Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from the Honorable Austin A. King, Richmond, MO to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO ]
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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Richmond . Oct. 24th. 1838.

Dear Sir.

††††††††††† As Mr. Williams will be to see

you, in reference to our mormon difficultiez

I will be able to say all to you perhapz that

can be said-I deem it a duty notwithstanding to

give you such information as I have sought and

obtained, and it is such that I assure you may be

relied on-Our relationz with the mormonz are

such that I am perfectly satisfied that the arm

of the civil authority is too weak to give peace

to the Country.Until lately I thought the mor:

:mons were disposed to act only on the defensive

but their recent conduct shows that they are

the aggressorz & that they intend to take the

law into their own hands-of their recent

outrages in Daviesz you have doubtlessly heard

much already-of their course of Conduct in

Daviesz, I will give you the general facts-

for to give particulars would far transcend

the limits of a letter- On sunday before they

marched to Daviesz, Jo Smith made known

his views to the people, and declared the time

had come when they would avenge their own

wrongz, & that all who was not for them, &

take up armz with them, should be considered as against

them-that their property should be confiscated

and their lives also be forfeited-with this dec:

:laration, & much else said by Smith, calculated

to excite the people present, the next day waz

set to meet & see who was for them, & who against

them- and under such severe penaltiez, there waz

none, that I learn, who did not turn out, & about

3 or 400 men, with Smith at their head, marched

to Daviesz-this was on tuesday, the next day waz

the Snow Storm, and on thursday the commenced

their ravages upon the Citizenz, driving them from

their housez and taking their property- Between 80

and 100 men went to Gallatin , pillaged housez and

the store of Mr. Stollingz, and the post office and

then burnt the housez- they carried off the spoils on

horse back and in waggonz and now have them, I un:

:derstand in a store house near their camp-Housez

have been robbed of their contents, beds, clothing, fur:

:niture &c & all deposited, and they term it a con:

:secration to the Lord- At this time there is not

a Citizen in Daviesz except mormonz- many have

been driven without warning-others have been all:

:owed a few hours to start- The stock of the Citizenz

have been seized upon, killed and salted up by hundreds-

From 50 to 100 waggonz are now employed in

hauling hauling in the corn from the surrounding

Country-They look for a force against them, and

are consequently preparing for a siege, building block..

:housez &c.They have lately organized themselves

into a band, of what they call Danitez- and

sworn to support their leading men in all

they say & do, right or wrong, & further to put to in:

:stant death those who will betray them- There is another

band of twelve, call the destructivez, whose duty

it is to watch the movements of men and of commu:

:nitesz, & to avenge themselves for supposed wrongful

movements against them by privately burning housez

property, & even laying in ashes townz &c. I find I am

running out my letter too much in details-I do

not deem it necessary to give you a minute detail

of all the facts of which I am possessed, but I give you

the above in order that you may form some idea of

the disposition of these people-The Mormonzexpect

to settle the affair at the point of the sword, & I am well

warranted in saying to you, that the people in this

quarter of the State look to you for that protection

which they believe you will afford when you have learned

the facts-I do not pretend to advise your course, nor make

any suggestionz other than what I have stated. that

it is utterly useless for the Civil authoritiez to pre:

:tend to interpose-The country is in great commotions

and I canít assure you that either with or without

authority, something will shortly have to be done-

I hope you will let me hear from you by the

return of Mr. Williams, and if you should come up

the Country shortly, it will give me pleasure to take

the trouble to see you-I am very respectfully

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Austin A. King

Judge King



Oct 24th 1838