History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1829
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<​December 25​> <​I was taken into Court and was asked by the Judge if I had any Council, I told him I had not, he asked if I had any means to employ a council, I answered I had none with me that I could control, he then said here are a number of Counselors, if I was acquainted with any of them I could take my choice, I told him I would make choice of who arose and made a speech, saying he was crowded with business, but that here are plenty of young Lawyers who could plead for me as well as he could; the Judge heard his plea and then told me he did not consider that a sufficient excuse and I could consider my Counsel. I was then ordered back to Jail and ironed again in the same way. asked for and obtained a change of venue to which is in another District: When the officers came to Jail for me, they requested me to get ready in a hurry as they feared the Mob would kill me. I told them I wanted to put on a clean shirt if it cost me my life, as I had not been permitted to enjoy the luxury of a change of linen since I had boarded at the expence of : While I was changing my shirt, the officers several times told me to hurry, or the Mob would be on me and kill me. When I got ready to start the officers furnished me a very hard trotting horse, with a miserable poor saddle, tied my feet under the horse with ropes, and my hands behind my back, and started off at a good round trot, in charge of two officers, in a short time a strange gentleman fell into our Company who was also on horseback; it was six miles to the Ferry where we could cross the ; when we got there, we saw the Boat land on the opposite side, where several men got off the boat and took a course to the woods, thro’ which the road ran; <​the Boat returned,​> this stranger asked “where are [HC 6:138] those men going”, and was answered “they are going to the woods to hew timber”— we then crossed, and took our way for when we left the Boat, we saw no signs of people, nor heard any sound of axes; after travelling some 2 or 3 miles, the woods became dense and brushy; we heard the crackling of brush and the noise of men travelling thro’ it— the officers and the Stranger appeared frightened and urged speed, keeping close watch— we came to an opening in the woods, when the noise of cracking of brush ceased; we travelled safely to , where this Stranger told his friends that he overheard several men in , planning to waylay me in the thick timber on the bottom, at the place where we heard the noises, but his being in company counteracted their plot. I was then lodged in . In a few days afterwards I learned that the men who went into the brush, told it, that they went into the woods according to agreement to waylay me, but when they saw this Stranger it frustrated their plans.​>
<​In about ten days, on pretext of informality in the papers, I was remanded back to Jail, it was rumored that I was again going to be waylaid; when the two officers from took me by a different road and so I escaped the second time. When I was put in Jail I was again ironed hand and foot, and put in the dungeon, in which condition I remained about two months, during this time the Sheriff told me he was going to arrest Joseph Smith, and they had received letters from which satisfied them that Joseph Smith had unlimited confidence in me, that I was capable of toling him in a carriage or on horseback, any where that I pleased, and if I would only toll him out by riding or any other way, so that they could apprehend him, I might please myself whether I staid in or came back to , they would protect me, and any pile that I would name, the Citizens of would donate, club together and raise and that I should never suffer for want afterwards, “you only deliver Jo Smith into our hands and name your pile.” I replied “I will see you all damd first and then I wont.”​>
<​About the time that Joseph was arrested by at , I knowing that they were after him, and no means under heaven of giving him any information, my anxiety became so intense upon the subject, knowing their determination to kill him, that my flesh twitched on my bones, I could not help it, twitch it would; while undergoing this sensation, I heard a Dove light on the window in the upper room of the Jail and commence cooing, and then went off— in a short time he came back to the Window, where a pane was broken, he crept thro’ between the bars of iron which were about 2½ inches apart. [HC 6:139] I saw it fly round the trap door several times, it did not alight but continued cooing, until it crept thro’ the bars again and flew out thro the broken window. I relate this, as it was the only occurrence of the kind that happened during my long and weary imprisonment; but it proved a comfort to me, the twitching of my flesh ceased, and I was fully satisfied from that moment, that they would not get Joseph into , and that I should <​re​>gain my freedom— from the best estimates that can be made, it was at the time when Joseph was in the custody of . In a few days afterwards, came into the Jail, and told me that he had made a failure in the arrest of Joseph.​>
<​After the Lawyers had been about two months making out fresh papers I was again conveyed to , on a miserable horse, with feet and hands tied as before, but a different road. In a few days afterwards my Mother found where I was and she came to see me and brought me $100— whereby I was enabled to fee for his Services as Counsel.​>
