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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

IN MISSOURI

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion








The efforts of the church leaders to check too precipitate an
emigration to the new Zion were not entirely successful, and,
according to the Evening and Morning Star of July, 1833, the
Mormons with their families then numbered more than twelve
hundred, or about one-third of the total population of the
county. The elders had been pushing their proselyting work
throughout the States and in Canada, and the idea of a land of
plenty appealed powerfully to the new believers, and especially
to those of little means. The branch of the church established at
Colesville, New York, numbering about sixty members, emigrated in
a body and settled twelve miles from Independence. Other
settlements were made in the rural districts, and the non-Mormons
began to be seriously exercised over the situation. The Saints
boasted openly of their future possession of the land, without
making clear their idea of the means by which they would obtain
title to it. An open defiance in the name of the church appeared
in an article in the Evening and Morning Star for July, 1833,
which contained this declaration:--

"No matter what our ideas or notions may be on the subject; no
matter what foolish report the wicked may circulate to gratify an
evil disposition; the Lord will continue to gather the righteous
and destroy the wicked, till the sound goes forth, IT IS
FINISHED."

With even greater fatuity came the determination to publish the
prophet's "revelations" in the form of the "Book of
Commandments." Of the effect of this publication David Whitmer
says, "The main reason why the printing press [at Independence]
was destroyed, was because they published the 'Book of
Commandments.' It fell into the hands of the world, and the
people of Jackson County saw from the revelations that they were
considered intruders upon the Land of Zion, as enemies of the
church, and that they should be cut off out of the Land of Zion
and sent away."*

* "Address to All Believers in Christ," p. 54.


Corrill says of the causes of friction between the Mormons and
their neighbors:--*

* Corrill's" Brief History of the Church," p. 19.


"The church got crazy to go up to Zion, as it was then called.
The rich were afraid to send up their money to purchase lands,
and the poor crowded up in numbers, without having any places
provided, contrary to the advice of the Bishop and others, until
the old citizens began to be highly displeased. They saw their
country filling up with emigrants, principally poor. They
disliked their religion, and saw also that, if let alone, they
would in a short time become a majority, and of course rule the
county. The church kept increasing, and the old citizens became
more and more dissatisfied, and from time to time offered to sell
their farms and possessions, but the Mormons, though desirous,
were too poor to purchase them."*

* After the survey of Jackson County, Congress granted to the
state of Missouri a large tract of land, the sale of which should
be made for educational purposes, and the Mormons took title to
several thousand acres of this, west of Independence.


The active manifestation of hostility toward the new-comers by
the residents of Jackson County first took shape in the spring of
1832, in the stoning of Mormon houses at night and the breaking
of windows. Soon afterward a county meeting was called to take
measures to secure the removal of the Mormons from that county,
but nothing definite was done. The burning of haystacks, shooting
into houses, etc., continued until July, 1833, when the Mormon
opponents circulated a statement of their complaints, closing
with a call for a meeting in the courthouse at Independence, on
Saturday, July 20. The text of this manifesto, which is important
as showing the spirit as well as the precise grounds of the
opposition, is as follows:--

"We, the undersigned, citizens of Jackson County, believing that
an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society, in
consequence of a pretended religious sect of people that have
settled, and are still settling, in our county, styling
themselves Mormons, and intending, as we do, to rid our society,
peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must; and believing as we do,
that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or
at least, a sufficient one, against the evils which are now
inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing, by the said
religious sect, we deem it expedient and of the highest
importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and
easier accomplishment of our purpose--a purpose, which we deem it
almost superfluous to say, is justified as well by the law of
nature, as by the law of self preservation.

"It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics, or
knaves, (for one or the other they undoubtedly are,) made their
first appearance amongst us, and, pretending as they did, and now
do, to hold personal communication and converse face to face with
the Most High God; to receive communications and revelations
direct from heaven; to heal the sick by laying on hands; and, in
short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the
inspired Apostles and Prophets of old.

