Thursday, May 20, 2010

Missouri Mormon War Papers

Lost Missouri Relatives

Missouri Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841
The Missouri Secretary of State (SOS) Mormon War Papers contain “the records gathered by the state in relation to the disturbances with the Mormons. Records include legislative material, letters to the governor, and witness accounts.”[1]

[The Prophet's Wife and Brother give statements on property stolen in the 1838 Mormon War], Emma Smith and Hyrum Smith. 
"under a Strong Guard in the Camp of the Mob. I there heard the Deft. Say unto (apostle) Lyman Wight, that he Deft. Had taken the Pltfs. Horse, Saddle, Bridle, &Martingales,&had sold them to Capt. Samuel Bogart. I immediately informed the Pltf. Who was under Guard & Convenient to me In about two days Pltf. With Witness & others were carried to Jackson County were kept there five or Six days, from there we were taken to Richmond Ray County, there kept about twenty Days, then carried to Liberty Clay County," and that in that time Bogart guarded them, and Hyrum saw him with his brother's possessions..."



The Missouri Old Settlers vs. the Mormons
In 1830 Joseph Smith of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (originally called the Church of Christ) sent missionaries to western Missouri to work with the  local Native Americans. It is said that Joseph Smith “designated western Missouri as the place where “Zion” would be “gathered” in anticipation of Christ’s second coming.”[2]  Thus, Missouri became the preferred settling place for the Mormons until around 1833, when they were attacked by the non-Mormon settlers, also called “Old Settlers.”

In 1836, the Missouri State Legislature made provisions for the Mormon settlers to occupy the northwest county of Caldwell separating the Mormons from the Old Settlers. However, newly arrived Mormon settlers over-populated the county, which led to further conflicts and the expulsion of the Mormons from Missouri.

In 1838 the Missouri governor, Lilburn Boggs, gave the Mormon’s an ultimatum of leaving the state or being “exterminated."[3]  Later that year an organized Old Settler mob killed 18 Mormon men and boys.  This massacre gave reason for the Mormons to leave Missouri and to settle in Illinois.[4] 

Looking for Relatives?
Witnesses, names of Old Settler mobsters, victims, information on the Mormon paramilitary units and Old Settlers mobs, may be found in the Missouri Mormon Papers.

The state legislative investigation of the massacre and official discussions were documented and are held in the Mormon War Papers.  These papers also hold the criminal hearing of Joseph Smith and other church leaders for treason and other crimes. Images, text and online searches are available using Finding Aid 5.1 online.  

To perform an online surname search try the Search Mormon Records” (mid-page).

Kathleen Brandt
stradercom@aol.com

 
[1] Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841; Office of Secretary of State, Record Group 5; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/findingaids/rg005-01.asp Online access 20 May, 2010
[2] This post is not an attempt to provide the history of the Mormons, Joseph Smith, or the Missouri Mormon War.  The purpose of this post is to accurately capture the online materials reported from the Secretary of State website: The Missouri Mormon War; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/findingaids/rg005-01.asp Online access 20 May, 2010
[3] The Missouri Mormon War, Governor Boggs’ Extermination order, Office of Secretary of State, Record Group 5; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City. http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/findingaids/miscMormonRecords.asp?rec=eo Online access 20 May, 2010
[4] The Missouri Mormon War; Office of Secretary of State, Record Group 5; Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City; http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/mormon.asp, Online access 20 May 20, 2010

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link, I was always afraid my Hankins family might have been involved in the mobs, but did not find their names.

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