(Newspapers of Missouri)

Saint Louis, Missouri

Missouri  Republican
1839-1840 Articles

Expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri, 1838-39

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Feb 15 '40

Articles Index  |  1840-50s St. Louis Newspapers


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, January 9, 1839.                   No. 1733.

Judge King lately presided at an anti-Mormon meeting in Ray county. He is the Judge of that Circuit, and the Mormon prisoners, now in jail, are to be tried before him. Truly, they have an excellent chance for a fair and impartial trial!


Jan. 3, 1839.         

The proceedings to-day in the Senate were made more interesting than any which have occurred during the session, and I doubt much if on any future occasion they will be more so. The whole people of the State are interested in the day's work, and my readers will, therefore, excuse me if my account is somewhat prolix. The subject was the all-absorbing one of the Mormon War, and as the eyes of the whole nation are justly turned to the action of the Legislature upon this subject, I will give you the proceedings...

After the reading of the report, Mr. Noland said that he was a member of the committee which reported the resolutions, and he would make the same motion in the Senate which he had made in the committee. His motion was to strike out the words in the first resolution, that it is "inexpedient at this time" to prosecute the investigation, and to insert in their place, that it is "expedient forthwith" to prosecute the investigation. Mr. Noland then desired that the testimony of Dr. Avord, taken before the court of enquiry in Ray, should be read....

Mr. Noland said, that he had asked for a reading of Dr, Avord's testimony in the committee, and it was not accorded to him. He now asked for the same thing...

Mr. Gilliam thought he would not have said anything upon this subject. If you send the committee up there, where will you get witnesses? Most of the Mormons had already left for Ohio and Michigan, and as soon as the winter broke up the remainder would go. If the Senate would read this testimony, it would fix the guilt of the Mormons beyond any doubt. The people had been slandered, and if you will read the testimony and let the people read it, it would be the best possible means to relieve the people from those slanders...

Mr. Scott then moved that the doors be closed, whilst the document was being read, and supported his motion with a few pertinent remarks. He regretted the necessity which compelled him to make this motion. The Mormons now in jail stood with the halter around their necks, and the Senate had just resolved to read the evidence of a man as guilty as any of them...

The vote was then taken upon the motion of Mr. Scott, to close the doors, which was rejected, and Dr. Avord's statement was read in public...

Mr. Ashby said, that they had submitted this subject to a committee, and he had expected an investigation and a report, but it had failed, and he now thought there should be some expression, by the Legislature, such as he proposed. He proposed to lay before the public, not only the testimony on the trial of Jo Smith, but the testimony on all the trials... All he wanted was to see the documents published; he had heard many say they would not vote for convening of the Legislature. He wished to put forth something for the public prints, in behalf of the citizens. From one end of the country to the other, the papers had been publishing much in favor of the Mormons; nothing had been said in justification of the citizens, and many had been shedding tears over the fate of the poor Mormons. These tears were crocodile tears. They had been driven from Kirtland, in Ohio; from Jackson county, and the people of Clay, rather than have a difficulty with them, had hired them to leave that county, and if any gentleman wished to invite them to his county, he would pay part of the expense of removing them....

(this text is under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, January 10, 1839.                   No. 1734.


January 4, 1839.         

To-day there was a great deal of business disposed of in the House. A number of engrossed bills were read a third time and passed ...

Mr. Morin this evening made an attempt to have the petitions of the Mormons of Caldwell and Daviess counties... referred to a select committee. He urged that the memorials should be referred, for they contained some subjects upon which this Legislature should act...

(this text is under construction)

January th, 1839.         

In the House, this morning, we had a little Mormon fight, which ended where it began, without any result.

Mr. Morehead, of Ray county, presented the proceedings of the meeting lately held in Ray county, in reply to the communication of Mr. Arthur, of Clay county. The proceedings were read, when Mr. Morehead move to lay them upon the table,

After the reading, Mr. Geyer rose and asked if any of the members present could inform him whether the signature by Judge King was in his own hand writing. He made the inquiry for his own satisfaction; for he thought it a most extraordinary act for a man who stood in the relation which Judge King did to the Mormons...

Mr. Ashby rose... He thought Judge King had done nothing but what he had a right to do. He was a citizen, and his character had been assailed as well as that of other citizens. His presiding at that meeting had nothing to do with the trial of the Mormons. He had no doubt but that it was Judge King's hand writing and that he would not deny it.

