Mormon History 1830-1844

Siege of DeWitt
Mormons begin to settle DeWitt, Carroll county, Missouri, in July, 1838, but in August they are ordered out by vigilantes from neighboring counties, and in October are driven out by an armed mob.
Settlement proposal On March 31, 1838, David Thomas, a landowner in DeWitt, Carroll county writes Joseph, proposing a Mormon settlement on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Grand Missouri rivers. It would be an excellent port city to expedite shipping to and from the east. His partner, Mr. Root, has already built a fine landing. And the area is relatively unpopulated.
<i>Papers of Joseph Smith, Volume 2: Journal, 1832&#45;1842</i>, edited by Dean C. Jessee &#40;Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1992&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Papers 2:225–226.

The landing is on the north side of the Missouri, six miles from the confluence with the Grand. ¶ John E. Page (h)
Sidney to profit Within the next three days, Sidney Rigdon, on his way to Far West, happens to meet Henry Root at Turkey Creek in Carroll county. Root offers Sidney "a liberal share" of the profits from the land deal. Sidney's affidavit submitted to the municipal court of Nauvoo, July 1, 1843,
<i>History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter&#45;day Saints</i>, edited by B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. &#40;Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1902&#45;1912, 1932&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">HC 3:450–451.
Sidney arrives in Far West on April 4, and in a few weeks, Thomas and Root come to Far West and a deal is struck. Sidney's affidavit,
<i>History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter&#45;day Saints</i>, edited by B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. &#40;Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1902&#45;1912, 1932&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">HC 3:450–451. Purchase   On June 23, acting on Joseph's behest and the high council's direction, John Murdock and George M. Hinkle purchase the undivided half of the town plot of DeWitt for $500, "giving our note for the same, Bishop Partridge being our endorser." The Murdocks, Hinkles, and others soon move to DeWitt.   John Murdock journal [1830&#45;1859]. Microfilm of holograph. LDS Church Archives, MS 1194 folders 2&#45;3. Reference to &#34;Church of L.D.S.&#34; on the first page suggests the journal was written after May 3, 1834, when the name of the church was changed from the Church of Christ to Church of the Latter Day Saints. There is also a reference to the 1835 D&C on p. 9.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock journal, typescript at BYU.

The high council approved the purchase of Hinkle's home in Far West for Joseph. Minutes of July 6, 1838
Gentry, 102   On July 4 Carroll county residents fire on the newcomers, who reply in kind. No casualties are reported.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 249. First meeting

Gentry has Saturday after July 4, which would be the 14th.
  On Saturday, July 14, county residents met at the county clerk's office in Carrollton. Following an address by Presbyterian minister William W. Austin Sr., the assembly discusses the Mormon threat and the dangers in attempting to drive them out.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 249. Other speakers include Reverends Abbot Hancock and Sashel Woods, Judge John Standley, and Hiram Wilcoxson. Second meeting

Gentry has July 14
  Residents meet again the following Saturday, July 21??. The hall quickly fills to capacity. Many stand outside, peering in through doors and windows. "Great enthusiasm prevailed," one citizen writes, "the popular feeling setting strongly for an immediate advance on DeWitt." But they will need help.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county cited in &#34;De Witt—Prelude to Expulsion,&#34; Keith W. Perkins in <i>Regional Studies in Latter&#45;day Saint Church History: Missouri</i>, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson &#40;Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994&#41;, 261&#45;280.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">De Witt prelude, 265.

A. C. Blackwell, qtd. in &#34;History of the Latter&#45;day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836&#45;1839,&#34; Leland Homer Gentry &#40;Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965; published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter&#45;day Saint History and BYU Studies as part of the Disserations in Latter&#45;day Saint History series, 2000&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Northern Missouri, 102.
    Dr. Austin and Hiram Wilcoxson agree to write residents of Howard, Saline, Chariton, Ray, and Clay counties.     Public opinion poll on ballot   Perhaps to legitimate their plans, they add a poll to the August 6 election ballot—Is the voter "for" or "against" the Mormons?   &#34;History of the Latter&#45;day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836&#45;1839,&#34; Leland Homer Gentry &#40;Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965; published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter&#45;day Saint History and BYU Studies as part of the Disserations in Latter&#45;day Saint History series, 2000&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Northern Missouri, 102. Warning to move   Finally, Reverends Abbott Hancock and Sashel Woods are sent to warn the Saints to vacate the county by the day after the election. As they and John Smart approach DeWitt, forty or fifty Mormons turn out to greet them.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 251, cited in &#34;History of the Latter&#45;day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836&#45;1839,&#34; Leland Homer Gentry &#40;Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965; published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter&#45;day Saint History and BYU Studies as part of the Disserations in Latter&#45;day Saint History series, 2000&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Northern Missouri, 102. Hinkle defiant   Upon hearing the eviction notice, George M. Hinkle draws his sword and vows to "fight to the last" rather than be expelled >.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 206, cited in &#34;De Witt—Prelude to Expulsion,&#34; Keith W. Perkins in <i>Regional Studies in Latter&#45;day Saint Church History: Missouri</i>, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson &#40;Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994&#41;, 261&#45;280.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">De Witt prelude, 268.     Woods replies, "Colonel, put up your sword. I am an old pioneer, have heard the Indians yell, wolves howl, the owls hoot, and am not alarmed at such demonstrations." Nevertheless, on returning to Carlton he swears out a writ alleging he fears for his life based on Hinkle's statement.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 206 cited in &#34;De Witt—Prelude to Expulsion,&#34; Keith W. Perkins in <i>Regional Studies in Latter&#45;day Saint Church History: Missouri</i>, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson &#40;Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994&#41;, 261&#45;280.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">De Witt prelude, 268.
John Murdock journal, BYU typescript, 18.
Third meeting   At a third meeting in Carrollton, July 30, it is asserted that the Mormons had agreed not to settle any county without the approval of at least two-thirds of the inhabitants.   <i>Early Days on the Grand River and the Mormon War</i>, Rollin J. Britton &#40;Columbia: State HIstorical Society of Missouri&#41;, 1920.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Early days on the Grand, 85, qtd. in &#34;History of the Latter&#45;day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836&#45;1839,&#34; Leland Homer Gentry &#40;Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965; published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter&#45;day Saint History and BYU Studies as part of the Disserations in Latter&#45;day Saint History series, 2000&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Northern Missouri, 103. Committee on Safety   A Committee on Safety is appointed to publicize the Mormon threat in Carroll and "request aid to move Mormons, abolitionists, and other disorderly persons out of the limits of Carroll County."  

History in Serial, 81, qtd. in &#34;History of the Latter&#45;day Saints in Northern Missouri from 1836&#45;1839,&#34; Leland Homer Gentry &#40;Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1965; published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter&#45;day Saint History and BYU Studies as part of the Disserations in Latter&#45;day Saint History series, 2000&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Northern Missouri, 103.

Rev. Woods to deliver ultimatum   Reverend Woods is dispatched to give the settlers twenty-four hours to clear out.     Ten days or extermination   On August 20 a hundred men ride into DeWitt to deliver an ultimatum: if they are not gone in ten days, "they would exterminate us without regard to age or sex and throw our property into the river."   John Murdock journal [1830&#45;1859]. Microfilm of holograph. LDS Church Archives, MS 1194 folders 2&#45;3. Reference to &#34;Church of L.D.S.&#34; on the first page suggests the journal was written after May 3, 1834, when the name of the church was changed from the Church of Christ to Church of the Latter Day Saints. There is also a reference to the 1835 D&C on p. 9.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock journal, typescript at BYU, 18. Hinkle arrested, released   The sheriff arrests Elder Hinkle on a writ sworn out by Sashel Wood, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, that he feared for his life <. Hinkle is released when Wood fails to appear at court.     John Sapp

Danite defector
  The August 30 deadline passes without incident, but on September 4, self-confessed Danite John N. Sapp swears out an affidavit before the Carroll county clerk revealing Danite strength and plans as he knew them when he left the Mormons in Daviess county "by stealth" about August 15:   <i>Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders &c., in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons and the Evidence Given Before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court&#45;House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith Jr., and Others for High Treason and Other Crimes Against the State</i> &#40;Fayette, Missouri: by order of the General Assembly at the office of <i>Boon&#39;s Lick Democrat</i>, 1841&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Document, 17.

