The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri

Front Cover
University of Missouri Press, 1987 - History - 286 pages

In the summer and fall of 1838, animosity between Mormons and their neighbors in western Missouri erupted into an armed conflict known as the Mormon War. The conflict continued until early November, when the outnumbered Mormons surrendered and agreed to leave the state.

In this major new interpretation of those events, LeSueur argues that while a number of prejudices and fears stimulated the opposition of Missourians to their Mormon neighbors, Mormon militancy contributed greatly to the animosity between them. Prejudice and poor judgment characterized leaders on both sides of the struggle. In addition, LeSueur views the conflict as an expression of attitudes and beliefs that have fostered a vigilante tradition in the United States. The willingness of both Missourians and Mormons to adopt extralegal measures to protect and enforce community values led to the breakdown of civil control and to open warfare in northwestern Missouri.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Early Mormonism and Missouri
8
Rumblings of a Conflict
28
Trouble Begins
54
The Mormons Accused
77
The Militia Intervenes
90
The Mormons Retaliate
112
Open Warfare
131
Surrender
161
Terms of Surrender
180
The Richmond Court of Inquiry
195
Expulsion
219
Conclusion
245
Chronology of Events in Missouri 18381839
263
Bibliographical Essay
268
Index
278

War Against the Saints
143

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About the author (1987)

Stephen C. LeSueur has worked as a historian for the Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University and is currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Utah.

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