53991744

Letter to the Church in Clay County, Missouri, 22 January 1834

before you receive this We also calculate to send a petition and this revelation to the President forthwith in your behalf8

No petition to President Andrew Jackson from church leaders in Kirtland has been located.  


and then we will act the part of the poor widow to perfection if possable,9

In instructing members of the church in Missouri to petition government authorities for help, the 16–17 December 1833 revelation referenced the parable given in Luke 18:1–5 about a widow who importunes an unjust judge for justice. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:81–89].)  


and let our rulers read their destiny if they do not lend a helping hand.10

The 16–17 December 1833 revelation warned that if the president did not heed the Mormons’ call for help, the Lord will “arise and come forth out of his hiding place & in his fury vex the nation and in his hot displeasure and in his fierce ander [anger] in his time will cut off these wicked unfaithful and unjust stewards and appoint them their portion among hypocrits and unbelievers even in outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:89–91].)  


We exhort you to prosecute and try every lawful means to bring the mob to Justice as fast as circumstances will permit.11

Dunklin and other Missouri authorities anticipated that the legal proceedings against members of the Jackson County mob would begin in the February 1834 term of the Jackson County circuit court. On 23 February 1834, Phelps and several other church members, including John Corrill and Edward Partridge, entered Jackson County under a heavy guard to testify at the proceedings. The men, however, were escorted out of Independence the following day—without having offered any testimony in the case—after Judge John F. Ryland, circuit attorney Amos Rees, and Missouri attorney general Robert W. Wells concluded that it was “entirely unnecessarry to investigate this subject on the part of the State, as the jury were equally concerned in the outrages committed it was therefore not likely that any bills [of indictment] would be found and consequently no good could possibly result from any further investigation.” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 27 Feb. 1834; “Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 8 Mar. 1834, [1].)  


With regard to your tarrig tarrying in 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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we cannot say you must be governed by circumstances. perhaps you will have to hire out or take farms to cultivate to obtain your bread until the Lord deliver.
We have sent you a $50= note US some time ago if you have received it please acknowledge the receipt of it to us that we may be satisfied you have got it. We Shall do all that is in our power to assist you in every way we can. We know your case is a trying one but be patient and not murmr against the Lord and you shall see that all these things shall turn to your greatest good.
Inquire of Bro Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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and find out the entire secret of mixing or compounding lead and Antimony so as to make type mettle metal and write us concerning it12

Marsh, one of the church’s leaders in Missouri, had worked at a Boston type foundry for several years in the 1820s. A new printing press, replacing the one lost in a mob attack in Jackson County in July 1833, began operation in Kirtland in December 1833. (JS, Journal, 4–6 and 18 Dec. 1833; Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, 30 Mar. 1834, Cowdery, Letterbook, 36–38; “T B Marsh,” [1], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.)  


Bro Joseph tells me that he has sent another $50= note making $100, to you, write us concerning it, there is a prospect of the eastern churches

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
doing something pretty handsome toward the deliverance 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
in the course of a year if Zion is not delivered otherwise13

According to the 16–17 December 1833 revelation, all the branches of the church were to “gather to gether all their monies” and purchase “all the Land which can be purchaced in Jackson County and the counties round about.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:71–72].)  


Tho the Lord says this affliction came upon you because of your sin polluting your inheritances

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
&c14

Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:1–2, 6].  


yet there is an exception of some namely the heads of Zion for the Lord said your brethren 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
begin to repent, and the Angels rejoice over them &c15

The information in this sentence was given in a March 1833 revelation. (Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:34].)  


you will also see an exception at the top of the 2d collum of this revelation16

The top of the second column of the printed version of the 16–17 December 1833 revelation states, “Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion: even many, but not all: they were found transgressors, therefore, they must needs be chastened. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.” (Verily, I Say unto You, concerning Your Brethren Who Have Been Afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL [D&C 101:41–42].)  


Therefore this affliction came upon the Church to chastin those in transgression, and prepare the hearts of those who had repented for an endowment

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge. Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather. Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained...

