The Mormons - De Witt, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 39° 23.073 W 093° 13.270
15S E 480952 N 4359475
This bronze marker is attached to the western side on the plinth for the De Witt Community Center Flagpole - 7th and Jefferson in De Witt.
Waymark Code: WMK86N
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 02/26/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 7

This bronze marker is attached to the western side on the plinth for the De Witt Community Center Flagpole. The text of the marker reads:

The Mormons

In 1838, Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) living at Far West in Caldwell County, Missouri, were encouraged to settle at De Witt by several landowners. Land was purchased near this location in June, and within a few months several hundred Mormons had created a village of tents and wagons. Land was cleared, crops were planted, and homes were built, however, the persistent misunderstandings which had followed the Mormons soon reached Carroll County. By October, De Witt was held in a virtual state of siege by non-Mormons from surrounding communities. To Avoid further violence, on October 11, 1838, the Latter Day Saints loaded their possessions into seventy wagons and departed.

This marker was presented to the People of De Witt by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, July 4, 1926.

From Wikipedia on the latter Day Saints expelled from De Witt:
(visit link)

"In the spring of 1838, Henry Root, a non-Mormon who was a major land-owner in Carroll County, visited Far West and sold his plots in the mostly vacant town of De Witt to church leaders. De Witt possessed a strategically important location near the intersection of the Grand River and the Missouri River. Two members of the Far West High Council, George M. Hinkle and John Murdock, were sent to take possession of the town and to begin to colonize it.

On July 30, citizens of Carroll County met in Carrollton to discuss the Mormon colonization of De Witt. The question of whether or not Mormons should be allowed to settle in the county was placed on the August 6 ballot; a heavy majority favored expulsion of the Mormons. A committee sent to De Witt ordered the Latter Day Saints to leave. Hinkle and Murdock refused, citing their right as American citizens to settle where they pleased.

Sentiment among the anti-Mormon segment of Carroll County's population hardened, and some began to take up arms. On August 19, 1838, Mormon settler Smith Humphrey reports that 100 armed men led by Colonel William Claude Jonestook him prisoner for two hours and threatened him and the rest of the Mormon community.

Initial reaction by Missourians was mixed. While Mormons were viewed as deluded or worse, many Missourians agreed with the sentiment expressed in the Southern Advocate:
By what color of propriety a portion of the people of the State, can organize themselves into a body, independent of the civil power, and contravene the general laws of the land by preventing the free enjoyment of the right of citizenship to another portion of the people, we are at a loss to comprehend.

As tensions built in Daviess County, other counties began to respond to Carroll County's request for assistance in expelling the Mormons from their county. Citizens in Saline, Howard, Jackson, Chariton, Ray, and other nearby counties organized vigilance committees sympathetic to the Carroll County expulsion party.

Some isolated Mormons in outlying areas also came under attack. In Livingston County, a group of armed men forced Asahel Lathrop from his home, where they held his ill wife and children prisoner. Lathrop wrote "I was compeled[sic] to leave my home my house was thronged with a company of armed men consisting of fourteen in number and they abusing my family in allmost[sic] every form that Creturs[sic] in the shape of human Beeings[sic] could invent." After more than a week, a company of armed Mormons assisted Lathrop in rescuing his wife and two of his children (one had died while prisoner). Lathrop's wife and remaining children died shortly after their rescue.

On September 20, 1838, about one hundred fifty armed men rode into De Witt and demanded that the Mormons leave within ten days. Hinkle and other Mormon leaders informed the men that they would fight. They also sent a request for assistance to Governor Boggs, noting that the mob had threatened "to exterminate them, without regard to age or sex."
On October 1, the mob burned the home and stables of Smith Humphrey. The citizens of De Witt sent non-Mormon Henry Root to appeal to Judge King and General Parks for assistance. Later that day, the Carroll County forces sealed off the town.

The besieged town resorted to butchering whatever loose livestock wandered into town in order to avoid starvation while waiting for the militia or the Governor to come to their aid. General Parks arrived with the Ray County militia on October 6, but his order to disperse was ignored by the mob. When his own troops threatened to join the attackers, Parks was forced to withdraw to Daviess County in hopes that the Governor would come to mediate. Parks wrote his superior, General Atchison, that "a word from his Excellency would have more power to quell this affair than a regiment."

On October 9, A C Caldwell returned to De Witt to report that the Governor's response was that the "quarrel was between the Mormons and the mob" and that they should fight it out.
On October 11, Mormon leaders agreed to abandon the settlement and move to Caldwell County.

On the first night of the march out of Carroll County, two Mormon women died. One woman died of exposure, the other (a woman named Jenson) died in childbirth. Several children also became ill during the ordeal and died later."
Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
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Additional point: Not Listed

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