(Newspapers of Missouri)

Misc. St. Louis Newspapers
1831-1840 Articles

View of Saint Louis, Missouri -- c. 1832

1831-1840   |   1841-1843   |   1844-1849   |   1850-1899

Times Jul 09 '31  |  Bea Dec 29 '31  |  FPrs Aug 15 '33  |  WEx Jun 15 '34  |  FMA Jul 03 '34
WEx Nov 01 '34  |  WEx Apr 16 '35  |  WEx May 07 '35  |  DEH Aug 31 '35  |  CBul Oct 12 '35
WEx Dec 10 '35  |  CBul Dec 16 '35  |  Obs May 19 '36  |  Arg Jun 10 '36  |  Arg Jul 22 '36
Arg Jul 29 '36  |  CBul Sep 09 '36  |  CBul Feb 10 '38  |  EGaz Aug 15 '38  |  EGaz Aug 17 '38
CBul Aug 30 '38  |  EGaz Sep 03 '38  |  Arg Sep 06 '38  |  Arg Sep 13 '38  |  CBul Sep 19 '38
CBul Sep 20 '38  |  CBul Sep 22 '38  |  Arg Sep 27 '38  |  CBul Sep 29 '38  |  CBul Oct 31 '38
Arg Nov 01 '38  |  CBul Nov 02 '38  |  EGaz Nov 02 '38  |  Arg Nov 08 '38  |  CBul Nov 08 '38
CBul Nov 09 '38  |  EGaz Nov 10 '38  |  Arg Nov 15 '38  |  Arg Dec 20 '38  |  EGaz Jan 09 '39
EGaz Jan 22 '39  |  Arg Jan 31 '39  |  Arg Feb 15 '39  |  Arg Mar 19 '39  |  Arg Apr 12 '39
EGaz May 01 '39  |  Arg May 03 '39  |  Arg May 06 '39  |  EGaz May 09 '39  |  EGaz Jun 10 '39
EGaz Jun 13 '39  |  EGaz Jul 01 '39  |  Arg Jul 01 '39  |  Arg Jul 17 '39  |  Arg Sep 09 '39
Arg Sep 25 '39  |  EGaz Dec 05 '39  |  Arg Sep 11 '40  |  EGaz Nov 05 '40

Articles Index   |   St. Louis Missouri Republican 1830s  1840s


Saint  Louis  Times.

Vol. III.                            St. Louis,  Sunday,  July 9, 1831.                            No. 105.

Latest from the Mormonites. -- The following is from the Western Courier of May 26th, published at Ravenna, Portage county, Ohio.

We understand that a new arrival of Mormonites has taken place -- some two hundred men, women and children having lately landed in Geauga county, their holy land, from New York. It is said, [they] are an active, intelligent and enterprising sect of people. They have commenced a new settlement, in the township of Thompson, near the line of Ashtabula county, thus extending the holy land farther east than the limits originally fixed. They have full faith in the Mormon doctrine, having as they say, worked a miracle in clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo, by which they sailed several days sooner than other vessels.

In June they are all to meet, and hold a kind of jubille [sic] in this new 'land of promise,' where they are to work diverse miracles -- among others that of raising the dead. It is said there are soon to be miraculous births among them, and the number it is expected, will [be] materially increased after the general meeting.

Strange as it may appear, it is an unquestionable fact, that this singular sect have, within three or four weeks, made many proselytes in this county. The number of believers in the faith, in three or four of the Northern Townships, is said to exceed one hundred -- among whom are many intelligent and respectable individuals. The prospects of obtaining still greater numbers in this county, is daily increasing.

Note 1: This article is arguably one of the very first notices concerning the "Mormonites" to be printed in a Missouri newspaper. The 1830 travels of the Mormon "missionaries to the Lamanites" on the western borders of the state appear to have gone unnoticed by the popular press. The next mention of the Latter Day Saints in a Missouri paper was probably in "The Mormonites," an article telling of the Saints migrating to a "spot on the Missouri river," published by the Daily Missouri Republican of Sept. 6, 1831 and reprinted in the Columbia Missouri Intelligencer of Sept. 17, 1831.

Note 2: Although the above article reprint cites the Ravenna, Ohio Western Courier of May 26, 1831 as its source, no copy of that date has yet been located among the Ohio paper's files. Thus, it remains unknown whether the Courier article contained more text or whether it also misspelled the word "jubilee." A shorter reprint, in the June 22, 1831 issue of the Buffalo Journal & General Advertiser, does not include the section on the "jubilee," however the June 20, 1831 reprint in the Cooperstown, NY The Watch-tower printed "jubille." See also Niles Register of July 16, 1831 for a brief summary of this episode.



$2.50 per annum.                    [Vol. III. -- No. 174.]                   Thursday. Dec. 29, 1831.

The Mormon Delusion. -- By information from the west, some are falling off, as well as others uniting with Joe Smith, the impostor from Palmyra. One who has recently left them, by the name of Ezra Booth, of Portage county, Ohio, is publishing, in the Ohio Star, [the] purpose 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 [contact] with celestial spirits whenever he pleases. One of them prestends 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 has seen the New Jerusalem and passed through its apartments, &c. The ten tribes of Israel are locked up, they say, by the ice at the North Pole, where they enjoy the society of Elijah 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 yoing man is exposing.
                              N. Y. Baptist Register.

Note: Unfortunately, back in 1831, the editors of newspapers like the St. Louis Beacon did not choose to say much about Ezra Booth's "exposure" of the Mormons, the Saints' migration to Missouri, etc. The pages of papers like the Beacon, although they contain few feature articles on the early Mormons, still offer a wealth of supplementary information on the situation of the Saints along the Missouri frontier in 1831-32. For example, the Beacon's issues of May 31 and June 9, 1831 list letters waiting in the St. Louis post office for a "Joseph Smith." Possibly these were addressed to the Mormon leader, and as early as May his correspondents felt they could reach him in Missouri via the St. Louis post office. A stronger case can be made for the identity of the "Sidney Rigdon" who, according to the Beacon's issues of Aug. 2 and Aug. 18, 1831, also had letters waiting for him at the post office. Probably the writer of these letters expected Rigdon to pass through St. Louis on his way back to Ohio, after attending the special LDS conference of elders held at Independence during the first week in June.



Vol. II.                          Thursday, August 15, 1833                           No. 19.

INTOLERANCE. -- A society of Mormonites, a religious sect, were settled in Jackson county, in this state, where they had established a printing press, and published a paper entitled the "Star." The citizens of Jackson county having had a meeting on the subject of these "obnoxious" people, were determined to drive them from the country and raze their printing office to the ground. Their resolutions were prevented from being carried into execution by a subsequent agreement in which the Mormonites stipulated for the removal of their society, and this discontinuance of the publication of the "Star."

We profess to know but little of the character of this religious sect; nor do we pretend to vouch for the soundness of their doctrines; but we protest against the justness of this course and intolerance towards these people, however absurd and fanatical their modes of worship may have been. We have no right to interfer with the religious creeds of our neighbors; and if their conduct toward us is regulated by the laws of the land, we can have no just cause of complaint. Had individuals of this sect, or even the whole body of it committed legal offences, the civil tribunals of our country could have given sufficient redress; but to proceed against them as a religious body, not discriminating between the innocent and the guilty, must be considered persecution in the most odious sense of the word, and a disregard of the provisions of our Constitution, which declares * "That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences;" and "That no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person can ever be hurt, molested or restrained, in his religious professions, or sentiments, if he does nor disturb others in their religious worship."
* Constitution of Missouri -- Art. 13, Sec. 4.

Note: It is interesting to discover that the editors of papers located at a distance from the Missouri Mormon settlements were at least initially more sympathetic to the cause of the Saints than those of papers published closer to Jackson county (in 1833-34) and to Caldwell county (in 1838-39). The tone of news concerning the Mormons, as reported in St. Louis, gradually shifted from supportive (or at least neutral) to hostile during the course of events in Missouri in 1833-39.



Vol. I.                                    St. Louis, June 15, 1834.                                    No. 12.


A company of Mormons, 250 or 300 strong, recently passed through Springfield, Ill., bound westward. They were generally able bodied and efficient men, well armed. To inquiries respecting their place of destination, they gave evasive answers. It is more than probable that this is the reinforcement which for some time past has been expected by "the faithful" of the vicinity of Independence, in this State. One of their leaders, it is said, claims to have performed more miracles than are found mentioned in the Old and New Testaments.

Note: The "company of Mormons" here reported was Joseph Smith's "Zion's Camp" military expedition from Ohio. The LDS troops did not pass near St. Louis on their way to the northern border of Jackson county, so that city's newspapers had to rely on second-hand reports in order to publish the news of the "Mormon War" then beginning in that region. It is not improbable that the boasting "leader" mentioned was Martin Harris.


Farmers' Mechanical  Advocate.

Vol. ?                                   Thursday, July 3, 1834.                                   No. ?


[A number] of these people, [---- ----], armed and equipped are gathering in the neighborhood of Jackson county, [to regain], by battle or otherwise [----- ----] from which they were expelled last summer. Various are the accounts of their [numbers] but the lowest [-----nt with] ... to the people of Jackson county. The [----- ----] printed in [----- ---- ---- ---] an account of a meeting [--- ---- there was] a committee [--- ---- --- ---] with a committee from the Mormons, endeavoring to adjust the difficulties amicably, [but there was] done nothing calculated to [--- ---- ---] heal the breach, but rather [----- ---- ----]. They broke up, without [---- --- ---] determination. On the night [---- ----- ----] from Jackson [returned] the [--- --- ---] the boat sunk and [--- --- ---] An account of which we [----- ----- ----].


                                  Independence, (Mo.) June 12, 1834.

Messrs. Kelley & Davis: Having understood that you have received intelligence of the sinking of the ferry boat at Everett's ferry, on the Missouri, last evening, together with a statement of the sufferings of those who happened to be on board, we, a part of those who escaped, have thought proper, for the correct information of yourselves and others, to give a statement of the facts as they actually occurred.

Eight of the citizens of this county, a majority of whom was a part of the committee that waited on the Mormons, in your town, on yesterday, embarked on board of the boat at about nine o'clock, it being perfectly clear, and the moon shining as bright as we ever saw it. Upon our embarking, the boat appeared to be in as good order as we ever saw it -- the false floor was tight and good. After our having left the shore some two hundred yards, in an instant, as it were, the boat was filled with water. We are confident the boat struck nothing. Our impressions at the time were, and still are, that something had been done to the boat to sink her, as it was known that the committee from this county would cross at that point last night. The names of the persons lost are -- James Campbell, William Everett, David Linch, Jefferson Cary, and a Mr. Bradbury -- the two last were the ferrymen.

Those escaping -- Smallwood Noland, Richard Fristoe, Smallwood V. Noland, Samuel C. Owens, Thomas Harrington, and a Mr. Frost -- the last being the third ferryman. Those who escaped, we assure you, suffered much.

Respectfully, your obedient servants,

    Samuel C. Owens,
    S. V. Nolland,
    Thomas Harrington.

Note: Unfortunately the introductory text of this interesting 1834 clipping is mostly unreadable. It appears to draw upon contemporary accounts of the "Zion's Camp" confrontation then going on in the western part of the state.



Vol. I.                               St. Louis, November 1, 1834.                               No. 21.


           "Read Religion's tale --- ---
           Then say what gratitude it claims from man, --
           Or rather ask, what climes it has not cursed
           With bigotry and superstition's rod."

JESUS MATHIAS. -- First on the list of cases for the present number, we have an account of a very pious impostor, known by the name of Mathews, or, as he thought proper to style himself, Mathias the Prophet, or Jesus Mathias; the Father, the Son and the Spirit of Truth. This worthy prophet, it seems, for a year or two past, has been playing off the God with considerable eclat and profit, to a train of poor insane dupes of the city of New York, and vicinity. His principal dupes were a Mr. Mills, a Mr. Folger, and a Mr. Pierson, wealthy merchants of the city of New York. The first of the three, after having lavished on the impostor money and valuables to a large amount, lost the small remaining portion of his reason, and became an inmate of the Lunatic Asylum. Folger had a furnished house at Sing Sing, in which his family resided. This, the prophet persuaded his dupe, had been purchased at the instance of the Spirit of Truth, so that he, the representative of the Spirit, might take possession and reside therein -- and Folger believed him, and made it over to him by deed, accordingly. A furnished house in New York was also conveyed to him by Pierson, on a similar representation. The prophet wanted a gold watch too, and Folger presented him with one worth $115. He wanted a carriage and equipments, and obtained them. He wanted money, and it was lavishly supplied him. For all these benefits, he promised abundance in the kingdom of heaven. Notwithstanding the most barefaced impositions of this kind, Mathews continued successfully to play his game for more than two years; obtaining from Folger and Pierson alone, according to his own statement, in all about 10,000 dollars. Recently the bankruptcy of Folger, and the disaffection and subsequent death by poison (supposed to have been administered by the hand of Mathews) of Pierson, threw the prophet upon the world, where he had for a short time been buffeting, when arrested about the first of October, at the instance of Folger, on a charge of "procuring money under false pretences," and committed to prison. A New-York paper says: --

"Mathias was examined in the early part of this week before Justice Wyman at the upper Police Court. He denies Folger's allegations, talks nonsense in cant language, calls himself a Jewish teacher and preacher of the Most High, and has been committed upon the charge of obtaining money under false pretences: we have no doubt of the truth of the allegation, but then it is equally applicable to all the clergy, and therefore we believe he will not be convicted if properly defended."

It is stated, however, that there is conclusive evidence that Pierson came to his death by poisoning, and that there are strong reasons for suspecting that Mathews was the perpetrator of the deed: so that as a picked jury could not be procured for so unpopular a brother, he may yet receive the fate that some more fortunate brothers have escaped.

JACOB COCHRAN, another Holy Impostor. -- This strange man, who, a few years since, threw a part of New England in commotion with fanaticism, and who, in the midst of his pretended supernatural power and light, found a check to his holy zeal, as he called it, by a few years contemplation in the State Prison at Charlestown, is still a wonder in the land of the living, with a few fanatics at his heels. -- His residence, "The Ark," is at Hollis, Maine. Jacob and his company profess to have wives spiritual and wives natural, children spiritual and children natural, &c. &c.

JOE SMITH & Co. Increase of Mormonites. -- Notwithstanding the check received by this religion in the west, it is steadily on the increase elsewhere. From the history of the sect, given by Gladden Bishop, a Mormonite preacher, it seems that it first took its rise at Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y., in 1830, with only six members; it now numbers 20,000, and has 800 preachers, two printing offices, two public stores, and a large stone ediface for a house of worship. The spread of Christianity would bear no comparison with this...

Note 1: The atheist editor of the Western Examiner took up the task of comparing the beginnings of Christianity and those of Mormonism, more minutely, in his issue of Dec. 10, 1835. Although he provided his readers with some further particulars on the false prophet Matthias in the May 7, 1835 issue, the editor seems to have lost interest in the sordid story of the Rev. Jacob Cochran of Maine.