"We believed them deluded fanatics, or weak and designing knaves,
and that they and their pretensions would soon pass away; but in
this we were deceived. The arts of a few designing leaders
amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as
a society; and, since the arrival of the first of them, they have
been daily increasing in numbers; and if they had been
respectable citizens in society, and thus deluded, they would
have been entitled to our pity rather than our contempt and
hatred; but from their appearance, from their manners, and from
their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason
to fear that, with but few exceptions, they were of the very
dregs of that society from which they came, lazy, idle, and
vicious. This we conceive is not idle assertion, but a fact
susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above named,
they brought into our county little or no property with them, and
left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked
themselves to the Mormon car who had nothing earthly or heavenly
to lose by the change; and we fear that if some of the leaders
amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being
chosen ambassadors of the Most High, they would have been inmates
of solitary cells.

"But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true
colors. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had
been tampering with our slaves, and endeavoring to rouse
dissension and raise seditions amongst them. Of this their Mormon
leaders were informed, and they said they would deal with any of
their members who should again in like case offend. But how
specious are appearances. In a late number of the Star, published
in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an article
inviting free negroes and mulattoes from other states to become
Mormons, and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in
still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of
their society to inflict on our society an injury, that they knew
would be to us entirely insupportable, and one of the surest
means of driving us from the county; for it would require none of
the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the
introduction of such a caste amongst us would corrupt our blacks,
and instigate them to bloodshed.

"They openly blaspheme the Most High God, and cast contempt on
His holy religion, by pretending to receive revelations direct
from heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues by direct
inspirations, and by divers pretences derogatory of God and
religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason.

"They declare openly that their God hath given them this county
of land, and that sooner or later they must and will have the
possession of our lands for an inheritance; and, in fine, they
have conducted themselves on many other occasions in such a
manner that we believe it a duty we owe to ourselves, our wives,
and children, to the cause of public morals, to remove them from
among us, as we are not prepared to give up our pleasant places
and goodly possessions to them, or to receive into the bosom of
our families, as fit companions for our wives and daughters, the
degraded and corrupted free negroes and mulattoes that are now
invited to settle among us.

"Under such a state of things, even our beautiful county would
cease to be a desirable residence, and our situation intolerable!
We, therefore, agree that, if after timely warning, and receiving
an adequate compensation for what little property they cannot
take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found
us--we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove
them, and to that end we each pledge to each other our bodily
powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors.

"We will meet at the court-house, at the Town of Independence, on
Saturday next, the 20th inst., to consult ulterior movements."*

* Evening and Morning Star, p. 227; Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, p.
516.


Some hundreds of names were signed to this call, and the meeting
of July 20 was attended by nearly five hundred persons. There is
no doubt that it was a representative county gathering. P. P.
Pratt says that the anti-Mormon organization, which he calls
"outlaws," was "composed of lawyers, magistrates, county
officers, civil and military, religious ministers, and a great
number of the ignorant and uninformed portion of the
population."* The language of the address adopted shows that
skilled pens were not wanting in its preparation.

* "Pratt's "Autobiography," p. 103.


The first business of the meeting was the appointment of a
committee to prepare an address stating the grievances of the
people with somewhat greater fulness than the manifesto above
quoted. Like the latter, it conceded at the start that there was
no law under which the object in view could be obtained. It
characterized the Mormons as but little above the negroes as
regards property or education; charged them with having exerted a
"corrupting influence" on the slaves;* asserted that even the
more intelligent boasted daily to the Gentiles that the Mormons
would appropriate their lands for an inheritance, and that their
newspaper organ taught them that the lands were to be taken by
the sword. Noting the rapid increase in the immigration of
members of the new church, the address, looking to a near day
when they would be in a majority in the county, asked: "What
would be the state of our lives and property in the hands of
jurors and witnesses who do not blush to declare, and would not
upon occasion hesitate to swear, that they have wrought miracles,
and have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures,
have conversed with God and his angels, and possess and exercise
the gifts of divination and of unknown tongues, and are fired
with the prospect of obtaining inheritances without money and
without price, may be better imagined than described." That this
apprehension was not without grounds will be seen when we come to
the administration of justice in Nauvoo and in Salt Lake City.

