Home | Joseph Smith-Letter To William Phelps | Secret Constitution | Manifesto of the Mob | Free People of Color | William Phelps-Address To Governor Dunkin | Oliver Cowdery-To The Patrons of the Evening and Morning Star | Plat of Zion | Section 103

Secret Constitution


Zion is prospering at present and high priests are stationed to watch over the several branches.

December 1, 1832. There are now five hundred and thirty-eight individuals in this land belonging to the Church.

And it came to pass that in the fall of the year, 1832, the disciples at Ohio received the gift of tongues; and in June, 1833, we received the gift of tongues in Zion.

About these days we received the following epistle:

We, the undersigned citizens of Jackson County, believing that an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious sect of people that have settled and are still settling in our county, styling themselves Mormons, and intending to rid ourselves, peaceably if we can and forcibly if we must, and believing as we do, that the arm of civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least not a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient and of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose, which we deem almost superfluous to say is justified as well by the law of nature as by the law of self-preservation. It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves, (for one or the other they undoubtedly are), made their first appearance among us; and pretending as they did, and now do, to hold personal communion and converse face to face with the Most High God, to receive communications and revelations direct from heaven; to heal the sick by the laying on of hands; and in short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the inspired apostles and prophets. We believed them deluded fanatics, or weak and designing knaves, and that they and their pretensions would soon pass away; but in this we were deceived.

The arts of a few designing leaders among them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society, and since the arrival of the first of them they have daily increased; and if they had been respectable citizens in society, and thus deluded, they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our comtempt and hatred. But from their appearance; from their manners; and from their conduct, since their coming among us, we have every reason to believe that with but a very few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came; lazy, idle and vicious.

This we conceive is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible of proof. For with these few exceptions above named, they brought into our county little or no property with them, and left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to lose by the change; and we fear that if some of the leaders among them had paid the forfeit due to crime instead of being chosen ambassadors of the Most High, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true color. More than a year it has been ascertained that they have been tampering with our slaves, and endeavoring to sow dissension and raise sedition among them. Of this their Mormon leaders were informed, and they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend. But how spurious are appearances. In a late number of the Star printed in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free negroes and mulattoes from other states to become Mormons and move and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know would be to us entirely unsupportable, and one of the surest means of driving us from the country; for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a cast among us would corrupt our blacks and instigate them to bloodshed.

They openly blaspheme the Most High God and cast comtempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven; by pretending to speak in unknown tongues by direct inspiration, and by divine pretentions derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason.

They declare openly that God has given them this county of land; and that sooner or later they must and will have possession of our lands for an inheritance; and in fine, they have conducted themselves on many other occasions in such a manner that we believe it a duty we owe ourselves, to our wives and children, to the cause of public morals, to remove them from among us as we are not prepared to give up our possessions to them, or to receive into the bosom of our families as fit companions for our wives and daughters the degraded and corrupted free negroes and mulattoes that are now invited to settle among us.

Under such a state of things even our beautiful country would cease to be a desirable residence, and our situation intolerable.

We therefore agree that after timely warning, and upon receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace as they found us, we agree to use such means as will be sufficient to remove them; and to that end we pledge to each other our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

We will meet at the court-house in the town of Independence on Saturday next, 20th inst., to consult of ulterior movements.