Episode 44 – The Battle Begins

On this episode, we finally jump into the Gallatin election day battle and the aftermath. Two diametrically opposed mobs matched each other’s ante as things continually escalate out of control. Jo and Rigdon take the Danites to Diahmen to impose their will upon elected officials. Lilburn Boggs organizes a militia to answer the Mormon aggression of 150 stripling warriors cascading across county lines in violation of Missouri law. Nobody holds the legal or ethical high ground as violent rhetoric is matched by violent action on both sides of the Mormon-Missouri conflict.

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Reed Peck manuscript

Welcome to episode 44 of the NMPC the serial Mormon history podcast. Today is Dec. 14 2016, my name is Bryce Blankenagel and thank you for joining me.

Tensions were high between the Mormons and Missourians after Rigdon’s red sermon. Many Missourians were totally cool with the Mormons as long as they kept to themselves, but the Mormons had no intention of doing so.

From Richmond court proceedings

“as early as April last, at a meeting, in Far West, of 8 or 12 persons, Mr. Rigdon, arose and made an address to them in which he spoke of having bo<u>rne persecutions & lawsuits & other privations, and did not intend to bear them any longer. That they meant to resist the law, and if a sheriff came after them with writs they would kill <him>. and if any body opposed them they would take off their heads. Geo W Harris who was present observed, you menat the head of their influence I suppose<?> Rigdon answered, he meant, that lump of flesh & bones called the skull or scalp.”

“Robert Snodgrass court testimony quoting Jo: That the time had now come that the Saints should <rise &> take the kingdom, <and they should> do it by the <sword of the > Spirit, and if not, by the sword of power”

After Lyman Johnson had been ex-d and exiled, a friend of his named George Walter quoted Jo saying: “it was a time of war, and to permit persons who are right in among them to go out and carry news, would never do it by taking their lives. .. the militia wsa nothing but a mob, <that> the state of Missouri was a mob. & that the governor himself was a mob character… it <is> time to lay religion aside and take up <our> guns”

George Hinkle recalled Jo saying: “...he believes Mahommet was a good man, that the Koran was not a true thing, but the world believed Mahommet as they beli[e]ved him. & that he believed Mahommet a true prophet.”

Why would Jo call Muhammed such a cool guy?

Samuel Kimble told of Jo standing in front of and armed mob, probably the Danites saying: “It was impossible to please a mob, that he had applied to the Governor, and he understood the governor said he could do nothing for us, he said that the whole state was a mob, and that the governor was nothing but a mob, & if he come upon them he would make war upon him. He cursed the state as a damn mob & that God would damn them. He observed that the people might think he was swearing, but that the Lord would not take notice of it.”

It wasn’t just the Missourians Rigdon and Jo were railing against.

Abner Scovel said this in reference to Rigdon soon after Double-Dub Phelps and Freddy G. Willey were rebaptized after their excommunication in April.

“Soon after the time that Phelps & Williams was baptized, (about the last of June last) I heard Sidney Rigdon say, in Far West, that if Phelps or Williams apostatised again, or <set up against the government or kingdom>, the Lord would kill them in half an hour, or would put it into the hearts of his saints to kill them”

One of the causes we can point to that lead to so much chaos at this time was a desperation for resources. We know that Jo, Rigdon, and many of the Mormon refugees that were moving to Missouri had absolutely nothing. The only thing the Mormons brought with them en masse from Ohio to Missouri was their poverty. Poverty today is much different than Poverty of the 1830’s. We have much broader access to resources than they ever did. If people in the 1830’s were poor going into the Missouri winter, they very well might not emerge on the other side of the winter with as many numbers as they went into it with. Each person was responsible for gathering enough food stores to last the winter, but when you have thousands of people moving into an area that’s already starved for resources, it creates an even deeper vacuum resulting in people starving… literally starving to death for want of resources.