Mr. Atchison said that as his name was used in the proceedings of the people of Ray, and as one gentleman had referred to him, he deemed it but justice to those people to say that upon all occasions, so far as he knew, they had done their duty... Upon the legality of the Governor's order to exterminate or expel the Mormons, he never would agree that it was constitutional. Upon this subject, if he stood alone in the midst of ten thousand, he would raise his voice against it, and he now gave notice, that he would place that subject before the House in such a manner as to have an expression of the opinion of the Legislature. He never would consent, that the Legislature should adjourn without expressing their opinion upon its legality....

(this text is under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, January 11, 1839.                   No. 1735.


MR. MORIN moved to take up the memorial from the Mormons of Caldwell and Daviess counties, and refer them to a Select Committee, which was agreed to. Messrs. Morin, Jackson of Howard and Penn appointed [to] that committee.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, January 21, 1839.                   No. 17??


MR. TURNER introduced, from the joint committee, a bill defining the powers and duties of the joint committee to be appointed to investigate the Mormon difficulties.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, January 25, 1839.                   No. 1745.


Jan. 19th, 1839.         

... This morning in the House, Mr. Chiles of Jackson, from the committee on Military Affairs, reported a bill appropriating one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, out of the State Treasury, for the payment of the militia and volunteers, called into service of the State during the years 1837-8. This is chiefly for the pay of the troops in the Mormon disturbances, and in the Osage war....

Mr. Corrill, this morning, introduced a bill to punish persons who may attempt to prophesy or speak in the name of the Lord. The bill covered the whole grounds of Mormonism, and prevents in tolerably broad terms, the formation of religious sects and societies under such leaders as the Mormons are said to have been under.

Mr. Russell moved that it be rejected.

Mr. Corrill supported his bill at some length, in which he stated, that the punishment of persons who pretended to the power of prophesy, who claimed to speak in the name of the Lord, or to give laws in his name, was the best way to prevent recurrence of the evils heretofore experienced, with the Mormons. He thought the bill not unconstitutional, although it might not be drawn with sufficient technicality or proper language, but he hoped the House would amend it, if wrong in this, and not reject the bill. He was sure that if some such bill was not passed before a year, the same scenes which had been experienced in that section, would be again seen

Mr. Morin sustained the bill, and thought that it should not be rejected on the first reading...

The bill was finally rejected by a vote of 44 to 41.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, January 28, 1839.                   No. 1747.


Jan. 22, 1839.         

(this text is under construction)

Note: This text will be updated after a fully legible copy of the clipping has been obtained and transcribed.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, January 30, 1839.                   No. 1749.


Jan. 25th, 1839.         

A number of petitions came in this morning... Mr. Atchinson this morning introduced a bill allowing the Mormons now under arrest, to change the venue of their trials to some circuit where prejudices against them do not exist. (I learn they are very anxious to have their trial take place in St. Louis)...

A bill has just passed this House for a loan of $800,000 for the Mormon disturbances...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, February 8, 1839.                   No. 1757.


Feb. 4, 1839.         

A large portion of the residue of the day was spent on Mormon disturbances and I would to God I could draw a veil over this day's legislation, that neither my readers nor any other portion of the country could know ought of its transaction. Transactions which, in my opinion, must inevitably reflect deeper disgrace, nay, which go far to rivet upon this community -- upon the innocent and the guilty alike -- more damning discredit, than any of the previous acts connected with this disgraceful proceeding. Much as Missouri has suffered from Mormon disturbances -- much as the reputations of her citizens has been affected at home and abroad, I am greatly mistaken if today's acts do not add to that disgrace. Let not the people complain if these charges stand as marks upon them through all coming time. Let not the people of the counties of Davis, Carroll, Ray, Livingston, Linn, Randolph, Clay, Jackson and Macon complain, if the world shall hereafter charge them with crimes which affect their fair names, and reflect discredit upon the whole state. -- Let them not complain, even if these charges are as false as they possibly can be; for their own representatives, those who should have shielded and protected their reputations, have sacrificed it. They have solemnly refused to have an investigation -- to lay bare to the world the guilt of the guilty, and the innocence of the innocent. The very members who first cried loudest for investigation -- the members representing counties where meeting after meeting has been held, demanding from this legislature an investigation into the thousands of false charges against them as a community -- have solemnly declared, that they will have no investigation... Their representatives had the power to investigate, to expose the guilty and to justify the innocent; and yet they have refused to exercise it -- they have turned a deaf ear to cries of justice.

