History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​April 22​> imprisonments and deaths, we must expect according to the scriptures, which tell us, that the blood of those whose souls were under the altar, could not be avenged on them, that dwell on the earth, until their brethren should be slain, as they were.
If these transactions had taken place among barbarians, under the authority of a despot; or in a nation, where a certain religion is established according to law, and all others proscribed; then there might have been some shadow of defence offered. But can we realize that in a Land which is the cradle of Liberty and equal rights, and where the voice of the conquerors, who had vanquished our foes, had scarcely died away upon our ears, where we frequently mingled with those who had stood amidst “the battle and the breeze,” and whose arms have been nerved in the defence of their country and liberty, whose institutions are the theme of philosophers and poets, and held up to the admiration of the whole civilized world. In the midst of all these scenes, with which we were surrounded, a persecution, the most unwarrantable was commenced; and a tragedy, the most dreadful, was enacted, by a large portion of the inhabitants, of one of those free and independent States, which comprise this vast republic; and a deadly blow was struck at the institutions, for [HC 3:331] which our Fathers had fought many a hard battle, and for which many a Patriot had shed his blood; and suddenly, was heard, amidst the voice of joy and gratitude for our national liberty, the voice of mourning, lamentation and woe. Yes, in this land, a mob, regardless of those laws, for which so much blood had been spilled, dead to every feeling of virtue and patriotism, which animated the bosom of freemen; fell upon a people whose religious faith was different from their own; and not only destroyed their homes; drove them away, and carried off their property, but murdered many a free born son of , a tragedy, which has no parallel in modern, and hardly in ancient times; even the face of the Red Man would be ready to turn pale at the recital of it. It would have been some consolation, if the authorities of the , had been innocent in this affair, but they are involved in the guilt thereof; and the blood of innocence, even of children cry for vengeance upon them. I ask the citizens of this vast republic, whether such a state of things is to be suffered to pass unnoticed, and the hearts of widows, orphans, and patriots, to be broken, and their wrongs left without redress? No! I invoke the genius of our Constitution, I appeal to the patriotism of Americans, to stop this unlawful and unholy procedure; and pray that God may defend this nation from the dreadful effects of such outrages. Is there not virtue in the body politic? Will not the people rise up in their majesty, and with that promptitude and zeal. which is so characteristic of them, discountenance such proceedings, by bringing the offenders to that punishment which they so richly deserve; and save the nation from that disgrace and ultimate ruin, which otherwise must inevitably fall upon it. Joseph Smith Jr.
had closed his business in and returned to having been chased by the Mob [HC 3:332] on horses at full speed, as far as the , for the purpose of shooting him. tarried in and near until the 24th. [p. 927]
April 22 imprisonments and deaths, we must expect according to the scriptures, which tell us, that the blood of those whose souls were under the altar, could not be avenged on them, that dwell on the earth, until their brethren should be slain, as they were.
If these transactions had taken place among barbarians, under the authority of a despot; or in a nation, where a certain religion is established according to law, and all others proscribed; then there might have been some shadow of defence offered. But can we realize that in a Land which is the cradle of Liberty and equal rights, and where the voice of the conquerors, who had vanquished our foes, had scarcely died away upon our ears, where we frequently mingled with those who had stood amidst “the battle and the breeze,” and whose arms have been nerved in the defence of their country and liberty, whose institutions are the theme of philosophers and poets, and held up to the admiration of the whole civilized world. In the midst of all these scenes, with which we were surrounded, a persecution, the most unwarrantable was commenced; and a tragedy, the most dreadful, was enacted, by a large portion of the inhabitants, of one of those free and independent States, which comprise this vast republic; and a deadly blow was struck at the institutions, for [HC 3:331] which our Fathers had fought many a hard battle, and for which many a Patriot had shed his blood; and suddenly, was heard, amidst the voice of joy and gratitude for our national liberty, the voice of mourning, lamentation and woe. Yes, in this land, a mob, regardless of those laws, for which so much blood had been spilled, dead to every feeling of virtue and patriotism, which animated the bosom of freemen; fell upon a people whose religious faith was different from their own; and not only destroyed their homes; drove them away, and carried off their property, but murdered many a free born son of , a tragedy, which has no parallel in modern, and hardly in ancient times; even the face of the Red Man would be ready to turn pale at the recital of it. It would have been some consolation, if the authorities of the , had been innocent in this affair, but they are involved in the guilt thereof; and the blood of innocence, even of children cry for vengeance upon them. I ask the citizens of this vast republic, whether such a state of things is to be suffered to pass unnoticed, and the hearts of widows, orphans, and patriots, to be broken, and their wrongs left without redress? No! I invoke the genius of our Constitution, I appeal to the patriotism of Americans, to stop this unlawful and unholy procedure; and pray that God may defend this nation from the dreadful effects of such outrages. Is there not virtue in the body politic? Will not the people rise up in their majesty, and with that promptitude and zeal. which is so characteristic of them, discountenance such proceedings, by bringing the offenders to that punishment which they so richly deserve; and save the nation from that disgrace and ultimate ruin, which otherwise must inevitably fall upon it. Joseph Smith Jr.
had closed his business in and returned to having been chased by the Mob [HC 3:332] on horses at full speed, as far as the , for the purpose of shooting him. tarried in and near until the 24th. [p. 927]
Page 927