When Jo and Rigdon moved to Missouri in January, there were enough people there to support them with the few excess resources they had to finish out the winter and get into spring. As 1838 progressed however, it became abundantly clear that there weren’t going to be enough crops in the ground to support the influx of refugees fleeing Ohio. If the Mormon leadership didn’t do something, the flock would starve and everybody that was with them going into the winter of 1838-1839 may not be there in the Spring.

Add in to the desperation for resources the fact that it was an election year, and we’re seeing this powder keg slowly filling, threatening an explosion to take everybody down.

The Mormons represented a voting bloc that couldn’t be ignored by those who were running for any office in the counties North of Jackson in Missouri. Daviess County had essentially been sanctioned as Mormonville where they had reasonable belief that no Missourian would bother the Mormons there if they merely kept to themselves. As we know, Jo and Rigdon weren’t much for leaving sleeping dogs to lie and their aggressive expansion upon arrival scared the Missourians that had agreements with the Mormons to stay in Daviess, Clay, and Caldwell counties. As this influx of Mormon refugees was injected into the population, politicians began pandering to the Mormons to get their vote. The Mormons were made up of a fairly balanced mix of Democrats and Whigs, but they were happy to vote for anybody that claimed to be on their side, regardless of party affiliation.

A man named William Peniston…. yep…. better than being named Penisfeather I suppose… was the main politician pandering to the Mormons, focusing most of his energy on General Lyman Wight, one of the leading Danites.

“Peniston was a rough, quarrelsome fellow, but he had more influence in Daviess county in 1838 than any other man.’ recalled Joseph McGee, who ran a clothing store in Gallatin. Peniston had previously objected to the saints’ immigration into Daviess, but when Wight questioned him regarding his opposition, Peniston replied that ‘he never designed to drive them out of the County [and] that if he could not scare them so as to cause them to leave, he intended to let them alone.’ Another non-Mormon resident, perhaps sent by a local candidate, went out among the Saints to find out whom they supported for the county offices. The older settlers realized that whoever received the Mormon vote would win the election.” 1838 Missouri Mormon war pg. 59-60

When vicious politics are thrown into this mix, it’s like that powderkeg from before was just doused in Kerosene. August 8th 1838 marked this monumental election that held the fate of the Mormons in Missouri in the balance. Everybody knew it. The Missourians that hated the Mormons had strong motivations to stop their voting as it would probably influence the next decade of politics, and the Mormons, as well as those non-Mormon Missourians who were sympathetic to them, knew that if they could just get a few politicians into office that are on their side, things might just get a little tiny bit better than the shit sandwich they’d been eating for half a decade in Missouri. Who knows, if enough Mormons and Mormon sympathizers are elected, they may even be reinstated to their homes in Jackson county and bring the mob that chased them out to justice. These may be pie in the sky hopes, but it was the package the leadership sold to the members, and they were motivated to vote or die motherfucker.

Peniston failed in gaining the Mormon vote, and in flip-flopper fashion as is known with many politicians, he began railing against the Mormons to try and eliminate their influence on the election. He was running as a Whig, and once Lyman Wight challenged him on his loyalty to the Mormons, Peniston took that as a sign that the Mormons would be voting for his Democratic opponent. On August 8th, election day in Gallatin, Peniston stood on an old barrel and began calling the Mormons “horse thieves, liars, counterfeiters, and dupes, and boasted to the crowd that he had previously led a company of men that ordered the Saints to leave the county. “If we suffer such men as those to vote, you will soon lose your suffrage.” Bullshit fearmongering showing his own desperation to get elected by suppressing the Mormon vote.

Peniston just lit the match. As he stepped down from the barrel, he called everyone in attendance to have a drink. Roughly 30 Mormons were in attendance waiting to vote in Gallatin that day, and as Peniston stepped down, they watched in cautious silence. The Missourians passed around whiskey and began drinking, some of the Mormons may have as well, it’s unclear.

                                                                                                                                                              Then, a man named Dick Weldon, good friend of Peniston, boasted joyfully that the Mormons hadn’t been allowed to vote in Clay county “no more than the negroes.” After saying that he turned to a Mormon named Samuel Brown, a shoemaker, and this is the exchange between them.

