Asahel Lathrop

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Asahel Albert Lathrop
Born (1810-12-25)December 25, 1810
Tolland County, Connecticut
Died January 23, 1891(1891-01-23) (aged 80)
Mound City, San Bernardino County, California
Resting place Pioneer Memorial Cemetery San Bernardino, California
Nationality American
Known for Mormon Pioneer
Spouse(s) Jane Peacock (m. 1819–91) (his death)
Parent(s) Grant
Sybel (Bliss) Lathrop

Asahel Albert Lathrop (December 25, 1810 – January 23, 1893) was one of thousands of 19th-century American Mormon pioneers who is best known today for his involvement on August 6, 1838, in Gallatin Election Day Battle in Daviess County, Missouri; a voting incident involving Asahel’s brother-in-law-, Samuel Brown, the husband of Lydia Marie Lathrop, which led to a full-scale war. A group of armed men forced Asahel A. Lathrop from his home, and held his wife and children prisoner; they later died.[1][2]


Sworn to before John H. Holton, notary public.

Affidavit of Asahel A. Lathrop.

This is to certify that I, Asahel A. Lathrop, was a citizen of the state of Missouri, at the time the difficulty originated between the people called Mormons and the [other] inhabitants of the aforesaid state, and herein give a statement of the transactions that came under my observation, according to the best of my recollection.

I settled in Missouri in the summer of 1838, in Caldwell county, where I purchased land and erected buildings. The said land I now have a deed of; and in the fall I purchased a claim on what is called the East Fork of Grand River, together with a large stock of cattle and horses, sheep and hogs; it being some sixty miles from the aforesaid county where I first located; and moved on to the latter place, supposing that I was at peace with all men; but I found by sad experience that I was surrounded by enemies; for in the fall of 1838, whilst at home with my family, I was notified by a man by the name of James Welden, that the people of Livingston county, had met at the house of one Doctor William P. Thompson, then living in the attached part of said county, for the purpose of entering into measures respecting the people called Mormons; and the same Welden was a member of the same, and also the aforesaid William P. Thompson was a justice of the peace; and they all jointly agreed to drive every Mormon from the state; and notified me that I must leave immediately, or I would be in danger of losing my life.

All this time some of my family were sick; but after listening to the entreaties of my wife to flee for safety, I committed them into the hands of God and left them, it being on Monday morning; and in a short time after I left, there came some ten or fifteen men to my house, and took possession of the same, and compelled my wife to cook for them, and also made free to take such things as they saw fit; and whilst in this situation, my child died, which I have no reason to doubt was for the want of care; which, owing to the abuse she received, and being deprived of rendering that care she would, had she been otherwise situated. My boy was buried by the mob, my wife not being able to pay the last respects to her child.

I went from my home into Daviess county and applied to Austin A. King and General Atchison for advice, as they were acting officers in the state of Missouri. There were men called out to go and liberate my family, which I had been absent from some ten or fifteen days; and on my return I found the remainder of my family confined to their beds, not being able the one to assist the other, and my house guarded by an armed force.

I was compelled to remove my family in this situation, on a bed to a place of safety. This, together with all the trouble, and for the want of care, was the cause of the death of the residue of my family, as I have no doubt; which consisted of a wife and two more children; as they died a few days after their arrival at my friend's. Such was my situation, that I was obliged to assist in making their coffins.

I will give the names of some of the men that have driven me from my house and abused my family; those that I found at my house on my return were Samuel Law, Calvin Hatfield, Stanley Hatfield, Andy Hatfield; and those that were leading men were James Welden, Doctor William P. Thompson, a justice of the peace, and William Cochran, and many others, the names I do not recollect.

I have also seen men abused in various ways; and that whilst they were considered prisoners; such as the mob cocking their guns and swearing that they would shoot, with their guns to their face and the officers of the militia, so called, standing by without uttering and in these councils they have said if a Missourian should kill a Mormon he should draw a pension, same as a soldier of the Revolution.

I was also compelled to give up my gun, and the terms were, I was to leave the aforesaid state of Missouri, or be exterminated. My property is yet remaining in said state, whilst I am deprived of the control of the same.

Written this 17th day of March, 1840. ASAHEL A. LATHROP. Sworn to before D. W. Kilburn, J. P., Lee county, Iowa Territory[1]


Asahel Albert Lathrop is a direct descendant of John Lothropp (also Lothrop or Lathrop; 1584–1653) a clergyman, who was a Puritan who came to New England after imprisonment in The Clink.[3]

Notable Kin


  1. ^ a b Greene, John P (1839), Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the "Exterminating Order", Cincinnati, Ohio: R. P. Brooks, retrieved December 31, 2006.
  2. ^ LeSueur, Stephen C., The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, University of Missouri Press, 1990.
  3. ^ a b The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Stafford 1719-1850, Tolland 1715-1850