30677

Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 December 1833

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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, Dec. 15, 1833.
Dear Brethren:
It has been some time since I have dropt you a line,1

William W. Phelps likely last wrote to Kirtland church leaders on 14 November 1833. (Letter from William W. Phelps, 14 Nov. 1833.)  


and in the midst of solitude, I write. I need not give you new details of our persecutions—for, as all true christians, that have gone before us, from Abel down to the beginners of re-establishing Zion now, have invariably suffered all manner of affliction, from common scourging even unto death:2

See 2 Timothy 3:12.  


—it would not alter the decrees of God, nor lessen the necessary chastisement of them that are chosen from the foundation of the world, but who have to be tried as gold seven times purified3

See Psalm 12:6; and Zechariah 13:9.  


before they are found faithful and true for that kingdom, where the sons of God only4

See John 1:12; and 1 John 3:1–2.  


are made equal with Jesus Chrift Christ having overcome, by righteousness.5

See Revelation 3:21; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:106].  


The situation of the saints, as scatered, is dubious, and affords a gloomy prospect. No regular order can be enforced; nor any usual discipline kept up—among the world; yea, the most wicked part of it, some commit one sin, and some another, (I speak of the rebellious, for there are saints that are as immovable as the everlasting Hills,) and what can be done? we are in Clay

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...

More Info
, Ray

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

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Lafayette

Located south of Missouri River in west-central part of state. Settled by 1816. Name changed from Lillard Co. to Lafayette Co., 1825, to honor the Marquis de Lafayette. County seat, Lexington. Jackson Co. created from western part of Lafayette Co., 1825. ...

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, 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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Van Buren

Located south of Jackson Co. on western border of state. Area settled by pioneers, 1830. Created from southern Jackson Co; boundaries established, 16 Jan. 1833. Organized 1835. County seat, Harrisonville. Population in 1840 about 4,700. Features fertile prairie...

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, &c.6

Initially church members sought refuge where they could, but some places proved inhospitable to the Mormons. On 6 November 1833, Phelps wrote that church members planned to attempt settling in Van Buren County, which was located south of Jackson County. However, the following day he noted, “All hopes of going to the south was given up last night, when it was resolved that we should be driven forthwith into Clay county.” Edward Partridge later wrote, “A few families moved into Van Buren county, . . . but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to Jackson.” Some church members still remained in Jackson County when Phelps wrote his 15 December 1833 letter. On 23 December 1833, for instance, “four aged families living near the village of Independence, whose penury and infirmities, incident to old age, forbade a speedy removal, were driven from their houses . . . by a party of the mob.” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:19; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2].)  


and cannot hear from each other oftener then we do from you: I know it was right that we should be driven out of 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...

More Info
, that the rebellious might be sent away.7

Phelps was not alone in feeling that church members’ suffering was due in part to “the rebellious” among them. On 29 July 1833, just days after the riot in Independence, John Whitmer reported, “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. 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.” Oliver Cowdery observed on 10 August 1833 that rebellions, ignorance, falsehoods, and “tattlers” were in great part responsible for the tribulations in Jackson County, and he urged that those guilty of such things should be purged from the church. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833, underlining in original; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  


But brethren, if the Lord will, I should like to know what the honest in heart shall do? Our cloths are worn out—we want the necessaries of life, and shall we lease, buy, or otherwise obtain land where we are, to till that we may raise enough to eat?8

On 11 December 1833, Oliver Cowdery wrote to Phelps and enclosed “near fifty dollars from our liberal brethren here, which we send for your assistance.” Cowdery instructed Partridge and Phelps “to take it and administer to the necessities of the destitute as far as it will go.” In his response to Phelps’s letter here, Orson Hyde mentioned that JS had also sent another fifty dollars to church leaders in Missouri. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, 11 Dec. 1833, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 13; Letter to the Church in Clay Co., MO, 22 Jan. 1834.)  


Such is the common language of the honest, for they want to do the will of God. I am sensible that we shall not be able to live again in 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...

More Info
, till God, or the president rules out the mob.
The Governor

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...

