The Missouri Old Sow Cannon, or “Foli’s Folly”

old-sow-bigAn antique cannon nicknamed the “Old Sow” resides in the LDS Church History Museum. There’s a story behind the nickname. However, it should be noted that this isn’t the first “Old Sow” cannon in American history. Nor is the legend behind it entirely unique.

The “Old Sow”, a cannon that fired 18-pound cannon balls, was placed on a hill above Springfield, New Jersey in the time of the American Revolution. When fired, the cannon served as an alarm signaling the “Minute Men” to action.[1] Historians conjecture that its booming, a contrast to the small and piping sounds of musket and pistol, was reminiscent of an old sow.

A heavy, one-ton mortar, thought to be named “Old Sow” because of its weight, was located at Fort Ticonderoga and later used by George Washington in his siege of Boston.[2]

A 32-pound “old sow” cannon located at Sackett’s Harbor played a part in the War of 1812. The gun was designed for the ship Oneida, but being too heavy, was placed near the shore, wallowing in the mud. From its appearance there, the cannon was said to have acquired its name.[3]

These stories seem, by their very nature, to be folklore. I wondered, since there were so many of them, if an “old sow” was a particular kind of cannon, or had a certain meaning in colonial days which has been lost to us over time.

Missouri counties 1838

A cannon used in the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri had a romantic history which also gave it the moniker of “Old Sow.” This particular cannon was used by the Missouri citizens in a siege in which they managed to force Mormon settlers from the town of DeWitt, in Carroll County.[4] Seeing this success, a group of citizens from neighboring Caldwell County thought to try the same tactic to expel Mormons from other parts of the state.[5] To this end, W.B. Henderson took a company of men and the cannon and headed to Daviess County. Along the way, they captured two Mormon prisoners, Amasa Lyman and a Mr. Dunn; the Missourians forced their prisoners to “ride the cannon” all the way to Livingston County, where the men were released.[6] By this time, the Mormon settlers had caught wind of the plan to drive them from the state; in response, 400 Latter-day Saint militia men began a march to Daviess County.[7] To avoid capture by the much larger and quickly advancing Mormon force, the Missourians buried their cannon near the home of Mr. Marcus White, and fled. The cannon was unearthed by Mormon Apostle David Patten’s company, who brought it to the Mormon settlement of Adam-ondi-Ahman with their own prisoners, 9 non-Mormons. Along the way, Ira Glaze, a “hare-lipped” Missourian, stumbled upon the company and in turn was forced to “ride the cannon.”[8]

On Thursday, October 18, the Mormons burned the town of Gallatin, destroyed the local Post Office, and engaged in unrestrained looting of the area. Reports were made of vigilante Mormon “Danites,” “a regularly formed banditti,” prowling the country with the cannon.[9] On Saturday morning the 20th, Joseph Smith gathered 300 of his men on a ridge near Adam-ondi-Ahman; they fired off three rounds from their newly-captured cannon. At each discharge, the men waved their hats and gave the threefold Mormon “Hosanna Shout.”[10] 

Despite the momentary jubilation, succeeding events did not favor the Mormons. On the 25th of October, David W. Patten, “Captain Fear-Naught,” was killed during a violent encounter with Missourians at the Battle of Crooked River.[11] Two days later, Governor Lilburn Boggs issued his infamous “Extermination Order,” giving legal color to the killing of Mormons. On October 30th, a settlement of Mormons was slaughtered at Haun’s Mill,[12] and on the last day of the month Joseph Smith was arrested at Far West.[13]

The Mormons at Adam-ondi-Ahman surrendered to General Parks on Saturday, November 3, 1838. The General and four companies of troops took possession of 120 guns, 20 pistols, 6 swords, and a six-pounder iron cannon.[14]

It is likely that this cannon did not earn the title of “Old Sow” until sometime later, when stories began to circulate about this difficult time in Mormon history. In a later reminiscence, eyewitness Nathan Tanner recounted the Mormon capture of the buried cannon. He described how the Missourians “scattered and threw off their sacks of bread to lighten up as they went, and old Father Brace, with his old plow horse, gathered up the sacks of bread and we helped eat it. We found plenty of honey and made a very good dinner. But in the meantime, our horses were restless and pawing, and by the by we struck on the cannon.”[15] This story was embellished as time went on. Warren Foote wrote in his autobiography that the mob buried the cannon in the road, “so that the wagons passing over it would obliterate all signs of anything being buried there. The report is, that a sow had rooted it up, so that the Mormons discovered it, and took it away with them.”[16]

Chapman Duncan wrote, “The Mormons went down to Millport through the mob. Three hundred men buried their cannon and left. They started after burying their cannon in the road, and got corn and scattered over it. An old sow, in rooting after the corn, bared the end of the cannon. So the brethren, as they called it, raised the dead. We placed the cannon on as high as elevation as was and went to firing it. By this time Joseph the Prophet had come out. After the shooting he made a very mild speech.”[17]

Daniel D. McArthur recalled, “The mob hid the cannon in the road, thinking by riding their horses over it they might deceive somebody, but when the Mormon boys found that the mob had fled in every direction, some through the corn fields and some never stopping to untie their holsters, but cut them loose and got out of sight as best they could, concluded that it was best to look about and see what was left after the flight. They soon found some cannon balls and shortly a keg of powder and then the cannon [stock] wagon and harness, and of course, they expected the barrel next, and while looking for it there was an old sow walking about. She went to the middle of the road and went to digging the ground up hog fashion. Low and behold there lay the old barrel. Of course, the boys had some little shouting over it when they found it.”[18]

After the Mormons were expelled from Missouri and established themselves in Nauvoo, Illinois, they acquired several cannons. As far as I have been able to ascertain, no contemporary accounts link these cannons with the one that was surrendered to General Parks at Adam-ondi-Ahman. The Nauvoo Legion received three antiquated cannons from the State of Illinois, and these were recalled by Governor Thomas Ford sometime before the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter in January 1845.[19]

Also in 1845, four cannons in poor condition were obtained from New Orleans. Brigham Young asked Wandle Mace to repair them. He did so in the basement of the unfinished Nauvoo Temple.[20] By 4 June 1845 gunsmith Theodore Turley had manufactured 15 cannons.[21] Some of the cannons that the Saints owned in Nauvoo made their way across the plains. On 22 June 1847 the “Artillery Company” led by C. C. Rich started across the plains with two cannons and the Temple bell.[22] On the 25th of July 1847, a Sunday, the first sermon was preached in the Salt Lake Valley by George A. Smith, standing on top of a cannon.[23]

Once the Saints were established in Utah, the “Old Sow” cannon folklore began to resurface. In December 1850, a group of settlers were sent south to form a community in Iron County. In their possession was a cannon, later thought to have been the “Old Sow” of Missouri fame, which was brought across the plains. Frank Hamilton wrote: “The Old Sow Cannon was in the Vanguard, with Captain Jacob Hoeffeins in command of the artillery division of the Iron County Militia. As they came over the Beaver Ridge and could see the Valley of the Little Salt Lake, they fired off the Old Sow Cannon three times as a salute to their home. Its echoes answered from hill to hill, and wandering Indians wondered what had happened.”[24] “On January 16, 1851… Iron County was organized and the first election was held for county officials and a representative was elected to the Legislature of the State of Deseret. The firing of the sow cannon signaled the closing of the polls.”[25] This cannon was used in the Morrisite Battle at Uintah at the mouth of Weber Canyon in 1862.[26] The “Old Sow” was used at Lagoon and fired on the 4th and 24th of July celebrations. After it disappeared for a while, a cannon was dug up from the south bank of Lagoon Pond and brought to town. It was mounted on wheels and displayed in 1947 on the City Hall Grounds in Farmington as an historic monument by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.[27] To the astonishment of the community, their “Old Sow” was identified as a rare 12 pounder Tredegar Iron Napoleon Confederate Civil War cannon manufactured in Richmond, Virginia in 1864.[28]

In 1913 an “Old Sow” cannon was enumerated as one of the weapons located in the Relic Hall of the Deseret Museum. It was said to have been used in the war of 1812 and later sold by the government as scrap iron and purchased by James Lawson, a Mormon blacksmith in Nauvoo. Instead of using the iron in his business, he turned the cannon over to the Nauvoo Legion. After one engagement, the story goes, the defenders were driven off and the gun left on the field. A number of the Mormon women not wishing to see it fall into the hands of the mob sunk a hole and buried the old standby for preservation. Legend says that later it was uncovered by a sow and her pigs which were rooting around the spot where it was buried and was thus nicknamed the Old Sow. It was unearthed under the direction of Major Egan and sunk in the Missouri river to be later taken up and brought out to Utah with President Brigham Young and the Pioneers.[29]

I have not traced the provenance, but I assume that this is the cannon which can currently be seen in the LDS Church Museum under the label of “Old Sow.”

