Affidavit, circa 25 January 1839 [State of Missouri v. Gates et al. for Treason]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Affidavit of
, Witness for the Defendants being sworn, Deposeth and saith, That some time in the forepart of October last, while on his way to , <​from , some two or three days after the Mormons had left there​> in company with a Mr. [James] Dunn, of , they were <​he was​> taken prisoner by a company of armed men numbering from 15 to 25, varying at times; they had with them a cannon which th[e]y said they were agoing to take to , <​[illegible]​> and They were agoing to commence a war of extermination with the Mormons, and in case the inhabitants of interfeered they should share the same fate.
The name of the Captain of the Compa[n]y was W. B. Henderson who said he had once been called out to go to , and had acted as a Lieutenant in the Malitia, but he was now going on a different hook, because he was free from Military law; the was detainied by said company four days, during which time he heard heard many threats against the Mormons, thy said they intended to extraminate the Mormons and take their improvements and wives to themselves; some of the company were for having the prisoners executed as an offsett against some of their men, whom they supposed had been taken prisoners by the Mormons, but on learning that they had not been taken, their <​our​> lives were spared; they said they were agoing to be assisted by men from , , , Carroll and other counties, also, from the Platt Country There were some in the company from Linn County the , in company with Mr. Dunn, who was a prisoner also, was taken to a Mr. Whites in , (the place where the cannon was said to be found by the Mormons,) and discharged, this was before [p. [1]] the burning in . About the time of our arrival at , a report came into the place stating that a mob was about collecting at Bunckum [Buncombe], for the purpose of burning , if they had sufficient strength, and if not, to commence depredations <​on​> of the outskirts of the Mormon s[e]ttlements, by driving them off and burning their houses; it was therefore; thought best to send out a spy company to that vicinity to watch the movements of the mob, if there should be any, and report to ; accordingly a company of ten men was raised, of which I had the charge, we were instructed to range the Southern line of and watch the movements of armed bodies of men, if any were there, and in case they should commit any depradations upon the citizens of , we were to report to immediately; we were to act entirely on the Defenceive, and not to injure any people in person or property, except an attack should be made upon us in our own County, or upon the families of some of our people.
The further saith that he has been personally acquainted with Joseph Smith jr, & for a number of years, and their teachings respecting the laws of the land, have uniformly been, to have them observed in every particular
[p. [2]]