Edward Partridge Writings
In the year of our Lord 1831 I removed from the State of Ohio to Jackson Co., Missouri. I purchased land and built me a house, near the village of Independence, where I lived a peaceable inhabitant, molesting nobody. On the 20th day of July, 1833, George Simpson and two other mobbers entered my house (whilst I was sitting with my wife, who was then quite feeble, my youngest child being about three weeks old) and compelled me to go with them. Soon after leaving my house, I was surrounded by about fifty mobbers, who escorted me about a half mile to the public square, where I was surrounded by two or three hundred more.
Russell Hicks, Esqr., appeared to be the head man of the mob. He told me that his word was the law of the county, and I must agree to leave the county or suffer the consequences. I answered that if I must suffer for my religion, it was no more than others had done before me. That I was not conscious of having injured anyone in the county, therefore, I could not consent to leave it. Mr. Hicks then proceeded to strip off my clothes, and was disposed to strip them all off. I strongly protested against being stripped naked in the street when some more humane than the rest interfered, and I was permitted to wear my shirt and pantaloons. Tar and feathers were then brought and a man by the name of Davis, with the help of another, daubed me with tar, from the crown of my head to my feet, after which feathers were thrown over me. For this abuse I have never received any satisfaction. I commenced a suit against some of them for $50,000 damage, and paid my lawyers six hundred dollars to carry it on. I also paid nearly two hundred dollars to get a change of venue. My lawyers, after getting their pay of me made a compromise with the defendants, without giving me any damages, by their agreeing to pay the costs, which they never have paid that I know of, and I never could prevail upon my lawyers to collect them for me though they agreed to do so.
Nov. 1933 – I was compelled by a mob to leave Jackson County, at which time I held the title to two thousand, one hundred, and thirty-six acres of land, all lying in that county, and also two village lots situated in the village of Independence. Such have been the threats of the people of that county that I have never to this day, dared to go onto, much less settle upon, my lands there, though I still own some there yet.
From Jackson, I moved to Clay County where I lived till the fall of 1836 when I moved my family to what is now Caldwell County. There I purchased land and built houses where I lived till last winter, when in conformity with the order of Gov. Boggs, and the threats of General Clark, I moved my family to the State of Illinois, at which time I held the title to forty acres of land in Clay County, and more than four firths of the lots in the town of Far West, Caldwell Co., which was laid out one mile square and was settling very rapidly. I had five houses and one barn in the town. I also held eight hundred and sixty-eight acres of land in Caldwell County. The property in Caldwell Co. has sunk to a mere trifle in consequence of our Church not being protected there. I give the following for a sample. I bought a house last summer in Far West and gave twelve hundred dollars for it. After I bought it a well was dug and other repairs made amounting to between fifty and a hundred dollars. This property has lately been sold by my agent and brought only thirty dollars, however, I cannot think that property will remain so low long.
Whilst our society lived in Jackson and Clay Counties there never was any one of them, to the best of my knowledge, ever convicted of any criminal offence, and a lawsuit of any kind was very rare, although they were accused of many unlawful things, especially in Jackson Co., when at the same time the administration of the law was in their own hands. But for the want of anything legal against us, they proceeded against us illegally, and not only drove us from our lands and homes in Jackson Co., but kept us from them, and this order of things was suffered by the authorities and people of the state, to remain year after year until, at last for the want of protection against that spirit of mobocracy we have been compelled to leave the state. I lived near three years in Clay Co., within a few miles of Jackson Co., and no man from Jackson Co. or anywhere else brought any lawsuit of any kind whatever against me during the time. I feel that the State of Missouri ought to pay an immense sum for damages, for not protecting us in the first place in our rights in Jackson Co., and in the second place in not granting us protection in the State. Last fall I was taken from my home in Far West, Mo., by General Clark without any civil process, and driven off to Richmond, Ray Co., thirty miles, and kept a prisoner, between three and four weeks before I was liberated, for which I think the State of Missouri ought to pay me a round sum.
The following charges I make against the State of Missouri for losses sustained, leaving my damages to be computed by others. My losses in Jackson Co., Mo., in stripping my land of timber, the destruction of my house, corn, potatoes $15,000.00. My loss in paying lawyers to carry on my suit against certain individuals in Jackson Co., Mo., and costs $950.00. My loss or expected loss on my land, houses, and village lots in Caldwell, Co., in consequence of having to leave there $15,500.00.
My loss in paying lawyers to defend myself and others who I believe were unlawfully taken before Judge King last fall $5,000.00.
My loss for time and expenses in moving a large family out of the state, sacrifice of furniture $500.00. My loss for having been taken by the militia, a number of guns, pistols, and swords $100.00. My loss in the destruction of corn, hay, sheep, and 1 fat horned beast $42.00
Quincy, Ill., May 15th, 1839
I certify that the above statements are correct, according to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Sworn to before me, this 15th day of May A. D. 1839
C. M. Woods, Clark Circuit
Adams County, State of Illinois
One important item I forgot to mention before the foregoing was testified to, which is as follows. Whilst I was a prisoner confined to the town of Far West, I was, with the rest of the inhabitants, collected within a small circle on the public square, surrounded by a strong guard, and there we were compelled to sign a deed of trust, which deed was designed to put our property into the hands of a committee to be disposed of by them, to pay all the debts which have been contracted by and all who belong to the Church – also to pay all damages which might be claimed by the people of Davis Co., for any damages they might have sustained from any person whatever. I would remark that all those that did deny the faith were exonerated from signing this deed of trust.
Although a child, I well remember most of my father’s statement in the foregoing.
Emily Partridge Young