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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

“The Latter day saints” commenced their  settlements in Missouri, in the August of  1831. The first settlement was made in Jackson  county on the west line of the state, not far from  the missionary station of the Revd Isaac Mc Coy,  Baptist missionary among the Indians at the  time Jackson county was very thinly settled, the  greater part of it the settlers were, what is called  in the western country, “squatters,” that is, persons  who settle on the publick lands without purchasing  them. Some considerable part of Jackson coun ty had not come into market. On these lands co nsiderable settlements had been made, cabbins ha[d]  built, and some land cleared.
When “the latter day saints” began to  emigrate into the country, there was a good deal  of uneasiness manifested by a certain portion of  the settlers, at first, principally, by those who  had settled on the publick lands lest the new  settlers should be disposed to purchase at the land  sall sales, which were expected to take place that season,  the lands on which they had made improvements, or  enter such lands as might be subject to entry,  that they had taken possession of. But this une asiness gradually lessened, till it finally died away.  The sales came on, purchases were made by every man  as suited them him, and no difficulty occured; every  man went to building on and improving his land,  as seemed good to himself.
Shortly after the first settlement was  made, a considerable tide of emigration set in, which  continued to increase untill the summer of 1833;  by this time, the emigration of <the> saints was far  greater than that of all others. This began to  create great uneasiness, murmerings were and  complainings were heard, continually, about it,  and about the rapid improvements which were  making in the county. From murmering, they  went to holding publick meetings to take measures  to prevent the evil to put a stop to the emigration, and  not only put a stop to the emigration, but driv  drive those out of the county, who were settled there. [p. 1[a]]
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Sidney Rigdon, JS, et al., Petition Draft (“To the Publick”), ca. Sept. 1838–ca. Oct. 1839; handwriting of Sidney Rigdon, Elias Higbee, George W. Robinson, David Lewis, and two unidentified scribes; sixty-four leaves, forty-nine pages of text with fifteen blank pages; JS Collection, CHL.

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