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Springfield, Sangamon Co.

The Sangamo Journal
1831-1838 Articles

Sangamon Co., & vicinity NW to Venus (Nauvoo) mid 1830s

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S. &. J. Francis.                Springfield IL., November 10, 1831.                Vol. 1. - No. 1.


The fact that a sect of fanatics, calling themselves Mormonites, have sprung up and extended themselves in the western part of New York and the eastern part of Ohio, is partially known to our readers. The origin, character and numbers of this sect have not yet been noticed in the Gazette, and, it seems proper now to notice them.

The ostensible founder of this fanaticism is a man of the name of Joseph Smith, an indolent, ignorant, careless shiftless fellow in the commencement of life. His father, named Joseph Smith also, in his early days had been a country Pedlar in New England, and subsequently a manufacturer and vendor of gingerbread, in a small way, in Manchester, N. Y. Some years ago these two, father and son, conceived that money was buried in the earth between Lake Canandaigua and Palmyra on the Erie Canal, and they commenced digging to find it, in company with several persons whom they persuaded to join them. After a time they engaged a man who resided near Paynesville Ohio, to assist and instruct them, under the persuasion that he possessed eminent skill in money finding. He had been a preacher of several sects in religion, was a shrewd cunning man, of considerable talent and great plausibility. Under his direction the digging for money was again commenced, and the younger Smith gave out that he had found a set of golden plates, concealed in an iron chest, and buried in the earth, upon which was engraved the book of Mormon. By a special inspiration of God the younger Smith was enabled to translate the engravings upon these plates into English, and having made a convert of an individual of the name of Harris, who had some property, he mortgaged his farm, and raised money to defray the expense of printing it, and it was accordingly published in Palmyra, New York, making a duodecimo volume of respectable size.

The book is supposed to have been written by an ex-preacher, whose name is given as Henry Rangdon, or Ringdon. After the publication of the book, the younger Smith began to exhibit himself as a prophet divinely inspired. He prayed, preached, and made converts. He "put money in his purse," and in consequence of a divine revelation, removed with his converts to the neighborhood of Painesville, Ohio. Here his converts increased rapidly, and recently a company of about one hundred immigrated from that place to some promised land upon the Missouri, taking with [them?] their common means, their religious instructors, and their Mormon Bibles. These people were of the laboring and farming classes, appeared to be decent and respectable. Though coarsely dressed, their clothes were clean and whole, and their demeanor was quiet and devout. Part of them remained in the neighborhood of Painesville, where it is understood they continue to make converts. The last heard from the Missouri immigrants was, that they were at some loss to find the promised land. They maintain a community of property, and repose their religious faith upon the book of Mormon as their bible, and the dogmas of their Prophets. The book is a cunningly devised tissue of incongruities, adapted to vulgar prejudice, and written in imitation of the style of the Scriptures, and contains frequent allusions to scripture history and dictrines. It is a singular proof of the proneness of the human heart to idolatry, that such a gross and absurd imposition should find disciples, in the midst of the religious light that is spread abroad and every where surrounds us, in this country. It ought to admonish every teacher of religion, who feels himself affected by a fiery zeal, whether of exclusive orthodoxy or of diffusive schism, to be beware that he does not also become a fanatic.

Note 1: This article was reprinted from a yet to be located issue of the Cincinnati Gazette published in late September, 1831.

Note 2: The Sangamon Journal masthead was changed early in 1832 to read, "Sangamo Journal." It is by the latter name that the newspaper is most commonly cited.


Vol. I.                       Springfield, Illinois,  January 5, 1832                       No. 9.


The Mormon delusion. -- By information from the west, some are falling off, as well as others uniting with Joe Smith, the head man from Palmyra. One who has lately left them by the name of Henry [sic - Erza?] Booth, of Portage county, Ohio, is publishing in the Ohio Star an expose of their diabolical pretensions and impositions. They pretend an ability, as in ancient times, to speak with tongues; and that Smith is able to hold converse with celestial spirits whenever he pleases. One of them pretends to have received a commission to preach the gospel, directly from heaven on a piece of parchment; another to have received his on the palm of his hand; and witnesses are found to attest to these lies. Visions are in great repute. One who has seen the New Jerusalem, and passed through its apartments, &c. The ten tribes of Israel are locked up, they say, by the ice of the North Pole, where they enjoy the society of Elisha and John; and by and by the ice is to give way, and then they are to return to their own land. Such are some of their absurdities which this young man is exposing.
            N. Y. Baptist Register.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Springfield, Illinois,  July 5, 1832                           No. 35.


The Mormons. -- A band of thirty or forty pilgrims of this delectable sect, men women and children, passed through this county a few days since, on their way to the "promised land," in Jackson county, Missouri. -- It appears that the "promised land" is continually continually received [sic - receiving?] emigrants of this description. "The Evening and Morning Star," a monthly paper, devoted to the dissemination of their tenets, has already been issued. We extract the following paragraphs from the first number:

"As the public seem somewhat astonished, that we, among all the light of this century, should have "sacred records which have slept for ages" to publish, it is our duty to say, that we shall take an extract from The Prophecy of Enoch, for our second No. -- Jude spake of this prophet in the 14th verse of his epistle. There are too many books mentioned and missing in the Bible, for any one to query about more sacred records.

"The Star office is situated within twelve miles of the west line of the State of Missouri: which at present, is the western boundary of the United States, and about 120 miles west of any press in the State -- in about 39 degrees of north latitude, and about 17 1/4 degrees of west longitude; 2 1/4 miles south of Missouri river; 280 miles by land, or 500 by water west of St. Louis; nearly 1200 west of Washington; 1300 from New York, and more than 1500 from Boston.