Note 2: The above paragraphs comprise what must surely have been the first article in the popular press, wherein the self-proclaimed prophets, Cochran, Matthias and Smith, were all mentioned in the same breath. A few cotemporary "impostors," who might be added to the list would be Jemima Wilkinson, the "Universal Friend," Isaac Bullard, of the "Vermont Pilgrims," and Joseph C. Dylkes, the "Leatherwood God." For another report, loosely linking Matthias, Cochran and Smith, see the Saturday Evening Post of Sept. 12, 1835.

Note 3: According to the Nov. 28, 1835 issue of the New York Herald, the false prophet Matthias had "not joined the Mormons," during his 1835 ramblings in Ohio -- but, if that group "have pretty women among them no doubt he will." Editor Bennett's prediction did not come true; however Joseph Smith did meet with Matthias at Kirtland, on Nov. 9, 1835 and perhaps learned a little of the prophetic pretender's mission and methods. There is no account of Smith ever having met with the more substantial cult leader, Rev. Jacob Cochran of Maine. See Gideon T. Ridlon's 1895 accounts regarding the appearance and development of Cochranism and Mormonism in Maine's Saco Valley. At the end of 1819 Cochran was sentenced to a four year term in the Maine State Prison, from which he was evidently released in 1823, if not before. Cochran seems to have left behind some detached "spiritual wives" and other polygamy-minded followers in the Saco Valley, when he returned to his original wife and gave up his public "ministry."

Note 4: It is likely that a curious Joseph Smith sent his brother, Elder Samuel H. Smith, on an 1832 mission to New England, in order to convert and "gather in" the Cochranite remnant of Maine, Boston, etc. According to an account published in the Oct. 25, 1903 issue of the New York Times: "The imprisonment of Jacob Cochrane [sic] checked the spread of his dogma, but as the time of his release drew near his diciples grew rampant and received a new command to take "spiritual wives"... There were a few divorces, some marriages, and several elopements of spiritual partners, and finally emigration to Salt Lake City. Cochrane returned to his legal wife, broken in health and spirit, a "back number." One of Brigham Young's first "plurals," Augusta Adams Cobb (1802-1886) was a former Cochranite, or was influenced by the teachings of that sect, prior to her 1843 elopement with Brigham. Other prominent early Mormons who were possibly influenced by Cochranism include Mary Bailey (1808-1841) who married Elder Samuel H. Smith, and (even more likely) Agnes Moultin (1811-1876) who married Samuel's brother, Elder Don Carlos Smith.



Vol. II.                               St. Louis, Thursday, April 16, 1835.                               No. 14.

MORMONISM TRIUMPHANT. -- We learn by a morning cotemporary, that a Mormon parson recently held forth in Franklin county, (Md.,) upon the 'golden bible,' which has been vouchsafed to the followers of that faith. He was replied to by a Universalist clergyman; and after sundry disputations, the question was taken upon the subject of the respective beliefs. The Mormons carried the question by a large majority. -- Boston Courier.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                               St. Louis, Thursday, May 7, 1835.                               No. 17.


The trial of this notorious imposter for the alledged murder of Pierson, one of his deluded followers, took place at White Plains, N. York, on Thursday, 16th ult., and eventuated in his acquittal. On another charge, however, an assault upon his daughter of an aggravated nature, he was found guilty, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and another month for contempt of court. The plea of insanity which had been set up by the defendant's counsel, could not be sustained -- but on the other hand, it was clearly shown that the death of Pierson was not the result of poisoning. It is stated in the New York papers, that Matthias has gained many proselytes to his notions since his arrest and trial. He is said to be looked upon as a persecuted saint!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                            St. Louis, Mon., Aug. 31, 1835.                            No. 74.

                                                         CLEVELAND, July 31.
Another Humbug. -- We are credibly informed that the Mormons have purchased of Mr. Chandler, three of the mummies, which he recently exhibited in this village; and that the prophet Joe has ascertained, by examining the papyrus through his spectacles, that they are the bodies of Joseph (the son of Abraham,) and King Abimeleck, and his daughter. With this shallow and contemptible story, Williams has commenced travelling about the country, and will no doubt gull multitudes into a belief of its truth. Surely one half of the world are fools. -- Whig.

Note: Apparently the "Williams" mentioned in the above report was the leading Mormon, F. G. Williams. This article is from the Cleveland Whig of July 31, 1835. See also the Aug. 16, 1835 issue of the NYC Sunday Morming News for the same reprint.


And Missouri Literary Register.

Vol. I.                               St. Louis, Wed.,  October 12, 1835.                               No. 64.

THE  MORMONS. -- These "latterday saints," it is said, have lately purchased three Egyptian Mummies, which they intend exhibiting as the bodies of Joseph (the son of Abraham) and King Abimelech and his daughter.

For more information on the Mormons' purchase of these three mummies, see the Painesville Telegraph of Mar. 27, 1835



Vol. II.                               St. Louis, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1835.                               No. 46.



'There is a difference between Christians and Pagans, the latter reduce a GOD to a MAN, and the former a MAN to a GOD.'
-- Mr. Calton.

'By falsities and lies, the greater part of mankind they corrupted!'
-- Mil., Par. Lost.

I have sometimes been at a loss to account for the fact, that so base, puerile, and insignificant an imposition upon common sense, as the Mormon Revelation, has not excited, among the most intelligent part of our citizens, at least a refutation. But it is suffered to pass from year to year, and no one says or writes, tho' every well-informed individual knows it is a fraud, of the most pitiful character!

The leaders of this fallacious dogma, are travelling, preaching and enlisting proselytes in every section of the country, with no other salutary opposition than the silent smile of pity, from the better informed part of society. Look at the moral and intellectual character of the leaders and followers of this faith! They are, with few exceptions, the very dregs and sediment of society! Destitute, alike, of all literary and mental acquirements. I have seen the epistles of some of their leading ministers, in which there was not one sentence of correct language. But they say the Lord chooses the weak things of this world, to confound the wise.

We all see that, futile and contemptible as their revelation is, they do not lack for believers and followers; for the fact cannot be [concealed], that a small portion only of mankind, and still smaller of woman-kind, are yet intelligent beings. How long will it be before their siety, as I saw it written in a letter from one of their priests, will become sufficiently numerous to render their system of faith popular? Then they will have thousands of intelligent and influential members; for, to the disgrace of human nature be it said, there is a great portion of men, and greater of women, who are always ready to subscribe to any opinion which has the longest list of the wealthy and influential.

When that day comes, one of our deccendants, in conversation with a modern Mormonite, will say -- 'Your Mormon book and religion is an entire fraud and imposition upon common sense; I believe nothing in its reputed authenticity.' To which the latter will reply -- 'How dare you disbelieve these divine truths -- for our revelation was disseminated, preached, and explained in an enlightened day, among the learned and intelligent citizens of the United States, where conscience and the press were entirely free; & they did not contradict it.' Hence our only possible supposition is, that the public were over-awed by such an unusual display of divine revelation! And I, therefore, dare not disbelieve it!

Now where is the positive proof which our descendant ought to have, to silence, at once, this future hypocrite, fanatic, impostor, or fool? It should be the unanimous testimony of all the writers of the age and country, in which the revelation is feigned to have been made.

I will now trace a comparison, which I think is highly illustrative of my present position. You are to understand then, that we have other Mormon books, or revelations of more ancient origin; and there is one to which I would particularly allude, which was got up about eighteen hundred years ago.

The real history of this ancient Mormon book, so far as it is known, bears a close analogy to my anticipations of the modern one. Then as the known history of the ancient Mormon book, bears a close comparison to what may be reasonably anticipated concerning the modern one, is it not equally reasonable to believe, that the origin of the ancient book was also analogous to the well known origin of the modern one? Is it now too late in the day to obtain authenticated facts relative to these old fabulous writings; reason and common sense, therefore are the only landmarks by which we can govern our indistinct vision. Surely these subjects are worthy the attention of every individual who gropes for TRUTH among the mental fogs of ancient ignorance and superstition. I will continue the comparison:

The ancient revelation, by hearsay, had a divine agent, or founder, Christ, the modern one also has a Joe Smith, to whom are attributed by his followers, nearly the same qualities of character. The modern is acknowledged by his own followers, to be illiterate and destitute of general information: the ancient is also said to have been unlearned and ignorant. The modern is known to be a base impostor; the ancient is also known to have been the same, if we can depend upon the writings of his early followers, who say that he pretended to be the son of God! Both of these impostors, and their early followers, met physical opposition, which only tended to enhance their cause. The early followers of both were the low unlettered refuse of society; asserting, as I said before, that their Lord chooses the weak things of this world, to confound the mighty!

I will now continue the comparison, and show that these two divine revelations, as they are ignorantly called, are not the only ones with which common sense and mankind have been insulted, and that all are, in a greater or less degree alike.

First, the Jews had a Mormon book, which they say their God dictated to Moses, their inspired founder and leader. Moses' works, which are, in every respect doubtful, except in ignorance, vulgarity, and self-contradiction, are expounded, as you all know, by a tedious mass of incoherent history, poetry, and romance. -- These were the casaul effusions of wandering shepherds, musicians, and mountebanks. The fragments were collected at distant intervals, and were revised continually to suit the faith of each successive transcriber and commentator. I would also hint that it was not impossible for these writings, unintentionally, to have suffered great perversion from their original meaning, by being transcribed for many centuries, before printing was invented. The text, in modern times has come to a standard, owing to the multiplied duplicates of printing; and hypocrites are now obliged to mould their faith to the book, instead of molding the book to their faith. Such, then, is the 'questionable shape' in which an all-wise Being communicates his 'word,' eh! -- Ridiculous!!!

Secondly, the Turks have a divine revelation, which they say was communicated to Mahomet by an angel. Mohomet is the author of the entire book, and pretended to be a divine agent. His followers are numerous and powerful to this day; regarding Christians as abandoned infidels, and Christ as an impostor. These stigmas were retorted by Christians, but are applicable to both!

I will now introduce an illustration of the cedulity of ignorance: If I should say I saw a living man, in day time, leap over the two-horned church in Cincinnati, probably no person in the world would believe me; but if I should say I saw a corpse rise out of the church-yard near that building in the night, leap over it and back again; then take wings and fly away, every converted fool in the United States would probably believe me! Now which would be most likely to perform that feat of agility -- a living man, or a dead one? Would the latter? Whew!

Here then, we see the propensities of ignorance to believe impossibilities. Even the common natural laws, impressed upon the elements of the solar system, are often supposed to be, by those who do not comprehend the natural causes of such operations, an immediate effect, produced by the physical power of some ghost or hobgoblin! Ignorance is always ready to attribute any thing beyond its comprehension to super-natural causes, instead of ranging the fields of science for solutions; there all things are explained on natural rational principles. Hence, we see that human nature in its unenlightened state, has always been predisposed to believe in the marvellous , and in matters of religion, those that opposed such blind credulity, were finally obliged to submit to the popular voice, having long and unsuccessfully combatted the ignorance of the multitude.

Now it is obvious to me, after weighing such various opinions as I have been able to elicit, that our unlightened citizens regard this late Mormon book, as an artifice so vile, shallow, and contemptible, that it can never deceive one intelligent individual; therefore they think it unworthy of so much notice as a contradiction! And such are unquestionably the opinion of the learned ancients, concerning the former revelations.

But we have seen by unhappy experience, how luxuriantly the weeds of error take roots and flourish. I judge of the future by the past; for human nature is the same, in all ages and nations. Therefore I say, that without a timely interference by us, our descendants will suffer the same impositions for want of our testimony which we now suffer for the want of the testimony of those who were contemporary with Tiberias Caesar.
                         A. H. M.

Notes: (forthcoming)


And Missouri Literary Register.

Vol. I.                               St. Louis, Wed.,  December 16, 1835.                               No. 92.

Matthias the prophet is alive and in Ohio; he has not joined the Mormons.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III. No. 26.                        Thursday, May 19, 1836.                        Kieth & Ostrander.

From the Far West.


May 3d, 1836.     }    

Mr. Editor: -- Letters from Kirtland, Ohio, have been received here by the last mail from persons of undoubted veracity, giving information that the Mormons in that place and its vicinity, to the number of 1500 or 2000, are arming and coming on to the upper Missouri. The letters state that they will not come in a body, but in small detached parties. This information is confirmed by our merchants returning, and other travelers coming from the East, who say that every boat ascending the River contains more or less of them; some 20, and one as high as 205. Those who did not show guns openly had boxes of the size usually made to contain guns. Add to this, that those who are coming, and those who are in the surrounding counties, speak uniformily of another attempt to take Zion, and no doubt can remain but that the peace of this section is again to be disturbed by a military array of ragamuffins, headed by the modern Mohamed. A meeting of the people of this county has been called, to meet on Saturday next, and energetic measures will be adopted to meet the coming storm, and a respectful but earnest request fir the co-operation of the upper counties.

At the last advices from Kirtland, all the County Offices were filled with Latter day saints, and a petition had been forwarded to the Post Master General to reform the post master there and appoint in his place the notorious Oliver Cowdery, who has given his name an infamous notoriety by bearing public and unblushing testimony to the advent of an Angel.

In the soberness and sadness of truth, where is this thing to end. Let others do as they may, the people of Jackson and their friends in the surrounding counties will be found at their post in the hour of trial; and this modern Hero of Revelation and Rags will be taught that the world is not rolling backward either in knowledge or chivalry.   H. C.

Note: This article orginally appeared in an early May issue of The Far West, published at Liberty, Clay county, Missouri. The same piece was also reprinted in the St. Louis Missouri Republican of May 17, 1836.


Vol. II                          St. Louis, Friday, June 10, 1836.                          No. 8.


We learn that the people of Jackson county apprehend another irruption of modern Gauls, yclept Mormons. Their apprehensions are most probably without foundation. These fanatics are, like all others, influenced by leaders in whom implicit confidence is placed; the Mormon leaders too well know the determined character of the population of Jackson county to seriously think of making an effort to settle in that county by force. It is not improbable that those religious impostors should encourage the idea that an attempt would be made for the purpose of distracting and agitating the people of Jackson. We hope they will not allow the Mormons any opportunity to laugh at their constant fear of invasion. If the Mormons learn that the people are really afraid of them, they will, out of pure mischief, keep them in a state of alarm for the next ten years. Let the Mormons go back, if they dare to do so; before they could build a port, the entire population of Jackson would be able to go and see them, and express to them their opinion whether a Mormon could grow and thrive in Jackson soil!

Note: The appearance of news reports concerning the Mormons, as published in the pages of the St. Louis Missouri Argus, perhaps marks a turning point in the local perception of the Latter Day Saints. Beginning in mid-1836, the Argus and other papers began to print increasingly hostile comments in regard to Missouri's unwanted colonists in the west.


Vol. II                          St. Louis, Friday, July 22, 1836.                          No. 14.

According to the St. Louis Republican, &c., James H. Birch. [Samuel] Owens, the Mormon hero, Gen. Ashley, and Mr. Kouns, a man scarcely ever heard of 10 miles from Fulton, have been "drafted" for the next campaign! Particulars next week."