Today, the bill from the Senate providing for the appointment of a committee to investigate the causes of the late Mormon disturbances, was read... members in favor of investigations thought that the passage of the bill was certain, and therefore made no reply. The vote to lay upon the table was then taken [and passed]...

Note: This text will be updated after a fully legible copy of the clipping has been obtained and transcribed


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, February 11, 1839.                   No. 1758.


February 6, 1839.         

To-day, in the Senate, there was a considerable contest over the bill for the pay of the Mormon and Osage troops...

The Paymaster is now here, and for some weeks past has been engaged in making out pay rolls. I am told, that, judging of the expenses of the Mormon war by the pay rolls returned, he estimates, that there were 12,000 men called out, and their expenses and pay will amount to about $20 each, making the gross sum of TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!...

(this text is under construction)

Note: This text will be updated after a fully legible copy of the clipping has been obtained and transcribed.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, February 13, 1839.                   No. 1760.


Feb. 8, 1839.         

... Mr. Biggs this morning introduced a concurrent resolution for the appointment of a committee for the investigation of the Mormon difficulties. This, as was the bill heretofore rejected, was opposed entirely by members from the counties most interested in the investigation. True, they talked largely about wanting an investigation, a full and thorough investigation, yet -- mark the fact -- the very men who talked most about it, offered no ammendment -- did not attempt to change a solitary provision in the resolution... It is a fair conclusion... that they are opposed to the whole matter

(this text is under construction)

Note: This text will be updated after a fully legible copy of the clipping has been obtained and transcribed.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, February 14, 1839.                   No. 1761.


We learn from Liberty that SIDNEY RIGDON and JO SMITH were recently taken from prison and brought before a justice of the County Court, under a writ of habeas corpus. Testimony in the case was heard, Smith was re-committed, and Rigdon admitted to bail. He has since left the state. Rigdon, it is said, made a most able defence before the Court.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, February 15, 1839.                   No. 1762.


It is with pleasure that I again greet the readers of the "Republican" from the editorial chair. For three months past, I have been a voluntary exile, though during that time I have endeavored to keep the community apprised of passing events in the halls of the State Legislature... I left the seat of Government on Sunday morning, the proceedings of Saturday were full of interest, especially in the House.

In the morning, Mr. Atchison introduced a bill supplementary to the law appropriating $200,000 for the pay of the troops in the Osage and Mormon wars... Mr. Jackson attempted to amend the bill by adding an additional section, that whenever the people on the frontier wanted to sell their produce at a high price, they should start up a war with the Indians or Mormons. He finally withdrew his amendment and the bill was postponed until a day beyond the adjornment of the legislature....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Saturday, February 16, 1839.                   No. 1763.

Public  Meeting  at  Lexington.

At a large and respectable meeting held in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri, on Monday the 4th February, 1839, of all political parties, Capt. Thomas Callaway was called to the Chair and Dr. M. C. Mitchell was appointed Secretary.

The object of the meeting being stated, it was unanimously agreed, that Finis Ewing, Col. William P. Walton, George Parkerson, Esq., Yiung Ewing, Esq., Col. Lewis Green, B. F, Yentis, Esq. and George House be appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting with regard to the late difficulties with the Mormons -- who retired and after a few minutes returned with the following preamble and resolutions:

Whereas, the most foul and malignant representations have gone abroad respecting the recent conduct of our Army, and other citizens who [were] legally called to act against the Mormons. --

And whereas, a part of the public press have given their columns to the disappointed, the designing and unprincipled individuals to vent their spleen against the Governor, and good citizens of upper Missouri -- And whereas, a sickly sympathy for the Mormons seems to have seized the tender hearts of even a portion of the representatives of the people, in our State Legislature. And whereas, the time has come when every patriot and freeman having knowledge of these matters should speak out.

1. Be it therefore resolved, That we highly approve of the measures adopted by the Governor of this state in relation to the Mormon difficulties, and that his order was just such a one as the occasion required.

2. Resolved, That Major Gen. Lucas, Brigadier Generals Wilson, Graham, Doniphan and Parks, together with the officers and men under their command, deserve the gratitude of the whole country for their skill, promptness and humanity in bringing the Mormon war to so speedy and successful a termination.

3. Resolved, That those politicians and public journals who are, directly or indirectly, blaming our citizens as much or more than the Mormons in the late difficulty, are, whether intentionally or unintentionally, practical enemies to the peace of our state, and are laying the foundation, by encouraging the Mormons, to have the same scenes, or worse, acted over again.

