53992725

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

and purchases were making of their lands and crops (the land consisted in pre-emption rights, as the land in that part of the 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 ...

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had not as yet come into market) every day, and payment made until there was some twenty-five thousand dollars worth of property bought from the mob in improvements and crops. While these operations were going on, the mob would occasionally boast that when they had got payment for their lands and crops they would rise up and drive the Saints out and keep both their lands and their crops. They also sold a large quantity of hogs, some cattle and sheep and other property. These threatenings were making continually, but the Saints did not, however, entertain any great fears of their doing so—but the sequel will show that their threats were real.
While the mob was operating thus, 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 ...

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, there were scattering families in other counties which had to suffer violence also at the hand of their neighbors. In Livingston county

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

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a family by the name of Lathrop, who lived on a farm which they had purchased from a man by the name of James Weldon, was attacked, Mr. Lathrop was driven from home—his wife and some of his family were sick—after he was driven away one of his children died, and his wife was there alone and laying very sick; and there were twenty-five or thirty armed men around the house threatening her husband’s life, if he attempted to come home. In this situation Mrs. Lathrop lay without attendance, surrounded by a body of armed ruffians; and while in this situation her child died, and her husband dare not return to comfort her. Her own situation at the time being delicate, and terrified by the mob, her condition was afflicting in the extreme. The mob took and buried her child. A body of armed men was sent by the authorities to relieve her—they arrived at the place and found the mob there, the most of whom fled at their approach. They took the woman and her goods and family which remained, and brought her off with them, with another family by the name of Jackson. Mr. Jackson had also been driven from his family. Mrs. Lathrop survived the abuse but a very short time. There were also scattering families of the saints in Ray

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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, Clay

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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and other counties, who were severely threatened, and some left the country out of fear, at the sacrifice of much property.
We have already mentioned that after the mob had been turned into militia, and disbanded as such, they went to Carroll county to attack a settlement of the saints in that place. The mob in Corrill county began to assemble on the first of October, 1838. We are not able to state the precise day; but it was as early as the first week of the month. We will now leave the affairs of 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 ...

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and the other counties to give an account of the settlement in Carroll; for the history of the others which remain is identified with the history of this settlement, and the things which befel it.
Some time in the last week in March, 1838, a man by the name of Henry Root

14 June 1813–9 Apr. 1895. Auctioneer, merchant, banker. Born at Clinton, Upper Canada. Son of Henry Ruth and Marie Overholt. Purchased interest in town of De Witt (first called Eldersport), Carroll Co., Missouri, 1837. Sold lots to Latter-day Saints. Moved...

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, who was a large proprietor in the town plat of 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 ...

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, on the Missouri river

One of longest rivers in North America, in excess of 3,000 miles. From headwaters in Montana to confluence with Mississippi River near Saint Louis, Missouri River drains 580,000 square miles (about one-sixth of continental U.S.). Explored by Lewis and Clark...

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, arrived at 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...

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. He was the bearer of a letter from a Mr. David Thomas

12 May 1797–25 Apr. 1845. Born at Flat Rock District, Bourbon Co., Kentucky. Son of Richard Thomas and Elizabeth Bowles. Married Martha Parker, 17 Mar. 1816. Migrated to Carrollton, Carroll Co., Missouri, 1833. With Henry Root, landowner at De Witt, Carroll...

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, who had been a merchant in Carrollton, the county seat of Carroll county, but at the time he wrote this letter was living within a few miles of De Wit

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 ...

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, having purchased a large tract of land at that place, say some fourteen hundred acres. [p. 27]
and purchases were making of their lands and crops (the land con sisted in pre-emption rights, as the land in that part of the 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 ...

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had  not as yet come into market) every day, and payment made until there  was some twenty-five thousand dollars worth of property bought  from the mob in improvements and crops. While these operations  were going on, the mob would occasionally boast that when they had  got payment for their lands and crops they would rise up and drive  the Saints out and keep both their lands and their crops. They also  sold a large quantity of hogs, some cattle and sheep and other pro perty. These threatenings were making continually, but the Saints  did not, however, entertain any great fears of their doing so—but the  sequel will show that their threats were real.
While the mob was operating thus, 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 ...

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, there were  scattering families in other counties which had to suffer violence also  at the hand of their neighbors. In Livingston county

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

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a family by the  name of Lathrop, who lived on a farm which they had purchased  from a man by the name of James Weldon, was attacked, Mr. La throp was driven from home—his wife and some of his family were  sick—after he was driven away one of his children died, and his wife  was there alone and laying very sick; and there were twenty-five or  thirty armed men around the house threatening her husband’s life, if  he attempted to come home. In this situation Mrs. Lathrop lay with out attendance, surrounded by a body of armed ruffians; and while in  this situation her child died, and her husband dare not return to com fort her. Her own situation at the time being delicate, and terrified  by the mob, her condition was afflicting in the extreme. The mob  took and buried her child. A body of armed men was sent by the  authorities to relieve her—they arrived at the place and found the  mob there, the most of whom fled at their approach. They took the  woman and her goods and family which remained, and brought her  off with them, with another family by the name of Jackson. Mr.  Jackson had also been driven from his family. Mrs. Lathrop sur vived the abuse but a very short time. There were also scattering  families of the saints in Ray

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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, Clay

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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and other counties, who were  severely threatened, and some left the country out of fear, at the  sacrifice of much property.
We have already mentioned that after the mob had been turned into  militia, and disbanded as such, they went to Carroll county to attack a  settlement of the saints in that place. The mob in Corrill county  began to assemble on the first of October, 1838. We are not able  to state the precise day; but it was as early as the first week of the  month. We will now leave the affairs of 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
and the  other counties to give an account of the settlement in Carroll; for  the history of the others which remain is identified with the history  of this settlement, and the things which befel it.
Some time in the last week in March, 1838, a man by the name of  Henry Root

14 June 1813–9 Apr. 1895. Auctioneer, merchant, banker. Born at Clinton, Upper Canada. Son of Henry Ruth and Marie Overholt. Purchased interest in town of De Witt (first called Eldersport), Carroll Co., Missouri, 1837. Sold lots to Latter-day Saints. Moved...

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, who was a large proprietor in the town plat of De Wit[t]

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 ...

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,  on the Missouri river

One of longest rivers in North America, in excess of 3,000 miles. From headwaters in Montana to confluence with Mississippi River near Saint Louis, Missouri River drains 580,000 square miles (about one-sixth of continental U.S.). Explored by Lewis and Clark...

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, arrived at 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...

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. He was the bearer of a  letter from a Mr. David Thomas

12 May 1797–25 Apr. 1845. Born at Flat Rock District, Bourbon Co., Kentucky. Son of Richard Thomas and Elizabeth Bowles. Married Martha Parker, 17 Mar. 1816. Migrated to Carrollton, Carroll Co., Missouri, 1833. With Henry Root, landowner at De Witt, Carroll...

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, who had been a merchant in Carroll ton, the county seat of Carroll county, but at the time he wrote this  letter was living within a few miles of De Wit

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 ...

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, having purchased a  large tract of land at that place, say some fourteen hundred acres. [p. 27]
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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