Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Thomas C. Burch, Richmond, MO to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO ]
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                                                                                    Richmond Mo

                                                                                    Oct. 23rd.  1838:

Dr. Sir.

            The mormon difficultiez are arrising and have

arisen here to an alarming height.  It is Said (and

I believe truly) that they have recently robbed and

burned the Stone house of Mr. I. Stollingz in

Gallatin Daviesz County , and that they have burned

Several dwelling houses of the Citizens of Daviesz

taken their arms from them, and have taken

Some provisions. Mormon dissenters are daily

flying to this county for refuge from the ferocity of

the Prophet Jo. Smith, who they say threatens the lives

of all mormons who refuse to take up arms at

his bidding, or to do his commands.  Those dissenters

(and they are numerousz) all confirm the reports

Concerning the Danite band of which you have

doubtlesz heard much; and Say that Jo. infuses into

the minds of his followers a Spirit of insubordination

to the laws of the Land, telling them that the

Kingdom of the Lord is come, which is Superior to

the institutions of the earth, and encourages them to

fight and promises them the Spoilz of the battlez.

            A respectable Gentleman of my

acquaintance from Livingston is here now who informz

me that the mormons are robbing the citizens of

Livingston, on the borders of Caldwell of their corn

and whatever else they want; that they have taken

a cannon from Livingston County , and are prowling

about the country, a regularly formed banditti.

            That the Prophet Jo. Smith has persuaded

his church that they are not, and ought not to be

amenable to the laws of the land, and is Still doing

it I have no doubt.-  The Danite band as I

am informed by numbers of the most respectable

of the mormons (who are now dissenters) bind them

to support the high council of the mormon church,

and one, another in all things whether right or wrong,

and that even by false swearing.  I have taken

much pains to be informed correctly about this

Danite band, and am well Satisfied that my

information as above Stated is correct, I have

no doubt but that Jo. Smith is az lawlesz and

consumate a Scoundrel as ever was the veiled

Prophet of [Chorassin].- I believe the criminal

law in Caldwell county cannot be enforced

upon a mormon.  Grand Iurys there will not

indict.  Jo. declarez in his public addressez

that he can revolutionize the U.S. and that if

provoked, he will do it.  This declaration

has been heard by Col.Williams of this place

and other Gentlemen of equal veracity.  I have

hoped that the civil authoritiez would prove

Sufficient for the exigency of the case; but I am now

convinced that it is not, So long as indictmentz

have to be found by a Jury of the County in which

the Offence may be committed.

                        I do not pretend to have wisdom

enough to make a Suggestion as to what Your

Excellency should do. The evil is alarming

beyond all doubt.  I suggest the foregoing facts

for Your consideration.

                                      I am Respectfully

                                                Yr. Obt. Servt.

                                                 Th. C. Burch

P. S.  Judge King will give you Some

         information by the next mail


                             T. C. B.

Th. C. Burch



     Oct: 23, 1838