30484

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 10 August 1833

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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Ohio Aug. 10th 1833
Dear brethren 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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, 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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, 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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, 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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, 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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, & 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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,1

These six men, along with Oliver Cowdery, served as leaders of the church in Missouri. According to JS’s history, their authority over church affairs in Missouri was confirmed during a council meeting held on 26 March 1833 in Jackson County. (JS History, vol. A-1, 282–283; see also Minute Book 2, 26 Mar. 1833.)  


& all others who are willing to lay down their lives for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ:2

On 23 July 1833, Jackson County vigilantes threatened to physically harm all followers of JS then living in the county. As a result, Phelps, Whitmer, Partridge, Morley, Corrill, and Gilbert “offered themselves a ransom for the church, willing to be scourged or die, if that would appease their anger toward the church.” Partridge later remembered that “some few of the leading elders offered their lives, provided that would satisfy them, so as to let the rest of the society live, where they then lived, in peace; they would not agree to this, but said that every one should die for themselves, or leave the county.” (“To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18.)  


I need not relate to you at this time the fatigues of my journey, nor the lonesome hours which I experienced while journeying, a stranger in a strange land, surrounded on the right & on the left by the destroying angels3

See Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833 [D&C 89:21].  


who were executing the will of the Lord in the consumation of the wicked,4

This sentence likely refers to the contemporary cholera epidemic, which Cowdery would have witnessed on his journey to Kirtland. In a 29 July 1833 letter to Cowdery, John Whitmer mentioned reports from nearby Lexington, Missouri, of two deaths and several cases of cholera and later remarked, “It is a time of great anxiety to behold the cleansing of . . . the land from wickedness & abominations.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


I have not doubted for a moment but that your prayers were ascending in my behalf; & so it is I am preserved. I did not arrive as soon as I had hoped, in consequence of being hindered three days since I left in waiting for a conveyance, I arrived yesterday afternoon.5

Despite Cowdery’s frustration with the time it took to journey from Independence to Kirtland, he actually cut the normal travel time by nearly a week. For example, a 4 June 1833 letter from William W. Phelps in Independence took twenty-one days to arrive in Kirtland; a package sent from JS and others in Kirtland on 26 June 1833 reached Independence in thirty-three days; and a 9 July 1833 letter from Independence arrived in Kirtland in twenty-eight days. In late summer 1831, JS and a group of ten other church members traveled from Independence to Kirtland in eighteen days. A year later JS traveled from Hiram, Ohio, to Independence in twenty-two days. Cowdery traveled from Independence to Kirtland in no more than seventeen days, including a delay of at least three days. Therefore, a trip that normally took approximately three weeks took him no more than fourteen days to complete, possibly fewer. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833; JS History, vol. A-1, 142, 146, 209–210.)  


I will now proceed to give you some advice concerning your business & the advice may be relied upon. It is wisdom that you look out another place to locate on; be wise in your selection, & commence in the best situation you can find, is not the land before you? & an other place of beginning will be no injury to 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
in the end,6

A week after this letter was sent, JS modified this advice by directing church leaders in Missouri to create the impression that they were preparing to move from Jackson County in the hope that their evacuation would not actually be required: “Let those who are bound to leave the land make a show as if to do untill the Lord delivr.” He also stated “that not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


& though you may be wearied, yet count it joy, for the Lord will reward you more than a hundred fold for all your sufferings in righteousness,—7

See James 1:2; and Matthew 19:29. Frederick G. Williams offered similar advice concerning the calamity in Jackson County: “Remember that this is only for the trial of your faith and he that overcomes and endures to the end will be rewarded a hundred fold in this world and in the world to come eternal life.” (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 57.)  


Make out your bill of damages immediately, if you have not, & get the pay;8

Frederick G. Williams reported that “immediately after the arrival of bro Oliver we sat in council to know what should be done, the decission of the council was that measurs should be immediately taken to seek redress by the Laws of our country for your grievences.” (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 56.)  


do not remove any faster to your new home than you bound yourselves to,9

According to the signed agreement of 23 July 1833, the Mormons were to leave the county “as soon as possible,” with at least half gone by January 1834, and the rest by April 1834. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


but pray for the Lord to deliver, for this is his will that you should, & fear not for his arm will be revealed,10

See Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:14].  


& it will fall upon the wicked & they cannot escape.11

See Jeremiah 23:19; 30:23; and Psalm 141:10.  