"Early in May, Capt. Bonaville's Company (150) under the command of capt. Walker passed this town, on its way to the Rocky mountains, to trap and hunt for fur in the vast country of the Black Feet Indians. About the middle of May, captain Sublett's company, (70) passed for the Rocky mountains, on the same business; at which time, also, capt. Wythe, of Mass. with a Company of 30 passed for the mouth of Oregon river to prepare (as said) for settling a territory. During the month of May there also passed one company bound to Santa Fe. About the 8th or 9th of this month capt. Blackwell's company, (60 or 70) passed this place, for the Rocky mountains, in addition."

Note: The identity of the party of Mormons that passed through Springfield, Illinois at the end of June, 1832 remains unknown. Possibly this was the same wagon train reported by the Palmyra Missouri Courier in August or September of that same year. These travelers were perhaps a party of saints led by David Whitmer. He moved his family west, from Seneca Co., New York during the summer of 1832, arriving in "Zion" on or before Oct. 5, 1832.


Vol. II.                           Springfield, Illinois,  April 6, 1833.                           No. 74.


THE MANDANS. -- Some [fifteen] hundred miles up the river Missouri [above] the Mormons, will be found the Mandans. These people, as well as [their] neighbors below them, have some very peculiar religious notions. Mr. Catlin, who visited them the last [summer] has given very interesting accounts of their religious ceremonies, [-------], and traditions...

Note: At this period many armchair historians and popular speculators believed that the Mandan Indians might be the descendants of early Welsh travelers to North America. The Mormons, on the other hand, probably viewed their distant Indian neighbors as descendants of the Israelites.


Vol. II.                       Springfield, Illinois,  August 17, 1833.                       No. 93.

                      From the Western Monitor.


At a meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, Missouri, called for the purpose of adopting measures to rid themselves of the set of Fanatics called Mormons, held at Independence on the 20th day of July, 1833, which meeting was composed of gentlemen from every part of the county, there being present between four and five hundred persons.

The meeting was organized by calling Col. Richard Simpson to the chair, and appointing Jonas H. Flournoy and Col. Samuel D. Lucas secretaries. It was resolved that a committee of seven be appointed to report an address to the public, in relation to the object of this meeting, and the chair named the following gentlemen, to wit: Russel Hicks, Robert Johnston, Henry Chiles, Esq., Col. James Hambright, Thomas Hudspeth, Joel F. Chiles, and James M. Hunter. The meeting then adjourned for a time, and convened again, when Robert Johnston, the chairman of said committee, submitted for the consideration of the meeting, the following


This meeting, professing to act, not from the excitement of the moment, but under a deep and abiding conviction that the occasion is one that calls for cool deliberation, as well as energetic action, deem it proper to lay before the public an expose of our peculiar situation, in regard to this singular sect of pretended christians, and a solemn declaration of our unalterable determination to amend it.

The evil is one that no one could have foreseen, and is therefore unprovided for by the laws, and the delays incident to legislation, would put the mischief beyond remedy.

But little more than two years ago, some two or three of this people made their appearance in the Upper Missouri, and they now number some 1200 souls in this county, and each successive autumn and spring pours forth its swarms among us, with a gradual falling of the character of those who compose them; until it seems that those communities from which they come, were flooding us with the very dregs of their composition. Elevated as they mostly are, but little above the condition of our blacks, either in regard to property or education, they have become a subject of much anxiety on that part, serious and well grounded complaints having been already made of their corrupting influence on our slaves.

We are daily told, and not by the ignorant alone, but by all classes of them, that we, (the Gentiles,) of this county are to be cut off, and our lands appropriated by them for inheritances. Whether this is to be accomplished by the hand of the destroying Angel, the judgments of God, or the arm of power, they are not fully agreed among themselves.

Some recent remarks in the "Evening and Morning Star," their organ in this place, by their tendency to moderate such hopes and repress such desires, show plainly that many of this deluded and infatuated people have been taught to believe that our lands were to be won from us by the sword. From this same "Star" we learn that for want of more honest or commendable employment, many of their society are now preaching through the states of New York, Ohio, and Illinois, and that their numbers are increasing beyond every rational calculation; all of whom are required as soon as convenient, to come up to Zion, which name they have thought proper to confer on our little village. Most of those who have already come, are characterized by the profoundest ignorance, the grossest superstition, and the most abject poverty. Indeed, it is a subject of regret by the "Star" itself, that they have come not only unable to buy an inheritance, which means some fifteen acres of wild land for each family, but destitute of the means of procuring bread and meat. When we reflect on the extensive field in which the sect is operating, and that there exists in every country a leaven of superstition that embraces with avidity, notions the most extravagant and unheard of, and that whatever can be gleaned by them from the perils of vice, and the abodes of ignorance, it is to be cast like a Waif into our social circle, it requires no gift of prophecy to tell that the day is not far distant when the civil government of the county will be in their hands. When the Sheriff, the Justices, and the County Judges will be Mormons, or persons wishing to court their favor from motives of interest or ambition. What would be the fate of our lives and property, in the hands of jurors and witnesses, who do not blush to declare, and would not upon occasion hesitate to swear that they have wrought miracles, and have been the subjects of miraculous and supernatural cures; have converse with God and his Angels, and possess and exercise the gift of Divination and of unknown tongues, and fired with the prospect of obtaining inheritances without money and without price, may be better imagined than described.