The folklore behind the “Old Sow” cannon has captured the imagination of former Mayor of Chillicothe, Missouri, Jeff Foli. On November 30, 2000, Mayor Foli asked LDS General Authority Hugh Pinnock to return Salt Lake City’s “Old Sow” cannon to Missouri. There, he claimed, it rightfully belonged. After some research, the LDS Church privately contacted Foli, denying that this piece was the “Old Sow” cannon featured in 1838 Missouri history.[30] For 13 years, Foli has continued his crusade to recover the cannon. As a “speaker for the dead” Chillicothe settlers, he claims that the attack on Haun’s Mill was precipitated by the Mormons’ theft of the Missourians’ cannon. Foli believes that Mormons and Missourians will not be able to achieve reconciliation until the mascot is returned.


[1] Marker, erected 1896 in Union County, NJ.

[2] Daniel J. Meissner, The Formation and Evolution of the American Army during the Revolutionary War,

[4] Vinson Knight to William Cooper, February 3, 1839. Typescript, HBLL,

[5] Amasa Lyman, statement, Missouri Fifth Circuit Court Document containing the correspondence, orders, &c., in relation to the disturbances with the Mormons; and the evidence given before the Hon. Austin A. King, judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri (Fayette, Mo.: Printed at the Office of the Boon’s Lick democrat, 1841), 83-84,

[6] “Robert Lauderdale,” The History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Company, 1886), 1014-1015,; Incidents in the Life of Nathan Tanner, Written by Himself on the Occasion of the Tanner Family Reunion Held in Payson in 1895,

[7] Letter from the Honorable Austin A. King, Richmond, MO to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO Oct 24, 1838,; John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, manuscript, 1839, 67-68,

[8] The History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Company, 1886), 1014-1015, 128.; Daniel McArthur Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p. 37.; Thomas J. Martin Statement, 22 Oct 1838, Mormon War Papers at the Missouri State Archives,; Warren Foote Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.25,; Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. 2, 838.

[9] Letter from Thomas C. Burch, Richmond, MO to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, Oct 23rd 1838, Mormon War Papers at the Missouri State Archives,

[10] Daniel McArthur Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p. 19.

[11] Stephen C. LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987), 141-142.

[12] LeSueur, 162-168.

[13] Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996, see

[14] Daily Missouri Republican, St. Louis, Vol. 15 (Tuesday, November 20, 1838) No. 1699. See also Daniel McArthur Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S

[15] Incidents in the Life of Nathan Tanner, Written by Himself on the Occasion of the Tanner Family Reunion Held in Payson in 1895,

[16] Warren Foote Autobiography, typescript, HBLL, p.25,

[17] Chapman Duncan Autobiography, typescript, HBLL, p.37,

[18] Daniel D. McArthur Autobiography, typescript, HBLL, pp. 6-7,

[19] Church Historians’ Excerpts from Ford’s History of Illinois, History of the Church Vol VII, Ch 1,

[20] Wandle Mace Autobiography, typescript, HBLL,

[21] Journal of William Huntington, typescript, HBLL,

[23] Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:235-36 (July 25, 1847) quoted in David R. Crockett, 150 Years Ago Today,

[24] Frank Hamilton, Parowan History Page,

[25] Cannon Plaque, Parowan History Page,

[26] Utah State History Markers and Monuments Database,

[27] Lagoon History Project, “Old Sow Cannon,”

[28] Bob Mickelson, “Did ‘Old Sow’ Go to Slaughterhouse?” in The Davis Clipper, Sept. 13, 2004,–Old-Sow–go-to-slaughterhouse ; Utah Historical Markers, Civil War Cannon,

[29] Sterling B. Talmage, “Relic Hall of the Deseret Museum,” in The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine (Salt Lake: Deseret News Press, 1913), Vol 4:7 (July, 1913) pp. 137-139. ; see also Deseret News, June 13, 1908, and July 22, 1931; Improvement Era, March 1961, pp. 6, 7, 182.

[30] Jeffery Curtis Foli, “Why 1838 Chillicothe Missouri Militia Killed Mormons at Haun’s Mill,” Part 1 ; Part 2


The Missouri Old Sow Cannon, or “Foli’s Folly” — 125 Comments

  1. You are as dishonest as Darrell Jones. The church is doing the same by not publishing the documents they have classified for 9 years. Missouri will not be kind to people who use their influence to support a one sided agenda.

  2. Ps. It was. Lamar Barrett that told me he knew where the Chillicothe cannon was. He was the one who offered the info. but asked me never to tell who told me. But you are obviously more wise than he, and I am just an idiot for believing him.

    Funny how Pinnock asked me 4 times what I really wanted. He paid off Mark Hoffman. He told me to forget I ever found that cannon, or that it ever existed.

  3. Lamar Barrett told me that was the Chillicothe cannon. Go argue with him. Funny Pinnock tried to pay me off as he did Mark Hoffman. Told me to forget I ever found that cannon.

  4. Jeff, thanks for coming by and commenting. I hope you will feel free to provide your interpretations of the events. If you have evidence to show that any of my conclusions are in error, I would be very interested in seeing this. I have no dog in this fight, and reserve the right to change my mind if I am provided with sources which show a different view. An historian’s job is to present and interpret evidence, not to support an agenda.

  5. If the Mormons claim the dead speak to them to do temple work, then I claimed that the Missourians wanted the truth from their perspective known as well. Thus I share their perspective, and claim Zion will not be achieved until the Mormons are able to stop seeing themselves as the elect, and all others as mere Gentiles. Referring to such is very disrespectful and egocentric. Without real respect, Missouri will spew the Mormons out a second time if necessary. The cannon is not the central issue.

  6. In 1838 Mr. Lauderdale enlisted in the Mormon War and served one month and fifteen days. He was in the company of Capt. William O. Jennings, whose father, Col. Thomas Jennings, had command of the forces from this county. After entering the service there was a force sent to DeWitt, in Carroll county, for a cannon, which they secured, and on their return to Livingston county captured two prisoners named Lyman and Dunn, whom they brought with them, but afterwards released .They saluted Chillicothe, loading the cannon with old iron, and then went to the west part of the county near where Marcus White lived and there buried the cannon in the road, but Capt. ” Fear Not,” one of the “Danites,” with a body of Mormons came and took the cannon, which had become exposed by hogs rooting up the earth, and captured nine prisoners, whom they paroled on their oath not to take up arms against them. After this a move was made on Haun’s mill. Three companies were brought into action and arrayed in line of battle. Capt. William O. Jennings occupied the center, Capt. Comstock the left and Capt. William Gee the right. They were on horseback and marched within one hundred yards of the enemy, who were secreted so that they could not be seen. Orders were given for them to charge, but it was quickly countermanded and the order given for them to dismount, which was quickly obeyed, and they were commanded to charge. The enemy were concealed in houses and behind plank, and everything utilized to protect them. Capt. Comstock fired the first gun and ordered his men to follow. Capt. Jennings gave the same order to his men, and Capt. Gee’s men were on the move, and the battle was opened in earnest. There were 18 men secreted in a blacksmith shop. A hair-lipped soldier from Carroll county, named Ira Glaze, pushed the muzzles of the guns aside as they were shoved through the cracks of the building, remarking at the same time that he did not fear their lead, but did not want to be powder burned. Quote from History of Livingston County, p. 1014.

  7. And you use only parts of reference that benefit your agenda. As in your #8 reference. You use 3 words from that source and fit it into your story, which is one sided.

