Memorial to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, circa 30 October 1839–27 January 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the in Congress assembled:
Your memorialists, Joseph Smith, Junr, , and , would most respectfully represent, that they have been delegated by their brethren and fellow citizens, the “” (commonly called Mormons) to prepare and present to your Honorable bodies, a statement of their wrongs, and a prayer for their relief, which they now have the honor to submit to the consideration of the Congress of the .
This memorial showeth:— That in the Summer of the year 1831, a portion of the sect above named commenced a settlement in the County of in the State of : The individuals making that settlement had emigrated from almost every State in the Union, to that lovely spot in the ,” in the hope of improving their condition; of building homes for themselves and posterity; and of erecting Temples where they and theirs might worship their creator, according to the dictates of their own consciences. Though they had wandered far from the homes of their childhood, still they had been taught to believe, that a citizen born in any one State in this great Republic, might remove to another and enjoy all the rights and immunities guarantied to the citizens of the State of his adoption; that wherever waved the American flag, beneath its Stars and Stripes, an American citizen might look for protection and justice—liberty in person, and in conscience.
They bought farms, built houses, erected churches; some tilled the earth, others bought and sold merchandise; [p. 1]
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and others again toiled in the occupation of the mechanic. They were industrious and moral; they prospered; and though often persecuted and vilified for their difference in religious opinions, from their other <​fellow​> citizens, still they were happy. They saw their society increasing in numbers; their farms teemed with plenty; and they fondly looked forward to a future big with hope. That there was prejudice existing against them <​they knew; that slanders were propogated against them​> they deplored; yet they felt that these things were unmerited and unjust; that time and an upright conduct would outgrow them in this enlightened age of the world. While this summer of peace and happiness and hope beamed upon them, and shone over the infant settlement of the “,” the dark cloud that bore in its bosom the thunderbolt of their destruction was gathering fast around them, pregnant with prejudice, oppression and destruction <​final expulsion or extermination​>.
On the 20th of July 1833 around their peaceful village, a mob gathered to the surprise and terror of the quiet, unoffending Mormons; why, they knew not. They had broken no law; they had harmed no man in deed or thought. Why then were they thus threatened and abused? Soon a Committee from the mob called upon the leading “Saints” of the place, and issued forth the mandate that the stores, the , and the work shops must all be closed; and that forthwith every Mormon must leave the .
The message was so terrible, so unexpected, the “Saints” asked time for deliberation, for consultation; which being refused, the Brethren were severally asked “Are you willing to abandon your homes?” the reply was such as became freemen living in a [p. 2]
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in a free country: “We will not go”: which determination being made known to the Committee of the mob; one of them replied; “he was sorry, as the work of destruction must now begin.” No sooner said than done. The , a two story brick building, was assailed by the mob, and torn down, and with all its valuable furniture and materials litterally destroyed. They next proceeded to the principal with a like purpose; its owner in part, , agreed to close it, and they delayed their purpose of destruction.
They then proceeded to the dwelling of , the beloved of the ; they dragged him from his family to the public square, and when surrounded by hundreds <​of spectators,​> they partially stripped him of his clothes, and <​in​> the most unfeeling manner, covered him with tar and feathers from head to foot. Another by the name of , was treated in a similar manner, at the same time. The mob then dispersed, with an agreement to meet again on the following Tuesday; the above outrages having been committed on Saturday. Tuesday came, and with it came the Mob, bearing a red flag in token of blood. They proceeded to the houses of and others of the leading men, seized them, and told them to bid their families farewell; that <​as​> they would never see them again. They were then driven at the point of the bayonet to the Jail, and there, amid the jeers and insults of the crowd were thrust into prison, to be kept as hostages and for immolation, in case any of the mob should be killed while depredating upon the persons and property of the “Saints.” At this awful and [p. 3]
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awful and critical juncture some two or three of the Mormons offered to surrender up themselves as victims, if that would satisfy the fury of the mob, and purchase peace and security for their unoffending brethren, their helpless wives, and innocent children. The reply of the mob was— the Mormons must leave the en masseor every man shall be put to death The Mormons terrified and defenceless, were thus in this manner reduced to the necessity of entering into an agreement to leave the ; one half by the first of January— the other half by the first of April next ensuing. This treaty being made and ratified, the mob dispersed. Again for a time, the persecuted Mormons enjoyed a respite from their relentless persecutors, but their repose was of short duration. Some time in the month of October a meeting was held at , at which it was determined to remove the Mormons or die. Inflammatory speeches of the most violent character were made to excite the populace; and one of the speakers went so far in his denunciations as to swear “that he would remove the Mormons from the , if he had to wade to his neck in blood.” Up to this time, the Mormons had faithfully observed the forced treaty stipulations on their part; and were guilty of no offence against either the laws of the land or of society; but were peaceably following the routine of their daily duties. Shortly after the meeting above referred to, another persecution commenced, with increased sufferings on the part of the devoted Mormons. Some of their people were shot at; others were whipped without mercy; their houses assailed with brickbats [p. 4]
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with brickbats; the doors broken open; and thrown down; their women grossly insulted; and their weeping daughters brutally abused <​before​> their mother’s eyes. Thus were they for many days and weeks without offence and without resistance, by night and by day, harrassed, insulted and oppressed. But there is a point beyond which human endurance ceases to be a virtue; when the worm when if trampled upon will in the agony of its distress turn upon its oppressor. A company of about thirty Mormons fell in with twice that number of the Mob, engaged in the destruction of their property; when a battle ensued in which, one Mormon was killed, and two or three of the mob. We here regret to say, that acting in concert with the officer who commanded the mob, was , at that time Lieutenant Governor of the State of . When the news of this battle was spread abroad, the public mind became much inflamed against our people; the militia collected in arms from various quarters, and in great numbers; and being excited to fury by the false accounts which had been circulated against us; they demanded an immediate surrender of all our arms, and gave a peremptory order that we should quit the without further delay. Compelled by overpowering numbers, the Mormons submitted, and surrendered up fifty-one guns which have never been returned or accounted for. The next day, parties of the mob went from house to house threatening the women and children with death, if they did not immediately leave their homes. Imagination cannot paint, nor tongue express, the terror and consternation which now pervaded the Mormon community. The weather was intensely cold [p. 5]
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cold; the women and children horror stricken and defenceless, abandoned their homes, and fled for safety in every direction; very many of them without the necessary articles of clothing to protect them from the peltings of the pitiless storm and piercing cold to which they were exposed. Women gave birth to infants in the woods, and on the bleak bosoms of the prairies houseless and unsheltered;— at that critical and trying time without any of the necessaries usual on such occasions, without their husbands, and without Physicians or midwives or any other assistance except as they could assist each other. One hundred and twenty women and children, for ten successive days with only three or four men to aid them, concealed themselves in the recesses of the forest, in hourly expectation of massacre, until they found an opportunity of escaping into .
The Society of Mormons, after these disturbances, removed to the County of , where they were kindly received by their brethren and the inhabitants, who administered to their necessities in the most charitable manner. In the mean time the houses of the Mormons, in the county of which they had abandoned, numbering about two hundred, were burned down, or otherwise demolished by the mob, who destroyed at the same time, much of their crops, furniture, and stock. The damage done to the property of the Mormons. by the mob in the county of under the circumstances above related, as near as they can ascertain, would amount to the sum of One Hundred and Twenty thousand Dollars. The number of Mormons thus disfranchised and driven from their houses and homes in the County of amounted to about Twelve hundred souls. For the property thus destroyed, no remuneration has been made. After the [p. 6]
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the expulsion of the Mormons from the county of , in the manner above stated, they removed to and settled in the County of : They there purchased farms from some of the citizens, and entered other lands at the land office— wild lands, offered for sale by the General Government. The most of them again became freeholders, owning each an eighty acre tract of land or more of land. The Mormons now lived peaceably in the County of for about three years, and during all that time increased gradually in numbers by emigration, and in wealth by their industry, and diligent attention in their several occupations. After they had resided in that for the time above mentioned, the citizens not connected with their society, began to look upon them with suspicion and alarm. Reports were again circulated against them; public meetings were held in the Counties of and , at which violent resolutions were passed against their people, and rumors of mobs began again to spread alarm and dismay among the unoffending Mormons. At this critical juncture, the Mormons being desirous of avoiding if possible, further conflict, with their neighbours and fellow-citizens; and anxious to preserve the peace and harmony of the Society around them as well as their own safety, deputed a Committee of their leading men to propose terms of peace. An interview took place between them and a Committee of citizens not connected with their society, at which it was agreed, that the Mormons should leave the County of , and that the citizens of should purchase their lands. These terms were complied with, and the Mormons now removed to, and took up their abode in the County of where they once more reorganized a settlement; but not without very heavy [p. 7]
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heavy pecuniary losses and other inconveniences; as the citizens of never paid them for their lands, with the exception of a very small part of the purchase money to some, while others have not as yet, and perhaps never will, receive a single farthing. The Mormons by this removal sacrificed much of money and of feeling; but the sacrifice was made upon the altar of duty as christians, rather than again <​to​> affording a pretext for the disturbance of the peace of the community.
Your Memorialists would humbly beg leave here to give what they believe to be a just and unvarnished explanation of the causes which have led to the bitter prejudices and persecutions against their Society as above related, without malice and without exaggeration; with the Christian desire of rendering fair and impartial justice to all concerned.
That there have been some unworthy members among them, they will not deny; but they aver at the same time, that taken as a community, they have been and are as moral, as upright, and as observant of the laws of God and of the land, as any body of people in the world of the same number. Why then this prejudice, and never ending persecution? An answer they think will be found in the facts: That they were a body of people, distinct from their fellow-citizens, in religious opinions, in their habits, and in their associations; and withal sufficiently numerous [p. 8]
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to make their political and moral power a matter of anxiety and dread to the political and religious parties by which they were surrounded. Which prejudices arose, not from what the Mormons had done; but from the fear of what they might do, if they should see proper to exercise this power. In addition to this, the Mormons had either purchased of the settlers or the General Government, or held by Pre-emption rights, what were regarded the best lands in that region of the country. The tide of speculation during this period of time ran high; and the cupidity of many, was thus unlawfully aroused to possess themselves of these lands, and add to their wealth by driving the Mormons from the country, and taking forcible possession of them; or constraining them to sell through fear and coercion at prices merely nominal and of their own fixing.
After the removal of the Mormons from . they settled in the county of . Your memorialists do not deem it necessary for their purpose to detail the history of the progress of the settlements and anxieties of the Mormons, from the time they settled in in the year 1836 until the fall of the year 1838. They would, however, aver that during all that time they deported themselves as good citizens; obeying the laws of the land, and performing the moral & religious duties enjoined by their faith. That, there may have been some faithless ones among the faithful, is very possible. Nay they will not deny, but that there may have been some who were a scandal to their brethren. But what society, your memorialists would ask, has not some unworthy members in it? Where the sect, religious, moral or [p. 9]
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political; where the community; in which there cannot be found some of its members who trample under foot both the laws of God, and of their fellow man? They sincerely believe that the Mormon community have as few such persons as any other association, religious, moral, or political. Within the above last mentioned period, and under all these difficulties, the Mormons continued to increase in wealth and in numbers, until in the fall of the year 1838, they numbered as near as they can estimate, about 15,000 souls.
