“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 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]
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]
Page 65