  8. Lets correct your article: you say, “Seeing this success, a group of citizens from neighboring Caldwell County thought to try the same tactic to expel Mormons from other parts of the state.[5] To this end, W.B. Henderson took a company of men and the cannon and headed to Daviess County. Along the way, they captured two Mormon prisoners, Amasa Lyman and a Mr. Dunn; the Missourians forced their prisoners to “ride the cannon” all the way to Livingston County, where the men were released.[6] By this time, the Mormon settlers had caught wind of the plan to drive them from the state; in response, 400 Latter-day Saint militia men began a march to Daviess County.[7] To avoid capture by the much larger and quickly advancing Mormon force, the Missourians buried their cannon near the home of Mr. Marcus White, and fled.”

    It should read, (corrections in CAPITALS) Seeing this success, a group of citizens from neighboring LIVINGSTON, NOT Caldwell County thought to try the same tactic to expel Mormons from other parts of the state.[5] To this end, MR. LAUDERDALE, NOT W.B. Henderson took a company of men and the cannon and headed to WEST PART OF LIVINGSTON COUNTY, NOT Daviess County. Along the way, they captured two Mormon prisoners, Amasa Lyman and a Mr. Dunn; the Missourians forced their prisoners to “ride the cannon” all the way to Livingston County, where the men were released.[6] AGNES SMITH WENT TO LYMAN WIGHTS HOUSE IN DAVIESS COUNTY, WHERE GEN. PARKS WAS STAYING THE NIGHT, AND HE SAID TO DISPEL THE MOB FROM THAT COUNTY (DAVIESS). HE DID NOT SAY THEY COULD ENTER LIVINGSTON COUNTY, BECAUSE THAT WAS AGAINST THE LAW. By this time, the Mormon settlers had caught wind of the plan to drive them from the state; in response, 400 Latter-day Saint militia men began a march to LIVINGSTON, NOT Daviess County.[7] (THEY WERE ALREADY IN DAVIESS COUNTY, they didnt need to march there!!!) To avoid capture by the much larger and quickly advancing Mormon force, the Missourians buried their cannon near the WEST PART OF LIVINGSTON COUNTY, NEAR home of Mr. Marcus White, and fled.

  9. Rode the cannon ” all the way to Livingston County”? Carroll and Livingston Counties are side by side. You make it seem like it was really far. Please

  10. Church News Jan. 29, 1994
    President Hinckley speaks about “old sow” cannon in museum. “The cannon had received its nickname when a sow uncovered the cast-iron barrel in a Feild in Missouri where mobbers had hidden it.”

  11. The day after Joseph Smith stole this cannon from the sheriff of Livingston County, the sheriff formed a militia. 8 days later the same sheriff led the raids on hauns mill.

  12. You either didn’t read the information I have provided, or you just chose to disregard anything that didn’t favor your ideas.

  13. It’s obvious you just disregarded much of the Missouri history. You just continue to muddle the story. Time will not be good to you nor Darrell Jones. You didn’t use one real source of a controversial nature. It’s obvious who your audience is.

  14. Church News 1-29-94
    “The cannon was named after its discoverer, the old sow, and was taken from Missouri by the members as they were expelled following the extermination order”.

    Why didn’t you use this reference either? I gave it to you.

  15. You say nothing of the treaty of peace made on the 28th of October between hauns mill settlement, and Livingston County Sherriff, william O. Jennings, nor what could have provoked him to change his mind the very next day.

    The answer is that he received the extermination order from Johnathan J. Dryden, who was the runner for Boggs to General Lucas in northern Daviess County, and to Gen. Clark who set up camp at Far west on the 31st. Jennings was camped at Woolsey Farm, which is the direct path of the two Generals.

  16. “A serious battle was possible, as the Daviess County Danites had recently captured the cannon belonging to Col. Jennings’ regiment”. Souce: The History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties 1886..

  17. History of the Church 3:166
    “News came from Far West, this morning, that the brethren had found the cannon which the mob brought from Independence, buried in the earth and had secured it by orders of General Parks”.

    No way! Parks knew it was illegal to cross County lines. He washed his hands of the saints, calling them now, the aggressors.

  18. That was on the 23rd Cheryl. So you think it took 5 days for them to get the word? No way. Cannon was taken on 21st, then it went to AOA, them shot south to Far West, towards Crooked River.

  19. Jeff,

    As a Gentile, I don’t find being referred to as such at all offensive. In fact, I actually like when historians use terms like “Gentile” to refer to us WASPs, because so often we’re the ones who assign labels to others, whether it be “Indian,” “Asian,” or what have you. I’d also like to assure you, as someone who knows Cheryl personally, that she isn’t invested in anyone’s political agenda here. By coming in guns blazing and accusing Cheryl of dishonesty, you’re only discrediting yourself and destroying your chance of convincing her or anyone else of your point of view.

  20. “Joseph and Hyrum…traveled swiftly through THEIR campground where we found the cannon…”
    The 1838 Mormon War and Tales of the Danites, by Jeff Lindsey. THEIR campground was in Livingston county.

  21. Gen. Parks said, “I can only say to you gentleman to follow the command to disperse all mobs found in Daviess County, to take them prisoners and bring them before the civil authorities”. Source: The Latter Day Saints On The Missouri Frontier, p. 236, by Pearl Wilcox.

    They didn’t bring one of their 9 prisoners before civil authorities, because they broke the law entering Livingston County and stealing the sheriffs cannon. Parks did not give illegal orders.

  22. Christopher,
    How many references did Cheryl ignore? I will let others be the judge, as to credibility. Time will tell. She is getting involved in a history she knows very little about. No question she knows and can find Mormon perspective, but that is only one sided.

  23. 18 references cited above so far. All countering Cheryl’s agenda. How many more are needed for you to take me seriously?

  24. Mormons claim that “Jennings launched an unprovoked attack…on hauns mill”. Reference: Max H. Parkin, “Missouri Conflict”, Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

    Pure Propoganda!

  25. Jeff Foli (#7): “[The Missourians] saluted Chillicothe, loading the cannon with old iron”

    I may be mistaken, Jeff, but I don’t know that “Chillicothe” per se even existed at this time. You were the Mayor of the place, so you’d know the facts better than I. When was Chillicothe founded?

    Jeff Foli: “[The Missourians] then went to the west part of the county near where Marcus White lived and there buried the cannon in the road, but Capt. “Fear Not,” one of the “Danites,” with a body of Mormons came and took the cannon, which had become exposed by hogs rooting up the earth, and captured nine prisoners, whom they paroled on their oath not to take up arms against them.

    Joe Replies: In the first place, the Missourians were fleeing. They weren’t just sauntering over to some other part of the county – they were on the run. You give the impression that burying a cannon in the middle of a road is an accepted way to store a cannon; of course it is not. The Missourians were not frakking leprechauns, and their cannon wasn’t a magical pot of gold. The cannon was slowing their retreat, and so they left it behind – taking the precaution of quickly burying it to lessen the chance that the Danites would find / recover it. As this cannon was intended to be used to drive Mormons from the state, I am personally disinclined to call the Mormon capture of the cannon “theft.” If I disarm a robber in his attempt to steal stuff from me, I’d similarly not consider my capture of his weapon “theft.”

    Jeff Foli: “After this a move was made on Haun’s mill.”

    Joe Replies: I believe that Haun’s Mill was outside of Cheryl’s discussion – and rightly so. It is really irrelevant to the issue of what happened to the cannon. And by the way, the word is HARE-lipped, not HAIR-lipped. Unless, of course, Old Ira needed to shave his lips, which seems strange to me. Hare-lip refers to a condition where the lip divides or separates, much like a rabbit’s upper lip. Just sayin’.

    Jeff Foli: “The enemy [at Haun’s Mill] were concealed in houses and behind plank, and everything utilized to protect them.”

    Joe Replies: Of course, by “enemy,” you mean unsuspecting men, women and children, who were largely unarmed and certainly no match for a militia acting as a mob.

    Jeff Foli: “Quote from History of Livingston County, p. 1014.”

    Joe Replies: Was this an exact quote, Jeff?

  26. Jeff, I’m finding very little of what you say above to contradict my post. I’ll try to respond to each of your comments.

    #3, #4: I don’t consider Lamar Barrett a primary source for these events. If you can give me his evidence for believing the Salt Lake City cannon was captured in Missouri, I will reconsider.

    #7: The History of Livingston County was written in 1886. By that time, I believe the folklore of the old sow uncovering the cannon had been established. In fact, this very history may have been part of the reason for the spread of the story. You may disagree with my assessment. I am trying to uncover a more contemporary account. Most of the Mormon autobiographies which discuss this incident were written much later.

    The Haun’s Mill attack may have been exacerbated by the incident of the cannon, but it is outside the scope of my remarks.

    #9: Virtually all of my references include links, so that the reader may read the complete statement for him/herself.

  27. Jeff Foli (#13): The day after Joseph Smith stole this cannon from the sheriff of Livingston County

    Cite your source, Jeff. What evidence do you have that Joseph Smith “stole this cannon,” or was at this point personally involved?

  28. Jeff Foli (#25) 18 references cited above so far. All countering Cheryl’s agenda. How many more are needed for you to take me seriously?

    In the first place, Cheryl’s “agenda” is looking at the sources, determining what is reliable and what is not, and interpreting the evidence as best she can. If you think she has some OTHER agenda, I’d suggest you’re waaaaay off base.

    As for your “citations” let me suggest that Church News is hardly a reliable primary source. Neither is History of the Church, as most LDS scholars will tell you. Neither is the unsubstantiated opinions of General Authorities or other LDS scholars. Neither, by the way, is the opining of Jeff Lindsay, whose apologetic views on this subject are frequently contradicted by competent scholars you respect — such as Stephen LeSueur.

    My point is that it isn’t the number of citations, but how well you evaluate their relative merits and how you use them. I have noted on your part the tendency to be indiscriminate in evaluating sources (your use of the Church News to support a view, for instance), and also that you sometimes read into sources your own opinions, when the same are not expressly found in the text you are using. Whatever else you might say about Cheryl, she generally avoids making these kinds of errors.

  29. #10: I take my information from Amasa Lyman, statement, Document Concerning Correspondence and Orders, 83-84, “Amasa Lyman, witness for the defendants, being sworn, deposeth and saith, that some time in the forepart of October last, while on his way from De Witt, some two or three days after the Church of Latter Day Saints left De Witt for Far West, in company with a Mr. Dunn, of Far West, we were taken prisoners by a company of armed men, numbering from 15 to 25, varying at times. They had with them a cannon which they said they were going to take to Daviess County, and were going to commence a war of extermination with the Mormons, and in case the inhabitants of Caldwell County interfered they should share the same fate. The name of the Captain of the company was W. B. Henderson.”

    Where do you get the info that it was Lauderdale, and not Henderson, who had the cannon?

    I did not include the General Parks statement because it is extraneous to my discussion.

  30. #17, #18, #19: not relevant.

    #20: My timeline agrees with LeSueur. The cannon was at Adam-ondi-Ahman by the morning of the 20th, thus it could not have been taken on the 21st. However, the dating does not really affect my thesis here.

  31. #12: I don’t consider President Hinckley a primary source either. This is relevant, however, because it shows that at some point the President of the Church believed that the cannon in the Church history museum was related to the Missouri cannon. As I have shown, the history of the cannon proves otherwise. Probably the biggest piece of evidence for that is the article in the Daily Missouri Republican, referenced above, which stated that that cannon was repossessed at Adam-ondi-Ahman. I have found no evidence that any of the cannons in Nauvoo, or any of the cannons coming across the plains were believed to have been captured in Missouri. Have you?

  32. Come listen to a Prophets voice. His name was Gordon B. Hinckley. He said in the Church News 1-29-94, “The cannon was named after its discoverer, the old sow, and was taken from Missouri by the members as they were expelled following the extermination order”.

    Or is he just a dead prophet that has no veracity?

  33. You will believe what you want to believe, which is the well sourced Mormon accounts. That’s your prerogative for never ending war. We all know why the stories are muddled. You are not dumb. I am very happy to let others read our DIALOUGE and determine what they think. I don’t need to know any more. I know where your heart is. Missouri will not endure a dishonest vibration. It will refine you, or thrust you out. You will be refined in the furnace of affliction. Those are not my words. God is the Judge of all off us thankfully.

  34. There was no discussion, dispute, or debate like this ever before Nov 30, 2000, when I visited High Pinnock. Call it a coincidence. You are not the first to argue as you have, nor will you be the last.

  35. Cheryl,
    Why did you delete your statement about Lamar Barrett being at your wedding, but didn’t mention anything about the cannon?

  36. So, because you don’t like my sources, you think you can mock me? Very Mormon of you!

  37. “You didn’t use one real source of a controversial nature. It’s obvious who your audience is.”

    LeSeuer is hardly LDS Sunday School material.

  38. I am very happy to let others read our DIALOUGE and determine what they think.

    Well, this non-LDS Christian has read your dialogue and thinks you’re being gratuitously rude. You laid on the ad hominem from the start free of provocation from Cheryl, while Cheryl has been a class act and calmly tried to explain why she has interpreted sources the way that she has.

    Just FYI.

  39. Jeff,
    In one of his essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that the one thing we cannot hide is who we are. With every handshake, with every conversation, we are sifted and weighed in the balance by those around us. Every day is a judgment day.

    Jeff, you stated above that “Without real respect, Missouri will spew the Mormons out a second time if necessary. The cannon is not the central issue.” Quite interesting material.

    Your current Governor in Missouri, Jay Nixon, is a Democrat and Methodist who is committed to make the great state of Missouri a place in which families and peoples of all backlgrounds, poltical parties and religions welcome. The Governor has represented who he is. Jeff, you do not represent the good Governor or the people of Missouri.

    Cheryl is a wonderful and thoughtful scholar who has given us an exemplary post. There is much to learn here, not least of which her humble and honest search for truth. Thank you, Cheryl. We know who you are. Jeff, you do not represent Cheryl in your replies.

    But thank you, Jeff, for revealing who YOU are.
    “Without real respect, Missouri will spew the Mormons out a second time if necessary. The cannon is not the central issue.” Every farce has its ending, regardless of its enterainment value. I suggest that it is time is to move on.

  40. I don’t think many Mormons are going to fear Mr. Foli leading a mob with pitchforks any time soon. Nor do I think Mr. Foli intends violence.

    However, I think his comments do demonstrate one thing at least clearly enough.

    He doesn’t really give a damn about the violence that did happen in the past and has no sense of care or regard about it. In this sense, he is not unlike many Americans. Many of them are either unaware of this ugly American legacy or don’t really care about it.

    And if there is no sense of historical care in the population about these things – it can happen again, given the right circumstances. There is a reason places like Germany spend a lot of time and care memorializing past horrors against humanity, and an equal amount of care in rituals of public outrage against careless or profane remarks.

    No such sense exists in the United States regarding its atrocities against the Mormons.

    It’s not like the country is poised to repeat the events of Far West and Haun’s Mill, nor are Mormons particularly mistreated these days (with some sad exceptions).

    But it’s clear enough that the country, like Mr. Foli, doesn’t really give a damn about these things, and isn’t in the mood to acknowledge or apologize for them any time in the next few decades.

  41. Jeff Foli (#15) “It’s obvious you just disregarded much of the Missouri history. You didn’t use one real source of a controversial nature.”

    It depends what you mean when you say “controversial.” Cheryl used a great Missouri source –a contemporaneous newspaper account– which strongly suggests that the cannon was returned not long after it was taken:

    “The Mormons at Adam-ondi-Ahman surrendered to General Parks on Saturday, November 3, 1838. The General and four companies of troops took possession of 120 guns, 20 pistols, 6 swords, and a six-pounder iron cannon” [Daily Missouri Republican, St. Louis, Vol. 15 (Tuesday, November 20, 1838) No. 1699].

