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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.New converts to Mormonism continued to relocate to Missouri and settle in Clay County.They had also founded the Caldwell County town of Far West as their Missouri headquarters.Once they were established in a county of their own, a period of relative peace ensued.According to an article in the Elders' Journal – a Latter Day Saint newspaper published in Far West – "The Saints here are at perfect peace with all the surrounding inhabitants, and persecution is not so much as once named among them..." In 1837, problems at the Church's headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio, centering on the Kirtland Safety Society bank, led to schism.The Church relocated from Kirtland to Far West, which became its new headquarters.Most of these refugees settled in or near what would become the city of Nauvoo, Illinois.Shortly after what Mormons consider to be the restoration of the gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, Joseph Smith revealed that the Second Coming of Christ was near, that the City of Zion would be near the town of Independence in Jackson County, Missouri, and that his followers were destined to inherit the land held by the current settlers.
Latter-day Saints established new colonies outside of Caldwell County, including Adam-ondi-Ahman in Daviess County and De Witt in Carroll County.The presidency responded by urging the dissenters to leave the county, using strong words that the dissenters interpreted as threats.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.
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.
At the same time, a leadership struggle between the church presidency and Missouri leaders led to the excommunication of several high-placed Mormon leaders, including Oliver Cowdery (one of the Three Witnesses and the church's original "second elder"), David Whitmer (another of the Three Witnesses and Stake President of the Missouri Church), as well as John Whitmer, Hiram Page, William Wines Phelps and others.