Docket Entry, 1–circa 6 July 1843 [Extradition of JS for Treason]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Municipal Court.
Friday June 30th. 1843. Two oClock. P. M.
The Court was assembled upon a special call.— Present, , , , , and , associate Justices.
was elected President pro, tem. The Court was then called to order.
Friday June 30th. 1843.
This day came Joseph Smith Senior, and upon the reading and filing of the Petition for a writ of to be directed to one to produce and bring forthwith before this Court the body of said Smith upon said Writ of Habeas Corpus, It is ordered and considered by this Court, that a Writ of Habeas Corpus issue in accordance with the prayer of said Petition.
Ordered that Court adjourn until eight oClock tomorrow morning.—
July 1st. 1843. The Court met agreeable to adjournment.— Present, , , , , , and associate Justices.— continued to preside as Presdt. pro. tem.
The made his return upon the original Writ of Habeas Corpus, which Writ with return thereon, is now on file.—
, the person upon whom said Writ of Habeas Corpus was served, made his return upon the copy of the writ served upon him, and same are now upon file.—
, , and were sworn as witnesses in this case.— , & were examined as witnesses in this case.— was then Sworn & examined a witness in this Case.— Adjourned at Noon, for one Hour.
Court met pursuant to adjournment.
, , & were sworn and examined as witnesses in this case.
Messrs. , , & , (the Counsel on behalf of the said Joseph Smith,) then <​respectively​> addressed the Court, after which the following order was made.
Saturday July 1st 1843.—
This day came the said Joseph Smith Senior, in proper Person, and the said having made return of said Writ of Habeas Corpus and produced the body of said Smith in pursuance to the mandate of said Writ, and after hearing the Evidence [p. 55] Evidence in support of said Petition, It is ordered and considered by the Court that the said Joseph Smith Senior be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said Petition, and that the said Smith be discharged for want of substance in the Warrant upon which he was arrested as well as upon the merits of said Case, and that he .
The Petition, requisition, Warrant & proceedings, to be recorded here.
To the Honorable the Municipal Court. of the City of , Hancock County and State of Illinois:—
Your petitioner, Joseph Smith, Senior, who has been arrested by and under the name of Joseph Smith Junr states on oath, that he is now detained as a prisoner, and in the custody of in the said city of , and State of , who claims to be the Agent of the State of , and that your petitioner was arrested by one by virtue of what purports to be a warrant issued to be a by His Excellent <​Excellency​>, , Governor of the State of , in the county of , and State of , and by said of , your petitioner was delivered into the custody of said , at and within the county county of , aforesaid; that said supposed warrant, so issued by his Excellency, Governor as aforesaid, and the arrest thereupon, and the imprisonment consequent thereupon, by said , and afterward by said , is illegal, and in violation of law, and without the authority of law as he is informed and verily believes, for the following, besides other reasons, to wit,
1st The said supposed warrant so issued by the Said of the State of as aforesaid does not confer any authority to arrest your petitioner, for that it commands the officers therein named to arrest one Joseph Smith, Junior, and your petitioner avers that he is not known and reputed by the name of Joseph Smith Junior.
2d The said supposed warrant is defective and void, for that it does not that the recite that the Joseph Smith, Junior, mentioned therein, has been demanded by the of the the [p. 56]
the State of of the of the S[t]ate of .
3d Said supposed warrant is defective and void, for that it does not state that said Joseph Smith, Junior, therein accused named has been indicted or that any other legal accusation of any offence has been legally preferred, and is as pending against him in the said state of .
4th It is defective and void, for that it does not shew that any legal foundation was furnished by the of the State of upon which to issue the same; and your petitioner avers that the same was issued without due authority of law.
5th Said supposed warrant is in other respects defective & void
6th The said has no authority to detain your petitioner in custody; for that he is not an officer of the State of , nor is he legally authorized by the said of the State of or otherwise, as the state of in the State of or in any other character and capacity to imprison your petitioner within the said State of .
7th Your petitioner before the making of the said arrest upon which he is now detained and imprisoned, had been arrested for the same cause, and upon a charge for the same offence, for which he is now arrested and imprisoned, by virtue of a warrant issued by the of the said State of upon a requisition of the Executive authority of the said State of and was discharged from said arrest and imprisonment by judgement of the Circuit Court of Warren county, at a court holden in the said county of Warren in or about the month of June A D 1841 in such manner as not to be liable to the second arrest for the same cause.
8th Your petitioner is not a fugitive from justice, and has not fled from the justice of the said State of and he is not guilty and has not been guilty of treason in or against the said State of .
9th Your petitioner was not, and has not been within the limits of the said State of for more than four years next, before the making of said arrest and imprisonment whereby he is now detained nor for or during four years before any indictment or other legal accusation was preferred against him.
10th Your petitioner avers that the said supposed warrant so issued by the said of the said State of and [p. 57]
and under color of which your petitioner is now imprisoned, and the document purporting to be an authority to receive the said Joseph Smith, Junior, are wholly defective and insufficient to legally authority <​authorize​> the arrest & imprisonment of your petitioner: Copies of which supposed warrant and the supposed authority from the of the State of are hereunto annexed.
Wherefore, your petitioner prays that a writ of may be awarded, directed to the said , commanding him that he bring your petitioner forthwith and without delay before this honorable court, together with the causes of his caption and detention, in order that your petitioner may be dealt with according to law and your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray
Joseph Smith Senior
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of June A D 1843 at the City of Illinois
Clerk of the Municipal Court of the City of
State of Illinois) SCT [scilicet]
City of )
The People of the State of to the of said Greeting:
Whereas application has been made before the Municipal Court of said , that the body of one Joseph Smith, Senior, of the said City of (who is styled in the warrant by which he is held in custody, Joseph Smith, Junior) is in the custody of : These are therefore to command the said to safely have the body of the said Joseph Smith, Senior, who is styled Joseph Smith, Junior, in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention by whatever name the said Joseph Smith, Senr may be known or called before the Municipal Court of said forthwith, to abide such order as the said Court shall make in their behalf: and further if the said or other person or persons having said Joseph Smith, Senr of said City of in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you, the of said , or other person authorized to serve the same are hereby required to arrest the person or persons so refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid and bring him or them, together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal Court aforesaid to be dealt with according to [p. 58]
to law; and herin fail not, and bring this writ with you.
L. S.
Witness, , Clerk of the Municipal Court at this 30th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three
, Clerk.
I , the within named, do hereby return this writ, with the body of Joseph Smith, Senior, with the following cause of Caption and detention to wit: The within named Joseph Smith was arrested on a warrant issued by the of the State of by one , a Constable of in the State of on the 23d day of June A. D. 1843 a copy of which warrant is hereunto annexed and marked letter <​A​> and delivered over to my custody as directed by said writ. The person of said Smith was, on said 23d of June in the County of & State of , by the said delivered over to my custody, and that I received and detained the said Smith in my custody by virtue of a certain warrant of Attorney issued by the of the State of a copy of which is hereto annexed, and marked letter <​B​>, directing me to receive the said Smith, and convey him to and deliver him to the Sherriff of in the State of & that the within detention referred to, is the same referred to and none other.
, June 30th A. D. 1843
Executive Department
City of
Know ye that I , Governor of the State of having full trust and confidence in the integrity and abilities of do hereby constitute and appoint him as the Agent of the said State of . to proceed to the State of , for the purpose of receiving from the proper authorities of that , one Joseph Smith, Junior, charged with treason by him committed against the State of , and as having fled from justice to the State of and I do hereby authorize and direct said to convey said Joseph Smith, Junr from the State of and deliver him to the custody of the Sherriff of in the State of .
L. S.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused to be affixed the great seal of the State of Done at the City of this 13th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three, by the Governor,
Jas L Minor Secretary of State [p. 59]
, Governor of the State of , to all Sherriffs and Constables of any county of the and to , of the County of greeting:
Whereas it has been made known to me by the Executive authority of the State of , that one Joseph Smith, Junior, stands charged with the crime of treason, against the State of , and alleged that Joseph Smith, Junior, has fled from the Justice of the said State of , and taken refuge in the State of .
Now therefore I , Governor of the State of , pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the & of this , do hereby command you to arrest & apprehend the said Joseph Smith, Junr, if he be found within the limits of the aforesaid, and cause him to be safely kept & delivered to the custody of Esqr, who has been duly constituted the Agent of the said State of to receive the said fugitive from the justice of said , he paying all fees and charges for the arrest and apprehension of said Joseph Smith, Junr and make due returns to the Executive department of this of the manner in which this writ may be executed.
L. S.
In testimony whereunto whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal Caused the great seal of the to be affixed
Done at the City of , this 17th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three, and of the Independence of the the Sixty seventh.
By the Governor
Thom[p]son Campbell Secretary of State
The following witnesses were examined viz , , , , and
sworn, Said that the defendant now in court is his brother, and that his name is not Joseph Smith, Junior, but his name is Joseph Smith Senior and has been for more than 2 years past. I have been acquainted with him ever since he was born, which was thirty seven years in December last, and I have not been absent from him at any one time, not even the space of six months since his birth, to my recollection, and have been intimately acquainted with all his sayings, doings, business transactions & movements, as much as any one man could be acquainted with another man’s business up to the present time and do know that he has not commited treason against any State in the , by any overt act or by levying War, or by aiding, or abetting or assisting an enemy in any State in the & that the said Joseph [p. 60]
Joseph Smith, Senior, has not committed treason in the State of , nor violated any law or rule of said , I being personally acquainted with the transactions and doings of said Smith, while <​whilst​> he resided in said , which was for about six months in the year 1838; I being also a resident in said during the same period of time, and I do know that said Joseph Smith, Senior never was subject to military duty in any State, neither was he in the State of , he being exempt by the amputation or extraction of a bone from his leg, and by his having a license to preach the Gospel, or being in other words a Minister of the Gospel, and I do know that said Smith never bore arms as a Military Man, in any capacity whatever, whilst in the State of or previous to that time, neither has he given any orders or assumed any command in any capacity whatever; but I do know that whilst he was in the State of , that the people <​commonly​> called Mormons were threatned with violence and extermination, and on or about the first Monday in August 1838 at the election at , the county seat in the citizens who were commonly called Morms were forbidden to exercise the rights of franchise and from that unhallowed circumstance an affray commenced, and a fight ensued among the citizens of that place and from that time a mob commenced gathering in that threatening the the exterminations of the Mormons; the said Smith and myself upon hearing that mobs were collecting together & that they had also murdered two of the citizens of the same place, and would not suffer them to be buried the said Smith and myself went over to to learn the particulars of the affray, but upon our arrival at we learned that none were killed but several were wounded— we tarried all night at Col. ’s the next morning, the next morning the weather being very warm and having been very dry for some time previously, the Springs and and Wells in that region were dried up, on mounting our horses to return we rode up to ’s who was then an acting Justice of the Peace to obtain some water for ourselves and horses; some few of the citizens accompanied us there, and after obtaining the refreshment of water, was asked by said Joseph Smith, Senior, if he would use his influence to see that the laws were faithfully executed and to put down mob violence, and he gave us a paper written by his own hand, stating that he would do so. He also requested him to call together the most influential men of the on the next day that we might have an interview with them, to this he acquiesced, and accordingly the next day, the<​y​> assembled at the house of and entered into a mutual covenant of peace to put down mob violence & to protect each other on in the enjoyment of their rights; after this we all parted with the best of feelings and each man returned to his own home. This mutual agreement of peace however did not last long for but a few days [p. 61]
days afterwards the mob began to collect again until several hundreds rendezvoused at a few miles distant from . They immediately commenced making aggressions upon the citizens called Mormons, taking away their hogs & Cattle and threatening them with extermination of utter extinction; saying that they had a cannon and there should be no compromise only at its mouth: frequently taking taking men, women & children prisoners, whipping them and lacerating their bodies with hickory withes and tying them to trees and depriving them of food until they were compelled to gnaw the bark from the trees to which they were bound in order to sustain life; treating them in the most cruel manner they could invent or think of and doing every they could to excite us indignation of the Mormon people to rescue them in order that they might make that a pretext of an accusation for the breach of the law, and that they might the better excite the prejudice of the populace & thereby get aid & assistance to carry out their hellish purposes of extermination. Immediately on the authentication of these facts, messengers were dispatched from to , Judge of the fifth judicial district of the State of , and also to , Commander in chief of that division, and giving them information of the existing facts and demanding immediate assistance. returned with the messengers and went immediately to and from then to , and he found the facts were true as reported to him;— that the citizens of that were assembled together in a hostile attitude to the amount of two or three hundred men, threatening the utter extermination of the Mormons, he immediately returned to and ordered out a sufficient military force to quell the mob. Immediately after they were dispersed & the army returned; the mob commenced collecting again soon after; we again applied for military aid when came out with a force of sixty armed men to ; but they were in such a State of insubordination that he said he could not control them and it thought adviseable by , & others that they should return home; ordered to call out the military of and defend the against the mob, for said he, you have great reason to be alarmed from the Platte country had come down with 200 armed men and had taken up their Station at Hunter’s mill, a place distant about 17 or 18 miles north west of the of the town of , and also that an armed force had collected at , in Carroll county, about 50 miles south east of , where about 70 families of the Mormon people had settled upon the bank of [p. 62]
at a little town called . Immediately a messenger, whilst he was yet talking came in from stating that three or four hundred men had assembled together at that place armed cap-a-pie, and that they threatened the utter extinction of the citizens of that place, if they did not leave the place immediately and that they had also surrounded the & cut of[f] all supplies of food, so that many of them were suffering with hunger. seemed to be very much alarmed and appeared to be willing to do all he could to assist and to relieve the sufferings of the Mormon people; he advised that a petition be immidiately got up & sent to the . A petition was accordingly prepared & a messenger dispatched immediately to the and another petition was sent to . The Mormon people throughout the country were in a great state of alarm and also in great distress: they saw themselves completely surrounded with armed forces on the north & on the north west and on the south and also who was a Methodist preacher and who was then a Captain over a militia company of 50 Soldiers, but who had added to his number out of the surrounding counties about a hundred more which made his force about 150 strong, was stationed at sending out his scouting parties, taking men, women & children prisoners, driving off cattle, hogs and horses, entering into every house on Log & Long Creeks, rifling their houses of their most precious articles, such as money, bedding and clothing taking all their old muskets and their rifles or military implements, threatening the people with instant death if they did not deliver up all their precious things and enter into a covenant to leave the or go into the city of by the next morning, saying that they calculated to drive the people into and then drive them to hell.” also was doing the same on the north west side of ; and , a Presbyterian minister, was the leader of the mob in ; and a very noted man of the same Society was the leader of the mob in Carroll county and they were also sending out their scouting parties, robbing and pillaging houses, driving away hogs horses & cattle taking men women & children and carrying them off, threatening their lives and subjecting them to all manner of abuses that they could invent or think of.
