“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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at any time when they should get  ready to go; but said, that he had not  authority to keep a guard there for  their protection. That being the case  they were advised, by some of the  most influential men in the upper coun try, who were friendly to them, but  not believers in their faith, to have  enough of their brethren emigrate to  that country, to enable them to main tain their rights, should the mob ever  attemp to trample upon them again:  and then get the to set them  back upon their lands. Accordingly  word was sent forth to the churches  to that effect; and in the summer of  1834, a large company emigrated from  the eastern churches, to for  that purpose.
Whilst this company was forming and  going up to , rumor, with her  ten thousand tongues, was busily en gaged, in circulating falsehoods about  them; insomuch, that before they ar rived at , there was considera ble excitement, even there.
The people went over  into , and called a meeting and  stired up all the feelings there, that  they possibly could against the saints.  The anger of the people of  rose to a great height; they had fur nished themselves with a number of  cannon, and their neighbours of the  adjoining counties, on the south side of  the , volunteered by  hundreds to assist them, provided that  the should attempt to set the  saints back upon their land in
The company from the eastern  churches arrived in and their  gentle manners, and peaceable deport ment, soon convinced the people of that  country, of the false reports which had  been circulated about them. The ex citement was very soon done away,  and the people appeared more friendly  than before.
After the arrival of the brethren  from the east, a council was held, and  it was concluded, considering the great  wrath of the people, south of the river,  that it would not be wisdom to ask  the to set them back at that  time.
The people of were most ly friendly to the saints, but there  were a few exceptions. Nothing of  importance occurred, however, for  some time, a few threats and insults  from those who were disaffected, was  all the hostility manifested till the sum mer of 1836.
The suits which had been commenc ed against the people, for  damages, progressed so slow, and were  attended with such an amount of costs,  that they were all dropped but two;  which were considered sufficient to try  the experiment; to ascertain whether  or not any thing could be obtained by  the law. Near $300 cost had been  paid by the brethren, to obtain a  change of venue; the suits were then  removed to . Court after  court passed, and the trials were con tinued. At last, in the summer of  1836, the time drew near, when it was  supposed that the trials must come on:  which was very gratifying to those who  planted the suits. When the court  came, their lawyers, instead of going  to trial, as they should have done,  made a sort of compromise, with the  mobbers, by dropping one suit, with out even having the cost paid, and that  too without the knowledge or consent  of their employers. On the other suit  the defendants agreed to pay a few  hundred dollars; though not as much as  the lawyer’s fees had been. Thus the  lawyers, after getting their pay, man aged the cases; had they been true to  the brethren, as they were bound to  be by oath, and brought their suits to  a trial, instead of making a comprom ise, and laboured faithfully for them, as  they ought to have done; and laboured  as though they meant to earn their thou sand dollar fee; there is no doubt but  that, on the two suits, they would have  obtained as many thousands of dollars,  as they did hundreds by the comprom ise. No further attempts have ever  been made to obtain a compensation  for the losses and damages, sustained  by the saints in except  last winter in petitioning the Legisla ture of , among other things  they asked the , for remunera tion for them; which the Legislature  did not see fit to grant.
In the summer of 1836 the mob  party, in strengthened itself  considerably, and became quite bold;  insomuch that they in one or two in stances, began to whip the saints; and [p. 50]
at any time when they should get ready to go; but said, that he had not authority to keep a guard there for their protection. That being the case they were advised, by some of the most influential men in the upper country, who were friendly to them, but not believers in their faith, to have enough of their brethren emigrate to that country, to enable them to maintain their rights, should the mob ever attemp to trample upon them again: and then get the to set them back upon their lands. Accordingly word was sent forth to the churches to that effect; and in the summer of 1834, a large company emigrated from the eastern churches, to for that purpose.
Whilst this company was forming and going up to , rumor, with her ten thousand tongues, was busily engaged, in circulating falsehoods about them; insomuch, that before they arrived at , there was considerable excitement, even there.
The people went over into , and called a meeting and stired up all the feelings there, that they possibly could against the saints. The anger of the people of rose to a great height; they had furnished themselves with a number of cannon, and their neighbours of the adjoining counties, on the south side of the , volunteered by hundreds to assist them, provided that the should attempt to set the saints back upon their land in
The company from the eastern churches arrived in and their gentle manners, and peaceable deportment, soon convinced the people of that country, of the false reports which had been circulated about them. The excitement was very soon done away, and the people appeared more friendly than before.
After the arrival of the brethren from the east, a council was held, and it was concluded, considering the great wrath of the people, south of the river, that it would not be wisdom to ask the to set them back at that time.
The people of were mostly friendly to the saints, but there were a few exceptions. Nothing of importance occurred, however, for some time, a few threats and insults from those who were disaffected, was all the hostility manifested till the summer of 1836.
The suits which had been commenced against the people, for damages, progressed so slow, and were attended with such an amount of costs, that they were all dropped but two; which were considered sufficient to try the experiment; to ascertain whether or not any thing could be obtained by the law. Near $300 cost had been paid by the brethren, to obtain a change of venue; the suits were then removed to . Court after court passed, and the trials were continued. At last, in the summer of 1836, the time drew near, when it was supposed that the trials must come on: which was very gratifying to those who planted the suits. When the court came, their lawyers, instead of going to trial, as they should have done, made a sort of compromise, with the mobbers, by dropping one suit, without even having the cost paid, and that too without the knowledge or consent of their employers. On the other suit the defendants agreed to pay a few hundred dollars; though not as much as the lawyer’s fees had been. Thus the lawyers, after getting their pay, managed the cases; had they been true to the brethren, as they were bound to be by oath, and brought their suits to a trial, instead of making a compromise, and laboured faithfully for them, as they ought to have done; and laboured as though they meant to earn their thousand dollar fee; there is no doubt but that, on the two suits, they would have obtained as many thousands of dollars, as they did hundreds by the compromise. No further attempts have ever been made to obtain a compensation for the losses and damages, sustained by the saints in except last winter in petitioning the Legislature of , among other things they asked the , for remuneration for them; which the Legislature did not see fit to grant.
In the summer of 1836 the mob party, in strengthened itself considerably, and became quite bold; insomuch that they in one or two instances, began to whip the saints; and [p. 50]
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