View Full Bio
is willing to restore us, but as the constitution gives him no power to guard us, when back, we are not willing to go.9

See “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115. After being expelled from Jackson County, church members in Missouri petitioned Governor Daniel Dunklin as they had in October. On 6 December, Phelps and other church leaders in Missouri presented Dunklin with a renewed appeal. In their petition, they asked Dunklin for assistance to “be restored to [their] lands, houses & property, and protected in them by the militia of the State, if legal, or by a detachment of the United States Rangers.” They requested permission to organize a militia of their own and asked for a court of inquiry to investigate the “whole matter of the mob against the Mormons.” They also noted that they would not be able to return to Jackson County without armed protection provided by the state. Dunklin did not officially respond to this petition until 4 February 1834, at which time he wrote that the Mormons, like any other group of citizens, could organize as a militia unit and apply to the governor for arms if they wished. However, he noted, “the request for keeping up a military force to protect your people and prevent the commission of crimes and injuries, were I to comply it would transcend the powers with which the Executive of this State is clothed.” Since prior efforts to obtain protection from the state for Mormons to return to their homes in Jackson County had seemingly failed, church leaders may have felt the only option left would be to appeal to United States president Andrew Jackson. On 10 April 1834, church leaders in Missouri prepared two letters requesting assistance from President Jackson. One of these letters informed the president of the people’s desire to “be restored to [their] lands, houses and property in Jackson County, and protected in them by an armed force till peace can be restored.” (William W. Phelps et al., Clay Co., MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; Letter, 30 Oct. 1833; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, underlining in original; Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


The mob sware, if we come we shall die! If, from what has been done in 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...

More Info
, we, or the most of us, have got to be persecuted from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue,10

In November 1833, Bishop Edward Partridge wrote to JS stating that some church members “have their fears that we shall be driven from city to city & from sinagouge to sinagouge & few be left to receive an inheritance in the land.” In the letter he also expressed “hopes that we shall be able to return to our houses & lands before a grea[t] while but how this is to be accomplished is all in the dark to us as yet.” Partridge also observed that “if we are delivered & permitted to return to our homes it must be by the interposition of God, for we can see no prospect of help from goverment & it appears to me that nought but the judgements of God will open the way for our return.” (Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; see also Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:29–31]  


we want to know it; for there are those among us that would rather earn eternal life on such conditions, than lose it: But we hope for better things; and shall wait patiently for the word of the Lord. Isaiah says in the tenth chapter and 24 and 25 verses, something on the subject of Zion;11

Isaiah 10:24–25 reads, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.”  


and there is something also in the forth and twelfth chapters, whether we live to enjoy the sayings or not.12

Chapter 4 of Isaiah refers to a day when “he that is left in Zion” shall “be called holy,” and the Lord will create a glory “upon every dwelling place of mount Zion.” Zion would then be “a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isaiah chapter 12 speaks of the millennial day when believers will praise God and sing unto the Lord. Zion’s inhabitants will “cry out and shout” because “great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” (Isaiah 4:3, 5–6; 12:6.)  


I do not write this letter to entertain you with news, or for to wake you up to our dreadful condition, but that you may timely give us some advice what is best to do in our tarry till Zion is redeemed! Some times I think I will go right to work upon a small piece of land and obtain what I want for my growing family: then again I feel like writing the Horrid History of the mob against the “mormons”—preambuling it with the Martyrs that have been nailed to the cross, burned alive, thrown to wild beasts and devowered, fryed in pans, broiled on Grid Irons, or beheaded for the sake of their religion and faith in Jesus Christ.13

Here Phelps referred to several persecutions recounted in John Foxe’s well-known Book of Martyrs. Foxe, for example, recorded that Laurentius (St. Lawrence) was fastened to a large gridiron placed over a slow fire. (Book of Martyrs, 47–48.)  


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, &c.14

See Matthew 5:3.  


If this world embraced much of Eternity, I should soon be sick of it—but for all our sorrow we shall have joy!
Our people fair very well, and when they are discreet little or no persecution is felt. The militia in the upper counties is in readiness at a moment’s warning, having been ordered out by the Governor

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...

View Full Bio
, te to guard a court martial, and court of Enquiry, &c. but we can not attend a court of Enquiry, on account of the expense, till we are restored and protected!15

Missouri Mormons were escorted to Jackson County in early February 1834 to testify before a grand jury in connection with a court of inquiry, but the proceedings were canceled, and the church members returned under armed guard to Clay County. The court-martial mentioned here probably referred to the proceedings against Colonel Thomas Pitcher. (William W. Phelps et al., Petition to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 8 Mar. 1834, [1].)  


Till the Lord delivers,
Or brings us together, I am,
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
[p. 128]
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...

More Info
, Dec. 15, 1833.
Dear Brethren:
It has been some time since I have dropt you a line,1

William W. Phelps likely last wrote to Kirtland church leaders on 14 November 1833. (Letter from William W. Phelps, 14 Nov. 1833.)  


and in  the midst of solitude, I write. I need not give you new details of our per secutions—for, as all true christians, that have gone before us, from Abel  down to the beginners of re-establishing Zion now, have invariably suffer ed all manner of affliction, from common scourging even unto death:2

See 2 Timothy 3:12.  


