“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Installment 1, December 1839

Editorial Note
The first installment, based on ’s handwritten manuscript, was published in the Times and Seasons, December 1839, 1:17–20.

In presenting to our readers, a history of the persecutions of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in the State of , we feel it our duty to commence it at the beginning. We are well aware, that many of our readers are well acquainted with the outrages, committed in , (on account of their having been published in the Evening and Morning Star,) and might perhaps rather see the paper filled with other matter, than to have those former troubles presented before them again. Yet there are a great many others who are altogether unacquainted with those early persecutions, who would feel that we had not done our duty, were we to pass by them, and confine our history, to more recent transactions.
In the winter of 1830–31, five elders of the church of Jesus Christ, travelled through the prairies in a deep snow, (which is not common in that country,) from to Missouri, where they made a permanent stand. They preached about the country as the way opened before them.— A few believed the gospel which they preached, and had been baptized, when about the middle of the following July, a number more arrived at the same place: Shortly afterwards a small branch of the church arrived there also. At that time there appeared to be but little objection to our people settling there; notwithstanding some, who could not endure the truth, manifested hostile feelings.
The church in continued to increase, almost constantly, until it was driven from the county.
As the church increased the hostile spirit of the people increased also.— The enemies circulated from time to time, all manner of false stories against the saints, hoping thereby to stir up the indignation of others. In the spring of 1832 they began to brick-bat or stone the houses of the saints, breaking in windows &c. not only disturbing, but endangering the lives of the inmates. In the course of that season a county meeting was called at , to adopt measures, to drive our people from the ; but the meeting broke up, without coming to any agreement about them; having had too much confusion among themselves, to do more than to have a few knock-downs, after taking a plentiful supply of whisky. The result of this meeting may be attributed in part, to the influence of certain patriotic individuals; among whom , a sub. Indian agent, may be considered as principal. He hearing of the meeting, came from his agency, or from home, some thirty or forty miles distant, a day or two before the meeting.
He appeared quite indignant, at the idea of having the constitution and laws set at defiance, and trodden under foot, by the many trampling upon the rights of the few. He went to certain influencial mob characters, and offered to decide the case with them in single combat: he said that it would be better for one or two individuals to die, than for hundreds to be put to death.
Although the meeting broke up without being able to effect a union, still the hostile spirit of individuals was no less abated: such was their thirst for the distruction of the saints, that they, that same fall, shot into the houses of certain individuals. One ball in particular lodged in a log near the head of the owner of the house, as he lay in bed.
During the winter and spring of 1833, the mob spirit spread itself, though in a manner secretly; but in the forepart of the summer it began to show itself openly, in the stoning of houses and other insults. Sometime in July the unparalleled declaration of the people of , made its appearance; in which they appear to [p. 17] have tried their utmost, to defame our people, charging them with crimes, and many other things; at the same time acknowledging that the laws of the land would not reach the case of the Mormons: which was evidently a fact, for they held the reins of government in their own hands, or in other words, had the administering of the laws themselves; and could they have found the laws broken, even in a single instance, who does not know, that they would have put it in force? and thereby substantiated their charges against the saints, which they never did do, in preference to taking unlawful measures against them.
The following remarkable sentence, is near the close of their famous declaration. “We therefore agree, that after timely warning, and receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they,” -[the Mormons,]- “cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them; and to that end we each pledge to each other, our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors.” The 20th of July was the day set, for the people to come together, and commence their work of destruction. Accordingly they met to the number of from 3 to 500. A committee of 13 of the mob, requested an interview with some of the principal elders of the church: Six were soon called together, who met the mob committee. They demanded of those elders, to have the , and indeed all other mechanic shops, belonging to our people, together with & ’s , closed forthwith; and the society to leave the immediately. Those elders asked for three months, to consider upon their demand, which was refused, they then asked for ten days, when they were informed that fifteen minutes were the most that could be granted. Being driven to the necessity of giving an immediate answer, and being interogated seperately, they each one answered that they could not consent to their demands: upon which one of the mob observed, as he left the room, that he was sorry, for, said he, the work of distruction will commence immediately. In a short time, hundreds of the mob gathered around the , (which was a, two story brick building,) which they soon threw down. The press was thrown from the upper story, and the aparatus, book work, paper, type, &c. &c. scattered through the streets. A family, residing in the lower story, was also thrust out in great haste. After destroying the printing establishment, they proceeded to for the same purpose, but agreeing to shut it, and box the goods soon, they concluded to let it alone.— They then went in search of certain individuals, for the purpose of taking, and abusing them. They succeeded in taking , and , both of whom they tarred and feathered, upon the public square, surrounded by hundreds of the mob.— A number more were taken, but they succeeded in making their escape, through the over anxiety of their keepers, who wished to have the sport of seeing those who were being tarred.— The scene ended the work of the mob for that day; and they adjourned to meet the next Tuesday, the 23d inst.
On Tuesday morning, large companies of the mob rode into bearing red flags, threatening death and destruction, to the Mormons. A consultation was held by some of the leading men of both parties. Nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob but for our people to either leave the or be put to death. Seeing the determination of the mob, some few of the leading elders offered their lives, provided that would satisfiy them, so as to let the rest of the society live, where they then lived, in peace; they would not agree to this, but said that every one should die for themselves, or leave the . At that time, the most, if not all, of our people, in , thought they would be doing wrong, to resist the mob, even by defending themselves; consequently they thought, that they must quietly submit, to whatever yoke was put upon them, even to the laying down of their lives.
With these views, the few elders who were assembled, at the time, to consult upon the subject, (which were but six or seven,) after counselling [p. 18] what time they had, thought it best to agree to leave the , upon the terms agreed upon, viz: that those elders should go themselves, and also use their influence, with the society, to have one half of them leave the by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April, 1834; hoping that before either of those dates would expire, providence would kindly open the way for them, to still live there in peace. The mob party agreed to not molest the saints, during the time agreed upon for them to stay. The agreement was written, and signed by the parties; the whole mob was then assembled in the , and had it read, and explained to them by their leaders; they all appeared satisfied, and agreed to abide by it. The saints were not pleased with the idea of leaving the ; and few of them, at first, believed that they would have to leave it, thinking that the government would protect them, in their constitutional rights. Threats of destruction were soon thrown out, by some of the mobbers, should they, -[the saints]- make any effort to get assistance from any quarter: but notwithstanding their threats, a petition was carefully circulated, and obtained the signature of many of the saints; and was carried to the of the , before it become at all public. The petition set forth, in a concise manner, their persecutions; and solicited the aid of the in protecting them, in their rights, that they might sue, and obtain damages, for loss of property, abuse, defamation, &c. The , in his answer, expressed a willingness to help them, but said he had no authority to do it, untill the law could not be executed without force. He advised them to try the law, against those who should threaten their lives; and if the law was resisted, give him authentic information of the fact, and then he would see that it was enforced. He also advised them to sue for their damages. They accordingly employed four counsellors, at $1,000 to commence and carry their suits, more or less, through to final judgement.