4. Resolved, That the citizens of Davis county, instead of the calumny poured upon them, deserve the deep and heartfelt sympathy of every good citizen in the commonwealth.

5. Resolved, That if those tender-hearted members of the Legislature who are now, and have been spending so much time and the people's money, making speeches, &c. in favor of the "poor mormons," would, as some of us have done, ride through the county of Davis, and mark the foot steps of four or five hundred "Danites," robbers, thieves, houseburners, public and open enemies of the state, if they have any true sympathy, if they have any feeling for real suffering of the innocent and unprotected, then would they bury their heads in shame, or feel the most lively indignation at those who mislead them.

6. Resolved, That this meeting disavow opposition to the Mormons as a pretended religious sect. -- We rejoice that our Constitution tolerates all - Jew, Turk and even fanatics of every grade. Yet as murderers, incendiaries, robbers and those who set up claims to our western Missouri as a gift from the God of Heaven, we view them as the common enemies of mankind.

7. Resolved, That the courts established by the constitution and the laws, are the proper tribunals to investigate the various matters and things growing out of the late difficulties with the Mormons, and apply the proper remedy; and that the Legislature, in our opinion, has nothing to do with it, only to make an appropriation to pay the army of citizens who promptly marched to quell and put down a civil insurrection.

8. Resolved, That the Exexutive did wisely in ordering a large force to awe the Mormons into submission, and thereby prevent the effusion of blood; and that those citizens, in or out of the Legislature, who blame him for that act, value the lives of our best citizens by dollars and cents, and thereby evince their destitution of humanity and true patriotism.

9. Resolved, That as this meeting is composed of both political parties, in about equal numbers, that we request all the public journals in this State to publish the foregoing preamble and resolutions

The foregoing preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted, by from 150 to 200 citizens of Lafayette county, Missouri.
         Thos. Callaway, Chairman,
         N. C. Mitchell, Secretary.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, February 20, 1839.                   No. 1767.


We have received a letter from Gen. Atchinson, one of the Representatives from Clay, concerning our report of the proceedings in the House of Representatives on the 4th inst. (published in the Republican of the 8th) on the bill appointing a committee to investigate the Mormon difficulties... It is proper we should say, that the General's remarks upon the introduction of his resolution were not heard by us, and therefore, were not reported. The General, however, gives in the following letter, the substance of them:

                                                          City of Jefferson, Feb. 10, 1839.
Dear Sir: -- In your paper of the 8th inst., you place me in an attitude before the public, in relation to the bill providing for an investigation of the Mormon difficulties, which I think I do not deserve. Upon the motion to lay the bill on the table, until the 4th July, you know that I voted against it. It is true I made no speech against it, as from previous votes upon the same subject, I was induced to believe, that the motion would be voted down by a large majority, -- You will also remember when I made the motion, to request the Senate to return the bill to the House of Representatives, so that it might be reconsidered, or at least a motion to that effect, I stated to the House, that I presumed members from the western part of the State, menbers who represented constituents who had been charged with the commision of almost every crime, had not considered the effect that would be produced upon public opinion by voting against an investigation; that it would be taken as evidence of guilt; that I knew the great mass of the community in upper Missouri had nothig to fear from investigation; that it would be the means of wiping out the foul slanders that had been heaped upon them by the dark deeds of a few lawless individuals; that the people of upper Missouri sought investigation. This was the purport of my remarks. You also remember, that when I withdrew the resolution, I remarked, that I did it because I found gentlemen whose constituents were more deeply implicated than mine, in those unfortunate disturbances, opposed to investigation. At the same time, I protested, that for myself and my constituents, we desired an investigation, that the guilty might be dragged to the light, and that they might be held up to the scorn and curse of the world. These were the views I then expressed and still entertain. You will do me justice to put this matter in its proper light,
                   Your ob't serv't,
                            D. R. ATCHINSON.

