27469

Journal, September–October 1838

Commenced to write for President
Joseph Smith Junr
on Monday the 3rd September 1838
Memorandum &c &c

3 September 1838 • Monday

Monday Septr 3rd At home all or greater part of day

4 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 4th— Breakfast with him 1/2 past 7 oclock, at home for dinner a little before noon, & again in the evening between 5 & 6 oclock.

5 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 5th— At home for breakfast at 1/2 past 7 also for dinner from 1 to 2 oclock at home in the evening about 6 oclock.

6 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 6th— He left home a horseback 1/2 past 7. morning
At home again the evening before dark.

7 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 7th— Saw him leave home about sun rising and heard, and saw him at home between 10 and 11 oclock same night.

8 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 8th--- At home about 8 oclock morn at home between 2 & 3 oclock Afternoon.

9–13 September 1838 • Sunday–Thursday

No memorandum from 8th to 14

14 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 14th— At home about 3 P.M & all the evening.

15 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 15th— At home early in morning for breakfast & dinener say 9 & 2 oclock

16 September 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 16th— At home all day

17 September 1838 • Monday

Monday 17th Saw him early morning
again at 9 oclock forenoon
also afternoon

18 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 18— At home all day & unwell. in better health towards evening. [p. [3]]
Commenced to write for President
Joseph Smith Junr
on Monday the 3rd September 1838
Memorandum &c &c

3 September 1838 • Monday

Monday Septr 3rd At home all or greater part of day

4 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 4th— Breakfast with him 1/2 past 7  oclock, dined at home for dinner a little  before noon, & again in the even[in]g between  5 & 6 oclock.

5 September 1838 • Wednesday

Wednesday 5th— At home for breakfast at 1/2 past 7  also for dinner from 1 to 2 oclock at home  in the evening about 6 oclock.

6 September 1838 • Thursday

Thursday 6thHe rode out on Horseback  He left home a horseback 1/2 past 7. morn[in]g  
At home again the even[in]g before dark.1

JS traveled to Daviess County, Missouri, with others to appear at a preliminary hearing to assess accusations of Adam Black and William Peniston relative to the incident at the Black residence. Because Black, the complainant, did not appear, the hearing was rescheduled for the following day. (JS, Journal, 6 Sept. 1838.)  


7 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 7th— Saw him leave home about sun rising  and heard, and saw him at home between  10 and 11 oclock same night.2

As on the previous day, JS traveled to Daviess County with others to appear at a preliminary hearing. (JS, Journal, 7 Sept. 1838.)  


8 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 8th--- At home about 8 oclock morn  at home between 2 & 3 oclock Afternoon.

9–13 September 1838 • Sunday–Thursday

No memorandum from 8th to 143

This week marked an escalation of tensions in northwestern Missouri. On the evening of 8 September, the Latter-day Saints received news that enemies in Daviess County were preparing to attack Adam-ondi-Ahman. A group of Mormon men left for Daviess County that night and the next day to aid the Latter-day Saints there. Also on 9 September, Latter-day Saints from Caldwell County intercepted and detained three men carrying a shipment of rifles from Ray County to Daviess County to reinforce vigilantes there. General David R. Atchison ordered eight companies of Missouri militia from Clay and Ray counties to ride to Caldwell and Daviess counties to intervene between the armed antagonists and enforce the law. (JS, Journal, 8 and 9 Sept. 1838; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 125–127, 132–135.)  


14 September 1838 • Friday

Friday 14th— At home about 3 P.M &  all the evening.

15 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 15th— At home early in morning  for breakfast & dinener  say 9 & 2 oclock

16 September 1838 • Sunday

Sunday 16th— At home all day

17 September 1838 • Monday

Monday 17th Saw him early morning
again at 9 oclock forenoon
also afternoon

18 September 1838 • Tuesday

Tuesday 18— At home all day & unwell.  in better health towards evening. [p. [3]]
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This enigmatic document covers the period from early September to early October 1838, a month of mounting difficulties for JS and the Latter-day Saints living in northwestern 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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. JS apparently hired James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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as a clerk in late August or early September, at which time Mulholland copied a revelation1

Revelation, 23 July 1837, in JS, Journal, 23 July 1837 [D&C 112].  


into the preceding journal, which covers March to September 1838. At the beginning of the present journal Mulholland noted that he “Commenced to write” for JS on 3 September 1838, which may refer to the date he began various clerking responsibilities or to the date of his first journal entry. Because the datelines of the first two entries, 3 and 4 September, appear to have been inscribed at the same time, Mulholland evidently began keeping the journal on the evening of 4 September or sometime on 5 September. Meanwhile, 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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was making the final week of entries for the preceding journal.
On 4 September, JS received legal counsel from 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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attorney and militia general David R. Atchison

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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regarding efforts then under way to prosecute JS and 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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for allegedly threatening 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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justice of the peace 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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. After Latter-day Saints who had come to vote in Gallatin

Founded and laid out, 1837. Unofficial county seat, beginning 1837. Officially named county seat, 1841. Several Latter-day Saints attempted to vote at Gallatin, 6 Aug. 1838, but were attacked by local residents. After Mormon-Missouri conflict erupted, Saints...

