Minutes and Testimonies, 12–29 November 1838, Copy [State of Missouri v. Gates et al. for Treason]
Minutes and Testimonies, , Ray Co., MO, 12–29 Nov. 1838, State of MO v. Gates et al. for Treason (Fifth Judicial Circuit of MO 1838). Copied ca. late 1838–ca. early 1839; unidentified handwriting; fifty-seven pages; Mormon War Papers, MSA.
a witness, produced, sworn, and examined on behalf of the State, deposeth and saith
A short time after & the Whitmers left (sometime in June) and invited me to a Danite meeting. I went, & the only speaker was who explained the object of the meeting, and said that its object was, that they <we> might be perfectly organized, to defend ourselvesthem<our>selves against mobs, that we were to all to be governed by the Presidency, and do whatever they required, and uphold them: that we were not to judge for ourselves whether it were right or rong. that God had raised us up a Prophet who would judge for us, and that it was proper we should stand by each other in all cases. and he gave us an example:— if we found one of the Danites in a difficulty, in or for instance, we should rescue him, if we had to do with his adversary, as Moses did with the Egyptian— put him in the sand; It made no difference whether the danite was to blame or not, they would pack to , and there be taken care of— The question was asked, whether it would extend to a legal process.— answered not. The Danite oath was administered to about 30. or 40; <persons> at this meeting— told me who the head officers of the Danite meeting band were: that was Colonel, that he was Lieut Colonel, and Major, and that I was chosen Adjutant. After that I had a talk with & together, in which I was informed who the officers were as above, and further, that was Captain General of the band, Maj Genl. and Brig Generl. this is as I now recollect it. in speaking to the society, remarked that it would be impossible for the presidency to explain the object of the society, to every member, but that the presidency would explain their views or wishes, to the head officers, and they to the members of the society— I was present at one meeting where the officers of the society were [p. ]