One of the means resorted to by them, in order to drive us to emigrate, is an indirect invitation to the free brethren of color in Illinois to come up like the rest to the land of Zion. True, they say this was not intended to invite, but to prevent their emigration; but this weak attempt to quiet our apprehension, is but a poor compliment to our understandings. The article alluded to, contained an extract from our laws, and all necessary directions and cautions to be observed by colored brethren, to enable them upon their arrival here, to claim and exercise the rights of citizenship. Cotemporaneous with the appearance of this article, was the expectation among the brethren here, that a considerable number of this degraded cast were only awaiting this information before they should set out on their journey. With the corrupting influence of these on our slaves, and the stench both physical and moral, that their introduction would set afloat in our social atmosphere, and the vexation that would attend the civil rule of these fanatics, it would require neither a visit from the destroying Angel, nor the judgments of an offended God to render our situation here insupportable. --

True, it may be said, and truly no doubt, that the fate that has marked the rise and fall of Joanna Southcote and Ann Lee, will also attend the progress of Jo. Smith; but this is no opiate to our fears, for when the fabric falls, the rubbish will remain.

Of their pretended revelations from Heaven -- their personal intercourse with God and his Angels -- the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands -- and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the sabbath, and which they dignify with the appellation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say, vengeance belongs to God alone. But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful county, at once to declare, and we do hereby most solemnly declare,

1. That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this country.

2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.

3. That the editor of the "Star" be required forthwith to close his office, and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.

4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisition.

5. That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and of unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them.

Which address being read and considered, was unanimously adopted. And thereupon it was resolved that a committee of twelve be appointed forthwith to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal, that said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform them that it is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest considerations of all the consequences and responsibilities under which we act, to use such means as shall insure their full and complete adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be in their power, report to this present meeting. -- And the following gentlemen were named as said committee; Robert Johnson, James Campbell, Col. Moses Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, Hon. Richard Fristoe, [Capt.] Abner F. Staples, G[en]. Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russell Hicks, esq., Col. S[amuel] D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson, and Jas. M. Hunter, to whom was added Col. R[ichard] Simpson, chairman.

After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the editor of the "Star," Edward Partridge, the bishop of the sect, and Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store-house, and some others, and they declined giving any direct answer to the requisitions made of them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only with their brethren here, but in Ohio.

Whereupon, it was unanimously resolved by the meeting, that the "Star" printing office should be razed to the ground, the type and press secured. Which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least noise and disturbance possible, forthwith carried into execution, as also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled, nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned till the 23d instant, to meet again to know the further determination of the Mormons.

Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings be posted up at the post office in this place, for the information of all concerned, and that the Secretaries of this meeting send copies of the same to the principal editors in the eastern and middle States for publication, that the Mormon brethren at a distance may know that the gates of Zion are closed against them -- that their interests will be best promoted by remaining among those who know and appreciate their merits.     (Signed)
                  RICHARD SIMPSON, Ch'm.
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.

The citizens again convened on the 23d day of of July, 1833, which was composed of gentlemen from all parts of the county, and much more unanimously attended than the meeting of the 20th instant.

The meeting was organized by the chairman taking his seat, when the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, to wit: Henry Chiles, Esq., Dr. N. K. Olmstead, H. L. Brazile, Esq., Zachariah Waller, Samuel Weston, Esq., George Simpson, Capt. Nenjamin Majors, James C. Saddler, Col. Wm. Bowers, Henry Younger, Russel Hicks, Esq., Aaron Overton, John Harris, and Harmon Gregg, to wait upon the Mormon leaders, who had intimated a wish to have a conference with said committee. -- After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, when the committee reported to the meeting that they had waited on most of the Mormon leaders, consisting of the bishop, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Phelps, editor of the "Star," Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's store house, and Messrs. Carol, Whitmer and Moseley, elders of the church, and that the said committee have assured Mr. Phelps that whenever he was ready to move, that the amount of all his losses should be paid to him by the citizens. The written agreement is as follows:

"Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon society, in Jackson county Missouri, and a committee appointed by a public meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23d day of July, 1833.

It is understood that the undersigned, members of the society, do give their solemn pledges each for himself, as follows, to wit:

That Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Wm. McClelland, Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, shall remove with their families out of this county, on or before the first day of January next; and that they, as well as the two hereinafter named, use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here to remove as soon as possible -- one half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the first day of April next. To advise and try all means in their power to stop any more of their sect from moving to this county; and as to those now on the road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling permanently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for temporary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society. John Carrol and Algernon Gilbert are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as necessity shall require; and said Gilbert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new importation.

The "Star" is not again to be published, nor a press set up by any of the society in this county.

If the said Edward Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families by the first day of January as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business.

The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent any violence being used, so long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned, to which agreement is subscribed the names of the above named committee, as also those of the Mormon brethren named in the report as having been present.

Which report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the meeting, and thereupon the meeting adjourned sine die.
                  RICHARD SIMPSON, Ch'man.
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.

Note: Different versions of the above article were published in numerous U. S. newspapers during the fall of 1833. This reprint, derived from the original report in the Missouri Western Monitor of c. Aug. 9, 1833, is thought to be the most complete and accurate of all known texts. For a very similar text see the reprint carried by the Columbia Missouri Intelligencer on Aug. 10, 1833.


Vol. II.                       Springfield, Illinois, November 2, 1833.                       No. 104.