* The Mormons never hesitated to change their position on the
slavery question. An elder's address, published in the Evening
and Morning Star of July, 1833, said: "As to slaves, we have
nothing to say. In connection with the wonderful events of this
age, much is doing toward abolishing slavery and colonizing the
blacks in Africa." Three years later, in April, 1836 the
Messenger and Advocate published a strong proslavery article,
denying the right of the people of the North to interfere with
the institution, and picturing the happy condition of the slaves.
Orson Hyde, in the Frontier Guardian in 1850 (quoted in the
Millennial Star, Vol. XIII, p. 63), said: "When a man in the
Southern states embraces our faith and is the owner of slaves,
the church says to him, 'If your slaves wish to remain with you,
and to go with you, put them not away; but if they choose to
leave you, and are not satisfied to remain with you, it is for
you to sell them or to let them go free, as your own conscience
may direct you. The church on this point assumes not the
responsibility to direct.'" Horace Greeley quoted Brigham Young
as saying to him in Salt Lake City, "We consider slavery of
divine institution and not to be abolished until the curse
pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants"
("Overland journey," p. 211).

The address closed with these demands:--

"That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this county.

"That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their
intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county,
shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient
time to sell their property and close their business without any
material sacrifice.

"That the editor of the Star (W. W. Phelps) be required forthwith
to close his office and discontinue the business of printing in
this county; and, as to all other stores and shops belonging to
the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with
the terms of the second article of this declaration; and, upon
failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the
same.

"That the Mormon leaders here are required to use their influence
in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to
this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to
comply with the above regulations.

"That those who fail to comply with the requisitions be referred
to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination and
of unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them"*

* Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, pp. 487-489.


A recess of two hours was taken in which to permit a committee of
twelve to call on Bishop Partridge, Phelps, and Gilbert, and
present these terms. This committee reported that these men
"declined giving any direct answer to the requisitions made of
them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only
with their brethren here, but in Ohio." The meeting thereupon
voted unanimously that the Star printing-office should be razed
to the ground, and the type and press be "secured."

A report of the action of this meeting and its result was
prepared by the chairman and two secretaries, and printed over
their signatures in the Western Monitor of Fayette, Missouri, on
August 2, 1833, and it is transferred to Smith's autobiography.
It agrees with the Mormon account set forth in their later
petition to Governor Dunklin. It particularized, however, that
the Mormon leaders asked the committee first for three months,
and then for ten days, in which to consider the demands, and were
told that they could have only fifteen minutes.

What happened next is thus set forth in the, chairman's report:--

"Which resolution (for the razing of the Star office) was with
the utmost order and the least noise and disturbance possible,
forthwith carried into execution, AS ALSO SOME OTHER STEPS OF A
SIMILAR TENDENCY; but no blood was spilled nor any blows
inflicted."

Mobs do not generally act with the "utmost order," and this one
was not an exception to the rule, as an explanation of the "other
steps" will make clear. The first object of attack was the
printing office, a two-story brick building. This was demolished,
causing a loss of $6000, according to the Mormon claims. The mob
next visited the store kept by Gilbert, but refrained from
attacking it on receiving a pledge that the goods would be packed
for removal by the following Tuesday. They then called at the
houses of some of the leading Mormons, and conducted Bishop
Partridge and a man named Allen to the public square. Partridge
told his captors that the saints had been subjected to
persecution in all ages; that he was willing to suffer for
Christ's sake, but that he would not consent to leave the
country. Allen refused either to agree to depart or to deny the
inspiration of the Mormon Bible. Both men were then relieved of
their hats, coats, and vests, daubed with tar, and decorated with
feathers. This ended the proceedings of that day, and an
adjournment as announced until the following Tuesday.

On Tuesday, July 23 (the date of the laying of the corner-stone
of the Kirtland Temple), the Missourians gathered again in the
town, carrying a red flag and bearing arms. The Mormon statement
to Governor Dunklin says, "They proceeded to take some of the
leading elders by force, declaring it to be their intention to
whip them from fifty to five hundred lashes apiece, to demolish
their dwelling houses, and let their negroes loose to go through
our plantations and lay open our fields for the destruction of
our crops."* The official report of the officers of the meeting**
says that, when the chairman had taken his seat, a committee was
appointed to wait on the Mormons at the request of the latter.

* Greene, in his "Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons
from the State of Missouri (1839), says that the mob seized a
number of Mormons and, at the muzzle of their guns, compelled
them to confess that the Mormon Bible was a fraud.

