Appendix: Overview of Church Persecution Groups

Joseph Smith identified the “Corrupt Conspiracy” in 1843, consisting of Samuel Owens and John C. Bennett in contact with Missouri Governor Reynolds and Illinois Governor Ford and working with Joseph Reynolds in Missouri and Harmon Wilson in Illinois.  The following groups of persecutors later allied with the others to bring about the martyrdom and forced exodus of the Saints:  1. The St. Louis Junto allied with some in the St. Louis Land Company, 2. The Independence Merchants Alliance, 3. The New York Land Company, 4. The Warsaw Land Company and Railroad Commissioners, 5.The Central Clique

Most of the conspiracy groups were connected to the Chouteau family and the St. Louis Junto.  Senator Benton, Governor Boggs, and Auguste Chouteau had worked together when the Bank of Missouri was formed. Samuel Owens worked for Francois Chouteau in Jackson County.  Mark Aldrich a mob leader in Warsaw was earlier hired by the Chouteau’s to maintain company interests in Keokuk and Warsaw. George T. M. Davis, an attorney and Whig Party activist had the Chouteau’s as a client and was in the Hancock Vigilence Committee at Carthage when the final orders to the two militia groups involved in the murders were given.

Other connecting relationships were secured by family members of Samuel Owens of Jackson County.  His sister married John Vineyard a former partner of Mark Aldrich of the Warsaw Land Company.  His family grew up in the same vicinity as Richard Barrett in Kentucky.  Owen’s wife was the sister of the wife of Governor Reynolds and the cousin of Senator Richard Young, the judge in the trial.