They now held by purchases from the Government, of the settlers, and by pre-emption, almost all the lands in the County of and a portion of the lands of <​in​> & Carroll Counties. The County of was settled at almost entirely by Mormons; and Mormons were rapidly filling up the counties of and Carroll. When they first commenced settling in those counties, there were but few settlements, and the lands were for the most part wild and uncultivated. In the fall of 1838 large well improved farms had been made and stocked; lands had risen in value; and in some instances had been sold for from $10 to $25 per acre. The improvement and settlement had been such that it was a common remark that the county of would soon be the wealthiest in the . Thus stood the affairs of the society in the fall of 1838 when the storms of persecution again commenced and raged over their devoted heads. The mob again commenced its devastations, and drove the Mormons forth; houseless, homeless, and pennyless upon the charities of the world; which to them, thank [p. 10]
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God, had been, in times of trial and distress like Angels visits; but not few nor far between. This last persecution had its origin at an election which was held in the county of on the first Monday in August 1838.
A Mormon went to the polls to vote, when one of the mob standing by, opposed his voting, contending that a Mormon had no more right to vote than a Negro. One angry word brought on another until unfortunately blows ensued. They are happy nevertheless to state that the Mormon was not the aggressor; having acted as they believe entirely on the defensive. Others joined in the assault; not one or two, but many against the Mormon. His brethren seeing him thus assailed by numbers and exposed to great bodily injury, interfered to rescue him from his periolous situation; when others of the mob came and joined in the affray; being determined, as they said, “that the Mormons should not vote.” A general riot now commenced; the Mormons being determined to exercise the right of voting as citizens of the ; and the mob being equally determined that they should not— victory in this instance decided on the side of right. Rumors reached the Mormons of the next day, that two of their brethren had been killed in this affray; and that a refusal had been made to surrender their bodies for burial. Not knowing at the time that this rumor was without foundation, much excitement prevailed, and several of the Mormons started for with a view of finding, if possible, for their brethren, whom they supposed to have been murdered, [p. 11]
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a decent burial. They arrived next morning among the citizens and found great excitement prevailing. They had held a public meeting and resolved to drive all the Mormons from the country. Individuals began again to threaten the Mormons as a body, and to swear that they should all leave the country in three days. The Mormons also heard that a large mob was collecting against them, headed by one of the Judges of the County court of . Under these circumstances and with a view to allay this excitement some of the brethren called on and enquired whether the report they had heard was true. Upon his denying the truth of it, they requested him to give that denial in writing which he freely did; which writing they published with a view to calm the public mind, and to allay the existing excitement. Having done this, they rested in quiet for some time, hoping that these efforts would produce the desired effect. Their surprise under these circumstances can be easily imagined, when a short time after this, they learned that this same had gone before and made oath affidavit that he was forced to sign that instrument, by an armed band of Mormons; and thereupon procured a warrant for the apprehension of Joseph Smith Jr and which was placed in the hands of the Sheriff to be executed. It was also reported that the accused individuals had refused to be taken, and that an armed party of citizens was collected collecting to come and take them by force. Your memorialists aver [p. 12]
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that the Sheriff had never made any effort either to take them or serve the process; and that Smith and , so far from opposing resistance, did not know that a writ had been issued against them until they learned that such was the case by the report above related. In the mean time the rumor had spread over the whole country, that the Mormons were compelling individuals to sign certain instruments in writing, that they <​(the Mormons)​> were not resisting the process of the law. The public mind had now become much inflamed and the mob began to collect from all quarters, and in large numbers, with the pretext of assisting the Sheriff to execute the process. And let it be <​here​> observed, in passing, that Judge had <​before that time​> sold the improvement and pre-emption claims on which he then resided to the Mormons; had received his pay for the same; that through his instrumentality the Mormons were broken up and driven off; and that he now <​unlawfully​> retains both their money and the improvements. As soon as the report of their intended resistance reached Smith & , they determined immediately to go in pursuit of <​to​> the <​ who issued the warrant against them,​> Sheriff, and before the mob proceeded to extremities, to <​and​> submit themselves to the law.
They both surrendered themselves <​accordingly​> to who had issued the process, underwent a trial, and in the absence of any just accusations against them, were <​acquitted and​> dis-charged. They hoped that this voluntary submission of theirs to the law, and their successful vindication <​of themselves​> against the charges prefered against them would allay the excitement of the community; but not so. The long desired opportunity had [p. 13]
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arrived of consummating the extermination of the Mormons or their expulsion from the country, by giving to their proceedings <​persecutions​> the color and form of legal proceedings; and it could not be forborne. The mob which had assembled with the pretext of assisting the officers of the law in the execution of their duty, did not disperse on the acquittal of Smith and , as was expected; but continued embodied in their encampments in the form of a military force; and committing from time to time one depredation after another upon the property of the Mormons. The Mormons, in this extremity, appealed for succour <​and relief​> to the laws of the land, and to the officers of the law for protection against their infractions.
After much delay the Militia under Generals , , and were sent to their relief. They arrived on the 13th of Sept. and encamped between the mob and the mormons. These officers made no attempt to disperse the mob, and excused themselves by saying, “that the sympathies of their men were in their favor”. After remaining in this situation for several days, these officers at length adopted the following expedient of settling the the existing difficulties, and restoring peace. They mustered the mob and enrolled them with their troops, and then disbanded the whole together, with orders to return to their several homes. The officers then returned home, with the exception of , who remained for their protection with his men. The Mormons then made an agreement with the citizens of , to buy out their lands and pre-emption rights; and appointed a committee to make the purchases, with instructions to buy until they purchased to the amount [p. 14]
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of $25,000. While these purchases were making <​some of​> the sellers were heard to say, “that as soon as they had sold out to the Mormons, and received their pay, they would drive them off, and keep both lands and money”. The mob, when disbanded by the Generals in as aforesaid, instead of repairing to their homes, as commanded, proceeded in a body to the adjoining County of Carroll and encamped around <​the Mormon Village,​> . They sent to the County of and procured a <​piece of​> cannon and invested the village so closely, that no person could leave the town in safety. When they did so, they were fired upon by the mob. The Horses of the Mormons were taken, their Cattle and Hogs either killed or taken and driven away, and the citizens of the village amounting to about seventy families reduced to the greatest extremity by sickness and a want of <​the​> necessary supplies <​of food​> to support exhausted nature.
Thus situated, they applied to for protection and relief: but neither protection nor relief came. Being thus abandoned to their fate by the Executive authority, no alternative was left them, but to seek protection by flight, and the abandonment of their houses and homes to the ravages of the mob. Accordingly on the evening of the 11th of October 1838 they <​invested families​> fled from , and made their way to the counties of & , leaving many of their effects behind <​them,​> in the possession of their besiegers.
Your memorialists will not undertake to draw a picture of the horrors and sufferings of that flight, when shared alike by women and children as well as men. Let a case or two suffice. One Lady, who had given birth [p. 15]
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to an infant just before the flight commenced died on the road, and was buried without a coffin. Many others were sick, from starvation and fatigue, and being deprived of medical aid and sustenance, died upon the road. The remnant of this little band of sufferers arrived at <​in​> and counties at length, and found <​temporary​> relief from their troubles, among their friends and brethren in these counties; but it was of short duration. After the abandonment of and the flight of the Mormons from Carroll County, one addressed the mob, and advised them to take their cannon and march to the County of and drive the Mormons also from that County and seize upon their lands and property, <​saying​> by way of encouragement; that “the Mormons could get no benefit of the law, as they had recently seen that no attention had been paid to their applications for protection”. They then commenced their march from Carroll to with their Cannon. On their way they seized two mormons, made them ride on the cannon, and taunted them as they went along with their threats, “that they were going to drive the mormons from to , and from to Hell; and that they should find no quarter but at the cannon’s mouth”. The mob at this <​time​> was reported to number about 400 strong. The Mormons in their distresses, in pursuance of the laws of , made application to , the circuit Judge of that circuit, for protection; and for the aid of the officers of the law to protect the Magistracy in the performance of their duty. as they have been informed and believe [p. 16]
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made a requisition on to call out the militia to protect the Mormons against the mob. thereupon issued orders to Brigadiers & . In pursuance of these orders issued on the 18th of October 1838 arrived at ”, a mormon village, in the County of , with a small detachment of Militia. After he had been at “two days only, he disbanded his troops, alledging to the Mormons as his reason for so doing, that his men had feelings in <​common​> with the mob; and that he could not rely upon them. In a short time afterwards, arrived at ” and also disbanded his detachment.
During this period the mob was marching <​slowly making its way,​> from Carroll to . while at “” directed the Mormons to raise a company to protect themselves; telling them, that one was raising a mob to destroy their town; and advised them to place outguards to watch the movements of the mob.
He also directed them to raise a company of Mormons and send them to to aid their brethren there, against the like depredations; as a mob was marching down upon them from Carroll County. This the Mormons did. They had mustered a company of about sixty men who had proceeded to , when arrived at “” as aforesaid. Having learned that had disbanded his men he <​()​> expressed great dissatisfaction that he should have done so. The evening on which disbanded his men as before related, he proceeded to in order to learn what the <​mob​> [p. 17]
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were doing; and if possible to protect the Mormons. When arrived in , he found that the mob had already commenced their work of destruction, which was on the 20th of October 1838.
They commenced by burning the house of a man who had gone to Tennessee on business, and left his wife at home with two small children. When the house was burned down the wife sought refuge with her children in the hay-mow and had to walk three miles before she could find a shelter. She carried her two children all that distance and had to wade which was <​at the time, about​> three feet deep. The mob on the same evening burned seven other houses and destroyed all <​the​> Mormon property that came in their way.
The next morning Colonel an officer of the militia, <​and a member of the Mormon society,​> enquired of what was to be done, as he now saw the course the mob was determined to pursue. replied, that he () should take a company of men and <​if necessary,​> give the mob battle, and that he would be responsible for the act; <​consequences;​> saying, they would have no peace with the mob until they had given them a scourging.
On the next morning in obedience to this order <​, a Mormon officer,​> was despatched with one hundred men under his command in the direction of the mob, which was advancing from Carroll county, with orders to protect the citizens from injury, and to collect and bring into “” such of the Mormons as were scattered through that part of the County; and that if the mob interfered to prevent the execution of his orders, he should fight them. The company under the command of , was the same in part [p. 18]
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that had gone from “” by the orders of to protect the citizens of . As advanced in the direction of the mob, they retreated before him, leaving their cannon on the way, which fell into the hands of <​and his men.​>. The mob being thus dispersed; returned with his men <​company​> to ; and in a few days after came <​afterwards​> came back to “”. It was now supposed that all difficulties were at an end; and that the Mormons would be suffered to rest in peace. But contrary to this expectation, on the evening of the 23d of October messengers arrived at “” and informed the citizens <​Mormons​> that a body of armed men had made its appearance in the south part of the ; and that they were burning houses, destroying property, and threatening the mormons with death, “unless they left the county the next morning by 10 oclock, or renounced their religion”. About midnight another messenger came with news of like import. <​again​> collected about sixty <​Mormon​> men and proceeded to the scene of the disturbance, to protect, if possible, the lives and property of the Mormons from the threatened destruction.
On his arrival in the neighborhood, where the first ravages had been committed, he found that the mob had gone to another part of the , and were continuing to perpetrate acts of plunder and outrage <​both against the persons and property of the Mormons.​>. He marched a short distance further, when he unexpectedly came upon the encampment of the mob. The sentinels of the mob instantly fired upon him and killed one of his men. They continued their fire until ordered a charge, when, after a few fires the mob were dispersed and fled in all directions. But poor was killed and one of his men also fell by his side [p. 19]
