Hardship, persecution continue as LDS move to northern Missouri

By the autumn of 1838, some 1,500 saints had settled in Clay, Ray, Carroll, Daviess and Caldwell counties in northern Missouri. Their presence caused much concern for their Missouri neighbors.

In The Kingdom of God Restored, E. Carter Grant wrote: "Since the Mormons were northerners and non-slaveholders - nicknamed Yankees and Abolitionists - their unity, industry, and religious objectives continued to arouse the ire of the already suspicious Missourians."Throughout the summer and autumn of 1838, the saints endured much opposition and hardship in Missouri. Following is a list of a few incidents in the weeks and months preceding Joseph Smith's arrest and imprisonment in Liberty, Mo.:

  • Aug. 6, 1838 - A mob attacked about 12 members as they attempted to vote at Gallatin, Daviess County, Mo.
  • Sept. 21, 1838 - The saints were ordered to leave De Witt by Oct. 1.
  • Oct. 17-18, 1838 - Mobs burned saints' homes in Daviess County.
  • Oct. 25, 1838 - Apostle David W. Patten and Patrick O'Bannion were killed at the Battle of Crooked River, near Far West.
  • Oct. 27, 1838 - Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs issued the order for the state militia to "exterminate" or drive Mormons from Missouri.
  • Oct. 30, 1838 - Mob killed 17 saints at Haun's Mill, Mo.
  • Nov. 1, 1838 - Joseph Smith and others were sentenced at a court martial to be shot at Far West. Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan of the Missouri militia refused to carry out the order.
  • November 1838 - Approximately 50 LDS men, taken as prisoners at Far West, arrived Nov. 12 at Richmond, Mo., for trial. Joseph Smith and others were committed in Liberty, Clay County, Mo., for trial.


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Information compiled by Gerry Avant

Sources: History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, vols. 2 and 3; A Comprehensive History of the Church, by B.H. Roberts; Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith; The Kingdom of God Restored, by Carter E. Grant.

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