—it  would not alter the decrees of God, nor lessen the necessary chastisement  of them that are chosen from the foundation of the world, but who have to  be tried as gold seven times purified3

See Psalm 12:6; and Zechariah 13:9.  


before they are found faithful and true  for that kingdom, where the sons of God only4

See John 1:12; and 1 John 3:1–2.  


are made equal with Jesus  Chrift [Christ] having overcome, by righteousness.5

See Revelation 3:21; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:106].  


The situation of the saints, as scatered, is dubious, and affords a gloomy  prospect. No regular order can be enforced; nor any usual discipline kept  up—among the world; yea, the most wicked part of it, some commit one  sin, and some another, (I speak of the rebellious, for there are saints that  are as immovable as the everlasting Hills,) and what can be done? we are  in Clay

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...

More Info
, Ray

Located in northwestern Missouri. Area settled, 1815. Created from Howard Co., 1820. Initially included all state land north of Missouri River and west of Grand River. Population in 1830 about 2,700; in 1836 about 6,600; and in 1840 about 6,600. Latter-day...

More Info
Lafayette

Located south of Missouri River in west-central part of state. Settled by 1816. Name changed from Lillard Co. to Lafayette Co., 1825, to honor the Marquis de Lafayette. County seat, Lexington. Jackson Co. created from western part of Lafayette Co., 1825. ...

More Info
, 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
Van Buren

Located south of Jackson Co. on western border of state. Area settled by pioneers, 1830. Created from southern Jackson Co; boundaries established, 16 Jan. 1833. Organized 1835. County seat, Harrisonville. Population in 1840 about 4,700. Features fertile prairie...

More Info
, &c.6

Initially church members sought refuge where they could, but some places proved inhospitable to the Mormons. On 6 November 1833, Phelps wrote that church members planned to attempt settling in Van Buren County, which was located south of Jackson County. However, the following day he noted, “All hopes of going to the south was given up last night, when it was resolved that we should be driven forthwith into Clay county.” Edward Partridge later wrote, “A few families moved into Van Buren county, . . . but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to Jackson.” Some church members still remained in Jackson County when Phelps wrote his 15 December 1833 letter. On 23 December 1833, for instance, “four aged families living near the village of Independence, whose penury and infirmities, incident to old age, forbade a speedy removal, were driven from their houses . . . by a party of the mob.” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:19; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2].)  


and cannot hear from  each other oftener then we do from you: I know it was right that we  should be driven out of 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...

More Info
, that the rebellious might be sent  away.7

Phelps was not alone in feeling that church members’ suffering was due in part to “the rebellious” among them. On 29 July 1833, just days after the riot in Independence, John Whitmer reported, “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. 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.” Oliver Cowdery observed on 10 August 1833 that rebellions, ignorance, falsehoods, and “tattlers” were in great part responsible for the tribulations in Jackson County, and he urged that those guilty of such things should be purged from the church. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833, underlining in original; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  


But brethren, if the Lord will, I should like to know what the hon est in heart shall do? Our cloths are worn out—we want the necessaries  of life, and shall we lease, buy, or otherwise obtain land where we are, to  till that we may raise enough to eat?8

On 11 December 1833, Oliver Cowdery wrote to Phelps and enclosed “near fifty dollars from our liberal brethren here, which we send for your assistance.” Cowdery instructed Partridge and Phelps “to take it and administer to the necessities of the destitute as far as it will go.” In his response to Phelps’s letter here, Orson Hyde mentioned that JS had also sent another fifty dollars to church leaders in Missouri. (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, 11 Dec. 1833, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 13; Letter to the Church in Clay Co., MO, 22 Jan. 1834.)  


Such is the common language of the  honest, for they want to do the will of God. I am sensible that we shall  not be able to live again in 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...

More Info
, till God, or the president rules out the  mob.
The Governor

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...

