Presentation on theme: "Missouri Persecutions and Expulsion False Reports: On August 8 th, 1838, Peniston swore out an affidavit that the Mormons had an army of 500 men and were."— Presentation transcript:
Missouri Persecutions and Expulsion False Reports: On August 8 th, 1838, Peniston swore out an affidavit that the Mormons had an army of 500 men and were threatening the cities of Davies County. Joseph Smith submitted to be arrested and was later released on bail. Two weeks later, Adam Black claimed that 154 Mormons had threatened him with death if he did not sign the agreement of peace. False reports were starting to reach Governor Boggs.
Good Reports: Lawyers Atchison and Doniphan sent reports to the Governor that he was getting false reports and bad advice from the mob and their so called leaders about the Mormons, and that the problems were not nearly as big as they sounded. The citizens of Davies County agreed to sell their lands to the Mormons, but the Mormons were not able to raise the funds fast enough.
Siege of Dewitt: September – October 1838, the Saints in Dewitt were threatened by the mob with violence. George M. Hinckle adamantly defended the rights of the Saints to be in Dewitt. Reinforcements from both sides kept arriving and appeals to the Governor on behalf of the Saints fell on deaf ears. Open hostilities began in early October with the mobs considering it to be a war of extermination. Food became critically low and a member of the Church escaped to tell the fate of the Saints to Joseph and others. Joseph slipped into Dewitt undetected and found the situation to be serious.
Finally the word from Governor Boggs arrived and he said, “The quarrel is between the Mormons and the mob and they will have to fight it out.” On October 11 th, 1838, 70 wagons abandoned Dewitt. One woman gave birth to a baby and both her and the baby died of exposure.
Opposition in Carrol County started with several Mormons being captured, tied to trees, whipped and mangled. Houses were burned and stock driven off. General Atchison appealed to Governor Boggs again and was rebuffed.
Guerilla warfare erupted with both sides plundering and looting. For the most part, anti-Mormons set fire to their own haystacks and property and then blamed it on the Mormons. At this time Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde had dissented and joined with the enemies at Richmond. They both swore out an affidavit against Joseph Smith. Thomas B. Marsh was excommunicated on March 17, 1838 and Orson Hyde was dropped from the Quorum of the Twelve. Orson returned June 27 th, 1838 after fully acknowledging his error and making confession. President Marsh returned in 1857.
Battle of Crooked River October 25 th, 1838, Samuel Bogart a famous mobber from Jackson County ordered his people to take 3 Mormon prisoners. A militia set out to rescue the prisoners. Twenty miles from Far West, David W. Patten and Charles C. Rich ran into an ambush at Crooked River. Bogart’s men opened fire on them and the battle began.
Several men were wounded on both sides. David W. Patten and Gideon Carter were killed, though they managed to free the three prisoners. Patrick O’bannion died later. Accounts were read to Governor Boggs that Bogart’s men were massacred and that the Mormons were marching on to Richmond to burn it to the ground. That was all Bogg’s needed to hear.
The Extermination Order It was issued on October 27 th, 1838. “The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public good.” General Atchison was the commander of the state troops but was dismissed in favor of an anti-Mormon General --- John D. Clark. General Samuel D. Lucas who opposed the Saints, surrounded Far West with over 2,000 of his men on October 31, 1838.
Haun’s Mill The story of Jacob Haun going to Far West and refusing the counsel of Joseph Smith is a sad story. On October 30 th, nine wagons filled with poor Saints from Kirtland arrived at Haun’s Mill. That evening 240 mobocrats attacked the settlement. Most of the men fled to the blacksmith’s shop. They were shot mercilessly. Sardius Smith (10 years old) had the top of his head blown off. The man who did it later said, “Nits will make lice and if he’d a grown up, he’d a been a Mormon!”
Alma Smith, his brother, watched the murder of his dad and brother. He had the flesh of his hip shot away and was later miraculously healed through faith and prayer (he laid perfectly still after being shot, leading the mob to think that he was dead). Thomas McBride was hacked to death with a corn knife. Seventeen men were killed and thirteen men were wounded.