Companies of Mormons continue to pass through this State for "Mount Zion." One would suppose that the late events at Zion would cool the zeal of the new converts. But it is not so. It is given out that one of the prophets, some two years since, foretold the destruction of Zion, and the fulfilment of his prediction is regarded as conclusive evidence of the Divine character of the new religion. One of the Mormons on being required to point out another prophecy and its fulfilment, stated that about one year ago a Mormon prophet visited Cincinnati, and foretold the destruction of that city; and he had lately seen a person direct from Cincinnati, who informed him that the cholera and small pox had carried off nearly all the inhabitants of that city!!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                         Springfield, Illinois, Sat., November 16, 1833.                         No. 106.


The St. Louis Republican of Tuesday contains an account of a series of affrays in Jackson County, Missouri, between citizens of that County and the Mormons, in which between twenty and thorty citizens and several Mormons were KILLED. The Mormons, according to the account, acted only on the defensive. At the date of the last accounts there was a tremendous excitement in the county. No one could calculate the issue of it. Among the persons killed were some of the most respectable citizens.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Springfield, Illinois,  November 23, 1833.                           No. 107.


From the St. Louis Republican of Nov. 12.

(view original article, Hyde letter, etc.)

From the St. Louis Republican of Nov. 15.

(view original article)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                       Springfield, Illinois,  December 7, 1833.                       No. 109.

(From the Missouri Monitor.)

The Mormons. -- To prevent misrepresentation, and to do justice to a portion of the people of Jackson county, is the great object of this article.

We were in error when we represented that no lives had been lost in the conflict which has given rise to much speculation and apparent commisseration. The Mormons, about seventy in number, cowardly killed two, and wounded two or three others, of seventeen citizens of Jackson county, who visited their settlement, not for the purpose of committing depredations, but to make arrangements and come to some understanding in relation to their covenant to leave the county. After the first fire, which was ineffectual, and which proceeded from the Mormons, the lamented Brazeale, ascended an eminence, and distinctly proclaimed peace. From that eminence, and with these words in his mouth, he was shot! For a moment the conflict was general, but the people of Jackson, discovering their utter want of numbers, fled for safety. Preparations were then made, under the excitement of the moment, for an exterminating conflict; and this preparation was common to both parties. What would have been the result, it is impossible to conjecture. Fortunately for the community, and those concerned, the Lieutenant Governor issued some description of order, or request, which induced the Mormons to ground their arms and leave the county. We understand that a portion of the Militia are ordered by the Governor to stand in readiness, for any emergency, and have heard that the Mormons demanded to be reinstated in their possessions and 'New Jerusalem.' This is undoubtedly their right, and we trust the Governor will award to them ample justice.

The indecencies of which we spoke two weeks ago, were in fact the work of a mob. It gave rise to all the confusion which followed; and was condemned by a large majority of the people of Jackson county. It was to correct this very evil, which induced the seventeen citizens alluded to above, to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and which resulted so disasterously and disgracefully. This is believed to be a full and fair history of the 'war in the west.' It is the truth, as far as we are informed, and from what we have heard, it will so turn out in the testimony which an investigation will necessarily elicit.

A publication made by one 'Orsan Hyde,' is going the rounds, in different versions of the public press. He is represented to us a notorious scoundrel and coward, who fled at the very smell of gun powder. He heard of cannonading, and dreamed of blood shed, and on his honor, and the truth of his faculties, has made representations which are entirely false. It is presumed he is yet running and writing. How far he will go, where he will stop, or at what point the cannonading will cease to trouble him, it is impossible to guess.

One word more: The people of Jackson are represented as being a turbulent, unruly mob; and a riot two years old is [cited] by way of confirmation. That the county contains many men of this description we do not doubt -- so does all counties. But that a large majority are fearless, honest, and independent citizens, we are very sure. The Lieutenant Governor of the State, at the time of his election was, and is yet a citizen of Jackson county. Another gentleman, for several years chief clerk of the House of Representatives, is also a citizen, and we are personally acquainted with several gentlemen, citizens of Jackson county, who who would [do ---or] to any [---le] and whose lives prove them to be above a [mean action].

They have had to endure much. A large portion of the [Seminary] lands was originally located in their county. They settled upon and improved them. When offered for sale, at a minimum of two dollars per acre, they confined a speculator, and prevented him from possessing himself of the fruits of their labor. The whole matter was represented to the legislature; they confirmed the sale! And this is brought up as a proof of their turbulence.

Straightway came the Mormons, headed by a fanatic, who is a disgrace to the creation of God. In their doctrine, they calimed as an inheritance the whole of Jackson county. By fraudulent and false statements, they were gathering together the scum of the earth -- were offering inducements to the free negroes, every where to come up and join them, and had succeeded in alienating many of the Indians who surrounded them. That the people, among whom they had settled, should feel disposed to rid themselves of such a pest, we think is extremely natural; and that they would have fared better, in any other country, we are very much disposed to doubt.

The people of Jackson, though, owe it to themselves to publish the facts. What is here written, apart of our own knowledge, may be false -- we may be the victim of gross imposition. It has been our object to state the whole truth, and lay bare what we feel and believe to be the result of low chicanery and hellish wickedness. We therefore, in this public manner, call upon Messrs. Boggs, Childs, Owens, Hicks, and Flournoy, five highly respectable gentlemen, to come forward and state the case. Be the truth what it may, it cannot be worse, nor half equal to the reports which have overspread the whole country. The vital interest and future prosperity of Jackson county is concerned, and the reputation of the whole state is at stake. Let the truth be published, and we believe that which is blazoned forth as a religious persecution, will seat itself upon the head of an impostor. -- Western Monitor.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Springfield, Illinois,  February 8, 1834.                           No. 118.


THE MORMONS. -- The last Western mail brought us a handbill in defence of the motives and conduct of the Mormons since their settlement in Jackson county in 1831. (continue reading original article from Missouri paper)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Springfield, Illinois,  June 7, 1834.                           No. 135.

