Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO to the House of Representatives, Jefferson City, MO ]
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To the Honorable

            The House of Representatives

                        of The State of Missouri ,    Gentlemen,

                                                                        In compliance

with a Resolution of The House of Representatives of the

22nd ultimo requesting the Governor to communicate to the

House “(all information in his possession in relation to the

recent difficulties, between the people called Mormons

and a portion of the people of this state, copies of all orders

issued by the Executive calling into Service Volunteers

and militia and for the government thereof and for the

conduct of the military operations, with copies of all corres-

=pondence in relation to said difficulties, and the military

operations authorized by the Governor”.)  I have now the

honor herewith to transmit the information required

including Major General Clarks report [ ]

of the testimony taken upon the examination of the

Mormon prisoners before the Hon: Austin A. King

Judge of the fifth Judicial Circuit at Richmond in Ray

County.  It will be seen from the report of Genl.

Clark , that he has made arrangements to procure

the residue of the testimony which when received will

be transmitted to the house.

            As formidable as the insurgents were represented

and as they are now known to have been – still the

number of Troops ordered on this service may appear large.

            In detaching So many the Executive was influenced

solely by a desire to prevent the effusion of blood – It

appeared to me every way best to send such a force

as would awe them into Submission – a Smaller number

could undoubtedly have conquered and subdued the


disaffected in combat but many valuable lives would

have been lost and I did not consider that I should

truly reflect the wishes and opinions of the people, had I

Stopped to weigh the expenditure of a few thousands

against the best blood of the land.

            I received information of the partial interruption

of the peace in Dewitt Carroll County , whilst absent

from the Seat of Government but took no order on

the subject, knowing that the officer in command of

the militia of that division was fully authorised under

the law and had ample force to preserve the peace –

It will be Seen from the report of Major Genl. Atcheson

that measures were promptly adopted by him to

meet the emergency.

            Immediately upon receiving intelligence of the

last Mormon outrages Generals Atcheson & Lucas

repaired to the Scene of difficulty with [ ]

force.  Although this movement was not directed

by the Executive and was unknown to him, it was

justified by the Circumstances and meets his fullest

approbation; much injustice, I have reason to

believe has been done to this part of the command

by the public press, which it is hoped a thorough

investigation will make manifest to the world.

The conduct of Major General Clark has fully

justified the high expectations entertained of him by the

Executive, when he was assigned to this delicate and

important command; Among the papers submitted, I am

happy to lay before the house a voluntary tribute from

the principal men amongst the Mormons to the humanity

and kindness with which he executed this disagreeable

duty and to the good conduct of his Troops.

            The information herewith transmitted under

the Call of the House of Representative Supercedes the


necessity of a Special communication to both houses

of the legislature which it was my intention to have made

as announced in my message at the opening of this session

and will it is hoped be taken as a redemption of

that pledge.  The undersigned therefore respectfully

requests that the House of Representatives at such

time as they may deem convenient and proper will

Cause this communication and the documents submitted

to be laid before the Senate for the Consideration

of that body.

                        I have the honor to be

                                    Most respectfully

                                                Yr Obe St .

                                    Lilburn W Boggs

City of Jefferson

December 5th 1838

The House of Representatives

Dec., 1838