Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Daniel Ashby, James Keyte, and Sterling Price, of Brunswick, MO to Governor Boggs in Jefferson City, MO ]
[ view finding aid | view image ]

                                                                        Brunswick Sept 1.- 1838.

His Excellency

            Honl Lilburn W. Boggz..

                                                Dear Sir-  Our Country is in

a complete ferment, & our families are rendered

daily unhappy, in consequence of the reports, which

are constantly coming in concerning the hostile

intentions of the Mormons and their allies as

it is currently reported & believed that they have

ingratiated themselves with the Indians (and in:

:deed they say so) to assist them in their diabolical


            The fears of the people are greatly excited,

& nothing is now talked of but the contemplated

struggle, and plans seem to be divising all

around us for the most efficient protection

against their encroachments-  A deadly hostility

is kept constantly alive on their borders, & our

old neighbors & friends are petitioning help from

abroad to relieve them in their present dif:

:ficulties.  Being remote from the immediate

vicinity of the Mormon troubles, we can give

but a little of authentic data on which to act-

but we are strongly of the opinion, that there is

a deeply laid scheme existing among these

fanatics, that will be highly destructive in charac:

:ter, & at once subversive the rights & liberties of the

people.  We have the best authority for believing

that in their public teachings, their people are

taught to believe & expect that immense num:

:bers of Indians of various tribes are only waiting

the signal for a general rise, when, as they state it,

the flying or destroying Angel will go through

the land, & work the general destruction of all that

are not mormons.  It is not our object at the

present to trouble you with a detail of all the

reports in reference to this affair, but we will

state a case within our own knowledge, coming

from a man, who left this neighborhood to

join the Mormons, & who has had the reputation

among the citizens of Chariton County , for a

number of years, as being a man of strict veracity. 

He has returned perfectly satisfied, that their object

is every thing the opposite of Christian feeling and

principle.  The following statement, which he makes,

is given at his own request, & under his own hand –

            “I have resided among the people called Mor:

:mons about five months during which time

I have had frequent opportunities of meeting with

them, both in their public & in their private associations,

& have sought every possible opportunity of

acquiring information –

            I distinctly recollect hearing

Joseph Smith, the prophet, state, in a public

discourse, that he had fourteen thousand men,

not belonging to the Church, ready, at a moment’s warn:

:ing (which was generally understood to mean Indians)~

It was a very common source of rejoicing among

all classes, even the women and children participating,

that the time had arrived, when all the wicked

should be destroyed from the face of the earth, &

that the Indians would be the principal means

by which this object would be accomplished—

            There is a common feeling amongst them,

amounting to a conspiracy, to protect one another ag:

:ainst the Civil officers of the County, even if it

should be attended with death—

            The public teachers have recently

been very urgent in soliciting the people to fly

to their towns for protection, as the time had ar:

:rived, when the flying Angel should pass through

the land accompanied by the Indians, to accomplish

the work of destruction—and furthermore stating

that they will have enough to do, to protect themselves

whilst this work is going on”—

                                                Nathan Marsh

            From the above facts added to the general reports, we

have, with all due consideration, thought proper to sug:

:gest to your Excellency, the propriety of issuing orders

to the militia, so that in case of necessity they may

be called on according to the exigency of circumstances—

                        Your obt. Servts:

                                                Daniel Ashby

                                                James Keyte

                                                Sterling Price

                                                            D. Ashby

                                                            J. Keyte

                                                            S. Price


                                                            Govr                Sept. 1, 1838