The St. Louis Republican of June 2 says:

Difficulties are anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 21st May, says -- 'The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that as soon as the Santa Fe company of traders leave, the Mormons will re-cross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county; in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'promised land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the state.' A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio."

The company of mormons which passed through Springfield on Friday last, is undoubtedly, the "reinforcement" above referred to. This company were between 250 and 300 strong -- composed of able-bodied men, with the single exception of one woman and a few children -- and appeared to be generally armed. They did not state their place of destination, although frequent inquiries were made upon the subject. One of the company, who appeared to be a leader, stated to a respectable citizen of this town, that he had himself performed more miracles than were recorded in the Old and New Testaments.

The company mentioned in the following article is supposed to be the same; --

EMIGRATION. -- On Thursday, the 15th inst. about one hundred and fifty persons passed through this place southward, emigrating to Illinois, or perhaps Missouri. They had their plunder in 22 or 23 wagons, we were informed; had guns (muskets and rifles) in abundance, were roughly clad, & what excited most curiosity, there were but two or three women with them, and but few children; and a very great disproportion of old and elderly men. We did not see the main caravan ourselves, but are informed that, by conversation had with some of them, they were supposed to be of that sect called Mormons or Mormonites. One of the women, we are told, observed, in answer to some questions propounded to her, that their object, in carrying guns with them, was not battle; but as they intended a settlement, or to settle, somewhere in the West, they did not intend to be driven off, as some who had went before them had been. Those of them we happened to see, were apparently "pretty well Yankeyed over," and "considerable well up to the trade and pedlin."
                      Ohio Collustrator.

Note: The report of Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition passing through Springfield is similar to an account published in the St. Louis Western Examiner of June 15, 1834. It is not unlikely that the bragging Mormon miracle-worker mentioned in the report was Martin Harris, who was prone to such religious verbosity.


Vol. III.                       Springfield, Illinois, July 5, 1834.                       No. 139.


Intelligence from Jackson county, Mo. represents the citizens of that county as having organized themselves into a military force for the purpose of resisting the Mormons. Samuel C. Owens is elected commander-in-chief. The Mormons it is expected will be able to muster 700 men; and it is said are determined to take possession of their lands.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Springfield, Illinois, July 12, 1834.                           No. 140.


THE MORMONS -- From the Missouri Enquirer.

On Monday last, a committee on the part of the citizens of Jackson county... (see lengthy reprint of original article in Missouri paper)

The Mormons of Missouri have concluded, at present, not to attempt a rescue of the Holy Land from the infidels; but they still contend that Jackson County is the true Zion, though it may not be established and taken possession of by the faithful for one hundred years to come.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                       Springfield, Illinois, August 16, 1834.                       No. ?

No Battle in Jackson Co., Missouri
(under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI. No. 16.                     Springfield, Illinois, February 25, 1837.                     Whole 277.

                                    Monson, Ohio, November 14, 183[6].
Mormonism in Ohio. -- Last week I passed through Kirtland, and I was astonished to see that a city had sprung up since I was there last March. I should think there were between 100 and 200 houses (perhaps more) now building, most of them are small and plain, but some are elegant. Who can tell what the end of Mormonism will be? They have paid 100 dollars per acre for farms about one mile south of Kirtland. -- Near the temple they ask five hundred dollars. Most of the farms between the centre of Kirtland and the centre of Chester, they own; they also own a large store in Chester, and do business under the firm of Rigdon, Smith and Co. They trade on a large scale, and make market for everything that can be raised about here. Their village will undoubtedly be incorporated next winter as a city. They have procured plates from New York, for issuing bank notes, payable thirty days after demand.  

Note: The above article is a slightly condensed reprint of a letter which first appeared in the Lisbon, Ohio Aurora of Jan. 19, 1837.


Vol. V. No. 10.                     Springfield, Illinois, August 5, 1837.                     Whole 300.

                                     Springfield, Ill., August 4, 1837.
Dear Sir:
In answer to your letter of ___ ult., I would say that I have made inquiries at the book stores, and no Mormon bibles are to be had. -- But that need not operate as a discouragement. I see by the St. Louis papers, that one of the brethren is there trying to get rid of bank paper belonging to the sect, and he may probably be able to relieve your necessities in this manner. And I think you would be able to do him a favor -- you know you hate paper money -- and so does he. He has a large lot of it -- and wants to get rid of it, and as you are some what versed in banking principles, between you both you might pass off the rag trash in a short time, and depend thereafter entirely upon the hard money. I have recently seen some information relative to the progress of the disciples in Ohio, which at this time will no doubt be interesting to you. It is from a paper which is a warm enemy of their doctrines, -- but still, throwing away the chaff mixed up in the article, will give you interesting information. -- While you are reading it, I hope you will repress your indignation at a printer who can speek irreverently of the prophet and the true 'Aaronic brotherhood.' -- All men don't see alike -- and sometimes, I have no doubt, a printer may be very honest and at the same time very abusive of the truth. The piece I refer to is this"

"MORMONS. -- Those crazy fanatics have their grand tabernacle at a place they call Kirtland, 5 miles from the shore of Lake Erie, and 30 miles from Cleveland, and count no less than 4000 persons under their leader, Joe Smith. They have been lately joined by a shrewd literary person, named Sydney Rigdom [sic], formerly a preacher of the doctrine of Campbell. He is the Grand Vizer to Smith; and under their decision a banking house has been established, of which Smith is president and Rigdon cashier. The issues have been about $150,000. The bank failed. They have several mills on their property. The houses are small, including the prophet Joe's. The temple is a beautiful building of rough stone, three stories high, and 70 to 75 feet square. Each of the two principal apartments holds 1200 persons. The joice[s] of the interior are supported by six fluted columns. Each apartment contains 6 pulpits, arranged, gradatim, 3 at each end of the "Aaronic priesthood," -- and 3 at the other end of the "priesthood of Melchisidec." The slips are so constructed that the audience can face either pulpit, as may be required. In the highest seat for the "Aaronic priesthood" sits the reverend father for the prophet; the next below is occupied by Joe, and his prime minister, Rigdom. The attic story is occupied as school rooms, 5 in number, where the various branches of English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages are taught to a great number of students. The actual cost of the temple is not known, but is estimated at not less than $60,000.