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to rise no more. After this fight and the dispersion of the mob, ’s company again returned to “but without their leader. The report of these proceedings created much excitement; and the citizens, through false and exaggerated statements, were made to believe that the Mormons were actually in rebellion against the law<​s​> <​of the country.​>. So cruel and so unprovoked, had been the persecutions against them; and those entrusted with the power of the civil and military authority having failed to exercise either for their protection; the Mormons saw no alternatives, but that which the laws of nature gave, of self defence; and so far, on this occasion, they exerted it. About this time, the of the , issued an <​the bloody​> order to to raise several thousand men, “to march them against the Mormons and drive them from the , or to exterminate them. & collected three or four thousand men, and with this formidable force, commenced their march against the Mormons, and arrived at “without molestation, and without seeing an enemy <​on the way.​>.
In their rear marched with the residue of the army. The Mormons were taken by surprise, not having heard of these immense warlike preparations until the enemy was upon them. And so far from expecting an armed force acting under authority against them, they still had hoped, that the would in pity, send a sufficient force in time to protect their lives and property from the ravages of the mob. When this formidable army first made its appearance upon their borders, the Mormons intent on peace sent a white flag several miles in advance of their to meet them, to ascertain for what purpose so large an armed force was marching against them, and what the Mormons were to expect under such appaling circumstances. They [p. 20]
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gave us no satisfactory answer, but continued their march without explanation upon our peaceful village. Immediately on their arrival at “a man came from their camp, bearing a white flag, and demanded the surrender of three persons from the Mormons, before, as he said, “they massacred the rest”.
These persons refused to go. As soon as this messenger returned back to the Camp with our answer, immediately marched his whole Brigade upon our village in battle array. The Mormons of “ thereupon formed a <​their “forlorn hope” in​> line of battle immediately in front of ’s army. now perceived <​perceiving​> that blows were to be received as well as given, and that the fight was now no longer, on one side only; first ordered a halt, and then commenced a hasty retreat. Fortunately night came on, and separated the parties without collision. On the next day towards evening, the Mormons were officially informed, that the of the had sent this immense force against them with positive orders, either to exterminate, or to drive them from the ”.
As soon as the Mormons learned that this order had the sanction of the of the , and had been officially promulgated; they determined to make no further resistance in defence of their rights as citizens; but to submit themselves to the authorities of the however tyrannical and unjust the exercise of such authority might be. The commanders of the Militia before “”, now sent a messenger into the town requesting an interview at their encampment with five of the principal persons among the Mormons, pledging their honor for their safe return to their brethren, and families, on the following morning at eight oclock.
This interview the Mormons supposed was intended as an [p. 21]
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overture of peace; and as the pledge of a safe conduct was given; , , Joseph Smith Junr., , and started for the camp of the Militia <​besiegers.​>. Before they arrived at the camp of the ’s Troops <​under this invitation,​> they were surrounded on all sides by the invading army; and by an order from placed under a strong guard and marched in triumph into camp, when they were told that they were “prisoners of war.” A court martial was held that night, without a hearing on the part of the Mormon delegates, and in the absence of all testimony, these men, who had thus trusted their lives to the honor of the ’s officers, were condemned to be shot next morning. The execution of this bloody sentence was only prevented by the manly protest of . He denounced the act as cold blooded murder, and immediately withdrew his Brigade from the scene, where this horrible outrage was to be perpetrated. This noble stand taken by arrested the murder of the prisoners. It is here worthy of remark, and we repeat it more in sorrow than in anger, that seventeen preachers of the Gospel were on this court marshal, and horrible to relate were in favor of this merciless sentence. The next morning, the Prisoners were marched under a strong guard to the , the seat of Justice in <​of​> , where they were detained for a week or two, and then marched to where <​was​> encamped with his troops. Here a Court of inquiry <​Examination​> was held before which continued from the 11th to the 28th of November; during which time, these five prisoners were confined in chains with about fifty other Mormon prisoners taken at “;” and were penned up in an open unfinished Court House. [p. 22]
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In this mock court of inquiry the prisoners were deprived of all testimony, by an armed force stationed at the Court House; they being advised by their Attorneys, not to attempt to bring any persons as witnesses in their behalf, as they would certainly be in danger of either losing their lives or of being immediately driven from the . The proceeding was of course exparte, and no testimony <​witnesses​> examined, except that <​those​> against them; and that of a most <​prisoners; consisting of individuals much​> prejudiced character <​against the Mormons.​>. In this inquiry <​During this investigation​> a great many questions were asked relative to our religious opinions. The conclusion of the examining court, was, to commit the prisoners once more to jail on a charge of treason against the .
They do not deem it necessary to detail their sufferings while in prison. The horrors of a gloomy dungeon for four long months, shut up in darkness; exposed to the want of every comfort; and for much of the time to the damp and chilling cold of winter, can better be imagined than described. In the following April the prisoners were brought out from their prison and sent <​ordered​> to the County of for trial. They were there formally indicted for Treason, and a change of venue awarded to . The prisoners were accordingly sent <​under an armed escort,​> to the County of ; and while on their way suffered to escape; when they fled for safety to the state of . That they were purposely suffered to escape, cannot be questioned. The truth is, that many of their persecutors, of whom the was most conspicuous at this time, had become ashamed of their conduct against the Mormons, <​and​> resorted to this subterfuge, as the best means of getting out of the scrape, and consequently <​by​> gave <​giving​> the prisoners this opportunity to escape. In proof of this assertion<​,​> the prisoners have ever since been living publicly in the state of , on the border of ; and the Executive of has as yet made no demand upon the Executive of for their surrender, as is his duty, if they are considered fugitives from justice. Can it be supposed that the people of would thus [p. 23]
[verso of p. 23 blank]
tamely submit to the commission of Treason <​against the ,​> by a portion of their citizens and make no effort to punish the guilty, when they were thus known to be living publicly in an adjoining sister State? Is not this presumptive <​fact,​> evidence of the innocence of the Mormons, and of the guilt of their accusing <​accusors​> and persecutors?
But to return to the military operations of before the town of “”; we need only say, that the exterminating order of was carried into full effect. Immediately after the above named individuals were taken and treated as prisoners of war; all the Mormons in “,” above five hundred in number, surrendered up their arms to the invaders without further resistance. The Mormons now fled in all directions; women and children marked their footsteps <​on the frozen ground​> with blood, it being dead of winter, as they fled from the State of <​and from the merciless hands of their pursuers.​>. The order of the admitted of no discretion, and all were driven from the , who were not destroyed.
Fifteen thousand souls, between the <​time of the​> sacking of “and the following spring, abandoned their homes, and their property, and fled in terror from the Country. The Mormons being thus broken up, and ruined; in want of every necessary of life; <​and​> with <​broken and​> bleeding hearts, sought refuge in the state of , where most of them now reside. Your memorialists will not trespass <​further​> upon your time, by the relation of individual cases of suffering and distress. They would fill volumes, and many of the pages would be stained with the blood of innocent women and children. But what shall they say of the conduct of many of the Militia? Alas! What should <​can​> be said <​in extenuation,​> when humanity would shudder and hide herself in shame, if one half only of the House burnings, destruction of property, robbery, rapes, and murder, should be told? One instance only will they mention of the many trying scenes of blood and rapine that were then & there transacted. Two hundred of the <​’s​> Militia came suddenly upon some Mormon families emigrating to the State of , who had not yet reached the body of the society; and <​were​> encamped at [p. 24]
[verso of p. 24 blank]
in . The Mormons took refuge in an old log house which had been used as a blacksmith shop. On seeing the Militia approach, they cried for quarter; but in vain! They were instantly fired upon, when eighteen of their number fell dead upon the spot. Their murderers then advanced & putting the muzzles of their guns between the logs, fired indiscriminately upon men and children—the living, dying, & <​the​> dead. One little boy, whose father () had just been killed, cried piteously to the Militia to spare his life. The reply was “Kill kill <​him​>,” “Kill him,” (with an oath) “he is the son of a damned Mormon.” He was accordingly shot in the head and fell dead by the side of his father. Just before this little boy was shot, an old man by the name of , a soldier of the revolution, hearing his cries for mercy, came up and begged them to spare his life. <​But instead of listening to his entreaties​> But they hewed him to pieces with an old scythe. They then loaded themselves with plunder and departed <​from this appaling scenes of blood and carnage.​>
Your memorialists have thus, in dis-charge of the duty confided to them by their Brethren, given a brief outline of the history of their wrongs and persecutions in . All which they can prove, and aver to be true.
The Mormons have not provoked these outrages. They have not <​either​> as a body, or as individuals, knowingly violated the laws of , or of the . Their only offence consists in a difference in religious sentiment; and that they have sometimes; but rarely, resorted to the law<​s​> of self defence. The above statement will show, that the Mormons have on all occasions submitted to the laws of the land, and yielded obedience to its authority in every instance; and often at the hazard of both life and property. Whenever they have opposed resistance to the mob, it was only in self defence; and not even then without the authority and sanction of the officers of the law. And what are the wrongs of which they complain? The [p. 25]
[verso of p. 25 blank]
Mormons numbering fifteen thousand souls have been driven from their homes in ; property to the value of two millions of dollars has been taken from them or destroyed; some of their brethren have been murdered; some wounded and others beaten with stripes; the chastity of their wives and daughters inhumanly violated; all driven forth <​as​> wanderers, and many, very many, broken hearted and pennyless. The loss of property they do not so much deplore, as the mental and bodily sufferings to which they have been subjected; and thus far without redress. They are human beings, possessed of human feelings, and human sympathies. Their agony of soul for their suffering women and children was the bitterest drop in the cup of their sorrows. For these wrongs, and sufferings, the Mormons, as American citizens, ask; is there no redress? If so; how and where shall they seek and obtain it? The constitution, you are sworn to support, alike guarrantees to every citizen, the humblest in society, the enjoyment of life, liberty and property. It promises to all, religious freedom; the right to all, of worshipping Almighty God, beneath their own vine and fig tree, according to the dictates of their own consciences. It guarrantees alike, to all the citizens of the several States, the right to become citizens of any one of the States; and to enjoy <​upon their removal​> all the rights and immunities of the Citizens of the state of their adoption. Yet, of all these rights and immunities, the Mormons have been deprived. They have, without a <​just​> cause; without the form of trial; been deprived of life, liberty, and property. They have been persecuted from place to place for their religious opinions. They have been driven from the State of at the point of the bayonet and treated worse than a foreign enemy; <​they have been beaten with stripes as slaves;​> and threatened with destruction if they should ever venture to return. Those, who should have protected them, have become their most relentless persecutors; and what are they <​the Mormons​> to do? It is the theory of our <​Constitution and​> laws, that, for the [p. 26]
[verso of p. 26 blank]
violation of every legal right, there is provided a legal remedy. What then we would respectfully ask, is the remedy for these violations of right in the persons & property of the Mormons? Shall they apply to the Legislature of the State of for redress? They have done so. They have petitioned, and their petitions have been treated with silence and contempt. Shall they apply to the Federal Courts in ? They are not permitted to go there; and their juries would be made up of citizens of that state with all their prejudices against them. And <​But​> if they could apply to the courts of ; whom shall they sue? The final order for their destruction <​expulsion​> and extermination, it is true, was granted <​issued​> by the of the State; but is he amenable? and if so, is he not wholly irresponsible, so far as indemnity is concerned? Will not the great mass of our persecutors justify themselves under that order? For ourselves we see no redress, unless it be awarded by the Congress of the . And here we make our solemn, last appeal, as American citizens—as Christians—and as men. To your decision, favorable or otherwise, we will submit; and if it should unfortunately be against us, we will return to our brethren in silence, and without a murmur; in the full belief, if our grievances do not admit of remedy, that it is not the fault of your honourable Bodies; and that as Christians it is our duty to bear them with patience; until the Great Disposer of all human events shall in his own good time remove us from these persecutions to that promised [p. 27]
[verso of p. 27 blank]
land, “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.”
And your memorialists as in duty bound will ever pray &c——
(Joseph Smith Jr
(
(
(
(January, 27th
(A.D. 1840. [p. 28]
<​26th Cong)​>
<​1. Sess)​>
<​Memorial​>
<​of a Delegation of the ,” commonly called Mormons praying redress for outrages committed on their persons and property by <​the​> citizens and Authorities of the State of .​>
<​1840 Jan 28. Laid on the Table.​>
<​" Feb. 12. Referred to the Com: on the Judiciary​>
<​" March 4. Report.​>
<​.​>

Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    John S. Fullmer handwriting begins.  

  2. 1

    Minutes, 4–5 May 1839; Minutes and Discourses, 5–7 Oct. 1839. The petition draft has “your Honorable Body” instead of “the Congress of the United States.” (JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee, “Petition to United States Congress for Redress,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 1, JS Collection, CHL.)  

  3. 2

    The petition draft includes the phrase “in the far West” without quotation marks, suggesting that the authors were referring to the location of Jackson County relative to other settlements in the United States and not to the Mormon town of Far West. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 1.)  

  4. 3

    The plat for the city of Zion indicated that the Saints intended to build twenty-four temples in the center of that community. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833.)  

  5. 4

    Article 4, section 2, clause 1, of the United States Constitution states that “the Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”  

  6. new scribe logo

    Insertion in the handwriting of first unidentified scribe. The text of this insertion also appears as an insertion in the petition draft, suggesting that Fullmer initially omitted this passage when copying the text into his new draft. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 2.)  

  7. 5

    The petition draft does not include “unmerited and.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 2.)  

  8. 6

    The petition draft does not have “in this enlightened age of the world.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  9. 7

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  10. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink and in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not have the phrase “pregnant with prejudice, oppression and final expulsion or extermination.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  11. 8

    The petition draft does not include “unoffending.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  12. 9

    The petition draft does not include “and abused.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  13. 10

    The petition draft uses the term “Mormons” instead of “Saints.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  14. 11

    In letters, formal petitions, and articles in Missouri newspapers, Mormons and non-Mormons alike recorded more detailed accounts of the actions taken by vigilantes against church members in Jackson County in summer 1833 and of the immediate aftermath of those attacks. (See, for example, Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; “We the Undersigned Citizens of Jackson County,” [July 1833], Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL; “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; and “‘Regulating’ the Mormonites,” Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 9 Aug. 1833, [3].)  

    Partridge, Edward. Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892.