For the comfort of those who offered their lives & made the compromise to remove, I just say that the Lord was well pleased with that act, that is, the agreement to remove, & there was no other way to save the lives of all the church

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

View Glossary
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...

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, or the most: and any who are dissatisfied with that move, are not right & have cause to repent, & call upon the Lord for grace to support them in the moment of tribulation. This great tribulation would not have come upon Zion had it not been for rebelion: Firstly there were rebelions against the one to whom were intrusted the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
, & from thence it has spread down to the lowest & least member!13

For more information on the rebellions of Missouri church leaders, see Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:76]; and Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.  


not this alone, but those who were void of understanding were continually telling that which was not true, & putting false coloring to the things of God! I mean those whose mouths are continually open, & whose tongues cannot be stayed from tatling!14

In the 1830s, to “tattle” meant “to talk idly; to use many words with little meaning” and “to tell tales; to communicate secrets.” (“Tattle,” in American Dictionary; see also 1 Timothy 5:13.)  


& the church will never have peace while such remain in her, therefore, brethren purge them out, & have no confidence in any except such as will lay down their lives for this sacred cause for none others are worthy of it.15

Although it is unknown exactly what the “false coloring” or “tatling” refers to, Cowdery may have been discussing instances when members of the church antagonized other citizens of Jackson County by talking about plans to establish Zion there. Reverend Benton Pixley, a resident of Jackson County, wrote in November 1833 that members of the church in Missouri maintained “that they inhabit ‘the Mount Zion spoken of in Scripture;’ that the present inhabitants would be driven off unless they sold to the Mormons and went off peaceably.” In 1881, a Kansas City newspaper reporter quoted David Whitmer saying that in summer 1833, “difficulties arose between the church and the citizens of the county. What first occasioned these difficulties I am unable to say, except that the church was composed principally of Eastern and Northern people who were opposed to slavery, and that there were among us a few ignorant and simple-minded persons who were continually making boasts to the Jackson county people that they intended to possess the entire county, erect a temple; etc. This of course occasioned hard feelings and excited the bitter jealousy of the other religious denominations.” (“Civil War in Missouri,” Cincinnati Journal, 20 Dec. 1833, 203; “Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1; see also Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:42]; and “The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 110–111.)  


It was necessary that these things should come upon us: not only justice demands it, but there was no other way to cleanse the church. Fear not, brethren, the Lord is yet for you & though the heavens & the earth pass away,16

See Matthew 24:35; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:38].  


yet the elect [p. [1]]
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...

More Info
Ohio Aug. 10th 1833
Dear brethren 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
, J[ohn 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
, E[dward 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
, I[saac 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...

View Full Bio
, J[ohn 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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, & S[idney 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...

View Full Bio
,1

These six men, along with Oliver Cowdery, served as leaders of the church in Missouri. According to JS’s history, their authority over church affairs in Missouri was confirmed during a council meeting held on 26 March 1833 in Jackson County. (JS History, vol. A-1, 282–283; see also Minute Book 2, 26 Mar. 1833.)  


& all others who are willing to lay down their  lives for the cause of Christ our Lord Jesus Christ:2

On 23 July 1833, Jackson County vigilantes threatened to physically harm all followers of JS then living in the county. As a result, Phelps, Whitmer, Partridge, Morley, Corrill, and Gilbert “offered themselves a ransom for the church, willing to be scourged or die, if that would appease their anger toward the church.” Partridge later remembered that “some few of the leading elders offered their lives, provided that would satisfy them, so as to let the rest of the society live, where they then lived, in peace; they would not agree to this, but said that every one should die for themselves, or leave the county.” (“To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18.)  


I need not relate to you at this  time the fatigues of my journey, nor the lonesome hours which I experienced while  journeying, a stranger in a strange land, surrounded on the right & on the  left by the destroying angels3

See Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833 [D&C 89:21].  


who were executing the will of the Lord in the  consumation of the wicked,4

This sentence likely refers to the contemporary cholera epidemic, which Cowdery would have witnessed on his journey to Kirtland. In a 29 July 1833 letter to Cowdery, John Whitmer mentioned reports from nearby Lexington, Missouri, of two deaths and several cases of cholera and later remarked, “It is a time of great anxiety to behold the cleansing of . . . the land from wickedness & abominations.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