Smith, from an account of a late visit in the Miami of the Lake newspaper, is reported as a placid looking knave, with passionless features, and perfectly composed in the midst of the hetrogenous multitude who have become the victimized dupes of his imposture. Rigdom is the reverse -- with a face full of fire, a tenor voice and of eloquent speech; Rigdom id the wire-puller or screen of Joe's inspirations. The followers are, many of them, upright men, and tolerant towards other sects."

I think that there are some here who would be willing to pack up and go to Zion, though I don't think their number is large. I have heard it intimated they are in want of public speakers there; so I think your desires will be gratified to their full extent.     Yours, truly,

Note: The article quoted above originally appeared in the Perrysburg, Ohio Miami on the Lake newspaper near the end of June, 1837. It was reprinted in the Washington National Intelligencer of July 4, 1837 and in the New York City Evening Star on about the same date.


Vol. VII. No. 43               Springfield, Illinois, August 18, 1838.               Whole 355.

THE MORMONS. -- It is stated in the Canton, (Ohio), Repository, that this people, to the number of about 200, with about fifty-seven wagons, filled with furniture, with their cattle, &c. have left Geauga County, on their way to "the promised land" in Missouri. They pitch their tents in the open field at night, after the manner of the ancient Israelites.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII. No. 51.                Springfield, Illinois, Sat., Oct. 13, 1838.                Whole 363.

THE MORMONS AGAIN. -- The St. Louis Republican of Monday says -- "We learn by a passenger in the steamboat Kansas, which arrived on Saturday, that when at the Mormon town above the mouth of Grand River, he saw about 200 of the Mormons armed and prepared for the conflict." It seems that the citizens of an adjoining county had given notice to the Mormons to leave the country, or they would be driven off. The Mormons refused to go and "buckled on their armor for the conflict." -- The opinion is that nothing serious will be done -- as both parties dread an encounter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII. No. 52.                 Springfield, Illinois, October 20, 1838.                 Whole 364.


The last accounts from the seat of war left the two armies in hostile array. The Anti-Mormons had postponed the execution of their threat of driving the Mormons from the county, and given them two days more to leave. On Wednesday morning it "is believed a conflict took place." So says the St. Louis Gazette.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII. No. 3.                 Springfield, Illinois, November 10, 1838.                 Whole 367.

MORMON  AND  LOCO  FOCO  WAR. -- The late St. Louis papers contain sundry accounts of the movements of the beligerents. Many of them are undoubtedly eaggerated statements; but enough is true to show that a most deplorable state of things exists in the disturbed counties. The following extract of a letter from Judge King, dated at Richmond, Ray county, on the 24th ult. may be deemed authentic: --

"Until lately I thought the Mormons were disposed to act on the defensive: but their recent conduct shows that they are the aggressors, and that they intend to take the law into their hands. Of their recent outrages in Daviess, you have probably heard much already. I will give you the general facts, however. On Sunday before they marched to Daviess, Jo Smith made known his views to the people, and declared the time had come when they would avenge their own wrongs, and that all who were not for them, and taken up arms with them, should be considered as against them, that their property should be confiscated, and their lives also forfeited.

"With this declaration and much else said by Smith, calculated to excite the people present, the next day was set apart to see who was for them and who against them. And under such severe penalties, I learn, that there was some who did not turn out: and about 3 or 400, with Smith at their head, marched for Daviess. This was on Tuesday -- the next day was the snow storm, and on Tuesday they commenced their ravages upon the citizens, driving them from their homes and taking their property. Between 80 and 100 men went to Gallatin, pillaged houses and the store of Mr. Stollings and the post-office, and then burnt the houses. They carried off the spoils on horseback and in waggons and now have them, I understand, in a store house, near their camp. Houses have been robbed of their contents -- beds, clothing, furniture, &c. all deposited, so they term it, "a consecration to the Lord." At this time, there is not a citizen in Daviess, except Mormons. Many have been driven without warning -- others were allowed a few hours to start. This stock of citizens have been seized upon, killed and salted by hundreds -- from 50 to 100 waggons are now employed in hauling in the corn from the surrounding country. They look for a force against them, and consequently are preparing for a seige -- building block houses, &c. They have lately organized themselves into a band of what they call "Danites," and sworn to support their leading men in all they say or do, right or wrong, and further, to put to instant death those who betray them. There is another band of twelve, called the "Destructives," whose duty it is to watch the movements of men and of communities, and to avenge themselves for supposed wrongful movements against them, by privately burning houses and property, and even laying waste towns.

"The Mormons expect to settle the matter at the point of the sword, and I am well warranted in saying to you the people in this quarter of the State look to you for protection."