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

    Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1919.

  15. 12

    The petition draft uses the term “mormons” here instead of “Saints.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  16. 13

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this statement. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  17. 14

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this statement. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  18. 15

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this statement. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 3.)  

  19. 16

    The printing press was damaged but not destroyed. It was later used by printers in Liberty, Missouri. (See Historical Introduction to Book of Commandments.)  

  20. 17

    Newel K. Whitney was the other co-owner of the store. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18.)  

  21. 18

    The petition draft here reads “dragged him and his family.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 4.)  

  22. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  23. new scribe logo

    Insertion in the handwriting of first unidentified scribe.  

  24. 19

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “in the most unfeeling manner.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 4.)  

  25. 20

    23 July 1833.  

  26. 21

    20 July 1833.  

  27. 22

    Morley was appointed as an assistant to Partridge, the bishop of the church in Missouri, in 1831. (Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  

  28. 23

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “and for immolation.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 4.)  

  29. 24

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “while depredating upon the persons and property of the ‘Saints.’” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 4.)  

  30. 25

    The Mormons who “offered to surrender up themselves” were John Corrill, Sidney Gilbert, Isaac Morley, Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, and John Whitmer. (“To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; Historical Introduction to Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  31. 26

    See “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; and Historical Introduction to Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  32. 27

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this statement. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 5.)  

  33. 28

    Memorandum of Agreement, 23 July 1833, CHL; see also Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.  

    Memorandum of Agreement, 23 July 1833. CHL.

  34. 29

    John P. Greene described this meeting in a pamphlet he published in 1839. (Greene, Facts relative to the Expulsion, 17.)  

    Greene, John P. Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order.” By John P. Greene, an Authorized Representative of the Mormons. Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839.

  35. 30

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “of the most violent character.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 5.)  

  36. 31

    The petition draft does not include quotation marks around this statement. This alleged statement is also recorded, but not as a quotation, in an 1839 pamphlet published by John P. Greene. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 5; Greene, Facts relative to the Expulsion, 17.)  

    Greene, John P. Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order.” By John P. Greene, an Authorized Representative of the Mormons. Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839.

  37. 32

    Animosity toward the Mormons in Missouri increased at this time in part because several church members declared that they would not keep their promise to leave Jackson County by 1 January 1834 but would instead remain on their land and take up arms in self-defense, if necessary. The animosity also increased because the Saints were preparing legal action against their attackers and making formal requests of the governor and other state leaders for redress. According to John Corrill, many church members considered their earlier agreement “illegal, and not binding, and supposed that the Governor, or authorities, would protect them, if applied to, and not suffer them to be driven off in that manner.” (Corrill, Brief History, 19.)  

  38. 33

    The petition draft does not include “and their weeping daughters brutally abused.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 6.)  

  39. new scribe logo

    Insertion in the handwriting of first unidentified scribe.  

  40. 34

    The abuse of female members of the church by vigilantes referred to here likely included rape. Nineteenth-century Americans were careful with the language they used in discussing sexual assault. They often replaced the word “rape” with euphemisms such as “insulted,” “violated the purity,” “violated the chastity,” “ravished,” or “brutally abused,” and allowed the context in which the phrase was used to convey its true meaning. In published trial transcripts, for instance, the details of sexual assaults were often omitted in an effort not to offend readers with immodest language. In a letter to the Pennsylvania legislature, Sidney Rigdon was more direct and used the term “rape” when listing the crimes of vigilantes in Missouri. (Block, Rape and Sexual Power in Early America, 111–112; Sidney Rigdon, “To the Honorable, the Senate and House of Representatives of Pennsylvania,” Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1844, 5:418–423.)  

    Block, Sharon. Rape and Sexual Power in Early America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  41. 35

    William W. Phelps reported these events to JS in a November 1833 letter. (Letter from William W. Phelps, 6–7 Nov. 1833.)  

  42. 36

    This conflict was later known as the Battle of the Blue. The church member who died was Andrew Barber. The two Missourians killed in this conflict were Thomas Linville and Hugh Breazeale. (Letter from John Corrill, 17 Nov. 1833; JS History, vol. A-1, 369–370; “The Outrage in Jackson County, Missouri,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 118.)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  43. 37

    For an example of news of this conflict spreading to the public outside Jackson County, see Orson Hyde, “Civil War in Jackson County,” Missouri Republican (St. Louis), 12 Nov. 1833, [3].  

    Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1919.

  44. 38

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “without further delay.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 6.)  

  45. 39

    See Corrill, Brief History, 20.  

  46. 40

    The petition draft reads “& prairies” instead of “and on the bleak bosoms of the prairies houseless and unsheltered.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 7.)  

  47. 41

    The petition draft does not include the passage starting “at that critical and trying time” and concluding “as they could assist each other.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 7.)  

  48. 42

    For more on the plight of this group of women and children, see [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 9–11; and Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [2].  

  49. 43

    The petition draft values the property damage at $175,000. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 8.)  

  50. 44

    Beginning in 1820, the United States Congress allowed the sale of public lands for $1.25 an acre in eighty-acre tracts. The passage of the Preemption Act in 1830 permitted the sale of public lands in forty-acre tracts. While some church members purchased tracts of land measuring eighty acres or more, many others purchased tracts measuring forty acres. (Klein, “Missouri Reader: Ownership of the Land under France, Spain, and the United States,” 293–295; Parkin, “History of the Latter-day Saints in Clay County, Missouri,” 202–208, 318–319; see also examples of land deeds for church members in Clay Co., MO, Deed Records, 1822–1890, vols. D, E, and F, microfilms 955,264 and 955,265, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    Klein, Ada Paris, ed. “The Missouri Reader: Ownership of the Land under France, Spain, and United States.” Missouri Historical Review 44, no. 3 (Apr. 1950): 274–294.

    Parkin, Max H. “A History of the Latter-day Saints in Clay County, Missouri, from 1833 to 1837.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1976.

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  51. 45

    The petition draft reads “rapidly” instead of “gradually.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 8.)  

  52. 46

    These resolutions included a request that the Saints who had recently immigrated to Clay County, Missouri, “take measures to leave this county immediately . . . and journey to a more friendly land.” (“Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:353–355.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  53. 47

    The petition draft does not include the word “unoffending.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 9.)  

  54. 48

    On 1 July 1836, a committee of church members met and resolved to leave Clay County. After hearing of the Saints’ agreement to leave, JS and his counselors in the church presidency pleaded for patience in a letter they wrote to the leaders of the Clay County committee of non-Mormons that had passed the resolution asking the Saints to depart. (“Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:359–360; Letter to John Thornton and Others, 25 July 1836.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  55. 49

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “but not without very heavy pecuniary losses and other inconveniences.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 9.)  

  56. 50

    In the petition draft, this clause reads “the sacrifice was made upon the altar of duty, for the peace of the Community.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 9.)  

  57. 51

    The petition draft does not include “and unvarnished.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 10.)  

  58. 52

    The petition draft uses the phrase “the mormons” instead of “their Society.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 10.)  

  59. 53

    The petition draft does not include the passage beginning with “without malice” and ending in “justice to all concerned.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 10.)  

  60. 54

    TEXT: A clerical notation, inserted in the handwriting of third unidentified scribe, reads “[see over]”, indicating to the reader that the paragraph continued on a new page.  

  61. new scribe logo

    John S. Fullmer handwriting ends; third unidentified scribe begins.  

  62. 55

    The church’s critics in Ohio and Missouri cited the fear among non-Mormons that church leaders directed members how to vote, a charge that church leaders publicly denied many times. The month after this memorial was submitted to Congress, Elias Higbee answered a similar charge, arguing that church members were not directed how to vote by their ecclesiastical leaders and that if church members appeared to vote overwhelmingly for one party, it was because they adhered to common principles. Despite these public denials, church leaders at times apparently discussed advising the Saints how to vote. For example, after their meeting with President Martin Van Buren, JS and Higbee told Hyrum Smith privately that the Saints would not be voting for Van Buren in the upcoming presidential election. (“O. P. Q.,” Kirtland, OH, 5 July 1836, Letter to the Editor, Far West [Liberty, MO], 11 Aug. 1836, [1]; Stokes, “Wilson Letters,” 505–506; Letter from Elias Higbee, 22 Feb. 1840; Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 Dec. 1839.)  

    The Far West. Liberty, MO. 1836.

    Stokes, Durward T., ed. “The Wilson Letters, 1835–1849.” Missouri Historical Review 60, no. 4 (July 1966): 495–517.

  63. 56

    Preemption rights were contractual agreements made by the federal government to allow someone to purchase rights to a tract of public land before it became available for purchase. The holder of the preemption rights to a piece of property essentially had the first option to buy the property. (Klein, “Missouri Reader: Ownership of the Land under France, Spain, and the United States,” 294; Walker, “Losing Land Claims and the Missouri Conflict in 1838,” 247–270.)  

    Klein, Ada Paris, ed. “The Missouri Reader: Ownership of the Land under France, Spain, and United States.” Missouri Historical Review 44, no. 3 (Apr. 1950): 274–294.

    Walker, Jeffrey N. “Losing Land Claims and the Missouri Conflict in 1838.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker, and John W. Welch, 247–270. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.

  64. 57

    The phrase “and of their own fixing” is not included in the petition draft. Because the conflict in Missouri occurred right before the land became available for sale, church members claimed that their attackers sought to take away the Saints’ preemption rights for their own economic advantage. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 11; Walker, “Losing Land Claims and the Missouri Conflict in 1838,” 247–270.)  

