Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO to General John B. Clark, 1st Division of Missouri Militia, Richmond, MO ]
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                                                Gov. To Genl Clark


                                                Nov 19.

                                                Document No 26—


                                                Executive Department

                                                            City of Jefferson

To.                                                                   Nov. 19. 1838

Major Genl Jno. B. Clark


                                                You will take immediate steps

to discharge all the Troops you have retained in service by a guard

and deliver the prisoners over to the civil authority,

You will not attempt to try them by Court Martial,

the Civil law must govern.  Should the Judge of the

Circuit Court deem a guard necessary [the words “which I presume he will” are above the line with no caret] he has

the authority to call on the Militia of the County for

(“our” crossed out) this purpose.  In the absence of the Attorney

General I am unable to furnish you with his opinion

on the points requested.  One thing however is certain

that so soon as an insurrection is quelled and peace

[“and order” crossed out] restored, the military authority ceases;

[ ] the Crime of Treason, whether it can be

tried out of the county where the act was committed

we have no precedent only that of the case of Aaron

Burr, who was charged with the commission of that

offense against the United States at Blanahazerts

Island in the State of Virginia and he was tried

at Richmond, Virginia, this however is a matter

which the [“Civil authority” crossed out] Judiciary will have to determine.

            I wish you to distinctly understand, that if

you have accomplished the object of the expedition, which

was to restore peace to the Community and to cause

the offenders to be brought to justice that you will

discharge all your forces and report to me your

proceedings in the manner heretofore requested—

The officers retained to serve on Court Martial will also

be discharged.

            Should you have left Richmond before

you receive this communication, you will forward

by Express to the officer you have left in command

orders to the foregoing effect.


(X to come in here)   

                                    I am very Respectuflly

                                                Yr Obt St.

                                         Lilburn W. Boggs

                                                            Com: in chief

X   I should be happy to see you at this place

as you would perhaps be able to explain

many things in relation to this perplexing

subject, which I cannot at present understand