<​The time of trial being continually delayed, I began to be uneasy; I was handcuffed in the dungeon which is the basement story of the prison, and is about nine feet high. I took down the Stove pipe, pushed my clothes up thro the Stove Pipe hole, and then crawled thro the hole in the floor which was made of logs about 14 inches thick, into the upper room: the hole was so small that it scratched my flesh and made me bleed from many wounds, I then examined the inside door and with the bale of the water pail I unbolted it; but finding I could not get thro the outside door I returned to my dungeon thro’ the same narrow pass: the following night I made another attempt thro the same way, but failing to get thro’ the outside door: I lay down on the upper floor where the boys who were bringing my food next morning found me, they made an alarm when 5 or 6 men came and again conveyed me down into the dungeon, it caused quite an excitement. My Mother learning that had returned home, she went to him and prevailed on him to come and speak to me at the dungeon grate, while he was talking to me, a little boy the Son of a poor Widow, about 5 or 6 years old, who had previously been to see me, and finding I had no fire, had run home and brought some fire and chips to the grate; said “you little devil you, what are you doing here with this fire”— he replied “I am going to give it to so that he can warm him.” then said “you little devil you take this fire and leave”; when the little urchin replied, [HC 6:140] (looking him in the face) “ you go to hell, I am going to give this fire, so that he can warm him.” and he pushed it thro the grate, gave me the chips, and continued to supply my daily wants of chips and fire, while I continued in the dungeon— From I learned that a special term of Court was called and my trial would come on in about 15 days— the night following this visit, some men came to the grates of my dungeon and asked if I wanted to get out; I told them no, as I had been informed that day, that * * I should have a trial in a fortnight; they replied honor bright, if you wish to get out, we’ll let you out in a few minutes; I replied that I would rather remain, as my trial would come on so soon, next morning one of the men came, put some money in the cleft of a stick and put it thro’ the hole to me; he refused to tell his name, but I knew by his voice that he was one of the men who came to me in the night. The trial came on according to my last notification, I was tried for breaking Jail and altho’ the law of reads that in order to break jail, a man must break a lock, a door or a wall, still ruled that it was breaking jail to walk out when the door is open, and under this ruling the jury brought in a verdict of “five minutes imprisonment in the County Jail,” but I was kept there 4 or 5 hours, during which time several attempts were made to get up some other charge against me. About 8 p. m. on Decr. 13 took me out and told me I must take across the country on foot and not walk on any travelled road, unless it was during the night, as they would be apt to follow and again take me, as they did not care on what grounds, so they could make me trouble, I accordingly started, accompanied by my Mother, and went to the house of <​a​> W<​idow​> where I obtained my first supper in freedom for more than nine months, we then travelled two miles and obtained $4— I then took thro’ the woods to the road where I heard two men riding on horseback, I hid behind a shady tree, & overheard one of them say “he has not been gone many minutes, we shall soon overtake him”. I went round the houses and travelled in the fields by the side of the road, the moon was in its first quarter & I travelled during the night about 25 miles I carried a little food with me & next day travelled on the road & walked past to <​a​> <​Mr.​> Taylor’s with all the skin of<​f​> my feet. A neighbor offered to take me in for the night if I would go back [HC 6:141] two miles. I did so, found his wife very cross with her husband, who said “stranger you see my wife is very cross. I have got some whiskey, let’s drink, my wife will soon have something to eat” when supper was eaten she became good tempered, I staid in peace thro’ the night; next morning I ate breakfast with them & gave them fifty cents, when the man brought out a horse & sent a little boy with me 14 miles, which was a very great relief to my weary feet. the next night I stopt near where the massacre took place— the third day I walked till noon & then hired a man to carry me the remainder of the day for .75 and staid at a house where I was well acquainted, but the people did not recognize me, & I did not make myself known— paid .50 for supper, lodging, breakfast & being sent 12 miles on horseback the next morning, then continued my journey about 30 miles, where I rested three days to recruit my feet. I was then carried 25 miles on horseback & walked the same day 25 miles. The day following I walked 40 miles, & then waited another day: & engaged a man to carry me to , to which place I was 3 days in going. I immediately crossed the to in a small Boat, & came straight to the .​>
was liberated from his imprisonment in by Habeas Corpus, this was no doubt on account of our vigilance in communicating with the and <​endeavoring to​> prosecute the kidnappers and continually making public the conduct of .
