Western Monitor – Fayette Missouri – 2 August 1833
Notes: Joe Smith referenced repeatedly how his people were treated in Missouri. The truth as reported by David Whitmer who was President of the church in Zion (Jackson County, Missouri), warned Joe Smith and counselor Sidney Rigdon not to publish church revelations, warning, if they did so, the Missourians would come upon them and kick them out:
The main reason why the printing press was destroyed was because they published the Book of Commandments. It fell into the hands of the world, and the people of Jackson county, Missouri, saw from the revelations that they were considered by the church as intruders upon the land of Zion, as enemies to the church, and that they should be cut off out of the land of Zion and sent away. The people seeing these things in the Book of Commandments became the more enraged, tore down the printing press, and drove the church out of Jackson county.”1
David prophesied thus:
Brother Joseph said as follows:
“Any man who objects to having these revelations published, shall have his part taken out of the Tree of Life and out of the Holy City.”
The Spirit of God came upon me (David) and I prophesied to them IN THE NAME OF THE LORD:
That if they sent those revelations to Independence to be published in a book, the people would come upon them and tear down the printing press, and the church would be driven out of Jackson County.
BROTHERS JOSEPH AND SIDNEY LAUGHED AT ME.2
The offending revelation:
Wherefore, the land of Zion shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you. (D&C 63:29)
The citizenry did not just “come upon” the Mormons for no reason. After reading the following manifestos by the citizens of Jackson County, Missouri it will be clear that the citizens were defending themselves (before it was too late) against an aggressive people.
Summary: The Western Monitor reports a meeting of four to five hundred men held to propose ways to rid Jackson County of Mormons. When Mormon leaders did not comply with their demands the Star printing office was destroyed “with the least noise and disturbance possible.”3 Another meeting three days later has resulted in a prohibition on the Star from being published again and a requirement that nine Mormon leaders and their families leave by January, with the other Saints leaving the county by the following April. Violence will be avoided if the Mormons give full compliance to the requisitions.
(“Mormonism,” Western Monitor, Fayette, Missouri, August 2, 1833; reprinted in United States Telegraphvol. 8 no. 201, August 21, 1833; recorded in the Mormon publication Times and Seasons, vol. 6, no. 5, March 15, 1845, pp. 832-835.)
At a meeting of the citizens of Jackson Co., Missouri, called for the purpose of adopting measures to rid themselves of the sect of fanatics, called Mormons, held at Independence on the 20th day of July, 1833, which meeting was composed of gentlemen from every part of the county, there being present between four and five hundred persons.
The meeting was organized by calling Colonel Richard Simpson to the chair, and appointing James H. Flournoy and Col. Samuel D. Lucas, Secretaries. It was resolved that a committee of seven be appointed to report an address to the public, in relation to the object of this meeting; and the chair named the following gentleman, to wit:
Russell Hicks Esq., Robert Johnson, Henry Chiles Esq., Colonel James Hambright, Thomas Hudspeth, Joel F. Chiles, and James M. Hunter.
The meeting then adjourned for a time, and convened again, when
Robert Johnson, the Chairman of said Committee, submitted for the consideration of the meeting, the following
This meeting, professing to act not from the excitement of the moment, but under a deep and abiding conviction, that the occasion is one that calls for cool deliberation, as well as energetic action, deem it proper to lay before the public an expose of our peculiar situation, in regard to this singular sect of pretended Christians, and a solemn declaration of our unalterable determination to amend it.
The evil is one that no one could have foreseen, and is therefore unprovided for by the laws, and the delays incident to legislation, would put the mischief beyond remedy.
But little more than two years ago, some two or three of this people made their appearance in the Upper Missouri, and they now number some twelve hundred souls in this county, and each successive autumn and spring pours forth its swarms among us, with a gradual falling of the character of those who compose them, until it seems that those communities from which they come were flooding us with the very dregs of their composition. Elevated as they mostly are, but little above the condition of our blacks either in regard to property or education, they have become a subject of much anxiety on that part, serious and well grounded complaints having been already made of their corrupting influence on our slaves.
We are daily told, and not by the ignorant alone, but by all classes of them, that we (the Gentiles) of this county are to be cut off, and our lands appropriated by them for inheritances. Whether this is to be accomplished by the hand of the destroying angel, the judgments of God, or the arm of power, they are not fully agreed among themselves.
of unknown tongues, and fired with the prospect of obtaining inheritances without money and without price, may be better imagined than described.
One of the means resorted to by them, in order to drive us to emigrate, is an indirect invitation to the free brethren of color in Illinois, to come up like the rest to the land of Zion. True, they say this was not intended to invite, but to prevent their emigration; but this weak attempt to quiet our apprehension, is but a poor compliment to our understandings. The article alluded to, contained an extract from our laws, and all necessary directions and cautions to be observed by colored brethren, to enable them upon their arrival here, to claim and exercise the rights of citizenship. Contemporaneous with the appearance of this article, was the general expectation among the brethren here, that a considerable number of this degraded cast were only awaiting this information before they should set out on their journey. With the corrupting influence of these on our slaves, and the stench both physical and moral, that their introduction would set afloat in our social atmosphere, and the vexation that would attend the civil rule of these fanatics, it would require neither a visit from the destroying angel, nor the judgments of an offended God to render our situation here unsupportable . True, it may be said, and truly no doubt, that the fate that has marked the rise and fall of Joanna Southcote and Ann Lee will also attend the progress of Joe Smith; but this is no opiate to our fears, for when the fabric falls the rubbish will remain.