This letter was received by Gov. Boggs. Another letter, written evidently in great alarm, dated Lexington, Oct. 25th, says --

"Since you left us this morning, Mr. D. R. Moorehead came here on express for men to assist in repelling a threatened attack upon Richmond to-night. He brought news that the Mormon armed force had attacked Capt. Bryant this morning at daylight, and had cut off his whole company of 50 men. Since Mr. Morehead left Richmond, one of the company, (Bogart) had come in, and reported that there were ten of his comrades killed, and the remainder taken prisoners, after many of them were severely wounded. He stated further that Richmond would be sacked and burned by the Mormon banditti to-night. Nothing can exceed the consternation which this news gave rise to. The women and children are flying from Richmond in every direction. We have sent from this county since 2 o'clock this evening about one hundred well armed and daring men. Send to Howard, Cooper and Boone counties, in order that volunteers may be getting ready, and flocking to the scene of trouble as fast as they can. They must go prepared and with the full determination to exterminate or expell this banditti from the State, en masse."

A postscript to the Missourian states that the Governor had ordered General Clark to call out 3,000 men -- to rendezvous at Richmond with all possible celerity, and to close this wild and fearful strife, at once, and by extermination, if necessary. "Rumors of still more barbarous atrocity, butchering and hanging, burning and destroying, continue to multiply with hours, but as they are not official, we forbear their repetition. Enough is known to justify all that has been done; and the Howard regiments, composed exclusively of volunteers, are on the march with as chivalrous a leader, as ever warred against a Moslem.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII. No. 4.                 Springfield, Illinois, November 17, 1838.                 Whole 368.


The St. Louis Republican of the 15 inst. contains the following particulars of another outrage committed on the Mormons. It is taken from the Jeffersonian, printed at Jefferson City.

We likewise learn that another engagement has taken place in Caldwell County, in which 36 Mormons were killed on the ground, without any loss on the part of our citizens. This report was brought to this office (unofficially) on Wednesday, by a Mr. Herriman; who says the Mormons were attacked by a company of Rangers of about 50 in number, while guarding a mill which they had seized and partially destroyed. The Mormon force is stated to have been about the number killed.


On the next page will be found an article from the St. Louis Gazette, giving some of the closing scenes of the Mormon Loco Foco War. Annexed is the latest news (from the St. Louis Republican) on the same subject. -- The remarks of the Republican on the Massacre of the Mormons, and the general character, of the wars, meet our own view of the matter.

Further from the Mormons: -- The account of a bloody butchery of thirty two Mormons, on Splown's Creek, is fully confirmed: -- Two children were killed, we presume, by accident. Considerable plunder -- such as beds, hats, &c. were taken from the slaughtered. -- Not one of the assailants was killed or hurt.

About the time of the surrender, several Mormon houses were burnt in Chariton; and one Mormon who refused to leave killed.

At Far West, after the surrender, a Mormon had his brains dashed out by a man who accused the Mormons of burning his house in Daviess.

We copy the above paragraph from the Gazette of Saturday evening. We are sorry to say, that our own information corroborates the details. For the honor of the State, we could have wished, that such savage informities had not attended a controversy in itself disgraceful enough. We understand, that the company engaged in the attack at Splown's Creek, was not attached to any division of the army, but was fighting on its own hook. The men were principally from Chariton county and amongst the number was at least one member of the Legislature. The enemy had approached within eighty yards of the Mormons before they were apprized of their approach. The Mormons had their families with them, and to preserve their lives, the men separated from them and took refuge in a blacksmith's shop. Here they were murdered! It is said that the Mormons had arms, but it is a little singular that they should have used them so ineffectually as not to have touched one of the assailants. The latter, in some instances, placed their guns brtween the logs of the house and deliberately fired on the victims within, -- These reports are founded upon statements of persons engaged in the attack; and bad as they are, are not likely to be overcharged. Will the actors in the tragedy be suffered, by the courts of that district, to go unpunished?


The Mormon war has been terminated by a surender of the Mormon leaders to the troops under Gen. Atchison. This happened on Sunday, Oct. 28th. On that day, about three thousand men, being part of the army of 5000, ordered out [by] Gen. Clark, comprising Gen. Atchison's division, made their appearance before the town of Far West, the county seat of Caldwell County, where the Mormons were entrenched. Upon their approach the Mormons had hoisted a white flag, which was shot down by Capt. Bogard, but was immediately replaced. Gen. Atchison then sent in a message, with a view to learn their wishes and intentions, when six of the leaders avowed their willingness to surrender, in the expectation hat the Mormons should be unharmed. The surrender was accepted; and the individuals put under guard. Their names are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lymon Wright, Parley P. Pratt, and Mr. Knight. The Mormons assembled, at Far West, comprised of 700 men under arms. Of this number, a small body of 150, retreated and pursued their way to the Northern frontier.

The reports vary as to what happened after that surrender, in fact, our intelligence does not come down clearly to a period, later than the day of capitulation.

On the day after, Gen. Atchison received the orders of the Governor which has already been mentioned in this paper, as directing the expulsion or extermination of the Mormons. It is said that, shocked and disgusted with the severity of the command he retired and went home. After that event, it is stated that several -- some accounts say 40 of the Mormons -- were put to death. One version of this statement is, that the Mormons killed, at this time were such as had not come into Far West. -- We need, however, more certain and authentic information, than we have now, on this head.

Gen. Clark, with the remainder of the troops, collected from the counties below Caldwell, was on Friday after the surrender, encamped in Ray County, and had not then reached Far West.

