A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
We must now leave the pleasant scenes of preaching the gospel in England, and go back
to the more troubled times among the main body of the Saints in the State of Missouri.
You will remember that when the Saints were driven from Jackson county, they found a
place to rest in Clay county just north across the river. The people of Clay received them
kindly, and the Saints stayed for about three years in that county. During this period, they
tried many times to regain their homes by asking the governor and even the president of
the United States to enforce the laws and see that their lands and homes were given back
to them. Governor Dunklin talked very pleasantly about the rights of the Saints, but in the
end he did nothing to protect the people or help them to gain possession of their property.
At a large meeting held in Liberty, the county seat of Clay county, on the 16th of June,
1834, in order to try to settle the trouble between the Saints and the Jackson county
people, the following offer was made by the Jackson men to the Saints:
The Jackson people offered to buy all the land of the "Mormons" in Jackson county,
paying them a high price for it within thirty days, or the people of Jackson offered to sell
all their lands to the "Mormons" at the same high price to be paid for in thirty days. This
offer may seem to be fair, but when it is remembered that the Lord had revealed to them
that the city of Zion should be built in Jackson county, and had told the Saints to buy and
not sell, it will be seen that this offer was not meant in good faith. Again, the Saints could
not buy out all the mobbers' land in Jackson, much as they would have liked so to do, as
there was so much of it, and they had no money to pay for it in thirty days. The Saints
therefore could not agree to this, but they made an offer to buy out the lands of those who
could not live in peace with them, and pay them in one year.
Nothing came of these offers.
And now the people of Clay county asked the Saints to remove from their midst. The
country was again getting excited about the "Mormons," and the Clay county people were
afraid that the mobs would come to disturb them; so in order to be on good terms with the
people who had been friends to them, the Saints again left their homes and traveled north-
east, away out into the country where there were hardly any settlers. Here they began to
build a city which they called Far West, and after a time they had a county laid off which
was named Caldwell.
This movement began in September, 1836, and by the next summer nearly all the Saints
had left Clay county.
You will call to mind that the Prophet Joseph, with the brethren in Zion's Camp had
visited the Saints while in Clay county. In the spring of 1838 Joseph arrived at Far West
from Kirtland, and from that time on the Prophet remained with the main body of the
Saints in Missouri and Illinois.
The Saints now had peace again for a season. They gathered to Far West and surrounding
places from Kirtland and other eastern localities. Farms were made, houses built, towns