About that time a few families moved into Van Buren county, the county south of ; but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to .
The saints, as yet, had made no resistance, but seeing, as they thought, the only feasible door for moving away shut against them, they began to look around, to see what could be done.— They took the subject of self defence into consideration, and they found that they would be justified by the laws of both God and man, in defending themselves, their families, and houses, against all such as should molest them unlawfully. They therefore concluded, that from that time forward, they would defend themselves, as well as they could, against mobbers; hoping that that, when it should be understood, would dampen the hostile spirit of those who were, at that time, continually threatening them. But it had a contra effect. That, together with the petitioning of the , and the employing of counsel, caused the mob to rage again. They began by stoning houses, breaking in windows and doors, and committing other outrages; but nothing, very serious, was done till the last of October. On Thursday night the 31st, a mob of forty or fifty, collected and proceeded armed to a branch of the church, who lived eight or ten miles, south west of ; there they unroofed ten houses, and partly threw down the bodies of some of them; they caught three or four of the men, and notwithstanding the cries, and entreaties of their wives and children, they whiped, and beat them in a barbarous manner. Others evaded a beating by flight. They were taken by surprise by the mob, consequently were not collected together, or in a situation to defend themselves against so large a body; therefore they made no resistance. The mob, after threatening to visit them again in a rougher manner, dispersed. The news of this outrage soon spread through the different settlements of the saints, and produced feelings more easily felt than described; for they very well knew by the threatnings of the mob, and their breaking the treaty, or agreement, which was made but a few days before, as it were, that there was trouble ahead. They were in a scattered situation, their settlements extending east and west ten or twelve miles, and [p. 19] what to do for their safety, they knew not. To resist large bodies of the mob, in their scattered situation, appeared useless; and to gather together into one body, immediately, was impracticable, for they had not in any one place, houses to dwell in, or food for themselves and stock. A consultation was held, near , by some of the principal men of the church, to see what was best to be done; it was concluded to obtain peace warrants, if possible, against some of the principal leaders, of the mob; and also to advise their brethren to gather together, into four or five bodies, in their different neighborhoods, and defend themselves, as well as they could, whenever the mob should come upon them. They then went to a magistrate, and applied for a warrant, but he refused to grant one. The ’s letter, directing them to proceed in that way, was then read to him, upon which he replied that he cared nothing about it. At that very time the streets were filled with mobbers, passing and repassing, threatening the saints, in different directions, with destruction. And to be deprived of the benefit of law, at such a critical time, was well calculated to make the saints feel solemn, and mourn over the depravity of man. But they had not much time for reflection; for they had many things to do to prepare for the night, which was just at hand, in the which they expected the mob would be upon them. Up to this time, the persons of women and children were considered safe, they seldom being abused; therefore the men run together for the night, leaving their families at home.
At the men met half a mile west of the .— Night came on and a party of the mob, who had staid in the village, were heard brick-batting the houses; spies were sent to discover their movements, who returned with information that they were tearing down a brick-house, belonging to and , and also breaking open their . Upon hearing that news, those who were collected together, formed themselves into two small companies, and marched up to the public square, where they found a number of men in the act of stoning the of Gilbert and Whitney, (which was broken open, and some of the goods thrown into the street) they all fled but one , who was taken and found to be well lined with whiskey. and one or two more went with him to , and demanded a warrant for him, but he refused to give them one; consequently was liberated. Next morning it was ascertained that the windows were broken in, where there were none but women and children; one house in particular, which had window shutters, and they were shut, had a rail thrust through into the room where women and children were alone. Seeing that neither sex nor age were safe, the families were all moved out of the village that day. The same night another party of the mob collected about ten or twelve miles from , near a body of the saints; two of their company went to discover the situation of the brethren; they came near the guard, when discovering them, advanced and went up to them: when one of them struck him over the head with a rifle, which cut a large gash in his head, and nearly knocked him down; but he recovered himself, called to his men who were near, they took the spies and disarmed them of two rifles and three pistols, kept them in custody until morning, then gave them their arms and let them go without injuring them. The rest of their company were heard at a distance, but they dispersed without doing any harm.
to be continued. [p. 20]
Installment 2, January 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Jan. 1840, 1:33–36. This is the second installment of the series. The first three installments were based on a manuscript in the hand of .

Saturday, Nov. 2d [1833], it was concluded to try again for a peace warrant: accordingly application was made to a magistrate by the name of Silvers, who resided some distance from town, and who had not as yet openly joined the mob, but he refused to grant a warrant, saying that if he did he feared that his life would be in dander [danger].— The next day four men were started to the , forty miles distance, after considerable delay by the judge, they obtained warrants against a number of individuals. When the warrants arrived, it was too late to do any thing with them, for the whole was getting up in arms, and the saints had as much as they could do to take care of themselves. But to return—Saturday night came on, and a party of the mob went to a settlement, of the saints living on big Blue-river about six miles west of town; they first tore the roof from a house, and injured the furniture within; they then divided their company into two parties, one went to pulling the roof from another dwelling house, whilst the other party went to another and broke it open; they found the owner D[avid] Bennett in bed, whom they took and beat unmercifully; one of the company drew a pistol, and swore that he would blow out his brains, but the ball laid bare his skull without fracturing it—thus narrowly he escaped with his life. A party of the saints were collected near by, who hearing the disturbance went to the place. The mob began to fire upon them, and they returned the compliment, a few guns were discharged from both parties, but the fire was not general; at length a young man of the mob was shot in the thigh, and soon after the mob dispersed for that night.
Sunday, Nov. 3d. Many threatnings were heard from the mobbers; they were greatly enraged, and were exerting themselves to strengthen their party; for as yet some of the inhabitants manifested friendship for the brethren; such told them, that they expected, they would all be massacreed, for the enemy were about to get a six pounder, and come out openly against them the next day.
Monday, Nov. 4th. A large mob collected at ’s store, about a mile west of big Blue, they came to the Blue took the ferry boat, and threatened some lives; but for some unknown cause, perhaps to take some more whiskey, they left the Blue and returned to ’s store again.— Whilst they were at the Blue threatening the saints, word was sent to a body of the brethren, about five or six miles distant to the southwest, that a large mob was collected, and they expected that they should need help; whereupon, nineteen brethren started to go and assist them, but before they reached ’s store, they learned that the mob had returned there, upon hearing this, they proceeded no farther, but returned back. The mob, by some means feared that they were on the road west of them; when from fifty to seventy of the mob took their rifles, mounted their horses, and went in pursuit of them: after travelling about two miles they came in sight of them, when they all fled into the cornfields and woods; some went immediately to the body, and informed their brethren, of what they had seen. About thirty of the saints, (mostly those who had lived in the settlement, where the mob then was, some of whom had had their houses unroofed, but a short time before,) took their arms, and started as soon as possible, to meet the mob.— Meantime the mob turned their horses into cornfields, of the saints, and then hunted for them who had fled; they went to s a lame brother, who had not left his home, and pointed their guns at him, and threatened his life, provided he did not tell them [p. 33] where his brethren had fled to. They also threatened women and children.— In this manner they spent their time for about an hour, when about sundown a company, of thirty brethren, marched up, and as soon as they came near enough, the mob fired upon them, and they immediately fired back; after a round or two, the mob retreated and left the ground; they were followed a short distance, but not far.
