30482

Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833

Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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July 29th 1833
Dear Brethren
With respect I address a few lines to you in this time of confusion among us, although the enemy has accomplished his design in demolishing the Printing establishment

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

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they cannot demolist demolish the design of our God, for his decrees will stand & his purposes must be accomplished2

See Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:1].  


notwithstanding the great rage of Satan, which we can behold in his followers, for it is visible to the natural eye, but enough on this subject, for you3

Oliver Cowdery. (JS History, vol. A-1, 330.)  


will be able to tell more than I can write.
Marvellous to tell in the midst of all the rage of all the rage of persecution God is pouring out his Spirit upon his people so that most all on last thursday4

25 July 1833.  


at the school5

Probably the “school of Elders,” conducted by Parley P. Pratt, in which men ordained to the priesthood “prayed, preached and prophesied, and exercised [themselves] in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 100; see also Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97:3–6].)  


received the gift of tongues & spake & prophesied;6

The gift of tongues manifested itself among church members in Missouri the previous month as well. (Whitmer, History, 39.)  


The next day David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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called his branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

View Glossary
7

David Whitmer was called to watch over the third branch of the church—which included the Whitmer settlement—in Jackson County on 11 September 1833. (Minute Book 2, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


together and most of them received the gift many old things are coming to light that had it not been for this gift would have remained in the dark & brought the wrath of God, upon the inhabitants of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
. There are but very few that have denied the faith in consequence of this transaction, but my daily prayer is that the Lord will cleanse Zion of all the remaining wickedness that is on this Holy Land, for is their cup not already full.9

See Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43:26].  


I greatly fear for some of they who call themselves disciples; but they are in the hands of a merciful God & he will do them no injustice. The Mail brings intelligence from Lexington10

Lexington, Missouri.  


which says that there have been two deaths of the Asiatic Cholera & are ten or fifteen cases11

According to a Jackson County resident writing in December 1833, “The cholera was brought into our neighborhood the past summer” on a steamboat named “Yellow Stone.” (Isaac McCoy, “The Disturbances in Jackson County,” Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 20 Dec. 1833, [2].)  


We suppose that there was one or two cases last week in this Neighborhood but none in town. Our daily cry to God is deliver thy people from the hand of our enemies send thy destroying angels, O God in the behalf of thy people that Zion may be built up according to the plan of our Lord through his servants to us, received this mail.12

Church leaders in Missouri had received the plat of the city of Zion and the plan of the House of the Lord from leaders in Kirtland in the morning mail. The reception of the plat and plan was noted again in William W. Phelps’s postscript to the text featured here. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833.)  


According to your request we give you the copy of the article of our enemies and also the bond or Covenant which we have signed.13

The original text of what Whitmer calls “the article of our enemies” is not extant; however, Edward Partridge made a copy of it, and it was also published in The Evening and the Morning Star as part of a letter to Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin. (“We the Undersigned Citizens of Jackson County,” [July 1833], Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL; “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115.)  


“We the undersigned 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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believing that an important crisis is at hand as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious sect of people that have settled, and are still settling in our County, styling themselves Mormons and intending as we do to rid our society “peacably if we can, forcibly if we must,”14

This quote likely refers to Henry Clay’s speech before the United States Congress in January 1813. (Henry Clay, Speech to House of Representatives, 8 Jan. 1813, Annals of Congress, 12th Cong., 2nd Sess., vol. 25, p. 665 [1813].)  


and believing as we do that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient & of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose, a purpose which we [p. 52]
Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
July 29th1

TEXT: “th” is double underlined.  


