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The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of their Origin to the Year 1901 by William Alexander Linn

Part 5 out of 15

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city, flee ye to another." He describes the weather as extremely
cold, and says, "We were obliged to secrete ourselves sometimes
to elude the grasp of our pursuers, who continued their race more
than two hundred miles from Kirtland, armed with pistols, etc.,
seeking our lives." There is no other authority for this story of
an armed pursuit, and the fact seems to be that the non-Mormon
community were perfectly satisfied with the removal of the mock
prophet from their neighborhood.

Although Kirtland continued to remain a Stake of the church, the
real estate scheme of making it a big city vanished with the
prophet. Foreclosures of mortgages now began; the church
printing-office was first sold out by the sheriff and then
destroyed by fire, and the so-called reform element took
possession of the Temple. Rigdon had placed his property out of
his own hands, one acre of land in Kirtland being deeded by him
and his wife to their daughter.

The Temple with about two acres of land adjoining was deeded by
the prophet to William Marks in 1837, and in 1841 was redeeded to
Smith as trustee in trust for the church. In 1862 it was sold
under an order of the probate court by Joseph Smith's
administrator, and conveyed the same day to one Russel Huntley,
who, in 1873, conveyed it to the prophet's grandson, Joseph
Smith, and another representative of the Reorganized Church
(nonpolygamist). The title of the latter organization was
sustained in 1880 by judge L. S. Sherman, of the Lake County
Court of Common Pleas, who held that, "The church in Utah has
materially and largely departed from the faith, doctrines, laws,
ordinances and usages of said original Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints, and has incorporated into its system of faith
the doctrines of celestial marriage and a plurality of wives, and
the doctrine of Adam-God worship, contrary to the laws and
constitution of said original church," and that the Reorganized
Church was the true and lawful successor to the original
organization. At the general conference of the Reorganized
Church, held at Lamoni, Iowa, in April, 1901, the Kirtland
district reported a membership of 423 members.


The state of Missouri, to which the story of the Mormons is now
transferred, was, at the time of its admission to the Union, in
1821, called "a promontory of civilization into an ocean of
savagery." Wild Indian tribes occupied the practically unexplored
region beyond its western boundary, and its own western counties
were thinly settled. Jackson County, which in 1900 had 195,193
inhabitants, had a population of 2823 by the census of 1830, and
neighboring counties not so many. It was not until 1830 that the
first cabin of a white man was built in Daviess County. All this
territory had been released from Indian ownership by treaty only
a few years when the first Mormons arrived there.

The white settler's house was a log hut, generally with a dirt
floor, a mudplastered chimney, and a window without glass, a
board or quilt serving to close it in time of storm or severe
cold. A fireplace, with a skillet and kettle, supplied the place
of a well-equipped stove. Corn was the principal grain food, and
wild game supplied most of the meat. The wild animals furnished
clothing as well as food; for the pioneers could not afford to
pay from 15 to 25 cents a yard for calico, and from 25 to 75
cents for gingham.* Some persons indulged in homespun cloth for
Sunday and festal occasions, but the common outside garments were
made of dressed deerskins. Parley P. Pratt, in his autobiography,
speaks of passing through a settlement where "some families were
entirely dressed in skins, without any other clothing, including
ladies young and old."

* "When the merchants sold a calico or gingham dress pattern they
threw in their profit by giving a spool of thread (two hundred
yards), hooks and eyes and lining. In the thread business,
however, it was only a few years after that thirty and fifty yard
spools took the place of the two hundred yards."--"History of
Daviess County", p. 161.

The pioneer agriculturist of those days not only lacked the
transportation facilities and improved agricultural appliances
which have assisted the developers of the Northwest, but they did
not even understand the nature and capability of the soil. The
newcomers in western Missouri looked on the rich prairie land as
worthless, and they almost invariably directed their course to
the timber, where the soil was more easily broken up, and
material for buildings was available. The first attempts to
plough the prairie sod were very primitive. David Dailey made the
first trial in Jackson County with what was called a "barshear
plough" (drawn by from four to eight yokes of oxen), the "shear"
of which was fastened to the beam. This cut the sod in one
direction pretty well, but when he began to cross-furrow, the sod
piled up in front of the plough and stopped his progress.
Determined to see what the soil would grow, he cut holes in the
sod with an axe, and in these dropped his seed. The first sod was
broken in Daviess County in 1834, with a plough made to order,
"to see what the prairies amounted to in the way of raising a
crop." Such was the country toward which the first Mormon
missionaries turned their faces.

We have seen that the first intimation in the Mormon records of a
movement to the West was found in Smith's order to Oliver Cowdery
in 1830 to go and establish the church among the Lamanites
(Indians), and that Rigdon expected that the church would remain
in Ohio, when he wrote to his flock from Palmyra. The four
original missionaries--Cowdery, P. P. Pratt, Peter Whitmer, and
Peterson--did not stop long in Kirtland, but, taking with them
Frederick G. Williams, they pushed on westward to Sandusky,
Cincinnati, and St. Louis, preaching to some Indians on the way,
until they reached Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, early
in 1831. That county forms a part of the western border of the
state, and from 1832, until the railroad took the place of wagon
trains, Independence was the eastern terminus of the famous Santa
Fe trail, and the point of departure for many companies destined
both for Oregon and California. Pratt, describing their journey
west of St. Louis, says: "We travelled on foot some three hundred
miles, through vast prairies and through trackless wilds of snow;
no beaten road, houses few and far between. We travelled for
whole days, from morning till night, without a house or fire. We
carried on our backs our changes of clothing, several books, and
corn bread and raw pork."*

* "Autobiography of P. P. Pratt," p. 54.

The sole idea of these pioneers seemed to be to preach to the
Indians. Arriving at Independence, Whitmer and Peterson went to
work to support themselves as tailors, while Cowdery and Pratt
crossed the border into the Indian country. The latter, however,
were at once pronounced by the federal officers there to be
violators of the law which forbade the settlement of white men
among the Indians, and they returned to Independence, and
preached thereabout during the winter. Early in February the four
decided that Pratt should return to Kirtland and make a report,
and he did so, travelling partly on foot, partly on horseback,
and partly by steamer.

As early as March, 1830, Smith had conceived the idea (or some
one else for him) of a gathering of the elect "unto one place" to
prepare for the day of desolation (Sec. 29). In October, 1830,
the four pioneers were commanded to start "into the wilderness
among the Lamanites," and on January 2, 1831, while Rigdon was
visiting Smith in New York State, another "revelation" (Sec. 38)
described the land of promise as "a land flowing with milk and
honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh."
This land they and their children were to possess, both "while
the earth shall stand, and again in eternity." A "revelation"
(Sec. 45), dated March 7, 1831, at Kirtland, called on the
faithful to assemble and visit the Western countries, where they
were promised an inheritance, to be called "the New Jerusalem, a
land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints
of most High God." These things they were to "keep from going
abroad into the world" for the present.

