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New converts to Mormonism continued to relocate to Missouri and settle in Clay County.Tensions rose in Clay County as the Mormon population grew.Possession became unclear and the dissenters threatened the church with lawsuits.The presidency responded by urging the dissenters to leave the county, using strong words that the dissenters interpreted as threats.As a result of the war, nearly all Mormons in Missouri, estimated at more than 10,000, were forced to leave the state.Most of these refugees settled in or near what would become the city of Nauvoo, Illinois.Two days after Rigdon preached his Salt Sermon, 80 prominent Mormons including Hyrum Smith signed the so-called Danite Manifesto, which warned the dissenters to "depart or a more fatal calamity shall befall you." On June 19, the dissenters and their families fled to neighboring counties where their complaints fanned anti-Mormon sentiment.In the speech, Rigdon declared that the Latter-day Saints would no longer be driven from their homes by persecution from without or dissension from within, and that if enemies came again to drive out the Saints, "And that mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow them until the last drop of their blood is spilled; or else they will have to exterminate us, for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed..." Reminding Daviess County residents of the growing electoral power of the Mormon community, Peniston made a speech in Gallatin claiming that if the Missourians "suffer such men as these [Mormons] to vote, you will soon lose your suffrage." Around 200 non-Mormons gathered in Gallatin on election day to prevent Mormons from voting.
They asked if the rumor was true, and demanded that he sign a document disavowing any connection to the vigilance committees.Mormon petitions and lawsuits failed to bring any satisfaction: the non-Mormons in Jackson refused to allow the Mormons to return and reimbursement for confiscated and damaged property was refused.In 1834, Latter-day Saints attempted to effect a return to Jackson County with a quasi-military expedition known as Zion's Camp, but this effort also failed when the governor failed to provide the expected support.When about thirty Latter Day Saints approached the polling place, a Missourian named Dick Weldon declared that in Clay County the Mormons had not been allowed to vote, "no more than negroes." One of the Mormons present, Samuel Brown, claimed that Peniston's statements were false and then declared his intention to vote. A number of Missourians left the scene to obtain guns and ammunition and swore that they would "kill all the Saints they could find, or drive them out of Daviess County, sparing neither men, women or children." The crowd dispersed, and the Mormons returned to their homes.The skirmish is often cited as the first serious violence of the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri.