Presentation on theme: "Class 21 – Section 121 The Missouri Apostasy and War."— Presentation transcript:
Class 21 – Section 121 The Missouri Apostasy and War
The Setting The Kirtland Safety Society had dissolved and dissention was quite general. David Whitmer had been the President of Zion, but had remained in Kirtland for two years. W.W. Phelps and John Whitmer, his counselors, had purchased land in Far West and resold it at a profit.
The Setting Oliver Cowdery was the “Associate President, ” but had left Kirtland for Far West. There he began instigating a number of lawsuits in behalf of himself and others. William E. M’Lellin, John Boynton, Luke Johnson, and Lyman Johnson of the 12 had become disaffected.
The Setting Far West had been established about 18 months before. It was growing rapidly. In March of 1838, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon arrived from Kirtland.
The Dissenters The principal dissenters were Oliver Cowdery, the Whitmers, W.W. Phelps, and those associated with them. The Presidency of Zion was removed from office in February, 1838. The cause was primarily dereliction of duty and profiteering from land sales.
The Dissenters Accusers included Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, and George Hinkle. – These considered themselves friends of Joseph Smith unlike the “Whitmer Group” who opposed the Prophet. W.W. Phelps and John Whitmer were excommunicated in March.
Causes of Dissent – Debt and Finances Oliver Cowdery’s share of church debt in his name was about $33,000. He had no way of paying it. He sold lands in Jackson County and instigated lawsuits to defray his debt. Most of the charges against Oliver Cowdery had a financial basis.
Causes of Dissent – Debt and Finances W.W. Phelps and John Whitmer felt that they were entitled to some profits for their work in surveying and distributing lands in Far West. – Others felt that they were trying to steal funds earmarked for “poor, bleeding Zion.”
Causes of Dissent – Polygamy By 1835, perhaps as early as 1831, Joseph Smith had married Fanny Alger, a serving girl in Joseph’s house. For some time, Oliver Cowdery had been aware of the relationship.
Causes of Dissent – Polygamy Oliver could not accept Joseph’s explanation and considered the “dirty, nasty, filthy affair” nothing more than adultery. He seemed to be one of the few people who really knew about it, and he and Joseph seemed to have agreed on what they would say about the matter.
Causes of Dissent – Polygamy Fanny Alger left the Smith household in September 1836. She remarried and refused to discuss her relationship with Joseph Smith.
Causes of Dissent – Shifting Power In the early years of the Church, Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmers had been key figures. In the course of time, new levels of church hierarchy left them with less significant roles. Sidney Rigdon seemed to be more visible than even Joseph Smith.
Causes of Dissent – Shifting Power The dissenters did not recognize the authority of the bodies trying them. Oliver Cowdery resigned from the Church rather than be tried by the High Council. David Whitmer never acknowledged his excommunication.
Causes of Dissent – Pride and Humiliation All of the dissenters were targets of public humiliation for financial and other matters. They felt that their honor had been challenged.
Causes of Dissent – Love of the Gospel The dissenters also shared a great love of the church. They felt the church was in trouble, that Joseph Smith was no longer in tune with God. The easy course would have been to leave. Instead, they remained near the church while opposing Joseph Smith.
The Dissenters Leave In June 1838, Sidney Rigdon delivered a fiery sermon called the “Salt Sermon” where he likened the dissenters to salt that had lost it savor and need to be cast out and trodden down. 84 members signed a petition warning Cowdery and the Whitmers to leave or face dire consequences.
The Dissenters Leave Because of this and other threats, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and John Whitmer left one night for Richmond. Stories of the situation in far West quickly circulated and helped lead to distrust of the Mormons.
Unilateral Expansion Soon after Joseph Smith arrived in Far West, he began looking for new areas to settle. The principle locations were Adam-ondi-Ahman in Daviess county to the north and DeWitt in Carroll County to the East. Many Missourians considered this to be a breach of the agreement to establish Caldwell County – and they became alarmed.