Two of the mob, and a number of horses were killed, and some five or six wounded. The mob were so frightened, that they left their dead on the ground over night. The saints had four or five wounded, one by the name of [Andrew] Barber mortally, who died the next day. was wounded, in the bowels by the first gun fired.
The same day at , , , and were taken for assault and battery, and false imprisonment by , whom they had taken the Friday night previous. And although they could not get a warrant for him, for breaking the , yet he had obtained one for them, for catching him at it.
They were prisoners in the , on trial, when news of the battle reached town. It was stated, that the Mormons had killed twenty of the mob, and had gone to s and shot his son. In a moment as it were, all was confusion in the house. The majority were for massacreing the prisoners forthwith; but a few, more human[e] than the rest, were not willing to see prisoners murdered, while in open court, they advised them to go to jail to save their lives; this they did, and were hurried, but with difficulty protected by those few friends, to the jail; where they felt happy to be locked in. They were visited by some influencial men, who told them that the mob had now become desperate, and that the whole had become enraged, and nothing would stop them from massacreing the whole society, but to leave the forthwith. About midnight the sheriff, with two other men, went with , and to visit their brethren who were collected near town. A short consultation was held with some of them, when it was agreed that they would leave the immediately, and use their influence with their brethren, to have them go also. These were times which tried men’s souls; to stay where they were was death, and to undertake to remove so large a body at once, there being about ten or twelve hundred of them, looked like destruction of much property, if not of lives. It seemed, however to be the only alternative; and property at that time was no object. If they could but obtain sufficient to live upon, they chose rather to wander off into some lonely wilderness, or even descent [desert] where they could enjoy peace, than to stay where they were, even if they could, and be continually harrassed as they had been for a few months past. But to return to the thread of our story, the party in returning back to jail, were met at the jail, by a company of mobbers who were disposed to kill the prisoners in spite of the sheriff and his assistants; and seeing their danger, broke and run, but were fired at; had two guns snapped at him, one of which flashed in the pan; he was then knocked down, but not injured so but that with the help of the sheriff and his assistants he soon got into the jail, where he felt himself measurably safe. Early next morning the prisoners were discharged. It was afterwards acknowledged by the enemy that they had intended to have taken the leading men for some pretended crime, a few at a time until they got them all, and shut them up in prison; and then to have fallen upon the rest and drove them out of the and then sent the leaders after them.
The saints were such abominable characters, doing so many wicked things which the law could not reach, that they had become very obnoxious, to the good people of , who were so pious, so moral and so loyal to the constitution and laws of our , that they would not live with them, but must thrust them out: Whereas, if any, even the the most abandoned amongst the saints would leave the church, deny the faith take a good dram of whiskey, swear and blaspheme the name of God roundly, they could be permitted to stay, they were hail fellows well met. They made the offer themselves, that if any would deny the faith and leave the [p. 34] church, they might stay and be protected there; and a number tried the experiment with success; and it is believed that some few of them are living there in peace, to this day.
We will return again to the night of the battle. The mob sent their runners over the , to stir up the feelings of the people, by misrepresenting the doings of the saints, so as to have them all turn out, and exterminate them at once. The people took their arms and started for , as fast as they possibly could, so that early the next morning there were hundreds there ready for war. pretended to call out the militia, as he said to quill [quell] the mob, and make peace between the parties; but the fact is he put himself, or was put, some said by , then lieutenant Gov., at the head of the mob, for the purpose of making a show of legality for what they did.
We must now return again to the evening after the battle, and bring up an other item. The body of saints near , learning in the evening, that the brethren were shut up in the jail, and as they supposed for the purpose of being put to death, sent word immediately to Br. , (who lived about six miles off,) of their situation, and requested help. collected together a hundred or more of the saints, who were but poorly armed, some having no weapons, but clubs, and in the morning marched them on the road towards , expecting to stop at the camp of the saints, near town; but hearing of the release of the prisoners, and of the agreement of the brethren to leave the forthwith; and also that the militia were called out at to make peace, before he had reached the brethren’s settlement, he turned aside his men into the woods, concluding to disperse soon and go home.— News flew to town, that with a company of his brethren, were marching towards that place; this so enraged , and his pretended militia, that he demanded that and his company should give up their arms; and also those men who were in the battle the night before, should be given up, to be tried for murder; saying that if they would do those things, they should be safely protected, whilst removing out of the ; otherwise there was no peace for them. They reluctantly consented to these propositions, and were it not for fear of resisting the authorities of the country, they would sooner have shed their blood in the defence of their rights, and the liberty of their country, than to have submitted to such oppression. However the arms were given up, amounting to fifty one guns, one sword and one pistol. And a number of those who were in the battle, gave themselves up as prisoners. The saints then made all possible exertions to leave the . After detaining the prisoners a day and a night, and pretending to try them for murder; and also threatening and brick batting them, took them into a cornfield, so that their lives would not be in danger, from his pretended militia; and after taking a watch from one of them for costs, he being the constable, said to them “clear.” promised to give back the brethren’s arms, whenever they left the , this he afterwards refused to do; Whereupon the ’s order was twice obtained for them but he would not obey it, neither have they ever been paid for. The saints concluded to move south, into Van Buren county, which was consented to by a number of the leading men. But before night word was sent to them that they might go north and east, but south and west they must not go, if they did, they would meet with trouble.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, the arms having been taken from the saints; the mob now felt safe, and were no longer militia, they formed themselves into companies, and went forth on horse-back armed, to harrass the saints, and take all the arms they could find. Two of these companies were headed by baptist preachers. The Rev. , headed one of about seventy, the other priest’s company, whose name is not now recollected, contained from thirty to forty. They went forth through the different settlements of the saints, threatening them with death, and distruction if they were not off immediately. They broke open houses, and plundered them, where they found them shut, and the owners gone. As it hap [p. 35]pened the men were mostly gone from home that day; making arrangements for getting away. The mob that day stripped some of the saints of their arms, even to penknives; some they whipped; they shot at some, and others they hunted after; as they said to kill them.