Under this state of alarm excitement and distress, the messengers returned from the and from the other authorities bringing the fatal news that the Mormons could have no assistance. They stated that the said that “the Mormons had got into a difficulty with the citizens & they might fight it out for all what he cared. He could not render them any assistance”
The people of were obliged to leave their homes and go into ; but did not until after Many of them had starved to death for want of proper sustenance & several died on the road their, and were buried [p. 63]
buried by the way side, without a coffin or a funeral ceremony, and the distress, sufferings, and privations of the people cannot be expressed. All the scatter scattered families of the Mormon people, in all the counties except , were driven into with but few exceptions.
This only increased their distress for many thousands who were driven there had no habitations or houses to shelter them, and were huddled together some in tents and others under blankets, while others had no shelter from the inclemincy of the Weather. Nearly two months the people had been in this awful state of consternation, many of them had been killed, whilst others had been whipped until they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out. About this time came out from Ray county, who was one of the commissioned officers who was sent out to and I myself and my brother Joseph Smith, Senior, went out at the same time. On the evening that arrived at , my brother, the late s came in to ’s about eleven o’clock at night, bringing her two children along with her, one about two years and a half old the other a babe in her arms. She came in on foot a distance of three miles and waded , and the water was then about waist deep and the snow about 3 inches deep. She stated that a party of the mob a gang of ruffians had turned her out of doors, had taken her household goods and had burned up her house and she had escaped with by the skin of her teeth.— Her at that time was in , and she was living alone. This cruel transaction excited the feeling of the people in especially and he asked in my hearing, how long we had to suffer such base violence <​treatment​>? said he did not know how long. then asked him what should be done? told him “he should take a company of men well armed and go and disperse the Mob wherever he should find them any collected together and take away their arms.” did so precisely according to the orders of . And my brother Joseph Smith, Senr made no words about it. And after had dispersed the mob and put a stop to their burning houses belonging to the Mormon people and turning women & children out of doors, which they had done up to that time to the amount of 8 or 10 houses which were consumed to ashes— after being cut short in their intended designs the Mob started up a new plan. They went to work and moved their families out of the and set fire to their houses and not being able to incense the Mormons to commit crimes; they had recourse to this stratagem to Set their houses on fire and send runners into all the counties ad [p. 64]
adjacent, to declare to the people that the Mormons had burned up their houses and destroyed their fields, and if the people would not believe them, they would tell them to go and see if what they had said was not true. Many people came to see they saw the houses burning and being filled with prejudice, they could not be made to believe but that the Mormons set them on fire, which deed was most diabolical and of the blackest kind for indeed the Mormons did not set them on fire nor meddle with their houses or their fields. And the houses that were burnt, together with the pre-emption rights, and the corn in the fields, had all been previously purchased by the Mormons of the people and paid for in money and with waggons and horses and with other property about two weeks before; but they had not taken possession of the premises; but this wicked transaction was for the purpose of clandestinely exciting the minds of a prejudiced populace and the , that they might get an order, that they could the more easily carry out their hellish purposes, in expulsion or extermination or utter extinction of the Mormon people. After witnessing the distressed situation of the people in , my brother Joseph Smith, Senior and myself returned back to the city of , and immediately dispatched a messenger with written documents to , stating the facts as they did then exist, praying for assistance if possible, and requesting the editor of the Far West to insert the same in his newspaper, but he utterly refused to do so. We still believed that we should get assistance from the and again petitioned him, praying for assistance, setting forth our distressed situation; and in the mean time the presiding of the Court issued orders— upon affidavits made to him by the citizens— to the of the , to order out the militia of the to stand in in constant readiness, night and day, to prevent the citizens from being massacred which fearfull situation they were exposed to every moment. Every thing was very portentous & alarming. Notwithstanding all this there was a ray of hope yet existing in the minds of the people that the the would render us assistance; and whilst the people were waiting anxiously for deliverance— men women & children frightened, praying and weeping— we beheld at a distance— crossing the prairies & approaching the , a large array <​army​> in military array, brandishing their glittering swords in the sunshine, and we could not but feel joyful for a moment, thinking that probably the had sent an order armed force to our relief, notwithstanding the awful forebodings that pervaded our breasts. But to our great surprise, when the army arrived they came up & formed a [p. 65]
a line in double file in one half mile in the east of the city of , and despapatched three messengers with a white flag to come to the . They were met by with a few other individuals, whose names I do not now recolect. I was myself standing close by & could very distinctly hear every word they said. Being filled with anxiety, I rushed forward to the spot, expecting to hear good news — but alas! and heart thrilling to every soul, that hear them— they demanded three persons to be brought out of the before they should massacre the rest. The names of the persons they demanded were , , & his wife. Immediately the three persons were brought forth to hold an interview with the officers who had made the demand, and the officers told them they had now a chance to save their lives, for they calculated to destroy the people & lay the in ashes. They replied to the officers and said, “If the people must be destroyed and the burned to ashes, they would remain in the and die with them.” The officers immediately returned and the army retreated & encamped about a mile and a half from the . A was immediately dispatched with a white flag from the of the militia <​of​> , requesting an interview with & ; but as the approached the camp, he was shot at by the Methodist preacher.
The name of the messenger was who is now Brigadier General in the . However, he gained permission to see . said that had been dismounted by a special order of the a few miles back and had been sent back to , Clay county. He also stated that the reason was that he () was too merciful to the Mormons & would not let him have the command, but had given it to who was from , & whose heart had become hardened by his former acts of rapine & bloodshed, he being one of the leaders in murdering, driving, plundering and burning some two or three hundred houses belonging to the Mormon people in that in the years 1833 & 1834.
requested to spare the people & not suffer them to be martyred massacred until the next morning, it then being evening. He cooly agreed that he would not & also said that “he had not as yet received the ’s order, but expected it every hour & should not make any further move until he had received it; but he would not make any promises so far as regarded ’s army.” he having arrived a few minutes previously & joined the main body of the army; he knowing at what hour to form a junction with the main body. then returned to the , giving this information.— The immediately dispatched a second messenger with a white flag, to request another interview with in [p. 66]
in order to touch his sympathy & compassion, and if were possible, for him to use his best endeavours to preserve the lives of the people. On the return of this messenger, we learned that several persons had been killed by some of the soldiers who were under the command of . One Mr Carey had his brains knocked out by the britch <​butt end​> of a gun & he lay bleeding several hours, but his family were not permitted to approach him, nor any one else allowed to administer relief to him whilst he lay upon the ground in the agonies of death. Mr Carey had just arrived in the country, from the State of of only a few hours previous to the arrival of the army. He had a family consisting of a wife & several small children. He was buried by who is now the Senior Warden of the Nauvoo Lodge. Another man of the name of was knocked in the head at the same time & his skull laid bare the width of a man’s hand & he lay, to all appearance in the agonies of death for several hours; but by the permission of his friend brought him out of the camp & with good nursing he slowly recovered, & is now living. There was another man, whose name is Powell who was beat on his head with the britch <​butt​> of a gun until his Skull was fractured & his brains run out in two or three places. He is now alive & resides in this but has lost the use of his senses. Several persons of his family were also left for dead, but have since recovered. These acts of barbarity were also committed by the soldiers under the command of previous to having received the ’s order of extermination.
It was on the evening of the 30th of Octr according to the best of my recollection that the army arrived at , the sun about half an hour high. In a few moments afterwards, arrived with his army & formed a junction. This had been stationed at Hunters Mills for about two months previous to that time,— committing depredations upon the inhabitants, capturing men, women & children & carrying them off as prisoners lacerating their bodies with hickory withes. The army of “” were painted like Indians, some of them were more conspicuous than were others, designated by red spots, & he, also was painted in a similar manner, with red spots marked on his face & sty[l]ed the “Delaware Chief.” They would whoop & holl-a & yell as nearly like Indians as they could & continued to do so all that night. In the morning early the of Militia sent a messenger into the camp with a white flag to have another interview with On his return he informed us that the s orders had arrived. said that “the order of the was, to exterminate the Mormons by God, but he would be damned if he obeyed that order, but might <​do​> what he pleased.” We immediately learned from that “the ’s order that had arrived was only a copy of the original & that the original order was in the hands of , who was on his way to [p. 67]
to , with an additional army of six thousand men. Immediately after this, there came into the a messenger from , bringing the intelligence of an awful massacre of the people who were residing in that place, and that a force of two or three hundred, detached from the main body of the army, under the superior command of Colonel Ashley, but under the immediate command of Captain , who, the day previous had promised them peace & protection, but on receiving a copy of the ’s order “to exterminate or to expel” from the hands of Coloneel Ashley, he returned upon them the following day & surprised & massacreed the whole population of the , & then came on to the town of & & entered into conjunction with the main body of the army. The messenger informed us that he himself with a few others fled into the thickets, preserved them from the Massacre & on the following morning they returned & collected the dead bodies of the people & cast them into a well & there were upwards of twenty who were dead or mortally wounded & there are several of the wounded who are now living in this .— One of the name of Yocum has lately had his leg amputated in consequence of wounds he then received. He had a ball shot through his head which entered near his eye & came out at the back part of his head, and another ball passed through one of his arms.