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on 6 August were attacked, JS had led more than one hundred men to Black’s home, demanding that he sign a statement promising to uphold the law and protect the Mormons in their civil rights. An affidavit made by Daviess County citizen William 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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—which accused JS and Wight of unlawfully leading a group of armed Mormons in Daviess County and threatening Black’s life—resulted in the issuance of arrest warrants against the two Mormon leaders. Moreover, Black and Peniston ignited a wildfire of rumors about what JS and his vigilantes had done and intended to do in Daviess County. The rumors spread throughout northwestern 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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, portending further legal trouble and retribution.2

LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 65–80; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 103, 107–119.  


At the 4 September meeting, Atchison

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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, in addition to urging JS and 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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to submit to a preliminary hearing, may have counseled JS to keep a daily record that could be used in a court of law to document his whereabouts. Whether or not JS was so counseled, this or something similar appears to be the purpose of the present “Memorandum.” Except for a five-day gap spanning 9 to 13 September, Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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recorded an entry for each day of this monthlong journal. The terse entries document little more than JS’s comings and goings from his home, noting the time of day when Mulholland saw him. Mulholland enjoyed a vantage point from within JS’s home, where Mulholland lived, apparently as one of the many boarders that JS kept over the years.3

Emma Smith, Sally Hinkle, Caroline Clarke, and James Mulholland, Statement, ca. Mar. 1839, in JS History, vol. C-1, 906.  


This journal may be the result of an assignment to Mulholland to document JS’s presence in Caldwell County

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 witness JS’s time at home. For the period of overlap with JS’s preceding journal, it complements 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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’s record of JS’s activity when not at home.
The preceding journal recorded by 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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demonstrates that even after the 6 August skirmish at Gallatin

Founded and laid out, 1837. Unofficial county seat, beginning 1837. Officially named county seat, 1841. Several Latter-day Saints attempted to vote at Gallatin, 6 Aug. 1838, but were attacked by local residents. After Mormon-Missouri conflict erupted, Saints...

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, JS continued to vigorously and openly prepare to settle additional Latter-day Saints 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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despite mounting opposition to the growing Mormon presence there. Meanwhile, the failure to arrest JS and 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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based on 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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’s and 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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’s accusations led to the marshaling of volunteers from surrounding counties to take the pair by force if necessary. JS and Wight signaled their willingness to submit to the legal process by appearing soon afterward before Judge 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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, but their appearance failed to quell the anti-Mormon vigilantism already in motion.
The present journal reports on four additional weeks of JS’s activities in 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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, but this journal’s skeletal entries give little hint of the gathering storm that soon engulfed the Mormons and their neighbors. With northwestern 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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in an uproar, General Atchison

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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called out militia, who successfully averted armed conflict 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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in September. But by mid-October an extensive network of vigilantes in northwestern Missouri began to eliminate substantial Mormon settlement outside Caldwell County

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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.4

Anderson, “Clarifications of Boggs’s Order,” 37–41.  


Some of the anti-Mormon forces that had been disbanded in Daviess County through militia intervention regrouped in Carroll County, where, after issuing an ultimatum to the 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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Mormons to evacuate by 1 October, they and local anti-Mormons laid siege to the village. A militia force sent there to preserve peace proved unreliable for that purpose because many of its members sympathized with anti-Mormons. Learning of the plight of the De Witt Saints, JS mobilized two small companies of men that left Far West on 5 October to offer relief. JS led the second group, consisting of about twenty men, which arrived in De Witt the following day.5

Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 154–155, 163–173.  


Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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’s entry for 5 October reported: “did not see him [JS] all the afternoon, understood that he went from home.” Mulholland then added a dateline under which to write an entry for the following day—suggesting that he expected JS to return by then. However, a round-trip journey from 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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to 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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and back would inevitably have taken more than one day, suggesting that Mulholland was not privy to JS’s thoughts and plans. The journal entry for 6 October remained blank, concluding Mulholland’s record.
After Governor Lilburn W. Boggs

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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rejected an appeal for aid, JS assisted in evacuating the 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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settlers to 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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, arriving there by 14 October.6

JS, “Bill of Damages against the State of Missouri on Account of the Sufferings and Losses Sustained Therein,” Quincy, IL, 4 June 1839, JS Collection, CHL; see also Perkins, “Prelude to Expulsion,” 276; and Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 163–181.  


Any attempt by Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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to observe and record JS’s movements in the following weeks would have been largely futile, given JS’s extended absences from home as events spiraled out of control.

Facts