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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​July 1​> the said would take the arms from the mob. To this the cheerfully agreed, and pledged his honor with that of , Owen, and 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, and the majority of the militia, to my certain knowledge, were engaged the next day with the mob. ( and not excepted,) going from house to house in gangs of from sixty to seventy in number, threatening the lives of women and children, if they did not leave forthwith. In this diabolical scene men were chased from their houses and homes without any preparations for themselves or families. I was chased by one of these gangs across an open prairie five miles without being overtaken, and lay three weeks in the woods, and was three days and three nights without food. In the mean time, my wife and three small children, in a skiff passed down Big Blue river a distance of fourteen miles and crossed over the , and there borrowed a rag carpet of one of her friends, and 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, and making some enquiry, I was informed I had been hunted through<​out​> , [HC 3:438] and counties, and 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 Joe Smith and the Book of Mormon, God damn him, and we believe Joe Smith to be a damned rascal !!” Here on the banks 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 and inhuman conduct, and travelled one thousand and three hundred miles through the interior of the , and was frequently answered “That such conduct was not justifiable in a republican government; yet we feel to say that we fear that Joe Smith is a very bad man, and 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; and in the aforesaid persecution, I saw one hundred and ninety women and children driven thirty miles across the prairie, with three decrepit men only in their company, in the month of Nov., the ground thinly crusted with sleet, and I could easily follow on their trail by the “blood that flowed from their lacerated feet!! on the stubble of the burnt prairie. 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, and scattered the inhabitants to the four winds, from which cause many were taken suddenly ill, and of this [p. 1630]
July 1 the said would take the arms from the mob. To this the cheerfully agreed, and pledged his honor with that of , Owen, and 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, and the majority of the militia, to my certain knowledge, were engaged the next day with the mob. ( and not excepted,) going from house to house in gangs of from sixty to seventy in number, threatening the lives of women and children, if they did not leave forthwith. In this diabolical scene men were chased from their houses and homes without any preparations for themselves or families. I was chased by one of these gangs across an open prairie five miles without being overtaken, and lay three weeks in the woods, and was three days and three nights without food. In the mean time, my wife and three small children, in a skiff passed down Big Blue river a distance of fourteen miles and crossed over the , and there borrowed a rag carpet of one of her friends, and 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, and making some enquiry, I was informed I had been hunted throughout , [HC 3:438] and counties, and 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 Joe Smith and the Book of Mormon, God damn him, and we believe Joe Smith to be a damned rascal !!” Here on the banks 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 and inhuman conduct, and travelled one thousand and three hundred miles through the interior of the , and was frequently answered “That such conduct was not justifiable in a republican government; yet we feel to say that we fear that Joe Smith is a very bad man, and 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; and in the aforesaid persecution, I saw one hundred and ninety women and children driven thirty miles across the prairie, with three decrepit men only in their company, in the month of Nov., the ground thinly crusted with sleet, and I could easily follow on their trail by the “blood that flowed from their lacerated feet!! on the stubble of the burnt prairie. 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, and scattered the inhabitants to the four winds, from which cause many were taken suddenly ill, and of this [p. 1630]
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