30494

Letter to Edward Partridge, 5 December 1833

was shed we agreed to go away immediately and the enemy took our guns,19

See Historical Introduction to Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; see also “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 125.  


Bro 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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also states that since the above was wrote (viz on the 6th)20 another horid scene has transpired, after our people surrendered their arms a party of the Mobe went above Blue

River rises in Indian Territory and flows northward into Missouri River in Jackson Co., Missouri. Mormon settlement established near river, Dec. 1831. Branch of LDS church established in area on opposite side of river from Kaw Township, by 1833; branch had...

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and began to whip and even murder and the brethren have been driven into the woods and fleeing to the ferry and also the Mob have hired the ferryman to carry them across the river and it was reported that the mob had Killed two more of the brethren
It appears brethren that the above statements were mostly from reports and no certainty of their being correct.21

At the time this letter was written, the information regarding these deaths and other events in Missouri had not been confirmed for JS. “We have heard various accounts of the number slain on both sides,” wrote Cowdery in the December 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star, “and these reports have frequently been exagerated.” (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 119.)  


therefore it is difficult for us to advise and can only say that the destenies of all people are in the hands of a Just God and he will do no injustice to any one and this one thing is sure that they who will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution22

See 2 Timothy 3:12.  


and before their robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb it is to be expected they will pass through great tribulation according to John the Revelator,23

See Revelation 7:14.  


I wish when you receive this letter that you would collect every particular concerning the Mob from the begining and send us a correct statement of fact as they transpired from time to time that we may be enabled to give the public correct information on the subject24

The same month that JS wrote this letter, The Evening and the Morning Star began to publish a series of articles titled “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri.” The first article in the series used letters from William W. Phelps and others to inform readers of the violent events in Missouri. Later articles provided updates and commentaries on the political situation in Missouri. (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833–June 1834, 118–123, 129, 137–139, 159–160, 167–168; Letter, 30 Oct. 1833; Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; Letter from William W. Phelps, 14 Nov. 1833; Letter from John Corrill, 17 Nov. 1833.)  


and inform us also of the situation of the brethren with respect to their means of sustinance &c25

Though he was unaware of JS’s request here, in a letter sent from Missouri the same month, John Corrill provided the information that JS sought. Corrill wrote, “Great sacrifices have been made: some being destitute of money, have sold their cattle and other effects at a very low rate. Much property that was left behind has been destroyed, and other property that yet remains probably will be before it can be taken care of. Some families are as it were entirely destitute, and must unavoidably suffer unless God interposes in their behalf.” (“From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 126.)  


I would inform you that it is not the will of the Lord for you to sell your Lands 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
if means can possably be procured for their sustenance [p. 67]
was shed we agreed to go away immediately  and the enemy took our guns,19

See Historical Introduction to Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; see also “From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 125.  


Bro 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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 also states that since the above was wrote (viz  on the 6th)20 another horid scene has transpired,  after our people surrendered their arms a  party of the Mobe went above Blue

River rises in Indian Territory and flows northward into Missouri River in Jackson Co., Missouri. Mormon settlement established near river, Dec. 1831. Branch of LDS church established in area on opposite side of river from Kaw Township, by 1833; branch had...

More Info
and  began to whip and even murder and the  brethren have been driven into the woods and  fleeing to the ferry and also the Mob have  hired the ferryman to carry them across  the river and it was reported that the  mob had Killed two more of the brethren
It appears brethren that the above statemen ts were mostly from reports and no certainty  of their being correct.21

At the time this letter was written, the information regarding these deaths and other events in Missouri had not been confirmed for JS. “We have heard various accounts of the number slain on both sides,” wrote Cowdery in the December 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star, “and these reports have frequently been exagerated.” (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 119.)  


therefore it is difficult  for us to advise and can only say that the  destenies of all people are in the hands of a  Just God and he will do no injustice to  any one and this one thing is sure that  they who will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall  suffer persecution22

See 2 Timothy 3:12.  


and before their robes are  mad[e] white in the blood of the Lamb it  is to be expected they will pass through gre at tribulation according to John the  Revelator,23

See Revelation 7:14.  


I wish when you receive this  letter that you would collect every particular  concerning the Mob from the begining and  send us a correct statement of fact as they  transpired from time to time that we  may be enabled to give the public correct  information on the subject24

The same month that JS wrote this letter, The Evening and the Morning Star began to publish a series of articles titled “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri.” The first article in the series used letters from William W. Phelps and others to inform readers of the violent events in Missouri. Later articles provided updates and commentaries on the political situation in Missouri. (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833–June 1834, 118–123, 129, 137–139, 159–160, 167–168; Letter, 30 Oct. 1833; Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833; Letter from William W. Phelps, 14 Nov. 1833; Letter from John Corrill, 17 Nov. 1833.)  


and inform us  also of the situation of the brethren with resp ect to their means of sustinance &c25

Though he was unaware of JS’s request here, in a letter sent from Missouri the same month, John Corrill provided the information that JS sought. Corrill wrote, “Great sacrifices have been made: some being destitute of money, have sold their cattle and other effects at a very low rate. Much property that was left behind has been destroyed, and other property that yet remains probably will be before it can be taken care of. Some families are as it were entirely destitute, and must unavoidably suffer unless God interposes in their behalf.” (“From Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1834, 126.)  