    Walker, Jeffrey N. “Losing Land Claims and the Missouri Conflict in 1838.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker, and John W. Welch, 247–270. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.

  65. 58

    “Public Meeting,” Far West (Liberty, MO), 25 Aug. 1836, [1]; LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 25–26. Caldwell County, Missouri, was created in 1836 specifically for Mormon settlement. (History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri, 101–105.)  

    The Far West. Liberty, MO. 1836.

    LeSueur, Stephen C. The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987.

    History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri, Written and Compiled from the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources. . . . St. Louis: National Historical Co., 1886.

  66. 59

    In a December 1838 letter to the church, JS criticized the behavior of dissenters from the church in Missouri, who he claimed were motivated by their desire for acclaim and acceptance. He explained how their actions contributed to the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri and claimed that these men would detract from any civilized society. (Letter to the Church in Caldwell Co., MO, 16 Dec. 1838.)  

  67. 60

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “religious, moral, or political.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 11.)  

  68. 61

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “and under all these difficulties.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 12.)  

  69. 62

    “15,000 souls” may refer to the estimated total membership of the church in fall 1838. According to contemporary letters and the estimates of historians, the total number of Saints expelled from Missouri was likely between eight and ten thousand. (Elias Smith, Far West, MO, to Ira Smith, East Stockholm, NY, 11 Mar. 1839, Elias Smith, Papers, CHL; Heber C. Kimball, Far West, MO, to Joseph Fielding, Preston, England, 12 Mar. 1839, typescript, Heber C. Kimball Family Organization, Compilation of Heber C. Kimball Correspondence, 1983, CHL; LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 35–36; Leonard, Nauvoo, 31, 671n33.)  

    Smith, Elias. Correspondence, 1834–1839. In Elias Smith, Papers, 1834–1846. CHL.

    Kimball, Heber C. Correspondence, 1837–1864. Private possession. Copy at CHL.

    LeSueur, Stephen C. The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987.

    Leonard, Glen M. Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, a People of Promise. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book; Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2002.

  70. 63

    According to some of the church’s critics, the settlement of church members in Daviess and Carroll counties violated the terms of an unwritten agreement that designated Caldwell County as a county reserved for the Saints. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, 1:51; “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65; Corrill, Brief History, 26.)  

  71. 64

    The petition draft here reads “the fierce Demon of the Mob drove them forth” instead of “The mob again commenced its devastations, and drove the Mormons forth.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 13.)  

  72. 65

    This election was held in Gallatin, Missouri, on 6 August 1838. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 20.)  

  73. 66

    John D. Lee and Levi Stewart identified William Peniston, a Whig candidate for the state legislature who had previously and unsuccessfully sought the votes of church members, as the inciter of the mob that attempted to prevent Mormons from voting. Lee and Stewart also identified the church member involved in this initial altercation as Samuel Brown and the man who accosted him as longtime Daviess County resident Dick Weldon. (John D. Lee and Levi Stewart, Statements, Aug. 1838, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1860, CHL; John L. Butler, “Short Acount of an Affray,” 1859, CHL.)  

    Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.

    Butler, John L. “A Short Account of an Affray That Took Place betwene the Latter Day Saints and a P[o]rtion of the People of Davis County Mo at an Election Held in Galaton, August 6, 1838,” 1859. CHL. MS 2418.

  74. 67

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “and exposed to great bodily injury.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 13.)  

  75. 68

    The petition draft has “the Mormons were victorious” instead of the passage starting with “being determined, as they said” and ending in “decided on the side of right.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 13.)  

  76. 69

    This account of the fight at the election poll and its aftermath was supported by similar accounts in documents that accompanied the memorial, such as John P. Greene’s Facts relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons and Parley P. Pratt’s History of the Late Persecution. An affidavit JS signed in September 1838, which also contained a summary of this incident, was likely included with the memorial. JS first heard of the violence that broke out at Gallatin on 7 August 1838. (Greene, Facts relative to the Expulsion, 18–19; Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 27–28; Affidavit, 5 Sept. 1838; JS, Journal, 7–9 Aug. 1838.)  

    Greene, John P. Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order.” By John P. Greene, an Authorized Representative of the Mormons. Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839.

  77. 70

    Some of the church members involved in this confrontation with Black drew up a statement that Black refused to sign. He agreed, however, to write and sign his own statement. (JS, Journal, 7–9 Aug. 1838.)  

  78. 71

    Accounts of this meeting with Black recorded in August and September 1838 suggest that in confronting Black, church leaders mainly wanted to get him to promise not to instigate any further violence against the Saints. They made no mention of publishing Black’s statement to calm the public. No instance of the statement being published in print prior to the expulsion of church members from Missouri has been located. (JS, Journal, 7–9 Aug. 1838; Affidavit, 5 Sept. 1838.)  

  79. 72

    The petition draft uses the term “oath” instead of “affidavit.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 15.)  

  80. 73

    Adam Black, Affidavit, Daviess Co., MO, 8 Aug. 1838, in “Public Meeting,” Missouri Republican (St. Louis), 3 Sept. 1838, [2].  

    Daily Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1869.

  81. 74

    King’s 10 August 1838 warrant was based on an affidavit made on the same date by Daviess County resident William Peniston, who accompanied Black to see the judge in Richmond, Missouri. (William Peniston, Affidavit, Ray Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Riot [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], photocopy; Warrant for JS and Lyman Wight, 10 Aug. 1838, State of Missouri v. JS et al. for Riot [Daviess Co. Cir. Ct. 1839], photocopy, Max H Parkin, Collected Missouri Court Documents, CHL.)  

  82. 75

    William Morgan was sheriff of Daviess County. JS recorded accounts of his interactions with Black on this occasion in an affidavit and in his journal. (Affidavit, 5 Sept. 1838; JS, Journal, 7–9 Aug. 1838; Petition, ca. 16 Aug. 1838, George W. Robinson, Papers, CHL.)  

  83. 76

    The petition draft reads “refused to surrender themselves” instead of “refused to be taken.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 15.)  

  84. 77

    The petition draft reads “armed force” instead of “armed party of citizens.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 15.)  

  85. 78

    JS stated that he did not refuse arrest when Morgan arrived at his home to take him to Daviess County to be tried but that he explained to the sheriff that he “wished to be tried in his own County.” Morgan similarly attempted to arrest Wight without success. When Morgan appeared at Wight’s house to serve the warrant, Wight reportedly stated that “the law had never protected him” and “that the whole state of Missouri could not take him.” (JS, Journal, 16–18 Aug. 1838; “Mormonism,” Missouri Republican [St. Louis], 3 Sept. 1838, [2].)  

    Daily Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1869.

  86. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  87. 79

    TEXT: Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  88. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  89. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “unlawfully.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 16.)  

  90. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  91. new scribe logo

    Insertion and cancellation in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  92. 80

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “and before the mob proceeded to extremities.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 16.)  

  93. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  94. 81

    See Recognizance, 7 Sept. 1838.  

  95. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  96. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “acquitted and.”  

  97. 82

    Judge Austin A. King presided at a preliminary hearing held near the Daviess CountyCaldwell County border on 7 September 1838 to evaluate the charges leveled against JS and Lyman Wight by Adam Black and William Peniston. King held that there was sufficient evidence to send the case to a full trial and ordered the prisoners to promise to appear before the next session of the Daviess County Circuit Court. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 16; Recognizance, 7 Sept. 1838.)  

  98. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  99. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  100. 83

    The petition draft does not include “and it could not be forborne.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 16.)  

  101. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  102. 84

    On 2 September 1838, JS and other church leaders called on state militia major general David R. Atchison of Clay County to see if he could stop the hostilities between church members and their fellow Missourians by dispersing the increasing number of vigilantes assembling near church members. (JS, Journal, 2 Sept. 1838.)  

  103. 85

    This phrase in the petition draft reads “that their own men had sympathies with the Mob” and is not enclosed in quotation marks. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 17.)  

  104. 86

    The petition draft does not include “and restoring peace.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 17.)  

  105. 87

    In the correspondence between Atchison, Doniphan, Parks, and other militia leaders at this time, these three generals claimed that as early as 15 September 1838 and several times thereafter, they tried to disperse the mob by sending home vigilantes from adjoining counties. (See, for example, Alexander Doniphan, “Camp on Grand River,” MO, to David Atchison, 15 Sept. 1838, copy; David Atchison, “Grand River,” MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 17 Sept. 1838, copy; David Atchison, Liberty, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 23 Sept. 1838, copy; and Hiram Parks, Millport, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 25 Sept. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  106. 88

    This committee of church members negotiated these purchases with a committee of Daviess County citizens. In his 25 September 1838 report, Brigadier General Hiram Parks indicated that “a committee has been appointed on behalf of the Citizens of Daviess County to meet the Mormons on tomorrow for the purpose of proposing to buy or sell out to them. They will meet at Adam-ondi-Ahmon, where I will attend with a force to ensure tranquillity.” (Hiram Parks, Millport, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 25 Sept. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  107. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  108. 89

    The petition draft does not include quotation marks around this passage. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, pp. 17–18.)  

  109. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  110. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  111. 90

    In the petition draft, this clause reads: “The Horses of the Mormons were stolen and their cattle Killed.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 18.)  

