If it wasn’t for the Mormon War of the late-1830s, Missouri, and not Utah, would probably be the Mormon capital of the world.
In 1838 and 1839, following an “extermination” order issued by Gov. Lilburn Boggs, 8,000 to 10,000 Mormons were driven out of Missouri. Boggs had declared Mormons in “open and avowed defiance” of the state’s laws and of having made war upon the people of Missouri.
“The Mormons must be treated as enemies,” Boggs declared on Oct. 27, 1838, “and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace; their outrages are beyond all description.”
Three days later, a unit of the state militia killed 17 men and boys, all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the Haun’s Mill Massacre.