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.





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