Note: For more discussion on the topic of Samuel C. Owens and his reported victory over the Mormons, see the Argus of July 29th (below).


Vol. II                          St. Louis, Friday, July 29, 1836.                          No. 15.

                                       FOR THE MISSOURI ARGUS.


Mr. Editor -- I am aware that the gentleman whose name I have placed at the head of this communication is not a favorite of "the party" with which you you act; yet it is believed you will afford me room in your columns to rebut the unprovoked attack of the Reoublican upon this great and very good man -- a man whose warlike and expatriating deeds shall cause his euphonic name to be inscribed high and indelibly upon the weather=beaten moss and rocks of ephemeral imortality. Yes, a man who gallantly bared his fear-unacquainted breast to the wild and desolating fury of elutriated Mormons, and braved the unrestrained wrath of eliminated "Latter-Day-Saints," should be allowed every facility, by every editor, to pour a history of his wrongs into the drinking ears of a great and free people. -- Listen to the rude, uncalled for observations of that pink of every impropriety -- the "Republican" of St. Louis. Speaking of a generous uprising of the people to expel from our purified borders the pestifarous exciters of not to be realized hopes in the breasts of servants given to us by a kind providence to add to our comfort and happiness, the opposers of (what they please to call) 'the curse of slavery" say, "that every good citizen, we trust, will manifest a determination to put down this accursed spirit of mob-law" -- "this outrageous violation of law" -- "this devilish spirit" -- the act of "a lawless banditti." The acts of men who were determined to uproot an establishment calculated, and therefore maintained, to decarcinate one of our civil institutions, are characterized as "outrageous, develish," yea, "lawless." And why is such bitter denunciation poured upon the heads of the unshrinking sustainers of our domestic institutions? Why? Answer, ye fulminators of anathemas better than which the Abolitionists themselves could not create or desire. Like the works of immutable antiquity, they are carried to the limits of human perfection. The object is what? Is it not obvious to the peripherous vision of the sober surveyor of the unbounded ambition of the federalists of St. Louis, that, reflecting upon the illustrious services, and pellucidly transcendent intellectual endowments of the brave conqueror of the "Latter Day Saints," they have resolved to obscure the brightness of the rising orb, that they may not be totally eclipsed by his blazing noon? To effect an object so unworthy in itself, how eagerly they have embraced an opportunity to severely animadvert upon actions very similar to those which have crowned the heroic Owens with every-green weaths of historical immortality! But, alas for their projects! I have it in my power to establish the solidity of the claims of the Mormon hero upon the authority of a historian neither to be gainsaid or undervalued. I refer to the writings of the renowned and unforgotten DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER.

In one of his cogent and unanswered recitations of the doings of the people of one of the cities of classical Greece I find the following conclusive sentiment of the predicate upon which must forever rest the glory of the acquirements of the hitherto neglected but evolving Owens. Read this ancient and perfect adjudication of a modern case; hear what the erudite Knickerbocker himself says of the ofious opinions of Anoxagoras the philosopher:

"But I give little attention to the doctrines of this philosopher, the people of Athens having fully refuted them, by banishing him from their city; a concise mode of answering unwelcome doctrines, much resorted to in former days."

Now, when the Saints of these Latter Days entered upon and purchased of the goodly land of Jackson as the modern Canaan flowing with milk and honey in the midst of which their satisfied souls boldly pronounced it their intention to happily dwell, were not these unwelcome annunciations fully refuted by the philosophic Owens by banishing them from his county? What more could Diedrich Knickerbocker have done?

The fact that they were a simple and happy people, possessing lands and fields; houses, servants,, and cattle is of no consequence whatever, for the illustrious historian expressly says in a case where a nation of hethen would not embrace new doctrines because their new teachers would not descend to the drudgery of practicing them, that they "were compelled to resort to the more troublesome and effectual mode of persecution, letting loose among them, in order to effect their purification, fire and sword; in consequence of which indefatigable measures, the cause of christian love and charity was so rapidly advanced that in a very few years not one fifth of the number of unbelievers continued to exist." "And," continues the grave historian, "can any one have the presumption to say that those savage pagans have yielded any thing more than an inconsiderable recompense for this trouble to their benefactors, in surrendering to them a little pitiful tract of this dirty sublunary planet, in exchange for a draft of a glorious inheritance in a Kingdom to come?"

The benefits conferred upon the Mormons were of a similar character, and the ultimate treatment of them was of a similar nature to that spoken of by Diedrich Knickerbocker. In entering upon a part of the beautiful lands of Jackson county, Latter-Day-Saints in purchasing of the Government a small unoccupied portion of it and incontinently settling down upon it, invaded their just rights, "infringing the immutable laws of Nature, and counteracting the will of Heaven -- therefore they were guilty of impeity, burglary, and trespass on the case, -- therefore, they were hardened offenders against God and man -- therefore, they ought to be exterminated." Hence, these stubborn wretches inflicted too much for the assurance of human patience and the immortal Owens "literally hunted and smoked them out of their dens and lurking places and absolutely scouraged them from their ill-gotten possessions." Did he not cause "the temporal things, the vain vaubles and filthy lucre of this world, which were too apt to engage their worldly and selfish thoughts, to be benevolently taken from them?" -- "Instead thereof did he not teach them to set their affections on things above," and learn them to live on the other side of the river? And as Knickerbocker asks, so I ask, "can any one have the presumption to say, that these savage pagans have yielded anything more than an inconsiderable recompense for this trouble to there benefactors, in exchange for a draft on a little pitiful tract of this dirty sublunary planet, in exchange for a draft of a glorious inheritance in a Kingdom to come?"

With the self-satisfied confidence of a philosopher who feels that he has demonstrated the correctness of his theory, I ask, has not Mr. Owens acted up to the best models of high antiquity? Has he not entitled himself to the garlands of everlasting renown? Will not the sweet scented [odor] of his name, as, like a falling body it continues, with increasing velocity, to descend to later times, greatly refresh those ardent souls who may be called upon by a spirit of patriotism to banish, unheard, from their territory the propogators of unwelcome doctrines?

Where is the man, then, who will not step forth and sustain the chivalric Owens maugre the ungenerous denunciations of the envious writer in the "Republican?" Let every patriot, let every hater of turmoil and confusion rush to the support of a hero whose practice it is to banish the vulgar introducer of unpopular doctrines, into the bosom of a peaceful society. For, fellow citizens, when no man shall be permitted to be a Latter Day Saint, or to publish hurtful, idle, foolish, or non-understandable doctrines, our society will have become well-regulated -- it will have arrived at a state if perfection.     Q.

Note: The alert reader of the Argus no doubt saw this correspondent's mock-bombastic rhetoric and his appeal to the supposed authority of Washington's Irving's "grave historian," (the fictional Knickerbocker) as a thoroughly unconvincing display of supposed political allegiance to Mr. Owens. In fact, the correspondent was quite likely a Mormon, like Parley P. Pratt or William W. Phelps, writing under the guise of an irate supporter of Owens. Whether the editor of the Argus printed this unconvincing letter out journalistic ignorance or as an expression of sympathy for the writer's thinly-veiled sarcasm, history does not record.



NS Vol. I.                                     St. Louis,  Sept. 9, 1836.                                     No. 17.

(From the Philadelphia Mirror.)


A very very interesting article has lately come from the pen of a correspondent of Col. Stone; by which it appears that the origin of Mormonism was from an individual named Solomon Spalding, who wrote what is called the Mormon Bible. Spalding was a native of Ashford, (Con.) and was early distinguished above his school fellows. He received a liberal education, was educated for the minestry, [sic] ordained and preached for three years, but for some cause unknown, abandoned the ministry, and finally settled at Cherry Valley, N. York. Failing in trade, he removed to Conneaut, Ohio, built a forge, again failed, was reduced to great poverty, and finally endeavored to turn his education to account, by writing a historical novel, which is the "Manuscript Found," and upon which Mormonism has built its established faith in a new revelation.

The history of the marvellous work commenced with one Lehi, who lived in the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judea, six hundred years before the Christian era. Lehi, being warned by God of the dreadful calamities that were impending over Jerusalem, abandoned his possessions and fled with his family to the wilderness; after wandering about the desert for a considerable time, they arrived upon the border of the Red Sea and embarked on board a vessel. In this they floated about a long time on the ocean, but at last reached America and landed upon the shores of Darien. From the different branches of this family were made to spring the various aboriginal nations of this continent. From time to time they rose to high degrees of civilization; but desolating wars arose in turn, by which nations were over-thrown and reduced again to barbarism. In this way the condition of the Indians, at the time of Columbus's discovery, was accounted for; and the ancient mounds, fortifications, temples, and other vestiges of former civilization, found in North and South America, were explained. The governments of these nations were represented to be theocratic, like that of the Jews from whom they descended, and their national transactions were consequently regulated by their prophets -- priests, who received their recommands directly from the deity. In order, therefore, that the style of the romance might be suited to the subject, and to the popular notions of the people, the author of the Manuscript Found, adopted that of the Bible -- the old English style of James the First.

When Spalding got this work was ready for the press, his pecuniary matters would not allow him to publish it. -- After his death it fell into the hands of one Sidney Rigdon, who was the first preacher of the Mormon faith. It is believed that Rigdon made Joseph Smith, the present high priest of Mormonism, acquainted with these manuscripts, and he published it in 1830, containing 6000 [sic] pages, appending thereto the testimony of four witnesses to prove it was of divine origin. It was pretended that Smith had a revelation from the heavens, which told him where the golden plates were deposited, and that he went to the spot and made the great discovery. Certain individuals had been prepared for this great humbug by the marvellous stories of Smith, and the unaccountable fact that an ignoramus like him, who could neither read nor write, should have produced so connected a work as the pretended Mormon Bible -- Thus commenced this great and astonishing humbug.

Note 1: The Bulletin's reprinting of this article was quite likely the first intimation in the Missouri press of the Solomon Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship. Local interest in the Mormons was at a low ebb when this piece was printed and it sparked no follow up articles or correspondence in the St. Louis papers. Three years later, after the Mormons had become much better known (and more disliked) in Missouri, the St. Louis Missouri Republican resurrected the Spalding authorship claims in its issue of May 13, 1839.

Note 2: The content of this piece is primarily dependent upon an article first published in the New York Commercial Advertiser during the first part of August, 1836. For a lengthier version of the same report, see the Wyoming Republican of Aug. 17, 1836.



NS Vol. I.                                     St. Louis,  Feb. 10, 1838.                                     No. 138.


TENT OF MORMONISM. -- From a notice in the advertising columns of the N. Y. Sun, it seems that this humbug is under the course of discuddion in the city of Githam. The parties are announced: a certain Mr. Pratt, preacher of Mormonism "of the one part," and a Mr. Bachelor, of the other. The point at issue is touching the authenticity of the "Book of Mormon" of Jo. Smith and golden plate memory; and divers astounding disclosures among the other novelities of the occasion are primised. A capital joke -- Sirs.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1838,                             No. ?


... I find a rumor of apprehended disturbances with the Mormons. They, as you know, occupy Caldwell county exclusively. It seems that one of their number was, on the day of election, in Daviess county, and at the polls got embroiled in a difficulty, that ended in his death. It is said that some of the Mormons have been maltreated by their own body, and have spread their complaints into neighboring counties.

It is said, also, that it is difficult to collect debts among them; and that the officers have been put in duress who have endeavored to make collections. It is said, also, that some persons, who have come among them, have been forced to sign obligations in regard to the purchase of lands, the nature of which, however, if the attempt ever has been made, I have not learned.

Whether all or any of these causes have led to the difficulties which are apprehended, I cannot pretend to say. There is no doubt, at any rate, that some alarm and expectation of collision prevails in adjoining counties. Joe Smith, it is said, brags of his force -- setting them at something like 1200 able-bodied men. They polled only 353; but no doubt large additions have been made to their number within a year, who of course are not yet qualified voters.

One fact is, that Joe had taken himself a young girl to wife, and promised his followers that of his lineage there should be a son, who should be to them prophet, priest, and king. Unluckily, however, the priest and king turned out to be a female. But I suppose the faithful will receive her as pythoness and queen, and nursing mother in the church.

The Mormons are in expectation of fresh recruits from the East -- and I observe a statement in the newspapers, that 500 are on their way to the land of Canaan, which they expect to occupy, after turning out the heathen who now cumber the ground there.

Note: The full text of the above article is has not yet been located. The excerpt provided is from the Sept. 4, 1838 issue of Geneseo, NY Livingston Republican. See the Daily Evening Gazette of Sept. 3rd. for a similar report on Mormon wagon trains traveling to Missouri.


Vol. I.                             St. Louis, Friday, Aug. 17, 1838.                             No. ?

         Buffalo City, Missouri, August 11, 1838

A disturbance has broken out in Caldwell county, between the Mormons and other citizens. I have not heard what was the commencement, but it is stated here that Smith is going round with a company of from 100 to 150 armed men, headed by Lyman White [sic], for the purpose of getting those persons who do not belong to their Church to sign a paper primising not to molest them. I am told that they compel those to sign who are not willing. A deputation has left Richmond to request Smith and White to surrender to the civil authority. If they do not do so, it is the intention of the militia of this county to go and bring them in.

Note 1: Buffalo City was an old settlement in Ray County, Missouri, now defunct.

Note 2: This was one of the first news reports to reach St. Louis regarding the outbreak of "Mormon difficulties" in Caldwell and Daviess counties. See the Aug. 25, 1838 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Republican for a similar report from the western counties.



NS Vol. II.                                     St. Louis,  Aug. 30, 1838.                                     No. 297.


It was reported at Richmond Landing that Joe Smith, the Mormon, had surrendered himself to the civil authorities of the state.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             St. Louis, Monday, Sept. 3, 1838.                             No. 51.

From the Correspondence of the Philadelphia Focus


A few days since I witnessed the emigration of 95 families consisting of near 600 souls, gathered from different parts, going to the extreme west of Missouri. They call themselves "Latter Day Saints," commonly called Mormons. This latter name they do not acknowledge, but say it is only a "nick name." [They] travel in wagons, and make about 18 miles a day, and expect to be 12 weeks upon their journey; they encamp at night and pitch their tents in the form of a hollow square, in which they perform their cooking and other necessary duties, their wagons and horses being ranged on the outside; they also place sentinels at different posts around the camp, as in military encampments.

I made some enquiries of one of their numbers respecting their leader, whether he was an educated man, a man of superior talents. He said that he was of like passions with ourselves, and out of his place no more than any other ordinary man. I asked if he pretended to more sanctity than others of their denomination; he replied no, not so much. And yet he believed that the mantle had fallen on Joe, and that he was gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and could reveal things hidden in the womb of futurity. He informed us that two of their prophets had visited England about a year since, and that they have about 2000 converts there now. If they go on in this way, I think Joe bids fair to rival Mahomat.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Sept. 6, 1838.                          No. 20.

From the Boon's Lick Democrat.


