30485

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 18 August 1833

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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, August 18, 1833.
Brother 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...

View Full Bio
, Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
, 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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and 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...

View Full Bio
.1

These six men, along with Oliver Cowdery, served as leaders of the church in Missouri. According to JS’s history, as a result of a series of solemn assemblies held under the direction of Bishop Edward Partridge in March 1833, Phelps, Whitmer, Partridge, Morley, Corrill, Gilbert, and Cowdery were to “stand at the head of affairs, relating to the church, in that section of the Lords vineyard.” (Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833; Pettegrew, “History,” 15; Minute Book 2, 26 Mar. 1833; JS History, vol. A-1, 282.)  


O thou disposer of all Events, thou dispencer of all good! in the name of Jesus Christ I ask thee to inspire my heart indiht indite2

“Indite” meant “to compose; to write; to commit to words in writing” and “to direct or dictate what is to be uttered or written.” (“Indite,” in American Dictionary.)  


my thaughts guide my peen pen to note some kind word to these my Brotheren 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
that like the rays of the sun upon the Earth wormeth warmeth the face thereof so let this word I write worm warm the hearts of my Brotheren or as the gentle rain deceneth descendeth upon the earth or the dews upon the mountanes refresheth the face of nature and Causeth her to smile so give unto thy servent Joseph a word that shall refresh the hearts and revive the spirits yea souls of those afflicted ones who have been called to leave their homes and go to a strange land not knowing what should befall them behold this is like Abraham3

See Genesis 15:13; 17:8; 28:4.  


a strikeing evidence of their acceptance before the Lord in this thing but this is not all they are called to contend with the beast of the wilderness4

See Revelation 17:3.  


for a long time whose Jaws are open to devour5

See Proverbs 30:14.  


them thus did Abraham and also Paul at Ephesus6

See 1 Corinthians 15:32.  


behold thou art like them and again the affliction of my Brotheren reminds me of Abraham offering up Isaac his only son7

See Genesis 22:1–14.  


but my Brotheen brethren have have been called to give up even more than this their wives and their children yea and their own life8

On 23 July 1833, representatives of the Jackson County citizens met with six church leaders in Independence. Edward Partridge later wrote, “Nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob but for our people to either leave the county or be put to death. Seeing the determination of the mob, 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.” The six church leaders were Partridge, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, and Sidney Gilbert. None of those leaders or any church members were killed that day. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18; “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115.)  


also O Lord what more dost thou require at their hands before thou wilt come and save them may I not say thou wilt yea I will say Lord thou wilt save them out of the hands of their enemies9

See Luke 1:71; Nehemiah 9:27; 1 Samuel 4:3; and Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:54].  


thou hast tried them in the furnace of affliction10

See Isaiah 48:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 53 [1 Nephi 20:10].  


a furnace of thine own choseing choosingand couldst thou have tried them more then thou hast O Lord then let this suffice and from henceforth let this be recorded be in heaven for thine angels to look upon11

Church leaders in Missouri also viewed the events taking place as part of a painful but necessary purification. John Whitmer wrote, “We need the prayers of all the disciples of our Redeemer for it is a time of great anxiety to behold the cleansing of this Church & also the land from wickedness & abominations.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


and for a testimony against all those ungodly men who have commited those ungodly deeds12

See Jude 1:15.  


forever and ever and yea thine anger is enkindled against them and they shall be consumed before thy face13

See Deuteronomy 9:3.  


and be far removed from Zion O they will go down to the pit14

The phrase “go down to the pit” is a common Old Testament trope for death. (See Psalm 30:3, 9; Isaiah 38:18; Ezekiel 28:8; 32:18; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 101 [2 Nephi 24:19].)  


and give place for thy saints for thy spirit will not always strive with man15

See Genesis 6:3; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 542 [Ether 2:15]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:33].  


therefore I fear for all these things yet O Lord glorify thyself thy will be done and not mine16

See Luke 22:42; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 141 [Jacob 7:14].  


but I must conclude my prayer my heart being full of real desire for all such are not reprobate that they cannot be saved——
Dear Brotheren in fellowship and love towards you and with a broken heart and a contrite Spirit17

See Psalm 51:17; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 474 [3 Nephi 9:20].  