    If you have contemporaneous records demonstrating that the cannon was NOT returned, that would be quite helpful. I’d also suggest the merit of actually reading what Cheryl is arguing, rather than berating her for things she is NOT arguing at all. No one is “mocking you” but your remarks seem to step way beyond and fail to engage the very narrow scope of Cheryl’s nicely argued piece.

  42. SethR (#43) [Jeff Foli] doesn’t really give a damn about the violence that did happen in the past and has no sense of care or regard about it.

    Mr. Foli can speak for himself, but I suspect it is a mischaracterization to say that he doesn’t care about past violence. Rather, I’m guessing he’s going to say what many scholars already know: that such violence was not as one-sided as many Latter-day Saints believe, and that while certainly the Missourians treated Latter-day Saints harshly, Mormons have largely only familiarized themselves with one side of that story. On that score, Mr. Foli and I agree. Latter-day Saints did horrible things in Missouri, sometimes terribly mistreating locals who had placed their trust in the goodwill of the Mormons.

    However, the OP is about the disposition of a cannon. I do not believe Cheryl intended to revisit the entire Missouri affair, or assign responsibility on either side.

  43. Culpability was horribly one-sided in the affair Joe. The level of Mormon violence and aggression didn’t even remotely reach the level of the local Missourians. I’ve read Bushman too, I’m not ignorant of what you’re talking about.

    But there is absolutely no doubt who the real villains were in this episode in history.

  44. And no – I don’t think Foli really cares about the past violence against the Mormons, except if you drag it begrudgingly out of him. If he did care, he wouldn’t have said what he did. It’s really that simple.

  45. What bothers me is when I go to BYU 4 years and hear nothing about the Missouri perspective. Balance is a good thing. I haven’t found many Mormons that care or want to understand the other side. Very sad from a group that see’s themselves as the elect.

  46. I love and appreciate the early saints. Balance is going to be heavy for you. Your hearts have no love for the Missourians only because you choose ignorance instead of light.

  47. Tell me Jeff – when’s the last time you heard the “English perspective” on the American Revolutionary War at an undergraduate college?

  48. I find myself very perplexed by Mr. Foli’s accusations that the Mormons do not care about the Missouri perspective in the 1838 Mormon War. He seems to be perpetuating a feeling of dispute and animosity between the “two sides” that I believe no longer exists.

    Very few Latter-day Saints know or care about the details of the Missouri period in our history. In our Church meetings and in our Conferences, we are not taught to hold a grudge against the people of that state for matters which occurred 175 years ago. Even those who study the conflict in depth are aware of nuance in the history. Writers such as Gentry, Baugh, and LeSueur have pointed to actions on both the Mormons and the Missourians parts which contributed to the escalation of hostilities.

    I lived in Missouri for several years and attended the Columbia First Ward. I was never aware of any animosity on the part of Missourians for Latter-day Saints. Neither did I come across any lingering hard feelings from members of the Church.

    I can only see Jeff Foli’s attempt to regain possession of a cannon with an uncertain provenance (at best) as fanning the flames of an ember which has burned so low as to be indistinguishable.

  49. Funny thing is that it’s pretty much only Mormon-related historians who have even been giving the perspective of the other Missourians anyway.

    And if it comes to that, what does Mr. Foli mean by the “Missourian perspective?”

    I suppose he thinks the Mormons weren’t “real” Missourians. No, that was all the other local squatters who’d just wandered into the territory displacing the local Indians and been living there for… what? Six or seven years?

    Oh yeah, those were much more authentic “Missourians” than the local Mormons.

    In a pig’s eye.

  50. Good point, Seth. I discovered that the Shawnee had a village called “Chillicothe” which was located about a mile from the present-day city. But in 1838, there were few white settlers in the area. The first settler was Joseph Cox in 1833, and at the end of 1838 there were about 19 residents. Modern-day “Chillicothe” was not incorporated as a town until 1851.

    Perhaps Mr. Foli could answer a question for me. The names of the 19 residents of Medicine Creek (now known as the city of Chillicothe) were as follows:

    Joseph Cox
    Wm. Linville
    Brannock Wilkerson
    Caleb Gibbons
    Wm. Moberly
    Elizabeth Munro
    Joseph Wolfskill
    James Moberly
    Wm. Yancey
    Isaac Ryan
    Bartlett Collins
    David Curtis
    Elisha Hereford
    John Graves
    John Ryan
    Caleb S. Stone
    Asel F. Ball
    Matson Zandt
    Van Zandt

    Is there any existing evidence (or even tradition) that any of these 18 men and one woman were part of the company which was transporting a cannon from DeWitt? If not, why are you asking that the LDS cannon be “returned” to Chillicothe?

  51. “all the other local squatters who’d just wandered into the territory displacing the local Indians and been living there for… what? Six or seven years?”

    Is “squatters” the right word? If they’d only been in Missouri 6 or 7 years, then they must have settled after a series of treaties had ceded Indian land in Missouri to the United States. Is there a sense in which the non-Mormon Missourians were squatters that wouldn’t also make all white Americans squatters?

    “the Shawnee had a village called ‘Chillicothe'”

    FWIW, the Shawnee had themselves displaced the Osage from the area in order to form this village.

  52. No, it’s not the right word. But it’s making a point.

    The local “Missourians” weren’t any more “Missourian” than the Mormon settlers were.

  53. I have no doubt the Mormons will one day realize their dream of Zion, or heaven on earth. I just wonder how many generations it will take.

  54. Over 750 days and Mormon General Authorities do not question the old sow is from Chillicothe, see Facebook 1838 Mormon War.

  55. Leisure is fantastic, but his material covers a broad scope, and does not detail the cannon incident in relation to the Hauns mill massacre. That correlation was never made before I brought it forward. Baugh wrote me a letter stating, “the historic (Mormon) sources do not indicate there was a connection between the taking of the cannon by the Mormons, and the Hauns mill massacre”. He had never seen the 1886 Caldwell County history that proves the connection was direct!

  56. This has been a very interesting discussion: hot on one side and attempted coolness on the other. I’m kind of in the middle, a fence-sitter if you will. I personally don’t give a care about the disposition of an old cannon. Yet, this discussion has proved interesting.

    I have a great deal of respect for Jeff and his passion to present the Missouri side of things, things which he told me that I won’t reveal here or anywhere else.

    Jeff has readily admitted to me that the old “sow” canon was spoils of war. On the other hand, he has also said to me and in the comments above that Joseph Smith stole the cannon. Whatever the case may be, I have a high regard for Jeff’s opinion of the man, Joseph Smith.

    Nevertheless, Jeff, this is one piece of history that we need to get straightened up. If Joseph stole the cannon, then I have no more to say, except to have you quote the source that said that he stole it and to vett the author as an unbiased writer.

    If the cannon was, indeed, the spoils of war, then the matter ought to be dropped entirely because, if the cannon the Mormons are in possession of is the “sow” cannon, then it is theirs via the rights of spoils of war.

    Well, I said I didn’t give a care in the disposition of the cannon, but if push comes to shove, and if this is the same cannon we are speaking about, I think the Mormons ought to return it and let it go, and let the whole mess go and quite trying to make the world feel sorry for itself because of all the past religious persecutions.

    L E T I T G O, M O R M O N L E A D E R S H I P!!! G I V E T H E C A N N O N B A C K A S A M E A S U R E O F G O O D F A I T H !!!

    This would be a good PR move for them and would certainly be a plume in Jeff’s cap; but more importantly, I think it would bring an end to all this nonsense.

    I favor neither the Mormon apologist side, nor the Missourian apologist side in this discussion. I favor the truth, which is likely never to be found in a 175-year-old blot in this nation’s history.

    Anything written at the time is likely to be flavored by whichever side of the line was doing the writing, including anything written 50 years later, such as the Caldwell County/Livingston history, or whatever we are dealing with here.

    As far as the legality of crossing invisible borders during the time of war, it’s all hokey. There are no borders in war if there are combatants on both sides of these invisible lines. Simply put, no one is going to give a rat’s derriere if there are county lines involved, including the armies, vigilantes, mobs, militia, Missourians or Mormons. Guaranteed!

    No one is going to care whether it’s illegal to cross borders when there’s killing on their minds. Sorry, Jeff, it’s just not going to happen, anymore than borders stopped soldiers fighting in the so-call Civil War, although there was nothing civil about it.

