Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Colonel William P. Peniston, 60th Regiment of the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Division of the Missouri Militia in Daviess County, MO to Governor Briggs, Jefferson City, MO ]
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                                                            Daviess County , Mo.

                                                                        October 21st . 1838.

To his Excellency the Governor of

The State of Missouri

                                                Sir – I deem it my

duty, made so not only from the law, as an

officer, but also as an individual, to report

and make known, to your excellency,  its

unheard of, & unprecedented conduct and

high handed proceedings of the Mormons

of this & Caldwell Counties, towards the

other Citizen’s of this County, being myself

one of the sufferers.  On Monday the 15th

inst: we learned that the Mormons were

collecting in Far West , for the purpose

of driving, what they term the mob from

this County, by which we understand the

Citizens that were not Mormons, and ac:

:cordingly they have come, & their worst

apprehensions have been already fulfilled.

            They have plundered or robbed and burned

every house in Gallatin , our County seat, among

the rest our Post Office, have driven almost

every individual from the County, who are

now flying before them with their families,

many of whom have been forced out, without

necessary clothing - their wives & little children

wading, in many instances, through the snow

without a shoe.  When the miserable families

are then forced out, their houses are plundered

and then burned.  They are making this univer:

:sal throughout the County – They have burned

for me two houses, and, sir, think this

not exaggeration, for all is not told – and for

the truth of all and every statement, here made,

I pledged the honor of an officer & gentleman.

            These facts are made known to you, sir,

hoping that your authority will be used to stop

the                   of this banditt: of Canadian refugees

and restore us to our lost homes.

                                    I neglected to state that

among the rest our County Treasury office has

been also burned.  I will only ask, in conclusion,

can such proceedings be submitted to in a gov:

:ernment of laws!  I think not, I must answer

my interrogatory no – notwithstanding the polit:

:ical juggling of such men as David R. Atch:

:ison & some others, whose reports & circulations

setting the conduct & character of the Mormons

favorably before the Community, are believed

by the people of this county to be prompted by the

hope of interest or emolument.  I am yours, sir, with

                                                due regard

                                    Wm: P. Peniston.  Col.

                                    60th  Reg: 2nd. Brig. 3rd. Div. m. m.


P.S.  Since writing the above, I have procured

the testimony, on oath, of some six or eight

persons corroborating with my statement,

which accompany this

                                    Wm P. Penniston

Wm. P. Penniston


Com in Chief

Oct 21, 1838