“Are you a Mormon preacher, sir?” Dick asked Brown.

“Yes, sir, I am.” Brown replied

“Do you Mormons believe in healing the sick by laying on hands, speaking in tongues, and casting out devils?”

“We do,”

“You are a damned liar[!] Joseph Smith is a damned imposter,”

At that moment, somebody threw a punch and our keg exploded. It’s recorded that Brown hit Dick, but I’m more inclined to think Dick was hittin Brown. Suddenly 5 Mormons jumped into the fight trying to pull the men apart and the whiskeyed-up Missourians thought they were just jumping in to help Brown beat up Dick. A brawl ensued. Men were kicking, punching, and body slamming each other in a drunken fueled rage.

1838 Mormon war in Missouri pg 62-63: “John L. Butler, a large and powerful Mormon, rankled at the abuse heaped upon his people. “The first thing that came to my mind was the covenants entered into by the Danites to the effect that they were to protect each other, etc.,” Butler recalled, “and I hollowed out to the top of my voice saying ‘O yes, you Danites, here is a job for us,’” When Butler gave the Danite signal of distress, about ten more Latter-day Saints ran to the defense of their brethren. seeing this, forty or fifty Missourians stepped in to battle the Mormons.

“I had witnessed many knock-downs in my time, but none on so grand a scale,” wrote Joseph McGee, a non Mormon observer of the fight. The Participants used no guns, but struck at one another with whips, clubs, rocks, and knives. The Mormons rallied behind Butler, who wielded a large wooden club he found in a nearby pile of wood. “When I called out for the Danites a power rested upon me such as one as I never felt before,... I never struck a man the second time, and while knocking them down, I really felt that they would soon embrace the gospel.”

Our match lighter, Peniston, had run away at the first signs of brawling, while Dick laid unconscious and bleeding from a massive gash in his head, probably at the hand of Butler’s wooden club. A Mormon retreated with a knife between his shoulderblades and everybody involved in the scrap had bruises, gashes, and scrapes, but nobody was fatally wounded. Despite being outnumbered, the Mormons somehow stood their ground and the Missourians dispersed momentarily. The Mormons regrouped and assessed the situation. Some of the Missourians were only running to grab their guns to continue the fight, and the Mormons collectively decided it was a good idea to run away.

This Gallatin election day battle marked the beginning of actual mob violence between the Mormons and Missourians. The keg had exploded and was now just a pile of burning wood but nobody realized it had exploded inside a powder magazine and the damage was much worse than anybody could understand.

Now that a fight had broken out, the rhetoric that both sides were firing at each other was realized. Once word returned to the respective leaders of the Missourians and the Mormons, suddenly they both had license to act upon everything they’d been preaching in city council meetings and from the pulpit over congregations. Nothing happened to deescalate the situation and the Missouri mobs, along with Jo and Rigdon, felt justified in using their own mobs to affect influence upon each other.

Given the bullshit rhetoric we read at the beginning of this episode, doesn’t this just seem like exactly what Rigdon and Jo were hoping for? Jo revered Muhammed because he was a prophet and a war-lord. If anybody talked shit about Mo, they were dead, just like Jo wanted for all the people shit-talking him and the Mormons.

Rigdon called for a war of extermination repeatedly. He would no longer follow the directions of a sheriff, threatening to kill any that attempted to arrest him, and any legal action taken against the Mormons, Rigdon effectively couched it as religious persecution, even though that was a very small piece of the puzzle.

The Gallatin election battle made everything real. A catalyst like this was everybody’s wet dream. Finally the Missourians had an actual act of aggression from the Mormons they could point to in order to legally justify raising an official militia to combat them. And finally, so long after being chased out of Jackson county by a mob, the Mormons could point to the Missourians mobbing against them to eradicate their vote, which is tyrannical and treasonous in and of itself, and justify everything they founded the Danites for in the first place.

