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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1336
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<​May 22​> He was sitting in a room, by himself, when some person discharged a pistol, loaded with buck shot, through an adjoining window— three of the shot took effect in his head, one of which penetrated the brain. His son, a boy, hearing the report of the pistol, ran into the room in which his Father was seated, and found him in a helpless situation, upon which he gave the alarm. Foot prints were found beneath the window, and the pistol which gave the fatal shot. The was alive on the 7th. but no hopes are entertained of his recovery. A man was suspected, and is probably arrested before this. There are several rumors in circulation in regard to the horrid affair.— One of which throws the crime upon the Mormons— from the fact, we suppose, that was Governor at the time, and in no small degree instrumental in driving them from the . Smith too, the Mormon Prophet, as we understand, prophesied a year or so ago, his death by [HC 5:14] violent means. Hence, there is plenty of foundation for rumor. The Citizens of had offered a reward of $500 for the murderer.”
I went to the and inserted the following in the Wasp
, Ill. May 22. 1842 Mr. [Sylvester] Bartlett. Dear Sir:— In your paper (the Whig) of the 21st. instant you have done me manifest injustice in ascribing to me a prediction of the demise of Esqre. Ex. Governor of by violent hands. was a candidate for the State Senate, and I presume fell by the hand of a political opponent, with “his hands and face yet dripping with the blood of murder;” but he died not through my instrumentality. My hands are clean, and my heart pure, from the blood of all men. I am tired of the misrepresentation, calumny and detraction heaped upon me by wicked men; and desire and claim, only those principles guaranteed to all men by the Constitution and Laws of the , and of . Will you do me the justice to publish this communication and oblige, yours respectfully. Joseph Smith.”
“An Epistle of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in , to the Saints scattered abroad, greeting— Dear Brethren:— inasmuch as the Lord hath spoken; and the commandment hath gone forth for the gathering together of his people from Babylon, that “they partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues;” it seemeth, “good unto us, and also to the Holy Ghost” to write somewhat for your instruction, in obeying that commandment. That you have no need that we exhort you to the observance of this commandment, is evident; for yourselves know that this is that which was spoken by the Lord in the parable of the Tares of the field, who promised that in the harvest he would say to the servant “gather the wheat into my barn;” the signs of the times proclaim this; the end of the world; and thus admonish us to the performance of this duty. “Yet nothwithstanding the spirit testifieth of these things, and you desire with great anxiety to gather with the Saints; yet are many of you hindered even to this day:” so that to will to obey the commandment is present; but how to perform you find not. Feeling therefore, the [HC 5:15] responsibility binding on you to observe the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and living in the midst of a generation that are ignorant what the [p. 1336]
May 22 He was sitting in a room, by himself, when some person discharged a pistol, loaded with buck shot, through an adjoining window— three of the shot took effect in his head, one of which penetrated the brain. His son, a boy, hearing the report of the pistol, ran into the room in which his Father was seated, and found him in a helpless situation, upon which he gave the alarm. Foot prints were found beneath the window, and the pistol which gave the fatal shot. The was alive on the 7th. but no hopes are entertained of his recovery. A man was suspected, and is probably arrested before this. There are several rumors in circulation in regard to the horrid affair.— One of which throws the crime upon the Mormons— from the fact, we suppose, that was Governor at the time, and in no small degree instrumental in driving them from the . Smith too, the Mormon Prophet, as we understand, prophesied a year or so ago, his death by [HC 5:14] violent means. Hence, there is plenty of foundation for rumor. The Citizens of had offered a reward of $500 for the murderer.”
I went to the and inserted the following in the Wasp
, Ill. May 22. 1842 Mr. Sylvester Bartlett. Dear Sir:— In your paper (the Whig) of the 21st. instant you have done me manifest injustice in ascribing to me a prediction of the demise of Esqre. Ex. Governor of by violent hands. was a candidate for the State Senate, and I presume fell by the hand of a political opponent, with “his hands and face yet dripping with the blood of murder;” but he died not through my instrumentality. My hands are clean, and my heart pure, from the blood of all men. I am tired of the misrepresentation, calumny and detraction heaped upon me by wicked men; and desire and claim, only those principles guaranteed to all men by the Constitution and Laws of the , and of . Will you do me the justice to publish this communication and oblige, yours respectfully. Joseph Smith.”
“An Epistle of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in , to the Saints scattered abroad, greeting— Dear Brethren:— inasmuch as the Lord hath spoken; and the commandment hath gone forth for the gathering together of his people from Babylon, that “they partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues;” it seemeth, “good unto us, and also to the Holy Ghost” to write somewhat for your instruction, in obeying that commandment. That you have no need that we exhort you to the observance of this commandment, is evident; for yourselves know that this is that which was spoken by the Lord in the parable of the Tares of the field, who promised that in the harvest he would say to the servant “gather the wheat into my barn;” the signs of the times proclaim this; the end of the world; and thus admonish us to the performance of this duty. “Yet nothwithstanding the spirit testifieth of these things, and you desire with great anxiety to gather with the Saints; yet are many of you hindered even to this day:” so that to will to obey the commandment is present; but how to perform you find not. Feeling therefore, the [HC 5:15] responsibility binding on you to observe the statutes and commandments of the Lord, and living in the midst of a generation that are ignorant what the [p. 1336]
Page 1336