Thursday, October 20, 2016


Monroe and Caldwell Counties Missouri
               So what was life like for Hannah once they got to Monroe County in Missouri.  It might instructive to discuss briefly the place they decided to settle.  Monroe County hadn’t been organized until 1831.  The Carters were back on the American frontier, but this time a different frontier.  This state, and Monroe County in particular, was a part of the South.  A majority of the settlers were from the Upper South, especially Kentucky and Tennessee, and they brought their traditions and slaves with them to Monroe County.  (,_Missouri)  Interestingly Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born in 1835 in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri.  I must have been hard for Hannah to adjust to slavery and the Southern way of life.  This area actually was called Little Dixie because everything, including even the architecture of the homes tended towards the Antebellum South colonial style.  Monroe County, was and still is, a very rural area with only 9,000 or so residents listed on the 1840 census. (Today the population is almost the same.)

                 When Hannah arrived in Jefferson Township in Monroe County, Missouri, in autumn of 1838 she and John had already been married 32 years.  A house would have been one of their first projects after getting their farm started on their 40 acres.  Surely John got a blacksmithing business going and the family could settle in at their third home since their marriage.   The four Carters probably were able to acclimate to the new home fairly quickly as John and Richard, who was now 18, could work the land and build a house.  Hannah and Mary Jane, who was 15, could work the garden and make the house into a home.

                At first glance moving to Monroe County may see to be a little strange if the assumption was that Hannah wanted to live with her children.  Given John’s apparent reluctant to live in locations where the Mormon’s congregated and caused unrest, the decision to settle in Monroe county makes perfect sense.  The distance to Caldwell County was about 125 miles.  John probably felt that this was as close to the family as he dared get.  Ironically they were now only about 70 miles from Lima, Illinois where they would ultimately move.

                John had good reasons not to want to move all the way to where his children resided.  Problems had already begun in Missouri prior to the time that the Carters arrived.  In fact, in the month prior to John’s purchase of land in November, 1838, the situation had reached an intolerable point for the Mormons. It appears that the Carter children arrived in Far West, Missouri on or about October 2, 1848.  They must have felt that they had been thrown literally from the fat into the frying pan as northwestern Missouri was rapidly becoming a war zone.   On October 27, 1838, Governor Lilburn Boggs issued Missouri Executive Order 44, also known as the Extermination Order.  The order was issued in the aftermath of the Battle of Crooked River, a clash between Latter Day Saints and a unit of the Missouri State Guard in northern Ray County, Missouri, during the 1838 Mormon War. Claiming that Latter Day Saints had committed open and avowed defiance of the law and had made war upon the people of Missouri, Governor Boggs directed that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description". (Wikipedia – Missouri Exectutive Order 44)

Haun's Mill
                Just three days later, on October 30, 1838, the Haun’s Mill massacre occurred when a mob/militia unit from Livingston County, Missouri, attacked a Mormon settlement in eastern Caldwell County, Missouri, United States, after the Battle of Crooked River. By far the bloodiest event in the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, it has long been remembered by the members of the Latter Day Saint movement. (Wikipedia – Haun’s Mill massacre)

To the best of my knowledge none of the Carter family was directly associated with either of these events but because of them it was imperative that the Mormons move out of Missouri or die.  John’s children and their families shortly began their journey by January,1839 as the Church “realized they would not be helped by the legislature, and determined to leave as best they could. Most families were destitute, so those who had extra pooled their resources, determining to leave no one behind. Those who had been fortunate enough to retain their property sold it to gain funds with which to leave the state, but they were only able to get a fraction of the properties’ values. The exodus from Missouri took place in the dead of winter, with many Mormons trudging eastward with bare feet and little to keep them warm.” (online source:  For those that are interested the Saints left Caldwell County and the areas around there and headed generally Marion County, Missouri  where they crossed the Mississippi River and first stopped at Quincy, Illinois before moving on to Nauvoo.

Hannah’s heart must have been broken to see her children, destitute and weary being driven from place to place.  John and Hannah must have feared somewhat for their own lives.  It was bad enough that they were Yankees (from Maine) in a Southern slave state, but if word got out that part of their family was Mormon their lives could be in danger.  One must imagine that the Carter’s kept their connection with the Church hidden as much as possible.  It is very telling that John – now that he was in Missouri was in no hurry to leave.  Cautious would probably be the best way to describe his actions at this point in time.  He most likely chose to remain where he was and wait out the events that were transpiring around him before he made any decisions about moving.

By the time of the 1840 census John and Hannah had been in Missouri a little under a year and a half.  The family is found on the 1840 census for Jefferson, Monroe, Missouri:
                Male      age 20 – 29        Richard age 20
                Male      age 50 – 59        John age 58
                Female  age 15 – 19         Mary Jane age 17
                Female  age 20 – 29        ??? (no idea whom this might be)
                Female  age 50 – 59         Hannah age 54

            The year 1840 would be pivotal for one member of the household as Mary Jane had found love and was married to Jacob Dooley in Monroe County, MO on 27 Aug 1840.  The text of the marriage document found in the courthouse reads: 
Dooley to Carter
State of Missouri, County of Monroe: I do certify that I did on the 27th day of August, AD 1840, celebrate the rites of matrimony between Jacob Dooly and Mary Jane Carter daughter of John Carter by consent of parents, both of the county and state aforesaid. Henry Thomas, Preacher of the Gospel
Filed for Record on the 1st day of Augst 1840 - duly Recorded Theo S Miller, Recorder
( Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.  Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.)

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Marriage record of Jacob Dooley and Mary Jane Carter

            The importance of this document goes beyond proving the marriage and Mary Jane and Jacob, it also proves that the John Carter in Monroe County was in fact our John Carter who married Hannah.  His having to sign for the underage Mary Jane has added significance for us.

Land Owners - Monroe Co., MO
Carter land in Yellow, Gideon Dooley in Purple
          It makes perfect sense that Mary Jane would marry a Dooley as a plot map of the part of Monroe County where the Carter’s lived was replete with Dooleys.  John’s farm was literally surrounded by members of the Dooley clan.  Gideon Dooley’s farm (Jacob’s father) was in easy walking distance from the Carter place. 

  So as 1840 came to a close, John and Hannah had their lone child, Richard, still living with them.  Most of the kids were now living in the area of Lima, Illinois some 70 miles to the northeast across the Mississippi River.

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