Warm day— rain in <​the​> evening.
From the Millennial Star
“We have much pleasure in publishing and recommending the following plan to be adopted amongst the Sisters of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in . We believe that the completion of the is as near the hearts of the Sisters as the brethren, and that the following proposal will be responded to on the part of the English Sisters in a manner that shall reflect honor upon themselves, and be materially instrumental in forwarding the great work. [HC 6:142]
<​Decem. 25. 1843​>
“To the Sisters of the church of Jesus Christ in : Greeting:
Dear Sisters:— This is to inform you that we have here entered into a small weekly subscription for the benefit of the Funds. One thousand have already joined it, while many more are expected, by which we trust to help forward the great work very much. The amount is only one cent or a halfpenny per week.
As brother is waiting for this I cannot enlarge more than to say, that myself and are engaged in collecting the same
We remain your affectionate sisters in Christ.
Mary [Fielding] Smith
Dec. 25, 1843
“The Ladies subscription for the of one cent per week, is fully sanctioned by the First Presidency.
We feel much to encourage this plan and trust that the Sisters in will manifest that they will not be behind the Sisters in in this [p. 1829]
December 25 I was taken into Court and was asked by the Judge if I had any Council, I told him I had not, he asked if I had any means to employ a council, I answered I had none with me that I could control, he then said here are a number of Counselors, if I was acquainted with any of them I could take my choice, I told him I would make choice of who arose and made a speech, saying he was crowded with business, but that here are plenty of young Lawyers who could plead for me as well as he could; the Judge heard his plea and then told me he did not consider that a sufficient excuse and I could consider my Counsel. I was then ordered back to Jail and ironed again in the same way. asked for and obtained a change of venue to which is in another District: When the officers came to Jail for me, they requested me to get ready in a hurry as they feared the Mob would kill me. I told them I wanted to put on a clean shirt if it cost me my life, as I had not been permitted to enjoy the luxury of a change of linen since I had boarded at the expence of : While I was changing my shirt, the officers several times told me to hurry, or the Mob would be on me and kill me. When I got ready to start the officers furnished me a very hard trotting horse, with a miserable poor saddle, tied my feet under the horse with ropes, and my hands behind my back, and started off at a good round trot, in charge of two officers, in a short time a strange gentleman fell into our Company who was also on horseback; it was six miles to the Ferry where we could cross the ; when we got there, we saw the Boat land on the opposite side, where several men got off the boat and took a course to the woods, thro’ which the road ran; the Boat returned, this stranger asked “where are [HC 6:138] those men going”, and was answered “they are going to the woods to hew timber”— we then crossed, and took our way for — when we left the Boat, we saw no signs of people, nor heard any sound of axes; after travelling some 2 or 3 miles, the woods became dense and brushy; we heard the crackling of brush and the noise of men travelling thro’ it— the officers and the Stranger appeared frightened and urged speed, keeping close watch— we came to an opening in the woods, when the noise of cracking of brush ceased; we travelled safely to , where this Stranger told his friends that he overheard several men in , planning to waylay me in the thick timber on the bottom, at the place where we heard the noises, but his being in company counteracted their plot. I was then lodged in . In a few days afterwards I learned that the men who went into the brush, told it, that they went into the woods according to agreement to waylay me, but when they saw this Stranger it frustrated their plans.