The army, during all the while they had been encamped in , continued to lay waste fields of Corn, making hogs, sheep & cattle common plunder & shooting them down for sport. One man shot a cow & took a strip of her skin the width of his hand, from her head to her tail & tied it around a tree to slip his halter into to tie his horse unto <​with​>. The was surrounded with a strong guard & no man woman or child was permitted to go out or come in under the penalty of death. Many of the citizens were shot in attempting to go out to obtain sustenance for themselves & families. There was one field fenced in consisting of twelve hundred acres mostly covered with corn. It was entirely laid waste by the horses of the army & the next day after the army towards evening, came up from the camp, requesting to see my brother Joseph, , , , and , stating that the officers of the army wanted a mutual consultation with those men, also stating that Generals , & Graham— (however General Graham is an honorable exception; he did all he could to preserve the lives of the people, contrary to the order of the ,)— he , assured them that these generals had pledged their sacred honor that they should not be abused or insulted but should be guarded back <​in safety​> in the morning, or so soon as the consultation was over. My brother Joseph replied that he did not know what good he could do in any conn [p. 68]
consultation as he was only a private individual; however he said <​that​> he was always willing to do all the good he could & would obey every law of the land & then leave the event with God. They immediately started with , to go down into the camp As they were going down about half way to the camp, they met with a phalanx of men with a wing to the right & to the left & a four pounder in the centre. They supposed he was coming with this strong force to guard them into the camp in Safety; but to their surprise, when they came up to he ordered his men to surround them & stepped up to the & said, “These are the prisoners I agreed to deliver up” drew his & said gentlemen you are my prisoners, and about that time the main army were on their march to meet them. They came up in two divisions & opened to the right & left & my brother & his friends were marched down through their lines, with a strong guard in front & the cannon in the rear, to the camp amidst the whoopings, hollowings <​howlings​>, yellings & shoutings of the army which was so horrid & terrific that it frightened the inhabitants of the . It is impossible to describe the feelings of horror & distress of the people. After being thus betrayed they were placed under a strong guard of thirty men armed cap-a-pie which they relieved every two hours. There they were compelled to lay on the cold ground that night & were told in plain language, that they need never to expect their liberties again. So far for their honors pledged. However this was as much as could be expected from a mob under the garb of military & executive authority in the state of . On the next day, the soldiers were permitted to patrol the Streets to abuse & insult the people at their leisure & enter into houses & pillage them & ravish them women, taking away every gun & every other kind of arms or military implements: and about twelve o’Clock on that day came to my house with an armed force, opened the door & called me out of doors & delivered me up as a prisoner unto that force. They surrounded me & commanded me to march into the camp. I told them I could not go: my family were sick, & I was sick myself, & could not leave home, They said they did not care for that— I must & should go. I asked when they would permit me to return. They made me no answer but forced me along with the point of the bayonetts into the Camp, & put me under the same guard with my brother Joseph— and within about half an hour afterwards, was also brought & placed under the same guard.— There we were compelled to stay all that night & lie on the ground but along sometime in the same night came to me & told me that he had been pleading my case before the Court Martial but he was afraid he should not succeed. He said there was, a [p. 69]
a Court Martial then in session, consisting of thirteen or fourteen officers Circuit Judge & District Attorney; also Presbyterian priest & about 20 other priests of the other different religious denominations in that country. He said they were determined to shoot us on the next morning in the public square in . I made him no reply. On the next morning about sunrise ordered his brigade to take up the line of march & leave the camp. He came to us where we were under guard to shake hands with us & bid us farewell. His first salutation was. “By God you have been sentenced by the Court Martial, to be shot this morning: but I will be damned if I will have any of the honor of it, or any of the disgrace of it: therefore I have ordered my brigade to take up the line of march & to leave the camp, for I consider it to be cold blooded murder, and I bid you farwell,” & he went away. This movement of made considerable excitement in the army & there was considerable whisperings amongst the officers. We listened very attentively, & frequently heard it mentioned by the guard, that the damned Mormons would not be shot at this time, In a few moments the guard was relieved with a new set; one of those new guard said that the damned Mormons would not be shot this time for the movement of had frustrated the the whole plan & that the officers had called another court martial & had ordered us to be taken to & there to be executed and in a few moments two large Waggons drove up & we were ordered to get into them & while we were getting into them there came up four or five men armed with guns who drew up & snapped their guns at us, in order to kill us, Some flashing in the pan & others only snapped, but none of their guns went off They were immediately arrested by several officers & their guns taken from them & the drivers drove off. We requested of to let us go to our houses & get some clothing in order to <​do​> this, we had to be drove up into the — It was with much difficulty, we could get his permission to go & see our families & get some clothing, but after considerable consultation we were permitted to go under a strong guard of five or six men to each of us, and we were not permitted to speak to any one of our families under the pain of death. The guard that went with me, ordered my to get me some clothes immediately, within two minutes, & if she did not do it, I should go off without them. I was obliged to submit to their tyrranical orders, however painful it was with my & children clinging to my arms & to the Skirts of my garments & was not permitted to utter to them a word of consolation, & in a moment was hurried away from them at the point of the bayonet. We were hurried back to the wagons and ordered into them, all in about the same space of time. In the mean while our , and , & sisters, had forced their way to the wagons to get permission to [p. 70]
to see us, but were forbidden to speak to us & they immediately drove off for We travelled about twelve miles that evening & encamped for the night. The same strong guard was kept around us & were relieved every two hours, & we were permitted to sleep on the ground, the nights were then cold, with considerable snow on the ground & for the want of covering & clothing, we suffered extremely with the cold. That night was a commencement of a fit of sickness from which I have not wholly recovered unto this day, in consequence of my exposure to the inclemency of the weather. Our provision was fresh beef roasted in the fire on a stick; the army having no bread in consequence of the want of Mills to grind the grain. In the morning at the dawn of day, we were forced on our journey, & were exhibited to the inhabitants along the road; the same as they exhibit a carravan of elephants or camels. We were examined from head to foot, by men, women & children, only I believe they did not make us open our mouths to look at our teeth. This treatment was continued incessantly until we arrived at in . After our arrival at , we were driven all through the for inspection & then we were ordered into an old log house & there kept under guard as usual, until supper, which was served up to us as we sat upon the floor; or on billets of Wood, & we were compelled to stay in that house all that night & the next day. They continued to exhibit us to the public, by letting the people come in & examine us & then go away & give place for others, alternately all that day & the next night, but on the morning of the following day we were all permitted to go to the tavern to eat & to sleep, but afterward the<​y​> made us pay our own expences, for board, lodging & attendance, & for which they made a most exorbitant charge. We remained in the tavern about two days & two nights when an officer arrived with authority from to take us back to , Ray county, where the had arrived with his army, to await our arrival there: but on the morning of our start for we were informed by , that it was expected by the Soldiers that we would be hung by the necks on the road, while on the march to that place & that it was prevented by a demand made for us by who had the command in consequence of Seniority, & that it was his prerogative to execute us himself: and he should give us up into the hands of the officer, who would take us to & he might do with us as he pleased. During our stay at the officers informed us that there were eight or ten horses in that place belonging to the Mormon people, which had been Stolen by the Soldiers & that we might have two of them to ride upon if we would cause them to be sent back to the owners, after our arrival at . We accepted of them & they were rode to & the owners came there & got them. We started in the morning under our new officer of Keytsville, Chariton county, with [p. 71]
with several other men to guard us over. We arrived on Friday morning the 9th day of November, and were thrust into an old log house, with a strong guard <​placed​> over us. After we had been there for the space of half an hour, there came in a man who was said to have some notoriety in the penitentiary, bringing in his hands a quantity of chains & padlocks, he said he was commanded by to put us in chains. Immediately the soldiers rose up & pointing their guns at us, placed their thumb on the cock, & their finger on the trigger; and the ’s prison keeper went to work: putting a chain around the leg of each man & fastening it on with a padlock until they were all chained together; seven of us.
In a few moments came in , we requested to know of him what was the cause of all this harsh treatment.— He refused to give us any information at that time; but said he would in a few days; so we were compelled to continue in that situation camping on the floor all chained together, without any chance or means to be made comfortable; having to eat our victuals as it was served up to us using our fingers & teeth instead of knives & forks. Whilst we were in this situation a young man of the name of brother in law to my brother came to see us & put up at the tavern where made his quarters, he happened to come in time to see make choice of his men to shoot us on Monday morning the 12th day of November, he saw them make choice of their rifles & load them with two balls in each, and after they had prepared their guns saluted them by saying “Gentlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the Mormon leaders, on Monday morning at eight O’Clock!” But in consequence of the influence of our friends the heathen was intimidated, so that he durst not carry his murderous designs into & sent a messenger immediately to Fort Leavensworth to obtain the military code of laws. After the messenger’s returned the was employed nearly a whole week, examining the laws, so Monday passed away without our being Shot, however it seemed like foolishness to me for so great a man as pretended to be, should have to search the military law to find out whether preachers of the gospel, who never did military duty could be subject to court martial. However the seemed to learn that fact after searching the military code and came into the old log cabin where we were under guard & in chains & told us he had concluded to deliver us up to the civil authorities; as persons guilty of treason, murder , , theft & stealing. The poor deluded did not know the difference between theft, larceny & stealing. Accordingly we were handed over to the pretended civil authorities, and the next morning our chains were taken off & we were guarded to the court house, where there was a pretended court in session; being the judge & the district attorney, the two extremely & very honorable gentlemen who sat on the court martial when we were sentenced to be Shot. Witnesses [p. 72]
Witnesses were called up & sworn at the point of the bayonet, & if they would not swear to thing<​s​> they were told to do, they were threatned with instant death, & I do know, positively, that the evidence given in by those men, whilst under duress, was false. This state of things was continued twelve or fourteen days, & after that time we were ordered by the to introduce some rebutting evidence, saying, if we did not do it we would be thrust into prison. I could hardly understand what the meant, for I considered we were in prison already & could not think of anything but the persecutions of the days of Nero. knowing that it was a religious persecution & the court an inquisition; however we gave him the names of forty persons who were acquainted with all the persecutions & sufferings of the people. The made out subpoena & inserted the names of those men & caused it to be placed in the hands of , the notorious Methodist Minister and he took 50 fifty armed Soldiers & started for . I saw the Subpoena given to him & his company when they started. In the course of a few days they returned with most of all those forty men whose names were inserted in the subpoena & thrust them into jail & we were not permitted to bring one of them before the court, but the turned upon us with an air of indignation & said, gentlemen you must get your witnesses or you shall be committed to jail immidiately; for we are not going to hold the court open on expence much longer for you any how. We felt very much distressed & oppressed at that time. said, what shall we do<​?​>— our witnesses are all thrust into prison and probably will be & we have no power to do any thing of course we must submit to this tyrrany & oppression, we cannot help ourselves. Several others made similar expressions in the agony of their souls; but my brother Joseph did not say any thing, he being sick at that time with the toothache & ague in his face, in consequence of a severe cold brought on by being exposed to the severity of the weather. However it was considered best by & Lawyer , that we should try to get some witnesses before the pretended court. Accordingly I <​myself​> gave the names of about twenty other persons; the inserted them in a subpoena and caused it to be put into the hands of the Methodist priest and he again started of<​f​> with his fifty soldiers, to take those men prisoners as he had done to the forty others. The sat & laughed at the good opportunity of getting the names that they might the more easily capture them & so bring them down to be thrust into prison in order to prevent us from getting the truth before the pretended court, of which himself was the chief inquisitor or conspirator. returned from his second expedition with one prisoner only, whom he also thrust into prison.
The [p. 73]
The people at had learned the intrigue & left the , having been made acquainted with the treatment of the former witnesses. But we on learning that we could not obtain witnesses, whilst privately consulting with each other what we should do discovered a Mr Allen standing by the window on the outside of the house, we beckoned to him as though we would have him come in he immediately came in. At that time retorted upon us again, saying, are you not going to introduce some witnesses; also saying it was the last day he should hold the court open for us & if we did not rebut the testimony that had been given against us, he should have to commit us to Jail. I had then got Mr Allen into the house & before the court, so called. I told the we had one witness if he would be so good as to put him under oath; he seemed unwilling to do so, but after a few moments consultation, the s arose & said he should object to that witness being sworn & that he should object to that witness giving in his evidence at all, stating that this was not a Court to try the case, but only a Court of investigation on the part of the . Upon this arose & said he would be God damned if the witness should not be sworn & that it was a damned shame that these defendants should be treated in this manner; that they could not be permitted to get one witness before the court, whilst all their witnesses even forty at a time, have been taken by force of arms & thrust into that “bull pen” in order to prevent them from giving their testimony After sat down the permitted the witness to be sworn & enter upon his testimony. But so soon as he began to speak a man by the name of Cook, who a brother in law to priest , the Methodist & who was a lieutenant & whose place at that time was to superintend the guard, stepped in before the pretended court & took him by the nape of his neck & jammed his head down, under the pole or log of wood, that was placed up around the place where the inquisition was sitting, to keep the bystanders from intruding upon the majesty of the inquisiton & jammed him along to the door & kicked him out of doors. He instantly turned to some soldiers who were standing by him & said to them “go & shoot him, damn him, shoot him, damn him.”