I take the pen to address you but I know not what to— say to you and the thaught that this letter will be so long coming to you18

Letters sent between Kirtland and Independence generally required three to four weeks’ travel time.  


my heart faints within me I feel to exclaim O Lord let the desire of my heart be felt and realizied this moment upon you hearts and teach you all things thy servent would communicate to you my Brotheren since the inteligence of the Calamity of Zion

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

View Glossary
has reached the ears of the wicked there is no saifty for us here but evevery man has to watch their houses every night to keep off the Mobbers Satan has Come down in Great wrath upon all the Chirch

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
of God and there is no saifty only in the arm of Jehovah none else can deliver and he will not deliver unless we prove ourselves faithful to him in the severeest trouble for he that will have his robes washed in the blood of the Lamb must come up throught great tribulation even the greatest of all affliction19

See Revelation 7:14.  


but know this when men thus deal with you and speak all maner of evil of you falsly for the sake of Christ20

See Matthew 5:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:11].  


that he is your friend and I verily know that he will spedily deliver Zion for I have his immutible covenant that this shall be the case but god is pleased to keep it hid from mine eyes the means how exactly the thing will be done21

This “covenant” likely refers to a revelation received by JS only a few days earlier on 6 August 1833. (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3].)  


the chirch 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...

More Info
concluded with one accord to die with you or redeem you and never at any time have I felt as I now feel that pure love and for you my Brotheren the wormth warmth and Zeal for you safety that we can scarcely hold our spirits but wisdom I trust will keep us from madness and desperation and the power of the Gospel will enable us to stand and [p. [1]]
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
, August 18, 1833.
Brother 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
, 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
, Edward [Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
and 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...

View Full Bio
.1

These six men, along with Oliver Cowdery, served as leaders of the church in Missouri. According to JS’s history, as a result of a series of solemn assemblies held under the direction of Bishop Edward Partridge in March 1833, Phelps, Whitmer, Partridge, Morley, Corrill, Gilbert, and Cowdery were to “stand at the head of affairs, relating to the church, in that section of the Lords vineyard.” (Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833; Pettegrew, “History,” 15; Minute Book 2, 26 Mar. 1833; JS History, vol. A-1, 282.)  


O thou disposer of all Events, thou dispencer of all good! in the name  of Jesus Christ I ask thee to inspire my heart indiht [indite]2

“Indite” meant “to compose; to write; to commit to words in writing” and “to direct or dictate what is to be uttered or written.” (“Indite,” in American Dictionary.)  


my thaughts guide my  peen [pen] to note some kind word to these my Brotheren 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
that like the  rays of the sun upon the Earth wormeth [warmeth] the face thereof so let this word I write  worm [warm] the hearts of my Brotheren or as the gentle rain deceneth [descendeth] upon the earth or the  dews upon the mountanes refresheth the face of nature and Causeth her to smile so  give unto thy servent Joseph have a word that shall refresh the hearts and revi[v]e  the spir[i]ts yea souls <of> those afflicted ones who have been called to leave their homes  and go to a strange land not knowing what should befall them behold this is like  Abraham3

See Genesis 15:13; 17:8; 28:4.  


a strikeing <evidence> of their acceptance before the <Lord> in this thing but this is not  all <they are> but called to contend with the beast of the wilderness4

See Revelation 17:3.  


for a long time whos[e]  Jaws <are> were open to devour5

See Proverbs 30:14.  


them thus did Abraham and also Paul at Ephesus6

See 1 Corinthians 15:32.  


b[e]hold thou  art like him <them> and again the affliction of my Brotheren reminds me of Abraham  offering up Isaac his only son7

See Genesis 22:1–14.  


but my Brotheen [brethren] have have been called to give up  even more than this their wives and their children yea and their own life8

On 23 July 1833, representatives of the Jackson County citizens met with six church leaders in Independence. Edward Partridge later wrote, “Nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob but for our people to either leave the county or be put to death. Seeing the determination of the mob, 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.” The six church leaders were Partridge, John Corrill, Isaac Morley, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, and Sidney Gilbert. None of those leaders or any church members were killed that day. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18; “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115.)  


also  O Lord what more dost thou require at their hands before thou wilt come and save  them may I not say thou wilt yea I will <say> Lord thou wilt save them out of the  hands of their enemies9

See Luke 1:71; Nehemiah 9:27; 1 Samuel 4:3; and Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:54].  


thou hast tried them in the fu[r]nace of affliction10

See Isaiah 48:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 53 [1 Nephi 20:10].  


a furnace  of thine own choseing [choosing]and couldst thou have tried them more then thou hast O  Lord then let this suffice and from henceforth <let> this <be> reco[r]ded <be> in heaven for thine  angels to look upon11

Church leaders in Missouri also viewed the events taking place as part of a painful but necessary purification. John Whitmer wrote, “We need the prayers of all the disciples of our Redeemer for it is a time of great anxiety to behold the cleansing of this Church & also the land from wickedness & abominations.” (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


and for a testimony against all those ungodly men who  have commited those ungodly deeds12

