History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 258
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<​July 9​> progress, you have heard of the persecution of the Saints in and their expulsion from thence, together with their kind reception by the citizens of , where we have been located for the last four years. For some months past we have been troubled with the wicked proceedings of certain apostates in our midst, who have striven to overthrow the Church and produce trouble and anguish in the mind of every viruous being, but their designs having been frustrated by the wise and judicious management on the part of the prophet and the Saints. These apostates, reckless of all consequences made a deadly thrust at our overthrow, leaving the suddenly and afterwards, by themselves, or agents, fired their own buildings, doubtless thinking they would charge it upon the Saints and by that means excite a mob in the surrounding country, who would fall upon, and burn the ; but in this they were disappointed, our vigilant police discovered and extinguished the flames.
“Their next course was to arrest the Prophet, the , and others, by legal process and false pretence, and take them to , the county seat, for investigation; but they gave themselves up to the requisition of the law, on the pledge of that they should be protected from all personal violence, and went voluntarily to , without even the attendance of the officer. Considerable exitement prevailed in the neighborhood, to allay which they voluntarily gave bonds for their appearance at the next session of the Circuit Court: their voluntary and noble conduct should have satisifed every mind, but certain individuals of the basest sort swore out a writ for treason against the Prophet Joseph, and the Patriarch , and they were thrust into jail without trial, without examination, without any legal course or procedure on the 25th of June, where they remained till next day, when they were brought before the magistrate, that a day might be set for their examination. They were immediately remanded to prison where they remained [HC 7:172] until the 27th, when but few of their friends were permitted to see them. Between 5 and 6 o’clock P. M. of that day a company of 150 or 200 armed, disguised and painted men rushed upon the guard who were set to watch the prison door— overpowered them, rushed up stairs into the entry adjoining the room where Joseph Smith and were, and and sitting with them to keep them company. As soon as the mob arrived at the head of the Stairs they fired through the door and shot in the face; he fell instantly, exclaiming, ‘I am a dead man’. The mob instantly forced open the door with the points of the bayonets, and recommenced an undiscriminate discharge of fire arms upon all in the room.
, in attempting to leap from the window, was shot and fell back in the chamber; Joseph, in attempting to leap from the same window, was shot, and fell on the outside, about 20 ft <​feet​> descent, when the mob gathered instantly round him and again shot him. Joseph and received each four balls and were killed instantly. received four balls in his left wrist and left leg— is doing well and is likely to recover. was marked on his left ear and cheek, otherwise remained unharmed: the whole scenery occupied only two minutes, when the mob fled rapidly towards . [p. 258]
July 9 progress, you have heard of the persecution of the Saints in and their expulsion from thence, together with their kind reception by the citizens of , where we have been located for the last four years. For some months past we have been troubled with the wicked proceedings of certain apostates in our midst, who have striven to overthrow the Church and produce trouble and anguish in the mind of every viruous being, but their designs having been frustrated by the wise and judicious management on the part of the prophet and the Saints. These apostates, reckless of all consequences made a deadly thrust at our overthrow, leaving the suddenly and afterwards, by themselves, or agents, fired their own buildings, doubtless thinking they would charge it upon the Saints and by that means excite a mob in the surrounding country, who would fall upon, and burn the ; but in this they were disappointed, our vigilant police discovered and extinguished the flames.
“Their next course was to arrest the Prophet, the , and others, by legal process and false pretence, and take them to , the county seat, for investigation; but they gave themselves up to the requisition of the law, on the pledge of that they should be protected from all personal violence, and went voluntarily to , without even the attendance of the officer. Considerable exitement prevailed in the neighborhood, to allay which they voluntarily gave bonds for their appearance at the next session of the Circuit Court: their voluntary and noble conduct should have satisifed every mind, but certain individuals of the basest sort swore out a writ for treason against the Prophet Joseph, and the Patriarch , and they were thrust into jail without trial, without examination, without any legal course or procedure on the 25th of June, where they remained till next day, when they were brought before the magistrate, that a day might be set for their examination. They were immediately remanded to prison where they remained [HC 7:172] until the 27th, when but few of their friends were permitted to see them. Between 5 and 6 o’clock P. M. of that day a company of 150 or 200 armed, disguised and painted men rushed upon the guard who were set to watch the prison door— overpowered them, rushed up stairs into the entry adjoining the room where Joseph Smith and were, and and sitting with them to keep them company. As soon as the mob arrived at the head of the Stairs they fired through the door and shot in the face; he fell instantly, exclaiming, ‘I am a dead man’. The mob instantly forced open the door with the points of the bayonets, and recommenced an undiscriminate discharge of fire arms upon all in the room.
, in attempting to leap from the window, was shot and fell back in the chamber; Joseph, in attempting to leap from the same window, was shot, and fell on the outside, about 20 feet descent, when the mob gathered instantly round him and again shot him. Joseph and received each four balls and were killed instantly. received four balls in his left wrist and left leg— is doing well and is likely to recover. was marked on his left ear and cheek, otherwise remained unharmed: the whole scenery occupied only two minutes, when the mob fled rapidly towards . [p. 258]
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