Facts Relative to the Expulsion
It is a well-known fact, that a society of our people commenced settling in Jackson County, Missouri, in the summer of 1831, where they, according to their ability, purchased lands and settled upon them with the intention and expectation of becoming permanent citizens in common with others.
Soon after the settlement began, persecution began, and as the society increased persecution also increased, until the society at last was compelled to leave the county. And although an account of these persecutions has been published to the world, yet we feel that it will not be improper to notice a few of the most prominent items in this memorial.
On the 20th of July 1833, a mob convened at Independence, a committee of which called upon a few of the men of our church there, and stated to them that the store, printing office, and indeed all other mechanic shops must be closed forthwith, and the society leave the county immediately. These propositions were so unexpected, that a certain time was asked for to consider on the subject before an answer should be returned, which was refused, and our men being individually interrogated, each one answered that he could not consent to comply with their propositions. One of the mob replied that he was sorry, for the work of destruction would commence immediately. In a short time, the printing office, which was a two-story brick building, was assailed by the mob and soon thrown down, and with it much valuable property destroyed. Next they went to the store for the same purpose, but Mr. Gilbert, one of the owners, agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design. Their next move was their dragging of Bishop Partridge from his house and family to the public square, where, surrounded by hundreds, they partially stripped him of his clothes, and tarred and feathered him from head to foot. A man by the name of Allan was also tarred at the same time. This was Saturday, and the mob agreed to meet the following Tuesday, to accomplish their purpose of driving or massacring the society. (A) Tuesday came, and the mob came also, bearing with them a red flag in token of blood. Some two or three of the principal men of the society offered their lives, if that would appease the wrath of the mob, so that the rest of the society might dwell in peace upon their lands. The answer was, that unless the society would leave “en masse,” every man should die for himself. Being in a defenseless situation, to save a general massacre, it was agreed that one half of the society should leave the county by the first of the next January, and the remainder by the first of the following April. A treaty was entered into and ratified, and all things went on smoothly for a while. But some time in October (B) the wrath of the mob began again to be kindled, insomuch, that they shot at some of our people, whipped others, and threw down their houses, and committed many other depredations; indeed the society of saints were harassed for some time both day and night-their houses were brickbatted and broken open-women and children insulted, &c. The store house of A. S. Gilbert & Co. was broken open, ransacked, and some of the goods strewed in the streets. These abuses, with many others of a very aggravated nature, so stirred up the indignant feelings of our people, that a party of them, say about 30, met a company of the mob of about double their number, when a battle took place in which some two or three of the mob and one of our people were killed. (C) This raised as it were the whole county in arms, and nothing would satisfy them but an immediate surrender of the arms of our people, and they forthwith to leave the county-Fifty-one guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day. The next day parties of the mob, from 30 to 70, headed by priests, (D) went from house to house, threatening women and children and death if they were not off before they returned. This so alarmed them, that they fled in different directions; some took shelter in the woods, while others wandered in the prairies till their feet bled. In the mean time the weather being very cold, sufferings in other respects were very great. (E)
The society made their escape to Clay County as fast as they possibly could, where the people received them kindly, and administered to their wants. After the society had left Jackson County, their buildings, amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise destroyed, and much of their crops, as well as furniture, stock, etc., which, if properly estimated, would make a large sum, for which they have not as yet received any remuneration. (F) The society remained in Clay County nearly three years; when, at the suggestion of the people there, they removed to that section of country known now as Caldwell County. Here the people purchased out most of the former inhabitants, and also entered much of the wild land. Many soon owned a number of eighties, while there was scarcely a man that did not secure to himself at least a forty. Here we were permitted to enjoy peace for a season, but as our society increased in numbers, and settlements were made in Daviess and Carroll Counties, the mob spirit spread itself again. (G) For months previous to our giving up our arms to General Lucas’ army, we heard little else than rumors of mobs, collecting in different places, and threatening our people. It is well known that the people of our church who had located themselves at DeWitt, had to give up to a mob and leave the place, notwithstanding the militia were called out for their protection. From DeWitt the mob went towards Daviess County, and while on their way there they took two of our men prisoners and made them ride upon the cannon, and told them that they would drive the Mormons from Daviess to Caldwell and from Caldwell to hell, and that they would give them no quarter only at the cannon’s mouth. (H) The threats of the mob induced some of our people to go to Daviess to help to protect their brethren who had settled at Adam-ondi-Ahman, on Grand River.