On 30 October 1838, three days after the extermination order was issued, some 200 men mounted a surprise attack against the small community of Saints at Haun’s Mill on Shoal Creek, Caldwell County. The assailants, in an act of treachery, called for those men who wished to save themselves to run into the blacksmith shop. They then took up positions around the building and fired into it until they thought all inside were dead. Others were shot as they tried to make their escape. In all 17 men and boys were killed and 13 wounded. After the massacre, Amanda Smith went to the blacksmith shop, where she found her husband Warren, and a son, Sardius, dead. Among the carnage she was overjoyed to find another son, little Alma, still alive though severely wounded. His hip had been blown away by a musket blast. With most of the men dead or wounded, Amanda knelt down and pleaded with the Lord for help:
“Oh my Heavenly Father, I cried, what shall I do? Thou seest my poor wounded boy and knowest my inexperience. Oh Heavenly Father direct me what to do!” She said that she “was directed as by a voice,” instructing her to make a lye from the ashes and cleanse the wound. She then prepared a slippery elm poultice and filled the wound with it. The next day she poured the contents of a bottle of balsam into the wound.
Amanda said to her son, “’Alma, my child,… you believe that the Lord made your hip?’ “’Yes, mother.’ “’Well, the Lord can make something there in the place of your hip, don’t you believe he can, Alma?’ “’Do you think that the Lord can, mother?’ inquired the child, in is simplicity. “’Yes, my son,’ I replied, ‘he has shown it all to me in a vision.’ “Then I laid him comfortably on his face, and said: ‘Now you lay like that, and don’t move, and the Lord will make you another hip.’ “So Alma laid on his face for five weeks, until he was entirely recovered --- a flexible gristle having grown in place of the missing joint and socket.”
Amanda and others had the awful task of seeing to the burial of their loved ones. Only a few able-bodied men remained, including Joseph Young, the brother of Brigham Young. Because they feared the return of the mob, there was no time to dig conventional graves. The bodies were thrown into a dry well, forming a mass grave. Joseph Young helped to carry the body of little Sardius but declared “he could not throw that boy into this horrible grave.” He had played with the “interesting lad” on their journey to Missouri, and Joseph’s “nature was so tender” that he could not do it. Amanda wrapped Sardius in a sheet, and the next day she and another son, Willard, place the body in the well. Dirt and straw were then thrown into cover the dreadful scene.
At Adam-ondi-Ahman, 20-year-old Benjamin F. Johnson was spared a similar fate at the hands of a Missourian who was determined to shoot him. Benjamin had been arrested and kept under guard for eight days in intensely cold weather before an open campfire. While he was sitting on a log, a “brute” came up to him with a rifle in his hands and said, “You give up Mormonism right now, or I’ll shoot you.” Benjamin decisively refused, upon which the ruffian took deliberate aim at him and pulled the trigger. The gun failed to discharge. Cursing fearfully, the man declared that he had “used the gun 20 years and it had never before missed fire.” Examining the lock, he re-primed the weapon and again aimed and pulled the trigger --- without effect.
Following the same procedure he tried a third time, but the result was the same. A bystander told him to “fix up his gun a little” and then “you can kill the cuss all right.” So for a fourth and final time the would-be murderer prepared, even putting in a fresh load. However, Benjamin declared, “This time the gun busted and killed the wretch upon the spot.” One of the Missourians was heard to say, “You’d better not try to kill that man.”
Siege of Far West October 31 st, 1838: The mob outnumbered the Saints five to one. That evening Lucas sent a flag of truce to Colonel Hinkle who then secretly agreed to turn over Joseph and the others as prisoners. The Saints were to give up their property to pay for the damages incurred from the war and then leave the state. Hinkle convinced Joseph and the others that they wanted to discuss terms of peace. When they arrived at the place for the conference, the Mormons were surrounded and turned over to General Lucas. Hinkle betrayed them. The frenzy of the mob was uncontrollable.
When Alexander Doniphan received the order to execute them the next day, he replied: “It is cold-blooded murder and I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning at eight o’clock and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God.” Lucas lost his nerve to execute them.
On November 1 st, the mob entered Far West, plundered the town, raped women and compelled men at bayonet point to turn over their possessions to pay for their damages to the State. Joseph had received the word of the Lord that their lives would be spared. The state appropriated $300,000 to pay for the army and $2,000 to pay for the suffering of the Saints. The Saints never saw a penny of it.
Joseph and the others were taken to Independence where they were placed on public display. They were then transferred to Richmond where they were chained together in an old vacant house for over two weeks. Joseph preached to the people wherever they were held as prisoners. He influenced many people to take the side of the Saints. The “Richmond Jail” was where the famous “Majesty in Chains” occurred.
Liberty Jail It was a dungeon. It had two floors with no heat and little ventilation. They were there for more than four winter months (127 days) in horrible conditions. Some historians say that the winter of 1838-39 was the worst on record in Missouri. They were fed poison in their food and drinks at least three times which caused the men to vomit almost unto death. They were fed “Mormon Beef” for five days without any other food because the guards wanted to see if the prisoners would eat it. Lyman Wight did succumb and got sick. Truman Madsen said it was off of the amputated leg of a black man.
They were fed out of a dirty chicken basket every day. They tried to escape twice and were caught both times. When Sidney was released from the jail (because of his sickness), he said: “The Son of God’s sufferings are not one iota as compared to what I have been through” (HC, 3:264). He was sharp on some things and fuzzy on others.
They all went to the bathroom in the same bucket. Several of the men had back problems for the rest of their lives because the ceiling was lower than they were tall. They received one blanket each and slept on the ground. Emma would have brought more blankets, but William McClellin had stolen all of the blankets from Joseph’s and Emma’s house. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and John Taylor took care of the Church’s leadership in Joseph’s absence. Public opinion turned quickly against Governor Boggs and the mob. The captivity of these men became a disgrace to the State. It was during these dark times that Joseph received Doctrine & Covenants 121-123.
B.H. Roberts said, “It was a lot more ‘Temple’ than it was prison.” In April of 1839, a grand jury brought additional trumped up charges against the men in prison, but on their way to the trial in another county, the sheriff and his deputies allowed Joseph and the others to escape to Illinois. Evidently they were under orders from the officers of the court to do so. The deputies helped the men to saddle their horses. Later one of the deputies was dragged to death by members of the mob for letting the prisoners go. This was the fifth time in ten years that the Saints had been forced to leave their homes and look for a new location.
There was another factor at work in the soul stretching of the Prophet in the Liberty, Missouri dungeon. Earlier, Joseph had Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon to be not only his aids-de- camp but also in a measure as his spokesmen. After the Liberty Jail experience, however, Joseph was clearly his own spokesman. From that time forward, we begin to receive Joseph’s stretching sermons, involving some of the gospel’s most powerful doctrines (Neal A. Maxwell, But for a Small Moment, 17).
Missouri Persecutions --- March 1838 to April 1839 as given by Hyrum Smith More than twelve thousand Saints were driven from Missouri. “All scattered families of the ‘Mormon’ people, in all the counties except Daviess were driven to Far West. This only increased their distress, for many thousands who were driven there had no habitations or houses to shelter them and were huddled together, some in tents, and others under blankets, while others had no shelter from the inclemency of the weather.”
For nearly two months the people had been in this awful state of consternation, many of them had been killed, whilst others had been whipped until they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out. Mr. Carey had his brains knocked out by the breech of a gun. As he laid bleeding several hours, his family was not permitted to approach him to administer relief whilst he lay upon the ground in the agonies of death.
John Tanner, was knocked on the head and his skull laid bare the width of a man’s hand. He laid, to all appearance, in the agonies of death for several hours. Only by permission given from General Doniphan were his friends allowed to take him out of the camp. John Tanner slowly recovered and lived. These acts of barbarity were committed by the soldiers under the command of General Lucas prior the governor’s order of extermination. Captain Nehemiah Comstock, who the day previous had promised peace and protection to Haun’s Mill, returned the following day after receiving a copy of the governor’s order, to exterminate or expel the Mormons. He massacred them with two to three hundred men from the army. Sixteen hundred balls were fired upon the people at Haun’s Mill.
It is impossible to describe the feelings of horror and distress of the people in Far West. The soldiers were permitted to patrol the streets and abuse and insult the people at their leisure. They entered into houses, pillaged the men and ravished the women. They took every gun and every other kind of military implement from the Mormons. General Clark saluted the mob by saying, “Gentlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the Mormon leaders on Monday morning at eight o’clock!”
Joseph spoke to Hyrum and to the other prisoners on November 3 rd in a low, but cheerful and confidential tone. “Be of good cheer, brethren, the word of the Lord came to me last night that our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer during this captivity, not one of our lives would be taken.” Joseph said, “We are in good spirits and rejoice that we are counted worthy to be persecuted for Christ’s sake.”
There stay in Liberty jail lasted 127 days, from December 1st, 1838 to April 6th, 1839. One of the jailors who let the brethren go was charged with complicity in their escape by providing them with horses and was dragged over the square by the hair of his head and was ridden on an iron rail until he was dead. The same men sat as a jury during the day and were placed over the brethren as guards during the night. They tantalized the prisoners and boasted of their great achievements at Haun’s Mill and other places. They bragged about how many houses they had burned, and how many sheep, cattle, and hogs they had driven off. They boasted about how many rapes they had committed, and what kicking and squealing there was.... saying that they lashed one woman upon one of the Mormon meeting benches, tied her hands and her feet fast, and sixteen of them abused her as much as they had a mind to, and then left her bound and exposed in that conditioned.