  112. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  113. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  114. 91

    The petition draft does not include “and a want of the necessary supplies of food to support exhausted nature.” JS and other church leaders described the theft of church members’ horses and the theft or slaughter of their pigs in a bill of damages submitted to the state of Missouri. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 18; Bill of Damages, 4 June 1839.)  

  115. 92

    Benjamin Kendrick et al., De Witt, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, Petition, 22 Sept. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  116. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  117. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  118. 93

    The petition draft reads “the Mob” instead of “their besiegers.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 19.)  

  119. 94

    In his Appeal to the American People, Sidney Rigdon similarly mentioned that this woman, whom he did not name, was buried without a coffin. Eyewitnesses reported some of the additional deaths that occurred during the evacuation of De Witt. ([Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 40; see also Judd, Autobiography of Zadoc Knapp Judd, 9; Tarlton Lewis, Statement, 20 May 1879, Historian’s Office, History of Persecutions, 1879–1880, CHL; and Arza Judd Jr., Affidavit, 6 Jan. 1840, Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives, Washington DC.)  

    Judd, Zadoc Knapp. Autobiography of Zadoc Knapp Judd (1827–1909). [Provo, UT]: Brigham Young University Library, 1954. Copy at CHL. MS 4545.

    Historian's Office. History of Persecutions, 1879–1880. CHL.

    Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives / Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on Judiciary during the 27th Congress. Committee on the Judiciary, Petitions and Memorials, 1813–1968. Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–2015. National Archives, Washington DC. The LDS records cited herein are housed in National Archives boxes 40 and 41 of Library of Congress boxes 139–144 in HR27A-G10.1.

  120. 95

    In the petition draft, this phrase reads “The Remnant of mormons of Dewit.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 19.)  

  121. new scribe logo

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  122. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  123. 96

    Woods was a Presbyterian minister living in Carroll County, Missouri, at the time of these conflicts. (JS History, vol. B-1, 835; Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Carroll County, MO, 13.)  

    An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Carroll County, MO: Carefully Compiled from Personal Examinations and Surveys. N.p.: Brink, McDonough and Co., 1876.

  124. 97

    The petition draft does not include quotation marks around this passage and does not contain the portion that reads “that no attention had been paid to their applications for protection.” Woods, along with Joseph Dickson, apparently played a major role in urging militiamen and vigilantes in Carroll County to pursue church members after they had fled from the county. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 19; Sashel Woods and Joseph Dickson, Carrollton, MO, to [John B. Clark], 24 Oct. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  125. 98

    James Dunn and Amasa Lyman. (Amasa Lyman, Affidavit, in “To the Publick,” ca. Sept. 1838–ca. Oct. 1839, draft, JS Collection, CHL.)  

  126. 99

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this phrase. This sentence also appears with almost identical language—but without underlining or quotation marks—in Sidney Rigdon’s An Appeal to the American People. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 20; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 76.)  

  127. 100

    The petition draft does not include “in the performance of their duty.” Between 2 and 6 October 1838, Henry Root left De Witt undetected by the town’s besiegers and traveled to Richmond, Missouri, to appeal to King. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 20; John Murdock, Affidavit, 10 Jan. 1840, Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives, Washington DC; Taylor, Short Account, 3.)  

    Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives / Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on Judiciary during the 27th Congress. Committee on the Judiciary, Petitions and Memorials, 1813–1968. Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–2015. National Archives, Washington DC. The LDS records cited herein are housed in National Archives boxes 40 and 41 of Library of Congress boxes 139–144 in HR27A-G10.1.

    Scott, Franklin William. Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814–1879. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910.Taylor, John. A Short Account of the Murders, Roberies, Burnings, Thefts, and Other Outrages Committed by the Mob and Militia of the State of Missouri, Upon the Latter Day Saints. Springfield, IL: By the author, 1839.

  128. 101

    David R. Atchison, Booneville, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 5 Oct. 1838, copy; Hiram Parks, “5 Miles from Dewit,” MO, to David R. Atchison, 7 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  129. 102

    In this instance and throughout the remainder of this document, the town name of Far West is enclosed in quotation marks. In each of these instances, the petition draft does not include quotation marks around the place name. (See JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 21.)  

  130. new scribe logo

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  131. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  132. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  133. 103

    The petition draft uses the phrase “commenced its oporations there” instead of “commenced their work of destruction.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 22.)  

  134. 104

    The husband and wife mentioned here were Don Carlos Smith and Agnes Coolbrith Smith. Don Carlos was traveling in Tennessee and Kentucky trying “to collect means to buy out the claims and property of the Mobbers in Davies County.” (Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 6; Lyman Wight, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 15–16, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; JS History, vol. C-1 Addenda Book, 13.)  

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

  135. 105

    The petition draft reads: “When the house was burned down the wife and the two small children were turned out in the snow.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 22.)  

  136. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  137. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  138. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include the phrase “and a member of the Mormon society.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  139. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “if necessary.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  140. 106

    In his bill of damages, JS recorded a similar account of Parks directing Wight to give battle to the vigilantes, but that account did not include Parks’s assertion that the vigilantes would only stop harassing the Saints once the Saints routed them in an armed conflict. (Bill of Damages, 4 June 1839.)  

  141. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “a Mormon officer.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  142. 107

    The petition draft has “the Mob” instead of “injury.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  143. 108

    The petition draft adds “and unprotected” here. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  144. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  145. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  146. 109

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “and that the Mormons would be suffered to rest in peace.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 23.)  

  147. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  148. 110

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this phrase. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 24.)  

  149. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  150. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  151. 111

    The petition draft does not include “from the threatened destruction.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 24.)  

  152. 112

    The petition draft uses the phrase “where the first disturbance had commenced” instead of “where the first ravages had been committed.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 24.)  

  153. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. An unsigned letter in the Nashville Whig reprinted by the American Anti-Slavery Society reported that the mob forced “fifteen or twenty Mormon girls” in Far West “to yield to their brutal passions!!!” In 1843 Hyrum Smith testified before the Nauvoo Municipal Court that some of the vigilantes who perpetrated violence against church members in Missouri boasted that they “lashed one woman upon one of the damned Mormon meeting benches, tying her hands and her feet fast and sixteen of them abused her as much as they had a mind to & then left her bound & exposed in that distressed condition.” (American Anti-Slavery Society, American Slavery as It Is, 192; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 24, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

    American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses. New York: American Anti- Slavery Society, 1839.

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

  154. 113

    According to Parley P. Pratt, three church members died as a result of this battle. Gideon Carter died during the skirmish, and David W. Patten and Patrick (Patterson) Obanion died shortly thereafter from wounds sustained during the fight. (Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 35–36.)  

  155. new scribe logo

    Insertions in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft here reads “whereas the above facts shew that they were injured popple [people], standing up in the defence of their persons and their property.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  156. 114

    The petition draft does not include this sentence. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  157. 115

    The petition draft does not include “the bloody.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  158. new scribe logo

    Cancellation, insertion, and underlining in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  159. 116

    TEXT: Cancellation and underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include underlining or a quotation mark. The exact language of this portion of Governor Lilburn W. Boggs’s order reads: “The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace their outrages are beyond all description.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25; Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  160. 117

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “against the Mormons.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  161. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “without molestation, and without seeing an enemy on the way.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  162. 118

    The petition draft reads “with another formidable force” instead of “with the residue of the army.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 25.)  

  163. 119

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “upon their borders.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  164. 120

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “in advance of their village.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  165. 121

    The petition draft reads “at their hands” instead of “under such appaling circumstances.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  166. 122

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “upon our peaceful village.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  167. 123

    Hyrum Smith later recalled that these three persons were Adam Lightner; his sister, Lydia Lightner Cleminson; and his brother-in-law, John Cleminson. The reason that the militia demanded these individuals is unclear, but it may have been to protect Adam Lightner—who was not a member of the church and may have had friends among the vigilantes—and his family members. (Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, p. 8, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

  168. 124

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this statement. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  169. 125

    The petition draft reads “The Citizens also of Far West” instead of “The Mormons of ‘Far West.’” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  170. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include this inserted phrase. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “forlorn hope” could mean “a picked body of men, detached to the front to begin the attack.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26; “Forlorn hope,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 4:458.)  

    Oxford English Dictionary. Compact ed. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

  171. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  172. 126

    The petition draft does not include the passage beginning “now perceiving” and ending with “on one side only.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  173. 127

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this phrase and instead reads “to massacre them or to drive them from the State.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  174. 128

    The petition draft does not include “and had been officially promulgated.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 26.)  

  175. 129

    The petition draft uses the word “faith” instead of “honor.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  176. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include the word “besiegers.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  177. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  178. 130

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around this phrase. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  179. 131

    The petition draft does not include “who had thus trusted their lives to the honor of the Governor’s officers.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  180. 132

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  181. 133

    The petition draft uses the term “order” instead of “sentence.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  182. 134

    The petition draft does not include “and we repeat it more in sorrow than in anger.” JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  183. 135

    The petition draft does not include “and horrible to relate.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 27.)  

  184. 136

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. No extant source verifies the number of Protestant ministers who participated on this court-martial, but in several instances church members recorded that Protestant ministers were prominent inciters of the violence perpetrated against the Saints in Missouri.  

