30482

Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833

By his almighty power
Sustains all things from week to week
From day to day, from hour to hour
Praise ye the Lord ye saints in Zion
Praise his glorious name
Our God shall triumph over all his foes
Our enemies shall all be put to shame38

See Psalm 44:7.  


And God be praised for all his mighty power
Exalt the wastes of Zion sing for joy ye saints
Let praise your earthly powers employ
Arise, awake, put thy strength and sing39

See Isaiah 52:1; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 61 [2 Nephi 1:14, 23].  


The everlasting praises of your King
Till earth & heaven in Halelujahs ring.
40

The following two lines appear to be a later insertion by the clerk who copied this letter into JS Letterbook 2. “The towers of Zion soon shall rise” was the opening line of a six-stanza hymn that appears on page 38 of the church’s first hymnal, published in 1835. (Hymn 29, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 38–39.)  


The towers of Zion soon shall rise
If the Lord will yet speak to his children, it may be well to inquire every matter concerning the destruction of the printing office

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
, and what is to be done in future, and also concerning the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
, and what is to be done in future: I know from the experience I have had that it is a good thing to have our faith thoroughly tried.
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
must and will be pure. Health prevails among the disciples.
N.B. Early on Monday morning41

29 July 1833.  


we received letters from Kirtland

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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containing all the patterns &c postages $1,50 by wt, which in single letters would have been but $1,00— We also recd a letter dated Walnut farm” from Oliver

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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.42

Walnut Farm, Saline County, Missouri, is approximately one hundred miles east of Independence on the south side of the Missouri River, opposite Chariton. It is located where one of the principal east-west land routes crossed the Missouri River. (See Darby and Dwight, Gazetteer of the United States, 496, 579.)  


Our anxiety will be so great that I say Oliver

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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: write the first mail after you arrive at Kirtland

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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, whether the tidings be favorable or not.43

Cowdery wrote to Phelps and others on 10 August 1833—the day following his arrival in Kirtland—advising them to “look out another place to locate on.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  


Every one that is a saint or nearly so, in the Timber 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
44

“Timber branch” was another name for the Whitmer settlement in Kaw Township, Missouri. (See “Short Sketch of the Life of Levi Jackman,” [7]–[9]; and “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 124; see also Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:101–102.)  


speaks in tongues, br 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
says he can speak in all the tongues on earth, we shall probably begin to worship here in tongues tomorrow if the Lord wills,45

A month later, Edward Partridge wrote, “Many speak with new tongues, or in other languages; some speak in a number of different languages shortly after they receive the gift; others are confined to one or two—These are not idle assertions; I know that these things are so.” (Edward Partridge, Independence, MO, to “Friends and Neighbors,” Painesville, OH, 31 Aug. 1833, in LDS Messenger and Advocate, Jan. 1835, 1:60.)  


that is excepting we 6—46

“We 6” probably refers to church leaders Edward Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, John Whitmer, and William W. Phelps.  


It is a solemn day with us and I remain.
W 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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Joseph Smith Jr
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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Geauga Co, Ohio [p. 56]
37

TEXT: The first part of page 56 in JS Letterbook 2 is divided into two columns by a vertical line drawn in ink. The text beginning here and ending with “We also recd” appears in these two columns.  


By his almighty power
Sustains all things from week to week
From day to day, from hour to hour
Praise ye the Lord ye saints in Zion
Praise his glorious name
Our God shall triumph over all his foes
Our enemies shall all be put to shame38

See Psalm 44:7.  


And God be praised for all his mighty power
Exalt the wastes of Zion sing for joy ye saints
Let praise your earthly powers employ
Arise, awake, put thy strength and sing39

See Isaiah 52:1; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 61 [2 Nephi 1:14, 23].  


The everlasting praises of your King
Till earth & heaven in Halelujahs ring.
40

The following two lines appear to be a later insertion by the clerk who copied this letter into JS Letterbook 2. “The towers of Zion soon shall rise” was the opening line of a six-stanza hymn that appears on page 38 of the church’s first hymnal, published in 1835. (Hymn 29, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 38–39.)  