** Millennial Star Vol. XIV, p. 500.


As a result of a conference with this committee, a written
agreement was entered into, signed by the committee and the
Mormons named in it, to this effect: That Oliver Cowdery, W. W.
Phelps, W. E. McLellin, Edward Partridge, John Wright, Simeon
Carter, Peter and John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, with their
families, should move from the county by January 1 next, and use
their influence to induce their fellow-Mormons in the county to
do likewise--one half by January 1 and all by April 1--and to
prevent further immigration of the brethren; John Corrill and A.
S. Gilbert to remain as agents to wind up the business of the
society, Gilbert to be allowed to sell out his goods on hand; no
Mormon paper to be published in the county; Partridge and Phelps
to be allowed to go and come after January 1, in winding up their
business, if their families were removed by that time; the
committee pledging themselves to use their influence to prevent
further violence, and assuring Phelps that "whenever he was ready
to move, the amount of all his losses in the printing house
should be paid to him by the citizens." In view of this
arrangement there was no further trouble for more than two
months.

The Mormon leaders had, however, no intention of carrying out
their part of this undertaking. Corrill, in a letter to Oliver
Cowdery written in December, 1833, said that the agreement was
made, "supposing that before the time arrived the mob would see
their error and stop the violence, or that some means might be
employed so that we could stay in peace."* Oliver Cowdery was
sent at once to Kirtland to advise with the church officers
there. On his arrival, early in August, a council was convened,
and it was decided that legal measures should be taken to
establish the rights of the Saints in Missouri. Smith directed
that they should neither sell their lands nor move out of Jackson
County, save those who had signed the agreement.** It was also
decided to send Orson Hyde and John Gould to Missouri "with
advice to the Saints in their unfortunate situation through the
late outrage of the mob."***

* Evening and Morning Star, January, 1834

** Elder Williams's Letter, Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, p. 519.

*** Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, p. 504.


To strengthen the courage of the flock in Missouri, Smith gave
forth at Kirtland, under date of August 2, 1833, a "revelation"
(Sec. 97), "in answer to our correspondence with the prophet,"
says P. P. Pratt,* in which the Lord was represented as saying,
"Surely, Zion is the city of our God, and surely Zion cannot
fail, NEITHER BE MOVED OUT OF HER PLACE; for God is there, and
the hand of God is there, and he has sworn by the power of his
might to be her salvation and her high tower." The same
"revelation" directed that the Temple should be built speedily by
means of tithing, and threatened Zion with pestilence, plague,
sword, vengeance, and devouring fire unless she obeyed the Lord's
commands.

*Pratt's "Autobiography," p. 100,


The outcome of all the deliberations at Kirtland was the sending
of W. W. Phelps and Orson Hyde to Jefferson City with a long
petition to Governor Dunklin, setting forth the charges of the
Missourians against the Mormons, and the action of the two
meetings at Independence, and making a direct appeal to him for
assistance, asking him to employ troops in their defence, in
order that they might sue for damages, "and, if advisable, try
for treason against the government."

The governor sent them a written reply under date of October 19,
in which, after expressing sympathy with them in their troubles,
he said: "I should think myself unworthy the confidence with
which I have been honored by my fellow citizens did I not
promptly employ all the means which the constitution and laws
have placed at my disposal to avert the calamities with which you
are threatened.... No citizen, or number of citizens, have a
right to take the redress of their grievances, whether real or
imaginary, into their own hands. Such conduct strikes at the very
existence of society." He advised the Mormons to invoke the laws
in their behalf; to secure a warrant from a justice of the peace,
and so test the question "whether the law can be peaceably
executed or not"; if not, it would be his duty to take steps to
execute it.

The Mormons and their neighbors were thus brought face to face in
a manner which admitted of no compromise. The situation naturally
seemed rather a simple one to the governor, who was probably
ignorant of the intentions and ambition of the Mormons. If he had
understood the nature and weight of the objections to them, he
would have understood also that he could protect them in their
possessions only by maintaining a military force.

His letter gave the Mormons of Jackson County new courage. They
had been maintaining a waiting attitude since the meeting of July
23, but now they resumed their occupations, and began to erect
more houses, and to improve their places as if for a permanent
stay, and meanwhile there was no cessation of the immigration of
new members from the East. Their leaders consulted four lawyers
in Clay County, and arranged with them to look after their legal
interests.

