History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 153
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<June 24> When the fact of the order for the State Arms was known in , many of the brethren looked upon it as another preparation for a massacre; nevertheless, as Joseph requested that it should be complied with, they very unwillingly gave up the arms.
About 6 P. M., when all the State arms were collected, and the company were ready to start, and Quarter Master General Buckmaster made a short speech, expressing their gratitude at the peaceable conduct of the citizens of , and that while they thus conducted themselves, they would protect them.
It appears feared that the Nauvoo Legion although disbanded, might avenge any outrage that might hereafter be committed on the persons of their leaders, and so thought he had better disarm them as he had previously disbanded them; yet the mob was suffered to retain their portion of the State arms, even when within a half day’s march of , and they in a threatening and hostile attitude, while the Nauvoo Legion had not evinced the least disposition whatever, except to defend their city in case it should be attacked; and they had not set a foot outside the limits of the corporation.
Joseph rode down home twice to bid his family farewell. He appeared solemn and thoughtful, and expressed himself to several individuals that he expected to be murdered. There appeared no alternative but that he must either give himself up, or the inhabitants of the would be massacred by a lawless mob, under the sanction of the .
The Company (about 15) then started again for , and when opposite to the , Joseph said “Boys, if I don’t come back, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.” When they passed his he took a good look at it, and after they had passed it, he turned round several times to look again, at which some of the company made remarks, when Joseph said, “If some of you had got such a farm, and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time.” When they got to the edge of the woods near , they met A. C. Hodge returning from . He reported to what he had heard in , told him what his feelings were, and said “brother , you are now clear, and if it was my duty to counsel you I would say, do not go another foot, for they say they will kill you if you go to ”; but as other persons gathered round nothing further was said. About this time Joseph received the following letter:
5 o’clock P. M.
“Genl. Joseph Smith. Dear Sir,
In accordance with previous arrangement with Elder Adams I am here at your service; and it will be necessary for us to have on the examination here before the justice a certified copy of the City Ordinance for the destruction of the Expositor Press, or a Copy which has been published by authority— We also wish the original order issued by you to the for the destruction of said press, and such witnesses as may be necessary to show by whom the press was destroyed, and that the act was not done in a riotous or tumultuous manner.
Yours Respectfully
H. T. Reid.” [p. 153]
June 24 When the fact of the order for the State Arms was known in , many of the brethren looked upon it as another preparation for a massacre; nevertheless, as Joseph requested that it should be complied with, they very unwillingly gave up the arms.
About 6 P. M., when all the State arms were collected, and the company were ready to start, and Quarter Master General Buckmaster made a short speech, expressing their gratitude at the peaceable conduct of the citizens of , and that while they thus conducted themselves, they would protect them.
It appears feared that the Nauvoo Legion although disbanded, might avenge any outrage that might hereafter be committed on the persons of their leaders, and so thought he had better disarm them as he had previously disbanded them; yet the mob was suffered to retain their portion of the State arms, even when within a half day’s march of , and they in a threatening and hostile attitude, while the Nauvoo Legion had not evinced the least disposition whatever, except to defend their city in case it should be attacked; and they had not set a foot outside the limits of the corporation.
Joseph rode down home twice to bid his family farewell. He appeared solemn and thoughtful, and expressed himself to several individuals that he expected to be murdered. There appeared no alternative but that he must either give himself up, or the inhabitants of the would be massacred by a lawless mob, under the sanction of the .
The Company (about 15) then started again for , and when opposite to the , Joseph said “Boys, if I don’t come back, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.” When they passed his he took a good look at it, and after they had passed it, he turned round several times to look again, at which some of the company made remarks, when Joseph said, “If some of you had got such a farm, and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time.” When they got to the edge of the woods near , they met A. C. Hodge returning from . He reported to what he had heard in , told him what his feelings were, and said “brother , you are now clear, and if it was my duty to counsel you I would say, do not go another foot, for they say they will kill you if you go to ”; but as other persons gathered round nothing further was said. About this time Joseph received the following letter:
5 o’clock P. M.
“Genl. Joseph Smith. Dear Sir,
In accordance with previous arrangement with Elder Adams I am here at your service; and it will be necessary for us to have on the examination here before the justice a certified copy of the City Ordinance for the destruction of the Expositor Press, or a Copy which has been published by authority— We also wish the original order issued by you to the for the destruction of said press, and such witnesses as may be necessary to show by whom the press was destroyed, and that the act was not done in a riotous or tumultuous manner.
Yours Respectfully
H. T. Reid.” [p. 153]
Page 153