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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.In his famous Salt Sermon, Sidney Rigdon announced that the dissenters were as salt that had lost its savor and that it was the duty of the faithful to cast the dissenters out to be trodden beneath the feet of men.At the same time Mormons, including Sampson Avard, began to organize a secret society known as the Danites, whose purposes included obeying the church presidency "right or wrong" and expelling the dissenters from Caldwell County.
The presidency responded by urging the dissenters to leave the county, using strong words that the dissenters interpreted as threats.In an effort to keep the peace, Alexander William Doniphan of Clay County pushed a law through the Missouri legislature that created Caldwell County, Missouri, specifically for Mormon settlement in 1836.They had also founded the Caldwell County town of Far West as their Missouri headquarters.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.