The most terrifying part of all this was the misinformation spread in month following the brawl. A Mormon named Josiah Morin rode to Far West on August 6th, the day of the brawl, claiming there was a battle at Gallatin and that two Mormons had died and the Missourians were refusing them a proper burial. He also spread rumors that there was a mob forming to drive the saints from Daviess county, just as they had been driven from Jackson County 5 years prior. There was no foundation for his claims, he was just spreading false information he’d heard from a friend who told him about his dad who was there or something, Morin wasn’t even at Gallatin the day before to be a reliable witness.

The Mormons weren’t the only ones working on false information. Rumors were spreading to Jackson and Richmond counties that an epic battle between the Mormons and Missourians had ensued and that the Danites had killed a number of Missourians before retreating back to HQ in Far West.

Of course, Dewitt was also a problem as the Mormons there had been threatened by the nearby Missouri mob. Once the Mormons living in Dewitt heard about 2 Mormons being killed in Gallatin, they were put on red alert awaiting the march of a mob on the little Mormon settlement there.

John Butler, the bear-Mormon who was swinging his club around and fuckin up everybody, arrived in Far West to tell his first-hand account of the fight at Gallatin, easing the collective fear that Mormons had died in the fight, but that corrected information would take some time to spread to all counties in Missouri. Most people were still operating under the assumption that it had been an actual bloody and fatal battle, as opposed to a bunch of drunk men throwin fisticuffs.

Upon receiving this corrected information from the bear-Mormon, Jo did exactly what would be expected. He called together his counsellors, Rigdon and his older brother Hyrum, and all the Danites in Far West and rode immediately for Diahmen in Daviess County, where Butler had told of a mob of 30 men surrounding his home. Expecting an armed mob of Missourians to march on Diahmen, where most of the brawlers had feld to, they fortified the town and cooked up a large batch of corn meal and meat in preparation for a siege. No mob actually appeared to lay siege to the town.

The next morning, Jo woke up, looked around at the town which had survived the night without any fighting, and must have thought to himself, “well, I have this mob of 150 armed men, what do I do with them now?”

The answer is as appalling as it is expected. Jo decided to “visit” some prominent Missourians living in Daviess county to see if they supported the Mormons or if they would support a mob chasing them out of Daviess county. Now, if you’re just a person that happens to be a judge or sheriff, or god forbid, a politician in Daviess county, it’s incumbent upon you to try your best to be objective and not be swayed to one side or the other in public conflicts like this.

Well, judge Adam Black was one of these people. Black lived less than a mile from the center of Diahmen, being one of the earliest settlers in the area, long before it was designated as Mormonville. Black had affiliation with an anti-Mormon mob earlier and Jo was anticipating his participation in another mob now that all the shit was on fire after Gallatin. Jo sent the Danites to deal with Black.

General Lyman Wight, Doctor Sampson Avard, and Cornelius P. Lott, 3 heavy hitters of the Danites, along with a small contingency of participants in the Gallatin battle went to Judge Black’s house. Let’s just take a second there…. (vamp)

When this small force of Danites arrived at Judge Black’s house, they presented him with a written agreement stating that Black would disavow any affiliation with the anti-Mormon Missourians and would essentially pledge fealty to the Mormons, or at very least sympathy. Black, disliking the Mormons already, refused to sign indignantly, claiming that the Mormons had no right to require a justice of the peace sign such a document, rightfully so. The Danites left Black’s home in frustration, only to return soon after to attempt a second persuasion. Black refused again.

Not taking this lying down, Jo gathered 100 armed men, most of them Danites, and surrounded Black’s home. Doctor Sampson Avard, being one of the heads of the Danites and a brutally intimidating man was chosen to be spokesperson of the mob to Black stating, “We have come to be plain with you, the only alternative is for you to sign this obligation.”

Black refused again and Avard told him that Jo was waiting outside to speak with him should he continue to refuse. Black asked Avard if Jo “shared Avard’s savage disposition” to which the reply was negative.

