Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 10 December 1833
JS, Letter, , Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, to , , , , , , and others, , Clay Co., MO, 10 Dec. 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 10 Dec. 1833], in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 70–75; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.
On 5 December 1833, JS responded to two letters: one written by on 6–7 November and one penned by to the editors of the Missouri Republican on 9 November. In his 5 December letter, JS sought clarification on the conflicting reports written by the two men concerning events in and requested more information. In mid-November, just after being expelled from , , Phelps, and wrote letters to JS that provided more details about the violence against church members in Missouri. JS received these letters on 10 December 1833 and on the same day wrote a letter, featured here, that responded to the more in-depth information his colleagues had sent him.
In this response, JS extensively referred the church leaders to the and to his revelations. He agonized over the catastrophe in , the reasons for which, he noted in this letter, “I am ignorant and the Lord will not show me.” Though “ would suffer sore affliction,” JS reminded church members that “after much tribulation cometh the blessing.” He invoked both the Old Testament and the New Testament to provide support and spiritual guidance to church members in Missouri as they began to settle new lands with few provisions. Regarding their property in Jackson County, JS also urged them to “retain [their] lands even unto the uttermost.” In addition, JS encouraged the Missouri church members to vigorously pursue protection and seek redress of grievances through appeals to the local courts, the governor of Missouri, the president of the , and, as always, the Lord. A revelation dictated six days after JS wrote this letter reaffirmed this guidance. This instruction to seek redress and protection through legal and political means reflected the approach that JS and the church would take regarding their losses in Missouri through the end of JS’s life. JS ended his letter with a long prayer in behalf of the careworn Saints in Missouri.
It is unknown how, or if, church members in received JS’s 10 December 1833 letter. copied the letter into JS’s letterbook, which is the only known extant version.
Beloved brethren , , and all the saints whom it may concern.
This morning the mail brought bros & s letters & also s, all mailed at Nov. 19th which gave us the melancholy inteligence of your flight from the land of your before the face of your enemies in that place
From previous letters we had learned that a number of our brethren have been slain, but we could not learn from those refered to above as there had been but one, that was bro [Andrew] Barber and wounded in the bowels, we were thankful to learn that no more were slain, and our daily prayers are, that the Lord will not suffer his saints who have gone up to his land to keep his , to stain his holy mountain [p. 70]
Andrew Barber and Philo Dibble were two of at least five Mormons wounded on Monday, 4 November 1833. Edward Partridge wrote that Barber died the following day. In 1862, Philo Dibble stated that “brother A Cleveland was wounded in the right shoulder, Philo Dibble in the bowels, Jacob Whitney in the right wrist, and William Whiting in the foot, at the first shot, & bro. Andrew Barber was shot in the chest and killed.” Though Dibble’s statement gives 10 November as the date of the skirmish, contemporary sources agree the battle took place on 4 November. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:33–34; Letter from John Corrill, 17 Nov. 1833; Philo Dibble, Statement, 1862, CHL.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.