The manner in which the elect were told by "revelation" that they
should possess their land of promise has a most important bearing
on the justification of the opposition which the Missourians soon
manifested toward their new neighbors. In one of these
"revelations," dated Kirtland, February, 1831 (Sec. 42), Christ
is represented as saying, "I will consecrate the riches of the
Gentiles unto my people which are of the house of Israel."
Another, in the following June (Sec. 52), which directed Smith's
and Rigdon's trip, promised the elect, "If ye are faithful ye
shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land in
Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, WHICH IS NOW THE
LAND OF YOUR ENEMIES." Another, given while Smith was in
Missouri, in August, 1831 (Sec. 59), promised to those "who have
come up into this land with an eye single to My glory," that
"they shall inherit the earth," and "shall receive for their
reward the good things of the earth." On the same date the Saints
were told that they should "open their hearts even to purchase
the whole region of country as soon as time will permit,...lest
they receive none inheritance save it be by the shedding of
blood." It seems to have been thought wise to add to this last
statement, after the return of the party to Ohio, and a
"revelation" dated August, 1831 (Sec. 63), was given out, stating
that the land of Zion could be obtained only "by purchase or by
blood," and "as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies
are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city."

* Tullidge, in his "History of Salt Lake City" (1886), defining
the early Mormon view of their land rights, after quoting Brigham
Young's declaration to the first arrivals in Salt Lake Valley,
that he (or the church) had "no land to sell," but "every man
should have his land measured out to him for city and family
purposes," says: "Young could with absolute propriety give the
above utterances on the land question. In the early days of the
church they applied to land not only owned by the United States,
but within the boundaries of states of the Union." After quoting
from the above-cited "revelation" the words "save they be by the
shedding of blood," he explains, "The latter clause of the
quotation signifies that the Mormon prophet foresaw that, unless
his disciples purchased 'this whole region of country' of the
unpopulated Far West of that period, the land question held
between them and anti-Mormons would lead to the shedding of
blood, and that they would be in jeopardy of losing their
inheritance; and this was realized."

As to their obligation to pay for any of the "good things"
purchased of their enemies, a "revelation" dated September 11,
1831 (the month after the return from Missouri), gave this

"Behold it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to
thine enemies;

"But behold it is not said at any time, that the Lord should not
take when he pleased, and pay as seemeth him good.

"Wherefore as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand; and
whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord, it is the
Lord's business, and it is the Lord's business to provide for his
Saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in
the land of Zion."--"Book of Commandments," Chap. 65.

In the modern version of this "revelation" to be found in Sec. 64
of the "Doctrine and Covenants," the latter part of this
declaration is changed to read, "And he hath set you to provide
for his saints in these last days," etc.

So eager were the Saints to occupy their land of Zion, when the
movement started, that the word of "revelation" was employed to
give warning against a hasty rush to the new possessions, and to
establish a certain supervision of the emigration by the Bishop
and other agents of the church. Notwithstanding this, the rush
soon became embarrassing to the church authorities in Missouri,
and a modified view of the Lord's promise was thus stated in the
Evening and Morning Star of July, 1832, "Although the Lord has
said that it is his business to provide for the Saints in these
last days, he is not BOUND to do so unless we observe his sayings
and keep them." Saints in the East were warned against giving
away their property before moving, and urged not to come to
Missouri without some means, and to bring with them cattle and
improved breeds of sheep and hogs, with necessary seeds.


On June 7, 1831, a "revelation" was given out (Sec. 52)
announcing that the next conference would be held in the promised
land in Missouri, and directing Smith and Rigdon to go thither,
and naming some thirty elders, including John Corrill, David
Whitmer, P. P. and Orson Pratt, Martin Harris, and Edward
Partridge, who should also make the trip, two by two, preaching
by the way. Booth says: "Only about two weeks were allowed them
to make preparations for the journey, and most of them left what
business they had to be closed by others. Some left large
families, with the crops upon the ground."*

* Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled."

Smith's party left Kirtland on June 19, and arrived at
Independence in the following month, journeying on foot after
reaching St. Louis, a distance of about three hundred miles.
Smith was delighted with the new country, with "its beautiful
rolling prairies, spread out like real meadows; the varied timber
of the bottoms; the plums and grapes and persimmons and the
flowers; the rich soil, the horses, cattle, and hogs, and the
wild game.... The season is mild and delightful nearly three
quarters of the year, and as the land of Zion is situated at
about equal distances from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as
well as from the Alleghany and Rocky Mountains, it bids fair to
become one of the most blessed places on the earth."* The town of
Independence then consisted of a brick courthouse, two or three
stores, and fifteen or twenty houses, mostly of logs.

* Smith's "Autobiography," Millennial Star, Vol. XIV.

The usual "revelation" came first (Sec. 57), announcing that
"this is the land of promise and the place for the City of Zion,"
with Independence as its centre, and the site of the Temple a lot
near the courthouse. It was also declared that the land should be
purchased by the Saints, "and also every tract lying westward,
even unto the line running directly between Jew and Gentile"
(whatever that might mean), "and also every tract bordering by
the prairies." Sidney Gilbert was ordered to "plant himself"
there, and establish a store, "that he might sell goods without
fraud," to obtain money for the purchase of land. Edward
Partridge was "to divide the Saints their inheritance," and W. W.
Phelps* and Cowdery were to be printers to the church.

* Phelps came from Canandaigua, New York, where, Howe says, he
was an avowed infidel. He had been prominent in politics and had
edited a party newspaper. Disappointed in his political ambition,
he threw in his lot with the new church.

Marvellous stories were at once circulated of the grandeur that
was to characterize the new city, of the wealth that would be
gathered there by the faithful who would survive the speedy
destruction of the wicked, and of the coming of the lost tribes
of Israel, who had been located near the north pole, where they
had become very rich. While not tracing these declarations to
Smith himself, Booth, who was one of the party, says that they
were told by persons in daily intercourse with him. It is doing
the prophet no injustice to say that they bear his imprint.

The laying of the foundation of the City of Zion was next in
order. Rigdon delivered an address in consecrating the ground, in
which he enjoined them to obey all of Smith's commands. A small
scrub oak tree was then cut down and trimmed, and twelve men,
representing the Apostles, conveyed it to a designated place.
Cowdery sought out the best stone he could find for a
corner-stone, removed a little earth, and placed the stone in the
excavation, delivering an address. One end of the oak tree was
laid on this stone, "and there," says Booth, "was laid down the
first stone and stick which are to form an essential part of the
splendid City of Zion."

The next day the site of the Temple was consecrated, Smith laying
the cornerstone. When the ceremonies were over, the spot was
merely marked by a sapling, from two sides of which the bark was
stripped, one side being marked with a "T" for Temple, and the
other with "ZOM," which Smith stated stood for "Zomas," the
original of Zion. At the foot of this sapling lay the
corner-stone--"a small stone, covered over with bushes."

Such ceremonies might have been viewed with indulgence if
conducted in some suburb of Kirtland. But when men had travelled
hundreds of miles at Smith's command, suffering personal
privations as well as submitting to pecuniary sacrifices, it was
a severe test of their faith to have two small trees and t wo
round stones in the wilderness offered to them as the only
tangible indications of a land of plenty. Rigdon expressed
dissatisfaction with the outcome, as we have seen; Booth left the
church as soon as he got back to Ohio; members of the party
called Cowdery and Smith imperious, and the prophet and Rigdon
incurred the charge of "excessive cowardice" on the way.