It is stated that, about the time of the surrender, a Company of men -- 200 in number -- fell upon a body of the Mormons, in Splown's Settlement, on Shoal Creek, about 20 miles from Far West. The Mormons, it is said, were 36 in number, and the story runs that all but four were put to death. Some of the names of the killed, as reported to us, are David Evans from Ohio, Jacob Fox from Pennsylvania, Thomas McBride and his father, Mr. Daly, M. Merrill and his son-in-law, Mr. White, all from Ohio.

The facts about Bogard's fight are that two of his men were killed -- one outright, one died of his wounds. At the same time 4 Mormons fell -- among them the captain of their band. -- Bogard's Company were stationed on the line of Ray Co. to intercept the communication between Ray and Caldwell. They had captured 4 Mormons; and to rescue these the attack was made upon them by the Mormons. Bogard's Company is said to have been 40 in number; and the Mormons 70.

As to the Mormon ravages in Daviess County the plundering and burning of which so much has been said -- we are informed that, before those hostile operations, the Mormons held a consultation at which the propriety of the steps afterward taken, was debated at large. Some of their number were adverse to the plan and nearly one third dissented from it. The reasons assigned for these measures, were alleged outrages by their enemies in Carroll and Daviess Counties. According to the Mormon statement, their houses and buildings, near Dewitt in Carroll County, had been destroyed, by their enemies; and they themselves expelled from the County and afterward pursued, on their retreat into Daviess. It was therefore, as they alleged, in retaliation for previous unprovoked outrages, that they executed their system of violence and terror in the County of Daviess. Evidently, they could not have adopted a more suicidal policy -- allowing their own statements to be wholly true.

We have no time now -- abd it would take more space than we can spare it -- even with a knowledge of all the facts, to enter into a history of the origin and progress of this difficulty. But there is a statement in this connection, which we have heard but recently, and which we sincerely hope is not true. The statement is as follows.

About the 9th or 10th of last month, when about 80 Mormon families had been expelled from Carroll County, and driven into Daviess, a message was sent by them to the State executive, praying for his interposition in his behalf. The reply to that message was, that already the State had been put to a great deal of expense on account of these difficulties, and that he could see no cause to interpose, thus leaving the parties to fight it out!

The disposition of the captured Mormons present a case of great difficulty. They are generally poor -- at least they have but little money and few means besides their stock and crops to preserve them from starvation. As it is, we suspect, their means are very much abridged. The presence of several thousand troops in their vicinity must have reduced them greatly. The proposition -- so it is given out -- is to remove them from the State. Who will advance the funds of wherewith to consummate such a measure? and where shall they be sent? Their numbers exceed five thousand men, women and children! Are these 5000 people -- without any means and literally beggars -- to be thrust upon the charity of Illinois, Iowa, or Wis.?

It is said that the leaders are to be put to trial. We hope there may be a trial, and that the trial will extend to a most thorough, rigid and impartial examination into the origin and progress of this extraordinary commotion. -- We hope that a searching operation will be applied to the guilty and all sides. It is only in such a way that the government and people of this state can place themselves in a just and dignified attitude before their sister government and fellow citizens of the Union.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII. No. 5.                 Springfield, Illinois, November 24, 1838.                 Whole 369.


The western mail, yesterday, brought us some additional particulars in regard to the \disturbance in Caldwell County. The Far West, published at Liberty, states that Gen. Clark still remained at the town of Far West, having under his command 1300 men, who were employed in guarding the captured Mormons. The General had despatched an order to Gen. Lucas commanding him to return Jo and Hiram Smith, Rigdon, Wright, Robinson and Hunt, for trial in Richmond, Ray County. Gen. Lucas was on his way to Jackson county and refused to obey his orders. A great many of the Mormons had made their escape from Caldwell county, leaving their families.

The Far West also says:

"Just as our paper was going to press, we received a communication from Gen. Lucas giving the stipulations of the treaty made by him and the Mormons. It will be recollected that we stated that Gen. Atchison and his staff returned home, having considered himself virtually ordered from the field by Gen. Boggs; who assigned the command to Gen. Clark of Howard county. Gen. Lucas was in command of the troops previous to and at the time of the surrender of the Mormons. -- The matter was entirely settled before the arrival of Gen. Clark. What motive could have operated on Gov. Boggs for excluding Gen. Atchison from any command, we do not pre[t]end to know, but this we do know, that he has done himself very little credit, by so illiberal a procedure.

"Gen. Lucas states that the officers and men under his command conducted themselves in a manner that will ever recommend them to his highest approbation. We are sorry that our space and time will not permit us to make any further remarks. The following are the stipulations between the parties: 1st. To give up their leaders to be tried and punished.
2nd. To make an appropriation of the peoperty of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of the debt, and as indemnity for damages done by them.
3rd. That the Mormons should all leave the state and be protected out by the militia; but to remain under protection, until further orders from the Commander in Chief.
4th. To give up all arms of every discription, to be receipted for.
"For the purpose of arranging everything in a proper and legal way, Gen. Lucas left Col. Williams aid-de-camp to the commander in chief, Col. Burch and Maj. A. Ries of Ray county, to attend to drawing, writing &c. with a company of men to execute all orders consistent with the stipulations.

Judge Cameron of Clay county, William Collins of Jackson, George Woodward of Ray, John Carroll and W. W. Phelps of Far West, were appointed by Gen. Lucas and Col. Hinkle, the commander of the Mormons, to attend to the adjusting of all claims, &c."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VIII. No 7.                 Springfield, Illinois, December 8, 1838                 Whole 371.

The Philadelphia U. S. Gazette, says, "We perceive by the London papers received yesterday, that a number of Missionaries from the Mormons went on to England lately, and are there preaching their doctrines with some considerable success."

Notes: (forthcoming)

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