Black stepped out of his home to be greeted by the 100 strong armed mob surrounding his house. He walked up to Jo and Jo said that “they would not compel Black to act against his will, but asked that he sign to allay the excitement among local Mormons, who feared anti-Mormon violence.” Jo and Avard pulled some good cop bad cop shit, and it worked…. sort of. Black still refused to sign the prepared statement the Mormons brought with them, but did write a statement of his own which reads:

“I, Adam Black, a Justice of the Peace of Daviess county, do hereby Sertify to the people, coled Mormin, that he is bound to suport the Constitution of this State, and of the United State, and he is not attached to any mob, nor will not attach himself to any such people, and so long as they will not molest me, I will not molest them. This the 8th day of August, 1838.

Adam Black, J.P.”

The Danites weren’t done. Considering this a satisfactory victory over their persecutors, they went and visited a number of other officials throughout Daviess county including Sheriff William Morgan. They were able to get some of these officials to sign statements similar to that of Adam Black, but the underlying theme was against their will. If a guy shows up at your house and asks you to sign something you don’t want to sign, it’s essentially a criminal act. When that guy shows up with 100 armed men, it’s a little harder to deny their request, and it becomes WAAAAAY more criminal. By compelling these people to sign legal statements at the threat of armed violence with a mob behind him, Jo was merely emulating his hero from earlier, Muhammed. He was using an army to enforce his will. Jo’s idle threats of violence were now treading ever closer to the realm of reality and there was no going back and no way to deescalate the situation without somebody’s ego being eviscerated and dragged through the mud.

Doctor Sampson Avard later was quoted on record saying, “if Black had not signed the paper he did, it was the common understanding and belief that he would have shared the fate of the dissenters.”

This is a quote from the Reed Peck manuscript which was sent over by astute listener ____________ “The blood of my best friend mst flow by my own hands if I would be a faithful Danite should the prophet command it,’ said A McRae in my hearing. ‘If Joseph should tell me to kill Vanburen in his presidential chain I would immediately start and do my to assassinate him[,] let the consequences be what they would--Having been taught to believe themselves invincible in the defence of their cause though the combined power of the world were in array against them, and the purposes of God were to be accomplished through their instrumentality, the wicked destroyed, by force of arms the “nations subdued,” and the Kingdom of Christ established on the Earth, they consider themselves accountable only at the bar of God for their conduct and consequently acknowledged no law superior to the “word of the Lord through the prophet”

That is fucking terrifying…... (vamp)

More from the Reed Peck manuscript, “The forces from Caldwell county remained in Daviess two days and in the time compelled one individual to sign an article binding him to keep the peace with the Mormons and attempted to frighten a justice of the peace to sign the same[,] but he drew one himself and signed it which was satisfactory[.] Warrants were issued against J Smith L. Wight and many others engaged in this affair and cause found sufficient to put them under bonds for their appearance at court[.] Representations of these hostile movements of the Mormons were sent by express to the neighboring counties which created considerable exitement and but a short time elapsed before it was rumoured that the inhabitants of Daviess county were determined that the Mormons should be expelled from that county as it would be impossible to live in peace with them.”

It’s a constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble, even if every single person in the assembly is armed, but it was against Missouri state law to cross county borders with an armed mob, regardless of its use. Given the actions taken by Jo, Sampson Avard, Lyman Wight, and Hingepin Rigdon, they crossed county lines with their armed mob, and then proceeded to persuade elected officials with the threat of violence from that mob. This was illegal on many levels and could be classified as an act of high treason.

In response to this newly realized threat, representatives from the anti-Mormon Missourians, as well as a number of Mormon leaders met the following evening in Diahmen to hash out the tension. This is one point we can look at and say, “they did try to deescalate here,” but it was all a facade. They met at the home of Lyman Wight and came to an agreement to preserve the peace. Both sides agreed that they wouldn’t protect anybody that had acted illegally and would faithfully deliver them to the proper authorities. The two sides parted that evening on friendly terms, but it wouldn’t last long.