Smith made a second trip to Independence, leaving Ohio on April
2, 1832, and arriving there on his return the following June. His
stay in Missouri this time was marked by nothing more important
than his acknowledgment as President of the high priesthood by a
council of the church there, and a "revelation" which declared
that Zion's "borders must be enlarged, her Stakes must be


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

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.

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

"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

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

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

*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

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

* 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

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

"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

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

* "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.

CHAPTER IV. Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People

Meanwhile, the Mormons in Clay County, with the assent of the
natives there, had opened a factory for the manufacture of arms
"to pay the Jackson mob in their own way,"* and it was rumored
that both sides were supplying themselves with cannon, to make
the coming contest the more determined. Governor Dunklin, fearing
a further injury to the good name of the state, wrote to Colonel
J. Thornton urging a compromise, and on June 10 Judge Ryland sent
a communication to A. S. Gilbert, asking him to call a meeting of
Mormons in Liberty for a discussion of the situation.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XV, p. 68.

This meeting was held on June 16, and a committee from Jackson
County presented the following proposition: "That the value of
the lands, and the improvements thereon, of the Mormons in
Jackson County, be ascertained by three disinterested appraisers,
representatives of the Mormons to be allowed freely to point out
the lands claimed and the improvements; that the people of
Jackson County would agree to pay the Mormons the valuation fixed
by the appraisers, WITH ONE HUNDRED PER CENT ADDED, within thirty
days of the award; or, the Jackson County citizens would agree to
sell out their lands in that county to the Mormons on the same
terms." The Mormon leaders agreed to call a meeting of their
people to consider this proposition.

The fifteen Jackson County committeemen, it may be mentioned, in
crossing the river on their way home, were upset, and seven of
them were drowned, including their chairman, J. Campbell, who was
reported to have made threats against Smith. The latter thus
reports the accident in his autobiography, "The angel of God saw
fit to sink the boat about the middle of the river, and seven,
out of the twelve that attempted to cross were drowned, thus
suddenly and justly went they to their own place by water."

On June 21 the Mormons gave written notice to the Jackson County
people that the terms proposed were rejected, and that they were
framing "honorable propositions" on their own part, which they
would soon submit, adding a denial of a rumor that they intended
a hostile invasion. Their objection to the terms proposed was
thus stated in an editorial in the Evening and Morning Star of
July, 1834, "When it is understood that the mob hold possession
of a large quantity of land more than our friends, and that they
only offer thirty days for the payment of the same, it will be
seen that they are only making a sham to cover their past
unlawful conduct." This explanation ignores entirely the offer of
the Missourians to buy out the Mormons at a valuation double that
fixed by the appraisers, and simply shows that they intended to
hold to the idea that their promised Zion was in Jackson County,
and that they would not give it up.*

* The idea of returning to a Zion in Jackson County has never
been abandoned by the Mormon church. Bishop Partridge took title
to the Temple lot in Independence in his own name. In 1839, when
the Mormons were expelled from the state, still believing that
this was to be the site of the New Jerusalem, he deeded
sixty-three acres of land in Jackson County, including this lot,
to three small children of Oliver Cowdery. In 1848, seven years
after Partridge's death, and when all the Cowdery grantees were
dead, a man named Poole got a deed for this land from the heirs
of the grantees, and subsequent conveyances were made under
Poole's deed. In 1851 a branch of the church, under a title
Church of Christ, known as Hendrickites, from Grandville
Hendrick, its originator, was organized in Illinois, with a basis
of belief which rejects most of the innovations introduced since
1835. Hendrick in 1864 was favored with a "revelation" which
ordered the removal of his church to Jackson County. On arriving
there different members quietly bought parts of the old Temple
lot. In 1887 the sole surviving sister and heir of the Cowdery
children executed a quit claim deed of the lot to Bishop
Blakeslee of the Reorganized Church in Iowa, and that church at
once began legal proceedings to establish their title. Judge
Philips, of the United States Circuit Court for the Western
Division of Missouri, decided the case in March, 1894, in favor
of the Reorganized Church, but the United States Court of Appeals
reversed this decision on the ground that the respondents had
title through undisputed possession ("United States Court of
Appeals Reports," Vol. XVII, p. 387). The Hendrickites in this
suit were actively aided by the Utah Mormons, President Woodruff
being among their witnesses. This Church of Christ has now a
membership of less than two hundred.

Two Mormon elders, describing their visit to Independence in
1888, said that they went to the Temple lot and prayed as
follows: "O Lord, remember thy words, and let not Zion suffer
forever. Hasten her redemption, and let thy name be glorified in
the victory of truth and righteousness over sin and iniquity.
Confound the enemies of the people and let Zion be free:'
--"Infancy of the Church," Salt Lake City, 1889.

On June 23 (the date of Smith's last quoted "revelation"), the
Mormons presented their counter proposition in writing. It was
that a board of six Mormons and six Jackson County non-Mormons
should decide on the value of lands in that county belonging to
"those men who cannot consent to live with us," and that they
should receive this sum within a year, less the amount of damage
suffered by the Mormons, the latter to be determined by the same
persons. The Jackson County people replied that they would "do
nothing like according to their last proposition," and expressed
a hope that the Mormons "would cast an eye back of Clinton, to
see if that is not a county calculated for them." Clinton was the
county next north of Clay.

Governor Dunklin, in his annual message to the legislature that
year, expressed the opinion that "conviction for any violence
committed against a Mormon cannot be had in Jackson County," and
told the lawmakers it was for them to determine what amendments
were necessary "to guard against such acts of violence for the
future." The Mormons sent a petition in their own behalf to the
legislature, which was presented by Corrill, but no action was

CHAPTER V. In Clay, Caldwell, And Daviess Counties

The counties in which the Mormons settled after leaving Jackson
County were thinly populated at that time, Clay County having
only 5338 inhabitants, according to the census of 1830, and
Caldwell, Carroll, and Daviess counties together having only 6617
inhabitants by the census of 1840. County rivalry is always a
characteristic of our newly settled states and territories, and
the Clay County people welcomed the Mormons as an addition to
their number, notwithstanding the ill favor in which they stood
with their southern neighbors. The new-comers at first occupied
what vacant cabins they could find in the southern part of the
county, until they could erect houses of their own, while the men
obtained such employment as was offered, and many of the women
sought places as domestic servants and school-teachers. The
Jackson County people were not pleased with this friendly spirit,
and they not only tried to excite trouble between the new
neighbors, but styled the Clay County residents "Jack Mormons," a
name applied in later years in other places to non-Mormons who
were supposed to have Mormon sympathies.

Peace was maintained, however, for about three years. But the
Mormons grew in numbers, and, as the natives realized their
growth, they showed no more disposition to be in the minority
than did their southern neighbors. The Mormons, too, were without
tact, and they did not conceal the intention of the church to
possess the land. Proof of their responsibility for what followed
is found in a remark of W. W. Phelps, in a letter from Clay
County to Ohio in December, 1833, that "our people fare very
well, and, when they are discreet, little or no persecution is

* Millennial Star, Vol. XIV, p. 646.