    History is always written by the winners, that is what “they” say. We know who write the Mormon side of things. Who wrote the 1886 Caldwell County/Livingston side of things? Who was the author of all the quotes from this tome?

    I love the passion and interest in this discussion, but in the end, it’s all irrelevant, so far as the cannon is concerned. The only thing relevant is Jeff’s passion for the Missourian side of things, of which he has only hinted at here and which I will never reveal.

  57. Cris, thank you for your comment. I agree that the comment thread is fascinating. If you go back to the OP, however, you will see that it is the “spoils of war”/”Joseph stole the cannon” conversation that becomes irrelevant when it is proven that the cannon presently owned by the LDS Church is NOT the 1838 cannon repossessed by Gen. Parks at Adam-Ondi-Ahman.

  58. Cheryl, where do you find that Parks repossessed it? I have never seen that. I doubt that very much.

  59. I went to Lamar Berretts house. He had enormous amounts of original documents. He was not ignorant. Funny that no one ever disputed that was the old sow from Livingston County, until 750 days after I brought the info forward. In fact, 160 years of history kept the story alive, that it was. The early Mormons obviously didn’t want to infuriate the Missourians by talking about the cannon they took.

  60. They had very good reasons to muddle the story, as can be seen by the multiple accounts of an old sow and a cannon. 1500 Missourians headed to Nauvoo on June 27, 1844, and Joseph just 3 days before that being asked what to do with THE CANNON, to which he replied, hide it in the basement of the Nauvoo Temple. We must realize there were several cannons in Nauvoo at that time, but Joseph was speaking of only one specific cannon.

  61. Jeff, From the OP:

    “The Mormons at Adam-ondi-Ahman surrendered to General Parks on Saturday, November 3, 1838. The General and four companies of troops took possession of 120 guns, 20 pistols, 6 swords, and a six-pounder iron cannon.[14]”

    Source: (note the date!!!) Daily Missouri Republican, St. Louis, Vol. 15 (Tuesday, November 20, 1838) No. 1699. See also Daniel McArthur Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S

    The Missourians effectively disarmed the Mormons. They left the state with very few arms, and certainly not a cannon.

  62. That record was always known, yet the stories of the real old sow never ended. According to Lamar, the cannon was scuttled to nauvoo quickly after Hauns mill.

  63. I am the only historian ever, who has offered any explain action as to why the old sow cannon stories continued for 160 years.

  64. Cheryl, I don’t know if the cannon the Church has possession of is Foli’s cannon or some other cannon. And frankly, it doesn’t really matter to me. Well, maybe it does by now.

    I know via your research, you believe the cannon is not Jeff’s. Frankly, I don’t know how much of any testimony of the period, or even after the period, can be trusted. They’re all too coated with indignation, hatred, and other not-so-good emotions.

    So, because of all this, I have to say that regardless of what evidence is brought forth by either party, the issue will be forever unresolved, certainly for Jeff, but for me, as well. The issue (beyond the cannon) is just too volatile.

    Would you do me a favor and take a photo of the plaque by the cannon and display it in here, if you happen to be anywhere near SLC? I’ve seen it long ago but don’t remember what it says. I live in MO now and am not able to get to it.

    If you don’t live near SLC, could you get someone to do this, as you seem to know a lot of people? I want to see what the Church is calling this cannon. Thanks.

    I think the Church is placing too much emphasis on their martyrdom past. I know the cannon is in a museum and that makes it of interest to visitors. But some of the things Jeff has said about his conversation with a GenAuth, which cannot be proven because he’s dead, unless Jeff is a bald-faced liar—at least at one time the Church believed their cannon was Jeff’s cannon.

    I do not believe Jeff is a bald-faced liar. I haven’t seen this in him. He does have documents, although I haven’t investigated them closely. I might do that yet.

    I know what Jeff’s about and the cannon isn’t his main issue, although it certainly IS an issue, or he wouldn’t be spending all this time discussing the matter.

    Personally, as I have previously stated, I believe the Church should just give the cannon to Chillicothe, whether or not it was ever theirs. It would be good PR, I believe.

    I know the Church likes to keep its PR nose clean and might not want to admit they have the cannon in question, but they can certainly claim that the cannon was gotten through the spoils of war, regardless of whether or not it’s the “sow” cannon, for there is no doubt it was obtained through the spoils of war.

  65. Chris, your attempted discussion of the legal and property issues involved appears to bear very little relation to any actual applicable legal and property issues.

  66. I think what Mormon folks fail to realize, is that the Missourians could easily be receptive to love and honesty of those who acknowledge that others see things differently. This historic challenge offers to you an opportunity to begin to heal the quiet rifts and mistrust that have long existed, and still exist even though you don’t perceive it.

  67. Sheriff Jennings got the cannon from Hiram Wilcoxen from Dewitt/Carrollton area. The agreement and arrangement was temporary. There are no records of either of those folks or history to indicate it was ever returned. There are multiple muddled Mormon records that it was from the Missouri “old sow”. Only after I brought the story forward, that the attempt to dis validate the century and a half story was challenged.

  68. Brief History of the OLD SOW CANNON

    Oct 21, 1838, Joseph Smith enters Livingston County and takes William O. Jennning’s Chillicothe (OLD SOW) cannon.

    Oct. 24, 1838 Sarsel Woods receives word from a runner, and writes a letter from Carrollton, Missouri an fallaciously claims the Mormons had destroyed Buncombe, modern day Knoxville (24 miles away), and that they would destroy Richmond (37 miles away) the following day, as they had heard cannon. Joseph Smith said that that way intesresting that these mobers could have heard cannon fire at that distance, and had very acute ears.

    With word that over 1,500 Missourians were on their way to Illinois, on June 24, 1844 Joseph Smith tells brethren to hide the cannon in the basement of the Nauvoo Temple. Word has it that this group of Missourians turned around in Shelbina, Missouri, as Joseph had been killed.

    Jan. 29, 1994 and Jan. 20, 1996 Pres. Gordon B. Hinkley speaks about the “Old Sow” taken from mobbers in a field in Missouri. See Church News Jan. 29, 1994.

    Nov. 29, 2000 LaMar C. Berrett tells Mayor Foli the Chillicothe Old Sow Cannon is on display in SLC museum

    On Nov. 30, 2000 Mayor Jeffery Curtis Foli went to SLC and met with Hugh Pinnock to have cannon returned to Chillicothe, Missouri

    Dec. 20000 Hugh Barlow, Director of the LDS Independence Visitors Center, tells Mayor Foli to forget he ever found the cannon, or that it ever existed.

    John Edwards, Chillicothe, Missouri City Administrator attends SLC to see cannon, and is sent on a wild goose chase around SLC by Museum workers.

    Days before the Olypimcs, in Feb. 2002 Donald Steheli calls Mayor Jeff Foli and asks for a meeting with he and a few members of the 12 Apostles. Meeting never happened.

    April-May 2003 Darrel Jones, of the Church Museum of History and Art, lays the stage for a cover up of the cannon saying this cannon on display was not a common cannon used by a militia unit in those days. He claims the original cannon was given over to the State of Missouri on Nov. 3, 1838.

  69. Never before in 165 years of Mormon history was there any question or debate on the Chillicothe Old Sow cannon being held by the Mormons. Not until 2003. Go figure. The Missourians who had custody and responsibility for the cannon, escpecually Col William O. Jennings, show nothing but hostility for Joseph Smith, and there are zero records stating it went back to those whom passed it along.

  70. As to the quote the Joseph said to hide the old sow cannon in the basement of the Nauvoo Temple, some day, that source will be found verifying my words. The only cannon in Nauvoo to be hidden on June 24, 1844. Remember there were several cannons.

  71. Time is on my side and it will be the judge. Those who had an agenda will be eventually exposed.

  72. I know I am seen by the a Church as a bad guy, unwise and uncontrollable. Their perspective on me is limited. I never wanted to play the part that I do, but they have put me in positions a few times where I had no choice but to stand up for what I knew was right. I honor their path and pray for them to achieve their ultimate goal given to them long ago. May we seek to be unified so as to augment our collective abilities for the benifit of mankind. My arms are open for reconciliation, but not at the expense of betraying all that is good.

