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

 
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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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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Jackson County
Missouri
 
Edward Partri[d]ge

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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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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Jackson County
Missouri
Previous
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...

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, 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...

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,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,...

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’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 ...

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.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