Journal, March–September 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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let him believe in whatever religion he may, he says  he will always say what he pleases, for he says  he is a republican, and as such he will do, say,  act, and believe, what he pleases,
Let the rea der mark such republicanism as this,  That a man should oppose his own Judgement  to the Judgement of God, and at the same time  profess to believe in the same God, when that God  has said, “the wisdom of God, is foolishness with  men, and the wisdom or Judgment of men is  foolishness with God. also made  some observations to , which he afterw ards acknowleged were correct, and that he understood  things different after the intervew, from what he  did before,

Editorial Note
As September began, rumors of Mormon violence, fanned by , , and others, put northwestern on a war footing. Sheriff William Morgan had intended to arrest JS on 16 August but was ultimately dissuaded because of a jurisdictional issue. Within his own jurisdiction of , Morgan apparently intended to arrest as well but was intimidated by Wight’s defiant posture. Missouri newspapers reported that the sheriff went to Wight’s home with the intent of arresting him but found the home surrounded by armed Latter-day Saints. Wight was reported to have threatened “that he would not be taken alive—that the law had never protected him, and he owed them no obedience.” On 29 August 1838, Peniston and other members of a Daviess County “Committee of Vigilance” wrote that JS and Wight “say they will not be taken, nor submit to the law of the land” and that “two or three” attempts had been made to arrest them. By 2 September 1838, Peniston, Black, and other Daviess County residents had solicited aid from , , , , , Carroll, Howard, , and possibly other Missouri counties.
On 4 September, in consultation with General , JS and agreed to be tried on charges stemming from ’s affidavit, with Atchison and to serve as their legal counsel. They requested that circuit court judge of , Clay County, conduct a preliminary hearing on the matter in . King agreed to do so “for the sake of giving quiet to the country” and instructed Sheriff William Morgan of Daviess County to “go to Mr. Wight who will submit to your process . . . when you go to execute your process on Wight you need take no one with you.” The hearing took place on 7 September, but it failed to bring peace to Daviess County as outsiders continued to mobilize—now not merely to bring JS and Wight to justice but to drive the Mormons from the county.

1 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 1st. Sept. 1838 — — — — — — —  The  their Scribe, & (as surveyor,) Started  this morning for the (as it is called)  Kept [by] , some 14 or 15 miles from   directly north, For the purpose of appo inting a city of , for the of the  saints in that place, for safety and from the  storm which will soon come upon this genne ration, and that the bretheren may be togeth er in the hour of the coming of the son of man  and that they may receive instruction<s> to prep are them for that great day which will come upon  this generation as a thief in the knight,
There is  great exitement at present among the misourians  seeking if possible an accasion against us  they are continually chafing us, and provoking  us to anger if possible, one sene of threats threatning  after an=other. but we do not fear them [p. 75]
let him believe in whatever religion he may, he says he will always say what he pleases, for he says he is a republican, and as such he will do, say, act, and believe, what he pleases,
Let the reader mark such republicanism as this, That a man should oppose his own Judgement to the Judgement of God, and at the same time profess to believe in the same God, when that God has said, “the wisdom of God, is foolishness with men, and the wisdom or Judgment of men is foolishness with God. also made some observations to , which he afterwards acknowleged were correct, and that he understood things different after the intervew, from what he did before,

Editorial Note
As September began, rumors of Mormon violence, fanned by , , and others, put northwestern on a war footing. Sheriff William Morgan had intended to arrest JS on 16 August but was ultimately dissuaded because of a jurisdictional issue. Within his own jurisdiction of , Morgan apparently intended to arrest as well but was intimidated by Wight’s defiant posture. Missouri newspapers reported that the sheriff went to Wight’s home with the intent of arresting him but found the home surrounded by armed Latter-day Saints. Wight was reported to have threatened “that he would not be taken alive—that the law had never protected him, and he owed them no obedience.” On 29 August 1838, Peniston and other members of a Daviess County “Committee of Vigilance” wrote that JS and Wight “say they will not be taken, nor submit to the law of the land” and that “two or three” attempts had been made to arrest them. By 2 September 1838, Peniston, Black, and other Daviess County residents had solicited aid from , , , , , Carroll, Howard, , and possibly other Missouri counties.
On 4 September, in consultation with General , JS and agreed to be tried on charges stemming from ’s affidavit, with Atchison and to serve as their legal counsel. They requested that circuit court judge of , Clay County, conduct a preliminary hearing on the matter in . King agreed to do so “for the sake of giving quiet to the country” and instructed Sheriff William Morgan of Daviess County to “go to Mr. Wight who will submit to your process . . . when you go to execute your process on Wight you need take no one with you.” The hearing took place on 7 September, but it failed to bring peace to Daviess County as outsiders continued to mobilize—now not merely to bring JS and Wight to justice but to drive the Mormons from the county.

1 September 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 1st. Sept. 1838 — — — — — — — The (as surveyor,) Started this morning for the (as it is called) Kept by , some 14 or 15 miles from directly north, For the purpose of appointing a city of , for the of the saints in that place, for safety and from the storm which will soon come upon this genneration, and that the bretheren may be together in the hour of the coming of the son of man and that they may receive instructions to prepare them for that great day which will come upon this generation as a thief in the knight,
There is great exitement at present among the misourians seeking if possible an accasion against us they are continually chafing us, and provoking us to anger if possible, one sene of threatning after an=other. but we do not fear them [p. 75]
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