From Historian to Dissident
Bruce N. Westergren, editor

Chapter 12. 
The Court of Public Sentiment


[p.125]May 10, 1838. 

I will here remark that the Saints are and were preparing, to go back to Jackson Co. as soon as the way should open. we had had [a] hard [time] strugling to obtain a living as may well be understood, being driven having no money, or means to subsist upon, and being among stranger[s] in a strang place, being despised, mocked at and laughed to scorn by some, and pitied by others, thus we lived from Nov 1833 until May 1834. And had little prospect yet to return to our homes in Jackson Co. in safety—the mob rages, and the peoples hearts are hardened, and the Saints are few in number, and poor, afflicted, caust out, and smitten by their enemies.

I will further state because of the scattered situation and the many perplexities I am not in possession of all the letters and information that I wish I was, and some that are in my possession are not arranged according to date because of the situation I am in being poor, and write as I can obtain inteligence, and find time between sun and sun to write.

[p.126]City Jefferson April 20, 1834            

 To Messrs.

Phelps, Partridge,

Corrill, Whitmer and

Gilbert.                Gentlemen

Yours of the ninth inst, by was received yesterday, in which you request me, as Executive of this State, to Join you in an appeal, to the President of the United States, for protection in the enjoyment of your rights, in Jackson Co. [I]t will readily occur to you, no doubt, the possibility of having asked of the President, in a way that he no more than the Executive of this State could render, If you have petitioned for that which I would be of opinion, he has power to grant, I should have no objection to Join in urging it upon him. But I couldno more ask the President, however willing I am to see your society restored to and protected in their rights, to do that which I think he has no power to do, than I would do such an act myself. If you will send me a copy of your petition to the President, I will Judge of his right to grant it; and if of the opinion he possess the power, I will write in favour of its exercise.

I am now in corispondance with the Federal Government, on the subject of deposits of munitions of War, on our Northern and Western boundaries, and have no doubt but shall succeed in procuring one, which [will] be located if left to me, (and the Secretary of war seems willing to be governed by the opinion of the Executive of this State.) Some where near the state line either in Jackson or Clay Counties,

The establishment will be an (“Arsenal”) and will probably be under the command of [a] Lieutenant of the army. This will afford you the best means of military protection the nature of your case will admit. Although I can see no direct impropriety [p.127]in making the subject of this paragraph public yet I should prefer it not to be so considered, for the present, as the erection of an arsenal is only in expectancy.

Permit me to suggest to you, that as you have now greatly the advantage over your enemies, in public estimation, that there is a great propriety in retaining that advantage, which you can easily do, by keeping your advisaries in the wrong. The law both civil and Military, seem to be deficient in affording your society proper protection, nevertheless public sentiment is a powerful corrective of error, and you should make it your policy to continue to deserve it.

With much respect, and            

great regard I am your            

Obt. Servt.

(signed)                 Daniel Dunklin

City of Jefferson May 2, 1854             To Messrs W W Phelps & others Gentlemen

Yours of the 24 ult. is before me; in reply to which, [I] can inform you that becoming impatient at <delay> the court of enquiry in making their report in the case of Lieut. Col. Pitcher—on the 11 ult. I wrote to General Thompson for the reason of such delay, [and] last night I received his reply, and with it the report of the court of enquiry, from the tenor of which, I find no dificulty, in deciding that the arm[s] your people [were] required to surrender on the fifth of Nov. should be returned; and have issued an order to Col. [Samuel D.] Lucas, to deliver them to you or to your order. which order is here enclosed.

[p.128]Respectfully your

Obt. Srvnt.

(signed)           Daniel Dunklin

City Jefferson May 2, 1834.

To S. D. Lucas, Col. 33. Reg.


The court orderd to enquire into the Conduct of Lieu. Col. Pitcher in the movement he made on the 5th Nov. last, report it as their unanimaus opinion that there was no insurrection on that day; and that Lieu. Col. Pitcher, was not authorized to to call out <his> troops on the 5th Nov. 1833.—It was unnessessary to require the mormons to give up their arms. Therefore you will deliver to W. W. Phelps, Edward Partridge, John Corrill, John Whitmer and A. S. Gilbert, or their order The fifty-two guns and one pistle reported, by Leiu. Col. Pitcher to you on the fifth Decem. last, as having been received by him from the Mormons on the 5th of the preceeding Oct.


Daniel Dunklin

Commander in Chief

Libert[y] Clay Co. May 7, 1834

Dear sir:

Your favor of the 20. ult came to hand the first instant, which gives us a gleam of hope that our the time will come when we may experience a partial mitigation of our sufferings. The salutary advice in the conclusion of your letter is received with great deference.

Sinc our last of the 24 ult. the Mob of Jackson Co. have [p.129]burned our dwellings, as near as we can ascertain between 100 and 150 were consumed by fire in about one [p. 65] week[.] our arms were also taken from the depository (the Jail) about ten days sinc, and distributed among the mob. Great efort are now [in the] making by the mob to stir up the Citizens of this County, and Layfayette to commit similar outrages against us, but we think they will fail in accomplishing their wicked designs in this Co. we here annex a copy of the petition to the president.

With great respect. Your Obt Servt

signed  A. S. Gilbert 

           W W Phelps.                     

Liberty May 15, 1834.

Col. D. S. Lucas


We have this day received a communication from the Governor of this State covering the order here with, and we hasten to for word the said order to you by the bearer Mr. Richardson, who is instructed to receive your reply.

We would further remark that under existing circumstances we hope to receive our arms on this side the River, and we would name a place near one of the ferries for your convineaince—As the arms are few in number, we request that they may be delivered as soon as possible.

Respectfully yours,

A. S. Gilbert, W. W. Phelps,

J. Corrill, E. Partridge

John Whitmer