men ran into the midst of the crowd, to get Durfee out of their  hands, for the cry was, “kill him, kill him, d—n him. The names  of those who rushed into the crowd, were Jackson Steward, Hiram  Nelson

12 Nov. 1797–27 July 1862. Stockman. Born at Orange Co., North Carolina. Son of Thomas Burton Nelson and Martha Williams. Married Mary (Polly) B. Roundtree, 4 July 1825, in Illinois. Baptized into LDS church by 1838, when he moved to Daviess Co., Missouri...

View Full Bio
, Henry Ormsted Harvey Olmsted, Abram Nelson, and one other man by the  name of Nelson. They succeeded in saving the life of Durfee, but  not until they had knocked down some twelve or fifteen men. A large  number, of from twelve to twenty, rushed on to Steward, crying kill  him, God d—n him, kill him. They had dirks and clubs, and other  weapons; one of them dirked him under the shoulder blade; he called [p. 16]
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While incarcerated at 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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, Missouri, in March 1839, JS addressed a letter to the church “at Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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Illinois and scattered abroad and to Bishop [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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in particular,” instructing the Saints to gather up “a knowledge of all the facts and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this state

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...

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” (JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the church members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL [D&C 123:1, 6]). Among the earliest responses to JS’s call was Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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’s pamphlet, An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints; and of the Barbarities Inflicted on Them by the Inhabitants of the State of Missouri (Cincinnati: Glezen and Shepard, 1840).
A manuscript draft of this pamphlet, simply titled “To the Publick” was presented to a conference of church members at Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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, Illinois, on 1 November 1839 ([Sidney Rigdon et al.], Petition Draft, ca. Sept. 1838–ca. Oct. 1839, JS Collection, CHL). The conference voted to approve the manuscript and authorized its publication on behalf of the church. The pamphlet, when published, carried the endorsement of JS, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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as “Presidents of said Church.”
Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and 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...

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collaborated on the publication of the text, which was available in print by May 1840. Though no author is named on the title page, Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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was acknowledged as author in an 1840 Times and Seasons newspaper article, and when the pamphlet was advertised in that church periodical in 1841 (“A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:99; Advertisement, Times and Seasons, 1 Jan. 1841, 1:272). JS and Elias Higbee

23 Oct. 1795–8 June 1843. Clerk, judge, surveyor. Born at Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey. Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers. Moved to Clermont Co., Ohio, 1803. Married Sarah Elizabeth Ward, 10 Sept. 1818, in Tate Township, Clermont Co. Lived at ...

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held some expectation that funds from the sale of An Appeal would eventually help defray costs of their late-1839 trip to Washington DC

Created as district for seat of U.S. federal government by act of Congress, 1790, and named Washington DC, 1791. Named in honor of George Washington. Headquarters of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of U.S. government relocated to Washington ...

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(Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:103–104).
By July 1840, Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and John E. Page

25 Feb. 1799–14 Oct. 1867. Born at Trenton, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ebenezer Page and Rachel Hill. Married first Betsey Thompson, 1831, in Huron Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church by Emer Harris, 18 Aug. 1833, at Brownhelm, Lorain Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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had been authorized to produce a second, revised edition to be published by Shepard & Stearns in Cincinnati

Area settled largely by emigrants from New England and New Jersey, by 1788. Village founded and surveyed adjacent to site of Fort Washington, 1789. First seat of legislature of Northwest Territory, 1790. Incorporated as city, 1819. Developed rapidly as shipping...

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. Page related some of the circumstances surrounding its publication and circulation in a letter sent to JS, “. . . at Dayton [Ohio] we parted for a few days . . . Elder Hyde went to Cincinnati where in my absince he published a second Edition of the ‘Apeal to the American people’ (2000 copies)[.] when I arrived the work was about completed[.] after disposing of as many of them as posible and suplying the market about cincinnati and the adjacient country he left me with some fourteen or fifteen hundred on hand, to dispose of” (John E. Page, Philadelphia, PA, to JS et al., Nauvoo, IL, 1 Sept. 1841, JS Collection, CHL). Funds from this printing were to be for the express purpose of subsidizing Hyde and Page’s imminent mission to Jerusalem

Capital city of ancient Judea. Holy city of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Population in 1835 about 11,000; in 1840 about 13,000; and in 1850 about 15,000. Described in 1836 as “greatly reduced from its ancient size and importance.” Occupied and governed ...

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in Palestine.
The second edition was essentially a lightly edited reprint of the first, with a four-page “Publisher’s Preface” added. In the preface, Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and Page

25 Feb. 1799–14 Oct. 1867. Born at Trenton, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ebenezer Page and Rachel Hill. Married first Betsey Thompson, 1831, in Huron Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church by Emer Harris, 18 Aug. 1833, at Brownhelm, Lorain Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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noted the purpose of the publication, explained the severe hardships imposed by the 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...

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persecutions upon Page’s own family, provided a detailed account of a vision experienced by Hyde, and expressed enthusiasm about the prospects of the mission. The preface also contained a copy of an official letter of appointment and commendation for Hyde and Page from an April 1840 church conference at Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, signed by JS, and a letter of reference from Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

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, governor of Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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.
Although many of the events reported in both editions of Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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’s pamphlet can be corroborated from other sources, his chronology of events is often inaccurate. However, Rigdon’s account does contain the texts of several significant documents. Among these are JS’s September 1838 affidavit concerning the 7 August 1838 visit to 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 ...

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and those of Joseph

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

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and Jane Young

14 Aug. 1814–15 Jan. 1913. Born in Utica, Oneida Co., New York. Daughter of Calvin Field Bicknell and Chloe Seymour. Moved to Geneseo, Livingston Co., New York, 1817; to Livonia, Livingston Co., by 1830; and back to Geneseo, by 1834. Baptized into LDS church...

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regarding the Hawn’s Mill massacre. Consequently, though in many respects Rigdon’s document from a historical perspective is more advocacy than history, it offers access to some important material not readily found elsewhere.

Facts