Mormon History

Non-Mormons Trying to Avoid War - 1838

Daily Missouri Republican September 19, 1838

We had hoped that this difficulty was at an end; but more recent intelligence leaves no doubt of the quarrel being of a more serious character than was at first anticipated. Below we give an extract from a letter written by a respectable gentleman of Lexington, and addressed to a citizen of this city. This account of the state of affairs is truly alarming. The writer says: "Great excitement prevails the other side of the river against the Mormons -- they are all up in arms and have, we understand this morning, had some fighting, which resulted in the killing of a few of both parties. The citizens of Ray county sent a wagon load of arms and ammunition, to the citizens of Daviess for the purpose of defending themselves. On their way out they were captured by a company of Mormons, and taken to Far West. A Committee has this morning arrived from the other side asking for men to assist them in the protection of their property."

We learn from the Clerk of the steam boat Howard, which came down yesterday, that a report was circulating along the Missouri river that the Mormons had fortified their town (Far West) and were determined to hold out. They were stated to be about one thousand strong and well supplied with arms and ammunition. The following statements from the Boonville Emigrant of the 13th are confirmatory of this report:
Preparing for War with the Mormons - 1838


We have just conversed with General Wilson, of Howard county, who states that on last Saturday he saw a letter dated on the 7th instant. from a committee of gentlemen in Davies county, calling on them to raise a force and come to their assistance, and aid them im expelling the Mormons from the county: -- That the citizens of Daviess had removed their families, and were making preparations for warlike operation; that the Mormons were in a state of open rebellion against the laws, and war between them and the citizens was inevitable; that the people of Daviess had come to the fixed determination of commencing the attack on Saturday last.

From the best information we can obtain, the Mormons are from 1500 to 2000 fighting men; and it is stated upon good authority, that a large emigrating party of Mormons are now on their way from Canada to join their friends in Missouri, which will increase their force, so as to make them very formidble: if this war should break out, it must become a war of extermination, as the Mormons are desperate, and rendered more so by the fanatical spirit infused into them by that arch-deceiver, Jo Smith, under whose banner they act, and by whose malign influence they are misguided, and ready for any act of desperation. Their disorderly conduct for months past, has so exasperated the people that they can no longer tolerate or permit them to remain among them..

P. S. Since writing the above, we have understood that a gentleman from Ray county has just arrived at Boonville, who brings information, that the inhabitants of Daviess county have postponed warlike operations against the Mormons until Monday; the probable reason for this change of day is on account of the Sabbath day coming next after the first fixed upon. They consider it better that Monday instead of Saturday, as a day more appropriate, expecting to be able to prevail against them better by having the whole week before them.