Interim Content

Liberty, Missouri


Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other Saints taking up residence in and near Liberty. Camp of Israel disbanded six miles from Liberty, 22 June 1834. Under threat of violence, most Saints left area, 1836. Described in 1837 as having “fourteen stores and four groceries” and large brick courthouse. Residents in Liberty acquired printing press damaged during mob destruction of Saints’ printing office (1833) in Independence, Missouri, and used press to print The Upper Missouri Enquirer. During eventual expulsion of all Latter-day Saints from Missouri, JS and other leaders were imprisoned in Liberty, Dec. 1838–Apr. 1839. While incarcerated, JS wrote or coauthored twelve letters, portions of two of which were later canonized, to family members and church leaders regarding legal proceedings and plans for Saints’ settlement in western Illinois.


Photograph, J. H. Hicks, 1888. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)

Jail at Liberty, Missouri Photograph, J. H. Hicks, 1888. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)

Liberty Township
Clay County
United States of America