It would seem from the following letter which we copy from the Missourian of to-day, that the difficulties between the Mormons and their neighbors of Daviess and Carroll counties are beginning to assume a serious character; but we continue to hope that a hostile collision between the parties will not grow out of them, and that those deluded fanatics will confine themselves within their own borders, and so far respect the laws of the State as not to trespass upon the rights of its peaceful citizens.

A notice calling a meeting of the people of Howard, at the court-house in this place on Thursday next, to take into consideration the property of adopting measures for the relief of our fellow citizens of Carroll and Daviess, should it be found necessary, will be found in another column.

                          Livingston County, August 12, 1838.
To the Citizens of Carroll County.
  Gentlemen: The awful situation of our fellow men (the citizens of Daviess county) is so very distressing that we feel it a duty to give you a statement of facts, that you may give the assistance that the emergency actually requires.

On last Tuesday morning about 250 Mormons, armed and equipped complete, came into Daviess county and surrounded a Mr. Adam Black's, an acting Justice of the Peace in Daviess, and by threatening his life forced him to subscribe a paper by which his liberty, as a freeman, is gone. -- The like affair has been forced from Mr. Enoch Riggs, and they have threatened instant death to all who may oppose their steps of treason. Immediately after the above affair their forces were augmented to the number of from 3 to 400 men all well armed, headed by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wright [sic]. They have literally overrun a considerable portion of this county, destroying the crops of grain that may be in their way. The lives of many of the most prominent men of Daviess county are threatened. Several men have been sent to Clay, Eay, Jackson and Lafayette counties, and it is seriously believed that the Mormons have taken and killed them. The men who have been sent are William Bownias, Col. Wm. Pennington, Major Etherton, Wilson McKinney and Theodore Pennington. On this morning we received a call from citizens to march to Millport. We have arranged about two hundred men in Livingston and we call unto you for aid.

The Mormons are said to have lately gone to Far West, and it is the prevailing opinion here that there they are fortifying for a seige. Your speedy co-operation with us is anticipated. We will move for Millport on to-morrow morning, and if we get the assistance that we expect, will be able in a few days to make an investigation of the whole affair. The affair of Black was stated by himself, last Friday, at Jesse Neves' to about one hundred.

The above does not comprise any thing like the whole length to which the Mormons have gone. They have, in addition, threatened to take Jaclkson county, and every thing does indicate a battle -- and if we do not get aid very shortly our county is ruined.

I am, Sirs, your very obedient And humble servant, HIRAM CUMSTOCK. One of the Committee.
Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Sept. 13, 1838.                          No. 21.


The Boon's Lick Democrat of the 8th inst says:

"The Committee appointed by the meeting held in this place on Saturday last, and instructed to 'repair to the scene of recent difficulties and aggressions' with the Mormons, have just returned from their mission and we learn from Mr. P. M. Jackson, one of the committee, that things do not present a scene so very alarming as has been represented by various reports from that quarter. Some of the leading Mormons have intimated their willingness to submit themselves to the legal authorities; hence we may infer that no serious difficulties will arise."

Notes: (forthcoming)



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis,  Sept. 19, 1838.                                     No. 3.


MORMON TROUBLES. -- The Boonville Emigrant of the 13th says: We have just conversed with Gen. Williamson [sic - Wilson?], of Howard county, who states that on last Saturday he saw a letter dated on the 7th instant, from a committee of gentlemen in Daviess county, to the people of Howard county, calling on them to raise a force and come to their assistance, and aid them in expelling the Mormons from the county. -- That the citizens of Daviess had removed their families, and were making preparations for warlike operations, that the Mormons were in a state of open rebellion against the laws, and war between them and the citizens was inevitable; that the people of Daviess had come to the fixed determination of commencing the attack on Saturday last.

From the best information we can obtain, the Mormons number from 1500 to 2000 fighting men; and it is stated upon good authority that a large emigrating party of Mormons are now on their way from Canada to join their friends in Missouri, which will increase their force, so as to make them very formidble: if this war should break out, it must become a war of extermination, as the Mormons are desperate, and rendered more so by the fanatical spirit infused into them by that arch-deceiver, Jo Smith, under whose banner they act, and by whose malign influence they are misguided, and ready for any act of desperation. Their disorderly conduct for months past, has so exasperated the people, that they can no longer tolerate or permit them to remain among them..

P. S. Since writing the above, we have understood that a gentleman from Ray county, has just arrived at Boonville, who brings information that the inhabitants of Daviess county have postponed warlike operations against the Mormons until Monday, the probable reason for this change of day, is on account of the Sabbath day coming next after the first one fixed upon. They consider it better that Monday instead of Saturday, as a day more appropriate, expecting to be able to prevail against them better by having the whole week before them.

Note: The above appears to be one of the better, more reliable republications of the 1838 Boonville article, despite its misspelling of Brigadier General Robert Wilson's last name.



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis,  Sept. 20, 1838.                                     No. 4.


MORMON TROUBLES. -- We were politely furnished yesterday with the following extract of a letter to a gentleman in this city, dated

Lexington, Mo., Sept. 14th.     
There is nothing of any account by way of news, unless I mention the Mormon difficulty, of which I suppose you receive exaggerated accounts. -- I returned from an excursion on business into the western part of Ray county, and found all the people in arms. A company of about two hundred and fifty left yesterday under command of Gen. Atchison of Liberty. I conversed with him upon the subject, and find he intends, if possible, to prevent the effusion of blood; but the citizens generally are of opinion that there will be a severe battle.

A force from Clay county started two days since; also from Carroll and Davies, fully bent on fight. A company of some twenty men from this county started yesterday. The issue will be known in a few days. One thing is very certain, unless the citizens march to the ground with a very superior force, in case of a battle the Mormons will overpower them. They are in complete order and discipline, and they have every inducement for exertion, as Jo Smith tells them if they are beaten they need not expect a resting place this side of heaven.

Notes: (forthcoming)



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis,  Sept. 22, 1838.                                     No. 6.


==> The following statement, which we copy from the Western Star of the 14th instant, cannot be read without interest:


We desire in the statement we are about to make, to give a true narrative of the causes which have produced the difficulty between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess county, as well as to give all that has occurred, respecting the movements of both parties, since the first difficulty took place.

At the election in Daviess county, a citizen objected to a Mormon's voting, which brought about angry words, -- the Mormon was struck with a club, and in return used the same weapon himself; and before the affair terminated, several on both sides were engaged, and knives freely used. No person was killed, but some were cut and bruised. The excitement did not terminate with the fight. Shortly afterwards. Joe Smith, Lyman Wright, and other Mormon leaders, collected a large force in Caldwell, and went into Daviess county to protect the Mormons residing there. They went armed and equipped for war, but they say their intentions were peace, and if what we hear be true, respecting the paper which they presented to Adam Black, a justice of the peace, for his signature, a very different face has been placed upon the transaction to what Black has certified to. The paper Smith presented by Smith to Black, was to the effect, that inasmuch as it was anticipated that difficulties would grow out of the fight at the election, between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess, he (Black) as a justice of the peace, pledged himself that he would take lawful notice of any unlawful proceedings of either party, -- Smith representing to Black, that if he would sign such a paper, he would show it to his own people and to others, and that it would have an effect to prevent difficulties.

We understand that the facts elicited at the trial of Smith and Wright (who gave themselves up and were heard before the judge of our Circuit Court last week,) completely stamped the certificate of Black, Comstock, and others, with falsehood. After the trial of Smith and Wright, it was believed that difficulties had ceased, but not so. The people of Daviess county had sent letters and messengers to other counties, in order to raise men to drive all the Mormons out of Daviess, and many from other counties had gone to their aid. The Mormons, seeing this, made preparations also. When, seeing the crisis at which things were arriving, the judge of our Circuit, Hon. Austin A. King, directed General D. R. Atchison to raise 1,000 men in his Division, and forthwith march into Daviess, to keep the peace, and prevent bloodshed.

Two hundred men from Clay, under the command of Brig. Gen. Doniphen, Major Lightburne, and Captains Moss, Whitington and Price, marched out on yesterday and the day before.

We are not apprehensive that any thing serious will take place, though both parties have become much excited. Both sides are to blame, but our opinion is that the Mormons are the aggressors. Until the 4th of July, we heard of no threats being made against them in any quarter. The people had all become reconciled to let them remain where they are, and indeed were disposed to lend them a helping hand. But one Sidney Rigdon, in order to show himself off as a great man, collected them all together in the town of Far West, on the 4th of July, and there delivered a speech containing the essence of, if not treason itself. This speech was not only published in the newspapers, but handbills were struck for distribution in Caldwell and Daviess counties. We have not the speech now before us, but we recollect among other threats, that the author said: -- 'We will not suffer any vexatious law-suits against our people, nor will we suffer any person to come into our streets and abuse them." Now, if this is not a manifestation of a disposition to prevent the force of law, we do not know what is. It is also true that when the Mormons left this county, they agreed to settle in, and confine themselves to a district of country, which has since been formed into the county of Caldwell; but they have violated that agreement, and are spreading over Daviess, Clinton, Livingston and Carroll. Such a number had settled in Daviess, that the old inhabitants were apprehensive they would be governed soon by the Revelations of the great Prophet, Joe Smith, and hence their anxiety to rid themselves of such an incubus.

So many reports are in circulation relative to battles fought, and men on both sides being killed and captured, that it is hard to get at the truth. We are certain, however, that up to yesterday, no person had been killed. Three men from Ray county were captured by the Mormons, and some 50 guns taken. The men are in confinement (or rather, are guarded and kept,) in the town of Far West; and it is said the people of Daviess have captured one Mormon.

Gen. Doniphen, in some remarks made to the company which went out from this county, said, that the men and arms captured by the Mormons would be demanded, as also the Mormon captive in Daviess. Should the Mormons refuse to give up the men and arms, the worst consequences must follow.

We hope and believe they will not be so blinded as to refuse; but if they should, we can tell them, that "war to the knife" will be waged against them, and [they] will no longer be suffered to remain in the State. We rely greatly upon the standing and influence of Gen'ls Atchinson and Doniphan, as well as the other gentlemen who have gone out, to bring this matter to a peaceable termination.

Note: The above text appears to be one of the more reliable reprintings of the Western Star article.


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Sept. 27, 1838.                          No. 23.

                             Liberty, Mo., Sept. 14.


We desire in the statement we are about to make, to give the true narrative of the causes which have produced the difficulty between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess county, as well as to give all that has occurred respecting the movements of both parties since the first difficulty took place.

At the election in Daviess county, a citizen objected to a Mormon's voting, which brought about angry words. -- The Mormon was struck with a club, and in return used the same weapon himself, and before the affair terminated, several on both sides were engaged, and knives freely used. No person was killed, but some cut and bruised. The excitement did not terminate with the fight. Shortly afterwards, Joe Smith, Lyman Wright, and other Mormon leaders, collected a large force in Caldwell, and went into Daviess county to protect the Mormons residing there. They went armed and equipped for war, but they say their intentions were peace; and if what we hear be true, respecting the paper which they presented to Adam Black, a justice of the peace, for his signature, a very different face has been placed upon the transaction to what B. has sworn to. The paper Smith preseneted to Black was to the effect that, inasmuch as it was anticipated that difficulties would grow out of the fight at the election, between the Mormons and the citizens of Daviess, he (Black) as a Justice of the Peace pledged himself that he would take lawful notice of any unlawful proceedings of either party -- Smith representing to Black, that if he would sign such a paper, he would show it to his own people and to others, and that it would have an effect to prevent difficulties.

We understand that the facts elicited at the trial of Smith and Wright (who gave themselves up, and were heard before the Judge of our Circuit Court last week) completely stamped the certificate of Black, Comstock, and others with falsehood. After the trial of Smith and Wight, it was believed that difficulties had ceased, but not so. The people of Daviess county had sent letters and messengers to other counties in order to raise men to drive all the Mormons out of Daviess, and many from other counties had gone to their aid. The Mormons seeing this, made preparations also. When, seeing the crisis at which things were arriving, the Judge of our Circuit, Hon. Austin A. King, directed General D. R. Atchison to raise 1,000 men in his Division, and forthwith march them into Daviess, to keep the peace, and prevent bloodshed.

Two hundred men from Clay, under the command of Brig. Gen. Doniphen, Major Lightburne, and Capt's Moss, Whittington, and Price, marched out on yesterday and the day before.

We are not apprehensive that anything serious will take place, though both parties have become much excited. Both sides are to blame, but our opinion is that the Mormons are the aggressors. Until the 4th of July, we heard of no threat being made against them, in any quarters. The people had all become reconciled to let them remain where they are, and indeed were disposed to lend them a helping hand. But one Sidney Rigdon, in order to show himself off as a great man, collected them all together in the town of Far West, on the 4th July, and there delivered a speech containing the essence of, if not treason itself. This speech was not only published in the newspapers, but handbills were struck for distribution in Caldwell and Daviess counties. We have not the speech now before us, but we recollect amongst other threats, that the author said: "We will not suffer any vexatious law-suits with our people, nor will we suffer any person to come into our streets and abuse them." Now, if this is not a manifestation of a disposition to prevent the force of law, we do not know what is. It is also true, that when the Mormons left this county, they agreed to settle in, and confine themselves to a district of country, which has since been formed into the county of Caldwell; but they have violated that agreement, and are spreading over Daviess, Clinton, Livingston and Carroll. Such a number had settled in Daviess, that the old inhabitants were apprehensive they would be governed soon, by the Revelations of the great Prophet, Joe Smith, and hence their anxiety to rid themselves of such an incubus.

So many reports are in circulation relative to battles fought, and men on both sides being killed and captured, that it is hard to get at the truth. We are certain, however, that up to yesterday, no person had been killed. Three men from Ray county were captured by the Mormons, and some 50 guns taken. The men are in confinement, (or rather, are guarded and kept,) in the town of Far West; and it is said the people of Daviess have captured one Mormon.

Gen. Doniphan, in some remarks made to the company which went out from this county said, that the men and arms captured by the Mormons would be demanded, as also the Mormon captive in Daviess. Should the Mormons refuse to give up the men and arms, the worst consequences must follow.

We hope and believe they will not be so blinded as to refuse; but if they should, we can tell them, that "war to the knife" will be waged against them, and they will no longer be suffered to remain in the State. We rely greatly upon the standing and influence of Generals Atchison and Doniphan, as well as the other gentlemen who have gone out, to bring this matter to a peaceable termination. -- Western Star.


Many rumors are current in regard to the movements of these people in our western counties; but we apprehend that the excitement which has been created, or at least much of it is without foundation. In a case of this kind, we ought to give credence only to the most authentic and indisputable information. The Mormons are a religious sect, professing to believe some revelation from Heaven, and though we may believe it began in imposture, we are bound, while we adhere to the principle of universal toleration, to abstain from all interference with the exercise of rights that belong to it as fully as to any denomination of Christians. All liberal Americans will bitterly regret any violence towards the Mormons, if hereafter it should appear that public feeling has been inflamed against them without any other cause than their attachment to a creed which they think it a duty to maintain. We would not be understood as saying that this is the only cause, for we have no knowledge to that effect; we make the remark simply by way of caution. We know how easy it is to propogate erroneous opinions of the characters of men, or to misrepresent their intentions; we have seen this often in the course of our political life; we have had ample reason to complain of it every day. Hence, we would recommend our friends not to judge too hastily on this subject, but to wait until it is positively ascertained what are the designs of the Mormons, and what has been their real conduct. This is the part of common prudence, and in this way alone can we act with wisdom, prevent a civil war, and establish peace on our borders. Doubtless a competent force under the command of the Governor, might proceed to the spot and settle this difficulty without a drop of blood being shed. We fervently hope that this may be done without delay.

Notes: (forthcoming)


NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis, Sept. 29, 1838                                     No. 12.


MORMON TROUBLES ENDED. -- A gentleman who arrived yesterday direct from Columbia, informs us that on Tuesday last all the volunteer companies were disbanded by the Governor, and had returned to their respective homes. Peace and quietness reigned amongst the Mormons -- and the general impression in that section of the country through which our informant travelled was, that the Mormons had been greatly slandered -- "more sinned against than sinning."

Notes: (forthcoming)



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis, Oct. 31, 1838                                     No. ?


By the steamer Astoria, we have a confirmation of the report of the burning of Daviess Court House, Post Office, and a store by the Mormons. -- It is stated that the Governor has ordered out 4,000 militia; and we understand that volunteer companies are rapidly being organized to march to the scene of action. The Mormons are said to receive daily accessions to their numbers, by emigrants from Canada.

Note: Aside from a similar account printed a few days before in the Missouri Republican, his was one of the first reports published in St. Louis telling about the Mormons burning the public buildings and buildings owned by the "Gentiles" in Daviess County, Missouri. It was these news items that so enraged the already hostile non-Mormons in Missouri to take desperate action against the Saints,


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Nov. 1, 1838.                          No. 28.


The following alarming intelligence is derived from a letter addressed to the Editors, under date of

                                                           Elk Horn, Oct. 22d., 1838.

The Mormon war is still progressing. The Mormons are still extending their ravages over the country. Our Generals think it unnecessary to act, as in acting officially, they could only, I think, do nothing. No persons have been under arms in Daviess county since the Carroll county War. The Mormons have in addition to what you have already heard, burnt the post-office in Daviess county and another store, together with a village called Millport, and say they have taken $33,000 worth of property from the citizens up to last Saturday night. And have challenged Ray county, that they are now ready for her: that having taken arms and magazines enough from the Daviess citizens to supply all their deficiency in that line, they cannot be whipped. They have threatened to burn Elk Horn and Bunkum. A company of men raised by order of the Executive, and commanded by Capt. Samuel Bogart, will march tomorrow on the Ray and Caldwell Line to prevent an invasion. Whether our abiding men in Richmond will turn out or not, we cannot say; but we give it as an opinion, that if they do not the Mormons will burn it over their heads, which they can do easily.

The Mormons hold councils every day in Far West. On Saturday last, they resolved to carry out Sidney Rigdon's 4th of July speech in warfare, (viz:) Extermination, root and branch. Also, every man in Caldwell able to bear arms, who yet persisted against joining them in the battle and spoils, that their property should be confiscated, their fire-sides occupied by better people, and their blood should stain the earth.

There is a party, whose business it is to pillage and secure, burn and destroy property. They say they are headed by an angel called the "Destroying Angel." We believe there are few citizens, if any, in Daviess county at this time.

And as to murdering the citizens, they had previously threatened the lives of many, and now they have put many of their enemies out of way of the Latter Day Saints.

They can no longer bear any other name than a band of Robbers and Incendiaries, under the direction of about 20 Heads. Our country is in a state of perfect confusion, but we believe there is enough of Patriotism and zeal for civil rights, to muster a force (which some of the prints who bark up the wrong tree, call mobs) to do the one thing needful, which had it been done in time, would have prevented further difficulty.

We believe that in less than six days, Far West will be burnt and her fugitives driven from the borders of the State.

A letter of prior date to the above, from the same correspondent, will be given to-morrow.

Note: The above letter appears to have been written by a neighbor or an associate of Captain Samuel Bogart of Elk Horn, Ray Co., Missouri; Bogart himself wrote similar letters from that place at about the same time. The contents of this letter were summarized in a mid-November issue of the New York Evening Star, and from there, broadcast through the eastern press.



NS Vol. III.                                 St. Louis,  Friday,  Nov. 2, 1838                                 No. 51.


MORMON  WAR. -- Further Outrages. -- The people of the North Western part of Missouri are now in the midst of a civil war, and we believe it will never end, until every Mormon is exterminated or driven from the land. We have the following alarming intelligence by a slip from the office of the Missouri Watchman of last Monday, October 29th.

(view original article from Jefferson paper)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             St. Louis, Friday, Nov. 10, 1838.                             No. ?


We, at this late hour, received an extra from the Missouri Watchman, Jefferson City, of the 29th.

A very numerous meeting has been held in Ray county, at which the most energetic resolutions were taken.

A report was read at the meeting, by which it appears that Millport, in Daviess county had been burnt, and that the county [was] deserted, and sacked.

Judge King writing to the Governor, from Richmond, Ray county, October 24th, says:

'At this time, there is not a citizen in Daviess, except Mormons. Many have been driven without warning, others have been allowed a few hours to start. This stock of citizens have been seized upon, killed up, and salted by hundreds; from 50 to 100 wagons are now employed in hauling in the corn from the surrounding country. They look for a force against them, and are consequently preparing for a seige, building block houses, &c. They have lately organized themselves into a band of what they call "Danites," and sworn to put to instant death those who will betray them. There is another band of twelve, called the "Destructives," whose duty it is to avenge themselves for supposed wrongful movements against them, by privately burning houses and property, and even l aying in ashes towns, &c.

"A bloody battle has no doubt been fought, near Richmond; and a war of extermination will ensue."

E. M. Ryland, writing from Lexington (Lafayette county) evening 25th, says:

'Mr. Morehead brought news that the Mormons had attacked Captain Bryant this morning at day light. Since Mr. M. left Richmond, one of the company (Bogart) had come in and reported ten of his comrades killed, and the remainder (forty) [were taken] prisoners, many severely wounded. He stated 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 100 well-armed and daring men.'

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Nov. 8, 1838                          No. 29.

From the Missourian.

(see "Yet More" in the Missouri Republican for this set of reprinted letters)


(see "Meeting..." in the Missouri Republican for this reprinted report)


(see "Letter..." in the Missouri Republican for this reprinted report)

Lexington, 6 o'clock P. M.

(see "Lexington..." in the Missouri Republican for this reprinted letter)

                                           "ELK HORN, Oct. 20, 1838.

Messrs. Editors -- Inasmuch as the Mormon war is frequently alluded to in the public prints, and as the statements of some of the presses on the upper Missouri have been greatly exaggerated, I propose, as a disinterested individual, who have no prejudice against the Mormons, to give you a true history of them, and [their] proceedings. In the first place, when their leaders, Smith and Rigdon found themselves completely in possession of Caldwell Co., which was granted them by the surrounding counties, they became dissatisfied, and Jo Smith issued a Prophecy, the amount of which was that they should go to Daviess County, in order to extend their borders -- leaving their own county about half settled. He then declared it was the Lord's will that they should raise a stake to Zion (which is in Caldwell) in Daviess county, and that it should be called "Adamon Diamon," which name is derived from the fact that old Adam's Grove was there, according to Jo's prophecy. His fanatic followers set to work with much industry to establish a new home in Daviess, and their emigration to this State all turned to that point. Their object in moving into Daviess, evidently was to take advantage of the citizens in the approaching land sales, for up to that time no part of the county had ever been in market. So rapidly, and in such large numbers did they flock into this county, that the old residents who had undergone all the hardships of the pioneer and settler, were compelled to fly for the very safety of their lives. Many of their families were compelled to walk through a trackless forest without guide or protector, to evade the threats of the merciless band that had invaded their possessions. The citizens of Daviess viewed their emigration into their county with a jealous eye, at the very beginning for they were not unaware of the fact of their having been driven from other communities on account of their indecent and immoral habits. They protested against their settling among them, yet they had not the power to banish them from their borders. Each day their numbers increased, until, as I have just stated, the honest and original settlers of the county were eventually threatened with destruction if they did not abandon their homes and fire-sides. The Mormons have formed themselves into a society, and the first law, or oath, is to protect each other under any, and all circumstances. Should a Mormon commit murder or theft, it is the duty of his brethren to "swear him clear," or if he should be committed, to rescue him from the authorities. They profess rigid adherence to the laws of God, as interpreted by Jo Smith, whom they believe to be inspired. Since the formation of this band it has been impossible to make the civil law bear upon them in their county -- they defy it. Some of them are largely in debt to various citizens of the neighboring counties, and their creditors are deterred, by their threats, from presenting their claims. They contract debts which they never intend to pay, and seize upon property whenever they find it, and have power. They believe they can commit any frauds or outrage with impunity -- should they rob or kill, they have only to retreat to their band, who are sworn to protect them from the law. For some time past our citizens have been afraid to travel, for our highways are infested with armed ruffians who arrest every passer-by. On Wednesday evening last some few residents of Daviess in returning to their homes from the county seat (Gallatin) were hailed by a band of these savages, who primed their guns, giving evidence of their intention to murder them -- they escaped however with some difficulty. They heard the Mormons say they intended to take Gallatin that night. Early on the next morning the citizens of Gallatin discovered about 225 Mormons coming into the town, and finding it deserted, they surrounded the store of Mr. Jacob Stollings (the clerk having locked the door and joined in the general escape) which they robbed of everything, about 100 remained to watch the town and carry off the goods, while the rest pursued the flying citizens with the most savage and hideous yells that the imagination can picture. In the direction of the pursuit many guns were heard. After having rifled the store of its contents, they burnt it, and destroyed every piece of property they could lay their hands on.

These are only a few facts in relation to a band of savages who must be driven from the limits of the state before quiet and order can be restored.


Extract from a letter to the Editors, dated
                                           "ELK HORN, Oct. 30, 1838.

"On Thursday, the 25th inst., about the dawn of day, a party of Mormons, about two hundred strong, attacked Capt. Bogart's company, consisting of about 40 men, on the line dividing Ray and Caldwell counties. On the approach of the Mormons, the sentry fired and gave the alarm. The former advanced within 45 paces, formed a line, and received orders 'in the name of Lazarus, the Apostles, and Jesus Christ our Lord, to fire;' which was followed by a simultaneous charge, accompanied by demoniac and hideous yells of 'fight for liberty! -- charge, boys -- charge -- kill the d---d rascals,' &c. Bogart, at the head of his gallant band, levelled his gun and echoed the command -- 'Boys, let them have it!' The struggle was short and desperate. The Mormons were armed with one gun, two long pistols, a butcher's knife, &c., and rushed to the charge, in which many of our men came in collision with them and parried their swords, &c., with their guns, and knocked them down. They pursued the charge about 600 yards. Our loss was one killed and three wounded -- two of the latter were left for dead on the ground. The loss of the Mormons was 19 or 20 killed and wounded -- 5 or 6 of the latter are yet living. They took one prisoner, -- carried him to within 3 miles of Far West, where they had him put to death.

'The country is in the highest state of excitement; there are about 2,500 troops within a day's march of Far West. They are pouring in from all quarters, and we expect, in a day or two, that that town will be laid waste. We are looking for the Governor with more troops. I have this moment been informed that the Mormons are making every preparation for a general battle. In the engagement on the 25th they took about $4,500 worth of horses, &c."


We have frequently of late called the attention of our readers to the controversies between the inhabitants of our State who commonly bear this name, and some of our fellow-citizens of Daviess, Ray and other of our north-western counties. We had hoped and confidently believed that peace and amity had been re-established among them, and that for the future they would sit down quietly on their farms, each under his "own fig tree," contented with their lot and, as far as may be in human society, with each other. We now have a different picture to delineate and if recent accounts be correct, one which we may well lament Missouri should exhibit. These accounts will be found in another column, and speak for themselves to the heart of every patriotic and order-loving citizen. We would not prejudice the conduct of the Mormons, nor inflame public prejudice against them. God forbid! Our opinions have already been expressed in favor of using caution with respect to the measures adopted towards them. Nor would we cease to recommend all to cultivate the same spirit. The result, we have no doubt, will be such as to satisfy the sternest maxims of [Justice]. The Governor has ordered out a body of troops from the counties in the neighborhood of the scene of strife who will, of course, prove sufficient to put an end to violence, and the authors of the mischief which appear to have been so widely inflicted on that region, will in due time be brought to condign punishment. We have laws to reach these horrid offences, and, whoever may be the offender, they must be enforced; he must not go "unwhipt of justice." The narratives we have copied into our paper present the usual consequences of civil convulsion and warfare. -- The commonest feelings of humanity are banished from the breast, and men are indeed "turned to brutes." May we never again have to record such occurrences in this or any other State.

The news of the burning of Millport by the Mormons, is confirmed by a statement, published in the Far West, of two gentlemen who visited the remains of the place.

One thousand mounted gunmen, under the command of Gen. Clark have marched to the scene of the Mormon outrages. Should the Mormons persist in their depredations upon the lives and property of our citizens, a war of extermination will certainly ensue. The Missourian of the 27th ult. says: "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."

                                            Richmond, Ray Co., Mo.
                                            October 28th, 1838.

There are at present in this village say 1,000 troops, ready to march in a body against the Mormons. Fron the best information we can obtain the Mormons are fortifying and entrenching with all possible speed. They will probably number from 1000 to 1500, and will, in my opinion, fight with desperation.

Postscript. -- Since the above was in type, we have seen and conversed with the clerk of the steamer Pirate, which arrived yesterday from the Missouri river. He informs us that the Mormons had surrendered, and that the troops are returning to their homes.

Notes: (forthcoming)



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis, Nov. 8, 1838                                     No. ?


MORMON TROUBLES ENDED AGAIN. -- By the steamboat Pirate, which arrived yesterday afternoon from Westport, Missouri, we have the gratifying intelligence of the bloodless termination of these disturbances. The Mormons, seeing such a large body of men assembling together, all highly excited, and considering "discretion the better part of valor," surrendered themselves to General Atchison without even firing a gun. Jo. Smith, the prophet, and two or three more of the ringleaders, are to be taken to Jefferson City, and the rest (about 700) are to be marched without the bounds of the State. A number of the volunteer companies were disbanded, and had returned to their respective homes.

Notes: (forthcoming)



NS Vol. III.                                     St. Louis, Nov. 9, 1838                                     No. ?


The Mormons. -- There are various rumors afloat concerning the surrender of the Mormons, and we are afraid that the disturbances have not terminated so amicably as was reported. We have conversed with a gentleman who arrived yesterday afternoon from Jefferson city, on board the St. Peters, and he states that, an express arrived there on Wednesday night, bringing intelligence that a party of Mormons, who had fortified themselves in a house, were attacked by the volunteers under the command of Gen. Lucas, and thirty-two of them killed. Seven of the volunteers were wounded and one killed. It is further stated that the Governor had issued orders to Gen. Clark to retain as many of the volunteer companies as was necessary, to keep the Mormon prisoners till the meeting of the Legislature.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                             St. Louis, Saturday, Nov. 10, 1838                             No. ?