See Jude 1:15.  


forever and ever and <yea> let thine anger <is> be enki ndled against them and <let> them <and they shall> be consumed before thy face13

See Deuteronomy 9:3.  


and be far  removed from Zion O <they will go> let them go down to <the> pit14

The phrase “go down to the pit” is a common Old Testament trope for death. (See Psalm 30:3, 9; Isaiah 38:18; Ezekiel 28:8; 32:18; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 101 [2 Nephi 24:19].)  


and give pl[a]ce for thy  saints for thy spirit will not always strive with man15

See Genesis 6:3; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 542 [Ether 2:15]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1:33].  


therefore I fear for all  these things yet O Lord glorify thyself thy will be done and not mine16

See Luke 22:42; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 141 [Jacob 7:14].  


 but I must conclude my pray[er] my heart being full of real desire for all such  are not reprobate that they cannot be saved——
Dear Brotheren in fellowship and <love> towards you and with a broken heart and  a contrite Spirit17

See Psalm 51:17; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 474 [3 Nephi 9:20].  


I take the pen to address you but I know not what to— say to you and the thaught <that> this <of> letter will be so long coming to you18

Letters sent between Kirtland and Independence generally required three to four weeks’ travel time.  


my  heart faints within me I feel to exclaim O Lord let the desire of my  heart be felt and realizied this moment <upon you hearts> and teach you all things thy  servent would communicate to would you my Brotheren since the intel igence of the Calamity of Zion

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

View Glossary
has reached the ears of the wicked there is  no saifty for us here but evevery man has to wa[t]ch their houses every  night to keep off the Mob[b]ers Satan has Come down in Great wrath  upon all the Chirch

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
of God and the[re] is no saifty only in the arm of  Jehovah none else can deliver and he will not deliver unless we do  prove ourselves faithful to him in the severeest trouble for he that  will have his robes washed in the blood of the Lamb must come  up throught great tribulation even the greatest of all affliction19

See Revelation 7:14.  


but  know this when men thus deal with you and speak all maner of evil of  you falsly for the sake of Christ20

See Matthew 5:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:11].  


that he is your friend and I verily  know that he will spedily deliver Zion for I have his immutible  covenant that this shall be the case but god is pleased to keep it  hid from mine eyes the means how exactly the thing will be done21

This “covenant” likely refers to a revelation received by JS only a few days earlier on 6 August 1833. (Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3].)  


 the chirch 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...

More Info
concluded with one accord to die with you or  redeem you and never at any time have I felt as I now feel that  pure love and for you my Brotheren the wormth [warmth] and Zeal for you  saf[e]ty that we can scarcely hold our spirits but wisdom I trust will  keep us from madness and desperation and the power of the Go[s]pel will enable  us to stand and [p. [1]]
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In early August, JS dictated two revelations concerning 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...

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. The first of these, dated 2 August 1833, commanded

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

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that a temple

Plans for Far West included temple on central block. Latter-day Saints in Caldwell Co. made preparations for construction and commenced excavating for foundation, 3 July 1837. However, while visiting Latter-day Saints in Far West, 6 Nov. 1837, JS gave instructions...

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be built 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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.1 The second revelation, which JS dictated on 6 August, instructed the entire church that in the event that “men will smite you or your familles,” members were to “bear it patiently.”2

Revelation, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:23].  


When 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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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...

More Info
, Ohio, on 9 August 1833, he gave JS a firsthand account of the hostilities against church 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...

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, Missouri.3 Nine days later, on 18 August, JS personally wrote this lengthy letter of comfort and encouragement to his beleaguered brethren in Missouri. After learning of the violence in Jackson County from Cowdery, JS wrote in the 18 August letter that “we have had the word of the Lord” and then provided information that was not included in his prior revelations: “You shall [be] deliverd from you[r] dainger and shall again flurish in spite of hell.” Perhaps thinking of a revelation dictated over two years earlier that commanded 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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to establish a press 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
,4

Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:11].  


JS also wrote in the letter that though the mob in Independence had razed 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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, another “must be built.” JS added, “We shall get a press immediately in this place and print th[e] Star,” referring to the early Mormon newspaper, “until you can obtain deliverence and git up again.” Not only the printing office but also the legally purchased land and 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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’s 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...

