History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1629
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<​July 1​> The also stated that he never transgressed any of the laws of ; and 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 that he has been acquainted with for the last twelve years, and 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, and Revelations which were given through said . After nearly two years of peace had elapsed, a strong prejudice among the various sects arose declaring that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and 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 rattlesnake. Frequently heard them say of those who believed in the doctrine he promulgated, that if they did not renounce it, they would exterminate or drive them from the county in which they lived. On enquiring of them if they had any prejudice against us, they said ‘No, but Joe Smith ought to die, and if he ever comes to this country, we will kill him. God damn him.’
Matters went on thus until some time in the summer of 1833, when mobs assembled in considerable bodies, frequently visiting private houses, threatening them with death and destruction instantly, if they did not renounce Joe Smith as a prophet, and the Book of Mormon. Some time towards the last of the summer of 1833, they commenced their operations of mobocracy. On account of their priests, by uniting in their prejudices against , as I believe, gangs of from thirty to sixty, visited the house of George Bebee, called him out of his house at the hour of midnight, with many guns and pistols pointed at his breast, beating him most inhumanly with clubs and whips; and the same night or night afterwards, this gang unroofed thirteen houses in what was called the Whitmer Branch of the church [HC 3:437] in . These scenes of mobocracy continued to exist with unabated fury. Mobs went from house to house, thrusting poles and rails in at the windows and doors of the houses of the Saints, tearing down a number of houses, turning hogs, horses, &c, into cornfields, burning fences, &c. Sometime in the month of October, they broke unto the store of A.S. Gilbert & Co., and I marched up with thirty of forty men to witness the scene, and found a man by the name of , brick batting the store door with all fury, the silks, calicoes, and other fine goods, entwined about his feet, reaching within the door of the store-house. was arrested and taken before ; and although seven persons testified against him, he was acquitted without delay. The next day the witnesses were taken before the same man for false imprisonment, and by the testimony of this one burglar, were found guilty, and 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, and 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 [p. 1629]
July 1 The also stated that he never transgressed any of the laws of ; and 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 that he has been acquainted with for the last twelve years, and 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, and Revelations which were given through said . After nearly two years of peace had elapsed, a strong prejudice among the various sects arose declaring that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and 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 rattlesnake. Frequently heard them say of those who believed in the doctrine he promulgated, that if they did not renounce it, they would exterminate or drive them from the county in which they lived. On enquiring of them if they had any prejudice against us, they said ‘No, but Joe Smith ought to die, and if he ever comes to this country, we will kill him. God damn him.’
Matters went on thus until some time in the summer of 1833, when mobs assembled in considerable bodies, frequently visiting private houses, threatening them with death and destruction instantly, if they did not renounce Joe Smith as a prophet, and the Book of Mormon. Some time towards the last of the summer of 1833, they commenced their operations of mobocracy. On account of their priests, by uniting in their prejudices against , as I believe, gangs of from thirty to sixty, visited the house of George Bebee, called him out of his house at the hour of midnight, with many guns and pistols pointed at his breast, beat him most inhumanly with clubs and whips; and the same night or night afterwards, this gang unroofed thirteen houses in what was called the Whitmer Branch of the church [HC 3:437] in . These scenes of mobocracy continued to exist with unabated fury. Mobs went from house to house, thrusting poles and rails in at the windows and doors of the houses of the Saints, tearing down a number of houses, turning hogs, horses, &c, into cornfields, burning fences, &c. Sometime in the month of October, they broke unto the store of A.S. Gilbert & Co., and I marched up with thirty of forty men to witness the scene, and found a man by the name of , brick batting the store door with all fury, the silks, calicoes, and other fine goods, entwined about his feet, reaching within the door of the store-house. was arrested and taken before ; and although seven persons testified against him, he was acquitted without delay. The next day the witnesses were taken before the same man for false imprisonment, and by the testimony of this one burglar, were found guilty, and 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, and 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 [p. 1629]
Page 1629