Following the Mob actions at persuasion, Judge Black, Colonel Peniston and a few others rode to Richmond and Jackson counties spreading rumors of wildly exaggerated reports concerning what had happened in Daviess county. They were claiming that 500 men under arms were threatening the lives of Daviess citizens. Peniston, having lost the election because the Mormons hated him, claimed that the Mormons intended to “intimidate and drive from the county all the old citizens, and possess themselves of their lands, or to force such as do not leave, to come into their measures and submit to their dictation.”

With this new information that was blown incredibly out of proportion, the legal council in Richmond issued subpeonas to Jo, Rigdon, and the leaders of the Danites, as well as anybody they could tie in to the Gallatin election fight or the shit that went down in Daviess the days following.

A committee was organized to find out the truth of these circumstances and serve the writs of arrest to Jo and others. When they arrived in Millport, Judge Charles Morehead told them that Mormon lawlessness would not be tolerated. “Every Mormon would be killed, unless they complied with the laws of the state.”

General Lyman Wight, being the badass he was, replied with this: “he owed nothing to the laws--the laws had not protected him--he had been on the rack, and persecution had followed him these seven years--he had suffered enough--God did not require him to endure more--and that he would not yield to the laws of Missouri--he would sooner die and be buried.”

Tensions were high, especially in Millport. Mill port was a mill town. Essentially, there was a grocery store, probably a post office, and a massive grist mill. The Missourians living in Millport were unfriendly to the Mormons as a whole and every time the Mormons would go to Millport to use the grist mill, their lives were threatened by the Missourians living there. Just for some understanding of the geography, Millport was in Daviess County about 5 miles south of the Mormon settlement Diahmen, which also had some remaining Missourians that weren’t Mormon.

In early September George A. Smith, cousin to Jo, and James Corbett went to Millport to grind corn. As things were already a bit tense, the Missourians in Millport wanted to fuck with the Mormons any chance they could get. One of the people living near Millport was our good friend and loser of the 1838 senatorial election, Robert Peniston. He essentially blocked their access to the mill, claiming he was no friend of the Mormons with half a dozen other men there to roadblock Smith and Corbett from using the Mill. A fight nearly broke out again just like at Gallatin a month earlier, but somehow the situation was allayed.

Josiah Morin, the Mormon who’d won the senatorial race against Peniston, purchased and sold a different grist mill to fellow Mormons at Diahmen so the Missourians could no longer stop the Mormons from using theirs at Millport, and the Mormons wouldn’t fear for their lives every time they needed to grind corn or wheat.

As September progresses, tensions continue to rise and things only become more confusing. To say that all the Mormons and all the Missourians stood in solidarity bitterly opposed to one another would be an over simplification of the situation. There were plenty of Mormons that just wanted to live their lives and plant their crops without being bothered by the Missourians or the church leadership for that matter. The majority of Missourians just wanted to live their lives, not caring what their neighbor believes as long as their neighbors money will spend and they dont bother anybody. The problem was the dick-size principle.

That’s the principle where when one guy feels threatened by another guy, he has to whip out his dick and prove it’s bigger than the other guys dick. Jo and Rigdon were being called out by the Missourians to show everybody the size of their dicks, because they had been preaching from the pulpit that their dicks are bigger than everybody else, especially those anti-Mormon mobocrats. Then the elected officials in Missouri, (Boggs, Doniphan, Atchison, Peniston, Black, etc.) heard that the Mormons had really big dicks and they’re just waving them around for all to see in Daviess and Carroll counties. What happens when a group of guys thinks another group of guys have bigger dicks? They have to fuck the guys claiming to have the bigger dicks until they can dominate the other bigger dick group. Why do you think white men have oppressed black men for so long? They know for a fact that black men’s dicks are bigger so the white men have to repeatedly fuck the black men to stay dominant. Humans have been playing this game of bones for hundreds of thousands of years, and I would assume our hominid ancestors did the same.