The irritation kept on increasing, and by the spring of 1836 Clay
County had become as hostile to the Mormons as Jackson County had
ever been. In June, the course adopted in Jackson County to get
rid of the new-comers was imitated, and a public meeting in the
court house at Liberty adopted resolutions* setting forth that
civil war was threatened by the rapid immigration of Mormons;
that when the latter were received, in pity and kindness, after
their expulsion across the river, it was understood that they
would leave "whenever a respectable portion of the citizens of
this county should require it," and that that time had now come.
The reasons for this demand included Mormon declarations that the
county was destined by Heaven to be theirs, opposition to
slavery, teaching the Indians that they were to possess the land
with the Saints, and their religious tenets, which, it was said,
"always will excite deep prejudices against them in any populous
country where they may locate." In explanations of the
anti-Mormon feeling in Missouri frequent allusion is made to
polygamous practices. This was not charged in any of the formal
statements against them, and Corrill declares that they had done
nothing there that would incriminate them under the law. The
Mormons were urged to seek a new abiding-place, the territory of
Wisconsin being recommended for their investigation. The
resolutions confessed that "we do not contend that we have the
least right, under the constitution and laws of the country, to
expel them by force"; but gave as an excuse for the action taken
the certainty of an armed conflict if the Mormons remained. Newly
arrived immigrants were advised to leave immediately,
non-landowners to follow as soon as they could gather their crops
and settle up their business, and owners of forty acres to remain
indefinitely, until they could dispose of their real estate
without loss.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XV, p. 763.

The Mormons, on July 1, adopted resolutions denying the charges
against them, but agreeing to leave the county. The Missourians
then appointed a committee to raise money to assist the needy
Saints to move. Smith and his associates in Ohio had not at that
time the same interest in a Zion in Missouri that they had three
years earlier, and they only expressed sorrow over the new
troubles, and advised the fugitives to stop short of Wisconsin if
they could. An appeal was again made by the Missouri Mormons to
the governor of that state, but he now replied that if they could
not convince their neighbors of their innocence, "all I can say
to you is that in this republic the vox populi is the vox dei."

The Mormons selected that part of Ray County from which Caldwell
County was formed (just northeast of Clay County) for their new
abode, and on their petition the legislature framed the new
county for their occupancy. This was then almost unsettled
territory, and the few inhabitants made no objection to the
coming of their new neighbors. They secured a good deal of land,
some by purchase, and some by entry on government sections, and
began its improvement. Many of them were so poor that they had to
seek work in the neighboring counties for the support of their
families. Some of their most intelligent members afterward
attributed their future troubles in that state to their failure
to keep within their own county boundaries.

As the county seat they founded a town which they named Far West,
and which soon presented quite a collection of houses, both log
and frame, schools, and shops. Phelps wrote in the summer of
1837, "Land cannot be had around town now much less than $10 per
acre."* There were practically no inhabitants but Mormons within
fifteen or twenty miles of the town,** and the Saints were
allowed entire political freedom. Of the county officers, two
judges, thirteen magistrates, the county clerk, and all the
militia officers were of their sect. They had credit enough to
make necessary loans, and, says Corrill, "friendship began to be
restored between them and their neighbors, the old prejudices
were fast dying away, and they were doing well, until the summer
of 1838."

* Messenger and Advocate, July, 1837.

** Lee's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 53.

It was in January, 1838, that Smith fled from Kirtland. He
arrived in Far West in the following March; Rigdon was detained
in Illinois a short time by the illness of a daughter. Smith's
family went with him, and they were followed by many devoted
adherents of the church, who, in order to pay church debts in
Ohio and the East, had given up their property in exchange for
orders on the Bishop at Far West. In other words, they were

The business scandals in Ohio had not affected the reputation of
the church leaders with their followers in Missouri (where the
bank bills had not circulated and Smith and Rigdon received a
hearty welcome, their coming being accepted as a big step forward
in the realization of their prophesied Zion. It proved, however,
to be the cause of the expulsion of their followers from the

CHAPTER VI. Radical Dissensions In The Church--Origin Of The

While the church, in a material sense, might have been as
prosperous as Corrill pictured, Smith, on his arrival, found it
in the throes of serious internal discord. The month before he
reached Far West, W. W. Phelps and John Whitmer, of the
Presidency there, had been tried before a general assembly of the
church,* and almost unanimously deposed on several charges, the
principal one being a claim on their part to $2000 of the church
funds which they had bound the Bishop to pay to them. Whitmer was
also accused of persisting in the use of tea, coffee, and
tobacco. T. B. Marsh, one of the Presidents pro tem. selected in
their places, in a letter to the prophet on this subject, said:--

* For the minutes of this General Assembly, and text of Marsh's
letter, see Elders' Journal, July, 1838.

"Had we not taken the above measures, we think that nothing could
have prevented a rebellion against the whole High Council and
Bishop; so great was the disaffection against the Presidents that
the people began to be jealous that the whole authorities were
inclined to uphold these men in wickedness, and in a little time
the church undoubtedly would have gone every man his own way,
like sheep without a shepherd."

On April 11, Elder Bronson presented nine charges against Oliver
Cowdery to the High Council, which promptly found him guilty of
six of them, viz. urging vexatious lawsuits against the brethren,
accusing the prophet of adultery, not attending meeting,
returning to the practice of law "for the sake of filthy lucre,"
"disgracing the church by being connected with the bogus
[counterfeiting] business, retaining notes after they had been
paid," and generally "forsaking the cause of God." On this
finding he was expelled from the church. Two days later David
Whitmer was found guilty of unchristianlike conduct and defaming
the prophet, and was expelled, and Lyman E. Johnson met the same
fate.* Smith soon announced a "revelation" (Sec. 114), directing
the places of the expelled to be filled by others.

* For minutes of these councils, see Millennial Star, Vol. XVI,
pp. 130-134.

It was in the June following that the paper drawn up by Rigdon
and signed by eighty-three prominent members of the church was
presented to the recalcitrants, ordering them to leave the
county, and painting their characters in the blackest hues.* This
radical action did not meet the approval of the more conservative
element, which included men like Corrill, and he soon announced
that he was no longer a Mormon. Not long afterward Thomas B.
Marsh, one of the original members of the High Council of Twelve
in Missouri, and now President of the Twelve, and Orson Hyde, one
of the original Apostles, also seceded, and both gave testimony
about the Mormon schemes in Caldwell and Daviess Counties.
Cowdery and Whitmer considered their lives in such danger that
they fled on horseback at night, leaving their families, and
after riding till daylight in a storm, reached the house of a
friend, where they found refuge until their families could join

* See p. 81 ante. For the full text of Rigdon's paper, see the
"Correspondence, Orders, etc., in Relation to the Mormon
Disturbances in Missouri," published by order of the Missouri
legislature (1841).