1833
Dear Brethren
With respect I address a few lines to you in this time  of confusion among us, although the enemy has accomplished his design of  in demolishing the Printing establishment

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

More Info
they cannot demolist [demolish] the design  of our God, for his decrees will stand & his purposes must be accomplished2

See Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:1].  


 notwithstanding the great rage of Satan, which we can behold in his followers,  for it is visible to the natural eye, but enough on this subject, for you3

Oliver Cowdery. (JS History, vol. A-1, 330.)  


will be  able to tell more than I can write.
Marvellous to tell in the midst of all the rage  of all the rage of persecution God is pouring out his Spirit upon his people so  that most all on last thursday4

25 July 1833.  


at the school5

Probably the “school of Elders,” conducted by Parley P. Pratt, in which men ordained to the priesthood “prayed, preached and prophesied, and exercised [themselves] in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 100; see also Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97:3–6].)  


received the gift of tongues & spake  & prophesied;6

The gift of tongues manifested itself among church members in Missouri the previous month as well. (Whitmer, History, 39.)  


The next day David [Whitmer]

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
called his branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

View Glossary
7

David Whitmer was called to watch over the third branch of the church—which included the Whitmer settlement—in Jackson County on 11 September 1833. (Minute Book 2, 11 Sept. 1833.)  


together and most of them  received the gift of tongues many old things are coming to light that had it not  been for this gift would have remained in the dark & brought the wrath of God, upon  the inhabitants of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
. There are but very few that have denied the faith  in consequence of this transaction, but my daily prayer is that the Lord will  cleanse Zion of all the remaining wickedness that is on this Holy Land,8

TEXT: “Holy” and “Land” are double underlined. This sentence possibly refers to an earlier revelation that discussed “a scorge and a Judgment” that would be “poured out upon the children of Zion” if church members polluted the Lord’s “holy land.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:58–59].)  


for is  their cup not already full.9

See Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43:26].  


I greatly fear for some of they who call themselves  disciples; but they are in the hands of a merciful God & he will do them no injus tice. The Mail brings intelligence from Lexington10

Lexington, Missouri.  


which says that  there have been two deaths of the Asiatic Cholera & are ten or fifteen cases11

According to a Jackson County resident writing in December 1833, “The cholera was brought into our neighborhood the past summer” on a steamboat named “Yellow Stone.” (Isaac McCoy, “The Disturbances in Jackson County,” Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 20 Dec. 1833, [2].)  


We suppose that there was one or two cases last week in this Neighborhood  but none in town. Our daily cry to God is deliver thy people from the hand  of our enemies send thy destroying angels, O God in the behalf of thy people  that Zion may be built up according to the plan of our Lord through his servants  to us, received this mail.12

Church leaders in Missouri had received the plat of the city of Zion and the plan of the House of the Lord from leaders in Kirtland in the morning mail. The reception of the plat and plan was noted again in William W. Phelps’s postscript to the text featured here. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833.)  


According to your request we give you the copy of the article of our enemies and also  the bond or Covenant which we have signed.13

The original text of what Whitmer calls “the article of our enemies” is not extant; however, Edward Partridge made a copy of it, and it was also published in The Evening and the Morning Star as part of a letter to Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin. (“We the Undersigned Citizens of Jackson County,” [July 1833], Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL; “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115.)  


“We the undersigned  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...

More Info
believing that an important crisis is at hand as  regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious sect of people  that have settled, and are still settling in our County, styling themselves Mormons  and intending as we do to rid our society “peacably if we can, forcibly if  we must,”14

This quote likely refers to Henry Clay’s speech before the United States Congress in January 1813. (Henry Clay, Speech to House of Representatives, 8 Jan. 1813, Annals of Congress, 12th Cong., 2nd Sess., vol. 25, p. 665 [1813].)  


and believing as we do that the arm of the civil law does not afford  us a guarantee or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now  inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem  it expedient & of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company  for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose, a purpose which we [p. 52]
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John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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, Letter with postscript by 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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, Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
, Jackson Co., MO, to Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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and JS, Kirtland Mills

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, 29 July 1833. Retained copy, [ca. summer 1839], in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 52–56; handwriting of James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838/1839, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived...

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; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.

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