Former Missouri governor honored for rescinding Mormon 'extermination order'

by | May 31, 2010

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U.S. Sen. Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, who as Missouri governor in 1976 rescinded the 1838 "extermination order," authorizing the expulsion of Mormons from the state, has been honored by the Mormon History Association for his action 34 years ago.

At the Friday evening awards banquet of its annual conference, the association gave Bond its Thomas L. Kane Award for outstanding service to the Mormon community by a non-Mormon.

Absent because of a scheduling conflict, the senator sent a recorded video message and acceptance of the award.

"You bet I'd do it again," Bond declared regarding his rescission of Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs' 1838 order. "The treatment of the Mormon people in Missouri in the 1830s and beyond was barbaric. Women were raped and tortured. Men were killed by mobs or driven out of state. Their property was stolen. The lucky ones were those who were left alive with nothing and were forced to make their way into a more hospitable state."

What makes it especially hard to understand was that the barbarism was state-sanctioned, Bond said, adding that Boggs' order made it legal to kill anyone who belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"What surprised me was that as late as 1976, the law was still on the books, though thankfully, it had not been enforced and nobody paid attention to it," Bond said.

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