“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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Installment 4, March 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65–66. The author of this fourth installment is not known, and no manuscript version has been located.

A HISTORY, OF THE  PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LAT TER DAY SAINTS IN  .
 
continued.
 
In August, 1836, the saints commen ced settling upon their new location,  in great numbers; and made prepara tions for the coming winter, by con structing comfortable dwellings for  themselves, and gathering as much  food for their cattle, horses &c. as their  straitened circumstances would permit.  Here they settled with the fond antici pation of being permitted to dwell in  quietness and peace upon their posses sions without molestation; consequent ly large entries of the public lands were  made by individuals of the society, and  extensive farms were soon opened;  those who had not means to purchase  lands, were under the necessity of  loaning it of the citizens, at very high  rates of per centage, frequently being  compelled to pay fifty per cent. Oth ers who could not obtain money by  loan, would procure two or three  months provision for their families, and  then go to Fort Leavensworth [Leavenworth] or else where, and work until they had earn ed enough to enter a forty or an eigh ty acre tract; thus by dint of hard la bor and untiring perseverance, almost  every man, in a few months found  himself in the possession of sufficient  land to make a good farm. In a few  months nearly or quite all the best land  of the territory, now known as , was purchased by the  saints, several hundred buildings erect ed, and great preparations made for a  crop the coming season. A principal  part of the old inhabitants sold out and  moved away, which however, were but  few, there being only about fifteen or  twenty families in the .
Commencing a settlement at this  season of the year, they were obliged  to procure all their provision for them selves, and grain for their stock in the  adjoining counties, and transport it  some thirty or forty miles, which was  a great detriment to the extensive im provements they were making. At  the session of the Legislature, in the  winter of 1836–7 an act was passed,  calling the territory upon which the  saints had settled, The  following spring it was duly organized,  with proper officers, both civil and mil itary. The emigration increased very  rapidly, so much so, that notwithstand ing the town of had beed [been] laid  out, and was building up very fast, yet  several families, in the spring of 18 37, moved still further north into the  county of , some of whom en tered lands and settled upon them, there  being one township then in market  which lay on the south side of the coun ty, and immediately adjoinimg to the north. Others purchased  pre-emtion rights, and settled upon the  public domain, which was not in mar ket, under the privilege of the pre-em tion law.
Some time in the month of July, a  mob spirit began to manifest itself in   which continued to in crease, until finally a lawless band of  desparadoes some twenty or thirty,  headed by Mr. , a Justice  of the Peace, and a Co lonel in the militia, went from house to  house and warned every man, belong ing to our society, to leave the  on or before a certain day by them  specified, which was not far distant, or  suffer the consequences, as they had  resolved upon that day to clear the   of every Mormon in it. This  intelligence, however, was not as terri fying as it might have been, had this  been the first time that it had been pro claimed in the ears of the saints, but  they, being made familiar with the  sound in and counties,  were disposed to treat the subject at  this time properly; therefore they in formed this lawless banditti, that as for  the day, it might come and go like all  other days, but if it brought a mob  with it they might expect a warm re ception as every man would be at home  well prepared for all such visitors; and  as it respected leaving the , that, [p. 65]

Installment 4, March 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65–66. The author of this fourth installment is not known, and no manuscript version has been located.

A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN .
 
continued.
 
In August, 1836, the saints commenced settling upon their new location, in great numbers; and made preparations for the coming winter, by constructing comfortable dwellings for themselves, and gathering as much food for their cattle, horses &c. as their straitened circumstances would permit. Here they settled with the fond anticipation of being permitted to dwell in quietness and peace upon their possessions without molestation; consequently large entries of the public lands were made by individuals of the society, and extensive farms were soon opened; those who had not means to purchase lands, were under the necessity of loaning it of the citizens, at very high rates of per centage, frequently being compelled to pay fifty per cent. Others who could not obtain money by loan, would procure two or three months provision for their families, and then go to Fort Leavensworth Leavenworth or elsewhere, and work until they had earned enough to enter a forty or an eighty acre tract; thus by dint of hard labor and untiring perseverance, almost every man, in a few months found himself in the possession of sufficient land to make a good farm. In a few months nearly or quite all the best land of the territory, now known as , was purchased by the saints, several hundred buildings erected, and great preparations made for a crop the coming season. A principal part of the old inhabitants sold out and moved away, which however, were but few, there being only about fifteen or twenty families in the .
Commencing a settlement at this season of the year, they were obliged to procure all their provision for themselves, and grain for their stock in the adjoining counties, and transport it some thirty or forty miles, which was a great detriment to the extensive improvements they were making. At the session of the Legislature, in the winter of 1836–7 an act was passed, calling the territory upon which the saints had settled, The following spring it was duly organized, with proper officers, both civil and military. The emigration increased very rapidly, so much so, that notwithstanding the town of had beed [been] laid out, and was building up very fast, yet several families, in the spring of 1837, moved still further north into the county of , some of whom entered lands and settled upon them, there being one township then in market which lay on the south side of the county, and immediately adjoinimg to the north. Others purchased pre-emtion rights, and settled upon the public domain, which was not in market, under the privilege of the pre-emtion law.
Some time in the month of July, a mob spirit began to manifest itself in which continued to increase, until finally a lawless band of desparadoes some twenty or thirty, headed by Mr. , a Justice of the Peace, and a Colonel in the militia, went from house to house and warned every man, belonging to our society, to leave the on or before a certain day by them specified, which was not far distant, or suffer the consequences, as they had resolved upon that day to clear the of every Mormon in it. This intelligence, however, was not as terrifying as it might have been, had this been the first time that it had been proclaimed in the ears of the saints, but they, being made familiar with the sound in and counties, were disposed to treat the subject at this time properly; therefore they informed this lawless banditti, that as for the day, it might come and go like all other days, but if it brought a mob with it they might expect a warm reception as every man would be at home well prepared for all such visitors; and as it respected leaving the , that, [p. 65]
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