Mormon History 1830-1844

Beliefs & Practices

Missouri Persecutions (1833–1834) (2)
Aftermath of July 20, 1833 attack. Minutes of citizens meetings on July 20 § and 23 §. Agreement signed by both parties on July 23 §. The concerns of non-Mormon residents.
<i>Times and Seasons</i>
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">TS 6, no. 5 (Mar. 15, 1845): 832–835. John Taylor, editor.

[Continued.] is in the original.
Aftermath of attack


Glorious cause
After the mob had ceased yelling, and retired; and while evening was spreading her dark mantle over the unblushing scenery, as if to hide it from the gaze of day; men, women and children, who had been driven or frightened from their homes, by yells and threats, began to return from their hiding places, in thickets, corn fields, woods and groves, and view with heavy hearts the scenery of desolation and wo; and while they mourned over fallen man, they rejoiced with joy unspeakable that they were accounted worthy to suffer in the glorious cause of their Divine Master.
Printing office

Bishop Partridge
There lay the printing office a heap of ruins; Elder Phelps' furniture strewed over the garden as common plunder; the revelations, bookwork, papers and press in the hands of the mob as the booty of highway robbers; there was Bishop Partridge in the midst of his family, with a few friends, endeavoring to scrape off the "tar," which, from eating his flesh, seemed to have been prepared with lime, pearl-ash, acid, or some flesh eating commodity, to destroy him; and there was Charles Allen in the same awful condition.
Liberty fallen

Clerics silent
As the heart sickens at the recital, how much more at the picture! More than once, those people, in this boasted land of liberty, were brought into jeopardy, and threatened with expulsion or death because they wished to worship God according to the revelations of heaven, the constitution of their country, and the dictates of their own consciences. Oh liberty, how art thou fallen! Alas! clergymen! where is thy charity? In the smoke that ascendeth up forever and ever.
July 23, 1833 treaty Early in the morning of the 23rd of July, the mob again assembled, armed with weapons of war, and bearing a red flag. Whereupon the elders, led by the spirit of God, and in order to save time, and stop the effusion of blood, entered into a treaty with the mobbers to leave the county within a certain time, which treaty, with accompanying documents, will appear in its proper place. The execution of this treaty presented an opportunity for the brethren in Zion, to confer with the presidency in Kirtland concerning their situation, which they improved by dispatching Elder O. Cowdery, a special messenger, after a delay of two or three days.
Kirtland cornerstones laid same day On the same day, while the brethren in Missouri were preparing to leave the county, through the violence of the mob, the corner stones of the Lord's House were laid in Kirtland, after the order of the holy priesthood.
August 2 newspaper article On the second of August, the Western Monitor, printed at Fayette, Missouri, edited by Weston F. Birch, published the proceedings of the mob, as follows:
July 20, 1833 meeting of Jackson county citizens

At a meeting of the citizens of Jackson Co., Missouri, called for the purpose of adopting measures to rid themselves of the sect of fanatics, called Mormons, held at Independence on the 20th day of July, 1833; which meeting was composed of gentlemen from every part of the county, there being present between four and five hundred persons.
Organize committees The meeting was organized by calling Colonel Richard Simpson to the chair, and appointing James H. Flournoy and Col. Samuel D. Lucas, secretaries. It was resolved that a committee of seven be appointed to report an address to the public, in relation to the object of this meeting; and the chair named the following gentleman, to wit: Russell Hicks Esq., Robert Johnson, Henry Chiles Esq., Colonel James Hambright, Thomas Hudspeth, Joel F. Chiles, and James M. Hunter.
Address The meeting then adjourned; and convened again, when Robert Johnson, the chairman of said committee, submitted for the consideration of the meeting, the following address, &c.:
Cool deliberation

Exposé of pretended Christians
This meeting, professing to act not from the excitement of the moment, but under a deep and abiding conviction, that the occasion is one that calls for cool deliberation, as well as energetic action, deem it proper to lay before the public an expose of our peculiar situation, in regard to this singular sect of pretended christians, and a solemn declaration of our unalterable determination to amend it.
Unforeseen—no laws govern The evil is one that no one could have foreseen, and is therefore unprovided for by the laws, and the delays incident to legislation, would put the mischief beyond remedy.
Started with 200–300 two years ago

Now 1200 with more arriving

But little more than two years ago, some two or three of this people made their appearance in the Upper Missouri, and they now number some twelve hundred souls in this county; and each successive autumn and spring pours forth its swarm among us, with a gradual falling of the character of those who compose them; until it seems that those communities from which they come, were flooding us with the very dregs of their composition.
Barely better than blacks