The most important event that followed the expulsion of leading
members from the church by the High Council was the formation of
that organization which has been almost ever since known as the
Danites, whose dark deeds in Nauvoo were scarcely more than
hinted at,* but which, under Brigham Young's authority in Utah,
became a band of murderers, ready to carry out the most radical
suggestion which might be made by any higher authority of the

* Lee's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 158.

Corrill, an active member of the church in Missouri, writing in
1839 with the events fresh in his memory, said* that the members
of the Danite society entered into solemn covenants to stand by
one another when in difficulty, whether right or wrong, and to
correct each other's wrongs among themselves, accepting strictly
the mandates of the Presidency as standing next to God. He
explains that "many were opposed to this society, but such was
their determination and also their threatenings, that those
opposed dare not speak their minds on the subject . . . . It
began to be taught that the church, instead of God, or, rather,
the church in the hands of God, was to bring about these things
(judgments on the wicked), and I was told, but I cannot vouch for
the truth of it, that some of them went so far as to contrive
plans how they might scatter poison, pestilence, and disease
among the inhabitants, and make them think it was judgments sent
from God. I accused Smith and Rigdon of it, but they both denied
it promptly."

* "Brief History of the Church," pp. 31, 32.

Robinson, in his reminiscences in the Return in later years, gave
the same date of the organization of the Danites, and said that
their first manifesto was the one directed against Cowdery,
Whitmer, and others.

We must look for the actual origin of this organization, however,
to some of the prophet's instructions while still at Kirtland. In
his "revelation" of August 6, 1833 (Sec. 98), he thus defined the
treatment that the Saints might bestow upon their enemies: "I
have delivered thine enemy into thine hands, and then if thou
wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; . .
. nevertheless thine enemy is in thine hands, and if thou reward
him according to his works thou art justified, if he has sought
thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in
thine hands and thou art justified."

What such a license would mean to a following like Smith's can
easily be understood.

The next step in the same direction was taken during the
exercises which,accompanied the opening of the Kirtland Temple.
Three days after the dedicatory services, all the high officers
of the church, and the official members of the stake, to the
number of about three hundred, met in the Temple by appointment
to perform the washing of feet. While this was going on
(following Smith's own account),* "the brethren began to prophesy
blessings upon each other's heads, and cursings upon the enemies
of Christ who inhabit Jackson County, Missouri, and continued
prophesying and blessing and sealing them, with hosannah and
amen, until nearly seven o'clock P. M. The bread and wine were
then brought in. While waiting, I made the following remarks, 'I
want to enter into the following covenant, that if any more of
our brethren are slain or driven from their lands in Missouri by
the mob, we will give ourselves no rest until we are avenged of
our enemies to the uttermost.' This covenant was sealed
unanimously, with a hosannah and an amen." **

* Millennial Star, Vol. XV, pp. 727-728.

* "The spirit of that covenant evidently bore fruit in the Fourth
of July oration of 1838 and the Mountain Meadow Massacre."--The
Return, Vol. II, p. 271.

The original name chosen for the Danites was "Daughters of Zion,"
suggested by the text Micah iv. 13: "Arise and thresh, O daughter
of Zion; for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thine
hoofs brass; and thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I
will consecrate thy gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto
the Lord of the whole earth." "Daughters" of anybody was soon
decided to be an inappropriate designation for such a band, and
they were next called "Destroying (or Flying) Angels," a title
still in use in Utah days; then the "Big Fan," suggested by
Jeremiah xv. 7, or Luke iii. 17; then "Brothers of Gideon," and
finally "Sons of Dan" (whence the name Danites,) from Genesis
xlix. 17: "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the
path, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider shall fall

* Hyde's "Mormonism Exposed," pp. 104-105.

Avard presented the text of the constitution to the court at
Richmond, Missouri, during the inquiry before Judge King in
November, 1838* It begins with a preamble setting forth the
agreement of the members "to regulate ourselves under such laws
as in righteousness shall be deemed necessary for the
preservation of our holy religion, and of our most sacred rights,
and the rights of our wives and children," and declaring that,
"not having the privileges of others allowed to us, we have
determined, like unto our fathers, to resist tyranny, whether it
be in kings or in the people. It is all alike to us. Our rights
we must have, and our rights we shall have, in the name of
Israel's God." The President of the church and his counsellors
were to hold the "executive power," and also, along with the
generals and colonels of the society, to hold the "legislative
powers"; this legislature to "have power to make all laws
regulating the society, and regulating punishments to be
administered to the guilty in accordance with the offence." Thus
was furnished machinery for carrying out any decree of the
officers of the church against either life or property.

* Missouri "Correspondence, Orders, etc.," pp. 101-102.

The Danite oath as it was administered in Nauvoo was as
follows:-- "In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do
solemnly obligate myself ever to regard the Prophet and the First
Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as
the supreme head of the church on earth, and to obey them in all
things, the same as the supreme God; that I will stand by my
brethren in danger or difficulty, and will uphold the Presidency,
right or wrong; and that I will ever conceal, and never reveal,
the secret purposes of this society, called Daughters of Zion.
Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture, in a
caldron of boiling oil."*

* Bennett's "History of the Saints," p. 267.

John D. Lee, who was a member of the organization, explaining
their secret signs, says,* "The sign or token of distress is made
by placing the right hand on the right side of the face, with the
points of the fingers upward, shoving the hand upward until the
ear is snug up between the thumb and forefinger."

*Lee's "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 57.

It has always been the policy of the Mormon church to deny to the
outside world that any such organization as the Danites existed,
or at least that it received the countenance of the authorities.
Smith's City Council in Nauvoo made an affidavit that there was
no such society there, and Utah Mormons have professed similar
ignorance. Brigham Young, himself, however, gave testimony to the
contrary in the days when he was supreme in Salt Lake City. In
one of his discourses which will be found reported in the Deseret
News (Vol. VII, p. 143) he said: "If men come here and do not
behave themselves, they will not only find the Danites, whom they
talk so much about, biting the horses' heels, but the scoundrels
will find something biting THEIR heels. In my plain remarks I
merely call things by their own names." It need only be added
that the church authority has been powerful enough at any time in
the history of the church to crush out such an organization if it
so desired.

A second organization formed about the same time, at a fully
attended meeting of the Mormons of Daviess County, was called
"The Host of Israel." It was presided over by captains of tens,
of fifties, and of hundreds, and, according to Lee, "God
commanded Joseph Smith to place the Host of Israel in a situation
for defence against the enemies of God and the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

Another important feature of the church rule that was established
at this time was the tithing system, announced in a "revelation"
(Sec. 119), which is dated July 8, 1838. This required the flock
to put all their "surplus property" into the hands of the Bishop
for the building of the Temple and the payment of the debts of
the Presidency, and that, after that, "those who have thus been
tithed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and
this shall be a standing law unto them forever."

