Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Citizens of Daviess and Livingston Counties to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO ]
[ view finding aid | view image ]

                        Daviess County – September 12th. 1838

To his Excellency the Governor

of the State of Missouri

                                    We, the Citizens of the Counties of

Daviess & Livingston represent to your honor, that

a crisis has come, which we believe requires us, as

the legitimate citizens of Missouri , to call on the Exec:

:utive of State for protection—For several weeks

past the Mormons have been making formidable

preparation for a civil war—and one which they

are pleased to call a war of extermination—We presume

that your honor is apprised of the attack made on

Adam Black esqr. on the 8th of August by the Mormons,

and shall not enter into a detail of it here—But we

will apprise your honor that the Mormons have

& keep a lawless armed force stationed in our county,

and are constantly throwing out menaces, threats &

challenges to our Citizens.  Influenced by fearful

apprehensions of danger, we, the people of the

above counties, sent an express to Richmond last

week for arms and ammunition, and on their

return with their load of guns, say forty five,

and several kegs powder, & 200 lbs: lead, they were

intercepted, on Sunday last, in passing through

Caldwell County , by a banditti of those fanat:

:ical Enthusiasts, made prisoners of, & taken

to Far West—where they, the guard & the above mu:

:nitions of war are still held in custody—on Sunday


last, an armed force of fifty Mormons left

their encampment in this county and Marched

to the Territory of Livingston County for the purpose as they

Said of removeing a considerable amount of property

which was subject to a lien held by Mr. James Weldon—they

passed into the settlement secretely and falling in with a

Family which they suspected would alarm the settlement

they violently seized and made prisoners of the whole Family

which consisted of three men and two Ladies, all of whom

with three others of our citizens we believe are still held in

the custody of those Rebels, and deprived of their Liberties.  Our

county, Sir, is in a distressed situation probably two thirds of the

Families of Daviess County have left and gone to seek protection

among the neighboring Counties while a few of the old settlers are

still here and are determined only to surrender their houses

with their lives—for about four weeks we have humbly and

unceasingly been petitioning our neighbouring Counties for aid

but we are yet in a helpless and defenceless condition.  We

therefore, the people of the above Counties, being well aware that

your Honor is well acquainted with the character of

those people called Mormons & believeing that our lives

our liberties our property and our all are in the most

emminent danger of being Sacrificed by the hands of those

Imposterous Rebels earnestly call on your honour for

assistance—assistance, we must have or leave our homes

and seek protection else where

Most of us, Sir, have emigrated to these frontier Counties

before there were any settlements formed; we have

had to encounter & have realized nearly all the difficulties


incident to a new country.  We have foregone the pleasure

& the advantages of the old and well settled counties,

which we have left in anticipation of enjoying the

like blessings in this—but alas, our anticipations are

blasted and unless we can get rid of those Cannadian

Refugees and Emmissaries of the prince of Darkness

we and our Families are ruined

                                    We are Sir Your petitioners

                        The Citizens of Daviess & Livingston

                                    Counties

I George T Prichard of the County of Daviess do solemnly

swear that I had an interview with the Mormons, who

arrested the Family in the Territory of Livingston , above

refered to, and saw three of their prisoners and was

informed by them the Mormons that they had the rest

of the Family under arrest and that they intended to

keep them untill they saw their own time to release them

                                                                        George T. Prichard

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 12th day of

September 1838                                              R Wilson

                                                                                    Clerk of the Circuit

                                                                        Court of Daviess County


Citizens of Daviess Cty

       to

Govr    Sept 12, 1838

copied