Corrupting influence on slaves
Elevated as they mostly [833] are, but little above the condition of our blacks either in regard to property or education; they have become a subject of much anxiety on that part, serious and well grounded complaints having been already made of their corrupting influence on our slaves.
They intend to take our lands We are daily told, and not by the ignorant alone, but by all classes of them, that we, (the Gentiles,) of this county are to be cut off, and our lands appropriated by them for inheritances. Whether this is to be accomplished by the hand of the destroying angel, the judgments of God, or the arm of power, they are not fully agreed among themselves. ¶ Ezra Booth Letters
Take by the sword Some recent remarks in the "Evening and Morning Star," their organ in this place, by their tendency to moderate such hopes and repress such desires, show plainly that many of this deluded and infatuated people have been taught to believe that our lands were to be won from us by the sword.
Numbers increasing From this same `Star' we learn that for want of more honest or commendable employment, many of their society are now preaching through the states of New York, Ohio, and Illinois, and that their numbers are increased beyond every rational calculation; all of whom are required as soon as convenient, to come up to Zion, which name they have thought proper to confer on our little village.
Ignorant, superstitious, indigent Most of those who have already come, are characterized by the profoundest ignorance, the grossest superstition, and the most abject poverty.
Arrived destitute Indeed, it is a subject of regret by the 'Star' itself, that they have come not only to lay an inheritance, which means some fifteen acres of wild land for each family, but destitute of the means of procuring bread and meat.
Soon Mormons will control civil government When we reflect on the extensive field in which the sect is operating, and that there exists in every country a leaven of superstition that embraces with avidity, notions the most extravagant and unheard of, and that whatever can be gleaned by them from the perlieus [perils?] of vice, and the abodes of ignorance, it is to be cast like a waif into our social circle, it requires no gift of prophecy to tell that the day is not far distant when the civil government of the country will be in their hands. When the sheriff, the justices, and the county judges will be Mormons, or persons wishing to court their favor from motives of interest or ambition.
Imagine our fate under them! What would be the fate 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 conversations with God and his angels, and possess and exercise the gifts of divination and of unknown tongues, and fired with the prospect of obtaining inheritances without money and without price, may be better imagined than described.
To drive us out, they invite free blacks in
One of the means resorted to by them, in order to drive us to emigrate, is an indirect invitation to the free brethren of color in Illinois, to come up, like the rest, to the land of Zion. True, they say this was not intended to invite, but to prevent their emigration; but this weak attempt to quiet our apprehension, is but a poor compliment to our understandings. The article alluded to, contained an extract from our laws, and all necessary directions and cautions to be observed by colored brethren, to enable them upon their arrival here, to claim and exercise the rights of citizenship. Free People of Color
Mormons here were expecting blacks Co[n]temporaneous with the appearance of this article, was the expectation among the brethren here, that a considerable number of this degraded cast were only awaiting this information before they should set out on their journey.
Our situation would be untenable With the corrupting influence of these on our slaves, and the stench both physical and moral, that their introduction would set afloat in our social atmosphere, and the vexation that would attend the civil rule of these fanatics, it would require neither a visit from the destroying angel, nor the judgments of an offended God to render our situation here unsup[p]ortable.
Joe Smith will fail like Soutcote and Lee True, it may be said, and truly no doubt, that the fate that has marked the rise and fall of Joanna Southcote and Ann Lee, will also attend the progress of Joe Smith; but this is no opiate to our fears, for when the fabric falls, the rubbish will remain. Joanna Southcote (1750–1814), had a large following in England. She claimed to be a virgin carrying the new Messiah, "Shiloh"— though she was diagnosed with dropsy.

Mother Ann Lee (1736–1784) was a Shaker in England. Jailed for denunciation of "fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,"she had a vision of Jesus Christ. They led celibate lives. Moved to America in 1770. For founders of the Shaker Society, see off-site link.
Revelations, healings, speaking in tongues Of their pretended revelations from heaven—their personal intercourse with God and his angels—the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands—and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the Sabbath, and which they dignify with the appellation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say, vengeance belongs to God alone.—
Protect society: But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful county, at once to declare, and we do hereby most solemnly declare:
No Mormons move here

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

Mormons to leave

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 [834] their business without any material sacrifice.

Close the Star, stores, shops

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

Stop immigration

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 requisitions.

That those who fail to comply with these 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.

