Mormon History

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Letter - 1833

Missouri Intelligencer December 14, 1833


The Lieut. Governor's account of the late disturbances.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo., Nov. 26, 1833.

To the Editors of the Missouri Republican.

SIRS -- The object of this communication is to correct some erroneous publications in relation to myself, which I discover are taking the rounds in the public papers, and also to correct other statements in relation to the recent difficulties which have occurred in this county, between the Mormons and their opponents.

It is well known, that I did not, nor could not, approbate the proceedings of that portion of the citizens of this county who have been engaged against this sect of people; and that, in consequence of my forbearing to participate in their measures, my situation has been very unpleasant. I have observed in your paper a statement that the Lieutenant Governor was driven from this county. This statement is entirely untrue. No violence has ever been done me in any respect. I have also understood that a report has by some means got in circulation, that I had assumed the authority to order out the militia, and that I was compelled to do so by the populace: this statement is also without the least foundation in truth. I have observed a statement in the St. Louis Times, which is taken from your paper, above the signature of "Orsan Hyde," in which Mr. Hyde states, that the militia were called out on Monday the 14th inst. and that they participated in the battle which was fought that evening near the boundary line. This statement of Mr. Hyde is absolutely and entirely false. The information of that battle having taken place produced the call of the militia. The battle took place about ten miles above this place, late on Monday evening, and the militia were not paraded until ten o'clock, A. M. on the next day (Tuesday.) The militia were ordered into service by Lieut. Colonel Pitcher, (the Colonel being absent,) for the purpose of suppressing the insurrection. I approved of the course adopted by Col. Pitcher, as the only means of saving bloodshed, and of restoring order. On Tuesday morning, before the whole of the militia that were ordered out had assembled (about one hundred men had paraded,) a messenger arrived in great haste, giving the information that the Mormons, numbering perhaps one hundred and fifty, well armed, were then within a mile, or a mile and a half of town, coming on with a view to attack and destroy the place. Col. Pitcher thought it advisable to march his men to the western edge of our town, and there to await the arrival of the Mormons, and, if possible, to prevent bloodshed, and get those deluded people to disperse and return to their homes. On reaching the western edge of the town, the Col. despatched one of the Mormons, as a messenger to that portion of his brethren then in arms, with this information, that the Militia were raised to quell this insurrection, and that they must come forward, surrender their arms, and return to their homes. This, after considerable consultation back and forth, the Mormons at length complied with. They surrendered their arms & returned to their homes, with the exception of three, who were delivered over to the civil authority as having been engaged on the preceding day in the foregoing battle over Blue. These three were subsequently discharged and returned to their homes. The statement of Mr. Hyde, that the Militia acted as a mob, is altogether false -- no men ever behaved better, nor was any person whatever molested or injured by the Militia. Immediately after the surrender, the Militia returned to town and were dismissed, with the exception of a small guard intended to guard the Mormons. On the next day, or the day afterwards, the Mormons took fright at the threats of the populace, and fled in every direction. Mr. Hyde also states that Mr. Hicks was killed. This is a mistake: Mr. Hicks was not within fifty miles of the place of action; he was in Lafayette County, attending the Circuit Court. It is true, that the dwellings of the Mormons were, to the number perhaps, which Mr. Hyde mentions, torn down by the populace, under cover of the night. The persons engaged in this matter are not known. The information which reached here about 8 o'clock on Monday night, the 4th instant, by an express, giving intelligence of the aforesaid battle, stated that the Mormons, to the number perhaps of sixty, well armed, attacked a party of the citizens, numbering about 20; that he left them fighting, and bore off the body of a small boy, who was shot in the back; that he could not tell the extent of the bloodshed that had taken place. It has turned out, however, that two of the citizens were killed on the ground, and several wounded: the Mormons lost one man killed and several wounded. As it regards the particulars of this aforesaid battle (and which is the only one that has taken place,) I have taken measures to procure a correct statement; as soon as it is obtained, it will be laid before the public. I have written to the Governor & have given him a statement in detail of such matters, connected with this unfortunate occurence, as came under my observation; which he may probably make public. You will oblige me and subserve the cause of truth, by publishing this statement in your paper.      Respectfully,
                            LILIBURN W. BOGGS.