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in Jackson County remained vital: “It is the will of the Lord that the Store shud [should] be kept and that not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of God.” JS again consoled the members of the church in Missouri by telling them that “the harder the persicution the greater the gifts of God upon his chirch.”
Following the July violence 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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, word of the events spread quickly through local and regional newspapers. On 2 August 1833, the Western Monitor in Fayette, Missouri, published the 20 July minutes kept by the Jackson County citizens and their selected committee who on 20 July destroyed 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
’s 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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and tarred and feathered 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 ...

View Full Bio
.5

“Mormonism,” United States Telegraph (Washington DC), 21 Aug. 1833, [2]; JS History, vol. A-1, 330.  


A St. Louis

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as city...

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newspaper, the Missouri Republican, published a similar piece seven days later, applauding the Jackson County residents’ initiative.6

“‘Regulating’ the Mormonites,” Missouri Republican (St. Louis), 9 Aug. 1833, [3].  


The article in the Republican spread rapidly throughout the nation; it was republished in Washington DC

Created as district for seat of U.S. federal government by act of Congress, 1790, and named Washington DC, 1791. Named in honor of George Washington. Headquarters of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of U.S. government relocated to Washington ...

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as early as 21 August.7

“Mormonites in Missouri,” Daily National Intelligencer (Washington DC), 21 Aug. 1833, [2].  


Within eight days of 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 arrival 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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on 9 August, at least two local Geauga County

Located in northeastern Ohio, south of Lake Erie. Rivers in area include Grand, Chagrin, and Cuyahoga. Settled mostly by New Englanders, beginning 1798. Formed from Trumbull Co., 1 Mar. 1806. Chardon established as county seat, 1808. Population in 1830 about...

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newspapers, the Painesville Telegraph and the Chardon Spectator, published reports of the events in Missouri.8

Report, Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 16 Aug. 1833, [3]; “Mormonites,” Chardon (OH) Spectator and Geauga Gazette, 17 Aug. 1833, [3]; see also Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.  


JS wrote in the following letter that “since the inteligence of the Calamity of Zion

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

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has reached the ears of the wicked,” he and the rest of the church members in Kirtland were under the necessity of watching their homes by night “to keep off the Mob[b]ers.”
JS further explained, “We are no safer here 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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then you are 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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.” He referred, for instance, to threats from the activities of Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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.9 During the months following his June 1833 excommunication, Hurlbut delivered anti-Mormon lectures near Kirtland, as well as in Erie County

Created from Allegheny Co., as only portion of state bordering Lake Erie, 12 Mar. 1800. County seat, Erie. Combined with four other counties for governmental purposes as Crawford Co., 9 Apr. 1801. First independent Erie Co. officers elected, 1803. Population...

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, Pennsylvania, where he had previously proselytized for the church.10

Winchester, Plain Facts, 5–9; “W. R. Hine’s Statement,” Naked Truths about Mormonism (Oakland, CA), Jan. 1888, 2.  


Soon thereafter Hurlbut began soliciting funds to finance a trip east to gather information concerning a manuscript that he said JS had plagiarized to write the Book of Mormon, 1830.11

Winchester, Plain Facts, 8–11; see also Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chap. 19.  


JS wrote in the letter featured here that because of Hurlbut, “we are suffering great persicution . . . to spite us he is lieing in a wonderful manner and the peapl [people] are running after him and giveing him mony to b[r]ake down mormanism.”
Shortly after writing this 18 August missive, JS sent Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and John Gould

21 Dec. 1784–25 June 1855. Pastor, farmer. Born in New Hampshire. Married first Oliva Swanson of Massachusetts. Resided at Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire, 1808. Lived in Vermont. Moved to northern Pennsylvania, 1817. Served as minister in Freewill...

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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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with the letter and other important documents, including the revised plat of the city of Zion

Also referred to as New Jerusalem. JS revelation, dated Sept. 1830, prophesied that “city of Zion” would be built among Lamanites (American Indians). JS directed Oliver Cowdery and other missionaries preaching among American Indians in Missouri to find location...

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.12 The two men left no later than 4 September and arrived in Independence during the latter part of that month.13

See Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833; Knight, History, 439; Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14–17; and “History of Orson Hyde,” 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.  


In the letter featured here, JS directed 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...

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to “make a show as if to” prepare to leave and “wait patiently until the Lord come[s] and resto[res] unto us all things.” He also offered hope in this letter by noting that 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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would “w[a]it the Comand of God to do whatever he ple[a]se and if he shall say go up to 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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and defend thy Brotheren by the sword we fly.” In late October 1833, church leaders 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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“declared publicly . . . that we as a people should defend our lands and houses.” On 21 October, “the mob, or at least some of the leaders began to move.”14 Violence soon began again, and by mid-November most church members had fled north from Jackson County into 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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.

Facts