31766

“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

Installment 1, December 1839


Editorial Note
The first installment, based on 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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’s handwritten manuscript, was published in the Times and Seasons, December 1839, 1:17–20.

A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN 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...

More Info
.
In presenting to our readers, a history of the persecutions of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in the State of 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...

More Info
, we feel it our duty to commence it at the beginning. We are well aware, that many of our readers are well acquainted with the outrages, committed in Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
, (on account of their having been published in the Evening and Morning Star,)1

The Evening and the Morning Star was published in Independence, Missouri, from June 1832 to July 1833 and then in Kirtland, Ohio, from December 1833 until September 1834. Because the Missouri circulation had been small, editor Oliver Cowdery reprinted all twenty-four issues in Kirtland in 1835 and 1836. The account of the Missouri difficulties began in the December 1833 issue: “It has become our duty,” wrote Cowdery, “to relate one of the most shocking scenes, which has disgraced the character of any citizen of the United States, since her freedom was purchased by the shedding of blood.” Under the heading “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” the series continued until June 1834, printing letters, documents, and editorials concerning the Missouri events to that time. The Saints also had access to Parley P. Pratt’s “The Mormons” So Called, the earliest published account of the Latter-day Saints’ experience in Jackson County. It was published first as a broadside and then in The Evening and the Morning Star. (Oliver Cowdery, “To the Patrons of the Evening and the Morning Star,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 113; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].)  


and might perhaps rather see the paper filled with other matter, than to have those former troubles presented before them again. Yet there are a great many others who are altogether unacquainted with those early persecutions, who would feel that we had not done our duty, were we to pass by them, and confine our history, to more recent transactions.
In the winter of 1830–31, five elders of the church of Jesus Christ, travelled through the prairies in a deep snow, (which is not common in that country,) from St Louis

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as city...

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to Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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Missouri, where they made a permanent stand. They preached about the country as the way opened before them.—2

Four church elders, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr., were commanded by revelation to proselytize “among the Lamanites” and traveled to the unorganized territory west of Missouri. After federal officials forbade further contact with Indians there, the missionaries focused their efforts in Jackson County. (Revelation, Oct. 1830–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 54, 1835 ed. [D&C 32].)  


A few believed the gospel which they preached, and had been baptized, when about the middle of the following July, a number more arrived at the same place:3

The Partridge manuscript specifies that “more elders arrived.” In June and July 1831, JS and others traveled from Kirtland to Jackson County, which a July revelation designated as the location for the “city of Zion” and the gathering place for the Saints. (Revelation, 20 July 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 27:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 57:1–3].)  


Shortly afterwards a small branch of the church arrived there also.4

The Colesville branch—converts from New York who had settled temporarily in Thompson, Ohio—arrived in Jackson County 26 July 1831. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 30–31; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].)  


At that time there appeared to be but little objection to our people settling there; notwithstanding some, who could not endure the truth, manifested hostile feelings.5

For “notwithstanding some, who could not endure the truth, manifested hostile feelings,” the Partridge manuscript has “although the preaching had stired up some few to appear like hedge hogs when an enemy is near.”  


The church in Jackson

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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continued to increase, almost constantly, until it was driven from the county.
As the church increased the hostile spirit of the people increased also.— The enemies circulated from time to time, all manner of false stories against the saints, hoping thereby to stir up the indignation of others. In the spring of 1832 they began to brick-bat6

To pelt with “a piece or fragment of a brick.” (“Brickbat,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 2:538.)  


or stone the houses of the saints, breaking in windows &c. not only disturbing, but endangering the lives of the inmates. In the course of that season a county meeting was called at Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, to adopt measures, to drive our people from the county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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; but the meeting broke up, without coming to any agreement about them; having had too much confusion among themselves, to do more than to have a few knock-downs, after taking a plentiful supply of whisky.7

According to earlier published reports, the stoning of Mormons’ houses followed this meeting. (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 122; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1].)  


