The Manifesto of the Mob

(History of the Church, Volume 1, pages 374-376)

This manifesto is in reaction to this speech: Free People of Color

The section relating to blacks is highlighted in green.

We, the undersigned, citizens Jackson County, believing that an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society, in consequence a pretended religious sect of people that have settled, and are still settling in our County, styling themselves "Mormons;" and intending, as we do, two we are society, "peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must," and believing as we do, that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least 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 — a purpose which we deem it 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 pretended as they did, and now do, to hold personal communication and converse face-to-face with the Most High God; to receive communications and revelations direct from heaven; to heal the sick by laying on hands; and, in short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the inspired Apostles and Prophets of old.

We believe 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 amongst them have less far succeeded in holding to them together as a society; and since the arrival of the first of them, they have been daily increasing numbers; and if they had been respectable citizens in society and thus deluded it would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt and hatred; but from their parents, from their manners, and from their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that, with but very few exceptions, they were of the very drags of that society from which they came, lazy, idle, and vicious. This we can see it is not idle assertion, they fact susceptible of proof, or with these few exceptions above-named, they brought into our country 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 of some of the leaders amongst them, had paid to 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 stands their characters in their true colors. More than a year since, it was ascertained that they had been tampering with our slaves, and endeavoring to sow dissensions and raise seditions amongst 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 spacious are appearances. In a late number of the Star, published in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes and mulattoes from other states to become "Mormons," and remove 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 insupportable, 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 caste among us would corrupt our blacks, and instigate them to bloodshed.

They openly blaspheme the Most High God, and cast contempt on His holy religion, by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues, by direct inspiration, and by diverse pretenses derogatory to God and religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason.

They declare openly that their God hath given them this country of land, and that sooner or later they must and will have possession of our lands for inheritance; and, in fine, they have conducted themselves on many other occasions, and such a manner, that we believe it a duty we owe to ourselves, 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 pleasant places and goodly possessions to them or to receive into the bosom of our families, as fit companions for wives and daughters, the degraded and corrupted free Negroes and mulattos 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 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 may be sufficient to remove them, and to that and we each pledge to each other are bodily powers, our lives, fortunes and sacred honors.

We will meet at the courthouse, at the town of Independence, on Saturday next, the 20th inst., [July], to consult on subsequent movements.

Among the hundreds of names attached to the of document were:

Louis Franklin, jailer
Samuel C. Owens, County Clerk
Russel Hicks, Deputy County Clerk
R.W. Cummins, Indian agent
James H. Flournoy, Postmaster
S.D. Lucas, Colonel and judge of the court
Henry Chiles, attorney-at-law
N.K. Olmstead, M.D.
John Smith, justice in peace
Samuel Westin, justice of the peace
William Brown, Constable
Abner F. Staples, Captain
Thomas Pitcher, Deputy Constable
Moses G. Wilson and Thomas Wilson, merchants