I have not doubted for a moment but that your  prayers <were> ascending in my behalf; & so it is I am preserved. I did not arri ve as soon as I had hoped, in consequence of being hindered three days  since I left in waiting for a conveyance, I arrived yesterday afternoon.5

Despite Cowdery’s frustration with the time it took to journey from Independence to Kirtland, he actually cut the normal travel time by nearly a week. For example, a 4 June 1833 letter from William W. Phelps in Independence took twenty-one days to arrive in Kirtland; a package sent from JS and others in Kirtland on 26 June 1833 reached Independence in thirty-three days; and a 9 July 1833 letter from Independence arrived in Kirtland in twenty-eight days. In late summer 1831, JS and a group of ten other church members traveled from Independence to Kirtland in eighteen days. A year later JS traveled from Hiram, Ohio, to Independence in twenty-two days. Cowdery traveled from Independence to Kirtland in no more than seventeen days, including a delay of at least three days. Therefore, a trip that normally took approximately three weeks took him no more than fourteen days to complete, possibly fewer. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833; JS History, vol. A-1, 142, 146, 209–210.)  


 I will now proceed to give you some advice concerning your business & the  advice may be relied upon. It is wisdom that you look out another place to  locate on; be wise in your selection, & commence in the best situation you  can find, is not the land before you? & an other place of beginning will be no  injury to 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
in the end,6

A week after this letter was sent, JS modified this advice by directing church leaders in Missouri to create the impression that they were preparing to move from Jackson County in the hope that their evacuation would not actually be required: “Let those who are bound to leave the land make a show as if to do untill the Lord delivr.” He also stated “that not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


& though you may be wearied, yet count it joy, for  the Lord will reward you more than a hundred fold for all your sufferings  in righteousness,—7

See James 1:2; and Matthew 19:29. Frederick G. Williams offered similar advice concerning the calamity in Jackson County: “Remember that this is only for the trial of your faith and he that overcomes and endures to the end will be rewarded a hundred fold in this world and in the world to come eternal life.” (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 57.)  


Make out your bill of damages immediately, if you  have not, & get the pay;8

Frederick G. Williams reported that “immediately after the arrival of bro Oliver we sat in council to know what should be done, the decission of the council was that measurs should be immediately taken to seek redress by the Laws of our country for your grievences.” (Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 56.)  


do not remove any faster to your new home than  you bound yourselves to,9

According to the signed agreement of 23 July 1833, the Mormons were to leave the county “as soon as possible,” with at least half gone by January 1834, and the rest by April 1834. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


but pray for the Lord to deliver, for this is his will  that you should, & fear not for his arm will be revealed,10

See Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:14].  


& it will fall upon the  wicked & they cannot escape.11

See Jeremiah 23:19; 30:23; and Psalm 141:10.  


12

TEXT: Two vertical lines, possibly meant to be a pilcrow, indicate a paragraph break here, though this and the previous line are run together in the original letter.  


For the comfort of those who offered their lives  & made the compromise to remove, I just say that the Lord was well  pleased with that act, that is, the agreement to remove, & there was  no other way to save the lives of all the church

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

View Glossary
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
, or the most:  and any who are dissatisfied with that move, are not right & have cau se to repent, & call upon the Lord for grace to support them in the  moment of tribulation. This great tribulation would not have come  upon Zion had it not been for rebelion: Firstly there were rebelions  against the one to whom were intrusted the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
, & from thence  it has spread down to the lowest & least member!13

For more information on the rebellions of Missouri church leaders, see Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:76]; and Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.  


not this alone,  but those who were void of understanding were continually telling  that which was not true, & putting false coloring to the things of  God! I mean those whose mouths are continually open, & whose  tongues cannot be stayed from tatling!14

In the 1830s, to “tattle” meant “to talk idly; to use many words with little meaning” and “to tell tales; to communicate secrets.” (“Tattle,” in American Dictionary; see also 1 Timothy 5:13.)  


