THE MORMON CONTROVERSY.
The report which reached us some time ago, in the shape of a private letter published in an Ohio paper, of a battle between the Mormons and the inhabitants of Jack-son county, in Missouri, turns out to be untrue. How near they have been to a battle, and a very bloody one, will appear from the following information (which, as to facts, may be relied upon) copied from a Kentucky pa-per.—Nat. Int.
[From the Maysville (Ky.) Eagle.]
The following extracts of letters, from a young gentle-man of Missouri to his father, in Mason county, have been politely furnished us for publication. They contain the latest and most authentic intelligence from the seat of the Mormon operations:
"Lexington, Mo., June 20, 1834.
"In a former letter I wrote at some length about the Mormons, and promised to write a gain on the subject.—They have just received a large reinforcement from the East, which makes their numbers amount to 800 to 1000 men—all armed, with guns, tomahawks, knives, and from two to four braces of pistols each. They went through the county on the North of the river, yesterday. We understand that the people of that county intended to stop them, and for the purpose of assisting them, we rais-ed about forty men, but could not overtake them, (the Mormons,) as they raised a dog trot, and kept it up most of the day.
"Next Monday is supposed to be the day they intend crossing the river, to take Jackson county. The whole county is in an uproar. Volunteers are preparing to go to the scene of action. Should they cross the river, there will be a battle, and probably much blood shed. Among others, I shall start on Saturday next, at eight o'clock."
“LEXINGTON, June 28.
"From my last letter, you may possibly be expecting to hear of a severe battle between the Mormons and Jackso-nians—but you will not. We went up to Jackson county, armed with guns, knives, &c. in full expectation of meet ing an enemy determined on victory or death. Nothing less could have been anticipated; for Smith, their prophet, had promised to raise all of them that should be slain in fighting the Lord's battles.
"You may recollect that some months ago, the people of Jackson drove all the Mormon's out of the county, on ac-count, as they alleged, of improper conduct, such as stirring up a seditious feeling in the slaves and Indians, stealing hogs, land, cattle, &c. and worst of all, threaten-ing to take possession of the whole of this upper country, either (according to Smith's revelation) by purchase or by blood. Some of them had even predicted that Independ-ence, the county seat of Jackson, would flow with blood—the men should be slain, and the women become their slaves. In addition to this, they are of odious fame in several particulars. When driven from Jackson, they took refuge in the adjoining counties, principally in Clay county, where they remained in peace and inaction.
"Some time in May, there was a great bustle among them—selling off their little patches of corn for guns, buy-ing gun-locks, powder and lead, manufacturing pistols and swords, and collecting themselves into a body in Clay county, from which place they threatened to cross over and attack their old neighbors, to recover the New Jeru-salem from the infidels.
"About the same time, letters were written from the State of Ohio, informing the people of Jackson of the par-ty that were starting from that place to join their brethren in Missouri. At first, we thought it was all a hoax, not believing it possible that so many knaves and fools could be mustered in that State; nor could we believe it, until they had actually arrived. The arrival of such a body of armed troops, whose object was to butcher a portion of our citizens, aroused the whole county against them.
"The Jackson people offered them twice the valuation of all their possessions, which was refused. They had collected in Clay county, and built a number of boats, to cross their forces over. Last Monday was, no doubt, the time they intended to cross, and would most probably have done so, had it not been for the numbers who went from this county to oppose them. Jackson could raise about 900 men, and 400 went from Lafayette; about 300 more would have marched in a day or two, if they had been required. I know we had nei her law nor gospel on our side, but self-preservation urged us to pursue that course, for we knew that our county would be the next to suffer from their presence. If they had crossed the river, I very much question if one would have been left to tell the tale. No quarter would have been given. We could have kill-ed most of them before they got across the river.
"Smith now tells them, (the Mormons,) that it does not matter about building the temple yet—that they may wait 50 or 100 years longer. Meanwhile, they will locate somewhere else. I am told there are a goodly number about to leave the country."
A particular account of the last Mormon campaign in Missouri, is given in the Western papers. The bellige-rents seem to have been mutually exasperated, and to have approached very near to a general and bloody battle. The numbers engaged in the contest on both sides are much larger than we had supposed, before seeing these authentic details. The Mormons assembled late in June in Clay County, (Mo.) and were reinforced by parties princi-pally from Ohio, until they mustered from 800 to 1000 men, armed with "guns, tomahawks, knives, and from two to four braces of pistols each." Their design was to cross the river and take possession of Jackson county—the 'Zion,' as they term it, of their faith. Their leader, the prophet Jo Smith, promised them to "raise again" all who should be slain in fighting the battles for the possession of this Holy Land. The Jackson county people were equally determined to resist the passage of the river at all hazards. A letter from a person on the spot, published in Maysville, Kentucky, says that Jackson county raised 9OO, and Lafayette 400, and that several hundred more were ready to come as a moment's warning. The feeling of the people may be conjectured, from the expression of opinion in the letters quoted, that had the Mormons attempted to cross the river, not one of them would have been "left to tell the tale." "No quar-ter would have been given, and we could have killed most of them before they got across the river."
There were some attempts at negotiation. The Jack-son county people offered to buy all the lands of the Mor-mons at a double price—which was refused. The inva-ders professed peaceable intentions, and a desire only to take quiet possession of their own lands—professions which appear to have got no credit.
In the end, however, they desisted from the enterprise, and postponed the crusade for the possession of their "Zi-on," for fifty or a hundred years. They will take up their intermediate residence somewhere else; and thus the battle, which must have been obstinate and very bloody, was avoided.
It is to be hoped, for the sake of ordinary justice, that means will be found for making compensation to these de-luded men, for the property they are forced to abandon, as well as for the damages they have sustained by being driven out.—Balt. American.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.