The result of this meeting may be attributed in part, to the influence of certain patriotic individuals; among whom General Marston Clark

12 Dec. 1771–July 1846. Born at Lunenburg Co., Virginia. Son of Benjamin Clark and Elizabeth Greene. Married Lucy Green Harper, 31 Mar. 1797, in Virginia. Moved to Indiana Territory, 1800. Appointed brigade major to Indiana governor William Henry Harrison...

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, a sub. Indian agent, may be considered as principal. He hearing of the meeting, came from his agency, or from home, some thirty or forty miles distant, a day or two before the meeting.
He appeared quite indignant, at the idea of having the constitution and laws set at defiance, and trodden under foot, by the many trampling upon the rights of the few.8

For “by the many trampling upon the rights of the few,” the Partridge manuscript has “by the strong trampling upon the weak.”  


He went to certain influencial mob characters, and offered to decide the case with them in single combat: he said that it would be better for one or two individuals to die, than for hundreds to be put to death.
Although the meeting broke up without being able to effect a union, still the hostile spirit of individuals was no less abated: such was their thirst for the distruction of the saints, that they, that same fall, shot into the houses of certain individuals. One ball in particular lodged in a log near the head of the owner of the house, as he lay in bed.
During the winter and spring of 1833, the mob spirit spread itself, though in a manner secretly; but in the forepart of the summer it began to show itself openly, in the stoning of houses and other insults. Sometime in July the unparalleled declaration of the people of Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, made its appearance; in which they appear to [p. 17]

Installment 1, December 1839


Editorial Note
The first installment, based on 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...

View Full Bio
’s handwritten manuscript, was published in the Times and Seasons, December 1839, 1:17–20.

A HISTORY, OF THE  PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LAT TER DAY SAINTS IN  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...

More Info
.
In presenting to our readers, a his tory of the persecutions of the church  of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in  the State of 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...

More Info
, we feel it our du ty to commence it at the beginning.  We are well aware, that many of our  readers are well acquainted with the  outrages, committed in Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
,  (on account of their having been pub lished in the Evening and Morning  Star,)1

The Evening and the Morning Star was published in Independence, Missouri, from June 1832 to July 1833 and then in Kirtland, Ohio, from December 1833 until September 1834. Because the Missouri circulation had been small, editor Oliver Cowdery reprinted all twenty-four issues in Kirtland in 1835 and 1836. The account of the Missouri difficulties began in the December 1833 issue: “It has become our duty,” wrote Cowdery, “to relate one of the most shocking scenes, which has disgraced the character of any citizen of the United States, since her freedom was purchased by the shedding of blood.” Under the heading “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” the series continued until June 1834, printing letters, documents, and editorials concerning the Missouri events to that time. The Saints also had access to Parley P. Pratt’s “The Mormons” So Called, the earliest published account of the Latter-day Saints’ experience in Jackson County. It was published first as a broadside and then in The Evening and the Morning Star. (Oliver Cowdery, “To the Patrons of the Evening and the Morning Star,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 113; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].)  


and might perhaps rather see  the paper filled with other matter, than  to have those former troubles presented  before them again. Yet there are a  great many others who are altogether  unacquainted with those early persecu tions, who would feel that we had not  done our duty, were we to pass by  them, and confine our history, to more  recent transactions.
In the winter of 1830–31, five elders  of the church of Jesus Christ, travelled  through the prairies in a deep snow,  (which is not common in that country,)  from St Louis

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as city...

More Info
to Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
Mis souri, where they made a permanent  stand. They preached about the coun try as the way opened before them.—2

Four church elders, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr., were commanded by revelation to proselytize “among the Lamanites” and traveled to the unorganized territory west of Missouri. After federal officials forbade further contact with Indians there, the missionaries focused their efforts in Jackson County. (Revelation, Oct. 1830–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 54, 1835 ed. [D&C 32].)  


 A few believed the gospel which they  preached, and had been baptized, when  about the middle of the following July,  a number more arrived at the same  place:3

The Partridge manuscript specifies that “more elders arrived.” In June and July 1831, JS and others traveled from Kirtland to Jackson County, which a July revelation designated as the location for the “city of Zion” and the gathering place for the Saints. (Revelation, 20 July 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 27:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 57:1–3].)  