July 4, 1838 Grand Fourth of July celebration with military pageantry, laying of the cornerstones of the Far West Temple, dedication of the Freedom Pole, and an oration by Sidney Rigdon.
July 4, 1838 We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all men, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more for ever, for from this hour, we will bear it no more, our rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity. The man or the set of men who attempt it does it at the expense of their lives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us: it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them, till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us; for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed. -- Remember it then, all men. We will never be aggressors, we will infringe on the rights of no people; but shall stand for our own until death. We claim our own rights, and are willing that all others shall enjoy theirs.
July 4, 1838 No man shall be at liberty to come in our streets, to threaten us with mobs, for if he does, he shall atone for it before he leaves the place; neither shall he be at liberty to vilify or slander any of us, for suffer it we will not in this place. We therefore take all men to record this day, that we proclaim liberty on this day, as did our fathers. And we pledge this day to one another, our fortunes, our lives, and our sacred honors, to be delivered from the persecutions which we have had to endure for the last nine years, or nearly that. Neither will we indulge any man, or set of men, in instituting vexatious lawsuits against us, to cheat us out of our just rights. If they attempt it we say, wo be unto them. We this day then proclaim ourselves free, with a purpose and a determination, that never can be broken, “no never! no never!! NO NEVER”!!!
July 4, 1838 A few days later, the Freedom Pole, a tall wooden flagpole, was struck by lightning and burned down.
Gallatin A local election was to be held on August 6, 1832. The number of Mormons in Daviess County was approaching the number of non-Mormons. William Peniston ran as an anti-Mormon for the State Legislature. He made plans to intimidate the Mormon voters. The Mormons got wind of it and came unarmed, but prepared to fight.
Gallatin As soon as trouble started, the Mormons through a pre- arranged sign, entered the fray. Several on both sides were severely injured. Reports of wide-scale injury and deaths soon spread to surrounding counties. Tensions were extreme.
Gallatin The next day, Joseph Smith and a large band of Mormons from Far West entered Daviess county. They stopped off at the house of Adam Black, an anti-Mormon Justice of the Peace, and asked him to sign an agreement to administer the law fairly and keep the peace. – Afterward Black maintained he had been forced to sign the affidavit at gunpoint.
Danites Sampson Avard formed a secret society before June 1838. The original purpose was to drive the dissenters out f Caldwell County. It was known as the “Brothers of Gideon,” “the daughters of Zion,” the “Big Fan,” and the “Danite Band.”
Danites After that, the purpose of the Danites was to be a defense against the mobs, and eventually to steal and plunder from non-Mormons and then consecrate their plunder to the Kingdom of God. According to some testimony, they made oaths to exact revenge on anti-Mormons, to lie to defend one another, and even to murder, if necessary.
Danites On one occasion, Joseph Smith addressed the Danites and encouraged them in their actions; however, it is doubtful he really knew what their actions were.
Danites The Danites undoubtedly performed a number of aggressive acts and once their existence was made known, were accused of many others. Following the fall of Far West, Sampson Avard was excommunicated and church leaders disavowed any connection with his actions
War Averted In September, units of militia under Generals David Atchison and Alexander Doniphan – both understanding of the Mormons – were dispatched to settle the conflicts in Daviess County. Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight agreed to go to a farmhouse just inside Daviess County for a legal hearing.
War Averted The judge ordered them to be tried in District Court. In the meantime, Lyman Wight mobilized the militia in Diahman to be ready to defend the town against attack. Atchison and Doniphan, however, were able to keep peace.
The Siege of DeWitt Non-Mormons in DeWitt moved to drive the Mormons out as militia returned from Daviess County. Other militia from nearby counties congregated as well. George Hinkle commanded the Mormon militia in DeWitt and built up forces there, but the the non-Mormon militia kept supplies from coming in.
The Siege of DeWitt Joseph Smith secretly went to DeWitt and found conditions deteriorating. The Saints petitioned for help. On Oct. 9, Gov. Boggs told the parties to fight it out. On Oct. 11, the Mormons agreed to abandon DeWitt. Mormons from other communities were advised to come into Far West for protection.
