“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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what time they had, thought it best to agree to leave the , upon the terms agreed upon, viz: that those elders should go themselves, and also use their influence, with the society, to have one half of them leave the by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April, 1834; hoping that before either of those dates would expire, providence would kindly open the way for them, to still live there in peace. The mob party agreed to not molest the saints, during the time agreed upon for them to stay. The agreement was written, and signed by the parties; the whole mob was then assembled in the , and had it read, and explained to them by their leaders; they all appeared satisfied, and agreed to abide by it. The saints were not pleased with the idea of leaving the ; and few of them, at first, believed that they would have to leave it, thinking that the government would protect them, in their constitutional rights. Threats of destruction were soon thrown out, by some of the mobbers, should they, -[the saints]- make any effort to get assistance from any quarter: but notwithstanding their threats, a petition was carefully circulated, and obtained the signature of many of the saints; and was carried to the of the , before it become at all public. The petition set forth, in a concise manner, their persecutions; and solicited the aid of the in protecting them, in their rights, that they might sue, and obtain damages, for loss of property, abuse, defamation, &c. The , in his answer, expressed a willingness to help them, but said he had no authority to do it, untill the law could not be executed without force. He advised them to try the law, against those who should threaten their lives; and if the law was resisted, give him authentic information of the fact, and then he would see that it was enforced. He also advised them to sue for their damages. They accordingly employed four counsellors, at $1,000 to commence and carry their suits, more or less, through to final judgement.
About that time a few families moved into Van Buren county, the county south of ; but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to .
The saints, as yet, had made no resistance, but seeing, as they thought, the only feasible door for moving away shut against them, they began to look around, to see what could be done.— They took the subject of self defence into consideration, and they found that they would be justified by the laws of both God and man, in defending themselves, their families, and houses, against all such as should molest them unlawfully. They therefore concluded, that from that time forward, they would defend themselves, as well as they could, against mobbers; hoping that that, when it should be understood, would dampen the hostile spirit of those who were, at that time, continually threatening them. But it had a contra effect. That, together with the petitioning of the , and the employing of counsel, caused the mob to rage again. They began by stoning houses, breaking in windows and doors, and committing other outrages; but nothing, very serious, was done till the last of October. On Thursday night the 31st, a mob of forty or fifty, collected and proceeded armed to a branch of the church, who lived eight or ten miles, south west of ; there they unroofed ten houses, and partly threw down the bodies of some of them; they caught three or four of the men, and notwithstanding the cries, and entreaties of their wives and children, they whiped, and beat them in a barbarous manner. Others evaded a beating by flight. They were taken by surprise by the mob, consequently were not collected together, or in a situation to defend themselves against so large a body; therefore they made no resistance. The mob, after threatening to visit them again in a rougher manner, dispersed. The news of this outrage soon spread through the different settlements of the saints, and produced feelings more easily felt than described; for they very well knew by the threatnings of the mob, and their breaking the treaty, or agreement, which was made but a few days before, as it were, that there was trouble ahead. They were in a scattered situation, their settlements extending east and west ten or twelve miles, and [p. 19]
what time they had, thought it best to agree to leave the , upon the terms agreed upon, viz: that those elders should go themselves, and also use their influence, with the society, to have one half of them leave the by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April, 1834; hoping that before either of those dates would expire, providence would kindly open the way for them, to still live there in peace. The mob party agreed to not molest the saints, during the time agreed upon for them to stay. The agreement was written, and signed by the parties; the whole mob was then assembled in the , and had it read, and explained to them by their leaders; they all appeared satisfied, and agreed to abide by it. The saints were not pleased with the idea of leaving the ; and few of them, at first, believed that they would have to leave it, thinking that the government would protect them, in their constitutional rights. Threats of destruction were soon thrown out, by some of the mobbers, should they, -[the saints]- make any effort to get assistance from any quarter: but notwithstanding their threats, a petition was carefully circulated, and obtained the signature of many of the saints; and was carried to the of the , before it become at all public. The petition set forth, in a concise manner, their persecutions; and solicited the aid of the in protecting them, in their rights, that they might sue, and obtain damages, for loss of property, abuse, defamation, &c. The , in his answer, expressed a willingness to help them, but said he had no authority to do it, untill the law could not be executed without force. He advised them to try the law, against those who should threaten their lives; and if the law was resisted, give him authentic information of the fact, and then he would see that it was enforced. He also advised them to sue for their damages. They accordingly employed four counsellors, at $1,000 to commence and carry their suits, more or less, through to final judgement.
About that time a few families moved into Van Buren county, the county south of ; but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to .
The saints, as yet, had made no resistance, but seeing, as they thought, the only feasible door for moving away shut against them, they began to look around, to see what could be done.— They took the subject of self defence into consideration, and they found that they would be justified by the laws of both God and man, in defending themselves, their families, and houses, against all such as should molest them unlawfully. They therefore concluded, that from that time forward, they would defend themselves, as well as they could, against mobbers; hoping that that, when it should be understood, would dampen the hostile spirit of those who were, at that time, continually threatening them. But it had a contra effect. That, together with the petitioning of the , and the employing of counsel, caused the mob to rage again. They began by stoning houses, breaking in windows and doors, and committing other outrages; but nothing, very serious, was done till the last of October. On Thursday night the 31st, a mob of forty or fifty, collected and proceeded armed to a branch of the church, who lived eight or ten miles, south west of ; there they unroofed ten houses, and partly threw down the bodies of some of them; they caught three or four of the men, and notwithstanding the cries, and entreaties of their wives and children, they whiped, and beat them in a barbarous manner. Others evaded a beating by flight. They were taken by surprise by the mob, consequently were not collected together, or in a situation to defend themselves against so large a body; therefore they made no resistance. The mob, after threatening to visit them again in a rougher manner, dispersed. The news of this outrage soon spread through the different settlements of the saints, and produced feelings more easily felt than described; for they very well knew by the threatnings of the mob, and their breaking the treaty, or agreement, which was made but a few days before, as it were, that there was trouble ahead. They were in a scattered situation, their settlements extending east and west ten or twelve miles, and [p. 19]
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