Ebenezer Robinson gives an interesting explanation of the origin
of tithing. *In May, 1838, the High Council at Far West, after
hearing a statement by Rigdon that it was absolutely necessary
for the church to make some provision for the support of the
families of all those who gave their entire time to church
affairs, instructed the Bishop to deed to Smith and Rigdon an
eighty-acre lot belonging to the church, and appointed a
committee of three to confer with the Presidency concerning their
salary for that year. Smith and Rigdon thought that $1100 would
be a proper sum, and the committee reported in favor of a salary,
but left the amount blank. The council voted the salaries, but
this action caused such a protest from the church members that at
the next meeting the resolution was rescinded. Only a few days
later came this "revelation" requiring the payment of tithes, in
which there was no mention of using any of the money for the
poor, as was directed in the Ohio "revelation" about the
consecration of property to the Bishop.

* The Return, Vol. 1, p. 136.

This tithing system has provided ever since the principal revenue
of the church. By means of it the Temple was built at Nauvoo, and
under it vast sums have been contributed in Utah. By 1878 the
income of the church by this source was placed at $1,000,000 a
year,* and during Brigham Young's administration the total
receipts were estimated at $13,000,000. We shall see that Young
made practically no report of the expenditure of this vast sum
that passed into his control. To Horace Greeley's question, "What
is done with the proceeds of this tithing?" Young replied, "Part
of it is devoted to building temples and other places of worship,
part to helping the poor and needy converts on their way to this
country, and the largest portion to the support of the poor among
the Saints."

* Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 1879.

As the authority of the church over its members increased, the
regulation about the payment of tithes was made plainer and more
severe. Parley P. Pratt, in addressing the General Conference in
Salt Lake City in October, 1849, said, "To fulfil the law of
tithing, a man should make out and lay before the Bishop a
schedule of all his property, and pay him one-tenth of it. When
he hath tithed his principal once, he has no occasion to tithe
again; but the next year he must pay one-tenth of his increase,
and one-tenth of his time, of his cattle, money, goods, and
trade; and, whatever use we put it to, it is still our own, for
the Lord does not carry it away with him to heaven."* *
Millennial Star, Vol. XII, p. 134.

The Seventh General Epistle to the church (September, 1851) made
this statement, "It is time that the Saints understood that the
paying of their tithing is a prominent portion of the labor which
is allotted to them, by which they are to secure a
futureresidence in the heaven they are seeking after."* This view
was constantly presented to the converts abroad.

* Ibid., Vol. XIV, p. 18.

At the General Conference in Salt Lake City on September 8, 1850,
Brigham Young made clear his radical view of tithing--a duty, he
declared, that few had lived up to. Taking the case of a supposed
Mr. A, engaged in various pursuits (to represent the community),
starting with a capital of $100,000 he must surrender $10,000 of
this as tithing. With his remaining $90,000 he gains $410,000;
$41,000 of this gain must be given into the storehouse of the
Lord. Next he works nine days with his team; the tenth day's work
is for the church, as is one-tenth of the wheat he raises,
one-tenth of his sheep, and one-tenth of his eggs.*

* Ibid., Vol. XIII, p. 21.

Under date of July 18, came another "revelation" (Sec. 120),
declaring that the tithings "shall be disposed of by a Council,
composed of the First Presidency of my church, and of the Bishop
and his council, and by my High Council." The first meeting of
this body decided "that the First Presidency should keep all
their property that they could dispose of to advantage for their
support, and the remainder be put into the hands of the Bishop,
according to the commandments."* The coolness of this proceeding
in excepting Smith and Rigdon from the obligation to pay a tithe
is worthy of admiration.

* Ibid., Vol. XVI, p. 204.

CHAPTER VII. Beginning Of Active Hostilities

Smith had shown his dominating spirit as soon as he arrived at
Far West. In April, 1838, he announced a "revelation" (Sec. 115),
commanding the building of a house of worship there, the work to
begin on July 4, the speedy building up of that city, and the
establishment of Stakes in the regions round about. This last
requirement showed once more Smith's lack of judgment, and it
became a source of irritation to the non-Mormons, as it was
thought to foreshadow a design to control the neighboring
counties. Hyde says that Smith and Rigdon deliberately planned
the scattering of the Saints beyond the borders of Clay County
with a view to political power.*

* Hyde's "Mormonism," p. 203.

In accordance with this scheme, a "revelation" of May 19 (Sec.
116), directed the founding of a town on Grand River in Daviess
County, twenty-five miles northwest of Far West. This settlement
was to be called "Adam-ondi-Ahman," "because it is the place
where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days
shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet." The "revelation"
further explains that, three years before his death, Adamcalled a
number of high priests and all of his posterity who were
righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there blessed
them. Lee (who, following the common pronunciation, writes the
name "Adam-on-Diamond") expresses the belief, which Smith
instilled into his followers, that it "was at the point where
Adam came and settled and blessed his posterity, after being
driven from the Garden of Eden. There Adam and Eve tarried for
several years, and engaged in tilling the soil." By order of the
Presidency, another town was started in Carroll County, where the
Saints had been living in peace. Immediately the new settlement
was looked upon as a possible rival of Gallatin, the county seat,
and the non-Mormons made known their objections.

* "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 91.

With Smith and Rigdon on the ground, if these men had had any
tact, or any purpose except to enforce Mormon supremacy in
whatever part of Missouri they chose to call Zion, the troubles
now foreshadowed might easily have been prevented. Every step
they took, however, was in the nature of a defiance. The sermons
preached to the Mormons that summer taught them that they would
be able to withstand, not only the opposition of the Missourians,
but of the United States, if this should be put to the test.*

* Corrill's "Brief History of the Church," p. 29.

The flock in and around Far West were under the influence of such
advice when they met on July 4 to lay the corner-stone of the
third Temple, whose building Smith had revealed, and to celebrate
the day. There was a procession, with a flagpole raising, and
Smith embraced the occasion to make public announcement of the
tithing "revelation" (although it bears a later date).

The chief feature of the day, and the one that had most influence
on the fortunes of the church, was a sermon by Sidney Rigdon,
known ever since as the "salt sermon," from the text Matt. v. 13:
"If the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be
trodden under foot of men." He first applied these words to the
men who had made trouble in the church, declaring that they ought
to be trodden under foot until their bowels gushed out, citing as
a precedent that "the apostles threw Judas Iscariot down and
trampled out his bowels, and that Peter stabbed Ananias and
Sapphira." It was what followed, however, which made the serious
trouble, a defiance to their Missouri opponents in these words:
"It is not because we cannot, if we were so disposed, enjoy both
the honors and flatteries of the world, but we have voluntarily
offered them in sacrifice, and the riches of the world also, for
a more durable substance. Our God has promised a reward of
eternal inheritance, and we have believed his promise, and,
though we wade through great tribulations, we are in nothing
discouraged, for we know he that has promised is faithful. The
promise is sure, and the reward is certain. It is because of this
that we have taken the spoiling of our goods. Our cheeks have
been given to the smiters, and our heads to those who have
plucked off the hair. We have not only, when smitten on one
cheek, turned the other, but we have done it again and again,
until we are weary of being smitten, and tired of being trampled
upon. We have proved the world with kindness; we have suffered
their abuse, without cause, with patience, and have endured
without resentment, until this day, and still their persecution
and violence does not cease. But from this day and this hour, we
will suffer it no more.