Shortly afterwards a small  branch of the church arrived there also.4

The Colesville branch—converts from New York who had settled temporarily in Thompson, Ohio—arrived in Jackson County 26 July 1831. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 30–31; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].)  


 At that time there appeared to be but  little objection to our people settling  there; notwithstanding some, who could  not endure the truth, manifested hos tile feelings.5

For “notwithstanding some, who could not endure the truth, manifested hostile feelings,” the Partridge manuscript has “although the preaching had stired up some few to appear like hedge hogs when an enemy is near.”  


The church in Jackson

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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continued to  increase, almost constantly, until it  was driven from the county.
As the church increased the hostile  spirit of the people increased also.—  The enemies circulated from time to  time, all manner of false stories against  the saints, hoping thereby to stir up  the indignation of others. In the spring  of 1832 they began to brick-bat6

To pelt with “a piece or fragment of a brick.” (“Brickbat,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 2:538.)  


or  stone the houses of the saints, breaking  in windows &c. not only disturb ing, but endangering the lives of the  inmates. In the course of that season  a county meeting was called at Inde pendence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, to adopt measures, to drive  our people from the county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
; but the  meeting broke up, without coming to  any agreement about them; having  had too much confusion among them selves, to do more than to have a few  knock-downs, after taking a plentiful  supply of whisky.7

According to earlier published reports, the stoning of Mormons’ houses followed this meeting. (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 122; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1].)  


The result of this  meeting may be attributed in part, to  the influence of certain patriotic indi viduals; among whom General [Marston] Clark

12 Dec. 1771–July 1846. Born at Lunenburg Co., Virginia. Son of Benjamin Clark and Elizabeth Greene. Married Lucy Green Harper, 31 Mar. 1797, in Virginia. Moved to Indiana Territory, 1800. Appointed brigade major to Indiana governor William Henry Harrison...

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,  a sub. Indian agent, may be considered  as principal. He hearing of the meet ing, came from his agency, or from  home, some thirty or forty miles dis tant, a day or two before the meeting.
He appeared quite indignant, at the  idea of having the constitution and laws  set at defiance, and trodden under foot,  by the many trampling upon the rights  of the few.8

For “by the many trampling upon the rights of the few,” the Partridge manuscript has “by the strong trampling upon the weak.”  


He went to certain influ encial mob characters, and offered to  decide the case with them in single  combat: he said that it would be better  for one or two individuals to die, than  for hundreds to be put to death.
Although the meeting broke up  without being able to effect a union, still  the hostile spirit of individuals was no  less abated: such was their thirst for  the distruction of the saints, that they,  that same fall, shot into the houses of  certain individuals. One ball in par ticular lodged in a log near the head  of the owner of the house, as he lay in  bed.
During the winter and spring of  1833, the mob spirit spread itself, though  in a manner secretly; but in the fore part of the summer it began to show  itself openly, in the stoning of houses  and other insults. Sometime in July  the unparalleled declaration of the peo ple of Jackson county

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, made its ap pearance; in which they appear to [p. 17]
Next
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 Saints, 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,” in which he called for the Saints to gather up “a knoledge of all the facts and sufferings and abuses put upon them” in 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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that they might publish the records “to all the world” and “present them to the heads of the government.”1

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]. An edited and slightly shortened version of the letter was published in two parts in the Times and Seasons, May and July 1840. The instruction to record the Saints’ Missouri history was part of the July installment. (“Copy of a Letter, Written by J. Smith Jr. and Others, While in Prison,” Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:99–104; “An Extract of a Letter Written to Bishop Partridge, and the Saints in General,” Times and Seasons, July 1840, 1:131–134.)  


