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Chapter 2

Just what part, if any, the political and civil unrest played in their leaving their home in Gosfield, we do not know. The home and property in Gosfield was not sold by actual conveyance until October 1838, but in the meantime they had sold the farm in 1836 and moved to Toronto where their second daughter, Barbara Jane was born on the 24th of July, 1837 making quite a family, five children the oldest of which would likely not yet have reached the age of ten years.

Where the Levi family lived in Toronto, we do not know, but if true to the custom they lived in back, or above the store. Barbara Jane in later life described the business as a "store dealing in textiles and fishing industry" and said also, "we were luckier than most kids because we had plenty of clothes to change into", which was probably the result of having been in the clothing business before being essentially driven from their home. In 1838 or 1839, Julia Ann was about thirty years old, and with five children, they sold their home and business and were on their way to join the Mormons in Missouri.

It is not unusual that no written account or journal was kept of their travels to the United States. We can again thank Barbara jane for her account given later in life. The best evidence of their arrival in Nauvoo, Illinois is again the arrival of another child, a daughter. This is however, getting a bit ahead in the story. We had always assumed that they had gone directly to Nauvoo, where Charlotte was born. We have recently, however, discovered evidence that they went first to Missouri. We haven't learned and don't now know with which company they traveled to Missouri. There is evidence in review of the time sequence, that they may have been converted to the LDS Church by John E. Page and traveled with his company to DeWitt, Missouri in 1838. This however, is mere speculation. Barbara Jane would then still only have been about a year or two of age, so we cannot know how much of that journey she could in her later life remember in exact or proper sequence. Tecent research and publications have for the first time given strong, though not irrefutable evidence, that they traveled to Missouri and were driven out of Missouri by the mobs with the rest of the Saints.

We first learned through an index listing from "A Thesis Presented to the Department of History, Brigham Young University, by Wayne J. Lewis" that a Frederick Levi (with others) had signed a petition ot the United States Congress for redress of grievances suffered in Missouri. Further investigation showed that the petition had also been signed by a Julian Levi. We immediately realized that the petition had been signed by Fred and his wife Julia Ann.

The petition dated November 28, 1843 reads in part as follows:

"To the honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembles. The memorial of the undersigned inhabitants of Hancock County in the state of Illinois respectfully sheweth:

That they belong to the Society of Latter-Day Saints, commonly called Mormons, that a portion of our people commenced settling in Jackson County, Missouri in the summer of 1831, where they purchased lands and settled upon them with the intention and expectation of becoming honored citizens in common with others.

"Your memorialist would further state, that they have heretofore petitioned your Honorable Body proying redress for injuries set forth in this memorial but the committee toshom our petition was referred, reported in substance, that the general government would beg here to state that they have repeatedly applied to the authorities of Missouri in vain, that though they are American citizens at all times ready to obey the laws and support the institutions of the Country, none of us would dare enter Missouri for any such purpose, or for any purpose whatever. Out property was seized by the mob, or lawlessly confiscated by the State, and we were forced at the point of bayonet to sign Deeds of Trust relinquishing our property but the exterminating order of the Govener of Missouri is still in force and we dare not return to claim our just rights. The widows and orphans of those slain, who could legally sign no deeds of trust, dare not return to claim the inheritance left them by their murdered parents.

"It is true the Constitution of the United States gives to us in common with all other native or adopted citizens, the right to enter and settle in Missouri, but an executive order has been issued to esterminate us if we enter the State, and that part of the Constitution becomes a nullity so far as we are concerned."

"Had any foreigh State or power committed a similar outrage upon us, we cannot for a moment doubt that the strong arm of the general government would have been stretched out to redress our wrongs, and we flatter ourselves tht the same power will either redress our grievances or shield us from harm in ur efforts to regain our lost property, which we fairly purchased from the general government."

Finally, you memorialist pray your Honorable Body to take their wrongs into consideration, receive testimony in the case, and grant such relief as by the Constitution and Laws you may have power to give."

The signatures of Frederick Levi, and Julia Ann, which they have interpreted as "Julian" are on the petitions. The original petition is 59 pages long, the first 3 pages containing the grievances as are set out in the History of the Church and elsewhere and the remaining pages contain the signatures of some 3419 signers of the petitions. Some scholars have concluded that some of the individuals whose signatures were included in the petition, were not residents of Missouri, but signed it in support of their friends and neighbors, and family members who were. Further research may or may not reveal whether or not the Levi's traveled to Missouri with John Page or others and were expelled therefrom with the many others who then went to Illinois. We have not yet had the opportunity to throoughly search the numerous land records in Missouri to see if they would disclose where and/or if they were in the state and owned land there. Until further discovery in made, we shall assume that they journeyed to Missouri and then to Illinois.

Chapter 3




This page last updated on September 11, 2011 .