Of their pretended revelations from Heaven, their personal intercourse with God and his angels—the maladies they pretend to heal by the laying on of hands—and the contemptible gibberish with which they habitually profane the sabbath, and which they dignify with the appellation of unknown tongues, we have nothing to say. Vengeance belongs to God alone. But as to the other matters set forth in this paper, we feel called on by every consideration of self-preservation, good society, public morals, and the fair prospects, that if not blasted in the germ, await this young and beautiful county, at once to declare, and we do hereby most solemnly declare,
1. That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this county.
2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intention within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.
3. That the editor of the Star be required forthwith to close his office, and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.
4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisitions.
5. That those who fail to comply with these requisitions, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and of unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them.
Which address being read and considered, was unanimously adopted. And thereupon it was resolved that a committee of twelve be appointed forth with to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal, that said committee do, as the organ of this county, inform them that it is our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest considerations of all the consequences and responsibilities under which we act, to use such means as shall insure their full and complete adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be within their power, report to this present meeting. And the following gentlemen were named as said committee: Robert Johnson, James Campbell, Colonel Moses Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, Hon. Richard Fristoe, Abner F. Staples, Garr Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russell Hicks, Esq., Col. S. D. Lucas, Thos. Wilson, and James M. Hunter, to whom was added Col. R. Simpson, Chairman.
And after an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the editor of the Star, Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the sect, and Mr. Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord’s store house, and some others, and they declined giving any direct answer to the requisitions made of them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only with their brethren here; but in Ohio.
Whereupon, it was unanimously resolved by the meeting, that the “Star” printing office should be razed to the ground, the type and press secured; which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least noise and disturbance possible, forthwith carried into execution, as also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned till the twenty-third instant, to meet again to know further concerning the determination of the Mormons.
Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings be posted up at the Post Office in this place, for the information of all concerned; and that the Secretaries of this meeting send copies of the same to the principal editors in the eastern and middle States for publication, that the Mormon brethren at a distance may know that the gates of Zion are closed against them—that their interests will be best promoted by remaining among these who know and appreciate their merits.
RICHARD SIMPSON, Chairman.
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.
The citizens again convened on the twenty-third day of July, 1833, which was composed of gentlemen from all parts of the county, and much more unanimously attended than the meeting on the 20th instant.
The meeting was organized by the Chairman taking his seat, when the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, to wit:
Henry Chiles Esq., Doctor N. K. Olmstead, H. L. Brazile, Esq., Zachariah Waller, Samuel Weston Esq., William L. Irwin, Leonidas Oldham, S. C. Owens, Esq., George Simpson, Capt. Benj. Majors, James C. Saddler, Col. William Bowers, Henry Younger, Russell Hicks, Esq., Aaron Overton, J. Harris, and Harmon Gregg, to wait upon the Mormon leaders, who had intimated a wish to have a conference with said committee.
After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, when the committee reported to the meeting that they had waited on most of the Mormon leaders, consisting of the Bishop, Mr. Partridge; Mr. Phelps, editor of the Star, Mr. Gilbert, keeper of the Lord’s store house, and Messrs Carrol [Corrill], Whitmer, and Mosely [Morley], elders of the church, and that the said committee had entered into an amicable adjustment with them, which they had reduced to writing, which they submitted; and that the committee have assured Mr. Phelps that whenever he was ready to move, that the amount of all his losses should be paid to him by the citizens. The written agreement is as follows:
“Memorandum of agreement between the undersigned of the Mormon society, in Jackson county, Missouri, and a committee appointed by a public meeting of the citizens of said county, made the 23rd day of July, 1833.
It is understood that the undersigned, members of the society, do give their solemn pledges, each for himself, as follows, to wit:
That Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, William McClealand, [Lellin] Edw. Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter and John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock, shall remove with their families out of this county, on or before the first day of January next, and that they as well as the two hereinafter named, use all their influence to induce all the brethren now here to remove as soon as possible—one half, say, by the first of January next, and all by the first day of April next. To advise and try all means in their power, to stop any more of their sect from moving to this county; and as to those now on the road, they will use their influence to prevent their settling permanently in the county, but that they shall only make arrangements for temporary shelter, till a new location is agreed on for the society. John Carrol [Corrill] and Algernon Gilbert are allowed to remain as general agents to wind up the business of the society, so long as necessity shall require; and said Gilbert may sell out his merchandise now on hand, but is to make no new importation.
The “Star” is not again to be published, nor a press set up by any of the society in this county.
If the said Edw. Partridge and W. W. Phelps move their families by the first day of January, as aforesaid, that they themselves will be allowed to go and come in order to transact and wind up their business.
The committee pledge themselves to use all their influence to prevent any violence being used so long as a compliance with the foregoing terms is observed by the parties concerned, to which agreement is subscribed the names of the above named committee, as also those of the Mormon brethren named in the report as having been present.”
Which report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the meeting, and thereupon, the meeting adjourned, sine die.
RICHARD SIMPSON, Chairman.
S. D. Lucas,
J. H. Flournoy, Secretaries.
1David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 54.
2David Whitmer, An Address to all Believers in Christ, p. 55.
3Similar language was used by Joe Smith to describe how the Nauvoo Expositor press was destroyed.