Frank Kirkman's Mountain Meadows Massacre Site
Extermination Order
Damon M. Cann

Gov. Lilburn Boggs
On October 27, 1838, Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued an executive order that condoned (*Note: Did not order) the killing of Mormons residing in Missouri. It stated that "The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description.
If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may
think necessary." The execution of this order led to violent conflict and the eventual migration of the Mormons from Missouri to Illinois, where they stayed until their exodus to Utah. (Danites - Secret Police) (Note: One has to remember that at Haun's Mill the Mormon's were armed and able to defend themselves . The men, women and children at Mountain Meadows were unarmed and murdered in cold blood by the Iron County Mormon Militia , as in this video. There is no record of Haun't Mill victims being robbed striped of their clothing and left naked to the vultures or to rot. )
The Mormons had a tumultuous history in Missouri over the 7 years preceding the extermination order. In July of 1831, a group of about 60 Mormons settled in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, instructed members of the nascent church to begin gathering there. Two years after the first saints arrived in Missouri, there were nearly 1200 Mormons in Jackson County (The total population of the County was about 5,000). During the winter of 1833-34, the Saints were driven from Independence to Clay County, immediately North of Jackson County. This, however was only a temporary solution. Mob violence against the Mormons began almost as soon as they arrived. However, the size of the group of saints continued to grow. All this while, more and more Mormons came from Ohio to Missouri, and converts continued to filter in from all over the country.
In1836, the Missouri state legislature reached a peaceful settlement by creating two new counties, Caldwell and Daviess. Caldwell was designated as a place for the Mormons, though additional Saints settled in Daviess County under a gentleman's agreement.
 An understanding of Mormon difficulties in Missouri comes only with answers to two questions: First, why did the Mormons want to be in Missouri, and second, why didn't Missourians want the Mormons to be there? The true story about the Missouri conflct. | Hinckley neglects to tell the whole story.
Mormon migrants headed for Missouri at the direction of Joseph Smith. He was looking for additional places to settle converts to his budding religion. As a group of Saints settled there, Smith began to attach religious significance to the Saint's presence in the state. He taught that the Indians were part of Gods chosen people, and the saints needed to be on the frontier to convert them. Additionally, he declared that Jackson County had been the location of the Garden of Eden and that Jesus Christ's Second Coming would occur in Daviess County. These doctrines created deep attachments to the land for members of the growing church. Missourians feared the Saints because of their differing beliefs. Locals were particularly concerned with Smith's millennial prophecies. Additionally, false rumors circulated about LDS practices and deeds of its members.
 It was not simply the unorthodox religious beliefs of the Mormons that generated such violent conflict. The growing numbers of the Saints in Missouri gave them substantial political power. There were 5,000 Mormons in Far West by 1838, with more in outlying areas. This is significant when one considers that St. Louis had a population of 4,977 in 1830 and 16,469 in 1840. Non-Mormons did not want Mormon judges or legislators. The local settlers also feared LDS anti-slavery attitudes. Missouri had just been admitted to the Union under the Missouri compromise. While the saints had tried to distance themselves from the abolitionist movement, they could not hide their Northern roots. In fact, many of the saints had come from Kirtland Ohio, which was centered in a region full of abolitionist activity.
Recognizing that slavery was a sensitive topic for their neighbors, the Mormons tried to avoid discussing slavery altogether. But several articles in Mormon newspapers revealed anti-slavery attitudes. The views represented in these articles led to the Mormon expulsion from Jackson County. The anti-slavery views would follow the Mormons through the rest of their time in Missouri.
 In spite of these factors, the Mormons in Caldwell and Daviess counties lived for nearly two years in peace, until a chain of events fanned the coals of social unrest. William Penniston, who had been a leader in persecuting the saints in Clay County, was now a candidate for the State Legislature in Daviess County. He criticized the saints and participated in a plan to keep Mormons from voting in the August 6 election. Though few Mormons voted, Penniston still lost. In an act of bitter vengeance, Penniston swore out a false affidavit saying that an army of 500 Mormons had threatened death to many of the old settlers. This action brought dormant anti-Mormon feelings to the forefront and triggered a chain of events leading to the Extermination Order and the removal of the Mormons to Illinois.
On October 25th, Captain Samuel Bogart of Missouri's militia took three Mormon prisoners from Caldwell County. The Caldwell County militia encountered Bogart's troops trying to retake the prisoners. Exaggerated reports of the conflict filtered back to Governor Boggs.
When the extermination order was issued on October 27th, the Mormons were not immediately aware of it. However, when a large militia began to converge on Far West, the Saint's main settlement in Caldwell County, it was apparent that conflict was approaching.
 Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders went to negotiate with the militia leaders. At this time, they first heard of the order. Instead of completing negotiations, the militia took the Mormon leaders prisoner and began a siege on Far West. For over a week, the militia-turned-mob ransacked the town, looting and raping. The conflict was not limited to the settlement at Far West. A settlement at Haun's Mill, Daviess County, was taken by surprise attack on October 30th. Seventeen were killed in brutal fashion. For example, a ten year old boy who had been hiding was found and shot directly in the head. An elderly man was hacked to death with a dull blade. Because of the destruction of shelter and the loss of property and money, many of the Saints became sick or even died from exposure during the winter of 1838-39.
The siege on Far West ended Nov. 6 as prisoners were taken, and finally, the Saints were promised that they could stay in Missouri through the winter, but that they could not plant crops. But this cease-fire did not last long, and the saints were told they would be killed if they did not leave by February 1839. With Joseph Smith in prison, Brigham Young organized the mobilization of an impoverished body of Saints to Quincy Illinois.
In 1976, Missouri Governor Christopher S. Bond formally apologized for the treatment of the early Mormons in Missouri and officially rescinded the extermination order as a token of good will toward modern Latter-Day Saints.
  Bringhurst, Newell G. 1981. Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People within Mormonism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
  Arrington, Leonard. 1985. Brigham Young: American Moses. New York: Alfred Knopf.
  Smith, Joseph Jr. 1948. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Vol. 3 Brigham H. Roberts, ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book.
  Gibson, Campbell. 1998. Population of the 100 Largest Cities and other Urban places in the United States: 1790 to 1990. U.S. Bureau of the Census Population Division Working Paper No. 27 Washington D.C.: Census Bureau.
For more information on Mormon Missouri History click here.
Read how the Mormon Killers got paid by the US Government for caring for the orphan children after they had killed their parents.