The Mormon war has been terminated, by a surrender 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 5,000, ordered out under Gen. Clark, comprising Gen. Atchinson'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 that the Mormons should be unharmed. The surrender was accepted, and the individuals put under guard. Their names are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, George Hinkle, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and Mr. Knight. The Mormons assembled, at Far West, comprised 700 men under arms. Of this number, a small body of 150, retreated and pushed their way to the northern frontier.

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

On the day after, Gen. Atchison received the orders of the Governor, which have 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 the 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 now have, on this head.

Gen. Clark, with the remainder of the troops collected from the counties below Caldwell, was, on the 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 Splawn's settlement, on Shoal creek, about 20 miles from Far West. The Mormons, it is said, were 30 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 M'Bride 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 and one died of his wounds. At the same time, four Mormons fell -- among them the Captain of their band. Bogard's company were stationed on the line of Ray county, 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 afterwards taken, was debated at large. Some of their number were averse 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 afterwards pursued, on their retreat into Daviess. It was, therefore, as they allege, 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 -- and it would take more apace than we can spare for 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. That 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 their 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 presents 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, these 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, wherewith to consummate to such a measure? And where shall they be sent? Their numbers exceed five thousand, men women and children! Are these 5,000 people -- without any means and literally beggars -- to be thrust upon the charities of Illinois, Iowa, or Wisconsin?

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 on 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 governments and fellow citizens of the Union.

Further from the Mormons. -- The account of a bloody butchery of thirty-two Mormons, on Splawn's Creek, is fully confirmed. Two children were killed, we presumed 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 Davies.

Note: This was one of the first published reports of the 1838 Haun's Mill massacre. The basic information given here was supplemented in an article printed in the Nov. 17, 1838 issue of the Springfield, Illinois Sangamo Journal.


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Nov. 15, 1838                          No. 30.


There is a rumor in town that the Mormons have surrendered and their leaders are in custody. We fervently hope this may be the fact. Had they continued in arms and in opposition to the authority of the State, the consequences might have been painful in the extreme. It is impossible to tell in the excited condition of public feeling, the amount of bloodshed that might have followed. On the one hand, the citizens were inflamed by the outrages said to have been committed in Daviess county; on the other, the Mormons probably thought that exemplary vengeance would come down on their heads. As it is we are glad of the result. Much suffering has been prevented, thoigh when and how will the injury already done be repaired? We trust that the militia force which has been called out will not be entirely disbanded at present, and presume it will not, until the probability of future disturbances such as we have witnessed of late, will be wholly removed/

Note: Either this issue was actually published a day later, or the masthead date was misprinted -- for it reads "November 16, 1838." Also, no issues have yet been located for Nov. 22 through Dec. 13, 1838. Possibly there was some disruption in the publication schedule of the Argus.


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Dec. 20, 1838                          No. 35.


We have thought much on the recent difficulties between the Mormons and other of our citizens in the upper counties, and endeavored to suggest to ourselves some means by which peace, good-will, order and confidence may be restored to that region. It occurs to us that nothing will contribute so much to that end as for the Mormons to remove to different parts of the State, instead of remaining, as heretofore, congregated in a single and narrow section. We wish to be understood as giving this advice in a friendly way, and we have reason to believe that our opinion us approved by many of those who take the most lively interest in the well-being of the Mormons. We say let them settle in the various counties, in all of which they will find as fertile land and as many facilities for realizing the fruits of their labor, as in Caldwell or Daviess. True it may be deemed hard that they should not be at liberty to locate where they please; and to them separation will be painful in the extreme. Every people, whatever may be their peculiar creed, like to be together, to be near each other, so that they may interchange ideas, and mutually communicate their feelings. Most christians wish to live in the vicinity of the churches at which they worship, and to erect an altar is enough to gather around it a crowd of votaries anxious to linger near or to be where they may resort to it with ease when moved by the spirit of devotion. It must be admitted, too, that if this removal were accomplished forcibly, it would be a manifest infringement of the Constitution. We propose, however, that it shall be voluntary, not forcible. It is a matter to be left entirely to the discretion of the Mormons themselves, yet they ought to exercise their discretion wisely; they must look at the repugnance, the antipathy, the discontent, the prejudice, if they choose, of the citizens among whom they now mingle. In society there are many evils which we cannot correct, which we must therefore submit to, and do the best for ourselves in spite of them. Such is the case at this time.

The Mormons have tried in vain to occupy exclusively particular counties on which they have fixed their affections; individuals of other denominations will come among them, hence disquietude, contention and often open strife, perhaps bloodshed will be the result. To prevent this, the readiest plan will be that we have already mentioned. Let one thing more be considered. We find that other Christian sects do not scruple to spread themselves through the State; Methodists, Catholics, Quakers and Presbyterians, are to be met with every where, and appear to prosper as well as they could if confined to one place. Let their example be imitated by the Mormons, if they desire to escape unfavorable imputations. In conclusion, we ought to repeat our conviction, that they have a right to establish themselves wherever they choose. What we have said is designed merely as a kind admonition arising from a view of circumstance which it will be almost impossible otherwise to control

                                                                  Jefferson City, Dec. 10th, 1838.
Messrs. Editors. -- I have just understood that the following individuals have been committed for trial, by judge King, upon the charge of Treason to the State: -- Joseph Smith, jun., Hiram Smith, Lyman Wight, Sydney Rigdon, Alexander McRay, Washington Voorhees; -- upon the charge of Murder -- Parley P. Pratt, Norman Shearer, Darwin Chase, Luman Gibbs, Morris Phelps, and as accessories to murder -- Joseph Smith, jun., Lyman Wight, Sydney Rigdon, Alexander McRay, Washington Voorhees; -- upon the charge of arson, burglary, robbing and larceny -- George W. Robinson, and 28 others, among whom are Morris Phelps, Washington Voorhees, Alex. McRay, Darwin Chase, and Norman Shearer. Some of the latter have given bail; the rest are in confinement. Those accused of treason, are, I believe, in the jail at Liberty, Clay county. It is highly probable that the accused will move their trials out of the counties where the crimes were said to have been committed. -- You will recollect that the attack on Capt. Bogart's company was made in Ray county. In this affray one of his men was killed. This is the source of the charge of murder. This is not the time to express a positive opinion as to their guilt or innocence. By the humane maxim of the law under which we live, they must be deemed innocent until their guilt is proved and fully established. When the courts shall decide, then alone will be warranted in passing our condemnation on their acts.

Be they guilty or innocent, however, there are some circumstances which cannot fail to affect the philanthropic and the just. If these men should be sentenced as traitors and murderers, of course we cannot prevent their shame from following their wives and children; but there is something we may prevent. We may relieve their sufferings; we may save them from starvation; and it is proper efforts should be made, at once, for this purpose. It cannot be denied that there are, in Davies and Caldwell counties, at this moment, many families without sufficient sustenance, -- almost destitute of clothing or food to satisfy their immediate wants. What shall be done for them? I need not answer the question for the people of St. Louis. Their generosity requires no warm appeal, no stirring language to move it in behalf of the poor and afflicted. Perhaps they have already made up their minds to shower down their bounty where it is so much called for. If so, let it not be an idle resolution, but the action we have a right to expect from those whose benevolence is proverbial. -- Then suppose the accused are declared to be innocent of the crimes for which they will be tried. What measures will it be incumbent on the State to pursue with regard to them? It appears to me the "let alone principle" ought to be applied in this case, if in any. They cannot be driven beyond the limits of the State -- that is certain. To do so, would be to act with extreme cruelty. Public opinion has recoiled from a summary and forcible removal of our negro population, much more likely will it be to revolt at the violent expulsion of two or three thousand souls, who have so many ties to connect them with us in a common brotherhood. If they choose to remain, we must be content. The day has gone by when masses of men can be outlawed; and driven from society to the wilderness, unprotected and unpitied. The refinement, the charity of our age, will not brook it. Religion "pure and undefiled" cannot bear such an offence against its mild spirit.

True, the Mormons are a sect with a peculiar creed, distinct from that professed by the rest of christians. But they are christians still. They believe in the bible and its most essential doctrines. When I say this, I leave out of question the politico-theological tenets which have lately sprung up among them, and which, if they were carried out, would uproot social order in Missouri. Though Joe Smith himself has been said to have given his sanction to these, they were not his own notions, so far as we have any information, in the beginning. They are altogether an after thought. And I doubt whether the great mass of the Mormons have ever been disposed to adopt the wild and anarchical creed. We must be careful lest the crime or error of one or a few lead us rashly to act against the whole sect. It is a similar prejudice that has produced all the persecutions that darken the page of history, and cast a stain, deep and black, upon the human character. We must not, if we can help it, share the same fate. Could those who are total strangers to the Mormon disturbances, converse with the men engaged in suppressing it, they would as often shed tears of compassion, as speak in the language of anger. I have conversed with many of them -- men of nerve, accustomed to meet danger and familiar with those rough scenes of life, that are supposed to harden the heart, and make it callous to the sufferings of a fellow mortal. They will tell a tale unlike that which rumor circulates, and which the giddy creatures of ease are wont to pass idly from mouth to mouth. Without dwelling on the subject, they will say after the peril is over, mercy should be the watchword -- not blood, not extermination, not misery. For my own part, I cannot see why the Mormons should not now be permitted to pursue in quiet their agricultural occupations. Let the spring witness a new order of things -- no civil broil, no contention among those who ought to live as brethren. But let the cheerful hum of industry return to this favored State, with the green leaves and the happy birds.
                                        Yours, &c.

Note: The advice of the editors of the Argus, asking that the example set by other religious bodies "be imitated by the Mormons," came both too late and too early to be put into practice by the Missouri Saints. In Missouri, the Mormons were already being driven from their home, in the direction of Illinois. Although the bitter feelings held against them by the "old settlers" diminished as they moved out of the immediate vicinity of Caldwell and Daviess counties, it is unlikely that, at that late date, the destitute Mormons could have scattered to find new homes throughout the state. Besides that, the important LDS doctrine of "the gathering of Israel" upon a particular "promised land of inheritance" in the last days, almost compelled the Mormons to assemble on certain tracts of land, surrounding their millennial temple, in vast numbers. So it was that the Mormon scattering into Illinois and Iowa was but a temporary prelude to the building up of a new gathering at Nauvoo. Years later, in Iowa and other midwestern states, the newly established Reorganized LDS Church took the Argus' advice to heart and purposely avoided calling for a single, centralized gathering of the faithful. Instead, the RLDS "imitated" the example set by other religious groups and more or less re-joined the ranks of "apostate Protestantism." As the Argus had predicted, this later scattering policy on the part of the RLDS leadership kept the members from violent persecutions and expulsions at the hands of their non-Mormon neighbors. The policy also served to diminish the ecclesiastical power of that same leadership -- an inhibiting result that earlier leaders, like Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, would have found less than agreeable to their despotic theocratic inclinations.


Vol. II.                            St. Louis,  Wednesday,  January 9, 1839.                            No. ?

MORMON DEBATE IN THE STATE SENATE. -- On the 2d instant, a most animated debate arose upon the report of the Committee, in regard to the Mormon troubles. Mr. Ashby, of Charlton, moved a resolution, condemning the Mormons and justifying their enemies; also, providing for the publication in pamphlet form, of the testimony taken before the Court of Enquiry, held by Judge King, in Ray County. A resolution, so partial as this, received very little favor in the Senate; and the mover finally withdrew it.

The Senate finally agreed, by large majorities, that the testimony should not be published, but that a committee should be appointed to investigate the whole subject and report to the Governor.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                            St. Louis,  Tuesday,  January 22, 1839.                            No. ?

               For the Evening Gazette.

Mr. Editor: You advise the Germans recently arrived here to go to Caldwell county and buy out the Mormons. Would the Stephanites fare better than the Mormonites?   Yours, Q.

(We hope so. Indeed we cannot suppose that any sect could make themselves so obnoxious as the Mormonites. The Germans have never been disturbed here -- and, with their peaceable behavior and industrious habits -- it is not to be believed that they ever will be.)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Thursday, Jan. 31, 1839                          No. 43.



At a large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Ray county, held in the court house in Richmond, on Wednesday the 26th day of December, 1838, the Hon. A. A. King was called to the chair, and Orvilla H. Searcy appointed secretary.

The object of the meeting having been explained by the Chair, on motion of Amos Rees, the following gentlemen were appointed a committee to prepare a preamble and resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting, viz: Amos Rees, Thomas C. Birch, Phillip L. Edwards, George Woodward, Robert B. Ellis, James Holman, and Elliott Robert, Esqrs., who retired, and after a few minutes reported the following.

Whereas, a letter, under date of the 29th November, 1838, has been written by Michael Arthur, of Clay county, to the delegation from that county in the General Assembly, now in session, from which the following is an extract: "Humanity to an injured people prompts us at present to address you this. You were aware of the treatment (to some extent before you left home) received by that unfortunate race of beings called Mormons, from devils in the form of human beings, inhabiting Daviess, Livingston and a part of Ray counties. -- Not being satisfied with a relinquishment of all their rights as citizens and human beings in the treaty forced upon them by Gen. Lucas, by giving up their arms and throwing themselves upon the mercy of the State and their fellow citizens generally, hoping thereby protection of their lives and property, are now receiving treatment from those demons that makes humanity shudder, and the cold chills run over any man not entirely destitute of any feeling of humanity. These demons are now constantly strolling up and down Caldwell County, in small companies armed, insulting the women in any and every way, and plundering the poor devils of all the means of subsistence (scanty as it was) left them, and driving off their horses, cattle, hogs, etc., and rifling their houses and farms of everything therein, taking beds, bedding, wardrobe, and all such things as they see they want, leaving the poor Mormons in a starving and naked condition. These are facts I have from authority that cannot be questioned, and can be maintained and substantiated at any time.

And whereas, as this meeting is informed, said letter has been presented to both branches of the General Assembly, now in session, suggesting the propriety of organizing a military force, consisting of a company of twenty-five, to be taken from the county of Clay, as the letter indicates, to protect the Mormons against the aforesaid offenders.

And whereas, the aforesaid charges tend to reflect deep disgrace upon those implicated in them, we submit, for the consideration of a candid public, the following facts in justification and in vindication of the people of Ray county, all of which our public proceedings, recorded in the newspapers of the country, will abundantly verify.