These fiends of the lower regions boasted of these acts of barbarity and tantalized our feelings with them for ten days. The lady who was the subject of that brutality did not recover for more than three months. They defiled by force wives, daughters and virgins. They shot out the brains of men, women and children. The grand jury constantly celebrated their achievements with grog and glass in hand like the Indian warriors at their war dances, singing and telling each other of their exploits in murdering the Mormons.
At the end of every song they would bring in the chorus,...Mormons! We have sent them to hell. Then they would slap their hands and shout, Hosanna! Hosanna! Glory to God! Then they would fall down on their backs and kick with their feet a few moments. The “drinking song” was so full of profanity, and the use of God’s name taken so many times in vain, that I will not include it on my power points.
They murdered three to four hundred men, women, and children in cold blood in the most horrid and cruel manner possible. Why? Because of religious bigotry! The Mormon people had purchased upwards of two hundred thousand dollars worth of land, and lost it all.
In the Richmond Jail Parley P. Pratt recorded Joseph’s rebuke to the guards. “Silence, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and bear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die this instance!” “He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.
“I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the Courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri” (Pratt, Autobiography, 179-80).
Imprisonment January — August 1839 Emma visited Joseph in Liberty Jail three times before she left Far West in mid- February 1839. Joseph’s system of government by councils proved its worth in his absence. All through December, the high council with Brigham Young presiding met to strengthen one another and fill vacancies.
Joseph also instructed Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball not to leave the state themselves. He felt bound by a revelation requiring the Twelve to plant a cornerstone for the Far West temple on April 26, before departing to Britain. If Joseph was convicted of treason, he would have been executed. The Clay County judge refused the pleas of all but the ailing Sidney Rigdon, who spoke for himself from a cot. In the heat of battle, hawks like Avard and Wight had taken command and perpetrated “vile measures” against Joseph’s wishes.
By mid-March, Joseph had lost faith in his lawyers, who, he believed, had not petitioned vigorously enough. The prisoners attempted to escape, as though prisoners of war. They bore holes in the foot-thick oak walls until the auger handles gave out. They actually got caught in the act because a friend unwittingly dropped a hint that aroused suspicion. McRae remembered food “so filthy that they could not eat it until they were driven to it by hunger. Hyrum suspected they had been poisoned. After a meal they were all vomiting and then would lay two or three days in a torpid, stupid state, not even caring or wishing for life. Joseph said that the food was “scant, uniform, and coarse.” Outside the windows, curiosity-seekers jeered them. Hyrum wrote Edward Partridge and said the prison was hell and surrounded with demons if not those who were damned.
In a single day, Joseph dictated a letter to Alexander McRae that came to sixteen printed pages. All five prisoners signed the letter, but Joseph’s mind and heart were on the pages. Parts of the letter rose to a level the merited later canonization in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph’s wrath spilled the first few pages. He said that the “blood of innocent women and children” now stained the soil of Missouri. Joseph realized, as the historian John Wilson had noted, that citizens can only make constitutional principles work by entering the political arena. For the Saints to claim their rights, the story of persecution had to be told.
Joseph thought that the mobbers constituted only a fraction of the Missourians. Ironically, persecution moderated the Saints’ relationship with the rest of the world. In the Liberty letter, Joseph urged the Saints to respect other religious beliefs. He did not say which speeches he considered “foul,” but he saw that undue militance had brought “death and sorrow.” The rejected “milder councils” were presumably his. He had mistakenly yielded to those who favored “vile measures.”
Joseph taught in the letter that those who “aspire after their own aggrandizement and seek their own opulence while their brethren were groaning in poverty” cannot benefit from the holy spirit. “Things of the world” and aspiring “to the honors of men” corrupt the priesthood. At the end of his 1839 account of early Mormonism, Corrill explained why he abandoned the movement: When I retrace our track, and view the doings of the church for six years past, I can see nothing that convinced me that God had been our leader; calculation after calculation has failed, and plan after plan has been overthrown, and our prophets seemed not to know the event till too late. If he said go up and prosper, still we did not prosper, but have labored and toiled, and waded through trials, difficulties, and temptations, of various kinds, in hope of deliverance. But no deliverance ever came.