In about ten days, on pretext of informality in the papers, I was remanded back to Jail, it was rumored that I was again going to be waylaid; when the two officers from took me by a different road and so I escaped the second time. When I was put in Jail I was again ironed hand and foot, and put in the dungeon, in which condition I remained about two months, during this time the Sheriff told me he was going to arrest Joseph Smith, and they had received letters from which satisfied them that Joseph Smith had unlimited confidence in me, that I was capable of toling him in a carriage or on horseback, any where that I pleased, and if I would only toll him out by riding or any other way, so that they could apprehend him, I might please myself whether I staid in or came back to , they would protect me, and any pile that I would name, the Citizens of would donate, club together and raise and that I should never suffer for want afterwards, “you only deliver Jo Smith into our hands and name your pile.” I replied “I will see you all damd first and then I wont.”
About the time that Joseph was arrested by at , I knowing that they were after him, and no means under heaven of giving him any information, my anxiety became so intense upon the subject, knowing their determination to kill him, that my flesh twitched on my bones, I could not help it, twitch it would; while undergoing this sensation, I heard a Dove light on the window in the upper room of the Jail and commence cooing, and then went off— in a short time he came back to the Window, where a pane was broken, he crept thro’ between the bars of iron which were about 2½ inches apart. [HC 6:139] I saw it fly round the trap door several times, it did not alight but continued cooing, until it crept thro’ the bars again and flew out thro the broken window. I relate this, as it was the only occurrence of the kind that happened during my long and weary imprisonment; but it proved a comfort to me, the twitching of my flesh ceased, and I was fully satisfied from that moment, that they would not get Joseph into , and that I should regain my freedom— from the best estimates that can be made, it was at the time when Joseph was in the custody of . In a few days afterwards, came into the Jail, and told me that he had made a failure in the arrest of Joseph.
After the Lawyers had been about two months making out fresh papers I was again conveyed to , on a miserable horse, with feet and hands tied as before, but a different road. In a few days afterwards my Mother found where I was and she came to see me and brought me $100— whereby I was enabled to fee for his Services as Counsel.
The time of trial being continually delayed, I began to be uneasy; I was handcuffed in the dungeon which is the basement story of the prison, and is about nine feet high. I took down the Stove pipe, pushed my clothes up thro the Stove Pipe hole, and then crawled thro the hole in the floor which was made of logs about 14 inches thick, into the upper room: the hole was so small that it scratched my flesh and made me bleed from many wounds, I then examined the inside door and with the bale of the water pail I unbolted it; but finding I could not get thro the outside door I returned to my dungeon thro’ the same narrow pass: the following night I made another attempt thro the same way, but failing to get thro’ the outside door: I lay down on the upper floor where the boys who were bringing my food next morning found me, they made an alarm when 5 or 6 men came and again conveyed me down into the dungeon, it caused quite an excitement. My Mother learning that had returned home, she went to him and prevailed on him to come and speak to me at the dungeon grate, while he was talking to me, a little boy the Son of a poor Widow, about 5 or 6 years old, who had previously been to see me, and finding I had no fire, had run home and brought some fire and chips to the grate; said “you little devil you, what are you doing here with this fire”— he replied “I am going to give it to so that he can warm him.” then said “you little devil you take this fire and leave”; when the little urchin replied, [HC 6:140] (looking him in the face) “ you go to hell, I am going to give this fire, so that he can warm him.” and he pushed it thro the grate, gave me the chips, and continued to supply my daily wants of chips and fire, while I continued in the dungeon— From I learned that a special term of Court was called and my trial would come on in about 15 days— the night following this visit, some men came to the grates of my dungeon and asked if I wanted to get out; I told them no, as I had been informed that day, that * * I should have