This evident repudiation by the Mormons of their part of their
agreement with the committee incensed the Jackson County people,
and hostilities were resumed. On the night of October 31, a mob
attacked a Mormon settlement called Big Blue, some ten miles west
of Independence, damaged a number of houses, whipped some of the
men, and frightened women and children so badly that they fled to
the outlying country for hiding-places. On the night of November
1, Mormon houses were stoned in Independence, and the church
store was broken into and its goods scattered in the street. The
Mormons thereupon showed the governor's letter to a justice of
the peace, and asked him for a warrant, but their accounts say
that he refused one. When they took before the same officer a man
whom they caught in the act of destroying their property, the
justice not only refused to hold him, but granted a warrant in
his behalf against Gilbert, Corrill, and two other Mormons for
false imprisonment, and they were locked up.* Thrown on their own
resources for defence, the Mormons now armed themselves as well
as they could, and established a night picket service throughout
their part of the county. On Saturday night, November 2, a second
attack was made by the mob on Big Blue and, the Mormons
resisting, the first "battle" of this campaign took place. A sick
woman received a pistolshot wound in the head, and one of the
Mormons a wound in the thigh. Parley P. Pratt and others were
then sent to Lexington to procure a warrant from Circuit Judge
Ryland, but, according to Pratt, he refused to grant one, and
"advised us to fight and kill the outlaws whenever they came upon
us."**

* Corrill's letter, Evening and Morning Star, January, 1834.

** Pratt's "Autobiography," p. 105.


On Monday evening, November 4, a body of Missourians who had been
visiting some of the Mormon settlements came in contact with a
company of Mormons who had assembled for defence, and an exchange
of shots ensued, by which a number on both sides were wounded,
one of the Mormons dying the next day.

These conflicts increased the excitement, and the Mormons,
knowing how they were outnumbered, now realized that they could
not stay in Jackson County any longer, and they arranged to move.
At first they decided to make their new settlement only fifty
miles south of Independence, in Van Buren County, but to this the
Jackson County people would not consent. They therefore agreed to
move north into Clay County, between which and Jackson County the
Missouri River, which there runs east, formed the boundary. Most
of them went to Clay County, but others scattered throughout the
other nearby counties, whose inhabitants soon let them know that
their presence was not agreeable.

The hasty removal of these people so late in the season was
accompanied by great personal hardships and considerable
pecuniary loss. The Mormons have stated the number of persons
driven out at fifteen hundred, and the number of houses burned;
before and after their departure, at from two hundred to three
hundred. Cattle and household effects that could not be moved
were sold for what they would bring, and those who took with them
sufficient provisions for their immediate wants considered
themselves fortunate. One party of six men and about one hundred
and fifty women and children, panic-stricken by the action of the
mob, wandered for several days over the prairie without even
sufficient food. The banks of the Missouri River where the
fugitives were ferried across presented a strange spectacle. In a
pouring rain the big company were encamped there on November 7,
some with tents and some without any cover, their household goods
piled up around them. Children were born in this camp, and the
sick had to put up with such protection as could be provided. So
determined were the Jackson County people that not a Mormon
should remain among them, that on November 23 they drove out a
little settlement of some twenty families living about fifteen
miles from Independence, compelling women and children to depart
on immediate notice.

The Mormons made further efforts through legal proceedings to
assert their rights in Jackson County, but unsuccessfully. The
governor declared that the situation did not warrant him in
calling out the militia, and referred them to the courts for
redress for civil injuries. In later years they appealed more
than once to the federal authorities at Washington for assistance
in reestablishing themselves in Jackson County,* but were
informed that the matter rested with the state of Missouri. Their
future bitterness toward the federal government was explained on
the ground of this refusal to come to their aid.

* James Hutchins, a resident of Wisconsin, addressed a long
appeal "for justice" to President Grant in 1876, asking him to
reinstate the Mormons in the homes from which they had been
driven.


Meanwhile Smith had been preparing to use the authority at his
command to make good his predictions about the permanency of the
church in the Missouri Zion. On December 6, 1833, he gave out a
long "revelation" at Kirtland (Sec. 101), which created a great
sensation among his followers. Beginning with the declaration
that "I, the Lord," have suffered affliction to come on the
brethren in Missouri "in consequence of their transgressions,
envyings and stripes, and lustful and covetous desires," it went
on to promise them as follows:--

"Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her
children are scattered.... And, behold, there is none other place
appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there
be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed,
for the work of the gathering of my saints, until the day cometh
when there is found no more room for them."

