53992723

Sidney Rigdon, JS, et al., Petition Draft (“To the Publick”), circa 1838–1839

Sidney Rigdon, JS, et al., Petition Draft (“To the Publick”), circa 1838–1839

and after a fruitless search of a number of days, he came again to see us and informed us that he would turn us over to the civil authorities for trial. . accordingly the trial commenced Austin A King

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

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on the bench and Thos. C Birch [Burch]

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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attorney. This was surely a new kind of court it was not an inquisition nor yet a criminal court but a compound between. A looker on would be convinced that both the judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

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and attorney

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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were not try to if some or all of the prisoners had been guilty of some criminal act or acts. but on the contrary their object was to try by all means in their power to get some person to swear some criminal thing against though they were inocent
The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men to obtain witnesses without any civil process whatever and after witnesses were brought before the court they were swore at Bayonet point. Dr Sampson Avard

23 Oct. 1800–15 Apr. 1869. Physician. Born at St. Peter, Isle of Guernsey, Channel Islands, Great Britain. Migrated to U.S., by 1830. Married Eliza, a native of Virginia. Located at North Carolina, 1830. Moved to Virginia, by 1831. Moved to Freedom, Beaver...

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was the first brought before the court. He had previously told Mr Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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that if he -[Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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]- wished to save himself he must swear hard against the heads of the church as they were the ones the court wanted to criminate and if he would swear hard against [p. [44[b]]]
and after a fruitless search of a num ber of days, he came again to see us and  informed us that he would turn us over  to the civil authorities for trial. In a  day or two after that he in and said  that he had received orders from the  governor

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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. accordingly the trial comme nced A A Austin A King

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

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on <in> the chair <bench>  and Thos. C Birch [Burch]

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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attorney. This was  surely a new kind of court it was not  an inquisition nor yet a criminal court  but a compound between. A looker on  would be convinced that both the judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

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 and attorney

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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were not try to if some or  all of the prisoners had been guilty of  some criminal act or acts. but on the  contrary their object was to try by all  means in their power to get some pers on to swear some criminal thing aga inst though they were inocent
The first act of the court  was to send out a body of armed  men to obtain witnesses without any process civil  process whatever and after witnesses were brought  before the court they were swore at  Bayonet point. Dr Sampson Avard

23 Oct. 1800–15 Apr. 1869. Physician. Born at St. Peter, Isle of Guernsey, Channel Islands, Great Britain. Migrated to U.S., by 1830. Married Eliza, a native of Virginia. Located at North Carolina, 1830. Moved to Virginia, by 1831. Moved to Freedom, Beaver...

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 was the first brought before the court.  He had previously told Mr Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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 that if he -[Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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]- wished to save himse lf he would <must> swear hard against the  heads of the church as they were the  ones the court wanted to criminate  and if he would swear hard against [p. [44[b]]]
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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 knoledge of all the facts and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this state.” (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].) Edward Partridge responded with an account that became the three opening installments of “A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” an eleven-part series published in the church’s 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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newspaper, Times and Seasons, between December 1839 and October 1840. “A History, of the Persecution” will receive comprehensive treatment in volume 2 of the Histories series of The Joseph Smith Papers and will eventually be posted to this website.
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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may have intended to tell the entire 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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story himself, but he fell ill shortly after publication of “A History, of the Persecution” began and died on 27 May 1840. Prompted by Partridge’s illness and subsequent death, the editors of the Times and Seasons, Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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and Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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, sought elsewhere for source materials to continue the series. It is probable that they composed the fourth installment to provide a brief transition from Partridge’s account, which ends in 1836, and the conflicts in Caldwell

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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and adjoining counties beginning in 1838. The fifth and seventh installments reprinted passages from Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (Detroit: Dawson and Bates, 1839). In May 1840, the sixth installment drew upon 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 eighty-four page pamphlet, An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints; and the Barbarities Inflicted on Them by the Inhabitants of the State of Missouri (Cincinnati: Glezan and Shepard, 1840), a draft of which is presented here. Though no author is named on the title page of the pamphlet, Rigdon was acknowledged as responsible for that publication when it was advertised in the Times and Seasons in 1840 and 1841. Also, much of this draft is in Rigdon’s hand. More of Rigdon’s work was reprinted in the eighth through tenth installments published from July to September 1840. The series concluded with an eleventh installment in the October 1840 issue, featuring General John B. Clark

17 Apr. 1802–29 Oct. 1885. Lawyer, politician. Born at Madison Co., Kentucky. Moved to Howard Co., Missouri, 1818. Practiced law in Fayette, Howard Co., beginning 1824. Clerk of Howard Co. courts, 1824–1834. Appointed brigadier general in Missouri militia...

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’s callous speech to the Saints after their surrender 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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, Missouri, in November 1838.
The manuscript version 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 Appeal to the American People presented here is referred to as the “petition draft” titled “To the Publick”. On 1 November 1839, Rigdon’s recently completed petition draft, endorsed by JS, Rigdon, 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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, was read to a conference of Saints in 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, who then voted to approve its publication in the name of the 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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then collaborated to arrange for publication of the text in late 1839 and early 1840. (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 103–104.)
Although many of the events reported in 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 draft and pamphlet can be corroborated from other sources, his chronology is often inaccurate. (Consult the annotation in Histories, Volume 2 for corrections to portions published as part of “A History, of the Persecutions.”) However, his account contains the text of several significant documents. Among these are JS’s 5 September 1838 affidavit concerning his 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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and David Lewis

10 Apr. 1814–2 Sept. 1855. Cooper, farmer, photographer. Born in Warren Co. (later in Simpson Co.), Kentucky. Son of Neriah Lewis and Mary Morse. Married Duritha Trail, 23 Nov. 1834. Baptized into LDS church, 24 Mar. 1835. Ordained an elder, 1835. Moved to...

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

Facts