From Historian to Dissident
Bruce N. Westergren, editor
The Armies of Israel
[p.131]June 1, 1834.
The Jackson County mob, have sent a Mr. Samuel Campbell to harangue the people of Clay County on the subject of Mobocracy. For they anticipated that they needed help, therefore, they sent runners in the adjoining Counties to strengthen themselves against the day when the Camp1 should arrive, I mean the company headed by Joseph Smith Jr. the Seer, who were now on their way to this land. Campbell succeeded in embittering the minds of some, and the Idea that Joseph should venture to bring an armed force into this uper country to afford relief to the poor and afflicted saints, enraged the enemy, and darkness, gloom, and consternation pervaded the countenance of every enemy that was sen[t] in this uper country, some said they were fearful of the consequence of such a bold an attempt. others were fearful of their lives and fortune and thus it was.
The aforesaid Campbell had a petition to get signors, to turn o[u]t and help them, he, went from place to place, and held meetings for that purpose, but obtained only about 20 [p.132]signors in Clay Co.
The Saints here are preparing with all possible speed to ann themselves and otherwise prepare to go to Jackson Co. when the Camp arrives, for we have had some hints from Joseph the Seer that this will be our privilege: so we were in hopes that the long wished for day will soon arrive. and Zion be redeemed to the Joy and satisfaction of the poor suffering saints.
The mob of Jackson Co proposed to sell to us, or buy our possessions in a manner that they knew that we could not comply with, if we were ever so willing, which served to blind the mind of those who had heretofore said nothing, but now advised us to comply because they thought we had better have something than nothing for our possessions.
The camp now arrived at Fishing River, where the enemy desired to head them being led by Priests &c. But God interposed and sent a storm of Thunder lightning and rain at an astonishing rate. Which stoped our enemies in consequence of the flood of water which swelled the River and made it impassable. Joseph the Seer had frequently exhorted the saints on their way up that if they would not heed his words the Lord would scourge them. The Cholera broke out in the camp an[d] several died with it to the grief and sorrow of the brethren—and lamentation of their wives and families. The Camp immediately scattered in the Counties of Ray and Clay. some returned immediately, while others tarried.
[Joseph] Received a revelation that it was not wisdom to go to Jackson county at this time and that the armies of Israel should become very great and terrable first, and [only after] the Servants of the Lord [had] been <en>dowed with power from on high previous to the Redemption of Zion.2
Thus our fond hopes of being redeemed at this time [p.133] were blasted at least for a season.
1. The history of the relief effort sent to the Saints in Missouri from Kirtland, known as Zion’s Camp, is covered in HC, 2:61-123; B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Century I, 6 vols. (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1965), 1:357-68; Backman, Heavens, 162-200; and Peter Crawley and Richard L. Anderson, “The Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” Brigham Young University Studies 14 (Summer 1974): 406-20.