Unanimously adopted

Committee to meet Mormons
Which address being read and considered, was unanimously adopted. And thereupon it was resolved that a committee of twelve be appointed forth with to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal, that said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform them that it is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest considerations of all the consequences and responsibilities under which we act, to use such means as shall ensure their full and complete adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be within their power, report to this present meeting. And the following gentlemen were named as said committee:
Committee members Robert Johnson, James Campbell, Colonel Moses Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, Hon. Richard Fristoe, Abner F. Staples, Gan Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russell Hicks, Esq., Colonel S. D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson, and James M. Hunter, to whom was added Colonel R. Simpson, Chairman.
Committee report

Mormons ask for time
And after an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the editor of the 'Star,' Edward Partridge, the bishop of the sect, and Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and some others, and they 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.
Vote to raze Star office

Whereupon it was unanimously resolved by the meeting, that the 'Star' printing office should be razed to the ground, the type and press secured. Which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least noise and disturbance possible, forthwith carried into execution, as also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned till the 23rd instant, to meet again to know further concerning the determination of the Mormons.
Publish proceedings Resolved that a copy of these proceedings be posted up at the post office in this place, for the information of all concerned; and that the secretaries of this meeting send copies of the same to the principal editors in the eastern and middle states for publication, that the Mormon brethren may know at a distance that the gates of Zion are closed against them—that their interests will be best promoted by remaining among these who know and appreciate their merits."
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.
July 23, 1833 meeting The citizens again convened on the 23rd day of July, 1833, which was composed of gentlemen from all parts of the county, and much more unanimously attended than the meeting on the 20th instant.
Committee to meet Mormons The meeting was organized by the chairman taking his seat, when the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, to wit:
Henry Chiles Esq., Doctor N. K. Olmstead, H. L. Brazile Esq., Zachariah Waller, Samuel Weston Esq., Wm. L. Irwin, Leonidas Oldham, S. C. Owens Esq., George Simpson, Capt. Benjamin Majors, James C. Sadler, Col. Wm. Bowers, Henry Younger, Russell Hicks Esq., Aaron Overton, John Harris, and Harmon Gregg, to wait upon the Mormon leaders, who had intimated a wish to have a conference with said committee. Brazile, also spelled Brazeale, was killed in an attack on Whitmer settlement, November 4. ¶ Missouri Persecutions (3)
Mormon leaders

After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, when the committee reported to the meeting that they had waited on most of the Mormon leaders, consisting of the bishop, Mr. Partridge; Mr. Phelps, editor of the Star; Mr. Gilbert the keeper of the Lord's store house: and Messrs Corrill, Whitmer, and Morley, elders of the church, and that the said committee had entered into an amicable agreement with them which they had reduced to writing, which they submitted:
Press reimbursement and that the committee have assured Mr. Phelps that whenever he was ready to move, that the amount of all his losses should be paid to him by the citizens. The written agreement is as follows:

Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon society, in Jackson county, Missouri, and a committee appointed by a public meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23rd day of July, 1833.

Mormons pledge

It is understood that the undersigned, members of the society, do give their solemn pledges, each for himself, as follows, to wit:

Leaders and half families to move by 1834

All gone by April 1, 1834

[835] That Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Wm. McLellin (h), Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight (h) (swh), Simeon Carter, Peter and John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, shall remove with their families out of this county, on or before the first day of January next, and that they as well as the two hereinafter named, use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here, to remove as soon as possible one half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the first day of April next.

Original: McClealand

Stop immigration

To advise and try all means in their power, to stop any more of their sect from moving to this county; and as to those now on the road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling permanently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for temporary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society.

Corrill and Gilbert can stay

John Corrill and Algernon Gilbert, are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as necessity shall require; and said Gilbert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new importation.

No more publishing

The 'Star' is not again to be published, nor a press set up by any of the society in this county.

Partridge and Phelps can stay

If the said Edward Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families by the first day of January, as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business.

Pledge no violence

The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent any violence being used so long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned, to which agreement is subscribed the names of the above named committee, as also those of the Mormon brethren named in the report as having been present.'

Which report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the meeting, and thereupon, the meeting adjourned, sine die.
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.
Hypocritical bombast The foregoing is copied entire to give one sample of hypocritical bombast, and current falsehoods, with which the country was flooded in the early days of this church. The declaration of the mob, by which they pledged to each other, their lives, their bodily powers, fortunes and sacred honors to remove the church from Jackson county, is a very good climax for all the arguments used, falsehoods set forth, and even a full interpretation of the sublime admission that "vengeance belongs to God alone."
Newspaper bias The events that followed from this time till November, explain the modus [o]perandi much more clearly than the publication in the Monitor, or other papers generally, that were so willing to give the western missionaries, the doctors, lawyers, judges, justices, sheriffs, constables, military officers, and other distinguished personages a fair chance against the Mormons.

Missouri Persecutions (1)
Missouri Persecutions (3)
Expulsion from Jackson County
Jackson County

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