View Full Bio
is willing to restore us, but as the constitution gives him  no power to guard us, when back, we are not willing to go.9

See “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115. After being expelled from Jackson County, church members in Missouri petitioned Governor Daniel Dunklin as they had in October. On 6 December, Phelps and other church leaders in Missouri presented Dunklin with a renewed appeal. In their petition, they asked Dunklin for assistance to “be restored to [their] lands, houses & property, and protected in them by the militia of the State, if legal, or by a detachment of the United States Rangers.” They requested permission to organize a militia of their own and asked for a court of inquiry to investigate the “whole matter of the mob against the Mormons.” They also noted that they would not be able to return to Jackson County without armed protection provided by the state. Dunklin did not officially respond to this petition until 4 February 1834, at which time he wrote that the Mormons, like any other group of citizens, could organize as a militia unit and apply to the governor for arms if they wished. However, he noted, “the request for keeping up a military force to protect your people and prevent the commission of crimes and injuries, were I to comply it would transcend the powers with which the Executive of this State is clothed.” Since prior efforts to obtain protection from the state for Mormons to return to their homes in Jackson County had seemingly failed, church leaders may have felt the only option left would be to appeal to United States president Andrew Jackson. On 10 April 1834, church leaders in Missouri prepared two letters requesting assistance from President Jackson. One of these letters informed the president of the people’s desire to “be restored to [their] lands, houses and property in Jackson County, and protected in them by an armed force till peace can be restored.” (William W. Phelps et al., Clay Co., MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; Letter, 30 Oct. 1833; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, underlining in original; Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


The mob  sware, if we come we shall die! If, from what has been done in 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...

More Info
,  we, or the most of us, have got to be persecuted from city to city, and from  synagogue to synagogue,10

In November 1833, Bishop Edward Partridge wrote to JS stating that some church members “have their fears that we shall be driven from city to city & from sinagouge to sinagouge & few be left to receive an inheritance in the land.” In the letter he also expressed “hopes that we shall be able to return to our houses & lands before a grea[t] while but how this is to be accomplished is all in the dark to us as yet.” Partridge also observed that “if we are delivered & permitted to return to our homes it must be by the interposition of God, for we can see no prospect of help from goverment & it appears to me that nought but the judgements of God will open the way for our return.” (Letter from Edward Partridge, between 14 and 19 Nov. 1833; see also Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:29–31]  


we want to know it; for there are those among us  that would rather earn eternal life on such conditions, than lose it: But  we hope for better things; and shall wait patiently for the word of the Lord.  Isaiah says in the tenth chapter and 24 and 25 verses, something on the sub ject of Zion;11

Isaiah 10:24–25 reads, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.”  


and there is something also in the forth and twelfth chapters,  whether we live to enjoy the sayings or not.12

Chapter 4 of Isaiah refers to a day when “he that is left in Zion” shall “be called holy,” and the Lord will create a glory “upon every dwelling place of mount Zion.” Zion would then be “a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isaiah chapter 12 speaks of the millennial day when believers will praise God and sing unto the Lord. Zion’s inhabitants will “cry out and shout” because “great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.” (Isaiah 4:3, 5–6; 12:6.)  


I do not write this letter to entertain you with news, or for to wake you  up to our dreadful condition, but that you may timely give us some advice  what is best to do in our tarry till Zion is redeemed! Some times I think I  will go right to work upon a small piece of land and obtain what I want for  my growing family: then again I feel like writing the Horrid History of  the mob against the “mormons”—preambuling it with the Martyrs that  have been nailed to the cross, burned alive, thrown to wild beasts and de vowered, fryed in pans, broiled on Grid Irons, or beheaded for the sake of  their religion and faith in Jesus Christ.13

Here Phelps referred to several persecutions recounted in John Foxe’s well-known Book of Martyrs. Foxe, for example, recorded that Laurentius (St. Lawrence) was fastened to a large gridiron placed over a slow fire. (Book of Martyrs, 47–48.)  


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for  theirs is the kingdom of heaven, &c.14

See Matthew 5:3.  


If this world embraced much of  Eternity, I should soon be sick of it—but for all our sorrow we shall have  joy!
Our people fair very well, and when they are discreet little or no perse cution is felt. The militia in the upper counties is in readiness at a mo ment’s warning, having been ordered out by the Governor

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...

View Full Bio
, te [to] guard a court  martial, and court of Enquiry, &c. but we can not attend a court of Enqui ry, on account of the expense, till we are restored and protected!15

Missouri Mormons were escorted to Jackson County in early February 1834 to testify before a grand jury in connection with a court of inquiry, but the proceedings were canceled, and the church members returned under armed guard to Clay County. The court-martial mentioned here probably referred to the proceedings against Colonel Thomas Pitcher. (William W. Phelps et al., Petition to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; “Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 8 Mar. 1834, [1].)  


Till the Lord delivers,
Or brings us together, I am,
W[illiam] 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
[p. 128]
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
, Letter, Clay Co.

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...

More Info
, MO, to “Dear Brethren” (including 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], 15 Dec. 1833. Featured version published in “Later from Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 128. For more complete source information on The Evening and the Morning Star, see the source note for Letter, 30 Oct. 1833.

Facts