Marauding Parties As tensions mounted, food and goods in Far West became somewhat scarce. Organized parties went to nearby non-Mormon farms and brought back “buffalo” and “boars.”
Marauding Parties Non-Mormons raided and burned Mormon dwellings and farms as well. The town of Millport in Daviess County was burned. The Mormons blamed the “old citizens” for burning their own homes.
Others Leave Far West Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde became concerned about this course of action and voiced opposition. Marsh refused to join in the action, but was forced to at the threat of his life. The next day, October 18, they left Far West and later signed an affidavit against Joseph Smith and the Mormons.
Governor Boggs Refuses Aid As conditions worsened, General Atchison asked Governor Boggs to personally come and try to settle matters. He refuses three times.
Crooked River Samuel Bogart, a notorious anti-Mormon commanded troops along the Ray-Caldwell County border. They entered Caldwell County twice and took three Mormon men prisoner. A number of Mormons were anxious for the fight to begin. The bragged of how two would put 10,000 to flight.
Crooked River Charles C. Rich and David W. Patten, dubbing himself “Captain Fearnaught,” led groups of militia to the Ray County border to protect Mormons living there. Near dawn on October 25, Patten’s forces had a chance encounter with Bogart’s militia. In a brief battle, the prisoners were freed and Bogart’s men retreated.
Crooked River Three Mormons including David W. Patten died. Rumors quickly spread that Bogart’s militia had been massacred and the Mormon’s were going to attack Richmond.
The Extermination Order On October 27, Governor Boggs issued this order: “The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description.”
Changes in Command Gen. Atchison was relieved of command and Gen. John Clark appointed to take his place. In the meantime Gen. Samuel D. Lucas, an anti-Mormon from Jackson County, assumed Atchison’s command. Lucas was anxious to attack Far West before Clark could arrive.
Haun’s Mill Jacob Haun came into Far West to tell Joseph Smith he thought he could defend Haun’s Mill, as he could use the blacksmith’s shop for a fort. Joseph counseled him to come into far West, but told him in the end to do as he pleased. Haun was reported to have told those at the mill that Joseph Smith consented to their defending the town.
Haun’s Mill On October 28 a militia detachment arrived at the mill and made arrangements to discuss a peace treaty. The next day at 4:00 p.m. 240 men attacked the settlement. The women and most children fled. Many Mormons were mercilessly killed. Those who fled to the blacksmith’s shop were massacred by militia firing between the chinks in the logs. At least 17 were killed.
The Fall of Far West By October 31, 2000 militia surrounded Far West. The Mormon militia totaled about 400. As the situation worsened, Joseph Smith relieved George Hinkle of command of the militia and personally took charge of the defense of Far West.
The Fall of Far West Gen. Lucas presented to George Hinkle and others a proposal that he would not attack if several Mormon leaders surrender, that Mormon property be sold for damages, and that the Mormons surrender their arms and leave the state. He agreed to let the Mormons consider the plan overnight if Joseph Smith Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and George W. Robinson be taken as hostages until morning.
The Betrayal Joseph Smith and the others agreed to the terms; however, the prisoners were not allowed to negotiate. Rather, at a hastily-called trial, which the prisoners were not allowed to attend, Gen. Lucas found the prisoners guilty of treason and ordered them to be shot on the Far West town square in the morning.
The Betrayal Alexander Doniphan was ordered to carry out the executions at sunrise. He flatly refused and told Lucas that he was marching for Richmond in the morning and if any harm came to the Mormon leaders, he would hold Lucas personally responsible. Lucas backed down.
The Betrayal The Mormons held George Hinkle, Reed Peck, and John Corrill responsible for knowingly delivering up the prisoners to to Lucas unconditionally. The three were excommunicated and never returned to the church. They all maintained that they were innocent and felt that the prisoners understood the conditions of their surrender and had accepted those conditions.
The Migration The Saints were allowed to remain in Missouri through the winter, but were forbidden to plant crops the following spring. The main exodus of the Saints began in February 1839 while Joseph and several others remained in prison.