Because of the Missouri Extermination Order thousands of families were forced to leave. Some settled in Illinois. In May 1839 Isaac Galland sold lands in Nauvoo and 20,000 acres to Vinson Knight for the Church in Iowa Territory. Shortly after the sale, Galland wrote to an acquaintance, Samuel Swasey expressing relief that he had sold all his lands in the half breed tract to the Mormons and confided that plans were made by others that after the Mormons developed these lands and purchased other surrounding lands, such that “a sufficient quantity of honey comb” was achieved, enemies would force the Mormons out again and take over their lands as was done in Missouri.
Before the Mormons came to Nauvoo, Senator Richard Young had been sent to England to secure financing for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Due to the national fiscal crisis of 1837 previous foreign bonds had been defaulted by many states. Foreign investors were wary of making additional financing of state internal improvement bonds. Senator Young was desperate to place the bonds and accepted very unfavorable repayment terms. After Senator Young returned home he was held under great criticism from Illinois government leaders for binding the state to such burdensome terms.