In this issue of BYU Studies, you’ll find a variety of topics and events related to Latter-day Saint history and culture addressed.
First, Jeff Walker thoroughly examines newfound information about certain events of the Mormon conflict in Missouri in 1838. Due to U.S. preemption rights and land surveying practices, many Mormons settled on unsurveyed land in northern Missouri because impoverished Saints did not have to pay for that land until the surveys were completed. After surveying was finished, these preemption rights were an impetus for Missouri land speculators to force Mormons from the state. Whether this was the primary motive from the outset is unclear, it is undisputable that key Missourians involved in the Mormon expulsion immediately seized a financial reward in Daviess County and gained clear title to Mormon lands. This article offers another perspective to the multifaceted causes that ended with the Mormons’ forced expulsion.