The soldiers ran after the man to shoot him, he fled for his life & with great difficulty made his escape. The pretended court immediately arose & we were ordered to be carried to , Clay county, & there to be thrust into jail. We endeavored to find out for what cause but all that we could learn was because we were Mormons. The next morning a large wagon drove up to the door & a blacksmith came into the [p. 74]
the house with some chains & handcuffs, he said his orders were from the to handcuff us, & chain us together, he informed us that the had made out a & sentenced us to jail for treason, he also said the had done this that we might not get bail, he also said the stated his intention to keep us in jail until all the Mormons were driven out of the ; he also said that the had farther stated that if he let us out before the Mormons had left the , that we would not let them leave & there would be another damned fuss kicked up; I also heard the say myself while <​whilst​> he was sitting in his pretended court, that there was no law for us nor <​for​> the Mormons in the State of ; that he had sworn to see them exterminated & to see the s order executed to the very letter & that he would do so; however, the blacksmith proceeded & put the irons upon us & we were ordered into the wagon & they drove off, for Clay county and as we journ[ey]ed along one the road, we were exhibited to the inhabitants & this course was adopted all the way, thus making a public exhibition of us, until we arrived at , Clay county. There we were thrust into prison again & locked up— and were held in close confinement, for the space of six months & our place of lodging was the square side of a white oak log— & our food was any thing but good & decent; poison was administered to us three or four times, the effect it had upon our system was, that it vomited us always <​almost​> to death & there we would lay some two or three days in a torpid stupid state not even eating or wishing for life. The poison being administered in too large doses or it would inevitably have proved fatal, had not the power of Jehovah interposed in our behalf, to save us from their wicked purposes. We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh, for the space of five days or go without food exept a little coffee or Corn bread the latter I chose to the former. We none of us partook of the flesh except , we also heard the guard which was placed over us making sport of us saying that they had fed us upon “Mormon beef” I have described this <​the​> appearance of this flesh to several experienced physicians & they have decided that it was human flesh. We learned afterwards by one of the guard that it was <​supposed​> that that act of savage cannibalism in feeding us with human flesh would be considered a popular deed of notoriety; but the people on learning that it would not take, tried to keep it secret, but the fact was noised abroad before they took that precaution. Whilst we were incarcerated in prison we petitioned the Supreme Court of the State of for , twice, but were refused both times by who [p. 75]
who is now the Governor of that . We also petitioned one of the judges for a write of which was granted in about three weeks afterwards, but were not permitted to have any trial we were only taken out of Jail & kept out for a few hours & then remanded back again. In the course of three or four days after that time came into the jail in the evening & said he had permitted to get bail, but said he had to do it in the night & had also to get away in the night & unknown to any of the citizens, or they would kill him for they had sworn to kill him if they could find him, & as to the rest of us he dared not let us go for fear of his own life as well as ours. He said it was damned hard to be confined under such circumstances for he knew we were innocent men & he said the people also knew it & that it was only <​a​> persecution & treachery, and the scenes of acted over again, for fear that we would become too numerous in that upper country. He said the plan was concocted from the down to the lowest judge & that that damned priest, Riley, who was riding into every day to watch the people stirring up the minds of the people against us all he could exciting them & stirring & up their religious prejudices against us for fear they would let us go. , however, got bail & made his escape to . The jailer Samuel Tillery, Esqr to<​ld​> us also, that the whole plan was concocted by the down to the lowest judge in that upper country, early in the previous Spring, & that the plan was more fully carried out at the time that went down to , with Generals & , the self styled “Delaware Chief.” This was sometime in the month of Seper, when the mob were collected at , in Carroll county He also told us that the was now ashamed enough of the whole transaction & would be glad to set us at liberty, if he dared to do it: but said he “you need not be concerned, for the has laid a plan for your release.” He also said that the s attorney was appointed to be Circuit Judge on the circuit passing through , & that he () was instructed to fix the papers so that we would be sure to be clear of any incumbrance in a very short time. Sometime in April we were taken to as they said, to have a trial but when we arrived at that place, instead of finding a court or a jury, we found another inquisition & who was the district attorney, the same man who was one of the court martial when we were sentenced to death, was now the circuit judge of that pretended court: & the grand jury that was impannelled, were all at the massacre at , & lively actors in that awful, solemn, disgraceful, cool blooded [p. 76]
blooded murder, & all the pretence they made of excuse, they, had done it, because the ordered them to do it. The same jury, sat as a jury in the day time and placed over us as a guard in the night time, they tantalized & boasted over us of their great achievements at & at other places, telling us how many houses they had burned, & how many sheep, cattle & hogs they had driven off, belonging to the mormons & how many rapes they had committed & what squealing & killing there was among the damned bitches; saying they had lashed one woman upon one of the damned mormon meeting benches tying her hands & her feet fast & sixteen of them abused her as much as they had a mind to & then left her bound & exposed in that distressed condition Those fiends of the lower region boasted of these acts of barbarity & tantalized our feelings for ten days. We had heard of these acts of cruelty previous to this time but we were slow to believe that such acts of cruelty had been perpetrated The lady who was the subject of their brutality, did not recover health, to be able to help herself for more than three months afterwards. This grand jury constantly celebrated achievements with grog & glass in hand like the Indian warriors at their war dances, singing & telling each other of their exploits, in murdering the Mormons, in plundering their houses & carrying off their property: at the end of every song, they would bring in the chorus: “God damn God, God damn Jesus Christ, God damn the Presbyterians, God damn the Baptists, God damn the Methodists” reiterating one sect after another in the same manner until they came to the mormons to them it was God damn the God damn mormons; we have sent them to hell!’ Then they would slap their hands & shout hosanna, hosanna glory to God & fall down on their backs & kick with their feet a few moments then they would pretend to have swooned away in a glorious trance in order to imitate some of the transactions at camp meetings. Then they would pretend to come out of their trance & would shout & again slap their hands & jump up, while one would take a bottle of Whiskey and a tumbler & turn it out full of Whiskey & pour it down each others necks, crying ‘damn it take it, you must take it;” & if any one refused to drink the whiskey, others would clinch him <​and hold him​> whilst another poured it down his neck & what did not go down the inside, went down the outside this is part of the farce acted out by the grand jury of , whilst they stood over us as guards, for 10 nights successively. And all this in the presence of the great , who had previously said in our hearing that there was no law for the Mormons in the State of . His brother was then acting as district attorney in that circuit and if any thing was a greater cannibal than the . After all these ten [p. 77]
ten days of drunkness, we were informed that we indicted for treason, , murder, , theft & stealing. We asked for a change of venue from that to Marion County, but they would not grant it; but they gave us a change of venue from to ; and a was made out, by the pretended without date, name or place. The<​y​> fitted us out with a two horse wagon & horses & four men besides the Sheriff, to be our guard; there were five of us. We started from , the sun about two hours high P. M. and went as far as , that evening & staid till morning. There we bought two horses of the guard & paid for one of them in our clothing, which we had with us & for the other we gave our note. We went down that day as far as ’s, a distance of some four or five miles. Their we staid until the <​next​> morning, where we started on our journey to , & travelled on the road about twenty miles distance. There we bought a jug of whiskey, with which we treated the company & while there the sheriff shewed us the mittimus, before referred to, without date or signature, and said that never to carry us to & never to shew the ; and said he, I shall take a good drink of grog, & go to bed & you may do as you have a mind to. Three others of the guard pretty freely of whiskey, sweetned with honey, they also went to bed & were soon asleep, & the other guard went along with us & helped to saddle the horses. Two of us mounted the horses & the other three started on foot & we took our change of venue for the State of & in the course of nine of <​or​> ten days, arrived safely a<​t​> , Adams county, where we found our families in a State of poverty, although in good health; they having been driven out of the previously by the murderous militia, under the exterminating order of the of ; and now, the people of that , a portion of them, would be glad to make the people of this believe that my brother Joseph has committed treason, for the purpose of keeping up their murderous & hellish persecution, and they seem to be unrelenting & thirsting for the blood of innocence, for I do know most possitively that my brother has not committed treason, nor violated one Solitary item of law or rule in the State of .
But I do know that the Mormon people en masse were driven out of that , after being robbed of all they had, & they bearely escaped with their lives, as well as my brother Joseph who barely escaped with his life, his family also was robbed of all the<​y​> had & barely escaped with the Skin of their teeth & all of this in consequence of the exterminating order of , the same being confirmed by the Legislature of that . And I do know— so does this court, & every rational man who is acquainted with the circumstances, & every man who shall hereafter [p. 78]
hereafter become acquainted with the particulars thereof— will know, that & Generals , & W also have committed treason upon the citizens of & did violate the Constitution of the & also the Constitution & laws of the State of and did exile & expel at the point of the bayonet, some twelve or fourteen thousand inhabitants from the & did murder some three or four hundreds of men women & children in cold blood & in the most horrid & cruel manner possible and the whole of it was caused by religious bigotry & persecution, because the Mormons dared to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences & according agreeably to His divine will, as revealed in the Scriptures of eternal truth & had turned away from following the vain traditions of their fathers & would not worship according to the dogmas & commandments of those men who preach for hire & divine for money & teach for doctrine the commandments <​precepts​> of men, expecting that the constitution of the would have protected them thereein. But notwithstanding the mormon people had purchased upwards of two hundred thousand dollars worth of land, most of which was entered & paid for at the land office of the in the State of and although the of the has been made acquainted with these facts & the particulars of our persecutions & oppressions, by petition to him, & to Congress, yet they have not even attempted to restore the Mormons to their rights or any assurance that we may hereafter expect redress from them. And I do also know most possitively and assuredly that my brother Joseph Smith, Senior, has not been in the State of since the Spring of the year 1839. And further this saith not
sworn. Says that he fully concurs in the testimony of the preceding , so far as he is acquainted with the same & that Joseph Smith has not been known as Joseph Smith, Junior for the time stated by , (during the persecutions of our people in ). He was an eye witness of most of the Scenes testified to by said during the persecutions of our people in . That during the latter part of Summer & fall in the year 1838 there were large bodies of the mob assembled in various places, for the avowed object of killing, driving, robbing, plundering & exterminating the Mormons & actually committed many murders & other depredations as related by the preceding . The was <​frequently​> petitioned as also the other [p. 79]
other authorities for redress & protection. At length the Judge of the Circuit Court of the Fi[f]th Judicial District, ordered out somewhere near a thousand men for the avowed purpose of quelling the mob & protecting the Mormons. These being under arms for several weeks, did, in some measure prevent the mob’s proceedings for some time, after which withdrew the force, refusing to put the to further expense, for our protection, without orders from the . The mobs then again collected in great numbers Carroll, & counties & expressed their determination to drive the Mormons from the or kill them. They did actually drive them from , firing upon some & taking others prisoners. The<​y​> turned a man by the name of and family out of doors when sick, & plundered his house & burned it before his eyes. They also plundered the citizens generally, taking their lands houses & property. Those whose lives were spared, precipitately fled to in the utmost distress & consternation. Some of them actually died on the way, through exposure, suffering & destitution. Other parties of the mob were plundering & burning houses in ; & another party of the mob were ravaging the south part of , in a similar manner. The was again & again petitioned for redress & protection, but utterly refused to render us any assistance whatever. Whatev Under these painfull & distressing circumstances we had the advice of Generals , & , to call out the militia of & counties, which was mostly composed of Mormons, & to make a general defence. The pres[i]ding Judge of , gave orders to the of said to call out the militia. They were called out under the command of who held a commission from the & was the highest military officer in the . This force effectually dispersed in several places & a portion of them were so organized in the city of , that they could assemble themselves upon the shortest notice & were frequently ordered out to assemble in the public square of said in cases of emergency. These proceedings against the mob being misrepresented by designing men, both to the & other authorities & people of the , caused great excitement against the Mormons. Many tried to have it understood that the Mormons were in open rebellion & making war upon the . With these pretences issued the following exterminating order;
Head Quarters of the Militia
City of
October 27th 1838.
Since the order of the morning to you directing you to come, with [p. 81]
with four hundred mounted men, to be raised within your Division. I have received by Esqr, & Wiley C. Williams Esqr one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes entirely the face of things & places the Mormons in the attitude of an avowed defiance of the Laws & of having made war upon the people of the . Your orders are therefore to hasten your operations & endeavor to reach in with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies & must be exterminated or driven from the if necessary for the public peace. Their outrageous <​outrages​> are beyond all description, If you can increase your force you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Major General Wollock of Marion county, to raise five hundred men & to march them to the northern part of & their to unite with of who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express. You can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead therefore, of proceeding as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of in their houses you will proceed immediately to & their operate against the Mormons. of has been ordered to have four hundred of his Brigade in readiness to join you at . The whole force will be placed under your command.
Governor & Commander in Chief
In the mean time & both of (who had five years previously assisted in driving about twelve hundred Mormon citizens from that , besides burning two hundred & three houses & assisted in murdering several & plundering the rest) raised forces to the amount of several thousand men & appeared before the city of in battle array. A few of the Militia then paraded in front of the , which causes the cowardly assailants to come to a halt at about a mile distant in full view of the . A messenger arrived from them & demanded three persons before they massacred the rest & laid the in ashes. The names of the persons demanded were . & his wife. They gave no information who this army were, nor by what authority they came; neither had we at that time any knowledge of the ’s order, nor any of these movements, the mail having <​been​> designedly stopped by our enemies for three weeks previously. We had Supposed on [p. 82]
on their first appearance, that they were friendly troops sent for our protection but on receiving this alarming information of their wicked intentions we were much surprised & sent a with a white flag to inquire of them who they were, & what they wanted of us & by whose authority they came. This flag was fired upon by the Methodist priest who afterwards told me the same with his own mouth. After several attempts however, we got an interview by which we learned who they were & that they pretended to have been sent by the to exterminate our people. Upon learning this fact no resistance was offered to their wills or wishes. They demanded the arms of the Militia & forcibly took them away. They requested that Mr Joseph Smith & other leaders of the church should come into their Camp for consultation giving them a sacred promise of protection & safe return. Accordingly Messrs Joseph Smith , , & myself, started in company with , to their camp, when we were <​soon​> abruptly met by with several hundreds of his soldiers in a hostile manner who immediately Surrounded us & set up the most hideous yells that might have been supposed to have been proceeded from the mouths of demons & marched us as prisoners to their lines. There we were detained for two days & nights & had to sleep on the ground in the cold month of Novvember in the midst of rain & mud.— were continually surrounded with a strong guard whose mouths were filled with cursing & bitterness, blackguardism & blasphemy; who offered us every abuse & insult in their power both by night & day; and many individuals of the army cocked their rifles & taking deadly aim at our heads, swore they would shoot us. While under these circumstances, our ears were continually shocked with the relation of the horrid deeds they had committed & which they boasted of. They related the circumstance in detail of having the previous day, disarmed a certain man in his own house, & took him prisoner & afterwards beat out his brains with his own gun!! in presence of their officers. They told of other individuals laying here & there in the brush, whom they had shot down without resistance & who were laying unburied for the hogs to feed upon, they also named one or two individual females of our Society, whom they had forcibly bound & twenty or thirty <​of them​> one after another committed rape upon. One of these females was a daughter of a respectable family, with whom I have been long acquainted & with whom I have since conversed & learned that it was truly the case Delicacy at present forbids my mentioning the names. I also heard several of the soldiers acknowledge & boast of having stolen money in one place clothing & bedding in another & horses in another, whilst corn pork & & [p. 83]
& beef, were taken by the Whole army to support the men & horses & in many cases cattle, hogs & sheep were Shot down & only a small portion of them used, the rest left to waste, of these crimes of which the soldiers boasted, the general officers freely conversed & corroborated the Same. And even who professed to be opposed to such proceedings acknowledged the truth of them, & gave us several particulars in detail. I believe the name of the man whose brains they knocked out, was Carey; and another individual who had his chest broken open & several hundred dollars in specie taken out was the same whose house the mob burned at . After the mormons were all disarmed gave them a compulsory order for men, women & children to leave the forthwith without any exceptions, counting a mercy to spare their lives on these conditions. Whilst these things were proceeding, instead of releasing us from confinement & were forcibly added to our number as prisoners & under a large military escort, commanded by , before mentioned, we were all marched to , a distance of between fifty & sixty miles, leaving our families & our friends at their mercy, in a destitute condition, to prepare for a journey of more than two hundred miles at the approach of winter without our protection & every moment exposed to robbery, ravishment & other insult, their property robbed & their houses & lands already wrested from them.
We were exhibited like a caravan of wild animals on the way & in the streets of & were also kept prisoners for a show for several days. In the mean time a had been sent by , with an aditional force of six thousand men from the lower country, to join in his operations against the Mormons He soon arrived before with his army & confirmed all & highly commended them for their virtue, forbearance, & other deeds in bringing about so peaceable & amicable an adjustment of affairs. He kept up the same scene of ravage, plunder, ravishment & depredation for the Support & enrichment of his army— even burning the houses and fences for fuel. He also insisted that every man, woman & child of the Mormon Society, should leave the except such as he detained for as prisoners, stating that the had sent him to exterminate them but that he would as a mercy spare their lives & give them until the first of April following to get out of the . He also compelled them at the point of the bayonet, to sign a deed of trust of all their real estate to defray the expences of what he called the “Mormon War.” After arranging all these matters to [p. 84]
to the satisfaction of the <​to his​> satisfaction, he returned to , thirty miles distant taking about sixty heads of families with him, & marching them through a severe snow storm, on foot as prisoners leaving their families in a perishing condition.
Having established his head quarters at , Ray county, he sent to & demanded us to be given up to him. We were accordingly transported some thirty or forty miles, delivered over to him & put in close confinement, in chains under a strong guard. At length we obtained an interview with him & inquired why we were detained as prisoners. I said to him, Sir, we have now been prisoners under the most aggravating circumstances for two or three weeks, during which time we have received no information as to why we are prisoners or for what object as no write has been served upon us. We are not detained by the civil law & as ministers of the gospel in times of peace who never bear arms we cannot be considered prisoners of war, especially as there has been no war. And from present appearances we can hardly be considered prisoners of Hope. Why then these bonds? Said he, you were taken to be tried. Tried by what authority, said I. By court martial replied he. By court martial?, said I, Yes, said he.— How says I can men who are not military men but ministers of the gospel, be tried by court martial, in this country where every man has a right to be tried by a jury? He replied it was according to the treaty with on the part of the State of & , the commanding officer of the Fortress of the , on the part of the Mormons & in according with the ’s order. And, said he, I approve of all that has done & am determined to see it fulfilled. Said I was only but a Colonel of the militia & commissioned by the & the Mormons had no Fortress, but were, in common with others, citizens of & therefore we recognize no authority in to sell our liberties for us or make treaties for us.
Several days afterwards, again entered our prison & said he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities. Accordingly we were soon brought before of the 5th Fifth circuit where an examination was commenced, & witnesses sworn at the point of the bayonet & threatened on pain of death if they did not swear to that which would suit the court. During this examination. I heard ask one of the witnesses, who was a Mormon, if he & his friends intended to live any longer on their lands then April & to plant crops? Witness replied, why not? The replied, if you once think to plant crops or to occupy your lands any longer than the first of April, the citizens will be against upon you; they [p. 85]
they will kill you every one, men, women, & children & leave you to manure the ground without a burial. They have been mercifully withheld from doing this on the present occasion, but will not be restrained for the future. On examing a mormon witness for the purpose of Substantiating the charge of Treason against Mr Smith. He questioned him concerning our religious faith: First Do the mormons send missionaries to foreign nations? The witness answered in the affirmative. Secondly. Do the mormons believe a certain passage in the Book of Daniel? naming the passage, which reads as follows: “And the kingdom & Dominion & the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom & all dominions shall serve & obey him Dan. VII & 27. On being answered in the affirmative, the ordered the scribe to put it down as a strong point for treason; but this was too much for a lawyer to bear, he remonstrated such a course of proceedure, but in vain. Said he you had better make the Bible treason. After an examination of this kind, for many days, some were set at liberty, others admitted out on bail & themselves & bail expelled from the forthwith, with the rest of the Mormon citizens
And Joseph Smith, , , & others were committed to the jail for further trial. Two or three others & myself were put into the jail at for the same purpose.
The Mormon people now began to leave the agreeably to the exterminating order of . Ten or twelve thousand left the during the winter & fled to the State of . A small number of Widows & the poor together with my family & some of the friends of the other prisoners still lingered in , when a small band of armed Men entered the & committed many depredations and threatened life; and swore if my & children & others whom they named were not out of the in so many days, they would kill them as the time now drew near for the completion of the exterminating order of . Accordingly my & children & others, left the as best they could; wandered to the State of , there to get a living among Strangers, without a husband, father or protector. Myself & party still remained in prison, after all the other Mormons had left the & even Mr Smith & his party, had escaped to bring up the rear. In June by change of venue, we were removed from to Columbia, Boon county upwards of one hundred miles toward the State of & by our request a special court was called for final trial, but notwithstanding we were removed more than one hundred miles from the scenes of their depredations yet [p. 86]
yet such was the fact, that neither our friends or witnesses dared come into that to attend our trial, as they had been banished from the by the s order of extermination; executed to the very Letter by the principal officers of the civil & military. On these grounds & having had all these opportunities to know, I testify that neither Mr Smith, nor any other Mormon, has the least prospect for justice, or to receive a fair & impartial trial in the State of . If tried at all, they must be tried by authorities who have trampled all law under their feet & who have assisted in committing murder, robbery, treason, , rape, & felony, and who have made a law of banishment, contrary to the laws of all nature & executed this barbarous law, with the utmost rigour & severity Therefore Mr Smith & the mormons generally, have suffered the end of the law, of which they had no choice & therefore the State of has no further claims, whatever, upon any of them.
I furthermore testify that the authorities of other States who would assist , to wreak further vengeance upon any individual of the persecuted Mormons, are either ignorantly wilfully aiding & abetting in all these crimes.
Cross examined. He states that he was very intimate with Mr Smith all the time he resided in the State of , & was with him almost daily & that he knows possitively, that Mr Smith held no office, either civil or military, either real or pretended in that & that he never bore arms or did military duty not even in self defence, but that he was a peaceable, law abiding, & faithful citizen & a preacher of the gospel & exhorted all the citizens to be peaceable, long suffering & slow to act, even in self defence. He further stated that there was no fortress in , but a temporary fence made of rails, house logs, floor planks, wagons, carts &c &c, hastily thrown together, after being told by , that they were to be massacred, the following morning & the burned to ashes, without giving any information by what authority. And he further states that he only escaped himself from that by walking out of the Jail when the door was open to put in food & came out in obedience to the ’s order of banishment & to fulfill the same
Turn over to page 116 for the remainder of the trial
sworn [p. 87]
sworn. Says that he concurs with the preceding witnesses & , in all the facts with which he is acquaintd, that in the summer of 1838 he was elected Sheriff of the county of & State of . That in the fall of the same year while the was threatened & infested with mobs, he received an order from , the presiding Judge of Said , to call out the militia & he executed the Same. The Said order was presented by Joseph Smith, Senior, who shewed the a letter from , giving, such advice as was necessary for the protection of the citizens of said ; reports of the mobs destroying property were daily received. Has no knowledge that Joseph Smith was concerned in organizing or commanding, said Militia in any capacity whatever. About this time he received information that about forty or fifty “Yauger [Jäger]— Rifles” & a quantity of ammunition into were being conveyed through to for the use of the mob. Upon which he deputized William Allred to go with a company of men & to intercept them if possible, he did so & brought the Said arms & amunition into , which were afterwards delivered up to the order of , judge of the fifth circuit in .
It was generally understood at that time, that said arms had been stolen by & his company of volunteers, who had been upon a six months tour of Service in the war between the & the Florida Indians, they were Supposed to have taken from the Fort at “Tampa Bay” & brought to Clay County & that Captain Pollard or some other person loaned them to the mob— He further says that whilst in office as Sheriff, he was forcibly & illegally compelled by Lieutenant Cook, the Son in law or brother in law of the Methodist priest, to start for & when he demanded of him by what authority he acted, he was shewn a Bowie knife & a brace of Pistols— And when he asked what they wanted of him, he said they would let him know when he got to . Many of the citizens of , were taken in the same manner, without any legal process whatever & thrust into prison.
sworn. Says that so far as he was acquainted with the facts stated by the previous witnesses, he concurs with them & that he accompanied Mr Joseph Smith into the State of & arrived at on the 14th day of March 1838 & was neighbour to Mr Smith until he was taken by ’ militia, a prisoner of war, as they said & that he was knowing to his character whilst he was in the State of [p. 116]
of . & that he, Mr Smith, was in no way connected with the Militia of that : neither did he bear arms at all, nor give advice, but was a peaceable law abiding good citizen & a true republican in every sense of the word. He was with Mr Smith a great Share of the time, until driven out of by an armed force, under the exterminating order of . He heard the most the most of Mr Smith’s public addresses & never did he hear him give advice or encourage anything contrary to the laws of the State of , but to the contrary, always instructing the people to be peaceable, quiet & law abiding & if necessity should compel them to withstand their enemies, by whom they were daily threatened in Mobs at various points that they the Mormons, should attend to their business strictly & not regard reports; & if the mob did come upon them, to contend with the Strong arm of the law & if that should fail, our only relief would be self defence, & be sure & act only <​up​>on the defensive. And there were no operations against the mob by the militia of only by the advice of Generals , & .
At the time that the army came in sight of , he observed their approach & thought some of the militia of the , had come to the relief of the citizens; but to his great surprise, he found that they were come to strengthen the hands of the mobs that were around us & which immediately joined the army. A part of these mobs were painted like Indians & their leader, was also painted in a similar manner & styled himself the Delaware Chief” and afterwards he & the rest of the mob claimed & obtained pay, as Militia, from the , for all the time they were engaged as mob, as will be seen by reference to the acts of the Legislature. That there were Mormon citizens wounded & murdered by the army, under the command of & he verily believes that several women were ravished to death by the soldiery of & . He also stated that he saw Joseph Smith, , , & , delivered up by to but expected they would have returned to the that evening or the next morning according to agreement & the pledge of the Sacred honor of the officers, that they should be allowed to do so, but they did not return at all. The next morning demanded & took away the arms of the Militia of (which arms have never been returned.) assuring them that they should be protected, but so soon as they obtained possession of the arms, they commenced their ravages by plundering the citizens of their bedding, clothing, money, wearing apparel & every thing of value, they could <​lay​> their hands upon; and also attempting to violate the chastity of the women, insight of their husbands & friends— under the pretence of hunting for prisoners & arms. The soldiers Shot down our oxen, cows, hogs & [p. 117]
& fowls, at our own doors taking part away & leaving the rest to rot in the Streets. The soldiers also turned their horses into our fields of corn.
Here the witness was shewn s speech which is as follows viz
Gentlemen— you whose names are not attached to this List of names, will now have the priviledge of going to your fields & of providing <​corn​> wood &C for your families. Those that are now taken will go from this to prison be tried & receive the due demerit of their crimes; but you (except such as charges may hereafter be preferred against) are at liberty as soon as the troops are removed that now guard the place, which I shall cause to be done immediately. It now devolves upon you to fulfill the treaty that you have entered into, the leading items of which I shall now lay before you. The first requires that your leading men be given up to be tried according to Law, this you have complied with. The second is; that you deliver up your arms, this has also been attended to. The third Stipulation is, that you sign over your properties to defray the expences that have been incurred on your account this you have also done. Another article yet remains for you to comply with and that is that you leave the forthwith. And whatever may be your feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence is it is nothing to me (whose military rank is equal with mine,) has made this treaty with you; I approve of it. I should have done the same had I been here & am therefore determined to see it executed. The character of this has suffered beyond redemption from the character, conduct & influence that you have exerted; & we deem it an act of justice to restore her character by every proper means.— The order of the to me was, that you should be exterminated & not allowed to remain in the . And had not leaders being given up & the terms of the treaty complied with before this time, your families would have been destroyed & in your houses in ashes. There is a discretionary power vested in my hands, which considering your circumstances, I shall exercise for a season. You are indebted to me for this clemency. I do not say that you shall go now, but you must no think of stopping Staying here another Season, or of putting in crops for the moment you do this, the citizens will be upon you: and if I am called here again, in case of non compliance with the treaty made, do not think that I will act as I have done now. You need not expect any mercy but extermination. for I am determined the s order shall be executed As for your Leaders do not think, do not imagine for a moment, do not let it enter into your minds that they will be delivered & restored to you again for their fate is fixed, the die is cast, there doom is sealed. I am sorry Gentlemen to see so many apparently intelligent men found in the sit [p. 118]
situation that you are; and Oh if I could invoke that great spirit of the unknown God to rest upon & deliver you from that awfule chain of superstition & liberate you from those fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound, that you no longer do homage to a man. I would advise you to Scatter abroad & never again organize yourselves with Bishops, Priests, &C, lest you excite the jealousies of the people & subject yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you. You have always been the aggressors you have brought upon yourselves these difficulties, by being disaffected & not being subject to rule. And my advice is, that you become as other citizens lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon yourselves irretrievable ruin”
When asked by the court if it was correct? and after reading it, he replied—
Yes, as far as it goes— for continued he, I was present when that Speech was delivered & when fifty seven of our brethren, were betrayed into the hands of our enemies as prisoners, which was done at the instigation of our open & avowed enemies; such as and others & the treachery of . In addition to the Speech referred to, said that, we not be Seen as many as five together. If you are said he the citizens will be upon you & destroy you, but to flee immediately out of the . There was no alternative for them but to flee; that they need not expect any redress, for there was none for them. With respect to the treaty, the witness farther says that there never was any treaty proposed or entered into on the part of the Mormons, or even thought of. As to the leaders being given up, there was no such contract entered into or thought of the Mormons or any one called a Mormon except by . And with respect to the trial of the prisoners at : I do not consider that tribunal a legal court, but an inquisition— for the following reasons: That Mr Smith was not allowed any evidence whatever on his part, for the conduct of the Court as well as the ’s own Words affirmed, that there was no law for Mormons in the State of . And he also knew <​that​> when Mr Smith left the State of , he did, flee from justice, for the plain reason that the officers & the people manifested by their workes & their words, that there was no law, nor justice for the people called Mormons. And further he knows that Mr Smith has ever been a strong advocate, for the laws & constitutions of his & that there was no act of his life while in the State of according to his knowledge, that could be implied or construed, in any way whatever, to prove him a fugitive from justice [p. 119]
justice, or that he has guilty of “murder, treason, , theft, & Stealing,” the crimes he was charged with by when he delivered him over to the civil authorities & he supposes that the learned did not know but there was a diference between, larceny theft & stealing.”
The also says that they compelled the brethren to give away their property, by executing a Deed of Trust, at the point of the bayonet, & that Judge Cameron stood & saw the Mormons sign away their property, & then he & others would run & kick up their heels, & and said they were glad of it & “we have nothing to trouble us now.” This judge also said, God damn them, see how well they feel now, also said he had authority to make what treaties he pleased & the would sanction it.
The also Stated that he never transgressed any of the laws of & he never knew a Latter Day Saint break a law while there. He also said that if they would search the records of , , or counties, they could not find one record of crime against a Latter Day Saint, or even in so far as knew.
sworn. saith he has known been acquainted with Joseph Smith, Senior for the last twelve years & that he removed to the state of in the year 1831, when the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized agreeably to the law of the land.— No particular difficulty took place until after some hundreds had assembled in that land who believed in the book of Mormon & Revelations which were given through said Joseph Smith, Senior. After nearly two years of peace had elapsed, a strong prejudice among the different sects arose, declaring that Joseph Smith was a false prophet & ought to die, and I heard hundreds say, they had never known the man but if they could come across him, they would kill him as soon as they would a rattle Snake. Frequently heard them say of those who believed in the doctrine he promulgated, that if they did not renounce it they they would exterminate or drive them from the in which they lived. On enquiring of them if they had any prejudice against us they said no, but Joe Smith ought to die & if he ever comes to this country we will kill him God damn him.
Matters went on thus until sometime in the summer of 1833 when mobs assembled in considerable bodies, frequently visiting private houses [p. 120]
houses threatening them with death & destruction instantly if they did not renounce Joe Smith as a Prophet & the Book of Mormon. Sometime towards the last of the Summer of 1833, they commenced their operations of mobocracy. On account of their priests, by mating in their prejudices against Joseph Smith Senior, as I believe, gangs of them from thirty to sixty, visiting the house of George Bebee, calling him out of his house at the hour of midnight, with many guns & pistols pointed at his breast, beating him most inhumanly with clubs & whips & the same night or night afterwards, this gang unroofed thirteen houses in what was called the Whitmer branch of the church in These scenes of mobocracy continued to exist with unabated fury. Mobs went from house to house, thrusting poles & rails in at the windows & doors of the houses of the saints, tearing down a number of houses, turning hogs, horses &C into corn fields, burning fences &C. Sometime in the month of October they broke into the of S Gi[l]bert & Co. and I marched up with thirty or forty men to witness the scene & found a man by the name of , brickbatting the <​store​> door with all fury, the silks, calicoes & other fine goods entwined about his feet, reaching within the door of the storehouse was arrested & taken before , by seven testimonies & then acquited without delay. The next day the Witnesses were taken before the same man for false imprisonment, & by this one were found guilty & committed to jail. This so exasperated my feelings, that I went with two hundred men to enquire into the affair when I was promptly met by the of the militia, who stated to me that the Whole had been a religious farce & had grown out of a prejudice they had imbibed against said Joseph Smith a man with whom they were not acquainted, I here agreed that the church would give up their arms, provided the said would take the arms from the mob, to this the cheerfully agreed & pledged his honor with that of of , Owen [Samuel C. Owens] & others. This treaty entered into we returned home, resting assured on their honor, that we would not be farther molested. But this solemn contract was violated in every sense of the word. The arms of the mob were never taken away & the militia to my certain knowledge were engaged the next day with the mob ( & not excepted, going from house to house in gangs of from sixty to seventy in number, threatening the lives of women & children if they did not forthwith. In this diabolical scene, men were chased from their houses & homes, without any preparations for theirselves or families, I was chased by one of these gangs across an open prairie five miles without being overtaken & lay three weeks in the woods and [p. 121]
and was three days & three nights without food. In the meantime my wife & three small children, in a Skiff passed down Big Blue river a distance of fourteen miles & crossed over the & therr borrowed a rag carpet of one of her friends & made a tent of the same, which was the only shield, from the inclemency of the weather, during the three weeks of my expulsion from home. Having found my family in this situation & making some enquiry, I was informed, I had been hunted throught through , & counties & also the Indian territory Having made the enquiry of my family, why it was they had so much against me, the answer was “He believes in the book of Joe Smith & the book of Mormon God damn him, and we believe Joe Smith to be a damned rascal!!!?” Here on the bank of the were eight families, exiled from plenteous homes, without one particle of provisions or any other means under the heavens to get any only by hunting in the forest. I here built a Camp twelve feet square against a Sycamore log, in which my wife bore me a fine son, on the 27th of December The camp having neither chimney nor floor nor covering sufficient to shield them from the inclemency of the weather, rendered it intolerable In this doleful condition I left my family for the express purpose of making an appeal to the American people, to know something of the toleration, of such vile & inhuman conduct & travelled one thousand & three hundred miles, through the interior of the & was frequently answered “That such conduct was not justifiable in a republican government; yet we feel to say that we fear Joe Smith is a very bad man & circumstances alter cases, we would not wish to prejudge a man, but in some circumstances the voice of the people ought to rule.” The most of these expressions were from professors of religion & in the aforesaid persecution, I saw one hundred & ninety women & children driven thirty miles across the prairie, with three decrepit men only in their company, in the month of Novr the ground thinly crusted with Sleet, & I could easily follow on their trail by the blood that flowed from their lacerated feet!! on the stubble of the burnt prarie. This company not knowing the situation of the country, nor the extent of , built quite a number of cabins that proved to be in the borders of .
The mob infuriated at this rushed on them in the month of January 1834 burned these scanty cabins & scattered the inhabitants to the four winds from which cause many were taken suddenly ill of this illness died. In the mean time the burned two hundred & three houses & one grist Mill, these being the only residences of the saints in .
The [p. 122]
The most part of one thousand & two hundred Saints who resided in made their escape to . I would here remark, that among one of the companies that went to , was a woman named Sarah Ann Higbee who had been sick of chills & fever for many months & and another of the name of Kesiah Higbee, who was under the most delicate circumstances, lay on the bank of the without shelter, during one of the most stormy nights I ever witnessed, while torrents of rain poured down during the whole night and streams of the smallest minutia, were magnified into rivers. The former was carried across the apparently a lifeless corpse.— The latter was delivered of a fine son on the bank within twenty minutes after carried across the , under the open canopy of heaven & from which cause I have every reason to believe, she died a premature death. The only consolation they received under these circumstances was “God damn you, do you believe in Joe Smith now” During this whole time the said Joseph Smith Senior, lived in in the town of according to the best of my knowledge and belief, a distance of eleven hundred miles from & thinks that the church had but little correspondence with him during time We now mostly found ourselves in — some in negro cabins some in gentlemens kitchens— some in old cabins that had been of use for years— and others in the open air, without anything to shelter them from the dreary storms of a cold & stormy winter.
Thus like men of servitude we went to work to obtain a scanty living among the inhabitants of . A great degree of friendship between the saints & this people, under these circumstances for the space of two years, when the saints commencing purchasing some small possessions for themselves, this together with the emigration created a jealousy on the part of the old citizens,— that we were to be there servants no longer. This raised an apparent indignation & the first thing expressed in this excitement was, “you believe too much in Joe Smith”— consequently, they commenced catching the Saints in the Streets, whipping some of them until their bowels gushed out & leaving others for dead in the Streets. This so exasperated the Saints that they mutually with the citizens of that they would purchase an entire new north of & cornering on . There being not more than 40 or 50 inhabitants in this new who frankly sold out their possesions to the saints, who immediately set in to enter the intire from the general Government. The having been settled, the issued an order for the organization of the into a Regiment of militia, & an election being called for a Colonel of said regiment, I was elected unanimously receiving 236 votes in August 1837 Then [p. 123]
Then organized with subaltern officers according to the statutes of the and received legal & lawful commissions from for the same.
I think sometime in the latter part of the winter said Joseph Smith moved to the district of country the saints had purchased & he settled down like other citizens of a new county & was appointed the first elder in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints, holding no office in the either civil or military. I declare that I never knew <​said​> Joseph Smith, to dictate by his influence or otherwise any of the officers either civil or military he himself being exempt from military duty from the amputation from his leg of a part of the bone on account of a severe sore.
I removed from to , purchased a preemption right for which I gave 750 dollars, gained another by the side thereof—, put in a large crop & became acquainted with the citizens of who appeared very friendly. In the month of June or July there was a town laid off, partly on my preemption & partly on lands belonging to Government— the emigration commenced flowing to this newly laid off town very rapidly. This excited a prejudice in the minds of some of the old citizens who were an ignorant set & not very far advanced before the Aborigenees of the country in civilization or cultivated minds, fearing lest this rapid tide of emigration should deprive them of office of which they were dear lovers. This was more plainly exhibited at the Augt election accordingly in the year 1838; The old settlers then swore that not one Mormon should vote at that election; accordingly, they commenced operations by fist & Skull; this terminated in the loss of some teeth, some flesh & some blood. The combat being very strongly contested on both sides — many Mormons were deprived of their votes & I was followed to the polls by three ruffians with stones in their hands, saying they would kill me if I voted.
A false rumour was immediately sent to , such as two or three Mormons were killed & were not suffered to be buried, The next day a considerable number of the saints came out to my house— said Joseph Smith came with them— he enquired of me the difficulty, the answer was political difficulties— he then asked if there any thing serious, the answer was, no, I think not— we then all mounted our horses & rode up into the prairie a short distance from my house to a cool spring, near the house of where the greater number stopped for refreshment whilst a few waited on , he was interrogated to know, whether he justified the course of conduct at the late election or not, he said he did not, & was willing to [p. 124]
to give his protest in writing, which he did, and also desired that there should be a public, meeting called which I think was done on the next day. Said Joseph Smith was not addressed on the subject but I was, who in behalf of the Saints entered into an agreement with the other citizens of the , that we would live in peace enjoying those blessings fought for by our forefathers, but while some of their leading men were entering into this contract, others were raising mobs & in a short time the mob increased to 205 rank & file & they encamped within six miles of . In the mean time Joseph Smith & those who came with him from returned to their homes in peace suspecting nothing— but I seeing the rage of the mob & their full determination to drive the Church from , sent to (Major General of the division in which we lived) he immediately sent , within between 200 & 300 men. moved his troops near the mob force & came up & conversed with me on the subject after conversing some time on the subject Major Hughes came & informed that his men were mutinizing & the mob were determined to fall on the saints in , I having a Colonel’s commission under , was commanded to call out troops forthwith & to use ’s own language “kill every G——d d——n mobocrat or make them prisoners, & if they come upon you give them hell” he then returned his troops & gave them an address, stating the interview he had with me & he also said to the mob, that if were so disposed they could go on with their measures— that he considered that with the militia under his command all sufficient to quell every G——d d——n mobocrat in the & if they did not feel disposed so to do to go home G——d d——n them he would kill every one of them.— The mob then dispersed, During these movements Joseph Smith nor any of those of or any other place were not at only those who were settlers & legal citizens of the place. The mob again assembled & went to , Carroll county, there being a small branch of the church at that place, but of the transactions at this place I have no personal knowledge. They succeeded in driving the Church from that place, some to the east & some to the West &c. &c. This increased their ardor & with redoubled forces from several counties of the , they returned to , to renew the attack, many unwanton attacks & vialations of the rights of citizens took place at this time, from the hands of this hellish band. I believing forbearance to be no longer to be a virtue, again sent to the for military aid, who ordered out . came part of the way but fearing his men would mutinize & join the mob he [p. 125]
he came on ahead & conversed with me a considerable time. The night previous to his arrival the of , was driven from her house by this ruthless mob & came into , a distance of three miles carrying two children on her hips, one of which was then rising of two years old, the other six or eight months old, the snow being over shoe-mouth deep & she having to wade , which was at this time waist deep & the mob burned the house & every thing they had in it— & passing the ruins thereof, seemed fired with indignation at their hellish conduct, & said he had hitherto thought it imprudent to call upon the militia under my command in consequence of public opinion, but he now considered it no more than justice, that I should have command of my own troops, & said to me “I therefore command you forthwith to raise your companies immediately & take such course as you may deem best, in order to disperse the mob from this ” I then called out sixty men & placed them under the command of Captain & I also took about the same number— was ordered to , where a part of the mob were located & I to where another party was located. I and formed the troops under our command & addressed them as follows:—
Gentlemen. I deplore your situation— I regret that transactions of this nature should have transpired in our once happy , your condition is certainly not an enviable one, surrounded by mobs on one side & popular opinion and prejudice on the other— gladly would I fly with to your relief with my troops, but I fear it would be worse for you— most of them have relations living in this & will not fight against them. One of my principal Captains, namely & his men have already mutinized & have refused to obey my command. I can only say to you, gentlemen follow the command of whom I have commanded to disperse all mobs found in , or to make them prisoners & bring them before the civil authorities forthwith. I wish to be distinctly understood that is vested with power & authority from me to disperse from your midst all who may be found on the side of mobocracy, into the county of . I deeply regret gentlemen (knowing as I do the vigilance & perseverance of in the cause of freedom & rights of man) that I could not even be a soldier under his command in quelling the hellish outrages I have witnessed. In conclusion gentlemen, be vigilant & persevere and allay every excitement of mobocracy. I have visited your place frequently— find you to be an industrious & thriving people, willing [p. 126]
willing to abide the laws of the land.— And I deeply regret that you could not live in peace & enjoy the privileges of freedom, I shall now gentlemen, return & dismiss my troops & put under an arrest leave the whole <​Sole​> charge with , who I deem sufficiently qualified to perform according to law in all military operations necessary; then went to , when coming in sight of he discovered about 100 of the mob, holding some of the saints in bondage & tantalizing others in the most Scandalous manner, at the sight of & company took fright & such was there hurry to get away, some cut their bridles reins & some pulled the bridles from their horses heads & went off with all speed, nothing to prevent the speed of their horses.
I went to & on my way discovered that the inhabitants had become enraged at the orders of the Generals & & that they had sworn vengeance, not only against the Church but also against the two Generals together with & to carry out their plans they entered into one of the most diabolical schemes ever enter into by man & according these hellish schemes were injuriously carried out:
Firstly, by loading their families & goods in covered wagons, setting fire to their houses moving into the midst of the mob & crying out the Mormons, have driven us & burned our houses. In this Situation I found the country, between my house & & also found evacuated & burnt. Rumours were immediately Sent to the , with the news that the mormons were killing and burning every thing before them & that great fears were entertained that they would reach , before the runners could bring the news. This was not known by the Church of Latter day Saints until 2200 of the militia had arrived within half a mile of & they then supposed the Militia to be a mob. I was sent on from to , reached there the Sun about one hour high in the morning of the 29th of October 1838 called upon Joseph Smith, enquired the cause of the great uproar, he declared he did not know, but feared the mob had increased their numbers & was endeavoring to destroy us— I enquired of him if he had had any conversation with any one concerning the matter— he said he had not, as he was only a private citizen of the county, that he did not interfere with any such matters. I think that he told me there had been an order from or , one, to the to call out the militia in order to quell the riots & to go to him, he could give me any information on this subject on enquiring for him I found him not. That between 3 & 4 P M., Colonel of [p. 127]
of the Militia in that place called on me in company with Joseph Smith & said said he had been in the camp in order to learn the intention of the same, he said they greatly desired to see Joseph Smith, , , , & ; Joseph Smith first enquired why they should desire to see him as he held no office either civil or military. I next enquired why it was they should desire to see a man, out of his own county. here observed there is no time for controversy, if you are not into the camp immediately they are determined to come upon , before the setting of the Sun & said they did not consider us as military bodies, but religious bodies. He said that if the aforesaid persons went into the camp, they would be liberated that night or very early next morning, that there should be no harm done.— We consulted together & agreed to go down— on going about half the distance from the camp, I observed it would be well for Generals, , & others to meet us & not have us to go in so large a crowd of soldiers— accordingly the Generals moved onwards followed by 50 Artillery men with a four pounder The whole 2200 moved in steady pace on the right & left, keeping about even with the former.— approached the aforesaid designated persons with a vile, base, & treacherous look in his countenance— I shook hands with him thus “We understand you wish to confer with us a few moments, will not to morrow morning do as well.” At this moment spake & said, “here are the prisoners I agreed to deliver <​to​> you.” then brandished his sword with a most hideous look, & said you are my prisoners & there is no time for talking at the present, you will march into the camp. At this moment I believe that there was 500 guns cocked & not less than 20 caps bursted & more hideous yells were never heard, even if the description of the yells of the damned in hell is true as given by the modern sects of the day. The aforesaid designated persons were there introduced into the midst of 2200 mob militia. They then called out a guard of 90 men, placing 30 around the prisoners who were on duty 2 hours & 4 off, prisoners were placed on the ground with with nothing to cover but the heavens & they were overshadowed by clouds that moistened them before morning.— was of a delicate constitution received a slight Shock of Apoplectic fits, which excited great laughter and much ridicule in the guard & mob militia. Thus the prisoners spent a doleful night in the midst of a prejudiced & diabolical community. Next day & , were dragged from their families & brought prisoners into the camp, they alledging no other reason for taking , than that he was brother to Joe Smith the [p. 128]
the Prophet & one of his counsellors as President of the Church. The prisoners spent this day as comfortably as could be expected under the existing circumstances. Night came on & under the dark shadows of the night subaltern of took me one side & said we do not wish to hurt you nor Kill you, neither shall you be by G——d but we have one thing against you & that is you are too friendly to Joe Smith & we believe him to be a G d. d——n rascall!! & you know all about his character, I said, I do Sir, will you swear all you know concerning him said I will Sir was the answer I gave, give us the outlines said — I will sir was the answer I gave give us the outlines said I then told said I believed said Joseph Smith to be the most philanthropic he ever saw & possessed of the most pure & republican principles, a friend to mankind a maker of peace & sir, had it not been that I had given heed to his counsel I would have given you hell before this time with all your mob forces, he then observed: I fear your life is in danger for thare is no end to the prejudice against Joe Smith— kill & be d——d sir was my answer he answered & said there is to be a court martial held this night & will you attend sir? I will not unless compelled by force was my reply. He returned that night about 11 OClock & took me aside & said I regret to tell you, your die is cast, your doom is fixed you are sentenced to be shot to morrow morning on the public square, in at 8 oClock. I answered shoot & be d——d.
We were in hopes said he you would come out against Joe Smith, but as you have not, you will have to share the same fate with him, I answered, you may thank Joe Smith that you are not in hell this night, for had it not been for him I would have put you there. Somewhere about this time came up & said me; Colonel, the decision a damned hard one & I have washed my hands against such cool & deliberate murder He further told me, that <​General​> Graham & several others, (names not recolected) were with him in the decision & opposed it with all their power; that he should move his soldiers away by day light, in the morning; that they should not witness such a heartless murder, Colonel, I wish you well. I then returned to my fellow prisoners, to spend another night on the cold damp earth and the canopy of to cover us. The night again proved a damp one. At the removal of ’s part of the army, the camp was thrown into the utmost confusion & consternation. fearing the consequence of such hasty & inconsiderate measures, revoked the decree of shooting the prisoners & determined to take them to . Consequently, he delivered the prisoners over to ordering him to see them safe to , Jackson, County. About the hour the prisoners were to been shot on the public square in , they [p. 129]
they were exhibited in a wagon in the , all of them having families there, but myself; and it would have broken the heart of any person possessing an ordinary share of humanity, to have seen the separation
The aged & of Joseph Smith were not permitted to see his face, but to reach their hands through the curtains of the wagon & thus take leave of him. When passing his own house, he was taken out of the wagon & permitted to go into the house, but not without a strong guard, & not permitted to speak with his family, but in the presence of his guard. & his eldest son, , about six or eight years old, hanging to the tail of his coat, crying father is the mob going to kill you? The guard said to him ‘you damned little brat, go back, you will see your father no more.’ The prisoners then set out for , accompanied by Generals & , & about three hundred troops for a guard. We remained in two or three days & nights during most of which time, the prisoners were treated in a ge[n]tlemanly manner, & boarded at a hotel, for which they had afterwards, when confined in , under the care to pay the most extravagant price, or have their property, if any they had, attached for the same.— At this time had arrived at , & by orders from the , took on himself the command of the whole of the militia, notwithstanding ’s commission was the oldest, but he was supposed to be too friendly to the mormons: and therefore dismounted, and sanctioned the measures of , however cruel they might have been; and said, he should have done the same had he been there himself . Accordingly he remanded the prisoners from & they were taken & escorted by a strong guard to ; threatened several times on the way with violence & death. They were met five miles before they reached , by about one hundred armed men, & when they arrived in town, they were thrust into an old cabin under a strong guard. I was informed by one of the guards, that two nights previous to their arrival, had a court martial, and the prisoners were again sentenced to be shot, but he being a little doubtfull of his authority, sent immediately to Fort Leavenworth for the military law & a decision from the ’s officers, where he was duly informed, that any such proceeding would be a cool blooded & heartless murder. On the arrival of the prisoners at Joseph Smith & myself sent for ; to be informed by him, what crimes were alledged against us, He came in & said he would see us again in a few minutes; shortly he returned & said he would in [p. 130]
he would inform of us of the crimes alledged against us by the State of
“Gentlemen, you are charged with treason, murder, , , theft & stealing & various other charges too tedious to mention, at this time” & he left the room. In about twenty minutes, there came in a strong guard, together with the keeper of the penitentiary of the , who brought with him two common trace chains, noozed together by putting the small end through the ring & commenced chaining us one by one, and fastening with padlocks, about two feet apart. In this unhallowed situation the prisoners remained fifteen days, & in this situation, delivered us to the professed civil authorities of the , without any legal authorit process being served on us at all, during the whole time we were kept in chains, with nothing but evidence, and that either by the vilest apostates, or by the mob who had committed murder in the State of . Notwithstanding all this ex parte evidence, did inform our lawyer, ten days previous to the termination of the trial, who he should commit & who he should not: & I heard say on his bench, in the presence of hundreds of witnesses, that there was no law for witnesses mormons, and they need not expect any. Said he, if the s exterminating order, had been directed to me, I would have seen it fulfiled to the very letter ere this time.
