|History of Caldwell County,
As written in the 1876 Atlas
of Caldwell County Missouri
history of our County is inseparably connected with the history of the Mormon church, and
it becomes necessary, therefore, to ascertain what the character of the people who
constituted that church was, in order to understand the causes that led to their expulsion
from the state. Joseph Smith, at that time was the head and front of the organization. In
1823, according to the veracious story of Joseph, two angels appeared to him and informed
him that he was the chosen Apostle and Prophet of God, to preach the true gospel to the
world in its purity and power. Shortly afterwards an angel disclosed the location of the
golden book, containing the records of the lost tribes of Israel.."the progenitors of
the American Indians". Smith translated and published these records as the
"Bible of the Latter Days". In 1830, the church was organized. In 1831, they
emigrated to Kirtland, Ohio. Pursuant to a new revelation, they migrated to Independence,
Jackson County, Mo. Here a spot was selected for the Temple of Zion, and a city sprung up
as by magic, but the clanship of the Mormons led to difficulties with the earlier
settlers. These difficulties culminated in open hostilities, which led to their expulsion
from Jackson County. The Mormons crossed the river into Clay, and there remained until the
location of Far West, when they pressed forward to that haven.
members of that church were drawn from all classes of society and from most of the
civilized nations of the earth. Missionaries were sent in all directions to preach the new
gospel and gather up the saints. They zealously pursued their work, and company after
company of converts crossed the Mississippi to join their bretheren in Missouri. Coming
from the northern states they were regarded as opponents of slavery.
Although the greater
portion of the members were illiterate fanatics, there were amongst them a few men of
ability and education. Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon and Parley B. Pratt were ready
writers and fluent speakers. Polygamy was not at that time taught nor openly practiced.
That monstrous doctrine was not avowed until 1841, while the Mormons resided at Nauvoo.
Crosby Johnson, An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Caldwell County, Missouri.
1876. Edwards Brothers
Change of County Seat
Burning of Records
Since the War
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