A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
would not agree to leave. The leading brethren, seeing that it was no longer of any use to
plead or resist, made an agreement with the mob that they with their families would leave
the county by the first of January, and that they would use their influence in trying to
induce the rest of the Saints to leave, one-half by January 1st, the rest by April 1st, 1834.
They were also to use all the means they could to prevent more of the Saints from settling
in the county. The mob for their part agreed not to persecute the Saints while this was
The mob, however, did not keep this promise, but daily broke into houses and abused the
The Saints now appealed to the highest officer of the state, Governor Dunklin, for
protection. He told them that the laws were able to protect everybody in their rights, and
advised the Saints to have those arrested who threatened them, and have them tried in
court for their misdeeds.
This, seemingly, was very good advice, and would have worked all right under other
circumstances; but when it is remembered that the very officers—the constable who
would have to do the arresting, the judge who would try the cases, and in fact all
concerned—were men who were themselves leaders of the mob, you will see how useless
such a course would be. However, the Saints engaged four lawyers to protect them in the
This made the mobbers more angry than ever, and they made preparation for further
action against the Saints.
"We will rid Jackson county of the "Mormons"," they said, "peaceably if we can, forcibly
if we must. If they will not go without, we will whip and kill the men; we will destroy the
children, and abuse their women."
The Saints now resolved to defend themselves, and the men gathered in small bodies,
armed with guns.
On the night of October 31, 1833, a mob marched to the Whitmer settlement of the Saints
where they whipped several of the brethren to death, drove the women and children into
the woods, and tore the roofs from about a dozen houses.
The next night an attack was made upon the Saints living at Independence. A party of
brethren went to the aid of the Saints, and found a mob tearing down the store of Gilbert,
Whitney & Co. The mobbers fled, but the brethren captured one of them in the act of
throwing brick-bats through the window. They brought him to a justice of the peace to
have papers made out for the mobber's arrest. The justice would not do it, so the man was
released. Three days after, this same mobber had the brethren arrested. It was no trouble
for him to get papers from the same justice. As one of the brethren remarked at the time,
"Although we could not obtain a warrant against him for breaking open the store, he had
gotten one for us for catching him at it!"
Topics.—1. The character of the early Missourians. 2. Mobbers' meetings in
Independence. 3. Work of the mob.
Questions and Review.—1. From what sections did most of the early settlers of
Missouri come? 2. From what section did the Saints come? 3. What difference of opinion