The towers of Zion soon shall rise
If the Lord will yet speak to  his children, it may be well to inquire  every matter concerning the destruction of  the printing office

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
, and what is to be  done in future, and also concerning  the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
, and what is to be done in  future: I know from the experience  I have had that it is a good thing to  have our faith thoroughly tried.
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
must and will be pure.  Health prevails among the disciples.
N.B. Early on Monday morning41

29 July 1833.  


 we received letters from Kirtland

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...

More Info
 containing all the patterns &c postages $1,50  by wt, which in single letters would  have been but $1,00— We also recd  a [letter] dated Walnut farm” from Oliver

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...

View Full Bio
.42

Walnut Farm, Saline County, Missouri, is approximately one hundred miles east of Independence on the south side of the Missouri River, opposite Chariton. It is located where one of the principal east-west land routes crossed the Missouri River. (See Darby and Dwight, Gazetteer of the United States, 496, 579.)  


Our anxiety will be so great that I  say Oliver

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...

View Full Bio
: write the first mail after you arrive at Kirtland

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...

More Info
, whether the  tidings be favorable or not.43

Cowdery wrote to Phelps and others on 10 August 1833—the day following his arrival in Kirtland—advising them to “look out another place to locate on.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  


Every one that is a saint or nearly so, in the  Timber 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
44

“Timber branch” was another name for the Whitmer settlement in Kaw Township, Missouri. (See “Short Sketch of the Life of Levi Jackman,” [7]–[9]; and “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 124; see also Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:101–102.)  


speaks in tongues, br 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
says he can speak in all the  tongues on earth, we shall probably begin to worship here in tongues tomorrow  if the Lord wills,45

A month later, Edward Partridge wrote, “Many speak with new tongues, or in other languages; some speak in a number of different languages shortly after they receive the gift; others are confined to one or two—These are not idle assertions; I know that these things are so.” (Edward Partridge, Independence, MO, to “Friends and Neighbors,” Painesville, OH, 31 Aug. 1833, in LDS Messenger and Advocate, Jan. 1835, 1:60.)  


that is excepting we 6—46

“We 6” probably refers to church leaders Edward Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, John Whitmer, and William W. Phelps.  


It is a solemn day with us  and I remain.
W 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,...

View Full Bio
Joseph Smith Jr
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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Geauga Co, Ohio [p. 56]
Previous
In this 29 July 1833 letter, 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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and 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,...

View Full Bio
provided details about events unfolding 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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, Missouri, to church leaders in Kirtland

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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, Ohio. In the July 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star, William W. Phelps published an editorial titled “Free People of Color,” which warned free black members of the Church of Christ

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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about the 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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state laws that prohibited free blacks from coming to or settling in the state “under any pretext whatever.” Phelps further stated, “So long as we have no special rule in the church, as to people of color, let prudence guide; and while they, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful God, we say: Shun every appearance of evil.”1

“Free People of Color,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 109.  


In the same issue of the Star, a letter to all of the branches

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
of the Church of Christ reiterated the need to shun the appearance of evil and added, “As to slaves we have nothing to say. In connection with the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery, and colonizing the blacks, in Africa.”2

“The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 111.  


These articles angered many Jackson County citizens who saw Phelps’s words as an invitation for free blacks to come surreptitiously and settle in Missouri, even though Phelps later claimed to have said the opposite. On 16 July 1833, Phelps issued an extra of the Star in which he attempted to mitigate the misunderstanding of his earlier article. He wrote:
We often lament the situation of our sister states in the south, and we fear, lest, as has been the case, the blacks should rise and spill innocent blood: for they are ignorant, and a little may lead them to disturb the peace of society. To be short, we are opposed to have free people of color admitted into the state; and we say, that none will be admitted into the church, for we are determined to obey the laws and constitutions of our country, that we may have that protection which the sons of liberty inherit from the legacy of Washington, through the favorable auspices of a Jefferson, and Jackson.3

The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, 16 July 1833, [1].  