Everything Corrill said was true. The great work had met defeat after defeat. Joseph’s seven-year stay in Kirtland was the longest in any gathering place. Joseph lost old friends and trusted supporters: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Frederick G. Williams, William W. Phelps, Orson Hyde, Martin Harris, and Thomas B. Marsh all left him in 1838, worn down by failures and perceived missteps. Six of the seven, all but David Whitmer returned to the Church before they died, and Phelps and Hyde within a few months.
The events of 1838 brought these faithful souls to the breaking point. The voice of God told them to endure it well! The Missouri tribulations were a training ground, experience implied a future elevation or condition. Those who would be like Christ must suffer like Christ.
Return The day after dictating the letter to the Church, Joseph answered a letter from his “Affectionate Wife.” Emma hoped that there would be better days to come. Joseph spoke of the children and of his dog, “old major.” He asked, “Dear Emma do you think that my being cast into prison by the mob renders me less worthy of your friendship?” He told Emma that he would gladly walk from here to you barefoot, and bareheaded, and half naked, to see you,” “You should not let those fellows, forget me, tell them Father loves them with a perfect love.”
Joseph plead with Emma never to give up an old friend, who had waded through all manner of toil, for her sake, and throw him away because fools told you he has faults. He spoke as if Emma harbored resentment against him. At this point, the manuscript page was torn away. After almost six months, Sheriff Morgan got drunk and let the men escape. Emma and Joseph were reunited and Emma was truly happy. Commerce and Commerce City were purchased by Joseph which would later be named Nauvoo.
Eventually the Church owned all but 125 acres of the peninsula. The Nauvoo landscape did not captivate Joseph as Independence and Far West had. Commerce was unhealthy and very few could live there. The Saints suffered from a terrible plague of malaria in 1839, and the next two summers were even worse. Joseph eventually built a store, a hotel, and a mansion to mark the commercial and cultural center of the city. Within five years, the population grew to 15,000 in Nauvoo and the immediate vicinity. When Joseph died in 1844, Nauvoo was as large as Chicago.
The Twelve A non-Mormon attorney who was acquainted with Joseph during the prison months said that “he possessed the most indomitable perseverance.” Heber C. Kimball spent nearly a year in Great Britain in 1837 and 1838, assisting in baptizing some 1,500 converts. Leaving Illinois secretly on April 17, seven of the Twelve Apostles and about twenty Church members snuck into the deserted Far West square before dawn on April 26 and conducted their business. Alpheus Cultler, the Far West temple’s master builder, supervised the placement of a foundation stone, and each apostle prayed in order of his seniority in the quorum. Everyone slipped away in the early morning light. A letter from Joseph from Liberty Jail noted that he never had the opportunity to give the Church the plan of God as revealed to him, as if he were storing up revelations.
Joseph told the Twelve everything revealed to him would be revealed to them, “& even the least Saint could know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. Section 129 was given about the “three grand keys” and Joseph told the Twelve they would find it useful when angels appeared to them.
Joseph taught that the Holy Ghost was more powerful in expanding the mind enlightening the understanding and storing the intellect with present knowledge of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham than one that is a gentile. Working in non-Israelites, the Holy Ghost had first to “purge out the old blood and make him actually of the seed of Abraham” before the intelligence could flow. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball on going to England were so sick with chills and fever they could scarcely crawl into their wagons and wave farewell to their wives and children. Neither blamed Joseph for imposing impossible tasks on them. They felt privileged to go.
History In his spare moments in June and July, Joseph wrote his history with the help of his clerk, James Mulholland, an Irish immigrant who had kept a scanty journal for Joseph since the previous fall. Joseph had begun the history in April 1838, starting with his birth and continuing to the reception of the gold plates in 1827. Joseph had always been conscious of making a history. After 1828, he was scrupulous about writing down the revelations and tried to preserve letters. When the Mormons were leaving Missouri, Mulholland passed many Church papers along to his sister-in-law Ann Scott, who carried them for days in large handmade cotton bags fastened with bands buttoned around her waist. Ann Scott gave them to Emma, who carried them to Illinois. When she walked across the Mississippi ice in February with two children in her arms, the bags banged against her legs.
The 1838 and 1839 history marks Joseph’s emergence as the preeminent figure in the Mormon story. Judging from tracts, newspaper articles, and accounts of sermons, missionaries rarely mentioned him. In 1843 he was the subject of a biography. It would be years, however, before Joseph’s story would become part of the missionary message. When he sent the Twelve to England in the summer of 1839 he said nothing of himself in their instruction save for reminding them that if they suffered, he too had suffered as well.