"We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we
warn all men, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more
for ever, for, from this hour, we will bear it no more. Our
rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity. The man, or
set of men, who attempt it, DOES IT AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR
LIVES. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be
WILL HAVE TO EXTERMINATE US; for we will carry the seat of war to
their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the
other SHALL BE UTTERLY DESTROYED. Remember it then, all men.

"We will never be aggressors; we will infringe on rights of no
people; but shall stand for our own until death. We claim our own
rights, and are willing that all shall enjoy theirs.

"No man shall be at liberty to come in our streets, to threaten
us with mobs, for if he does, he shall atone for it before he
leaves the place; neither shall he be at liberty to vilify or
slander any of us, for suffer it we will not in this place.

"We therefore take all men to record this day, as did our
fathers. And we pledge this day to one another, our fortunes, our
lives, and our sacred honors, to be delivered from the
persecutions which we have had to endure for the last nine years,
or nearly that. Neither will we indulge any man, or set of men,
in instituting vexatious lawsuits against us to cheat us out of
our just rights. If they attempt it we say, woe be unto them. We
this day then proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and a
determination that never can be broken, no never, NO NEVER, NO

Ebenezer Robinson in The Return (Vol I, p. 170) says:--

"Let it be distinctly understood that President Rigdon was not
alone responsible for the sentiment expressed in his oration, as
that was a carefully prepared document previously written, and
well understood by the First Presidency; but Elder Rigdon was the
mouthpiece to deliver it, as he was a natural orator, and his
delivery was powerful and effective.

"Several Missouri gentlemen of note, from other counties, were
present on the speaker's stand at its delivery, with Joseph
Smith, Jr., President, and Hyrum Smith, Vice President of the
day; and at the conclusion of the oration, when the president of
the day led off with a shout of 'Hosannah, Hosannah, Hosannah,'
and joined in the shout by the vast multitude, these Missouri
gentlemen began to shout 'hurrah,' but they soon saw that did not
time with the other, and they ceased shouting. A copy of the
oration was furnished the editor, and printed in the Far West, a
weekly newspaper printed in Liberty, the county seat of Clay
county. It was also printed in pamphlet form, by the writer of
this, in the printing office of the Elders' Journal, in the city
of Far West, a copy of which we have preserved.

"This oration, and the stand taken by the church in endorsing it,
and its publication, undoubtedly exerted a powerful influence in
arousing the people of the whole upper Missouri country."

At the trial of Rigdon, when he was cast out at Nauvoo, Young and
others held him alone responsible for this sermon, and declared
that it was principally instrumental in stirring up the
hostilities that ensued.

A state election was to be held in Missouri early in August, and
there was a good deal of political feeling. Daviess County was
pretty equally divided between Whigs and Democrats, and the vote
of the Mormons was sought by the leaders of both parties. In
Caldwell County the Saints were classed as almost solidly
Democratic. When election day came, the Danites in the latter
county distributed tickets on which the Presidency had agreed,
but this resulted in nothing more serious than some criticism of
this interference of the church in politics. But in Daviess
County trouble occurred.

The Mormons there were warned by the Democrats that the Whigs
would attempt to prevent their voting at Gallatin. Of the ten
houses in that town at the time, three were saloons, and the
material for an election-day row was at hand. It began with an
attack on a Mormon preacher, and ended in a general fight, in
which there were many broken heads, but no loss of life; after
which, says Lee, who took part in it, "the Mormons all voted."*

* Smith's autobiography says, "Very few of the brethren voted."

Exaggerated reports of this melee reached Far West, and Dr.
Avard, collecting a force of 150 volunteers, and accompanied by
Smith and Rigdon, started for Daviess County for the support of
their brethren. They came across no mob, but they made a tactical
mistake. Instead of disbanding and returning to their homes,
they, the next morning (following Smith's own account)* "rode out
to view the situation." Their ride took them to the house of a
justice of the peace, named Adam Black, who had joined a band
whose object was the expulsion of the Mormons. Smith could not
neglect the opportunity to remind the justice of his violation of
his oath, and to require of him some satisfaction, "so that we
might know whether he was our friend or enemy." With this view
they compelled him to sign what they called "an agreement of
peace," which the justice drew up in this shape:--

* Millennial Star, Vol. XVI, p. 229.

"I, Adam Black, A Justice of the Peace of Davies County, do
hereby Sertify to the people called Mormin that he is bound to
suport the constitution of this state and of the United States,
and he is not attached to any mob, nor will not attach himself to
any such people, and so long as they will not molest me I will
not molest them. This the 8th day of August, 1838.


When the Mormon force returned to Far West, the Daviess people
secured warrants for the arrest of Smith, L. Wight, and others,
charging them with violating the law by entering another county
armed, and compelling a justice of the peace to obey their
mandate, Black having made an affidavit that he was compelled to
sign the paper in order to save his life. Wight threatened to
resist arrest, and this caused such a gathering of Missourians
that Smith became alarmed and sent for two lawyers, General D. R.
Atchison and General Doniphan, to come to Far West as his legal
advisers.* Acting on their advice, the accused surrendered
themselves, and were bound over to court in $500 bail for a
hearing on September 7.

* General Atchison was the major general in command of that
division of the state militia. His early reports to the governor
must be read in the light of his association with Smith as
counsel. General Douiphan afterward won fame at Chihuahua in the
Mexican War.

CHAPTER VIII. A State Of Civil War

All peaceable occupations were now at an end in Daviess County.
General Atchison reported to the governor that, on arriving there
on September 17, he found the county practically deserted, the
Gentiles being gathered in one camp and the Mormons in another. A
justice of the peace, in a statement to the governor, declared,
"The Mormons are so numerous and so well armed [in Daviess and
Caldwell counties] that the judicial power of the counties is
wholly unable to execute any civil or criminal process within the
limits of either of the said counties against a Mormon or
Mormons, as they each and every one of them act in concert and
outnumber the other citizens." Lee says that an order had been
issued by the church authorities, commanding all the Mormons to
gather in two fortified camps, at Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman.
The men were poorly armed, but demanded to be led against their
foes, being "confident that God was going to deliver the enemy
into our hands."*

* "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 78.

Both parties now stood on the defensive, posting sentinels, and
making other preparations for a fight. Actual hostilities soon
ensued. The Mormons captured some arms which their opponents had
obtained, and took them, with three prisoners, to Far West. "This
was a glorious day, indeed," says Smith.* Citizens of Daviess and
Livingston counties sent a petition to Governor Boggs (who had
succeeded Dunklin), dated September 12, declaring that they
believed their lives, liberty, and property to be "in the most
imminent danger of being sacrificed by the hands of those
impostorous rebels," and asking for protection. The governor had
already directed General Atchison to raise immediately four
hundred mounted men in view of indications of Indian disturbances
on our immediate frontier, and the recent civil disturbances in
the counties of Caldwell, Daviess, and Carroll." The calling out
of the militia followed, and General Doniphan found himself in
command of about one thousand militiamen. He seems to have used
tact, and to have employed his force only as peace preservers. On
September 20 he reported to Governor Boggs that he had discharged
all his troops but two companies, and that he did not think the
services of these would be required more than twenty days. He
estimated the Mormon forces in the disturbed counties at from
thirteen hundred to fifteen hundred men, most of them carrying a
rifle, a brace of pistols, and a broadsword; "so that," he added,
"from their position, and their fanaticism, and their unalterable
determination not to be driven, much blood will be spilt and much
suffering endured if a blow is at once struck, without the
interposition of your excellency."