The mob soon fled from Daviess County: and after they were dispersed and the cannon taken, during which time no blood was shed, the people of Caldwell returned to their homes in hopes of enjoying peace and quiet; but in this they were disappointed, for a large mob was soon found to be collecting on the Grindstone, from ten to fifteen miles off, under the command of C. Gillman, a scouting party of which, came within four miles of Far West, and drove off stock belonging to our people, in open day light. About this time word came to Far West that a party of the mob had come into Caldwell County to the south of Far West-that they were taking horses and cattle-burning houses, and ordering the inhabitants to leave their homes immediately-and that they had then actually in their possession three men prisoners. This report reached Far West in the evening and was confirmed about midnight. A company of about sixty men went forth under the command of David W. Patten, to disperse the mob, as they supposed. A battle [Crooked River] was the result, in which Captain Patten and two of his men were killed, and others wounded. Bogart, it appears, had but one killed and others wounded. Notwithstanding the unlawful acts committed by Captain Bogart’s men previous to the battle, it is now asserted and claimed that he was regularly ordered out as a militia captain, to preserve the peace along the line of Ray and Caldwell Counties. That battle was fought four or five days previous to the arrival of General Lucas and his army. About the time of the battle with Captain Bogart, a number of our people who were living near Haun’s Mill, on Shoal Creek, about twenty miles below Far West, together with a number of emigrants who had been stopped there in consequence of the excitement, made an agreement with the mob which was about there, that neither party would molest the other, but dwell in peace. Shortly after this agreement was made, a mob party of from two to three hundred, many of whom are supposed to be from Chariton County, some from Daviess, and also those who had agreed to dwell in peace, came upon our people there, whose number in men was about forty, at a time they little expected any such thing, and without any ceremony, notwithstanding they begged for quarters, shot them down as they would tigers or panthers. Some few made their escape by fleeing. Eighteen were killed, and a number more severely wounded. (I)
This tragedy was conducted in the most brutal and savage manner. An old man, after the massacre was partially over, threw himself into their hands and begged for quarters, when he was instantly shot down; that not killing him, they took an old corn cutter and literally mangled him to pieces. (J) A lad of ten years of age, after being shot down, also begged to be spared, when one of them placed the muzzle of his gun to his head and blew out his brains. The slaughter of these people not satisfying the mob, they then proceeded to mob and plunder the people. The scene that presented itself after the massacre, to the widows and orphans of the killed, is beyond description. It was truly a time of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation. As yet, we have not heard of any being arrested for these murders, notwithstanding there are men boasting about the country, that they did kill on that occasion more than one Mormon, whereas, all our people who were in the battle with Captain Patten against Bogart, that can be found, have been arrested, and are now confined in jail to await their trial for murder.
(K) When General Lucas arrived near Far West, and presented the governor’s order, (L) we were greatly surprised, yet we felt willing to submit to the authorities of the state. We gave up our arms without reluctance; we were then made prisoners, and confined to the limits of the town for about a week, during which time the men from the country were not permitted to go to their families, many of whom were in a suffering condition for the want of food and firewood, the weather being very cold and stormy. Much property was destroyed by the troops in town, during their stay there: such as burning house-logs, rails, corn-cribs, boards etc., the using of corn and hay, the plundering of houses, the killing of cattle, sheep, and hogs, and also the taking of horses not their own, and all this without regard to owners, or asking leave of any one. In the mean time, men were abused, women insulted and abused by the troops, and all this, while we were kept prisoners. Whilst the town was guarded, we were called together by the order of General Lucas, and a guard placed close around us, and in that situation, were compelled to sign a deed of trust for the purpose of making our individual property all holden, as they said, to pay all the debts of every individual belonging to the church, and also to pay for all damages the old inhabitants of Daviess may have sustained in consequence of the late difficulties in that county. (M)
General Clark was now arrived, and the first important move made by him was the collecting of our men together on the square, and selected out about fifty of them, whom he immediately marched into a house, and confined close; this was done without the aid of the sheriff, or any legal process. The next day 46 of those taken, were driven like a parcel of menial slaves, off to Richmond, not knowing why they were taken, or what they were taken for. (N) After being confined in Richmond more than two weeks, about one half were liberated; the rest, after another week’s confinement, were, most of them, required to appear at court, and have since been let to bail. Since General Clark withdrew his troops from Far West, parties of armed men have gone through the county, driving off horses, sheep, and cattle, and also plundering houses. The barbarity of General Lucas’ troops ought not to be passed over in silence. They shot our cattle and hogs, merely for the sake of destroying them, leaving them for the ravens to eat. They took prisoner an aged man by the name of Tanner, and without any reason for it he was struck over the head with a gun, which laid his skull bare. Another man by the name of Carey was also taken prisoner by them, and without any provocation had his brains dashed out with a gun. He was laid in a wagon, and there permitted to remain, for the space of 24 hours, during which time no one was permitted to administer to his comfort or consolation, and after he was removed from that situation he lived but a few hours. (O) The destruction of property, at and about Far West, is very great. Many are stripped bare as it were, and others partially so; indeed, take us as a body, at this time, we are a poor and afflicted people, and if we are compelled to leave the state in the spring, many, yes, a large portion of our society, will have to be removed at the expense of the State, as those who otherwise might have helped them, are now debarred that privilege in consequence of the deed of trust we were compelled to sign, which deed so operates upon our real estate, that it will sell for but little or nothing at this time. (P) We have now made a brief statement of some of the most prominent features of the troubles that have befallen our people since their first settlement in this state, and we believe that these persecutions have come in consequence of our religious faith, and not for any immorality on our part. That instances have been of late, where individuals have trespassed upon the rights of others, and thereby broken the laws of the land, we will not pretend to deny, but yet we do believe that no crime can be substantiated against any of the people who have a standing in our church, of an earlier date than the difficulties in Daviess County. And when it is considered that the rights of this people have been trampled upon from time to time, with impunity, and abuses heaped upon them almost innumerable, it ought, in some degree, to palliate for any infraction of the law, which may have been made on the part of our people.
The late order of Governor Boggs, to drive us from this state, or exterminate us, is a thing so novel, unlawful, tyrannical and oppressive, that we have been induced to draw up this memorial and present this statement of our case to your honorable body, praying that a law may be passed, rescinding the order of the governor to drive us from the state, and also giving us the sanction of the Legislature to inherit our lands in peace-we ask an expression of the Legislature, disapproving the conduct of those who compelled us to sign a deed of trust, and also disapproving of any man or set of men, taking our property in consequence of that deed of trust, and appropriating it to the payment of debts not contracted by us, or for the payment of damages sustained in consequence of trespasses committed by others. We have no common stock, our property is individual property, and we feel willing to pay our debts as other individuals do, but we are not willing to be bound for other people’s debts also.
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section A
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section B
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section D
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section E
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section F
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section G
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section H
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section I
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section J
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section K