30488

Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 November 1833

further, The worlds people are very desirous to have us sell the lands & since you advised us not to,16

Reverend Isaac McCoy, one of the Mormons’ antagonists, drew up what he called “Proposed plans in Relation to the Mormons,” dated 8 November 1833, wherein he and four others proposed that the Mormons sell their lands: “They have land which will bring cash in hand. Let them take the cash and aid themselves in removing. . . . If they will not do this, we shall have just cause to suspect them.” On 18 August 1833, however, JS had written to leaders in Independence, instructing them to retain ownership of Sidney Gilbert’s store as well as their lands in Jackson County. (Jennings, “Isaac McCoy and the Mormons,” 75–77; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


I do not want to, but if we are to be driven about for years I can see no use in keeping our possessions here. Some of our brn. that have given me money to buy lands with are desirous to receive a deed of some land17

The discussion here probably relates to the practice of consecration; church members consecrated their funds and in return expected to be given lands as part of their stewardships. In May 1833, JS instructed Bishop Partridge regarding deeds for consecrated properties: “The law of the Lord, binds you to receive, whatsoever property is consecrated, by deed. . . . Again, concerning inheritances, you are bound by the law of the Lord, to give a deed, secureing to him who receives inheritances . . . to be his individual prope[r]ty, his privat ste[wa]rdship.” (Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


& I have thought it best to give deeds to such as are anxious to have them. I want your advice upon the subject of the lands18

JS answered Partridge’s request in his 10 December letter: “As respects giving deeds I would advise to give deeds as far as the brethren have legal and Just claims for them and then let evry man answer to God for the disposal of them.” (Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 10 Dec. 1833, underlining in original.)  


& also I want wisdom & light on many subjects, in this time of trial We have made two attempts to get a peace warrent, the first before a justice one of the mob he at first refused but after consulting with some others of the mob he consented,19

Later accounts of these attempts to obtain a peace warrant differ slightly from the account given here. The first attempt to obtain a peace warrant was likely made in early November before Samuel Weston, who served as justice of the peace of Jackson County from 1831 to 1833. Weston refused to grant the warrant. The Mormons made a second attempt to attain a warrant on 3 November before circuit judge William Silvers. That attempt also proved fruitless. (Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2]; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:20; Jan. 1840, 1:33.)  


we however sent to Lexington

Located on high bluffs on southeast bank of Missouri River, about forty miles east of Independence. Area settled, 1817. Selected as county seat, by 1823. City charter obtained, 1845. Population in 1840 about 2,400. Commercial, steamboat, ferrying, and outfitting...

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40 miles east to the circuit Judge

2 Nov. 1797–10 Sept. 1873. Teacher, farmer, lawyer, judge. Born in King and Queen Co., Virginia. Son of Joseph Ryland and Rosamiah Molly. Moved to Richmond, Madison Co., Kentucky, 1809. Attended Forest Hill Academy in Washington Co. (later in Marion Co.),...

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& after quite a struggle made out to obtain one. but when the brn. came back with it we had agreed to go away20

Parley P. Pratt and Thomas B. Marsh left Independence on Sunday, 3 November, and traveled to Lexington to obtain a peace warrant from Judge John F. Ryland. The next morning Ryland denied them the warrant. Pratt and Marsh remained in the area to rest for a day and then returned to Independence on 5 November. Yet Partridge mentioned in this letter and in a later reminiscent account that church leaders obtained warrants “after considerable delay.” Hiram Page and Joshua Lewis later succeeded in obtaining a peace warrant from Judge Ryland in Lexington, but not before church leaders agreed to leave Jackson County. (Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 15–16; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:33; John F. Ryland, “Near Lexington,” MO, to Amos Rees, 24 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 125.)  


& the mob or militia as they were called were raging with great fury & we have done nothing with it. neither do we believe it would be of any use to try to enforce it. now. our lawyers21

See Historical Introduction to Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.  


say it can do us no good in their opinion, as to our suits for damage we were expecting to start a number between this & the next term which is in Feb. next22

A reference to the February term of the circuit court.  


there has no writ been taken out as yet, since our removal we have not been able to get together so as to have a council

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of high priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
& advise with one another what is best to do do. It would seem that the prospect is bad respecting our having justice done us by any course we may pursue. justice would give us the Co. of Jackson

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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almost. we believe but this would take years to accomplish unless our damages could be settled by arbitrating that is leaveing the case to judicious disinterested men. There is an other way we might obtain the land by natural means. that is this could we obtain money by loan or from brn. that were able we might buy out the most of the inhabitants in all probability & let them leave the Co.