After a tedious trial of fifteen days, with no other witnesses but ex parte ones, the witnesses, for prisoners were either kicked out of doors or put on trial for themselves. The prisoners were now committed to , under the care & direction of Samuel Tillery, jailor,— Here we were received with a shout of indignation & scorn by the prejudiced populace. Prisoners were here thrust into jail without a regular ; the jailor having to send for one some days after. The mercies of the jailor were intolerable, feeding us with a scanty allowance, on the dregs of coffee & tea, from his own table & fetching the provisions in a basket, on which the chickens had roosted the night before without being cleaned; five days he fed the prisoners on human flesh & from extreme hunger I was compelled to eat it. In this situation, we were kept until about the month of April, when we were remanded to for trial before the grand jury.— We were kept under the most loathsome & despotic guards they could produce in that of lawless mobs. After six or eight days the grand jury (most of whome by the by, were so drunk that they had to be carried out & into their rooms as though they were lifeless,) formed a fictitious indictment, which was sanctioned by , who was the [p. 131]
the s attorney under at our trial & who at that time stated that the mormons, that the Mormons ought to be hung with out judge or jury, he the said judge, made out a without day or date, ordering the sheriff to take us to Columbia. The Sheriff selected four men to guard five of us. We then took a circuitous route, crossing prairies sixteen miles without houses, & after travelling three days the sheriff & I were together, by ourselves five miles from any of the rest of the company, for sixteen miles at a stretch. The Sheriff here observed to me, that he wished to God he was at home & your friends & you also. The Sheriff then showed me the mittimus, & he found it had neither day nor date to it; & said the inhabitants of would be surprised that the prisoners had not left them sooner; & said he, by God, I shall not go much further. We were then near Yellow Creek & there were no houses, nearer one was than sixteen miles & eleven another way; except right on the creek. Here a part of the guard took a spree while the balance helped us to mount our horses which we purchased from <​of​> them & for which they were paid. Here we took a change of venue and went to without difficulty, where we found our families, who had been driven out of the under the exterminating order of I never knew of Joseph Smith’s holding any office civil or military or using any undue influence in religious matters, during the whole routine of which I have been speaking.
, Sworn. Says I arrived in Caldwell county, Missouri, on the 4th of April, 1839 [1838], & enjoyed peace & quietness in common with the rest of the citizens until the August following when great excitement was created by the office seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of from voting. Soon after the election which took place, in the early part of August, the citizens of were threatened with violence, from those of , and other counties adjacent to .
This the August 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in , & in all the counties of <​in​> the where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time, till we were all out of the , it was but one scene of violence following another in quick succession.
There were at this time settlements in , , Carroll, , & counties, as well as some families living in other counties. A [p. 132]
A simultanious was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the , which soon became violent & threatenings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held & the most inflamatory speeches made & resolutions passed, which dnounced all the citizens of these counties in the most bitter & rancorous manner. These resolutions were published in the papers & the most extensive circulation given to them that the presses of the country were capable of giving.
The first regular mob that assembled was in Carroll county, & their efforts were directed against the settlements made in that county, declaring their intention determination to drive out of the county all the citizens who were of our religion & that indiscriminately without regard to any thing else but <​their​> religion. The only evidence necessary to dispossess any individual or family, or all the evidence required, would be that they were mormons as we were called, or rather that they were of the Mormon religion. This was considered of itself crime enough to cause any individual or family to be driven from their homes & their property made common plunder. Resolutions to this effect were made at public meetings held for the purpose, & made through the papers of the in the face of all law & all authority.
I will give a history of the settlement in Carroll county. In the preceding April, as myself & family were on our way to , we we put up at a house in Carroll county, on a Stream called Turkey creek, to tarry for the night. Soon after we stopped, a youngery man rideing up who also stopped & staid through the night. Hearing my name mentioned, he introduced himself to me as , said he lived in that county, in a little town called , on the & had been at , to get some of those, to get some of those who were coming into that place, to form a Settlement at , speaking highly of the advantages of the situation & soliciting my interference in his behalf— to obtain a number, of families to commence at that place as he was a large proprietor in the town plat. He offered a liberal share in all the profits which arise from the sale of property there, to those who would aid him in getting the place settled. In the morning we proceeded on our journey.
Some few weeks after my arrival, the said , in company with a man by the name of , came to on the same business; & after much solicitation on there part it was agreed that a settlement should be made in that place & in the July following, the first families removed there & the settlement soon increased until [p. 133]
until, in the October following, it consisted of some seventy families. By this time a regular mob had collected, strongly armed; & had obtained possession of a cannon & stationed a mile or two from the . The citizens being nearly all new comers, had to live in their tents & wagons & were exerting themselves to the uttermost to gettin houses for the approaching winter. The mob commenced committing their depredations on the citizens by not suffering them to procure the materials for building, keeping them shut up in the , not allowing them to go out to get provisions, driving off their cattle & preventing the owners from going in search of them In this way the driven to the greatest extremities, actually suffering for food & every comfort of life, in consequence of which there was much sickness & many died; females gave birth to children without a house to shelter them, & in consequence of the exposure, many suffered great afflictions & many died.
Hearing of their great sufferings, a number of the men of determined on going to see what was doing there. Accordingly we started, eluded the vigilance of the mob & not withstanding they had sentinels placed on all the principal roads, to prevent relief from being sent to the citizens, safely arrived in & found the people as above stated.
During the time we were there, every effort that could be was made to get the authorities of the country, to interfere & scatter the mob. The judge of the circuit court was petitioned, but without success & after that the of the , who returned for answer that the citizens of , had got into a difficulty with the surrounding country, & they might get out of it; for he would have nothing to do with it, or this was the answer the messenger brought when he returned.
The messenger was a Mr Caldwell, who owned a ferry on , about three miles from & was an old settler in the place.
The citizens were completity [completely] besieged by the mob, no man was at liberty to go out nor any to go in. The extremities to which the people were driven were very great, suffering with much sickness, without shelter & deprived of all aid either medical or any other kind & being without food or the privilege of getting it, & betrayed by every man who made the least pretension to friendship; a notable instance of which I will here give as a sample of many others of a similar kind. There was neither bread nor flour to be had in the place a steamboat landed there & application was made to get flour but the captain said there was none on board. A man then offered to get flour for the place; knowing, he said, where there was a quantity. Money [p. 134]
money was given to him for that purpose, he got on the boat & went off, & that was the last we heard of the man or the money. This was a man who had been frequently in , during the siege, & professed great friendship. In this time of extremity a man who had a short time before moved into , bringing with him a fine yoke of cattle, started out to hunt his cattle, in order to butcher them to keep to keep them citizens from actual starvation, but before he got but a little way from the town, he was fired upon by the mob & narrowly escaped with his life & had to return or at least, such was his report when he returned. Being now completity inclosed on every side, we could plainly see many men on the opposite side of the , & it was supposed that they were there to prevent the citizens from crossing & indeed a small craft crossed from them with three men it, who said that, that was the object for which they had assembled.
At this critical moment, with death staring us in the face in its worst form, cut off from all communcation with the surrounding country, & all provisions exhausted, we were sustained as the children of Israel in the, only by different animals. They by quails, & us by cattle & hogs, which came walking into the camp, for such it truly was— as the people were living in tents & wagons, not being priviledged with building houses. what was to be done in this extremity? why, recourse was had to the only means of subsistence left, & that was to butcher the cattle & hogs which came into the place without asking who was the owner, or without knowing, & what to me is remarkable, is, that a sufficient number of animals came into the camp to sustain to sustain life, during the time in which the citizens, were thus besieged by the mob. This indeed was but coarse living, but such as it was it sustained life.
From this circumstance, the cry went out that the citizens of were thieves & plunderers & were stealing cattle & hogs. During this time the mob of Carroll county said that all they wanted, was that the citizens of , should leave Carroll county & go to & counties. The citizens finding that they must leave , or eventually starve, finally agreed to leave, & accordingly preparations were made & was vacated. The first morning after we left, we put up for the night in a grove of timber. Soon after our arrival in the grove, a female who a short time before had given birth to a child, in consequence of the exposure died. A grave was dug in the grove, & the next morning, & the next morning the body was deposited in it without a coffin, & the company proceeded on their journey; part of them going to & part into : This was in the month of Octr 1838
In a short time after their arrival in & counties, messengers [p. 135]
messengers arrived informing the now citizens of & , that the mob, was marching to , with their cannon with them, threatening death to the citizens, or else that should all leave . This caused other efforts to be made to get the authorities to interfere. I wrote two memorials, one to the , & one to . circuit judge imploring their assistance & intervension to protect the citizens of , against the threatened violence of the mob.— These memorials were accompanied with affidavits which could leave no doubt, on the mind of the or , that the citizens before mentioned were in imminent danger. At this time things began to assume an alarming aspect both to the citizens of & counties. Mobs were forming all around the country; declaring that they would drive the people out of the . This made our appeals to the authorities, more deeply solicitous as the danger increased & very soon after, this the mobs commenced their depredations which was a general system of plunder; tearing down fences, exposing all within the field to destruction & driving off every animal they could find.
Sometime previous to this, in consequence of the threatenings which were made by mobs, or those who were being formed into mobs and the abuses committed, by them, on the persons & property of the citizens; an association was formed, called the band.
This as far as I was acquainted with it (not being myself of the number, neither was Joseph Smith, Senior,) was for mutual protection against the bands that were forming & threatened to be formed; for the professed object of committing violence on the property & persons of the citizens of & counties. They had certain signs & words by which they could know one another either by day or night. They were bound to keep those signs & words secret; so that no other person or persons than themselves could know them. When any of these persons were assailed by any lawless band, he would make it known to others who would flee to his relief, at the risk of life. In this way they sought to defend each others lives & property, but they were strictly enjoined not to touch any person, only those were engaged in acts of violence against the persons or property of one of their own number or one of those whose life & property they had bound themselves to defend.
This organization was in existence when the mobs commenced their most violent attempts upon the citizens of the before mentioned counties, & from this association arose all the horror afterwards expressed by the mob at some secret clan known as Danites. The [p. 136]
The efforts made to get the authorities to interfere at this time was attended with some success. The militia were ordered out under the command of of , Brigadier Generals , of , & of , who marched their troops to , where they found a large mob & said in my hearing presence, he took the following singular method to disperse them. He organized them with his troops, as part of the militia called out, to suppress & arrest the Mob, after having thus organized them discharged them & all the rest of the troops, as having no further need for their services & all returned home.
This however, seemed only to give the mob more courage to increase their exertions with redoubled vigor. They boasted after that, that the authorities would not punish them, & they would do as they pleased. In a very short time their efforts were renewed with a determination, not to cease until they had driven the citizens of & such of the citizens of as they had marked out as victims, from the . A man by the name of , who resided in , & formerly Sheriff of said , organized a band who painted themselves like Indians & had a place of rendevous at Hunters Mills on a stream called Grindstone. I think it was in , the county west of , & between it & the west line of the .
From this place they would sally out & commit their depredations Efforts were again made to get the authorities, to put a stop to these renewed outrages & again & again & were called out with such portions of their respective brigades as they might deem necessary to suppress the mob or rather mobs, for by this time there a number of them, came to & while there, recommended to the uthorities of to have the militia of said , called out as a necessary measure of defence; assuring us that had a large mob on the Grindstone & his object was to make a descent upon , burn the