The "revelation" then stated the Lord's will "concerning the
redemption of Zion" in the form of a long parable which contained
these instructions:--

"And go ye straightway into the land of my vineyard, and redeem
my vineyard, for it is mine, I have bought it with money.

"Therefore get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls
of mine enemies; throw down their tower and scatter their
watchmen;

"And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of
mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine
house and possess the land."

This "revelation" was industriously circulated in printed form
among the churches of Ohio and the East, and so great was the
demand for copies that they sold for one dollar each. The only
construction to be placed upon it was that Smith proposed to make
good his predictions by means of an armed force led against the
people of Missouri. This view soon had confirmation.

The arrival of P. P. Pratt and Lyman Wight in Kirtland in
February, 1834, was followed by a "revelation" (Sec. 103)
promising an outpouring of God's wrath on those who had expelled
the brethren from their Missouri possessions, and declaring that
"the redemption of Zion must needs come by power," and that Smith
was to lead them, as Moses led the children of Israel.

In obedience to this direction there was assembled a military
organization, known in church history as "The Army of Zion."
Recruiters, led by Smith and Rigdon, visited the Eastern states,
and by May 1 some two hundred men had assembled at Kirtland ready
to march to Missouri to aid their brethren.*

* There are three detailed accounts of this expedition, one in
Smith's autobiography, another in H. C. Kimball's journal in
Times and Seasons, Vol. 6, and another in Howe's "Mormonism
Unveiled," procured from one of the accompanying sharpshooters.


The Army of Zion, as it called itself, was not an impressive one
in appearance. Military experience was not required of the
recruits; but no one seems to have been accepted who was not in
possession of a weapon and at least $5 in cash. The weapons
ranged from butcher knives and rusty swords to pistols, muskets,
and rifles. Smith himself carried a fine sword, a brace of
pistols (purchased on six months' credit), and a rifle, and had
four horses allotted to him. He had himself elected treasurer of
the expedition, and to him was intrusted all the money of the
men, to be disbursed as his judgment dictated.

According to his own account, they were constantly threatened by
enemies during their march; but they paid no attention to them,
knowing that angels accompanied them as protectors, "for we saw
them."

As they approached Clay County a committee from Ray County called
on them to inquire about their intention, and, when a few miles
from Liberty, in Clay County, General Atchison and other
Missourians met them and warned them not to defy popular feeling
by entering that town. Accepting this advice, they took a
circuitous route and camped on Rush Creek, whence Smith on June
25 sent a letter to General Atchison's committee saying that, in
the interest of peace, "we have concluded that our company shall
be immediately dispersed."

The night before this letter was sent, cholera broke out in the
camp. Smith at once attempted to perform miraculous cures of the
victims, but he found actual cholera patients very different to
deal with from old women with imaginary ailments, or, as he puts
it, "I quickly learned by painful experience that, when the great
Jehovah decrees destruction upon any people, and makes known his
determination, man must not attempt to stay his hand."* There
were thirteen deaths in camp, among the victims being Sidney
Gilbert.

* "Millennial Star, Vol. XV, p. 86.


Of course, some explanation was necessary to reconcile the
prophet's surrender without a battle with the "revelation" which
directed the army to march and promised a victory. This came in
the shape of another "revelation" (Sec. 105) which declared that
the immediate redemption of the people must be delayed because of
their disobedience and lack of union (especially excepting
himself from this censure); that the Lord did not "require at
their hands to fight the battles of Zion"; that a large enough
force had not assembled at the Lord's command, and that those who
had made the journey were "brought thus far for a trial of their
faith." The brethren were directed not to make boasts of the
judgment to come on the Missourians, but to keep quiet, and
"gather together, as much in one region as can be, consistently
with the feelings of the people"; to purchase all the lands in
Jackson County they could, and then "I will hold the armies of
Israel guiltless in taking possession of their own lands, which
they have previously purchased with their monies, and of throwing
down the powers of mine enemies." But first the Lord's army was
to become very great.

It seems incredible that any set of followers could retain faith
in "revelations" at once so conflicting and so nonsensical.





Next: Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People

Previous: Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple



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