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...

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 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...

More Info
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.),...

View Full Bio
& 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...

More Info
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
[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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], Letter, 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 Co., MO, to JS, [Kirtland Township

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Geauga Co., OH], between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; draft; handwriting of 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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; two pages; JS Collection, CHL.
Single leaf measuring 12⅛ × 7½ inches (31 × 19 cm). The document was folded in fourths. The folds are partially broken or separated, resulting in a loss of parts of the manuscript, including some text. The rough right edge of the recto indicates that the leaf was apparently removed from a blank book.
This letter does not include a signature or address and therefore was not the sent copy. It is possible this version of the document was a draft of a letter. Though a version of this letter was eventually sent to JS, the sent copy is no longer extant. At least one other copy of the letter survives and is found in 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...

View Full Bio
’s Genealogical Record. The letter featured here, along with other papers belonging to Partridge, was in the possession of the Partridge family until at least the mid-1880s, sometime after which it came into the possession of the Church Historian’s Office.1

Whitney, “Aaronic Priesthood,” 5–6; Partridge, Genealogical Record, 1, 9–11; see also the full bibliographic entry for the Edward Partridge Papers in the CHL catalog.  


Facts