Why Were the Saints Driven from Missouri in the Fall of 1838? (Knowhy #620) – powered by Happy Scribe
Due to heavy persecution, the Saints in Kirtland moved to Missouri on to federal lands that were being offered to the public. The Saints were legally allowed to live on the land without purchase, and after it was officially surveyed and mapped, they would have the right to purchase that land from the federal government before it was made publicly available to anyone else. But just as these lands were being surveyed and the public notified, Anti, Mormons in Missouri sprang into action. One Antimorman Minister was reported to have gathered a mob and told them if they removed the Saints, they could purchase their hardworked land.
Then Governor Lilburn W.
Boggs issued the extermination order against the Saints less than a week after notice was given that the lands had been officially surveyed, the Saints were removed from their homes and many were arrested. Those who were arrested were held in custody or prison without due process. A court of inquiry was postponed until the very day the sale of public lands began. The legal proceedings continued until a two week statutory period for the land. Elapsed Antimormans purchased nearly 180 acres of Davies County land, most of which had been settled and improved by latterday Saints.
As one scholar explained, while popular history has painted the persecution as religiously motivated, the facts suggest a more base reason greed in its most ugly and insatiable form. And now you know why.