  73. Oct 22, 1838, Marcus White swore an affidavit before Judge Samuel Venable, that (the day before) on Oct 21, the Mormons had stolen his log chain, clothing, and honey comb, as they left Livingston County after stealing the OLD SOW CANNON. Note that his home was DIRECTLY west on the county road from Chillicothe to Adam On Diahman, only two miles from the Methodist campground where the cannon was found. The Mormons had to enter Livingston County 2 miles to get the cannon. It was no secret where the Methodist campground/militia camp was, but it was certainly well within the boaudries of the county. The Mormons, i believe, contrive stories afterward to justify thier taking the cannon, like saying that the gentiles had paraded around Adam On Diahman, which i think is complete bologna. The Mormons were too numerous for the locals to do any such thing.

  74. As far as mocking me for the early gentiles speaking posthumously through me, to set the record straight, and desiring clarity of the stories the Mormons have propogandishly perpetuated to make themselves look good, and all others look bad, let me share this.

    Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explains:
    “…though held captive in the spirit prison, these prisoners of hope looked forward with desire and expectation to their redemption…a redemption that would be complete only after baptism for the dead had been performed for them in this mortal sphere where there is water.” –Mormon Doctrine, p. 601

  75. So Mormons also believe the dead want them to accomplish this, and often assit from the other side to lead researchers to information needed to accomplish this goal. So, to be fair, if the Mormons claim has any validity, then I challenge them to consider my claim that the early gentiles that supposedly persecuted the early saints, also seek something, and is that both perspectives be seen fairly.

  76. No doubt Mao Zedong also has a perspective he wants fairly heard regarding his invasion of Tibet.

  77. I went to Pearl Harbor and sat next to a Japanese man during the historical presentation. Amazing how balanced the history was just after 70 years. No one had animosity or one sided feelings walking out of there. Mormon history after 170 years is sadly incapable of that.

  78. And the question is why are they incable of that? The answer is that is is not faith promoting. Silencing perspectives to the contrary is the agenda. Those who continue in the propaganda and do try to discredit other perspectives are sadly seen as righteous and vigilant in the faith. I used to be on that side, and I had no choice in seeing a greater perspective. I invite all to come participate in a Mormon History Tour. The next one is April 20, 2014 at 1:30Pm, meeting place 821 Walnut, Chillicothe, Missouri. Two very credible non-Mormons will also present thier own family hisory and the non-Mormon perspective of the 1830’s. This tour is not given to discredit, but to bring balance to the story. A memebr of the Stake Presendcy has attended twice to give fair imput from the early saints perspective as well.

  79. Until, we as a people, take seriously, the principles of Zion, the universe will offer us lessons such as Hauns Mill over and over again. May we become a people of destiny as has been foreseen. Most are naive of the challenges, yet it is incumbent for all to matriculate step by step.

  80. Jeff, as a bit of a history buff and someone who lived in Japan and has followed its trends ever since, I’ll tell you right now that Pearl Harbor does NOT have a settled history, it is NOT non-controversial. Neither do Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

    The Japanese and Chinese still hate each other to this day. Every year the Japanese Prime Minister visits the war memorial in Tokyo, and every year the Chinese government makes bitter protests and its people demonstrate at the Japanese embassies – because they feel Japanese war criminals are buried there.

    The hatred over that war runs deep. The rising generation of Japanese increasingly is of the nationalistic opinion that Japan has been unfairly scapgoated for its atrocities in the war. They don’t see that it was that bad, and you’ve increasingly started to see apologists emerging for the Rape of Naking,and other such events.

    You have no idea what you are talking about here.

    There is actually a pretty robust debate over whether Roosevelt deliberately provoked the Pearl Harbor attack in order to have a pretext to get Americans enraged enough to fight Hitler.

    This is not settled, it is not non-controversial, and it is absolutely not true that we’ve had all sides of the World War II story or dissected it.

  81. Mormon history is no more or less controversial and unsettled than any other branch of history.

    Only those who are ignorant of American history would view it as settled or non-controversial.

  82. I understand your perspective, and appreciate your contrast, but the presentation at Pearl Harbor gives a pretty fair and balanced perspective of each side. Their presentation does not create divisiveness, denial, and animosity. Mormons are not capable of that yet. Your input is appreciated.

  83. Jeff, it’s a little late for you, of all people to be pleading for a balanced perspective after the performance you’ve put on here.

    You want a “balanced perspective” on the Missouri conflict with the Mormons? OK…

    The local white slaveholding Missourians were bigoted, paranoid human trash who pillaged, raped and looted the Mormons out of the territory.

    The Mormons, on the other hand were unwise in their responses, and perhaps could have been a bit more restrained.

    And for all that, the response to them was uncalled for and a blot on the nation for which Missouri should hang its head in utter humiliation and shame. And there is no doubt – NONE – not one iota – whose fault this dark moment in Missouri history was.

    The local Missourians – hands-down.

    Now, feel free to continue in your defense of these no-doubt absolutely lovely mobbing homicidal maniacs.

  84. Many were good people caught up in the frenzy. Whereuch is given, much is expected. Mormons had the obligation to Create Zion. They still do. I pray we can all learn and grow together for the future benifit of humanity.

    I see you making all your devisive cments against one side, to be fair, similar comments could be made about many Mormons, but we are only taught one side. You remarks continue in the vain of unbalance. I too, was just like you once upon a time.

  85. You still are like that Jeff. Your remarks here have been rather inflammatory and one-sided in their own right.

    And you’ve made the amateur mistake of thinking that nuance and “two sides to the story” mean the same thing as equal culpability.

    There’s another side to the story of the Chinese invasion of Tibet as well. And the Ottoman genocides against the Kurds.

    There is always another side to any story. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t decisive villains in these stories too. In the case of Tibet, Maoist China are the decisive villains.

    So are the Missourian mobs.

  86. What I share brings balance to the story. For 170 years the Saints have controlled the historical message. I come to equalize the perspective. It really used to depend on where you were born. Being born Lds insured you would be programmed with only their input and perspective. Hugh Pinnock sadly told me to forget this cannon, that it even ever existed. The attempted to control the message even through me. Thanks to Lamar Barrett, I was able to find the cannon. He knew it would open a powder keg and was a bit tenuous in telling me. I honor him for his guts.

  87. Jeff, the only thing that opened a “powder keg” was you acting like a dick on this blog.

    The only reason I commented at all was your buttheaded remark about Missouri forcing the Mormons out of the state all over again, along with your other general tone of trying to say the Mormons had it coming.

    This is a powder keg you entirely manufactured yourself by your own trollish behavior and bad manners.

    Honestly, if you hadn’t been such a dick about it, I probably wouldn’t have minded offering my own support to the LDS Church turning the stupid cannon over. Because I didn’t care – until you decided to make it the centerpiece of some stupid argument about Mormon culpability in being driven out of the territory with violence.

    This cause for returning the cannon, quite frankly, deserved a more diplomatic ambassador than you. Someone with a modicum of common sense would have been nice.

  88. Probably 99% of the Mormons would agree with you. But folks like you generally would never step foot in a venue mixed with zmormon and Non-Mormon. In that setting, most would understand my perspective and give it more credence. I know, because I speak in such venues often. I invite you on my Mormon History Tour to bring your imput.

    Start time and place:
    April 20,2014
    821 Walnut
    Chillicothe, Missouri
    Bring friends, everyone invited

    Come see how diplomatic both sides can be in an open setting with others looking on and giving their feedback. The Mormons are not interested in feedback or imput if it seemingly, is not faith promoting.

  89. It’s hard for a devout Mormon to hear something not faith promoting, and deal with it in a mature and honest way. Most scream that it’s not fair, or not true, and they mentally and emotionally cannot square it with the great things the gospel has brought to their lives. It is a challenging but necessary evolution to come to peace with all of it, and square the inconsistencies in history and doctorine in an honest and transparent way. I know, because I was once in that same place. I enjoyed the challenge, and even more, I enjoyed the peace at the end of that wrestle.