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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but this would take many thousand dollars.24

The idea of purchasing land in Jackson County was again proposed the following year but never came to fruition. On 16 June 1834, representatives of the exiled Mormons met with representatives from Jackson County in the courthouse in Liberty, with some Clay County citizens there to act as mediators. The Jackson County committee proposed that county citizens buy all the land church members owned in Jackson County at its full value within a month’s time if the Mormons agreed never to settle again in the county. On 21 June 1834, JS and other church leaders in Clay County turned down the Jackson County committee’s proposal and presented a counterproposal. Asserting their intention to return to their lands by orders of the governor of Missouri, they proposed to buy the lands of county citizens who could not abide living with the Mormons. However, the Mormons were unable to pay the money required within the allotted time of one year, and they refused to sell their lands largely because a revelation JS dictated on 22 June 1834 commanded the church to purchase “all the lands in Jackson County that can be purchased and in the adjoining Counties round about” for the implementation of the law of consecration. (“Proposition of the Jackson Committee to the Mormons and Their Answer,” 16 June 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “Request of Cornelius Gilliam to J. Smith Jr and Others and Their Answer,” 21 June 1834, JS Collection, CHL; Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 200–201 [D&C 105:28].)  


after looking at the whole I am of opinion that unless God works for his people & displays his power in some way or another we cannot return to the land again. my mind is to have the disciples all leave the land & see if God will not pour out his judgments in some way upon that wicked people.25

Many church members had expressed similar hopes since the beginning of the turmoil in Jackson County. “Pray for the Lord to deliver, for this is his will that you should,” wrote Oliver Cowdery on 10 August 1833, “& fear not for his arm will be revealed, & it will fall upon the wicked & they cannot escape.” A week later, JS stated in a prayer to God, “Thine anger is enkindled against them and they shall be consumed before thy face and be far removed from Zion O they will go down to the pit and give pl[a]ce for thy saints.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


rumors are afloat that it is with difficulty that the Indians are restrained from coming upon the people as to this I know nothing about it & I place no great confidence in romors.26

Rumors of conflicts between white settlers and the native peoples in United States territories were typical of the American frontier. In April 1833, for example, The Evening and the Morning Star republished articles that mentioned such potential difficulties. (“All Must Come to Pass,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Apr. 1833, [6].)  


I hope ere this there may have been a comforting word from the Lord through you but be this as it may I am anxious to hear from you In haste your brother in Christ [p. [2]]
further, The worlds people are very desirous to have us sell the  lands & since you advised <us> not to,16

Reverend Isaac McCoy, one of the Mormons’ antagonists, drew up what he called “Proposed plans in Relation to the Mormons,” dated 8 November 1833, wherein he and four others proposed that the Mormons sell their lands: “They have land which will bring cash in hand. Let them take the cash and aid themselves in removing. . . . If they will not do this, we shall have just cause to suspect them.” On 18 August 1833, however, JS had written to leaders in Independence, instructing them to retain ownership of Sidney Gilbert’s store as well as their lands in Jackson County. (Jennings, “Isaac McCoy and the Mormons,” 75–77; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


I do not want to, but if we are  to be driven about for years I can see no use in keeping our  possessions here. Some of our brn. that have given me money  to buy lands with are desirous to receive a deed of some land17

The discussion here probably relates to the practice of consecration; church members consecrated their funds and in return expected to be given lands as part of their stewardships. In May 1833, JS instructed Bishop Partridge regarding deeds for consecrated properties: “The law of the Lord, binds you to receive, whatsoever property is consecrated, by deed. . . . Again, concerning inheritances, you are bound by the law of the Lord, to give a deed, secureing to him who receives inheritances . . . to be his individual prope[r]ty, his privat ste[wa]rdship.” (Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.)  


 & <I> have thought it best to give some deeds to such as are anxious  to have them. I want your advice upon the subject of the lands18

JS answered Partridge’s request in his 10 December letter: “As respects giving deeds I would advise to give deeds as far as the brethren have legal and Just claims for them and then let evry man answer to God for the disposal of them.” (Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 10 Dec. 1833, underlining in original.)  


 & also I want wisdom on & light on many subjects, <in this time of trial> We <have> made two attem pts to get a peace warrent, the first before a justice one of the mob he  at first refused but after consulting with some others of the mob he  consented,19

Later accounts of these attempts to obtain a peace warrant differ slightly from the account given here. The first attempt to obtain a peace warrant was likely made in early November before Samuel Weston, who served as justice of the peace of Jackson County from 1831 to 1833. Weston refused to grant the warrant. The Mormons made a second attempt to attain a warrant on 3 November before circuit judge William Silvers. That attempt also proved fruitless. (Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2]; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:20; Jan. 1840, 1:33.)  


we however sent to Lexington

Located on high bluffs on southeast bank of Missouri River, about forty miles east of Independence. Area settled, 1817. Selected as county seat, by 1823. City charter obtained, 1845. Population in 1840 about 2,400. Commercial, steamboat, ferrying, and outfitting...