The extra apparently did nothing to calm the church’s opponents.
By 18 July 1833, non-Mormon residents 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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circulated a document enumerating their grievances against members of the Church of Christ and stating their determination to eliminate them from the county by purchasing their properties or by “such means as may be sufficient to remove them.” Signed by some three hundred residents of Jackson County, the document, known later among members of the church as the “manifesto,” also called for a meeting to be held on 20 July to further discuss the perceived problems with the Mormons and how to remove the church members from the county. At the meeting, the assembled Missourians adopted resolutions listing specific actions to be taken against the Mormons and appointed a committee to present their agreed-upon demands to a group of church leaders. The committee presented their ultimatum that same day and gave church leaders only fifteen minutes to reply. The Mormons refused to comply, after which the committee returned to the courthouse

Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...

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, where those who had gathered voted to demolish the Mormons’ print shop

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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. After destroying the shop, they tarred and feathered 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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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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and Charles Allen

26 Dec. 1806–after 1870. Farmer, auctioneer. Born in Somerset Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Charles Allen and Mary. Married first Eliza Tibbits, ca. 1832. Baptized into LDS church. Moved to Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri. Tarred and feathered during mob ...

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and gave notice that they would return on 23 July.4

“To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114; Corrill, Brief History, 19; Whitmer, History, 42–44; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:17–18.  


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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and other church leaders reported that on 23 July, “the mob again assembled to the number of about 500 . . . [and] proceeded to take some of the leading elders by force declaring it to be their intention to whip them from fifty to five hundred lashes apiece.” 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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, 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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, 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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, Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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, 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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, and Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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“offered themselves as a ransom [to the mob] for the church, willing to be scourged or die, if that will appease their anger toward the church,” but the mob declared that all church members must leave or die.5

“To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114.  


The confrontation on 23 July 1833 led to the creation of another document, known as the “memorandum of the agreement.” In the agreement Mormon leaders pledged that most of the leaders of the church and half of the members would leave the county by the first of January 1834 and the remainder would leave by the first of April 1834.
Probably in the day or two after the 23 July agreement, 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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left 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
to inform JS and other church leaders in Kirtland

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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of these developments. After arriving at Walnut Farm 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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, probably a two-day journey, Cowdery wrote back to 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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, Missouri, requesting an update on events there and copies of the manifesto and memorandum of agreement. When Cowdery mailed the letter from Walnut Farm is unknown, but given normal mail conveyance time in that era, at least two days would have been required to transport the letter to Independence.6

Cowdery likely left Independence after the creation of the memorandum of agreement on 23 July but before 25 July. He likely did not leave before 23 July because had he been any appreciable distance from Independence on or shortly after 23 July, he probably would not have known of the memorandum’s creation. Further, a reminiscent account by William E. McLellin places Cowdery in Jackson County on 22 July. Cowdery likely left before 25 July because in the letter featured here, John Whitmer told Cowdery that on 25 July many “at the school received the gift of tongues”—something Cowdery would already have known about if he had been present at or near the school of the prophets at the time. (Memorandum of Agreement, 23 July 1833, CHL; Schaefer, William E. McLellin’s Lost Manuscript, 166.)  


The Missouri church leaders therefore probably received Cowdery’s letter no earlier than 27 July 1833.
The letter featured here, which includes copies of the manifesto and of the Mormons’ agreement to leave the county, indicates that the 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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had received 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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’s letter and was written in response to his request. In the 29 July letter, 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...

View Full Bio
, the principal author, provided an update on recent developments 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...

More Info
while 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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added a note on both the anxiety and faithfulness of the Missouri church members. Phelps also included the text of two hymns that had recently been sung in Missouri. Though the body of the letter was largely directed to Cowdery, the postscript from Phelps appears to have been directed to JS. It is not known how or when this letter reached Kirtland

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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. 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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copied it into JS’s letterbook in late 1839. JS’s 18 August letter to Whitmer, Phelps, and the other church leaders in Jackson County demonstrates familiarity with the contents of this letter, although JS’s letter also references information that Cowdery reported to JS in person.7

Facts