Mobs, well lined with whiskey, as these were, looking and acting worse than savages, were well calculated to frighten women and children; which they effectually did in some cases.— One settlement were so frightened, that a party of from 130 to 150, women and children, with only six men to protect them, not waiting the return of their husbands and fathers, left their homes forthwith on foot, without taking any of their things, and wandered off south, upon the prairie a number of days under the broad canopy of heaven, not knowing which way the church was intending to go. The stubs of the newly burnt grass, and weeds, were so hard that they cut the feet of the children, who had no shoes, so that many of them became very sore, and bled profusely. Other companies fled towards the ; and in a short time the most of the church, were under way for ; some few went east, and others south. After some of the head men had left, and the saints were generally getting under way, the mob in a measure ceased to harrass them. The people of received the saints, with as much hospitality as could be expected. The losses and sacrifices of the saints, were very great in the destruction of crops, furniture, clothing and &c. and also in the loss of stock. Grain and many other things, would hardly bear transportation across the ; consequently much was left behind, that otherwise might have been got away.
After it was thought that the mob spirit had died away, some few families moved back from Van Buren county to their former homes in ; where what they had for the sustainance of themselves, and their stock was.
They had not long been back, before a mob party visited them in the night; and took some of the men and beat them with chairs and clubs, till life was nearly extinct, and then left them for dead; one by the name of [Lyman] Leonard, was a long time recovering; indeed he has never fully recovered from that beating.
There were four aged families in , who had not left their homes, whose age, infirmities and penury seemed to say, you may tarry until the spring opens; but neither age nor infirmities, would protect a saint in . These veterans, the youngest of the four being 64 years of age, were assailed by a mob party, who broke in their doors and windows, hurling large stones into their houses, whereby, some of their lives were greatly endangered; and thus they were driven from their homes, in the winter season. Some of these men have toiled and bled, in the defence of their ; one of them (Mr. Jones,) served as a life guard to General Washington in the revolutionary war. [p. 36]
Installment 3, February 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, 1:49–51. This is the third installment of the series. The first three installments were based on a manuscript in the hand of .

The Governor, , was disposed to bring the mobbers to justice; consequently, ten or twelve, witnesses were subpoened to attend the February term of the circuit court was ordered to guard them over to , and back, with his company of Liberty Blues. The attorney Gen. was also ordered, or requested, by the to attend the court, to assist the , in the investigation. The witnesses were guarded over to , and after having been there a short time, they were visited by the , accompanied by the attorney General. They informed the witnesses, that such was the excitement prevailing there; that it was doubtful whether any thing could be done to bring the mobbers to justice; that if any should be convicted, they would only be fined in some trifling sum, not to exceed $5, at most, just enough to answer the law. And they advised the witnesses not to go before the grand jury, intimating at the same time, that they might be in danger.— The witnesses replied, that they had been ordered there by the court, and they supposed, that they were still subject to the court, or to them, the attornies. As to the danger, in going before the grand jury they feared it not: they were ready and willing to go and testify to the truth. The attornies left them, and in a short time after, they were informed by , that the Judge, , had sent him word, that the witnesses and guard, were not wanted there any longer; paraded his men, as soon, and as well as he could for the crowd, and immediately marched off, the witnesses following him. All hopes were now given up of ever bringing that people to justice; their hatred towards the saints, appeared to be unabating; they frequently sent over word to that they were coming over to drive them from that place; they even went so far, as to circulate a paper in , the object of which was to obtain volunteers there, to assist them in driving the saints away.— In however, they had but a few friends, (for some time,) and could not obtain many signers.
A wealthy farmer, by the name of , living in , who was then friendly to the saints, and who was in the habit of sending flour and whiskey into to sell, (it generally being higher there than in , in consequence of the Indian trade,) sent over one of his negroes and team with a load, sometime that fall or winter, they were stopped on the road by some of the good people of , who mounted the load, and with axes cut the barrels to pieces, and wasted the flour and whisky upon the ground.
In 1834, if we mistake not, an inoffensive Br. by the name of Ira J. Willes went into to hunt for a lost cow; he was taken by some of the ruffians residing there, who, after stripping off his clothes, whipped him unmercifully. For the credit of , we would state that he was taken from the house of a Justice of the Peace; this is an ensample of upper peace makers. The same year, Br. , a very peacible man, went to to see a man who owed him; on his way he was discovered, and overtaken by some of that lawless banditti, who beat him with handspikes, no doubt with an intent to kill, for that was what they swore they would do; but his life was preserved, and he escaped out of their hands. Thus have that people, unceasingly abused, and persecuted the saints whenever they could get an opportunity.
appeared willing to guard back the saints to [p. 49] at any time when they should get ready to go; but said, that he had not authority to keep a guard there for their protection. That being the case they were advised, by some of the most influential men in the upper country, who were friendly to them, but not believers in their faith, to have enough of their brethren emigrate to that country, to enable them to maintain their rights, should the mob ever attemp to trample upon them again: and then get the to set them back upon their lands. Accordingly word was sent forth to the churches to that effect; and in the summer of 1834, a large company emigrated from the eastern churches, to for that purpose.
Whilst this company was forming and going up to , rumor, with her ten thousand tongues, was busily engaged, in circulating falsehoods about them; insomuch, that before they arrived at , there was considerable excitement, even there.
The people went over into , and called a meeting and stired up all the feelings there, that they possibly could against the saints. The anger of the people of rose to a great height; they had furnished themselves with a number of cannon, and their neighbours of the adjoining counties, on the south side of the , volunteered by hundreds to assist them, provided that the should attempt to set the saints back upon their land in
The company from the eastern churches arrived in and their gentle manners, and peaceable deportment, soon convinced the people of that country, of the false reports which had been circulated about them. The excitement was very soon done away, and the people appeared more friendly than before.
After the arrival of the brethren from the east, a council was held, and it was concluded, considering the great wrath of the people, south of the river, that it would not be wisdom to ask the to set them back at that time.
The people of were mostly friendly to the saints, but there were a few exceptions. Nothing of importance occurred, however, for some time, a few threats and insults from those who were disaffected, was all the hostility manifested till the summer of 1836.
The suits which had been commenced against the people, for damages, progressed so slow, and were attended with such an amount of costs, that they were all dropped but two; which were considered sufficient to try the experiment; to ascertain whether or not any thing could be obtained by the law. Near $300 cost had been paid by the brethren, to obtain a change of venue; the suits were then removed to . Court after court passed, and the trials were continued. At last, in the summer of 1836, the time drew near, when it was supposed that the trials must come on: which was very gratifying to those who planted the suits. When the court came, their lawyers, instead of going to trial, as they should have done, made a sort of compromise, with the mobbers, by dropping one suit, without even having the cost paid, and that too without the knowledge or consent of their employers. On the other suit the defendants agreed to pay a few hundred dollars; though not as much as the lawyer’s fees had been. Thus the lawyers, after getting their pay, managed the cases; had they been true to the brethren, as they were bound to be by oath, and brought their suits to a trial, instead of making a compromise, and laboured faithfully for them, as they ought to have done; and laboured as though they meant to earn their thousand dollar fee; there is no doubt but that, on the two suits, they would have obtained as many thousands of dollars, as they did hundreds by the compromise. No further attempts have ever been made to obtain a compensation for the losses and damages, sustained by the saints in except last winter in petitioning the Legislature of , among other things they asked the , for remuneration for them; which the Legislature did not see fit to grant.