D. Michael Quinn lists 233 Danites by name, including those who become Danites after Sapp's statement. <i>Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power<i>, D. Michael Quinn &#40;Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1994&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Origins, 480–485.
Ready to steal food   [ John N. Sapp:] … the understanding is, that each man has to cultivate one acre of land, and if the produce raised on said acre is not sufficient for their maintenance, and that of their families, they are to take the balance from the Missourians, (thereby meaning the people of other denominations;)   800–1000 Danites   and I do further say there are betwixt eight and ten hundred men, well armed and equipped, who have taken an oath to support Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight, in opposition to the laws of the State of Missouri, or otherwise, which said men are called Danites;     Sapp a former Danite   and I was a member of said body of Danites, and have taken the above oath;     Indian alliances   and I do further say, I have heard Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wight say, they had twelve men of their church among the Indians, and that their object was to induce the Indians to join them (the said Mormons,) in making war upon the Missourians, and they expected to be fully prepared to commence war this fall, or next spring at furthest.     Death threats   And I also say, the Danites aforesaid, are sworn to cowhide any person or persons, may say aught against Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight, and if that will not prevent them from speaking about said Smith and Wight, then they are to assassinate them.     State militia disperses mob in Daviess   In mid-September vigilantes from Carroll county join roughly 250 others from throughout northern Missouri at Millport, Daviess county, to defend the citizens there from the Mormons. But before hostilities break out, the state militia arrives under the command of General Alexander W. Doniphan. He reads the order of General David R. Atchison to disperse, and the 300 men return to their homes.   <i>Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders &c., in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons and the Evidence Given Before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court&#45;House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith Jr., and Others for High Treason and Other Crimes Against the State</i> &#40;Fayette, Missouri: by order of the General Assembly at the office of <i>Boon&#39;s Lick Democrat</i>, 1841&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Document, 26.

Atchison (1807–1886) lived in Liberty, helped Mormons settle in Clay county. They helped elect him to the state legislature in 1834. U.S. Senator, 1843–1855.

Doniphan (1808–1887) Atchison's law partner. Secured legislation creating Caldwell and Daviess counties with tacit understanding that the Mormons would have Caldwell. Mormon defense attorney. Served in war with Mexico. Reelected to legislature in 1840, 1854.
DeWitt warned   On Thursday, September 20, a hundred fifty to two hundred men enter DeWitt and threaten to drive the Mormons out but after deliberation, agree to let them stay until October 1.   Mormon petition to Governor Boggs and circuit judge Austin A. King in <i>Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders &c., in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons and the Evidence Given Before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court&#45;House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith Jr., and Others for High Treason and Other Crimes Against the State</i> &#40;Fayette, Missouri: by order of the General Assembly at the office of <i>Boon&#39;s Lick Democrat</i>, 1841&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Document, 29–30. Skirmish   On Friday, September 21, a hundred fifty men, "all anxious to try their hand in a brush with the Mormons," assemble in the woods west of DeWitt. As they prepare an attack down the main road into town, one leaves to get a drink from a nearby spring. An alert night watchman orders him to stop, then fires on him when his order is ignored. A skirmish ensues in which one vigilante is wounded in his upper lip.   <i>Twentieth Century History of Carroll County Missouri</i>, S. K. Turner and S. A. Clark &#40;Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1911&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Carroll county, 207 cited in &#34;De Witt—Prelude to Expulsion,&#34; Keith W. Perkins in <i>Regional Studies in Latter&#45;day Saint Church History: Missouri</i>, edited by Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson &#40;Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994&#41;, 261&#45;280.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">De Witt prelude, 268. Hinkle determined to fight   Passing down the Missouri River, General Lucas sees a large force of Mormons at DeWitt in Carroll. Col. Hinkle, tells him that there were two hundred, "and that they were hourly expecting an attack from the citizens of Carroll county, who, he said, were then encamped only six miles from there, waiting from a re-inforcement from Saline county. Hinkle said they had determined to fight."
  [October 4, General Lucas to Governor Boggs:] <i>Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders &c., in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons and the Evidence Given Before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court&#45;House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith Jr., and Others for High Treason and Other Crimes Against the State</i> &#40;Fayette, Missouri: by order of the General Assembly at the office of <i>Boon&#39;s Lick Democrat</i>, 1841&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Document, 34–35. Deaths in Fayette?

Lucas' animas
  About the same time, a report reaches DeWitt that several persons had been killed by Mormons in neighboring Fayette county. This news, writes Lucas, [35] "… will create excitement in the whole upper Missouri, and these base and degraded beings will be exterminated from the face of the earth. If one of the citizens of Carroll should be killed, before five days I believe that there will be from four to five thousand volunteers in the field against the Mormons, and nothing but their blood will satisfy them."     Large mob surrounds DeWitt   On October 1, John Murdock, returning from Adam-ondi-Ahman and Far West, finds a mob of one to two "thousand":   thousand: hundred is more likely