... charges are sometimes made from ignorance or inattention; but, at other times, we are induced to believe, they originate in a disposition to injure the politcal standing of the Republican, A meeting originating in one or the other of these causes, was held about the first of January last, in Chariton. The object of the resolutions seemed to be, to denounce this paper -- for some supposed publication reflecting on the character of the citizens of that county. As the resolutions were general against the Missouri Republican, and as it was impossible to tell in what number of the paper the article xomplained of appeared, finding the chairman of the committee, who reported the resolutions, in Jefferson City, I addressed him the following note:

                                                         City of Jefferson, Jan 15, 1839.
Dear Sir:

I have seen in the Missourian and Democrat, the proceedings of a meeting held by the citizens of Chariton county, on the first inst., repelling certain [------ ---- ----] [the Missouri] Republican, "charging the citizens of Chariton with killing a citizen who was a Mormon," &c. As the published proceedings do not give the date or the number of the paper, in which the publication appeared, or any statements by which I can know the article of which they complain' and, as I see by the proceedings that you were chairman of the committee, appointed by the meeting, I will esteem it a favor to be informed of the date of the paper to which the proceedings refer, or some statement which I may know the publication alluded to.
                                      Very Respectfully,
                                               Your ob't. servant,
                   A. B. Chambers.
Sterling Price, Esq.

To this I received the following reply

                                                         City of Jefferson, Jan 15, 1839.
Dear Sir:

Dear Sir: -- I have not been able to lay my hands on the number of the Missouri Republican which contains the publication referred to in the Chariton resolutions; neither have I seen the publication, but I understand it accuses the citizens of burning Mormon houses, and of having composed the larger portion of the company at the Hauns mill fight, and of having killed a citizen who was a Mormon. I think the paper was dated about the middle of Nov. last/
                                      Very Respectfully, your ob't. serv't,
               Sterling Price.

Since our return we have examined the files of the paper, and find no article in it reflecting upon the citizens of Chariton, or containing the statements complained of in the resolutions of that meeting unless it is an article copied by us from another city paper, and which was credited to the paper from which it was taken. Those who are anxious to have justice done them, should at least be sure that they first do justice to others. It is something novel, that a report should be made by a gentleman on what he had never seen, and that a respectable meeting should adopt resolutions condemning an article they knew nothing about, but we pass over that. We have mislaid the proceedings of the Chariton meeting, or we should have published their resolutions.... Comment is unnecessary and having set ourselves right before the public, and as further remarks cannot undo that which has been done, we take a final leave of the subject.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, February 25, 1839.                   No. 1771.


MORMONS. -- Extract from a letter dated Liberty, Mo., Feb. 9, 1839.

"There has been much excitement here within a few days past. Several young men from Far West arrived in Liberty, late one night and asked permission to see the prisoners, which was granted. They [seized] the jailer and endeavored to let the Mormon prisoners escape, but an alarm was given and they were all taken into custody, and are to be tried to-morrow."

The young men alluded to in the preceding extract, we presume are Mormons, as the inhabitants in and about Far West, are all of that denomination, with a very few exceptions. The letter is from a source that may be relied upon. -- Jefferson Enquirer.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, March 5, 1839.                   No. 1778.


A Mormon preacher has been edifying the people of West Chester, Pa.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, March 26, 1839.                   No. 1794.


There are now in the city two persons soliciting aid for the distressed Mormons, now at Quincy, Ill. The condition of many of these persons is represented as truly deserving the sympathies and aid of the philanthropic. It is proposed to hold a meeting on the subject this evening at the Court House at 7 P. M.

APPOINTMENT BY THE GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS. -- We learn that Gov. Carlin has appointed the Hon. John Reynolds Commissioner to proceed to Europe to negotiate the sale of the State Bonds.

Of Mr. Reynolds as a man of integrity and honesty we have nothing to say, but except these, he has, in our estimation, not one of the requisites for such an appointment. He is wholly unfamiliar with the business to which he has been appointed to transact, and by no means prepared for the tricks and maneuvers of those money sharks with whom we will have to contend. The Legislature, almost unanimously, recommended Ex-Governor Duncan for this appointment...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, March 27, 1839.                   No. 1795.


PAY OF THE MORMON TROOPS. -- The Jefferson Enquirer of a late date, says: "We are informed by the Cashier of the Bank of the State of Missouri, that one hundred thousand dollars of the money to pay off the Osage and Mormon volunteers, is now ready and at the command of the Governor, and that the remaining one hundred thousand dollars will be at his service some time next fall.

The Paymaster General has been waiting some time for this news, but as the Governor is now some where in the upper part of the State establishing another [store?], nothing can be done in this matter until he shall return. An express has been sent after him, who will probably accompany him back in a few days. It is probable that he will then make arrangements to draw the money now ready, and pay it to those persons to whom it of right belongs.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, March 28, 1839.                   No. 1796.