In the summer of 1836 the mob party, in strengthened itself considerably, and became quite bold; insomuch that they in one or two instances, began to whip the saints; and [p. 50] one day some sixty or seventy of them assembled, rode off a few miles east, and stopped a few waggons, which were moving to , and turned them back. It was manifested from their threatnings and actions, that they were determined, to fall upon the saints and drive them out of the , if they could. It was equally manifest, that the saints were disposed to defend themselves against mobs, even to the sheding of blood.
At that time it was seen that if something was not done to stop it, blood would be shed; (for the mob party were resolved on driving, and the saints were determined not to be driven by them, without first trying their strength;) Wherefore the most intelligent, and respectable citizens of the , who had always appeared friendly to the saints, held a meeting, in which they appointed a committee, and also requested the saints to appoint a committee, to meet their committee near , on a day appointed to confer with each other; and see if something could not be done, to evade the storm, which appeared to be fast gathering.
The committee met at the appointed time, and a proposition was made by the citizen’s committee, to the other, to this effect.
That whereas, the people of had kindly received the saints in their distress, when it was expected, that they would soon return to , and not think of making a permanent home: and whereas, almost three years had passed away since, and the prospect of their returning to was less at that time than it was years before; and that a portion of the citizens of were dissatisfied, to have them remain where they were any longer. Therefore the committee in behalf of the citizens requested, that they (the sain[t]s) should look themselves a new location, either in some unsettled part of the , or othrewise go out of the , as suited them best. The committee disclaimed all right, to request any such thing; they said, that they knew very well, that the saints had just as good a right there, as themselves, but they thought that considering the opposition that there was to them it would be better for them, to go where they could be more by themselves; and they even reccommended their gathering together, and living altogether by themselves. They further said, that if they would consent to go, and seek a new location, they would send a committee with them, who was acquainted with the country, who would pilot them, in looking it out. However a location had already been selected, and about sixteen hundred acres of land purchased but a short time previous; and they were willing to go, and some of them were making preparations to move there soon before the meeting of the committee: Wherefore the committee, on the part of the church, consented to the proposition made to them; and then all parted with apparent good feelings.— Soon afterwards three, on the part of the church, and two pilots, started to view the country; they travelled a number of days, in the new settlements, towards the N. W. corner of the ; and they finally concluded, that the place previously selected, now known as should be the place, where they would settle; there being but a few inhabitants, in a district of country large enough for a county; and they, in general, willing to sell out.
Upon these movements the mob spirit in measurably subsided, and the saints prepared, and moved to their new settlement, as fast as their circumstances would permit; pleased with the idea of settling together by themselves. [p. 51]
Installment 4, March 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Mar. 1840, 1:65–66. The author of this fourth installment is not known, and no manuscript version has been located.

In August, 1836, the saints commenced settling upon their new location, in great numbers; and made preparations for the coming winter, by constructing comfortable dwellings for themselves, and gathering as much food for their cattle, horses &c. as their straitened circumstances would permit. Here they settled with the fond anticipation of being permitted to dwell in quietness and peace upon their possessions without molestation; consequently large entries of the public lands were made by individuals of the society, and extensive farms were soon opened; those who had not means to purchase lands, were under the necessity of loaning it of the citizens, at very high rates of per centage, frequently being compelled to pay fifty per cent. Others who could not obtain money by loan, would procure two or three months provision for their families, and then go to Fort Leavensworth [Leavenworth] or elsewhere, and work until they had earned enough to enter a forty or an eighty acre tract; thus by dint of hard labor and untiring perseverance, almost every man, in a few months found himself in the possession of sufficient land to make a good farm. In a few months nearly or quite all the best land of the territory, now known as , was purchased by the saints, several hundred buildings erected, and great preparations made for a crop the coming season. A principal part of the old inhabitants sold out and moved away, which however, were but few, there being only about fifteen or twenty families in the .
Commencing a settlement at this season of the year, they were obliged to procure all their provision for themselves, and grain for their stock in the adjoining counties, and transport it some thirty or forty miles, which was a great detriment to the extensive improvements they were making. At the session of the Legislature, in the winter of 1836–7 an act was passed, calling the territory upon which the saints had settled, The following spring it was duly organized, with proper officers, both civil and military. The emigration increased very rapidly, so much so, that notwithstanding the town of had beed [been] laid out, and was building up very fast, yet several families, in the spring of 1837, moved still further north into the county of , some of whom entered lands and settled upon them, there being one township then in market which lay on the south side of the county, and immediately adjoinimg to the north. Others purchased pre-emtion rights, and settled upon the public domain, which was not in market, under the privilege of the pre-emtion law.
Some time in the month of July, a mob spirit began to manifest itself in which continued to increase, until finally a lawless band of desparadoes some twenty or thirty, headed by Mr. , a Justice of the Peace, and a Colonel in the militia, went from house to house and warned every man, belonging to our society, to leave the on or before a certain day by them specified, which was not far distant, or suffer the consequences, as they had resolved upon that day to clear the of every Mormon in it. This intelligence, however, was not as terrifying as it might have been, had this been the first time that it had been proclaimed in the ears of the saints, but they, being made familiar with the sound in and counties, were disposed to treat the subject at this time properly; therefore they informed this lawless banditti, that as for the day, it might come and go like all other days, but if it brought a mob with it they might expect a warm reception as every man would be at home well prepared for all such visitors; and as it respected leaving the , that, [p. 65] they would not do upon any consideration whatever. This had the desired effect, for the day came and passed off without any molestation, with the exception, of a few more threats being made on the part of the mob, which soon died away, and the idea of driving was hushed for the present.
In the mean time, the citizens of were making every exertion to improve that county. The town of was laid out one mile square, and the most of the lots sold; and in one year from the time of the first settlement in , there were from one hundred to one hundred and fifty dwelling houses erected in that place, six dry good stores in operation, one grocery and several mechanic shops. There were in the , nearly or quite three hundred farms opened and several thousand acres under cultivation also, four saw and five grist mills doing good business. Thus we can see that in the short space of one year, the solitary place was made glad for them, and the wilderness was converted into a fruitful field. [p. 66]
Installment 5, April 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Apr. 1840, 1:81–82. This fifth installment reprinted passages from ’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (1839), pages 26–29. The author of the opening two paragraphs is unknown.