View Glossary
from the Lord. We shall not be able to send [p. 80]
before you receive this We also calculate to send a petition  and this revelation to the President forthwith in your behalf8

No petition to President Andrew Jackson from church leaders in Kirtland has been located.  


 and then we will act the part of the poor widow to perfection if  possable,9

In instructing members of the church in Missouri to petition government authorities for help, the 16–17 December 1833 revelation referenced the parable given in Luke 18:1–5 about a widow who importunes an unjust judge for justice. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:81–89].)  


and let our rulers read their destiny if they do not  lend a helping hand.10

The 16–17 December 1833 revelation warned that if the president did not heed the Mormons’ call for help, the Lord will “arise and come forth out of his hiding place & in his fury vex the nation and in his hot displeasure and in his fierce ander [anger] in his time will cut off these wicked unfaithful and unjust stewards and appoint them their portion among hypocrits and unbelievers even in outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:89–91].)  


We exhort you to prosecute and try  every lawful means to bring the mob to Justice as fast as circumstan ces will permit.11

Dunklin and other Missouri authorities anticipated that the legal proceedings against members of the Jackson County mob would begin in the February 1834 term of the Jackson County circuit court. On 23 February 1834, Phelps and several other church members, including John Corrill and Edward Partridge, entered Jackson County under a heavy guard to testify at the proceedings. The men, however, were escorted out of Independence the following day—without having offered any testimony in the case—after Judge John F. Ryland, circuit attorney Amos Rees, and Missouri attorney general Robert W. Wells concluded that it was “entirely unnecessarry to investigate this subject on the part of the State, as the jury were equally concerned in the outrages committed it was therefore not likely that any bills [of indictment] would be found and consequently no good could possibly result from any further investigation.” (Letter from William W. Phelps, 27 Feb. 1834; “Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser [Columbia], 8 Mar. 1834, [1].)  


With regard to your tarrig [tarrying] in 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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we cannot  say you must be governed by circumstances. perhaps you  will have to hire out or take farms to cultivate to obtain your  bread until the Lord deliver.
We have sent you a $50= note US some time  ago if you have received it please acknowledge the  rec[eip]t of it to us that we may be satisfied you have  got it. We Shall do all that is in our power  to assist you in every way we can. We know your  case is a trying one but be patient and not murmr  against the Lord and you shall see that all these things  shall turn to your greatest good.
Inquire of Bro [Thomas B.] Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

View Full Bio
and find out the  entire secret of mixing or compounding lead and Antimo[n]y  so as to make type mettle [metal] and write us concerning it12

Marsh, one of the church’s leaders in Missouri, had worked at a Boston type foundry for several years in the 1820s. A new printing press, replacing the one lost in a mob attack in Jackson County in July 1833, began operation in Kirtland in December 1833. (JS, Journal, 4–6 and 18 Dec. 1833; Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, 30 Mar. 1834, Cowdery, Letterbook, 36–38; “T B Marsh,” [1], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.)  


 Bro Joseph tells me that he has sent another $50= note  making $100, to you, write us concerning it, there  is a prospect of the eastern churches

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
doing something  pretty handsome toward the deliverance 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
 in the course of a year if Zion is not delivered  otherwise13

According to the 16–17 December 1833 revelation, all the branches of the church were to “gather to gether all their monies” and purchase “all the Land which can be purchaced in Jackson County and the counties round about.” (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:71–72].)  


Tho the Lord says this affliction came  upon you because of your sin polluting your inheritances

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
&c14

Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:1–2, 6].  


 yet there is an exception of some namely the heads of Zion  for the Lord said your brethren 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
begin to repent,  and the Angels rejoice over them &c15

The information in this sentence was given in a March 1833 revelation. (Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:34].)  


you will also see  an exception at the top of the 2d collum of this revelation16

The top of the second column of the printed version of the 16–17 December 1833 revelation states, “Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion: even many, but not all: they were found transgressors, therefore, they must needs be chastened. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that abaseth himself shall be exalted.” (Verily, I Say unto You, concerning Your Brethren Who Have Been Afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL [D&C 101:41–42].)  


 Therefore this affliction came upon the Church to  chastin those in transgression, and prepare the  hearts of those who had repented for an end[o]wment

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge. Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather. Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained...

