The Road to Carthage Led West

There was no one reason for the Mormon-Gentile difficulties in Illinois. In order to adequately determine each pretense relating to the perplexities of the situation, every individual would have to be interviewed in depth regarding his motives. However, enough newspaper accounts were written, sufficient diaries and journals preserved, ample letters inscribed and official documents retained that some fairly accurate conclusions can be postulated. That Mormons and non-Mormons were unable to dwell in peace is due to a combination of many factors which, when clearly delineated, reveal that conflict was probably unavoidable, and perhaps inevitable. Those factors which brought about the arrest of Joseph Smith and his confinement in the jail at Carthage, two years later culminated in the expulsion of the Saints from Illinois and their migration to the Great Basin. Thus it will become apparent that even though geographically Carthage was east of Nauvoo the road to Carthage, at least for the Mormons, led west.

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