a trial in a fortnight; they replied honor bright, if you wish to get out, we’ll let you out in a few minutes; I replied that I would rather remain, as my trial would come on so soon, next morning one of the men came, put some money in the cleft of a stick and put it thro’ the hole to me; he refused to tell his name, but I knew by his voice that he was one of the men who came to me in the night. The trial came on according to my last notification, I was tried for breaking Jail and altho’ the law of reads that in order to break jail, a man must break a lock, a door or a wall, still ruled that it was breaking jail to walk out when the door is open, and under this ruling the jury brought in a verdict of “five minutes imprisonment in the County Jail,” but I was kept there 4 or 5 hours, during which time several attempts were made to get up some other charge against me. About 8 p. m. on Decr. 13 took me out and told me I must take across the country on foot and not walk on any travelled road, unless it was during the night, as they would be apt to follow and again take me, as they did not care on what grounds, so they could make me trouble, I accordingly started, accompanied by my Mother, and went to the house of a Widow where I obtained my first supper in freedom for more than nine months, we then travelled two miles and obtained $4— I then took thro’ the woods to the road where I heard two men riding on horseback, I hid behind a shady tree, & overheard one of them say “he has not been gone many minutes, we shall soon overtake him”. I went round the houses and travelled in the fields by the side of the road, the moon was in its first quarter & I travelled during the night about 25 miles I carried a little food with me & next day travelled on the road & walked past to a Mr. Taylor’s with all the skin off my feet. A neighbor offered to take me in for the night if I would go back [HC 6:141] two miles. I did so, found his wife very cross with her husband, who said “stranger you see my wife is very cross. I have got some whiskey, let’s drink, my wife will soon have something to eat” when supper was eaten she became good tempered, I staid in peace thro’ the night; next morning I ate breakfast with them & gave them fifty cents, when the man brought out a horse & sent a little boy with me 14 miles, which was a very great relief to my weary feet. the next night I stopt near where the massacre took place— the third day I walked till noon & then hired a man to carry me the remainder of the day for .75 staid at a house where I was well acquainted, but the people did not recognize me, & I did not make myself known— paid .50 for supper, lodging, breakfast & being sent 12 miles on horseback the next morning, then continued my journey about 30 miles, where I rested three days to recruit my feet. I was then carried 25 miles on horseback & walked the same day 25 miles. The day following I walked 40 miles, & then waited another day: & engaged a man to carry me to , to which place I was 3 days in going. I immediately crossed the to in a small Boat, & came straight to the .
was liberated from his imprisonment in by Habeas Corpus, this was no doubt on account of our vigilance in communicating with the and endeavoring to prosecute the kidnappers and continually making public the conduct of .
Warm day— rain in the evening.
From the Millennial Star
“We have much pleasure in publishing and recommending the following plan to be adopted amongst the Sisters of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in . We believe that the completion of the is as near the hearts of the Sisters as the brethren, and that the following proposal will be responded to on the part of the English Sisters in a manner that shall reflect honor upon themselves, and be materially instrumental in forwarding the great work. [HC 6:142]
Decem. 25. 1843
“To the Sisters of the church of Jesus Christ in : Greeting:
Dear Sisters:— This is to inform you that we have here entered into a small weekly subscription for the benefit of the Funds. One thousand have already joined it, while many more are expected, by which we trust to help forward the great work very much. The amount is only one cent or a halfpenny per week.
As brother is waiting for this I cannot enlarge more than to say, that myself and are engaged in collecting the same
We remain your affectionate sisters in Christ.
Mary Fielding Smith
Dec. 25, 1843
“The Ladies subscription for the of one cent per week, is fully sanctioned by the First Presidency.
We feel much to encourage this plan and trust that the Sisters in will manifest that they will not be behind the Sisters in in this [p. 1829]
Page 1829