  185. new scribe logo

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  186. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  187. 137

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  188. 138

    Several of the letters and legal documents that church leaders created at this time described the movement and conditions of this group of prisoners. (Letter to the Citizens of Jackson Co., MO, 5 Nov. 1838; Letter to Emma Smith, 1 Dec. 1838; Petition to George Tompkins, between 9 and 15 Mar. 1839.)  

  189. 139

    Hyrum Smith later stated that, following King’s instructions, the prisoners identified forty potential defense witnesses. Although the judge apparently subpoenaed these individuals, only seven witnesses ultimately testified for the defense. Multiple church members described officers of the court harassing witnesses or not permitting them to testify. (Hyrum Smith, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 18–20; Parley P. Pratt, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 7–8; George Pitkin, Testimony, Nauvoo, IL, 1 July 1843, pp. 1–2, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; Murdock, Journal, 105–106; Testimonies of Malinda Porter, Delia F. Pine, Nancy Rigdon, Jonathan W. Barlow, Thorit Parsons, Ezra Chipman, and Arza Judd Jr., Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in Document Containing the Correspondence, 148–149, 151.)  

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

    Murdock, John. Journal, ca. 1830–1859. John Murdock, Journal and Autobiography, ca. 1830–1867. CHL. MS 1194, fd. 2.

  190. 140

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  191. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  192. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  193. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “consisting of individuals much prejudiced against the Mormons.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 28.)  

  194. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  195. 141

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “against the state.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 28.)  

  196. 142

    The petition draft uses the term “Prison” instead of “gloomy dungeon.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 28.)  

  197. 143

    During their incarceration, JS, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, Caleb Baldwin, and Sidney Rigdon spent much time in a dungeon-like room on the lower level of the jailhouse in Liberty, Missouri. Rigdon departed on bail in early February 1839, and the other five prisoners were incarcerated there until early April 1839. (Jessee, “‘Walls, Grates, and Screeking Iron Doors’: The Prison Experience of Mormon Leaders in Missouri,” 19–42; Historical Introduction to Petition to George Tompkins, between 9 and 15 Mar. 1839; Promissory Note to John Brassfield, 16 Apr. 1839.)  

    Jessee, Dean C. “‘Walls, Grates and Screeking Iron Doors’: The Prison Experiences of Mormon Leaders in Missouri, 1838–1839.” In New Views of Mormon History: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Leonard J. Arrington, edited by Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, 19–42. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987.

  198. new scribe logo

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  199. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  200. 144

    The prisoners escaped on 16 April 1839. (Historical Introduction to Promissory Note to John Brassfield, 16 Apr. 1839.)  

  201. 145

    The petition draft reads “the State of Missouri” instead of “their persecutors, of whom the Governor was most conspicuous at this time.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 29.)  

  202. new scribe logo

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  203. new scribe logo

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  204. 146

    The petition draft does not include “on the border of Missouri.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 29.)  

  205. 147

    The petition draft does not include “as is his duty, if they are considered fugitives from justice.” In June 1839, Missouri officials initiated extradition proceedings against JS and the other Mormon escapees, but as of January 1840 and for unknown reasons, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs had not formally requested JS’s extradition. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 29; Thomas C. Burch, Keytesville, MO, to James L. Minor, Jefferson City, MO, 24 June 1839, Mormon Collection, 1813–1970, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis.)  

    Burch, Thomas C. Letter, Keytesville, MO, to James L. Minor, Jefferson City, MO, 24 June 1839. Mormons Collection. Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.

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  207. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  208. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  209. 148

    TEXT: Underlining in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  210. 149

    The petition draft uses the word “militia” instead of “invaders.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 30.)  

  211. new scribe logo

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  212. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “and from the merciless hands of their pursuers.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 30.)  

  213. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  214. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertions in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  215. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  216. 150

    The petition draft does not include “and many of the pages would be stained with the blood of innocent women and children.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 31.)  

  217. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  218. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  219. 151

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “of blood and rapine.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 31.)  

  220. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include the word “Governor’s.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 31.)  

  221. 152

    The petition draft does not include “who had not yet reached the body of the society.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 31.)  

  222. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  223. 153

    A compilation of surviving accounts and evidence of the massacre at Hawn’s Mill lists by name fifty-seven members of this larger group of militiamen. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” appendix I.)  

    Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996. Also available as A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000).

  224. 154

    Anti-Mormon vigilantes attacked the small Mormon settlement at Hawn’s Mill on 30 October 1838. Ten Latter-day Saint men and boys were killed in the massacre, and another seven were fatally wounded. (See Baugh, “Call to Arms,” appendix J.)  

    Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996. Also available as A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000).

  225. 155

    Sardius Smith, age ten. (Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 283, 425–426.)  

    Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996. Also available as A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000).

  226. 156

    TEXT: Underlining to this point in the sentence in blue ink, suggesting the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  227. 157

    The petition draft does not include underlining or quotation marks around these statements. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 32.)  

  228. 158

    Born in 1776, Thomas McBride was not a veteran of the Revolutionary War. (McBride, Autobiography, 17, 29–30.)  

    McBride, James. Autobiography, 1874–1876. Microfilm. CHL. MS 8201.

  229. new scribe logo

    Insertion and cancellation in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  230. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe. The petition draft does not include “from this appaling scene of blood and carnage.” Sidney Rigdon published in a pamphlet a more detailed contemporary account of the attack on Hawn’s Mill, which included a statement of eyewitnesses. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 32; [Rigdon], Appeal to the American People, 51–56.)  

  231. 159

    The petition draft does not include “in dis-charge of the duty confided to them by their Brethren.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 32.)  

  232. 160

    The proof to which this sentence refers is likely the affidavits church leaders had collected and were still collecting.  

  233. 161

    The petition draft does not include this sentence. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 32.)  

  234. 162

    Church leaders had previously addressed allegations that they directed church members to steal from their neighbors or to willfully act against the laws of the state of Missouri. In October 1838, church members organized into companies and attacked places that harbored anti-Mormon vigilantes. Some confiscated vigilantes’ corn, cattle, and hogs for the Saints’ use. Church members defended the practice as in keeping with generally accepted practices of war. (Foote, Autobiography, 30; Petition to George Tompkins, between 9 and 15 Mar. 1839; Bill of Damages, 4 June 1839.)  

    Foote, Warren. Autobiography, not before 1903. Warren Foote, Papers, 1837–1941. CHL. MS 1123, fd. 1.

  235. 163

    The petition draft does not include “and that they have sometimes; but rarely, resorted to the laws of self defence.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 33.)  

  236. 164

    The petition draft does not include this sentence. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 33.)  

  237. 165

    See Thomas Bullock, “Bills,” Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL.  

    Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845. CHL. MS 2703.

  238. 166

    According to a report of the conflict that General John B. Clark sent to Boggs, “The whole number of Mormons killed through the whole difficulty as far as I can ascertain are about forty and several wounded.” (John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.)  

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  239. 167

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “the chastity of their wives and daughters inhumanly violated.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 33.)  

  240. 168

    The petition draft does not include “and many, very many, broken hearted and pennyless.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 33.)  

  241. 169

    In the petition draft, this sentence reads: “But the loss of property does not comprise half their sufferings.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 33.)  

  242. 170

    This phrase in the petition draft reads “Your Constitution” without the added statement “you are sworn to support.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 34.)  

  243. 171

    The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that citizens shall not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”  

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  245. new scribe logo

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  246. new scribe logo

    Insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  247. new scribe logo

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  248. 172

    The petition draft does not include the phrase beginning with “and treated worse than a foreign enemy;” and ending in “what are the Mormons to do?” Instead, at this point the petition draft reads: “and prevented from enjoying and exercising the rights of Citizens of the state of Missouri.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 34.)  

  249. 173

    The petition draft does not include this insertion. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 34.)  

  250. 174

    The right of access to the courts is presumed in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Missouri’s constitution explicitly guaranteed the people’s right “to apply to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, by petition or remonstrance.” (U.S. Constitution, amend. V; Missouri Constitution of 1820, art. 13, sec. 3.)  

  251. 175

    Edward Partridge et al., Petition, 10 Dec. 1838, copy, Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL.  

    Partridge, Edward. Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892.

  252. 176

    The petition draft does not include the phrase “in Missouri.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 35.)  

  253. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  254. 177

    The petition draft does not include the word “final” in this sentence. (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 35.)  

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  256. new scribe logo

    Cancellation and insertion in blue ink in the handwriting of second unidentified scribe.  

  257. 178

    From this point on, the text of this document is not included in the petition draft. That draft closes: “Is not this a place of justification [for the] acts of i[n]dividuals done in pursuance of that order? If not before whom shall the mormons institute a trial? Should they summon a Jury of the individuals who composed the Mob An appeal to them were in vain. They dare [not] go to Missouri to institute a suit. Their lives would be in danger.” (JS et al., “Petition,” ca. 29 Nov. 1839, p. 35.)  

  258. 179

    “The Great Disposer of All Human Events” was a common reference to God in seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century America. The name was commonly used to imply that God had a plan for America—the land and its people—that would unfold along a divinely ordained timetable. (McBride, Pulpit and Nation, 24–26; Guyatt, Providence and the Invention of the United States, 37–38.)  

    McBride, Spencer W. Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017.

    Guyatt, Nicholas. Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607–1876. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

  259. 180

    See Job 3:17.  

  260. new scribe logo

    Third unidentified scribe handwriting ends; fourth unidentified scribe begins.  

  261. 181

    TEXT: Underlining in graphite.  

  262. 182

    TEXT: Underlining in graphite.