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40 miles east to the circuit  Judge

2 Nov. 1797–10 Sept. 1873. Teacher, farmer, lawyer, judge. Born in King and Queen Co., Virginia. Son of Joseph Ryland and Rosamiah Molly. Moved to Richmond, Madison Co., Kentucky, 1809. Attended Forest Hill Academy in Washington Co. (later in Marion Co.),...

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& after quite a struggle made out to obtain one. but when  the brn. came back with it we had agreed to go away20

Parley P. Pratt and Thomas B. Marsh left Independence on Sunday, 3 November, and traveled to Lexington to obtain a peace warrant from Judge John F. Ryland. The next morning Ryland denied them the warrant. Pratt and Marsh remained in the area to rest for a day and then returned to Independence on 5 November. Yet Partridge mentioned in this letter and in a later reminiscent account that church leaders obtained warrants “after considerable delay.” Hiram Page and Joshua Lewis later succeeded in obtaining a peace warrant from Judge Ryland in Lexington, but not before church leaders agreed to leave Jackson County. (Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 15–16; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:33; John F. Ryland, “Near Lexington,” MO, to Amos Rees, 24 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 125.)  


& the  mob or militia as they were called were raging with great  fury & we have done nothing with it. neither do we believe  it would be of any use to try to enforce it. <now.> our lawyers21

See Historical Introduction to Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.  


say it  can do us no good in their opinion, as to our civil suits or suits  for damage we were expecting to start a number between this  & the next term which is in Feb. next22

A reference to the February term of the circuit court.  


there has no writ been  taken out as yet, since our removal we have not been able  to get toge[ther] [so]23

TEXT: “toge[page torn]”. Supplied text from a copy of the letter in Partridge, Genealogical Record, 11.  


as to have a council

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of high priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
& advise  with one another what we shall <is best to do> do. It would seem that the prospect  is bad respecting our having justice done us by any course we may  pursue. justice would give us the Co. of Jackson

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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almost. we believe  but this would take years to accomplish unless our damages could  be settled by arbitrating that is leaveing the case to judicious  disinterested men. There is an other way we might obtain the  land by natural means. that is this could we obtain money  by loan or from brn. that were able we might buy out  the most of the inhabitants in all probability & let  them leave the Co.

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
but this would take many thousand dollars.24

The idea of purchasing land in Jackson County was again proposed the following year but never came to fruition. On 16 June 1834, representatives of the exiled Mormons met with representatives from Jackson County in the courthouse in Liberty, with some Clay County citizens there to act as mediators. The Jackson County committee proposed that county citizens buy all the land church members owned in Jackson County at its full value within a month’s time if the Mormons agreed never to settle again in the county. On 21 June 1834, JS and other church leaders in Clay County turned down the Jackson County committee’s proposal and presented a counterproposal. Asserting their intention to return to their lands by orders of the governor of Missouri, they proposed to buy the lands of county citizens who could not abide living with the Mormons. However, the Mormons were unable to pay the money required within the allotted time of one year, and they refused to sell their lands largely because a revelation JS dictated on 22 June 1834 commanded the church to purchase “all the lands in Jackson County that can be purchased and in the adjoining Counties round about” for the implementation of the law of consecration. (“Proposition of the Jackson Committee to the Mormons and Their Answer,” 16 June 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “Request of Cornelius Gilliam to J. Smith Jr and Others and Their Answer,” 21 June 1834, JS Collection, CHL; Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 200–201 [D&C 105:28].)  


 after looking at the whole of I am of opinion that unless  God works for his people & displays his power in some  way or another we cannot return to the land again. my  mind is to have the disciples all leave the land & see if  God will not pour out his judgments in some way or  another upon that wicked people.25

Many church members had expressed similar hopes since the beginning of the turmoil in Jackson County. “Pray for the Lord to deliver, for this is his will that you should,” wrote Oliver Cowdery on 10 August 1833, “& fear not for his arm will be revealed, & it will fall upon the wicked & they cannot escape.” A week later, JS stated in a prayer to God, “Thine anger is enkindled against them and they shall be consumed before thy face and be far removed from Zion O they will go down to the pit and give pl[a]ce for thy saints.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


many rumors are  afloat that it is with difficulty that the Indians are restrai[n]ed  from coming upon the people as to this I know <nothing> about it &  I place no great confidence in romors.26

Rumors of conflicts between white settlers and the native peoples in United States territories were typical of the American frontier. In April 1833, for example, The Evening and the Morning Star republished articles that mentioned such potential difficulties. (“All Must Come to Pass,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Apr. 1833, [6].)  