In the winter and spring of 1838, the saints were prospered in all their pursuits; the church received great accession by emigration, as hundreds of families moved in from various parts of the and .— Some time in the month of March, President Joseph Smith jr. arrived with his family, accompanied by several brethren, from , Ohio; soon after this President arrived with his family also, they both settled in . At this time there were several persons living in , who were disaffected with the church and had dissented from it, and were cut off from the church according to the rules and regulations of the same. These characters were busy in striving to stir up strife and turmoil among the brethren, and urging on mean and vexatious lawsuits; they were also, studiously engaged in circulated false and slanderous reports against the saints, to stir up our enemies to anger against us, that they might again drive us from our homes, and enjoy the spoils together. we are disposed here, to give the names of some of those characters, believing that justice to an injured people, requires it at our hands. They are as follows, viz: , , , , and , of whom we may have occasion to speak hereafter.
We shall now make an extract from s history published in last season, which is a correct statement of facts.
“On the Fourth of July, 1838, many thousands of our people assembled at the city of , the county seat of , erected a liberty pole, and hoisted the bold eagle, with its stars and stripes, upon the top of the same. Under the colors of our count[r]y we laid the corner stone of a of worship, and had an address delivered by , in which was painted, in lively colors, the oppression which we had long suffered from the hand of our enemies; and in this discourse we claimed and declared our constitutional rights, as American citizens, and manifested a determination to do our utmost endeavors, from that time forth, to resist all oppression, and to maintain our rights and freedom according to the holy principles of liberty, as guaranteed to every person by the constitution and laws of our government. This declaration was received with shouts of hosannah to God and the Lamb, and with many and long cheers by the assembled thousands, who were determined to yield their rights no more, except compelled by a superior power.
But in a day or two after these transactions, the thunder rolled in awful majesty over the city of , and the arrows of lightning fell from the clouds and shivered the liberty pole from top to bottom; thus manifesting to many that there was an end to liberty and law in that state, and that our little city strove in vain to maintain the liberties of a country which was ruled by wickedness and rebellion. It seemed to portend the awful fate which awaited that devoted city, and the and p[e]ople around.
Soon after these things, the war clouds began again to lower, with dark and threatening aspect. The rebellious party in the counties around had long watched our increasing power and prosperity with greedy and avaricious eyes, and they had already boasted that as soon as we had made some fine improvements, and a plentiful crop, they would drive us from the , and again enrich themselves with the spoils. Accordingly, at an election held in , the robbers undertook to drive our people from the poll box and threatened to kill whoever should attempt to vote. But some were deter [p. 81]mined to enjoy their rights or die; they therefore went forward to vote, but were seized by the opposing party and attacted, and thus a fight commenced. But some of our people knocked down several of the robbers, and thus cleared the ground and maintained their rights, though vastly unequal in numbers. The news of this affair soon spread far and wide, and cuased the people to rally, some for liberty and some to support the robbers in their daring outrages. About one hundred and fifty of those who were on the side of liberty, marched to the spot next day, and went to the residence of the leaders in this outrage, and soon an agreement was signed for peace, But this was of short duration, for the conspirators were stirred up throughout the whole , being alarmed for fear the Mormons, as they called them, should become so formidable as to maintain their rights and liberties, insomuch that they could no more drive and plunder them. About this time, meetings were held by the robbers in Carroll, Saline, and other counties, in which they openly declared their treasonable and murderous intentions of driving the citizens who belonged to our society from their counties, and if possible, from the . Resolutions to this effect were published in the journals of Upper , and this without a single remark of disapprobation. Nay more this murderous gang when assembled and painted like Indian warriors, and when openly committing murder, robbery, and house burning, were denominated citizens, white people, &c., in most of the papers of the ; while our society who stood firm in the cause of liberty and law, were denominated Mormons, in contradistinction to the appelation of citizens, whites &c, as if we had been some savage tribe, or some colored race of foreigners. The robbers soon assembled, to the number of several hundred, under arms, and rendezvoused in , being composed of individuals from many of the counties around. Here they commenced firing upon our citizens, and taking prisoners. Our people made no resistence, except to assemble on their own ground for defence. They also made oath before the Circuit Judge, , to the above outrages. Five hundred men were then ordered into service, under the command of , and Brigadier Generals and . These were soon mustered and marched through , and took their stand in , where some of them remained thirty days. The robbers were somewhat awed by these prompt measures, so that they did not proceed farther at that time in , but they proceeded to , a small town in Carroll county, which was mostly settled by our people. Here they laid siege for several days, and subsisted by plunder and robbery, watching every opportunity to fire upon our citizens. At this time they had one field piece, and were headed by a Presbyterian priest by the name of , who, it is said, tended prayer, night and morning, at tha [the] head of the gang. In this siege they say that they killed a number of our people. They also turned one , and his wife and children out of doors when sick, and set fire to their house, and burned it to ashes before their eyes. At length they succeeded in driving every citizen from the place, to the sacrifice of every thing which they could not take with them. [p. 82]
Installment 6, May 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, May 1840, 1:97–99. This sixth installment quotes almost verbatim from [], An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints; and of the Barbarities Inflicted on Them by the Inhabitants of the State of Missouri (1840), pages 40–45. Rigdon wrote this account during the summer of 1839 and published it with church support early in 1840. Although many of the events reported here can be corroborated from other sources, Rigdon’s chronology is often inaccurate.

The first day the saints left , they traveled 12 miles, and encamped in a grove of timber, near the road.— That evening, a woman, who had, some short time before given birth to a child, in consequence of the exposure occasioned by the operations of the mob, and having to move her, before her strength would admit, died, and was buried in the grove, without a coffin. There were a considerable number sick, both grown persons and children, which was principally owing to their exposure, and to their having been obliged to live in their wagons and tents so long; and in being deprived of suitable food. No sooner had they started than , called the mob together, and made a speech to them, saying, that they must hasten to assist their friends in . The land sales (he said) were coming on; and if they could get the Mormons driven out, they could get all the lands entitled to pre-emptions; and that they must hasten to , in order to accomplish their object—that, if they would join, and drive them out, they could get all the lands back again, as well as all the pay they received for them. He assured the mob, that they had nothing to fear from the authorities in so doing; for they had now, full proof, that the authorities would not assist the Mormons, and that they might as well take their property from them as not. His request was complied with, and accordingly the whole banditti started; taking with them, their cannon, for . In the mean time, , was busily engaged in raising a mob, in Platt[e], and Clinton counties; to aid in his effort, to drive peaceable citizens. from their homes, and take their property. After the mob had left Corrill [Carroll] county, there was ordered out, a part of two brigades of militia, to check their movements. Generals and , were in command of them, as it was part of their brigades that were ordered out. The first knowledge that the people of or , had of the mob, coming against them, was the arrival of a body of troops under the command of Col. [William] Dunn, of , in . As the people of , had no knowledge of any troops, designed to come into the place, their appearance caused some excitement. Both the miltiary and civil officers, immediately met them, and enquired into the cause of their sudden appearance in the place without giving previous notice. Their commander gave for answer, that “they had been ordered out, by ; to repair to , to operate against a mob, which was on its march from Corrill county, to .” This was on the first day of the week. We have not the precise date, but it was in October. The evening following which was Monday, arrived in . In consequence of these hostile movements on the part of the mob, the people of had assembled together, to take such measures as the emergency of the case might require.
After the arrival of , the authorities made enquiry of him, concerning the matter, and the operations of the mob. He stated that the mob had gone from Corrill county, with their cannon, for the express purpose of driving the saints from ; and that he was going to operate against them; but he said that his troops were so mutinous, that there was but little reliance to be placed in them. He advised the authorities of to send out two or three hundred men to , to defend the people against the violence intended by the mob; until such time, as effectual measures could be taken by the authorities, to put a stop to their operatoins: And he also told them, that , was collecting a mob, in Platt, and other places, for the purpose of attacking [p. 97] ; and said that it was absolutely necessary, that there should be a strong guard kept at , to defend the place. In accordance with his representation, the authorities of the county, had the militia regularly called out, and a number went to as he had reccommended, to await the movements and operations of the mob; and to act accordingly.
The troops that had been ordered out by , went only about a mile and a half, from , and there encamped until he should arrive. After his arrival and giving the instructions he did, he went and ordered his troops home, instead of sending them to .
Immediately after his departure, of , arrived, and reported that he had sent on a number of troops to , from , for the express purpose of stopping the operations of the mob; “part of them,” he said “were to be relied on, and part of them were not.” All the officers said that and his company, which in all their expeditions, had formed a part of their army, were not to be depended on, for he was as lawless, if not more so, and as mabocratic, as the worst of the mob.
, on his arrival, expressed some disappointment, at not finding there, as he expected, and also at his having ordered his troops home. It commenced snowing and storming, vehemently; after which, also sent his troops home, and they returned; but himself, went on to . The mob, by this time, felt themselves sufficiently strong, and declaring themselves four hundred in number, and knowing that the troops had returned; they felt all-sufficient to commence their operations; and accordingly, the very night of arrival in , the mob commenced their operations. The first attack, was made on the house of a man by the name of , who had gone on business to . His , was there alone with two little children, neither of them able to walk, and withal, , a very delicate woman. They drove her out of her house; there was a heavy snow on the ground—it was about the last of October or the first of November. She took her two children in her arms, and walked three miles through the snow, and waded , to . During the night, they burnt out seven families, and took all their goods and carried them off. They swore vengeance against the Mormons, as they called them, that they should leave or they would sacrifice them all, and that they would make no terms of peace, but at the cannon’s mouth,
The next morning after this driving out and burning, Mr. , who was an officer in the militia, asked , what they should do, he now saw the designs and purposes of the mob; and he wanted to know how to proceed.
Here let us just remark, that the saints had borne the abuse of the people of , without cause or provocation on their part, except their religion, from the summer of 1831, until this time, which was the first of November 1838, during which time, their crops had been destroyed, their goods and chattels plundered, their houses burned, and they, driven off their farms, in the face of the goverment, and appeal after apeal, made to the authorities for redress; but none could be had, and they had never, in one instance retaliated; and now they were not disposed to move, until the authorities of the country, said so: and seeing was there, they appealed to him.— replied, with an oath, “go and give them a complete dressing, for you will never have any peace with them, until you do it; and I will stand between you and all difficulty.”
Having the orders of their General, a man by the name of , took one hundred men, and went to give them battle, though they reported themselves four hundred strong, and had a cannon. As gave chase, the mob fled before him. The pursuit lasted for two or three days, during which time, a general destruction of property took place, burning houses &c. The saints fled into with what they could carry with them, and the rest of their property was all destroyed. They drove in, such of their cattle, horses, hogs, and sheep as they could get in. Their houses were soon wrapped in flames, [p. 98] and what they left behind them, made a prey of.
, at last got so near the mob, that they left their cannon and fled. He took the cannon, and returned to , and thus ended the scene of destruction. It is necessary for a proper understanding of this matter, about the destruction of property, for the reader to know that the saints had bought a heavy portion of ; for which, there are documents now to show, and were to have possession in a short time. Let it be noticed that the mob, in these burnings, had little to lose; they had got pay, for both their houses, and their lands, and their whole object was, to drive the saints from them, and keep both their lands and their pay; which by the assistance of , they have been enabled to do. The mob declared, while they were selling their lands, that they would do so, and if they could not accomplish their object any other way, they would burn their houses, and report the saints had done it. This can be proven by Mr. Uriah B. Powel[l].
After the mob was dispersed, and their cannon taken, the people from , returned home, in hopes of having peace; but this hope proved to be vain, for , who had been very active in the mob, and a commander of one of their companies, that was painted, commenced collecting his painted and scattered forces on a stream, that was called the Grindstone. After he had got as he supposed, a sufficient number of them collected and well painted he came into , and took cattle and horses &c.; and the people of had to set guards, to protect their property.”—See ’s History, entitled “An Appeal to the American People”—Page 40.
to be continued. [p. 99]
Installment 7, June 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:113–116. In this seventh installment, editors again drew from ’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (1839), pages 33–40.

Soon after these things had transpired in , was threatened from every quarter; and her citizens assembled in , many of them moving their wives and children, goods, provisions, and even houses into the city; leaving their lands desolate, in order that they might be embodied and prepared to defend themselves and families to the last. , and, other commissioned officers, had the troops paraded night and morning on the public square, and ordered them to be always ready in case of alarm. When we were dismissed at eve, we were ordered to sleep in our clothes, and be ready at a moments warning, to run together at any hour of the night. During this state of alarm, the drum was beat, and guns fired, one night, about midnight. I ran to the public square, where many had already collected together, and the news was that the south part of our , adjoining , was attacked by a mob, who were plundering houses, threatening women and children, and taking peaceable citizens prisoners; and telling families to be gone by the next morning or they would burn their houses over their heads. With this information, (to whom had committed the command of the troops in , when he himself was not present) sent out a detachment under the command of the brave . This company, consisting of about sixty men, was sent to see what the matter was on the lines, and who was committing depredations, and if necessary, to protect or move in the families and property: and if possible, effect the release of the prisoners.
