Conflict in the Countryside : Rural Communities in the 1840s Mormon War
As members of the Church moved to settlements in Hancock County, Illinois they greatly outnumbered the original settlers in this area. The relationships were friendly in the beginning, but the Mormon tendency to vote as a bloc, as well as rumors of polygamy, led eventually to anger and opposition against them. Unable to regain political control in the county, the early settlers used means outside the law to force the Mormons out. A mob killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith in 1844, homes were burned, and citizens from several counties united to "demand Mormon removal." Brigham Young was told that his people could not be protected "due to the popular feeling against them" and so he promised that the Mormons would leave Illinois.