  90. I will tell you the grand mystery. Each one of us, in a spiritual way, need to go back to Hauns mill, and go out and meet the mobs before anyone pulls a trigger, and find a way to get along. That is our true challenge. In modern lingo, it means loving a gay child, and coming to a real understanding that we are all one, regardless of our differences and preferences.

    We need realize the ego for what it is. We have been erroneously programmed to think that,
    I want to be a God and live only with other Gods on the exclusive Celestial sphere, with no diversity or differences.

    You can choose that paradigm if you wish, but The ultimate reality is that we are all an eternal family regardless. Prancing around and lauding authority is a short sighted game , because The Lord said he would and could choose another people, and so he has. If you wish to steep yourself in the old paradigm, that is your choice. It is a beautiful place and is an amazing vehicle that we should honor for the good that it does.

    In short, your non-Mormon friends and relatives are in the game, and in reality, factor into the redemption of Zion. The program has evolved to be more inclusive, and thankfully, God will be the ultimate judge. We need to learn how to love one another regardless. And loving those who led the raids on Hauns mill is absolutely nessessary!!!

  91. Jeff, I hang out with non-Mormons all the time, and I debate the other side of Mormon history extensively.

    Aside from the interesting small stuff about the cannon – which again, I initially found interesting, but wasn’t really fussed about one way or the other – you haven’t told me anything I haven’t already heard from other sources.

    Your big downfall on this blog was:

    A. You vastly underestimated the historical knowledge and exposure of the Mormons here – many of whom actually know a lot more of the “other side’s story” than you do.

    B. You acted like a dick, and hamstrung yourself with pointless assertions about how the Mormons were somehow equally at fault in the entire Far West debacle.

    Now, if you want to play the martyr, and ramble on piously about understanding and fairness and all that – knock yourself out. But you aren’t fooling anyone. You already overplayed your hand. Backpedalling now doesn’t undo that.

  92. By the way, I’m generally open to the idea of burying the hatchet – but not if it means people like you get to lie about history and distort it to try and force some grotesque confession out of the Mormons of equal culpability.

    If Missouri wants to apologize and say “let’s move on” I’ll be the first in line.

    If you want us to go hat-in-hand and admit that Haun’s Mill was equally our fault, then I have one thing to say.

  93. Hugh Pinnock told me not to betray the early saints and the cause of the gospel with the cannon story, so they did not live and die in vain. I responded, “and may the church cease it’s attempt to marginalized the lives of the early forefathers of my city in the same way”. No one likes to be couched in that way, so instead of perpetuating one sided propagandist stories, let’s have a fair assessment. My assessment is very fair when added to the troves of partial histories given by the early Saints. I do not wish anyone to view what I have shared alone, but add it to the 170 years of existing history for a more balanced two sided view.

  94. Members of the DUP rescued and restored the cannon, which they thought to be Old Sow, a cannon brought across the plains by Mormon pioneers in the late 1840s. The plaque adorning the 1,850-pound cannon and the book “My Farmington” tell the same story.
    But when city manager Max Forbush inspected the cannon more closely this spring, he found markings indicating the cannon was made in 1864, several years after the Mormon migration. He then contacted LDS Church historians, who confirmed that Farmington’s cannon could not be Old Sow, which is in the church’s possession in storage.

  95. As I read these accounts, and watch others in this modern era interpret these stories, the real issue with all this conjecture is that none of you folks know the area or where these sites were. If you did, you would get a much clearer picture . Come to my tour and we will visit these obscure parts that make the history clearer. The story has been muddled and left with many points convienenantly left out. If the real details were laid out, and you knew the geography, you would realize the is a lot more to these stories that have been told you from a one sided source. The perspectives of the early saints were great, but when contrasted with more information, from sources you all don’t wish to see as credible, will bring the story into better focus.

  96. Very interesting conversation. I do a tour to Missouri from my home here in Nauvoo 3 times a year. I mention the story of the cannon when at Adam-ondi-Aman so, I took some interest in your story and back and forth dialog. I am always open to new information but I must say as one looking at both sides of the discussion as an out-sider if you will, I see things this way.
    There is no question about the cannon being taken a fired at the crest of Tower Hill at Adam-ondi-Aman because of the many documented accounts that I have read but, that’s where it ends. Anything beyond is anyone’s guess. However I had never seen the newspaper account detailing the items confiscated which included a cannon. That doesn’t nessicarily prove anything for sure but my guess which I feel is as good as any is that it would be a logical assumption that when Joseph was captured and the saints surrendered at Far West the cannon would have been an issue since they were valuble pieces of weaponry and would have been confiscated as well. I have lived in Nauvoo many years and I assure you there is no record of any cannons until they were given to the Legion by the Governor Carlin in 1841. If the saints had brought a cannon with them from Missouri it would have no doubt been a story.

  97. I am trying to find a place to post an audio recording I received during the Slc Winter Olympics from the Mormon General authorities and a few Apostles regarding the cannon.

  98. 4 days before Joseph is killed

    June 23, 1844:
    5am in Nauvoo
    Brothers AP Rockwood and John Scott asked Joseph what to do with the cannon.
    History of the Church
    Volume 7
    Chapter 11
    Page 129

    Several cannons in Nauvoo, why ask about one specific cannon that had several variant stories associated with it. Joseph is getting ready to head to Carthage. 1500 Missourians headed from Chillicothe, and turn around in Shelbina because they receive word Joseph had been killed.

  99. Not one record exists of Sheriff William Jennings getting cannon back, nor does any exist of Hyrum Wilcoxen out of Carrollton who had in effect rented it to Chillicothe.

  100. Thanks Jeff, I have a copy of volume 7 of HC and looked it up, it is as you say but, how can we be sure the reference is not refering to One of the three cannons given to the legion by Gov. Carlin? And
    Do you think it could be possible that the cannon could have been hid from General Lukas in Missouri and some transported to Nauvoo under secrecy? I a not trying to be a smart allic, just trying to ask the pertinate questions that would apply.

  101. Recording posted 10 minutes ago on Facebook from general authority calling me about the “old sow” cannon. It is well know the story of the cannon persisted in the church for over 160 years. Only after I brought details forward, was it ever contended.

  102. Dear Jeff Foli, If Church leaders came to Chillicothe and delivered you this “sow cannon” and apologized for wronging your fellow Missourians, would you then repent and seek re-admission into the Church through baptism or are there other issues keeping you outside the Church?

  103. I have asked multiple times what I did to repent of. The leaders have never responded. I did not break the law, nor did I do anything morally or ethically wrong. I obeyed the temporal and spiritual laws I was taught all my life. I will not compromise my standards and obey leaders who disregard agreements (tax exemptions for tithing moneys) they have made and choose to compromise for their own temporal self interest. No, I will not participate in a mountain meadows type incident! Is that clear? Does that answer your question? The spirit told me to do what I did. In affect, I was told to cut off Laban’s head.

  104. No, I will not participate in a mountain meadows type incident! Is that clear? Does that answer your question? – Jeff Foli 17 July 2014.

    Jeff, that is about as clear as mud- Missouri mud.

    I hope you find a way to forgive any wrongs that you believe were done against you. I hope you find a way back into the Church that you seem to still believe in. I believe, based on what little I know about your situation (things out in the public), that your pride was an issue. It seems you wanted to go against what the leaders in Salt Lake wanted regarding the state of Missouri issuing some sort of apology. In all honesty, was pride and issue?

  105. I do forgive. That doesn’t mean I will compromise my Standards. I would have to do the same thing again, if the exact same situation arose.

  106. Just because a man is a Prophet, Apostle, Stake President, or Bishop, doesn’t mean they escape the consequences of their actions in the civil world. As Mayor, if a police officer pulled any of them over, and called me for them doing 55mph in a school zone, I would have to say they Deserve a Ticket, no matter their position. A persons position should give them no special privileges in civil rules. The boundaries of what is and isn’t appropriate is clearly defined. We all know, but I know there are folks in positions who mistakenly think the rules don’t apply to them. In whatever position you have in this world, there are certainly agreed pentameters that those you oversee must honor. If you play favorites, there will be little honor.