& the church will never  have peace while such remain in her, therefore, brethren purge  them out, & have no confidence in any except such as will lay  down their lives for this sacred cause for none others are worthy  of it.15

Although it is unknown exactly what the “false coloring” or “tatling” refers to, Cowdery may have been discussing instances when members of the church antagonized other citizens of Jackson County by talking about plans to establish Zion there. Reverend Benton Pixley, a resident of Jackson County, wrote in November 1833 that members of the church in Missouri maintained “that they inhabit ‘the Mount Zion spoken of in Scripture;’ that the present inhabitants would be driven off unless they sold to the Mormons and went off peaceably.” In 1881, a Kansas City newspaper reporter quoted David Whitmer saying that in summer 1833, “difficulties arose between the church and the citizens of the county. What first occasioned these difficulties I am unable to say, except that the church was composed principally of Eastern and Northern people who were opposed to slavery, and that there were among us a few ignorant and simple-minded persons who were continually making boasts to the Jackson county people that they intended to possess the entire county, erect a temple; etc. This of course occasioned hard feelings and excited the bitter jealousy of the other religious denominations.” (“Civil War in Missouri,” Cincinnati Journal, 20 Dec. 1833, 203; “Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1; see also Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:42]; and “The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 110–111.)  


It was necessary that these things should come upon  us: not only justice demands it, but there was no other way  to cleanse the church. Fear not, brethren, the Lord is yet for  you & though the heavens & the earth pass away,16

See Matthew 24:35; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:38].  


yet the elect [p. [1]]
Next
The day before he wrote this letter, 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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had arrived 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, with firsthand news of hostility against church members 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...

More Info
and of an agreement to leave 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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that church leaders there had signed under duress. Cowdery and William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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apparently went into hiding during the hostility. McLellin later remembered that, when a mob could not find them, a bounty of eighty dollars was offered for their retrieval.1

William E. McLellin, Editorial, Ensign of Liberty, Jan. 1848, 60–62; Schaefer, William E. McLellin’s Lost Manuscript, 166.  


Cowdery left 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, likely between 23 and 25 July 1833, to report the events to JS and other church leaders in Kirtland.2

For more information on Cowdery’s departure from Missouri, see the Historical Introduction to Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.  


As stated in this letter, Cowdery was delayed for three days during his journey from Independence to Kirtland, where he arrived on 9 August 1833, completing his hurried trip in approximately two weeks.
In this letter, 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...

View Full Bio
recommended that members 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
“look out another place to locate on,” and he praised his associates for “the agreement to remove” the church out of the county. Conversely, Cowdery also chastised some members of the church in 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
. “This great tribulation,” he wrote, “would not have come upon 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
had it not been for rebelion.” Here, Cowdery likely referred to the far-reaching “rebellion” of Missouri church leaders against JS and the 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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leadership in 1832 and early 1833.
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...

View Full Bio
’s letter demonstrates particular concern for the loss 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....

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that William W. Phelps

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

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had operated. He directed Phelps to send him an account of the circumstances that prevented publication of The Evening and the Morning Star and a list of the newspaper’s subscribers so that Cowdery could print an extra edition of the Star 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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and mail it to regular readers. Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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referred to these requests in a letter he wrote to 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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church leaders two months later: “Oliver has writen to you for the names and residence of the subscriber[s] for the Star and if you have not sent them we wish you to send them immediately that there may be no delay in the papers going to subscribers as soon as they can be printed.”3

Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 58.  


Because of continued turmoil 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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, Phelps was unable to send a list of the subscribers until 3 December 1833.4

Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14–17.  


The list did, however, arrive in time for the mailing of the first issue of the renewed periodical published in Kirtland in December.5

A notice printed in The Evening and the Morning Star indicated that Cowdery had received W. W. Phelps & Co.’s mail book with the list of newspaper subscribers. Cowdery forwarded the December issue of the paper to those whose names were current in that book. (Notice, The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 128.)  


In February 1834, Cowdery finally published an extra that contained “a circular recently received from our friends in the West, which corroborates many items heretofore laid before the public,” and also an account of the “wicked and wanton manner, in which the printing office of W. W. Phelps & Co.

The corporate name of the church’s printing establishment in Independence, Missouri. The company included church printer William W. Phelps and likely John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, who were appointed by the Literary Firm to assist Phelps in reviewing and...

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the type, and books then publishing, the dwelling-house of said Phelps, and some furniture, were destroyed.”6

“From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1].  


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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rushed to complete this letter in order to post it on 10 August. In a postscript, JS added his own words of counsel, expressed sorrow and concern, and advised the recipients to be willing to “forsake all for Christ[’s] sake.” After this letter arrived in 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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, 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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made a copy of it, including the postscript from JS. It is unknown when Partridge made his copy, though it was probably made soon after the original letter, which has not been located, was received in September 1833.

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