“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 el ders 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 leav ing the ; and few of them, at  first, believed that they would have to  leave it, thinking that the government  would protect them, in their constitu tional 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 circu lated, 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 per secutions; 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 author ity 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 dam ages. They accordingly employed  four counsellors, at $1,000 to com mence 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 manifest ed by their threatnings; induced them  to move back again to .
The saints, as yet, had made no re sistance, 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 them selves, 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, continu ally 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 noth ing, 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 chil dren, 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 threat ening to visit them again in a rougher  manner, dispersed. The news of this  outrage soon spread through the differ ent settlements of the saints, and pro duced feelings more easily felt than de scribed; 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 be fore, as it were, that there was trouble  ahead. They were in a scattered sit uation, 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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