On September 26th 1838, a special high council was convened in Daviess County, Missouri. They decided to send missionaries east to the branches of the church asking for donations. They was to be used to pay for a buyout of the land owned by the non-Mormons living in Davies County who did not want to live in the same county as the Mormons. Ultimately the buyout never happened and it was the Mormons who were forced from their homes. Two of the missionaries who went east, went through Tennessee. They were cousins: Don Carlos Smith and George Albert Smith. The group arrived in Paducah, Kentucky on October 11th 1838 where others split off on the Ohio river. The two Smith cousins started up the Tennessee River visiting branches in Kentucky along the way. In a few days the crossed over into Tennessee.
Don Carlos wrote:
We visited a number of small branches in Tennessee; the brethren generally arranged to be on hand with their money, or lands for exchange in the spring. Brother Samuel West have us twenty-eight dollars to help defray our traveling expenses. We also received acts of kindness from others, which will not be forgotten.
In Benton County, the pair stopped their eastward journey. The Tennessee River was low due to drought and river travel was impractical. On October 23rd, Don Carlos wrote his wife telling her they had decided to turn back since without river transportation they would have to walk. Their stay in Tennessee was no more than two weeks.
 That same drought, and the lack of river traffic, was one of the reasons
why most of the Cherokee were forced to walk instead of riding boats in what has since been called the
Trail of Tears.
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