Mormon History

Joseph Smith and the March of Zion's Camp - 1834

Sangamo Journal June 7, 1834

The St. Louis Republican of June 2 says:

Difficulties are anticipated between the Mormons and the citizens of Jackson county. A letter from Independence, under date of 21st May, says -- 'The people here are in fearful expectation of a return of the Mormons to their homes. They have heard that a reinforcement is coming from Ohio, and that as soon as the Santa Fe company of traders leave, the Mormons will re-cross the river from their temporary residence in Clay county; in which event, much blood will be shed. It is not to be wondered at, that they have chosen this as the 'promised land,' for it is decidedly the richest in the state.' A merchant of Independence has, we understand, given orders for a piece of artillery to be sent to him immediately, to be used in defence of his property. The Mormonites are now on their way from Ohio."

The company of mormons which passed through Springfield on Friday last, is undoubtedly, the "reinforcement" above referred to. This company were between 250 and 300 strong -- composed of able-bodied men, with the single exception of one woman and a few children -- and appeared to be generally armed. They did not state their place of destination, although frequent inquiries were made upon the subject. One of the company, who appeared to be a leader, stated to a respectable citizen of this town, that he had himself performed more miracles than were recorded in the Old and New Testaments.

The company mentioned in the following article is supposed to be the same; --

EMIGRATION. -- On Thursday, the 15th inst. about one hundred and fifty persons passed through this place southward, emigrating to Illinois, or perhaps Missouri. They had their plunder in 22 or 23 wagons, we were informed; had guns (muskets and rifles) in abundance, were roughly clad, & what excited most curiosity, there were but two or three women with them, and but few children; and a very great disproportion of old and elderly men. We did not see the main caravan ourselves, but are informed that, by conversation had with some of them, they were supposed to be of that sect called Mormons or Mormonites. One of the women, we are told, observed, in answer to some questions propounded to her, that their object, in carrying guns with them, was not battle; but as they intended a settlement, or to settle, somewhere in the West, they did not intend to be driven off, as some who had went before them had been. Those of them we happened to see, were apparently "pretty well Yankeyed over," and "considerable well up to the trade and pedlin."
                      Ohio Collustrator.


Missouri Intelligencer June 21, 1834


The situation of affairs with the Mormons appears to be getting into a worse state than ever. The large & well armed body of that sect, from Ohio, heretofore mentioned, crossed the Mississippi in Pike county, Mo. a few days since, and we presume are now in Jackson county. It also appears, by the annexed article from the Liberty, (Mo.) Enquirer, that the Mormons who had taken refuge in Clay county, have been arming themselves preparatory to joining their brethren from Ohio. A negociation is likewise slated to be in progress for the purchase, by the people of Jackson, of the lands belonging to the Mormons, and for indemnifying them for the injuries heretofore sustained.

The people of Jackson county will now, in all probability, reap the bitter fruits of their lawless acts. The courts of justice in that county being virtually shut against the Mormons, the course now taken by them is perhaps, the only one by which they can hope to obtain redress.

The Governor has proceeded to Jackson county.

                              From the Salt River (Mo.) Journal.

MORMONS. -- A party of the Mormonites, consisting of between two and three hundred men, crossed the Mississippi river, at the town of Louisiana, in this county, during last week, on their way to Jackson county, in this state. The party had with them, between twenty and thirty wagons, no other property, and were entirely disencumbered of their children and females. It was composed chiefly of young and middle aged men, who had the general appearance of possessing considerable personal strength and activity. They were, with few exceptions, well provided with fire arms and accoutrements of war.

We learn from a gentleman who conversed with some of them, that they designed taking possession of the lands belonging to their brethren, in Jackson county, and that they intended resisting any attempts that the citizens might make to expel them from their homes. They avowed their intention of acting entirely upon the defensive; but expressed a firm resolution of claiming the right of their society at all hazzards and of resolutely defending the Holy Land. They were generally from the state of Ohio.

We regard the Mormons as a set of deluded and deceived fanatics, yet they have their rights and privileges, and whilst they exercise these, we can not desire to see them disturbed; on the contrary, we wish them success in resisting every lawless innovation of their rights.

In their case we believe the arm of the law is neutralized and their only hopes of protection, will be in their ability to resist brute force. The only cause of regret is that the citizens of Jackson, have so far forgotten the principles of the duty they owe to the government and themselves, as to have brought about such a state of things. It is doubtful whether in this contest they have the sympathies or even the respect of a large portion of the state.

                              From the Liberty (Mo.) Enquirer.

For the last six or eight weeks, the Mormons have been actively engaged in making preparations to return to Jackson county, 'the land of promise,' by providing themselves with implements of war, such as guns, pistols, swords, &c. &c. They expect a re-inforcement from the State of Ohio, and we are informed that small parties are arriving almost every day. So soon as they all arrive, they intend to call upon the Governor to reinstate them upon their lands in Jackson, and then, if molested, they are determined to protect themselves, sword in hand. We are told they will be able to muster 700 strong.

A gentleman from Jackson informs us that the citizens of that county are no less engaged in making preparation for their reception. On Monday last they held a meeting, for the purpose of electing officers, and Samuel C. Owens, a gentleman known to many citizens of the state, was unanimously elected commander-in-chief of all their forces. Our informant states that they have received a letter from the Governor, advising them to effect a compromise, if possible by purchasing the land of the Mormons, and paying them for injuries which they have sustained. For this purpose ten persons were appointed, invested with full power to settle the whole matter, and will meet the Mormons in this place, on Monday next, for that purpose. Should the Mormons refuse to accede to an honorable and fair adjustment of these difficulties, the Governor will not restore any to that county, but such as hold lands. The following gentlemen compose the above named Committee: Thomas Stayton, sen., Samuel Erwin, Smallwood V. Noland, Smallwood Noland, Robert Rickman, James Campbell, Richard Fristoe, Thomas Jeffries, and John Davis.

We have our fears as to the final issue of this matter, but hope for the best.

Note: For a more complete reprint of the Liberty Enquirer article, see the July 11, 1834 issue of the Painesville Telegraph.