Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

Atchison’s Letters and the Causes of Mormon Expulsion from Missouri
August 28, 2018
Article of the Week
Atchison’s Letters and the Causes of Mormon Expulsion from Missouri
Author Richard Lloyd Anderson,

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by Richard Lloyd Anderson that was published in issue 26:3. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Alexander W. Doniphan is proverbial in Missouri Mormon history for saving Joseph Smith's life, but an equally significant story is largely untold: the role of David Rice Atchison in restraining armed aggression against the Mormon minority. Both men were lawyers retained by Latter–day Saint leaders after the forcible expulsion of their people from Jackson County in 1833. In the next five years, both Doniphan and Atchison were periodically involved in seeking civil rights for an unpopular people. So when they took key militia posts during the 1838 Mormon troubles, these two well understood both the majority and minority viewpoints.