Apparently in response to this assignment, Edward Partridge wrote a history that became the first three 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. This series gave the first extended account of the Missouri period to be printed in the Latter-day Saint press. 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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, announced in its first issue that the newspaper would “commence publishing the history of the disturbances in Missouri, in regular series,”2

“A Word to the Saints,” Times and Seasons, July 1839, 1:12. After the first copies of the first number were printed in July, publication of the Times and Seasons halted for several months because both editors fell ill amidst a malaria outbreak in the Commerce, Illinois, area. The first number was reissued under the date November 1839.  


and the first installment appeared in the second issue.
“A History, of the Persecution” begins with 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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’s account of 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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conflicts in the early 1830s. Partridge was a bishop of the church in Missouri, first in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, then in Clay County

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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following the Latter-day Saints’ expulsion from Jackson, and finally 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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after the Saints relocated from Clay. By the time he wrote this account of the Mormons’ experiences in Missouri, the Saints had been exiled from the state and had relocated to 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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. Partridge lived first at Pittsfield, then 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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. In July 1839 he settled in the Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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area, where he served again as a bishop in the new Mormon community being established there.3

Edward Partridge, Miscellaneous papers, CHL. This collection of Partridge papers includes other autobiographical writings about Missouri events.  


Partridge’s narrative is based on firsthand observations and may also have relied on other records he kept. The manuscript version of the history begins, “In presenting to our readers a history of the persecutions,” indicating that Partridge wrote it for publication purposes.4

Partridge, History, manuscript, Edward Partridge, Miscellaneous Papers, CHL. Significant differences between the first three installments of “History, of the Persecution” and the Partridge manuscript are described in footnotes herein.  


He may have intended to tell the entire Missouri story himself, but he fell ill shortly after publication of the “History of the Persecution” began, and he died 27 May 1840.
The fourth installment of “History, of the Persecution” provides a brief transition from 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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’s account, which ends in 1836 as the Saints were settling in what became 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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, to the conflicts in Caldwell and adjoining counties beginning in 1838. Though the source or author of this portion is not known, it may have been written by editors 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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. Perhaps prompted by Partridge’s illness, the editors sought elsewhere for source materials to continue the series. In April 1840, the fifth installment 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), and the sixth in May excerpted 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 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: Glezan and Shepard, 1840).5

No manuscript is known to exist for Pratt’s published pamphlet. Rigdon is not named as the author on the title page of Appeal to the American People, but he is credited as such in the “History, of the Persecution” series and in advertisements for the pamphlet in the Times and Seasons. A manuscript version of Rigdon’s Appeal to the American People, titled “To the Publick” and inscribed by George W. Robinson, is found in the JS Collection at the Church History Library. Many textual differences exist between the manuscript and Appeal to the American People, and the editors of the Times and Seasons clearly used the published pamphlet, not the manuscript, as their source. (“History, of the Persecution,” May 1840, 1:99; Advertisement, Times and Seasons, 1 Jan. 1841, 2:272.)  


In June the editors again excerpted Pratt’s History of the Late Persecution, and in the three articles published from July to September they reprinted more of Rigdon’s work. The series concluded in the October 1840 issue with a reprint of the speech that 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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, a major general of the Missouri state militia, made to the Latter-day Saints 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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, Caldwell County, on 5 November 1838.
The “History, of the Persecution” is representative of the many histories and individual petitions written at the time to document the Saints’ experiences in 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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. Its excerpts from 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 and 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 provide a useful sampling of two published histories of the period and demonstrate that documenting these events was a widespread effort.6

Earlier published accounts of the Jackson County conflicts from Latter-day Saints include the broadside “The Mormons,” So Called, dated 12 December 1833, and its reprint in The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2]; a series titled “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” published in The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833–Mar. 1834 and May–June 1834; John P. Greene’s pamphlet Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order” (Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839); and John Taylor’s eight-page work, A Short Account of the Murders, Roberies, Burnings, Thefts, and Other Outrages Committed by the Mob and Militia of the State of Missouri, Upon the Latter Day Saints (Springfield, IL: By the author, 1839).  


Publication in the church’s periodical lent credibility to the series and ensured that it was the source from which many new Mormon converts learned the details of the church’s history in Missouri. What they read was not the work of neutral historians detached from the events described. When 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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, Pratt, and Rigdon wrote their histories, the persecutions and injustices against them were still fresh in their memories. All three authors suffered personally during the Missouri hardships, and as they and other Saints undertook to write about their experiences, their primary focus was to fulfill JS’s directive—to obtain redress by making known the “nefarious and murderous impositions that have been practiced upon this people.”7

JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the church members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL [D&C 123:5].  


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