Samuel Bogart's 1839 Letter About the Mormons to the Quincy Postmaster


Samuel Bogart, Northern Missouri, Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, Mormon History


Included in the journals, diaries, autobiographies, and petitions of those members of the Church who experienced the persecutions and hostilities in northern Missouri in 1838-39, are the names of many of the state's leading civil and military authorities -- Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, Circuit Judge Austin A. King, and militia Generals John B. Clark, Hiram G. Parks, and Samuel D. Lucas. These names usually appear in a pejorative or negative context, simply because the Saints felt that in their capacity of public servants these men did not treat them fairly and equitably in carrying out the law, either in defense of their rights, or against their antagonists. What was true of higher officers was also frequently the case with officials of lower rank. One Missouri officer of lesser military station whose name appears from time to time in the source material is that of Samuel Bogart, an itinerant Methodist preacher and militia captain from Ray County. No one was more actively engaged against the Latter-day Saints during the Mormon War than he, and virtually every Mormon account which includes his name paints him as a disreputable and nefarious character. Joseph Smith's official history includes the following appraisal: "Captain Bogart['s] . . . zeal in the cause of oppression and injustice was unequaled . . . [His] delight has been to rob, murder, and spread devastation among the Saints."' To understand Bogart's actions and anti-Mormon sentiments, it is necessary to briefly review his involvement and activities during the 1838 Mormon-Missouri War

Original Publication Citation

“Samuel Bogart’s 1839 Letter about the Mormons to the Quincy Postmaster,” The Nauvoo Journal 7, no. 2 (Fall 1995): 52–56.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Mormon Historical Studies




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor