Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Prophets, Royals, Jawhawkers, Bushwhackers and Bandits

By Greg:

Debi is still on family leave.  After a short scare, and a day back in the hospital, mother and baby are doing well.  Debi reports that she has been able to get a few hours sleep as well.

Meanwhile, I am working hard with Elder Lillywhite finding, renting and stocking with furniture, apartments for Elders and Sisters.  I have also been thinking about a few things.

When Joseph Smith was visited by Angel Moroni he was told that his "name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues. or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people."  In the deep dark recesses of Liberty Jail the Lord whispered to him "The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee; while the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand."  So it is clear, that to some Joseph is the Lord's prophet in this dispensation, while to others, he is at the other end of the spectrum.

I am pretty sure that there are at least a hundred men in this town who would happily kill us if it were still legal.  I know that this was Halloween, but this was  outside a bar across the street from the public square here in Jackson County:

I have been trying to find out why the Kansas City baseball team is called the Royals.  I am from Hooper and I attended Roy High School, in Roy, Utah.  When I went there it was a brand new school (I went there its second year) and we were still in the process of establishing traditions.  Those responsible for choosing our mascot decided on the Roy High Royal.  We adopted the Crown and the Royal Lion.  We had Royal Guardsmen, Royalairs, and our outstanding football players wore black armbands as they were knighted "Black Knights".  They painted a cool crown and lion in the jump circle on the basketball floor and at dances we put up a fence around it so we would not step on the crown as we danced. It was to become a serious tradition:  Do not tread on the Crown!

 No one seemed to care that America had fought the revolutionary War to overcome the Royal class distinction and establish a country where we were all part of "we the people", hey, we were Royal.  We stood and shouted, "We're from Roy and we couldn't be prouder, if you can't here us now. we'll yell a little louder!" It did not matter that some of us were actually from Hooper.

So why the Kansas City Royals? 

I Goggled the question:  Why are the Kansas City Royals called the Royals?  The answer:  They are named after the big livestock show that is held annually in Kansas City called the American Royal Livestock Show.  Now that should have put the question to a rest, but not for me.  I needed to know why the livestock show was called "Royal".  Further, I have noticed that there are several things around here with "Royal" ties.  There is King Street and also Queen Street.  And, of course. there is the Queen City Motel, right here in Independence.

In the early 1980s, I attended a two week income tax couse of study at the University of Illinois.  After I was done, Debi flew to St. Louis and met me and we had a nice trip.  We "took the slow road home" and passed through here and toured the Church history sites.  One night we had just left the Liberty Jail and took the back road to Independence.  The only motel we could find was the Queen City Motel.  It looks even better now than it did then.  The only thing I can say is that I fell asleep, but Debi did not.  She realized that they were renting the room next to us "by the hour".  Still, why the Queen City"?

So I Goggled the American Royal Livestock Show.  Now I already knew that most of the huge ranches in Wyoming and Colorado in the early days were owned by Englishmen.  So it stands to reason that as they began importing breeding stock they would want to show them off, and sell bulls.  Hence, the Kansas City Show.  It began in 1899.  There had been a similar show in London held for years.  It was called the "Royal Livestock Show." So they started calling this one the "American Royal Livestock Show".  The show sponsored a "farm" baseball club and called it, yes, the Royals.  Oh, they also started the Future Farmers of America.

Now, we know all about the problems the Mormons had in Jackson County with the old time settlers.  Even thought they talked the talk about living in a republic and having freedoms, those in the mobs only believed that freedoms applied to themselves.  That sounds a little like "Royals" to me.  The Mormons arrived in 1831 and were pretty much driven out by 1839.  Then the highborn Missourian had to look elsewhere to find an inferior people.  In the 1850s they found what they were looking for.

Missouri was a slave state, and most of the people in Missouri below the river came from Southern States.  Jackson County is below the river.  West of here, Kansas wanted to join the Union.  But the big question was:  Would Kansas be a slave or a free state?  Congress said, "Let the people of Kansas decide." Well, the Jackson County boys went to their fathers and asked, "What can we do?"  And they said, "Well, we drove out the Mormons, you can do the same to the Free-soilers" (those who favored a free state).  So they got on their horses, took their guns, their torches and their liquor and went over to Kansas to persuade the people to vote for slavery.  The problem was there were groups in the north raising money to help northerners pay the $1.25 per acre to actually settle in Kansas.  When it came time to vote, they were residents.  The Missourian were "residents for a day". 

The Missourians were called Bushwhackers.  They burned houses, shot people, stole animals and pretty much did to the people in Kansas what they wanted.  But, the people in Kansas fought back.  They were called Jayhawkers.  They crossed into Missouri, stole back their horses (and a few to pay expenses) as well as liberated slaves.  They also looted, burned and killed.  This border war was really terrible. Today I was in Harrisonville, Mo. and I saw this painting on the wall in the downtown area: 

In case you can not read this or make out what is depicted, this shows Kansas Jayhawkers in blue Union uniforms looting and shooting in the town square of Harrisonville, Missouri.

Well this border war continued until it became legal to kill each other.  Both sides were delighted to have the Civil War finally come and let others join in the fight.  The problem in Missouri was it did not secede from the Union.  So the Jackson County boys (who were pro-slavery, pro-secession) expanded their fight to those who were Unionists and opposed secession.  Many of them were their cousins, brothers and even sons/fathers.  The sad thing is the men on the trigger end of the guns actually knew most of the men on the barrel ends.

One of the Bushwhacker leaders that became a Confederate Colonel was a man named William Clarke Quantrill.  This guy was a bad man (unless you think he was a great man).  Remember, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.  I don't think I would go into the Golden Corral here in Jackson County and yell slanderous things about him.   Quantrill generally liked killing people.  And, he did not fight fair.  He and his men were guerillas.  There are three main rules to guerilla fighting: 1) always be on the offensive; 2) never fight on your enemies terms; and 3) in between attacks, return to normal life and blend in to the general population.  This has been used by many to a great advantage. 

Well, he really ticked off the Union Generals who like picking a battleground, setting a time to begin and fighting it out.  So in frustration they decided to fight back issuing what was called General Order 11.  They determined that the residents of Jackson County were aiding and abetting the terrorists.  So they attacked the civilian population and burned their homes, barns, fields and businesses.

Alexander Doniphan was a leading citizen in Missouri, a lawyer and was also a military leader.  His law partner, David Atchison was also a militia leader and would later be a US Senator, and a leader of a group of Bushwhackers.  The Saints did not have money to pay all of their legal fees so it was proposed to offer the lawyers land in Jackson County.  Joseph Smith, as a friend of Doniphan said:

"I advise you not to take that Jackson County land in payment of the debt.  God's wrath hangs over Jackson County.  God's people have been ruthlessly driven from it, and you will live to see the day when it will be visited by fire and sword.  The Lord of Hosts will sweep it with the besom of destruction.  The fields and farms and houses will be destroyed, and only the chimneys will be left to mark the desolation."

After the Civil War Doniphan attested that the prophesy had been fulfilled, especially following the issuance of General Order 11.  Most historians agree that few if any counties suffered more destruction during the Civil War than did Jackson County Missouri.

After the War it was no longer legal to kill people, but some of them really liked it, so they kept it up.  Quantrill and his men became bandits.  They were joined by two young brothers from north of here.  There names were Frank and Jesse James.  They attacked Northern Carpetbaggers, banks that were foreclosing on farms, and railroads, who were seen as the oppressors of all.

Jesse was caught and killed in St. Joseph, having been betrayed by one of his own men.  But Frank James and William Quantrill were both caught and brought here to Independence for trial.  They were in "jail" but it was more like a hotel.  They were tried by a jury of their peers and found not guilty and released.  Again, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.

I think the Devil is a terrorist, the ultimate gruella fighter.  He is always on the offense.  He does not play fair or ever fight on an open field.  And his workers try to hide in the general population so that they will not be found in the daylight.  But beware, God has a General Order that one day will be issued, and all who aid and abet the Devil will suffer wrath.

But, we also have an army on the field.  I am so impressed with the young missionaries that I have met.  Yes, they are good at moving furniture, and eating at Arbys, but they are endowed with power and are the front line of defense and are out there every day!  God bless them all.

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