The meeting in behalf of the Mormons, proposed to be held at the Court House on Tuesday evening, stands adjourned to THIS EVENING. A large number of persons collected at the Court House on Tuesday evening, but owing to a mistake of the time on the part of the Sheriff the house was not opened. Those present, by vote, agreed to meet on this evening.

Note: The "two persons" (LDS officials?) sponsoring this meeting were no doubt anxious that it be publically re-announced for the new date. The facilitators of the meeting intended to solicit "aid for the distressed Mormons" then gathering in western Illinois, in and around the town of Quincy.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, April 16, 1839.                   No. 1811.


The Mormon prisoners in jail at Liberty, Clay County, were to be conveyed to Daviess county for trial. -- We presume no part of the trial, except preferring the indictments, will take place in that County. A change of venue we suppose will be asked for as soon as the indictments are found.

The Far West says that Dr. King and Judge Thompson have abandoned their intention of publishing a history of the late Mormon disturbances in this state.

Note: The modern student of Mormon history can only wonder whether King and Thompson ever gathered together any significant number of primary source documents -- to consult in their later abandoned historical project -- and, if so, what became of their research efforts.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, May 2, 1839.                   No. 1824.

The  Mormon  Prisoners  Escaped.

The Columbia Patriot of the 27th , a paper printed in Boone county, has the following important paragraphs:

The Mormon prisoners were taken from the gaol in Clay county, where they have been confined since last fall, in Daviess or Caldwell, for the purpose of having indictments found. This being done, the change of venue to Boone county was granted and they were immediately put under the charge of a guard to be brought to the gaol at Columbia.

Whilst passing through Linn, they stopped to spend the night, at a cabin which is said to be elevated by means of blocks some distance above the ground. When morning came Joe Smith and his followers were missing, and upon examination it appeared that they had escaped by raising a puncheon of the cabin floor and letting themselves down through the opening thus made. They have made a successful escape.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, May 3, 1839.                   No. 1825.

The  Mormon  Prisoners.

We yesterday gave an account of the escape of the Mormon prisoners. -- the following account of their arrival at Quincy, Illinois, we take from a Quincy paper of last Saturday:

"The celebrated Mormon leader, Joseph Smith, who has so long been on confinement in the upper part of Missouri, arrived in town on Monday last. He and four of his companions, consisting of Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, Hiram Smith, and Alexander McRae, escaped from the guard which was taking them from Daviess to Boone county for trial. The guard got drunk and fell asleep, on one night of their travel, and the prisoners knowing that they could not expect justice in any courts of upper Missouri, very properly turned their backs upon their persecutors and left them alone in their iniquity. We had supposed from the stories and statements we had read of 'Jo Smith,' (as he is termed in the papers) to find him a very illiterate, uncouth sort of a man; but from a conversation, we acknowledge an agreeable disappointment. In conversation he appears intelligent and candid, and divested of all malicious thought and feeling towards his relentless persecutors. There are five more of the Mormons in confinement in Ray county jail."

Query. Will Governor Boggs offer a reward for the apprehension of the fugitives or will he demand them from Gov. Carlin?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, May 6, 1839.                   No. 1826.


MORMONISM. -- The disciples of this infatuation are still laboring to make proselytes. A preacher lately made a large number of converts in Long Island.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, May 10, 1839.                   No. 1830.


LYMAN WIGHT, one of the Mormon leaders, complains most loudly of his old Democratic associates in Missouri. He says he has been a true Democrat, has walked in democratic society, and given exclusive democratic votes. We have always believed that Loco Foco Democracy and Mormonism were about one and the same thing. Worship your leaders and obey the party are the first tenets of both these new fangled doctrines. The poor ignoramuses of the Mormon church are not more impressed with a conviction of the divine power of Joe Smith, or the necessity of obeying the instructions of their head men, than some of the Loco Focos of this State are convinced of the infallibility of Thomas H. Benton and the obedience they owe to their party leaders and dictators. The one follows with the same blind infatuation which leads the other on, and the only difference we can perceive is, that the one professes to be spiritual and the other political; -- but self-aggrandizement is the object of the leaders in both instances. This thing is very apparent, the same undisturbed rule which Benton holds over his subjects, and the undoubting confidence with which they follow his lead, would, if so directed, make him a Joe Smith, and them most dutiful Mormons.

Note 1: The "complaints" of Elder Lyman Wight which so arrested the attention of the Whig editors at the Missouri Republican were voiced, oddly enough, in the columns of the Republican's political ally across the river, the Quincy Whig. See Wight's unusual open letter to Missouri Senator Thomas H. Benton, in the May 11, 1839 issue of the Whig. Probably Elder Wight sent the same text to Whig papers on the Missouri side of the river, but they (unlike their peers at the Quincy Whig and the Louisville Journal) declined to publicize the Mormon leader's partisan "complaints." Wight followed his initial journalistic foray, by penning (with Eliza R. Snow as ghost-writer?) a series of articles in the Whig under the title "Missouri-ism."

Note 2: As the Republican's caustic article implies, the Mormons were block-voters and constant political comrades with the Jacksonian Democrats. This social alliance worked better for the Saints in the two party political scene of northern Ohio than it did along the Democrat dominated Missouri frontier. As the LDS refugees of 1838-39 poured across the border into western Illinois, they again entered the realm of two party local politics. Joseph Smith and his top advisors decided to play one party off against the other, all the while seeking the continual advancement of their own theocratic goals. So, while they were intially well received by the Democrats in Adams County (where Quincy was located), the Mormons engaged in a journalistic charade, by which they almost managed to convince the Illinois Whigs that "there exists a difference of opinion among the leading men of the Mormon faith." Such prospective political pluralism among the Saints was artfully advertised by them, both in private circles and in the popular press -- hence Elder Wight's letters and Joseph Smith's disingenuous follow-up in the Quincy Whig of May 25, 1839, etc. In the end the Mormons were content to remain block-voters, following the electorial advice of those men who were both their civil and religious leaders. About the only benefit accruing to the Illinois Whigs from this saintly artifice, was that the Mormons did vote for William H. Harrison in the 1840 national presidential election, and for Illinois Whig candidates (strangely not for Abe Lincoln though) in a few, scattered instances.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, May 13, 1839.                   No. 1832.


MORMON BIBLE. -- There has been much speculation and many reports circulated concerning the authorship of the Mormon Bible. We at the time had a copy in our possession, and, from many passages in it, were satisfied it was not written by the persons who were stated to be the authors. Some portions of the work are beautifully written, in a happy style, and manifest a fervid though eratic imagination, but throughout displays the arrangement of a strong and well trained mind. From a late exchange paper, we have learned the following facts and they accord much better with the real character of the book, than any account we have seen or heard. By this statement it appears the Mormon Bible "was written in 1812, for amusement, as a historical romance of the lost race, the remains of whose numerous mounds and forts are founf on the banks of the Ohio. The author was Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth College, who resided at New Salen Ohio," and on the appearance of a Mormon preacher there, many of the friends of the deceased clergyman, recollected passages which he had read to them during the time he was engaged in composing it. On enquiry, the original manuscript was found among his papers. It also appeared that at one time, he had some thoughts in relation to printing the work, and that it remained at a printing office for a long time. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time employed at that office, and it was no doubt copied by him.

Note: The Missouri Republican editor neglects to reprint the entire "statement," from which he quotes in regard to the origin of the "Mormon Bible." Still, this short summary in the Republican evidently marks the first publicizing of this incriminating news within the Mississippi Valley (other than an earlier, obscure mention in the Rock Spring Pioneer. The "exchange paper" cited by the Republican's writer was no doubt a high-circulation eastern newspaper like the New York Observer or the National Intelligencer. The May 3 issue of the latter paper reprinted the full statement from Solomon Spalding's widow, (which had originally appeared in the Boston Recorder on Apr. 19, 1839). Several of the Republican's Whig allies in the area also reprinted or summarized the Boston Recorder article at about the same time: the Quincy Whig,.on May 18. and the Alton Telegraph, on May 25. Even so, media exposures of the Mormons' origins and earlier history were rare in the Western papers. Other than an occasional mention of "worthless" Kirtland bank-notes, or of Smith's early "pretensions," the Missouri and Illinois editors were content to ponder the Mormons' more recent experiences on the nation's frontier.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, May 21, 1839.                   No. 18??

The Mormons, says the Burlington. I. T. Gazette, have been buying quite extensively at Commerce, in Illinois, and in the Half Breed tract in this Territory. Mr. Rigdon and Jo Smith, as he is unceremoniously called, are again quietly settled in homes of their own and among their own people.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Wednesday, June 5, 1839.                   No. 185?.

The Mormons are said to be doing a big business in the way of making converts on Long Island. -- They are purchasing land to a considerable extent in the half-breed tract in Iowa, where we understand they intend making another settlement. If they cannot stay in Missouri, they seem determined to settle pretty close to it.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Friday, June 14, 1839.                   No. 1860.