The problem rests with large groups of people being led by insecure dicks with small dicks that want everybody to know how big their dick is, even if it requires some grand public gestures and marching bodies of men around marching to the sound of a battle drum hit with a dick shaped drumstick, and shooting their dick shaped bullets at each other. The point I’m trying to make is that outside this small group of men on either side that were constantly ruminating about how big the other groups dicks are, the vast majority of the people living under these moronic alpha-males just wanted to live their lives without constantly being fucked by dicks big or small. People are simple that way, give them a place to live and grow crops and shit in peace, they’ll just keep doing that for generations until they die. That was the American dream back then, but instead, we have Jo and Rigdon on one side and the anti-Mormon Missouri government on the other side of the cockflict, and they dragged everybody along behind them. The majority of Missourians didn’t care what the Mormons did or believed as long as it didn’t infringe on their rights in any way. On the flipside, the majority of Mormons were glad to be living in Daviess or Caldwell counties and just live their lives. They didn’t want to start any shit with the Missourians, they were outnumbered nearly everywhere. The Mormons just wanted land to farm and to be able to put food in their mouths and raise their children peacefully, but the leadership of both sides wouldn’t allow it to happen.

What we’re studying right now is some highly biased history. We’re studying the events that were exciting enough to merit print, but those events only involved small groups of people. Most of the people living in Missouri at this time were just farming, tanning, making goods, providing services, just living their lives and watching everything we read about now play out in front of them. But, nobody writes in their journal entries about how good the farming was, and how nice the weather treated their crops because they were too preoccupied with militias being raised and marching across county lines to enforce the will of those with small dicks.

John Corrill was a Mormon living in Far West. He’s come up a few times before, but nothing terribly significant in our timeline has involved John Corrill. I’m going to read a excerpt from the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri by Stephen LeSueur, one of my main resources I’ve been relying on heavily to understand this year in history.

“In late August[,] John Corrill told some Mormons who had newly arrived in Far West that he did not think the Mormons were duty bound to join the United Firms and “he had no confidence in the revelation that required it.” Smith and Rigdon, upon hearing of this remark, reprimanded Corrill for making such expressions in the presence of brethren “who might perhaps be weak in the faith.” (Of course they were weak in the faith, they’d just been forced to move 1000 miles in the hottest part of summer because the Kirtland church had excommunicated Jo and Rigdon) “If you tell about the streets again that you do not believe this or that revelation I will walk on your neck Sir,” the Prophet told Corrill as he smacked his fists together to illustrate his point. Corril replied that he would not yield his judgement to anything proposed by the Church, or by individuals in the Church, or by Joseph Smith, even when Smith purported to be peaking for God. Corrill said he was a republican; consequently, he would do, say, act, and believe what he pleased.

“If you do not act differently and shwo yourself apporved you shall never be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven,” Smith responded. “I will stand at the entrance and oppose you myself and will keep you out if I have to take a fisty cuff in doing it.”

“I may possibly get there first,” Corrill replied.”


In anticipation of more Mormon violence, Lilburn Boggs, Governor of Missouri, organized an armed militia of 500 men in Richmond bound for Daviess county to detain and hold trial for the Mormon leadership. Unfortunately, Boggs was working off rumors that the Mormons had acted with hostility and taken Missourians captive. Once the rumors were dispelled, Boggs disbanded the militia that was aching to show the Mormon in Diahmen how big their dicks are. It was only a temporary respite as the militia would be gathered again in half a month’s time to actually make the march and lay siege to Dewitt and Far West. Unfortunately for us, those will have to be topics discussed upon the arrival of the new year.

I’m really trying to make sense of all this chaos. Today’s episode only covered a month and a half of time and trust me, I left a lot of details out that would just make everything even more confusing. (vamp)


“A letter from Hiram Comstock, written 12 August and sent to the citizens of Carroll County, reported that the Mormons had overrun Daviess County, destroyed crops, threatened the lives of prominent citizens, threatened to attack Jackson County, and were “fortifying for a siege” in Far West. Comstock also reported that the citizens of Daviess County had sent representatives to Clay, Ray, Jackson, and Lafayette counties, but it was “seriously believed” that the Mormons had captured and killed the men.

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