View Glossary
 from the Lord. We shall not be able to send [p. 80]
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JS, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and 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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wrote this 22 January 1834 letter in response to a 15 December 1833 letter 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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wrote from 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, to 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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, Ohio, requesting advice on what 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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should do after being driven from their homes 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 and other church leaders in Missouri had already petitioned Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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to help restore church members to their property in Jackson County, to protect them from further violence until they were able to protect themselves, and to commence a court of inquiry into the violence against the Mormons,1

William W. Phelps et al., Petition to Daniel Dunklin, 6 Dec. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.  


but they were disappointed by the governor’s response. According to Phelps’s letter, Dunklin had ordered part of the militia to stand prepared to “guard a court martial, and court of Enquiry” and had expressed his willingness to help restore the church members to their lands; however, Dunklin had also indicated that he did not have the authority to keep a military force in Jackson County to protect the Mormons from possible attacks in the future.2

“The Governor is willing to restore us,” Phelps wrote, “but as the constitution gives him no power to guard us, when back, we are not willing to go.” Dunklin’s official response to the petition is dated 4 February 1834; thus Phelps probably received this information about Dunklin’s position from Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, who had been hired as legal counsel to the church and who had been in communication with Missouri attorney general Robert W. Wells. (Letter from William W. Phelps, 15 Dec. 1833; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., 4 Feb. 1834, copy; Robert W. Wells, Jefferson City, MO, to Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison, 21 Nov. 1833, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.)  


“I do not write this letter to entertain you with news, or for to wake you up to our dreadful condition,” Phelps wrote to the leaders in Kirtland, “but that you may timely give us some advice what is best to do in our tarry till Zion is redeemed!3
JS and other 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...

More Info
answered 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 question both in the letter featured here and by sending a revelation that JS had dictated on 16–17 December 1833 explaining why church members had been driven out 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...

More Info
and instructing them how to obtain redress for their losses.4 Pursuant to the instructions contained in the letter and revelation, 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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petitioned United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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president Andrew Jackson to help restore displaced church members to their homes and property in Jackson County, Missouri. They also wrote to Dunklin, asking him to write to Jackson in support of the church leaders’ petition. Both Jackson and Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

View Full Bio
declined their requests.5

Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy; William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, to Daniel Dunklin, 10 Apr. 1834; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., Liberty, MO, 20 Apr. 1834; Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., Kirtland, OH, 22 Jan. 1836; Lewis Cass, Washington DC, to Sidney Gilbert et al., Liberty, MO, 2 May 1834, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.  


The letter featured here also indicates that JS and church leaders in Kirtland had similarly sent a petition to Dunklin and were also planning to send a petition to Jackson. These petitions have not been located.
In addition to discussing the situation 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 22 January 1834 letter addressed other issues, including the making of printing type and 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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, who had been ordered to keep the peace and to appear before the court of common pleas for threatening JS’s life.6

Geauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Court Records, 1807–1904, Final Record Book P, pp. 431–432, microfilm 20,278, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.  


Hurlbut had recently returned from a journey through Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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, New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, and Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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, where he had been looking for evidence to support his claim that the Book of Mormon was based on an unpublished work of fiction written by Solomon Spalding and also “to examine the validity of Joseph Smith’s claims to the character of a Prophet.” Although Hurlbut obtained some of Spalding’s papers, both he and Howe

9 June 1798–10 Nov. 1885. Newspaper editor and publisher, farmer, wool manufacturer. Born at Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., New York. Son of Samuel William Howe and Mabel Dudley. Moved with family to Ovid, Seneca Co., New York, 1804. Located at Niagara District...

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were never able to produce a manuscript that bore any relation to the Book of Mormon. However, Hurlbut did collect several purported signatures and statements from people in New York claiming that the Spalding manuscript was the basis for the Book of Mormon and attesting to the poor character of JS and his family.7

Winchester, Plain Facts, 9–11; “To the Public,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 31 Jan. 1834, [3]; Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, chaps. 17, 19.  


Nevertheless, the letter featured here informed the 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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members that because of the judgment against Hurlbut, “his influence was pritty much distroyed.”

Facts