I hope ere this there may have  been a comfort[ing] [w]ord27

TEXT: “comfort[page torn]ord”. Supplied text from a copy of the letter in Partridge, Genealogical Record, 11.  


from the Lord through you but be this as it may I am  anxious to hear from you In haste your brother in Christ [p. [2]]
Previous
By 19 November 1833, most church members had fled Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Missouri, to surrounding areas, congregating primarily to the north in Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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, Missouri.1

“From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 125–126.  


After being expelled and while living near Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Clay County, Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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wrote the letter featured here to JS, reporting on the condition of the refugees and assessing their prospects for returning to Jackson County. Supposing that William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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had already provided JS with more detailed information about the events in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, Partridge refrained from chronicling events that precipitated the expulsion.2 Although Partridge mentioned other events such as the Leonid meteor shower in his letter, such topics were overshadowed by his concern for the loss of private lands in Missouri and the failed attempts for governmental redress.
Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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struggled with the realization that the refugees might never be able to return to their inheritances

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

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without “the interposition of God.” As bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, Partridge was responsible to receive consecrated

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

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funds and supplies from faithful church members and to then assign land to them as a stewardship

One who managed property and goods under the law of consecration; also someone given a specific ecclesiastical responsibility. According to the “Laws of the Church of Christ,” members of the church were to make donations to the bishop, who would record the...

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for personal and family use.3

See, for example, James Lee, Agreement of Consecration, on verso of Edward Partridge, to “Honored Father” et al., 22 Oct. 1834, draft, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL.  


Not only did church members lose their homes in the expulsion, but Partridge also lost the ability to implement this law of consecration as detailed in JS’s revelations.4

For more information on Partridge’s role in implementing the law of consecration, see Historical Introduction to Letter to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833.  


As a possible solution to this problem, he recommended purchasing lands owned by the citizens of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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but noted the unlikelihood of this option because it “would take many thousand dollars.” Partridge indicated that many church members desired “to receive a deed of some land,” despite the fact that the antagonism in Jackson County prevented them from occupying lands there. Partridge thought it prudent to grant such requests, even though he likely doubted that they would ever reoccupy the land. He asked JS for “advice upon the subject of the lands & also I want wisdom & light on many subjects.”
In his letter, Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
also expressed frustration with government officials. Church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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followed the advice Governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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had given to seek redress, protection, and reinstatement to their lands through local authorities but had not obtained meaningful results.5

See Historical Introduction to Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.  


A peace warrant that was finally obtained after three attempts appeared to be useless, intended lawsuits for damages suffered in July had not yet been filed, and the prospects for government assistance seemed nonexistent. Neither the executive nor the judicial branches of the state government seemed willing to protect the rights of this particular minority. In addition, government militia and violent mobs appeared to be one and the same. Partridge maintained a faint hope for justice through the courts but believed the standard legal process would take so long that arbitration might be the best solution for reacquiring the Mormons’ lands. With these many issues and others on his mind, Partridge asked JS for “a comfort[ing] [w]ord from the Lord through you.”
Because of a small tear in the upper right corner of the leaf, which renders a portion of the date illegible, the exact day on which Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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wrote this letter is unknown. However, enough of the date remains to conclude that he wrote it on either 14, 17, or 19 November 1833. The letter was mailed from Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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on 19 November.6 The language of Partridge’s letter indicates that some time had passed since he had seen the Leonid meteor shower, which occurred during the early morning hours of 13 November, making it unlikely that the letter was written on 14 November. It is also possible that the document featured here is actually an early draft of the letter Partridge eventually sent to JS. It contains various editorial markings and does not bear Partridge’s signature, indicating that he may not have intended to send this copy.7

Partridge occasionally wrote drafts of letters before sending final copies. For example, a year later, on 22 October 1834, Partridge drafted a letter to his family living in Massachusetts before making and sending a final copy. (Edward Partridge, to “Honored Father” et al., 22 Oct. 1834, draft, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL.)  


The letter also mentions that Partridge wrote in the evening, suggesting the letter could not have been written on November 19, as the mail left sometime that day. Therefore, though it is possible that Partridge began writing this letter as early as 14 November 1833, it is more likely that he drafted it on 17 November, made editorial corrections, copied it, and mailed it to JS no later than 19 November.
JS responded to this letter, as well as to others from William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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and John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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, on 10 December 1833. A portion of JS’s response seems to directly answer Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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’s concerns: JS warned against giving up lands in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, stating that “it is better that you should die in the ey[e]s of God, then that you should give up the Land of Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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, the inheritances which you have purchased with your monies.” He then directed church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to seek redress from all levels of government and said that if government officials would not help, then God “will not fail to exicute Judgment upon your enemies and to avenge his own elect.” JS closed his response with a prayer for those who faced tribulation in Missouri and lamented that he had not been there with them.8

Facts