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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​July 1​> like other citizens of a new , and 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 fever sore.
I removed from to , purchased a pre-emption right, for which I gave 750 dollars, gained another by the side thereof, put in a large crop and became acquainted with the citizens of , who appeared very friendly. In the month of June or July there was a laid off, partly on my pre-emption, and partly on lands belonging to Government— the emigration commenced flowing to this newly laid off very rapidly. This excited a prejudice in the minds of some of the old citizens who were an ignorant set, and not very far advanced before the aborigenies 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 Aug. election in the year 1838. The old settlers then swore that not one Mormon should vote at that election; accordingly they commenced operations by fist and skull; this terminated in the loss of some teeth, some flesh, and some blood. The combat being very strongly contested on both sides— many Mormons were deprived of their votes; and I was followed to the polls by three ruffians with stones in their hands, swearing they would kill me if I voted.
A false rumour was immediately sent to , such as two or three Mormons were killed and 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 concerning the difficulty— the answer was political difficulties— he then asked if there was any thing serious— the answer was, no, I think not— we then all mounted our horses and 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, and was willing 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 citi[HC 3:441]zens 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, and in a short time the mob increased to 205 rank and file, and they encamped within six miles of . In the mean time Joseph Smith, and those who came with him from returned to their homes in peace suspecting nothing— but I seeing the rage of the mob and their full determination to drive the church from , sent to (Major General of the Division in which we lived,) he immediately sent [p. 1632]
July 1 like other citizens of a new , and 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 fever sore.
I removed from to , purchased a pre-emption right, for which I gave 750 dollars, gained another by the side thereof, put in a large crop and became acquainted with the citizens of , who appeared very friendly. In the month of June or July there was a laid off, partly on my pre-emption, and partly on lands belonging to Government— the emigration commenced flowing to this newly laid off very rapidly. This excited a prejudice in the minds of some of the old citizens who were an ignorant set, and not very far advanced before the aborigenies 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 Aug. election in the year 1838. The old settlers then swore that not one Mormon should vote at that election; accordingly they commenced operations by fist and skull; this terminated in the loss of some teeth, some flesh, and some blood. The combat being very strongly contested on both sides— many Mormons were deprived of their votes; and I was followed to the polls by three ruffians with stones in their hands, swearing they would kill me if I voted.
A false rumour was immediately sent to , such as two or three Mormons were killed and 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 concerning the difficulty— the answer was political difficulties— he then asked if there was any thing serious— the answer was, no, I think not— we then all mounted our horses and 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, and was willing 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 citi[HC 3:441]zens 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, and in a short time the mob increased to 205 rank and file, and they encamped within six miles of . In the mean time Joseph Smith, and those who came with him from returned to their homes in peace suspecting nothing— but I seeing the rage of the mob and their full determination to drive the church from , sent to (Major General of the Division in which we lived,) he immediately sent [p. 1632]
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