When those people were driven from the county of Clay by her citizens, we received then, and consented to their location where they now live, (then in our county,) and this we did by the resolutions of a public meeting, and published them to the world. From that time to this, and amidst all the convulsions which have shaken the community to its centre in relation to Mormon outrages, and when civil war had reared its head upon our borders, and held out temptations for a participation therein, which virtues and patriotism and fortitude alone could withstand, the county of Ray stood firm, or moved only to resolve her fidelity to, and unshaken confidence in our Government to meet and repress the then existing evil, or any other that might arise, so long as there was virtue and patriotism enough among its citizens to uphold and enforce its institutions; and these resolves she published to the surrounding counties and to the world. We defy even envy to charge that a mob as large as a corporal's guard has ever been organized in or marched from the county of Ray. We saw the evil; we knew it was out of the power of the civil authorities to suppress it; but we knew there was a more powerful arm of the Government, and we sought and awaited its exertion. But did Ray then do her duty? -- When General Atchison first called for the militia, were there any drafts in Ray? Not one. Did the officers and soldiers in Ray readily obey their orders and do their duty? They did; and the General has, and will again do them the justice to say so. And their conduct was the same upon the call made by the Governor,

The people of Ray are now in the same spirit of respecting and enforcing the laws that they ever have been; and we know that the civil authorities can now be exerted most effectively, and especially against all such as may commit crime in the county of Caldwell against the Mormons, for Mormon grand jurors will indict them. The difficulty has heretofore been that the Mormons would not indict each other, and indictments under the law can be preferred only in the county in which the offence was committed. Why, then, if Mr. Arthur knows of the commission of the crimes he charges to have been perpetrated, does he not give information to the civil authorities in due form of law, and have the offenders brought to justice? It is his duty to do so if he knows the fact, and a failure to do it is an indictable offence by the existing laws of the land. Why, then, is he not found doing the part of a good citizen, by enforcing the laws already in existence, rather than sending letters to the law-making power, containing a foul and scandalous charge upon his neighbors, founded upon hearsay and rumor, as his letter shows, and which hearsay most likely originated with the Mormons themselves, and impudently and insultingly asking a military guard from the county of Clay, to keep down lawless aggressions of a portion of the citizens of this county.

We mean no disrespect for the citizens of Clay county. We believe them to be generally a virtuous and honest people, and we are glad that we are able to say so. But we claim, at the same time, common honesty for ourselves, and protest against the necessity of a military guard from any county in this State, to regulate any portion of the people of Ray; and can view the insinuation of such a necessity in no other light than that of an arrogant, impudent calumny.

1. Resolved, therefore, That for all "the sober decencies of life," we are willing to have our characters weighed in the balance against Mr. Arthur's, and fear not the result.

2. Resolved, That if the outrages, or any of them charged in said letter, have been committed, we have no knowledge of the fact; and that if the said Arthur or any other person has, it is his duty to give information thereof, in due form of law, and have the offenders brought to justice, & that we will cheerfully do all that the laws may require of us to enforce the laws upon those or any other offenders.

3. Resolved, That we have seen with deep regret, the efforts of certain newspaper writers to misconstrue and misrepresent the true spirit and meaning of the Governor of the State, in his order calling out the militia for the late Mormon expedition. That, in our opinion, the order, fairly construed, has nothing in it illegal, and that the exigency of the occasion rendered the order highly expedient. That, in our opinion, the abuse he has received for issuing said order, are the emanations of malevolence, engendered by personal or political prejudice.

4. Resolved, That we refrain from saying any thing at this time in relation to the facts which have been developed concerning the late Mormon difficulties, as these matters are to undergo among us a judicial investigation.

5. Resolved, That the communication of Michael Arthur, of Clay co., to General D. R. Atchison, J. S. V. Thompson, and others [---- ----- ----- -- of the State representing] the people of Ray county as "demons in human form" and charging them with the most revolting violations of the laws, is a foul and base slander, emanating from one who is wholly ignorant of the facts of the case, or guilty of willful and malicious misrepresentation.

6. Resolved, That Michael Arthur, and others of Clay county, would do well to learn and act upon the old maxim, that "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

7. Resolved, That while some of our pure and immaculate neighbors were sending reinforcements to the mob at De Witt, the county of Ray sent her militia to vindicate and enforce the laws.

8. Resolved, That a copy of the proceedings of this meeting be forwarded to our senator and to each of our representatives in the Legislature, with a request that they be laid before the General Assembly; and that the editors of the Boon's Lick Democrat, Jeffersonian Republican, St. Louis Republican, and Missouri Argus, be requested to publish them in their respective papers.

The question then being upon the adoption of the preamble and resolutions, Dr. R. B. Ellis moved to strike out the third resolution, which motion was unanimously rejected, except by the vote of the mover.

Dr. Thomas Allen then prepared to amend the third resolution, which was also rejected, but two voting in the affirmative.

The question then hen being upon the adoption of the preamble and resolutions, as reported by the committee, was decided unanimously in the affirmative, with the exception of two votes.

And, upon motion, the meeting then adjourned.
         A. A. King, Chairman.
         O. H. Searcy, Sec.


At a large and respectable meeting held at Gallatin, Daviess county, on Saturday the 29th day of December, 1838. The Rev. James McMahan was called to the chair and R. Wilson appointed Secretary.

The object of the meeting being stated by the Chairman, it was unanimously agreed that R. Wilson, Col. W. Peniston and Dr. J. K. Kerr be appointed to draft a preamble and resolutions suitable to the occasion -- whereupon said committee retired a few minutes, and returned with the following preamble and resolutions, which were read and unanimously adopted: --

Inasmuch as many misrepresentations in relation to the late difficulty with the Mormons are going the rounds of the public prints; and inasmuch as several individuals of our neighboring counties are acting a conspicuous part, in circulating these misrepresentations, it becomes our duty as an injured people, to meet together and remonstrate against a course so illberal and so fraught with mischief. We believe that no man in his senses, properly acquainted with the disturbance referred to, can censure or charge us with treating our avowed enemies and the enemies of the laws of our country with too much severity. There are, however, a few individuals in upper Missouri, who are ambitious of nothing so much as traducing and execrating the names of those men who have had the hardihood to stand forth in the defence of themselves and their families. See Mr. Michael Arthur's letter of the 29th November, to David R. Atchison and J. S. V. Thompson, in which he states that the citizens of Daviess, Livingston and Ray counties are strolling up and down through Caldwell county, daily robbing, plundering, driving off stock and insulting the women, &c. &c.; and suggested the propriety of placing a guard to patrol the lines of Caldwell county, rendering to the Mormons that protection which will ensure their safety. And should this suggestion not meet with the approbation of the Mormon friends, he prays that their arms be returned to them to defend themselves. Now, so far as we are concerned in this matter, we take the liberty to declare the above charge a base libel on us, and believe it to be the same on our fellow-citizens of Livingston and Ray. But we think it not strange that that gentleman should misrepresent us. The man whose conscience would permit him to furnish the Mormons with munitions of war at the time they were carrying forward their treasonable designs and desolating the country, we think acts quite consistant with himself, and again, we think the man who can spend weeks in passing through the Mormon country, swindling the Mormons out of their property at one fourth its value and buying our property from the Mormons, (property stolen from us by them,) acts consistent;y to charge it to the account of others.

We learn, with deep regret, that a number of the members of the Legislature, have taken a decided stand in favor of the Mormons and are making great exertions to criminate the Executive, for his measures in relation to the treatment of the Mormon banditti -- we are sorry to see men of talent engaged in a cause so unworthy.

It would seem superfluous for me to recapitulate the wrongs and grievances which we have received from the hands of that lawless banditti, the Mormon mob, but certain it is, that the public abroad appear ignorant of the merits of the Mormon insurrection. We are accused, in some of the public prints, of persecuting them on account of their religion; to this accusation we plead not guilty, and believe it a duty we owe to ourselves to declare to the world, that those who accuse us thus, do us a great injustice. We refer the people abroad to the Mormon Declaration of Independence, delivered by Sydney Rigdon on the 4th day of July last.When the people abroad become properly acquainted with the causes which led to this unprededented intestine commotion and prepared to decide the case impartially, then, and not till then, are we willing to appeal to public opinion for our justification.

Be it therefore resolved, That we highly and cordially approve of the measures adopted by the Executive in relation to the Mormon difficulty, and devoutly pray that the same be promptly carried into effect.

2. Resolved, That we esteem Liliburn W. Boggs a sound patriot, a talented statesman, and every way worthy of the responsible office which he fills.

3. Resolved, That we earnestly remonstrate against the course pursued by Mr. Geyer, of St. Louis, and others, who have declared themselves the champions of Mormon rights and privileges, and fear that their measures will have a most deleterious and withering effect on the peace and harmony of upper Missouri.

4. Resolved, That we earnestly recommend to the public, that a thorough investigation of the Mormon insurrection should be had, before so many anathemas are hurled against the much injured citizens of this county.

5. Resolved, That we view the course recommended by Michael Arthur and other Mormon friends, to be a dangerous and mischievous one; and if adopted, would inevitably lead to more collisions and shedding of blood.

6. Resolved, That we esteem the laws of our country our great bulwark, and the only safe refuge to protect us in this and every other emergency.

7. Resolved, That we highly approve of the course of the executive in superseding Gen. D. R. Atchison, and placing Gen. Clark in command of the forces ordered out against the Mormons, and that his order to exterminate or drive them from the State, if necessary, was dictated by the imperious duty of his office, as Governor of the State.

         James A. McMahan, Chairman.
         R. Wilson, Secretary.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Friday, Feb. 15, 1839                          No. ?

                                          Monday, Feb. 4.

... The bill from the Senate relative to the appointment of a committee to investigate the Mormon difficulty was l aid on the table until the 4th day of July, by a vote of 47 to 39. This no doubt was the best disposition that can, every thing considered, be made of the subject. If an investigation had been instituted at the beginning of the session, and witnesses sent for, by [this time] the truth might have been ascertained and justice [----- the ------] -- The Historian will [complete] the investigation, when the proper materials have been collected...

MORMONS IN THE EAST. -- The Long Island Star [states that] a follower of Joe Smith is [perambulating that region working miracles] and preaching from the Golden Bible. He had made some converts to his faith, who, we suppose, will shortly [emigrate] in the "land of promise" which the Latter Day Saints have recently discovered to be Adams county, Illinois instead of Caldwell county, Missouri. The "wicked" in Adams county had better beware [how] they suffer the Mormons to gather strength in their vicinity, as Joe Smith may possibly again send his "Destroying Angels" forth to sweep them from the face of the earth. He [boasted] that he would do this in Upper Missouri, but the wicked were sinful enough to prevent the fulfilment of his prophecy by turning the [joke] on the prophet and his disciples.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Friday, March 19, 1839.                          No. 43.

An apology s due to the writer of the following communication for the delay that has occurred in its publication. The manuscript, was inadvertently overlooked among the mass of papers which crowded our table.

                                                For the Argus.
Messrs. Editors:
Permit me to occupy a little of your space with a few words in relation to the conduct of the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the northwest Judicial Circuit. The Boon's Lick Democrat of the 23d Feb., contains the following editorial paragraph.

A writer in the last Missourian, over the signature of Cato, attributes some remarks of ours, in defence of Judge King, published in the Democrat of the 2d inst., as intended for and applying particularly to Dr. Scott. It is due to ourselves, as well as to the feelings of the Doctor, to say that the interpretation which Cato has given to our paragraph is entirely erroneous. So far from the remarks in question being intended for Dr. Scott, he was not even thought of at the time they were penned. To be sure, the language applied by that gentleman to Judge King was harsh and uncalled for, but it was uttered in the heat and ardor of debate, and so on that account may be excused. -- We had reference exclusively to those federal editors and others who have been laboring to turn the Mormon disturbances to party account; and who, while justifying the most shameless fraud, bribery and corruption on the part of their political friends in other States, were holding up their hands in pious horror, because Judge King happened to preside at a public meeting of his fellow-citizens, called for the purpose of vindicating the character of their country against the aspersions which had gone abroad against it, and having no reference either to the guilt or the innocence of the Mormon prisoners.
It is proper to say that I have seen neither the article of the 2d nor the communication Cato alluded to; and also to utter the conviction that Dr. Scott, like other gentlemen of warm temperaments and generous emotions, often delivers sentiments generated by excitement rather than deduced from results of a patient investigation of facts. Hence, I attach no weight to his censure of Judge King's conduct in the trial of the Mormons, as expressed by him in the heat of the debate in the Senate upon the Mormon difficulties. Senator Scott himself, I understand, upon good authority, entertains a very different opinion now from that expressed then. And Mr. Moorehead, representative from Ray county, bears conclusive and high testimony to the correctness and impartiality of Judge King in the Mormon trials. See his speeches as reported in the Republican of January [last] -- 10th or 14th I believe. To appreciate the value of his testimony, it should be norne in mind that Mr. Morehead and Judge King differ in politics and were brought in conflict only the August before.

But the conduct of the Mormons themselves places the impartiality of Judge King beyond question. Throughout the [arduous] and protracted investigation of their behavior, the Mormons never for a moment hesitated to avow to friend or foe the greatest confidence in the court, and at the termination if the examination rose and publicly thanked Judge King for his kind treatment, courtesy and patience. And so [copious] were their effusions of gratitude to him, the Judge interupted and dismissed them from his presence by quietly remarking that he had but done his duty -- had acted as he ever hoped to do towards those who might occupy a similar position. That the Mormons, after the court of inquiry was over, and the excitement of it passed away, retained the same favorable opinion of their Judge, is placed beyond either doubt or contradiction by the following circumstances.

Judge King remarked to the counsel of the Mormons, after the court of inquiry, that, as the Legislature was in session; they could apply for and obtain the right of changing the venue to another judicial district. The reply was, that they had already talked the matter over with the Mormons, and they desired no such privilege of changing the venue, as they believed they could have as fair a trial before Judge King as any Judge in the State.

This reply of the Mormons, when about to be put upon their trial for their lives, cannot fail to satisfy every reasonable man in America that Judge King treated the Mormons with the consideration and justice due to prisoners. If he had taken part in public meetings against them, they would have acted differently.

When a Mr. Arthur, of Clay county, wrote to the Legislature of the State that the citizens at Ray county were robbing the Mormons, and called them "devils in human shape," the accused held a public meeting, at which Judge K. presided. Among the resolutions adopted, was one containing the following sentence:

"In relation to the charges against the Mormons, we will say nothing, for that matter has to undergo a judicial investigation among us."

That meeting neither said nor did any thing against the Mormons, but defended the citizens of Ray from the charges preferred by a man supposed to be interested -- how, it is not necessary to explain here. The fact that the prisoners were still anxious that their trial should be before Judge King, shows conclusively that they and their counsel had unbounded confidence in his integrity.

The fact is, that Judge King, though a very decided and very firm man, is a courteous and pleasant one also. I do not believe we have a judge or a lawyer among us who could have done better than, if as well as, he has done, and it is a disgrace to our State to labor to show to us that the Mormons have been treated harshly and unjustly by the people, and ny the courts, when such is not the fact. It is time that the assailants of the character of our courts of justice should learn that there are bounds which the honor of our State requires should not be passed. The efforts, perhaps unintentional, to tarnish the fair fame of our State, should be taught to cease, Missouri, by her own citizens, has been warred against long enough.
                         A CITIZEN OF MISSOURI.

Note: This same letter letter was apparently also published in the March 22nd issue of the Missouri Argus.


Vol. IV.                          St. Louis, Friday, April 12, 1839                          No. 51.