John Murdock journal [1830&#45;1859]. Microfilm of holograph. LDS Church Archives, MS 1194 folders 2&#45;3. Reference to &#34;Church of L.D.S.&#34; on the first page suggests the journal was written after May 3, 1834, when the name of the church was changed from the Church of Christ to Church of the Latter Day Saints. There is also a reference to the 1835 D&C on p. 9.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock journal
    encamped on an old camp meeting ground, at old cross, one mile from Dewitt, and at the same time a mob assembled on the opposite side of the river to prevent us crossing into [Saline] County, and the mob about Dewitt continued to harass us day and night by shooting at our people in the woods, in corn fields, and firing into town, and into our camps.       George M. Hinkle took the command of our men. I of ten men. H. S. Sherwood of ten, Brother Surley ten. I was continually employed, day and night, guarding.     Canadians reinforce DeWitt   During the first week of October, John E. Page and his Canadian converts arrives in a train of 30 wagons. They decide to stay and cast their lot with the Saints of DeWitt.   ¶ John E. Page (h) Call for aid from Far West   This heightens the concerns of Carroll county residents, who harass the settlement. Volunteers were sought from adjacent counties, while the Mormons called for aid from Far West.     Aversion to war   [Mormon Zadok Judd writes:] This state of affairs was very trying to some of our sober, serious Christians that had been taught that it was wicked to fight; it almost rocked their faith in the gospel; to take up arms and try to kill their fellow mortals was a new doctrine that some could hardly endure and it was reported some feigned sickness and stayed in their wagons, while on the contrary some of the roughest of the company that cared, seemingly nothing for religion, were always ready and even anxious to make battle with the mob   Zadok Knapp Judd autobiography. Typescript. Special Collections, BYU, BX8670.1 .J881a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Zadok Judd John Murdock keeps sentries awake   [John Murdock writes:] One night we expected an attack, and I travelled all night from one sentinel to another to keep them to their duty.   John Murdock journal [1830&#45;1859]. Microfilm of holograph. LDS Church Archives, MS 1194 folders 2&#45;3. Reference to &#34;Church of L.D.S.&#34; on the first page suggests the journal was written after May 3, 1834, when the name of the church was changed from the Church of Christ to Church of the Latter Day Saints. There is also a reference to the 1835 D&C on p. 9.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock journal Shots fired   About 10 a.m. the next morning, sentry John Wakely notices two of the enemy approaching. He fires on them, then loads behind a nearby oak tree, while his companion fires. In this manner they keep the enemy at bay until reinforcements arrive.         [Murdock continues:] The enemy numbered 150 according to their own report. We exchanged shots with them … but a deep ravine and a good many tree tops lay between us and them, consequently, they were some 30–40 rods from us in the woods.     Mormon ambush   Thirty of the mob seeks refuge in the woods, where ten Mormons under Captain Surley lie in ambush, behind a large log.
    Enemy frightened   [Murdock continues:] That scared them again, and they ran back swearing the Mormons were surrounding them, jumping over into the cornfield, and this scared the rest and they followed suit, and away went the whole 150.     Joseph and others arrive   On Saturday, October 6, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and a company of men from Far West arrive.   <i>Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints &#40;Commonly Called Mormons&#41;</i>, John Corrill &#40;St. Louis: author, 1839&#41; on Dale Broadhurst website, http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1830s/1839Corl.htm. Also on <i>New Mormon Studies CD&#45;ROM</i>.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Corrill history, 35; &#34;History of Joseph Smith,&#34; various sources and editors. Serialized in the <i>Times and Seasons</i>, <i>Deseret News</i>, and <i>Millennial Star</i>. Under Joseph&#39;s direction the project reached August 5, 1838. See Sources > History of Joseph items.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">History JS in Millennial Star 16, no. 22 (June 3, 1854): 342.     General Parks, of Ray County, takes two companies of militia to DeWitt but is unable to disperse the mob.   <i>Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints &#40;Commonly Called Mormons&#41;</i>, John Corrill &#40;St. Louis: author, 1839&#41; on Dale Broadhurst website, http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1830s/1839Corl.htm. Also on <i>New Mormon Studies CD&#45;ROM</i>.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Corrill history, 35. Siege deaths   Joseph reports seeing several brethren die of starvation, exhaustion, and exposure.   ¶ Joseph Smith's DeWitt Mormons surrender   [Murdock continues:] after maintaining our ground and holding the place about 10 days, against a force 8–10 times our number, we were forced … to surrender.     Journey deaths   Joseph reports several brethren died of fatigue during the trip to Far West and were buried without coffins along the way.   ¶ Joseph Smith's DeWitt Mid-October to Far West   The DeWitt settlers, consisting of forty or fifty families, begin arriving in Far West on Saturday, October 13, as the Carroll county vigilantes join their compatriots in Daviess.   Reed Peck manuscript. Holograph dated Quincy, Adams county, Illinois, September 18, 1839. Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Photocopy, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. References on this site from the version on <i>New Mormon Studies CD&#45;ROM: A Comprehensive Resource Library</i> &#40;Smith Research Associates&#41;, 1998.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Peck manuscript


Expulsion from Missouri (1838)
Far West
Missouri




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