I would  inform you that it is not the will of the Lord  for you to sell your Lands 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
if means  can possably be procured for their sustenance [p. 67]
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JS wrote this 5 December 1833 letter in response to the heartrending and sometimes conflicting reports he received about the violence 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, that took place in early November 1833. The inconsistent reports were only the latest frustration for JS, who continued to agonize over the fate of friends and followers 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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, whose efforts to build a “New Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon indicated that, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming, a city should be built on the American continent and called the New Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon further explained that the remnant of the seed of Joseph (understood to be...

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” had stalled in the summer of 1833 because of persecution.1
Following armed conflict on 4 November 1833, antagonistic residents and militia of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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forced members of the Church of Christ

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

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to vacate their properties and flee to 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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, Missouri, and elsewhere over the next few weeks.2 In the midst of the violence, 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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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, for 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 6 November 1833 to report to JS on recent hostilities.3

“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118.  


While traveling from Independence to Boonville, Missouri, on the Missouri River

One of longest rivers in North America, in excess of 3,000 miles. From headwaters in Montana to confluence with Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri River drains 580,000 square miles (about one-sixth of continental U.S.). Explored by Lewis and Clark...

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on board the steamboat Charleston, Hyde wrote at least two letters to newspaper editors 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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informing them of the violent events 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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: on 8 November he wrote to the editor of the Boonville Herald, and the following day he wrote to the editor of the Missouri Republican.4

It is unknown whether a complete copy of Hyde’s published letter to the editor of the Boonville Herald still exists. However, Oliver Cowdery included at least a partial copy of the letter in The Evening and the Morning Star. (“The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118; see also “Civil War in Jackson County!,” Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 12 Nov. 1833, [3].)  


Upon arriving 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 25 November, Hyde and Gould informed JS of “the melencholly intelegen [intelligence] of the riot 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
.”5

JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833; see also “More Trouble in the Mormon Camp,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 29 Nov. 1833, [3].  


On 6 November 1833, the same day that 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, ...

View Full Bio
and 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...

View Full Bio
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...

More Info
, 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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began writing a letter to JS to inform him of the recent events 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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. The next day he completed his letter and reported that mobs had begun to force church members to leave their homes in Jackson County—information that Hyde and Gould may not have known. Although Phelps’s original letter no longer exists, according to the letter featured here, Phelps’s missive 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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before 5 December 1833. The most complete known version of Phelps’s letter was published by 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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in the December 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star.6 The letter from JS featured here discusses information that appears to have been conveyed only through Phelps’s original letter—information that Cowdery, perhaps waiting for confirmation of the Mormon evacuation from Jackson County, did not include in the published version.
Some of the information conveyed in 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 letter apparently conflicted with the report 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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sent to the editor of the Missouri Republican, to which JS by this time had access. Perhaps because the information he received was inconsistent, and possibly in an effort to document the violence against his followers, JS wrote this 5 December letter urging church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to “collect every particular concerning the Mob from the begining and send us a correct statement of fact as they transpired.” Until then, he wrote, “it is difficult for us to advise.” Even without clarification, JS told the 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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church leaders that if they had not yet been driven out they should fight to stay on their lands as long as they could: “You should maintain the ground as Long as there is a man Left. . . . it was right in the sight of God that you contend for it to the last.”7

JS had earlier instructed church members in an 18 August 1833 letter to not sell their land in Jackson County. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


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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copied this 5 December letter into JS’s letterbook and concluded by inscribing “E 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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” on the final line, indicating that the original letter was most likely addressed to Edward Partridge. It is clear, however, that this letter was intended for church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
generally. Unfortunately, the original letter is no longer extant, and it is unknown if Partridge or any other church leader in Missouri ever received this correspondence.
Even though JS’s letter requested clarification and accurate information from church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
, 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, ...

View Full Bio
, who was then 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
, was able to quickly respond to some of JS’s concerns. Hyde wrote another letter to 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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, the editor of The Evening and the Morning Star, which corrected parts of his earlier missive to the editors of the Boonville Herald. Oliver Cowdery published Hyde’s second letter in the same December issue of the Star that published 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 6–7 November letter and an extract of Hyde’s letter to the Boonville Herald.8

Orson Hyde, Letter to the Editor, The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 120.  


It is not known precisely when or why Hyde wrote his corrective letter, though he may have done so at the behest of JS or to alleviate JS’s concerns, expressed in the letter featured here, about the inconsistent information he had heard about events in Missouri. By 10 December 1833, JS received correspondence from Missouri that provided more information about the persecution and expulsion of church members in that place. Given that Hyde arrived in Kirtland in late November and that the first Kirtland issue of the Star was prepared for printing no sooner than 18 December,9

JS, Journal, 25 Nov. and 18 Dec. 1833.  


Hyde would have had sufficient time to consult these letters from Missouri that arrived in Kirtland by 10 December,10 consider his previous statements, and prepare an amended account for publication in the Star.

Facts