A friend writing from Liberty, Mo., gives us the following information:

"The Mormons are still in confinement -- Joe Smith and the rest of the leaders, with the exception of Sidney Rigdon. He was liberated on giving bail, and, as might have been expected, immediately took flight to Illinois. Whether the bird will return to its cage or not is uncertain, though in all probability we shall not see Sidney Rigdon on the west side of the Mississippi again. His companions in durance are treated with humanity and every kindness suitable to their condition. You may often see Joe himself in the streets, with a guard, taking the air. Now and then the dull routine of the town has been disturbed by rumors of attempts to escape. But I doubt whether any serious effort has been made. A week or two since, a physician residing here departed "post haste," and it was said that he had been concerned in supplying the Mormons with tools, arms, etc. A strict guard is kept, and I understand that the prisoners apartments are narrowly examined at intervals in order to prevent any tools or arms from being secreted. None are now admitted into the jail unless known to the jailer -- a very proper caution. You may rest assured that the Mormons will receive justice from the people of upper Missouri.

Note: Although he did "skip bail," Elder Sidney Rigdon did not "immediately take flight to Illinois" upon being granted his liberty -- instead, he chose to remain with the Smiths in jail until an opportune moment, when would-be Missourian vigilantes were not present at the scene. According to Elizabeth Haven, "President Rigdon was let out of jail after dark, leaning on the Sheriff's arm, and the next morning at sunrise, he was 40 miles from Liberty."


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Monday, May 1, 1839                             No. ?

==> THE  MORMON  PRISONERS  ESCAPED. -- The Columbia Patriot of the 27th, a paper printed in Boon county, has the following important paragraph: --

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

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 on the cabin floor and letting themselves through the opening this made. They have made a successful escape.

Note: This report of the Smiths' escape neglects to say that they were provided horses and not pursued once they had made their get away. It seems likely that the executive authorities of the of Missouri allowed this event to happen and were happy to rid the state of the Smiths, once the Mormons had departed the state. In subsequent years the new Governor would make concerted efforts to have Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Orrin Porter Rockwell extradited and placed back in the custody of the Missouri criminal justice system.


Vol. V.                          St. Louis, Friday, May 3, 1839                          No. 2.

We learn from the Columbia Patriot of the 27th ult., that the Mormon leaders, who have been for some time imprisoned at Liberty, made their escape while passing through Linn county, in the custody of officers of justice, on their way to Boone county, where their trial was to take place. The whole gang are off and away, and Justice is cheated of as precious a set of scamps as ever escaped her lash.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                          St. Louis, Monday, May 6, 1839                          No. 3.

MORMONISM AT THE EAST. -- The Long Island Star states that a follower of Joe Smith is perambulating that region working miracles and preaching from the Golden Bible. He had made some converts to his faith who, we suppose, will shortly emigrate to the "land of promise" which the latter day saints have recently discovered to be Adams county, Illinois instead of Caldwell county, Missouri.

The "wicked" of Adams county had better beware how they suffer the Mormons to gather strength in their vicinity, as Joe Smith may possibly again send his "Destroying Angels" forth to sweep them from the face of the earth. He boasted that he would do this in Upper Missouri, but the wicked were sinful enough to prevent the fulfilment of his prophecy by turning the joke on the prophet and his disciples.

Note: This same article reprint appears to have also been first published in the Missouri Argus on Jan. 31, 1839 and then again on May 10th.


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Thursday, May 9, 1839                             No. ?

THE  "FUGITIVES  FROM  JUSTICE." -- We observe that several Illinois papers, in commenting upon the escape of Joseph Smith and his co-prisoners, congratulate the fugitives upon their good fortune, as if it were a matter of public exultation that the law had been defrauded of its dues, by the neglect of the officers -- Is it really so? Has the law of Missouri been so palpably brought to bear against the safety of innocent persons, that it is a matter for rejoicing that their requisitions have been defeated?

There were persons laboring under indictments for crime, no less aggravated than murder and treason; -- crimes for which they would, if convicted, have been consigned to the gallows. They defrauded their keepers, or in other words, broke prison and fled; -- and by universal concurrence, the press of a neighboring State rejoices in their success! This singular phenomenon deserves notice, for the reason of its showing how deep and extensive a prejusice against Missouri has grown out of the Mormon troubles, and the failure to enquire into their origin and progress.

Four ourselves, we regret that Joe Smith and the rest have been suffered to escape. We regret the occurence on general principles, because we desire the law to have its due course. We regret it, in the present instance, because we believe that, the prisoners would, in Boon county, have has a fair trial and would have established many important facts, which are now in doubt and darkness, and thus enabled the world to have formed a less partial judgment as to the acts and motives of the leading agitaters in the most extraordinary commotion, which ever disturbed the [spirit?] of [tranquility? of] our country.

We really hope therefore that the Governor of Misssouru will demand of the Governor of Illinois the surrender of the fugitives. They are now at [Quincy? Illinois? ---- ----- ----] brought to St. Louis for trial. This county would probably be the most fitting place in the State for such an investigation. The people are as little prejudiced either way as in any other county; and the existence of a daily press here that would promote publicity so desireable in the present case.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Monday, June 10, 1839                             No. ?

==> FURTHER  FROM  THE  MORMONS. -- We learn that the Mormons, besides their purchase of land in the "half breed" tract in Iowa, have bought out the town of Commerce, on the Illinois shore, where they mean to publish a newspaper. Some of them had a difficulty larelt with their neighbors in Iowa, and a Mormon was shot and his leg broken.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Thursday, June 13, 1839                             No. ?

==> MORE  MORMON  TROUBLES. -- It seems that there are, in Illinois, scattered bands of Mormons, some of which come into contact with their neighbors and occasion much difficulty. We have heard, from the neighborhood of Shelby county, that about a week since a difference having arisen between the Mormons and the old residents, the former applied to the Governor for aid. The Gov. ordered out several companies, who went to the scene of difficulty, but discovering that they were likely to be over-matched, returned without effecting the object of their movement.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Monday, July 1, 1839                             No. ?

==> THE  MORMON  TROUBLES  IN  ILLINOIS. -- We stated a week or two ago that troubles, on account of Mormonism, had taken place near Shelby county, (Ill.) and that troops had been ordered out in consequence. This statement was doubted by some of the Alton papers; but we had it from good authority; and we now find that it is confirmed. The Shelby Republican gives the following account of these difficulties:

"Some of the inhabitants of that county embraced the Mormon faith. Those were beset by mob and assaults committed upon them. The Mormons made application to Judge Breese for warrants. Judge B. issued warrants for fifteen of the leader[s] of the mob, and directed Col. Vaughn to call out his regiment to assist in arresting them. The Colonel ordered out part of his regiment but some refused to obey the order, and mob increasing, the military retreated."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                          St. Louis, Monday, July 1, 1839                          No. 11.

A NEW VERDICT. -- Some of the papers, after a little investigation of the history of the Mormon controversy in Missouri, have come to the conclusion that the treatment they lately received was neither in keeping with religious toleration nor just in legality of procedure. Now, we do not pretend to second this opinion, especially as respects the latter charge; but we have no reason to doubt that, as usual in such cases, a true history of the proceedings alluded to, would develop evidences of a persecuting spirit in the hearts of their enemies, which nothing can excuse -- Baltimore Sun.

"A true history of the proceedings alluded to," is now in the course of preparation at our office, and will be ready for delivery in a few weeks. The writer, JOHN CORRELL, Esq., was an officiating Elder elected by Mormon voters to represent the county of Caldwell in the Legislature of this State. He has given a minute, and, as we believe a strictly impartial narrative of all the leading events respecting which there has been so much controversy; and when his work is fairly before the public, we think that views entirely different from those now entertained on the subject will present themselves to the reader. It will be seen, that a Mormon writer of unquestionable [worth] has laid bare the misdoings of his brethren, whereby they exposed themselves to a course of treatment, nevertheless provoked and seemingly unavoidable. We trust that our Eastern friends will, one and all, read Mr. Correll's History, and thus acquire correct information in relation to matters respecting which they cannot be otherwise than ignorant. The work will be for sale at the principal bookstores in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. We will regard it as a favor of Editors in the East with whom we exchange, will copy the foregoing.

Note: This same article apparently was also published in the Missouri Argus on July 5th.


Vol. 2.                          St. Louis, Wednesday, July 17, 1839                          No. 140.

The Jefferson Enquirer of the 11th inst., says that one half of the money to pay off the Osage and [Mormon] troops had been procured, and the Paymaster General has commenced paying them off on the southern side of the Missouri.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                          St. Louis, Monday, September 9, 1839                          No. ?

The Mormons seem to be gathering strength in New Jersey. They held a meeting in the woods near Horner's town, on the 28th ult., at which some of their leaders well known about Caldwell county were present. The Eastern people have been quite indignant at the Missourians for what they call the persecution of the Mormons. If these "latter day saints" send their Danites and Destroying Angels forth to "sweep the wicked from the face of the earth," we shall see whether the Jerseymen will turn the left cheek when the right is smitten.

Note: In 1838 Elder Benjamin Winchester held a debate with a Methodist minister in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Subsequently some interest in Mormonism developed among the people in that area and an LDS branch was formed. On Oct. 1, 1838, Winchester baptized Josiah Ells there -- a man who would later serve Sidney Rigdon as an apostle and who also became and RLDS apostle. In the winter of 1839-40 Sidney Rigdon tarried with the New Jersey saints, building up the Church in that region (from whence his father's family had come). For more, see the Aug. 7, 1841 issue of the Missouri Republican.


Vol. V.                          St. Louis, Wednesday, September 25, 1839                          No. 23.

THE MORMONS. -- Most of these misguided men who left Missouri last February have settled on the land now in dispute between Missouri and Iowa Territory. This is the reason the Iowa people say they are willing to submit the question at issue to the decision of the settlers on the disputed tract. They know that the Mormons would decide against us to a man. Very disinterested men they are -- very!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                             St. Louis, Thursday, December 5, 1839                             No. ?

THE  MORMONS. -- It is known that the Mormons, after leaving Missouri, repaired to this State, and remained the last winter in Quincy and its neighborhood, and that during the past summer they purchased a large tract of land at the head of the Des Moines rapids of the Mississippi, on both sides of the river, including the town of Commerce. We have seen a letter from one of the society, written recently to his friend in this county, giving some further particulars which will be found interesting.

The town plat of Commerce was purchased of Dr. Galland. Other purchases were made adjoining, until the quantity amounted to about 900 acres. From Dr. G. was purchased also 20,000 acres in the half breed reservation, lying opposite, and including the town of Montrose, formerly Fort Des Moines. The whole purchase money amounts to 70,000 dollars, a large portion of it on long payments.

The name of Commerce has been changed to Nauvoo, (from the Hebrew or Egyptian,) and the lots all laid off anew into three or more classes. Each lot is a block, and contains (including the ground allotted for streets) one acre. The pirces are graded, according to the class of lots -- the first class being about 800 dollars. The friend to whom the letter before us is written is a purchaser of one of these.

Montrose, being an excellent landing opposite Nauvoo, will probably be laid off on the same plan.

Joseph Smith, jr., Sidney Rigdon and Judge Higbee, have just started for Washington to petition congress for relief growing out of the Missouri persecutions.

Nauvoo has been chosen by the church at a late conference, as one of the points of gathering for the church in the latter days. The Mormons regard the signs of the times as indicating the speedy approach of the Millenium; and these points are selected as ensigns for the gathering of the society to escape the judgments which will immediately precede that event.

We are told that large accessions have been made to the number of the society during the past fall, embracing many families of great respectability and influence in Adams, Hancock and M'Donough counties. Several branches of the church have been established in those counties, and the society is represented as having never been more prosperous, or as indulging brighter hopes than at present. -- [Peoria Register.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                          St. Louis, Friday, Sept. 11, 1840                          No. 186

LEWIS COUNTY -- More Mormon depredations. -- We learn by letter from a citizen of this county that their neighborhood is continually infected by the depredations of the Mormons. A very aggrevated instance of plunder and horse stealing, as we are informed by a passenger in the Rosalee, last week. Several horses belonging to farmers in the vicinity of Monticello, the county seat, together with other movable property was missed and suspicion having rested upon the Mormons, search was made as soon as the loss was discovered. The purloined property was found secured in the woods a few miles from the town. The citizens concealed themselves and at [night fall] two men recognized to be Mormons were detected in making preparations to remove the stolen articles to the river. They were seized, taken into the public square and after being severely whipped, were by common consent turned loose and warned to leave the county. The horses and other articles were restored to the owner.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                             St. Louis, Thursday, November 5, 1840                             No. ?

"Times and Seasons." -- We have received from "Nauvoo," a monthly paper under this title. It is of Mormon origin and advocates the Mormon cause. The Mormons, Shakers and a few other select bands of people seem to be the only honest and disinterested body of men now extant.

We see the Mormons have eleven agents in England. Indeed there can be no doubt that their numbers are rapidly increasing. If they respect the laws and walk orderly, as we have no doubt they always intended to do, they can protect themselves. They will be too strong for any marauders in their vicinity who want to pillage their lands and goods; and by now and then arming themselves, in self-defence, with the "sword of the flesh," any consequences which may follow their efforts at resisting the violence of their persecutors, will be looked upon in the same light that similar acts of self-defence in other men are regarded. In fact they can place themselves in an attitude, which will command respect, and awe away the profligate scoundrels, who have been heretofore making them their prey.

Let them obey the laws. If they do this, they should demand -- not toleration -- there is no such thing as toleration in this country -- they should demand their rights. Every man, under our free Constitution, has a right to worship God as he pleases. Every man has a right to believe what he pleases. The laws of Missouri did not protect them in the enjoyment of these rights, and they were overpowered -- crushed by the weight of popular fanaticism and official tyranny.

If the laws of Illinois will not protect them, they ought to protect themselves. They as men ought to know -- what in truth their faith teaches -- that there are ten thousand things worse than death. Submission to enormous wrong -- consigning their lands to robbery and pillage -- banishment from their homes firesides and alters -- are each and all worse than death.

The Mormons have had in us a true and steady friend from the beginning. We believe that they are laboring under a monstrous delusion. We believe they might as well worship us as Joe Smith or Sidney Rigdon. Their whole system of faith is, we believe, in its inception a gross imposture. But what of that? So long, as in the language of that true son of Freedom -- Thomas Jefferson of glorious and immortal memory -- They neither break my leg nor pick my pocket; so long as they do not molest me in my belief or meddle with me in my conduct -- Icare not what they believe. I may have my opinion that certain systems of belief have a better effect upon society than certain other systems. And I may try by persuasion and argument to make others believe as I do. But I can and will take no measures to force my belief upon them.

Let then the Mormons rest, and if they can let them flourish. Let them rest, at least, from the scandalous persecutions, which they underwent in this State -- persecutions which disgrace and damn all those who were participators in or accessories to it.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Back to top of this page.

Newspaper Articles    |    Newspaper Articles Index    |    Book Vault
Oliver's Bookshelf    |    Spalding Library    |    Mormon Classics

last updated: Apr. 29, 2007