Part I: Published Accounts of Mormon Persecution

Introduction to Part I in Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict, Clark V. Johnson, ed., (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 3.

Introduction to Part I

The documents in Part I illustrate the efforts of Church leaders to take the Mormon cause to the American public. Both documents were originally published as pamphlets, presumably intended for distribution; however, eventually they were sent to Washington, D.C., for they now are found among the other petitions in the National Archives.

John P. Greene’s Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter-Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order” is a collection of letters, minutes, public statements, and sworn affidavits, composed by Latter-day Saints and non-Mormons alike, which give evidence for the injustice the Mormons suffered in Missouri. These statements had been published previously in Illinois newspapers by a committee in Quincy, Illinois, which was determined to help the Latter-day Saints. With the encouragement of the Quincy committee, Greene presented the Mormon cause to the Democratic Association in Cincinnati, Ohio, which not only listened to him, but also helped him to publish the documents he had gathered. The pamphlet was initially published in Cincinnati in 1839.

Parley P. Pratt’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri Upon the Mormons is a narrative history of the Church in Missouri from its settlement in 1831 to its exodus in the spring of 1839. This document was “Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1839 . . . in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Michigan.” Since it was later sworn to before a justice of the peace, it must have been intended for presentation to the federal government. In content it is an personal document in which Pratt details his observations and experiences with the Missouri mobs and militia. In addition, he talks graphically about his arrest, his trial, his incarceration, and the atrocities perpetrated upon the Saints by vindictive state and local leaders. It was initially published in Detroit, Michigan, in 1839.