MORE MORMON TROUBLES. -- The Evening Gazette contains the following: -- "It seems that there are, in Illinois, scattered bands of Mormons, some of which come in contact with their neighbors and occasion much difficulty. We have heard from the neighborhood of Shelby County that about a week since differences having arisen between the Mormons and old residents, the former applied to the Governor for aid. The Governor ordered out several companies, who went to the scene of difficulty; but discovering that they were likely to be over matched, returned without affecting their object."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, June 27, 1839.                   No. 1871.

PAY OF THE MORMON TROOPS. -- The Jefferson Enquirer of a late date, says: "We are informed by the Cashier of the Bank of the State of Missouri, that one hundred thousand dollars of the money to pay off the Osage and Mormon volunteers, is now ready and at the command of the Governor, and that the remaining one hundred thousand dollars will be at his service some time next fall."

"The Paymaster General has been waiting some time for this news, but as the Governor is now some where in the upper part of the State establishing another store, nothing can be done in the matter until he shall return. An express has been sent after him, who will probably accompany him back in a few days. It is probable that he will then make arrangements to draw the money now ready, and pay it to those persons to whom it of right belongs."

Note: The Republican ran this same notice previously, on March 27th.


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Monday, July 1, 1839.                   No. 187?.

MORMON TROUBLES IN ILLINOIS. -- The Shelby Republican gives the following version of the difficulties in that county, in which it was reported the troops had been called out:

"Some of the inhabitants of that county -- many of them said to be old residents, -- embraced the Mormon faith. These, while pursuing their ordinary avocation, were beset by a mob, and assaults committed upon them. In order to enjoy the equal rights secured by the constitution, the Mormons made application to Judge Breese for warrants to arrest the offenders. -- Judge Breese issued warrants against fifteen of the leaders of the mob, and authorised and directed Col. James W. Vaughn to call out his regiment to assist arresting them. The Colonel ordered out a part of his regiment, but some of his men refused to obey the order, and the mob increasing, the military retreated."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, July 11, 1839.                   No. 18??.

THE MORMON PRISONERS ESCAPED. -- The Columbia Patriot of the 6th says that Parley P. Pratt, Morris Phelps and King Follett, three of the Mormon prisoners, escaped from the jail of this county on the evening of the 4th inst. The Deputy Sheriff, however, retook the last and brought him back to confinement. Pursuit is still made after the other two. Another, Lyman Gibbs, chose to remain, although he might easily have gotten out.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Saturday, July 13, 1839.                   No. 18??.

MORMON HISTORY. -- Mr. George Woodward, of Richmond, Ray county, has a large amount of documentary evidence in his possession relating to all the difficulties and disturbances with the Mormons in this State, which would be of great aid to any one wishing to write a history of these difficulties.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, July 16, 1839.                   No. 18??.

PAY OF THE MORMON AND OSAGE TROOPS. -- We have omitted to state that by an advertisement published in the papers in the Upper Missouri country, that the Governor has given notice that one half the money appropriated to paying the Mormon and Osage troops has been obtained and that the Paymaster had been directed to commence making payments ty counties, beginning at Franklin County. The Paymaster is directed to give notice in advance of the time and place of payment.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Tuesday, September 17, 1839.                   No. 18??.

The Mormons, says the N. Y. Gazette, are doing a thriving business, and strange and unaccountable as it may appear, are making converts in places where the people profess to be rational beings. The Village Record, published in Chester county, Pa., says fifteen were baptized into that faith! on Monday of last week, at East Nautimcul. We consider this full proof that "East Nautimcul," will give a strong Van Buren majority at the next election.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 15.                   St. Louis, Thursday, November 28, 1839.                   No. 18??.

MORMONISM IN ENGLAND. -- 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, in one of the packets, and they are preaching their doctrines with some considerable success.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                   St. Louis, Saturday, February 15, 1840.                   No. 18??

MORMONS IN CONGRESS. -- On the 28th durng the morning hour a memorial was presented by Mr. Young of Illinois, from Joseph Smith and other Mormons, asking the aid of Congress to redress their grievances and compensate them for losses incurred, as they state, while in Missouri. After a short discussion the memorial was laid on the table for the present.

Note: There were numerous other Missouri Republican articles on the Mormons published during 1840. After these have been transcribed, their texts will be posted on this web-page.

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