Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

History

First Advisor

Kerin Holt

Abstract

For my thesis I decided to do a literature review about the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. The Mormons started settling in Missouri in 1831 because Joseph Smith told his followers that Jackson County was set aside as the place where they would establish Zion. Almost right away there were conflicts between the Missourians and the Mormons. The Missourians were suspicious of the Mormons and their beliefs because the Mormons had told Missourians that God was going to take the land away from the Missourians and give the land to the Mormons. As a result of these suspicions, the Mormons were driven out of Jackson County in 1833 by Missouri residents and, later, from other counties in Missouri as well. They petitioned the Missouri government for help to get their property back but received very little help. In 1836, Caldwell County was set up by the Missouri legislature for the Mormons to settle. In the early part of 1838, Mormons started to settle outside of Caldwell which, once again, upset some Missourians so conflict broke out. As the year went on, there were a number of armed conflicts between Mormons and Missourians. Both sides had vigilante groups who plundered and destroyed property. At times, the state militia was involved as well, but they were not able to do much to end the conflict. In October 1838, Governor Boggs issued an extermination order against the Mormons. According to the order, Mormons were to be driven from Missouri or be killed. In November 1838, the Mormons surrendered and were forced to leave the state. The Mormons fled to Illinois in 1839.

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