* Smith's autobiography, at this point, says: "President Rigdon
and I commenced this day the study of law under the instruction
of Generals Atchison and Doniphan. They think by diligent
application we can be admitted to the bar in twelve months."
Millennial Star, Vol. XVI, p. 246.

The people of Carroll County began now to hold meetings whose
object was the expulsion of the Mormons from their boundaries,
and some hundreds of them assembled in hostile attitude around
the little settlement of Dewitt. The Mormons there prepared for
defence, and sent an appeal to Far West for aid. Accordingly, one
hundred Mormons, including Smith and Rigdon, started to assist
them, and two companies of militia, under General Parks, were
hurried to the spot. General Parks reported to General Atchison
on October 7 that, on arriving there the day before, he found the
place besieged by two hundred or three hundred Missourians, under
a Dr. Austin, with a field-piece, and defended by two hundred or
three hundred Mormons under G. M. Hinckle, "who says he will die
before he is driven from thence." Austin expected speedy
reenforcements that would enable him to take the place by
assault. A petition addressed by the Mormons of Dewitt to the
governor, as early as September 22, having been ignored, and
finding themselves outnumbered, they agreed to abandon their
settlement on receiving pay for their improvements, and some
fifty wagons conveyed them and their effects to Far West.

A period of absolute lawlessness in all that section of the state
followed. Smith declared that civil war existed, and that, as the
state would not protect them, they must look out for themselves.
He and his associates made no concealment of their purpose to
"make clean work of it" in driving the non-Mormons from both
Daviess and Caldwell counties. When warned that this course would
array the whole state against them, Smith replied that the "mob"
(as the opponents of the Mormons were always styled) were a small
minority of the state, and would yield to armed opposition; the
Mormons would defeat one band after another, and so proceed
across the state, until they reached St. Louis, where the Mormon
army would spend the winter. This calculation is a fair
illustration of Smith's judgment.

Armed bands of both parties now rode over the country, paying
absolutely no respect to property rights, and ready for a "brush"
with any opponents. At Smith's suggestion, a band of men, under
the name of the "Fur Company," was formed to "commandeer" food,
teams, and men for the Mormon campaign. This practical license to
steal let loose the worst element in the church organization,
glad of any method of revenge on those whom they considered their
persecutors. "Men of former quiet," says Lee, who was among the
active raiders, "became perfect demons in their efforts to spoil
and waste away the enemies of the church."* Cattle and hogs that
could not be driven off were killed.** Houses were burned, not
only in the outlying country, but in the towns. A night attack by
a band of eighty men was made on Gallatin, where some of the
houses were set on fire, and two stores as well as private houses
were robbed. The house of one McBride, who, Lee says, had been a
good friend to him and to other Mormons, did not escape: "Every
article of moveable property was taken by the troops; he was
utterly ruined." "It appeared to me," says Corrill, "that the
love of pillage grew upon them very fast, for they plundered
every kind of property they could get hold of, and burnt many
cabins in Daviess, some say 80, and some say 150." ***

* Lee naively remarks, "In justice to Joseph Smith I cannot say
that I ever heard him teach, or even encourage, men to pilfer or
steal little things."--"Mormonism Unveiled," p. 90.

** W. Harris's "Mormonism Portrayed," p. 30.

*** "Brief History of the Church," p. 38.

The Missourians retaliated in kind. Mormons were seized and
whipped, and their houses were burned. A lawless company (Pratt
calls them banditti), led by one Gilliam, embraced the
opportunity to make raids in the Mormon territory. It was soon
found necessary to collect the outlying Mormons at Far West and
Adam-ondi-Ahman, where they were used for purposes both of
offence and defence. The movements of the Missourians were
closely watched, and preparations were made to burn any place
from which a force set out to attack the Saints.

One of the Missouri officers, Captain Bogart, on October 23,
warned some Mormons to leave the county, and, with his company of
thirty or forty men, announced his intention to "give Far West
thunder and lightning." When this news reached Far West, Judge
Higbee, of the county court, ordered Lieutenant Colonel Hinckle
to go out with a company, disperse the "mob," and retake some
prisoners. The Mormons assembled at midnight, and about
seventy-five volunteers started at once, under command of Captain
Patton, the Danite leader, whose nickname was "Fear Not," all on
horseback. When they approached Crooked River, on which Bogart's
force was encamped, fifteen men were sent in advance on foot to
locate the enemy. Just at dawn a rifle shot sounded, and a young
Mormon, named O'Barrion, fell mortally wounded. Captain Patton
ordered a charge, and led his men at a gallop down a hill to the
river, under the bank of which the Missourians were drawn up. The
latter had an advantage, as they were in the shade, and the
Mormons were between them and the east, which the dawn was just
lighting. Exchanges of volleys occurred, and then Captain Patton
ordered his men to rush on with drawn swords--they had no
bayonets. This put the Missourians to flight, but just as they
fled Captain Patton received a mortal wound. Three Mormons in all
were killed as a result of this battle, and seven wounded, while
Captain Bogart reported the death of one man.*

* Ebenezer Robinson's account in The Return, p. 191.

The death of "Fear Not" was considered by the Mormons a great
loss. He was buried with the honors of war, says Robinson, "and
at his grave a solemn convention was made to avenge his death."
Smith, in the funeral sermon, reverted to his old tactics,
attributing the Mormon losses to the Lord's anger against his
people, because of their unbelief and their unwillingness to
devote their worldly treasures to the church.

The rout of Captain Bogart's force, which was a part of the state
militia, increased the animosity against the Mormons, and the
wiser of the latter believed that they would suffer a dire

* Corrill's "Brief History of the Church," p. 38.

This vengeance first made itself felt at a settlement called
Hawn's Mill (of which there are various spellings), some miles
from Far West, where there were a flour mill, blacksmith shop,
and other buildings. The Mormons there were advised, the day
after the fight on Crooked River, to move into Far West for
protection, but the owners of the buildings, knowing that these
would be burned as soon as deserted, decided to remain and defend
their property.

On October 30 a mounted force of Missourians appeared before the
place. The Mormons ran into the log blacksmith shop, which they
thought would serve them as a blockhouse, but it proved to be a
slaughter-pen. The Missourians surrounded it, and, sticking their
rifles into every hole and crack, poured in a deadly fire,
killing, some reports say eighteen, and some thirty-one, of the
Mormons. The only persons in the town who escaped found shelter
in the woods. The Missourians did not lose a man. When the firing
ceased, they still showed no mercy, shooting a small boy in the
leg after dragging him out from under the bellows, and hacking to
death with a corn cutter an old man while he begged for his life.
Dead and wounded were thrown into a well, and some of the
wounded, taken out by rescuers from Far West, recovered. "I heard

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