This company was soon under way, having to ride some ten or twelve miles mostly through extensive prairies.— It was October, the night was dark, and as we moved briskly on, (being forbidden to speak a loud word,) no sound was heard but the rumbling of our horses hoofs over the wide extended and lonely plains. While the distant plains, far and wide, were illuminated by blazing fires; and immense columns of smoke were seen rising in awful majesty, as if the world was on fire. This scene of grandeur can only be comprehended by those who are acquainted with the scenes of prairie burning. As the fire sweeps over millions of acres of dry grass in the fall season, and leaves a smooth black surface, divested of all vegitation. The thousand meteors blazing in the distance like the camp fires of some war host, through [throw] a fitful gleem of light upon the distant sky, which many might mistake for the Aurora Borealis. This scene added to the silence of midnight—the rumbling sound of the prancing steeds—the glistening of armor—and the unknown destiny of the expedition—all combined to impress the mind with deep and solemn thoughts; and to throw a romantic vision over the imagination, which is not often experienced, except in the poet’s dream, or the wild imagery of sleeping fancy.— In this solemn procession we moved on for some two hours, when it was supposed that we were in the neighborhood of danger. We were then ordered to dismount and leave our horses in care of part of the company, while the others should proceed on foot along the principal highway, to see what discoveries could be made. This precuation was for fear we might be suddenly attacked, in which case we could do better on foot than on horse back. We had not proceeded far when as we entered the wilderness, we were suddenly fired upon by an unknown enemy, in ambush. First one solitary gun, as was supposed, from some out post of the enemy, brought one of our number to the ground, where he lay groaning while the rest of the troop had to pass directly by his dying body. It was dawn of day in the eastern horizon, but darkness still hovered over the awful [p. 113] scene. When our men saw that they were ambushed and attacked, they found it too late to retreat, and orders were issued to form along in the brush, and under the cover of trees, which was instantly done, while the enemy, though unseen, were pouring in a deadly fire upon our whole line. We soon returned the fire, and charged upon the enemy, the whole wilderness seemed for a few moments as if wrapped in a blaze of lightning; and overwhelmed with the sharp crack of peals of thunder. The enemy were soon driven from their ambush and completely routed. Having a creek immediately in their rear, many were seen forcing their retreat through the stream, and up to their arms in water. The firing now ceased, and the whole battle ground resounded with the watch word, “God and Liberty.” Our forces which had been thrown into some disorder, were instantly formed, and their pieces reloaded, while here and there over the battle ground, lay the dead and wounded. The enemy had left their horses, saddles, camp and baggage, in the confusion of their flight, which fell into our hands. Their baggage waggon was immediately harnessed to a couple of horses, and the wounded were picked up and laid in it upon blankets, while every man saddled and mounted a horse, and we commenced our retreat to the place where we had left our horses and guard, a distance of more than a mile; here we halted, and laid our wounded upon blankets, on the ground, while we made arrangements in the waggon for them to ride more comfortably.— There were about six of our men badly, wounded, among whom was the brave , a ball having entered the lower part of his body. It was an awful sight to see them pale and helpless, and hear their groans. We had as yet lost but one man, who was left dead on the ground; his name was . The enemy had one killed and four wounded, as we afterwards learned. We ascertained from the prisoners whom we had rescued, and one whom we had taken, that the enemy consisted of one and his company, who together with some volunteers from different neighborhoods, mounted about 60 men. Our party engaged, was from forty to fifty in number at the time of the engagement. There were three of our fellow citizens prisoners in their camp. Two of these ran away and escaped at the commencement of the firing, and the other was shot through the body in trying to run to our lines, but fortunately he recovered, and is now a witness against them.
Having now arranged every thing to the best advantage for the wounded, we moved on slowly towards .— When we came within five miles of the city, our express had reached there with the news of the battle, and we were met by a surgeon and others for our relief, and among others the wife of the pale and dying .
Our wounded were now taken into a house, and their wounds dressed; and as Mrs. Pattan [Phoebe Ann Babcock Patten] entered the room and cast her eyes on the pale and ghastly features of her , she burst into tears, exclaiming O God! O my ! how pale you look! He was still able to speak, but he died that evening in the triumphs of faith; having laid down his life as a martyr in the cause of his country and his God. The young , who was shot through the body by the first fire of the enemy’s sentinel, also died about the same time. Thus three brave men had fallen; and their blood cries against their enemies for vengeance. The others I believe recovered of their wounds.— Having conveyed the wounded to this place of hospitality, we hastened home to , and delivered the horses and spoils of the enemy to , the commanding officer of the Regiment. These several defeats of the mob in and , checked, for a time, their ruinous ravages.— They saw that it was impossible to conquer a people who were fighting for their homes, and their wives and children, unless they could come against them with some show of authority, for it was a well known fact, that the Mormons never resisted authori[t]y, however abused; therefore their next exertion was to spread lies and falsehoods of the most alarming character; such as the Mormons were in a state of rebellion against the Government, and that they were about to burn , &c. This flame was greatly assisted by several in high authority who deserted from the [p. 114] church, and fell away to the robbers because of fear, and also for the sake of power and gain. These deserters became far more false, hardened and blood-thirsty, than those who had never known the way of righteousness, insomuch that they were filled with all manner of lying and murders, and plundering. The who had long sought some opportunity to destroy us, and drive us from the ; now issued an order for to raise several thousand men, and march against the Mormons, and drive from the , or exterminate them if necessary, etc. While was mustering his forces for this murderous and treasonable enterprize, , and , the old leaders of the conspiracy, being nearer the scene of action, and wishing to immortalize their names, put themselves at the head of the old robbers, together with the late forces of the robbers who had all the while been embodied against us, and turning out of the command, took the lead of all the assembled forces of the upper country, consisting of three or four thousand men, and with this formidable force, commenced their march directly for the city of , where they arrived, while and his forces were several days march in the rear. In the mean time the ’s order, and all these military movements, were kept an entire secret from the Mormons, and even the mail was withheld from , thus cutting off all intelligence. We had only heard that companies of armed men were seen in the south part of the : and we had sent a white flag and a guard of one hundred and fifty men, to make enquiries. But while they were absent on this business, an alarm came into town that the whole to the south of us was filled with hostile troops, who were murdering, plundering, and taking peaceable citizens prisoners, in their own houses, etc. On receiving this intelligence, every man flew to arms, for the protection of our city. It was now towards evening, and we had heard nothing of our white flag, and the hundred and fifty men who went south in the morning. While we stood in our armor, gazing to the South in anxious suspense, we discovered an army advancing on horse back, over the hills, at two miles distance from the town.— We at first supposed it might be our little company of a hundred and fifty returning to us, but we soon saw that there were thousands of men, with a long trian of baggage waggons; we then were in hopes that it might be some friendly troops sent for our protection; and then we thought it might be a troop of the robbers coming to destroy us. At all events, there was no time to be lost, for although our force then present did not exceed five hundred men, yet we did not intend that they should enter the town without giving some account of themselve[s].— We accordingly marched out upon the plains on the south of the , and formed in battle array, extending our line of foot something like a half a mile, while a small company of horse was posted on our right wing on a commanding eminence, and another small company in the rear of our main body, intended as a kind of reserve. By this time the sun was near setting, and the advance of the unknown army had come within plain view, at less than one mile distant. On seeing our forces present a small but formidable front, they came to a halt, and formed along the borders of the wilderness. And in a few moments both parties sent out a white flag, which met between the two armies; when our messenger demanded who they were, and what was their intentions? The answer was, that they wanted three persons out of the city before they massacreed the rest. This was a very alarming and unexpected answer. But they were soon prevailed upon to suspend hostilities till morning, when we were in hopes of some further and more satisfactory information. The hostile army under the command of , then commenced their encampment for the night, and our little army continued to stand to their arms for fear of some treachery. Our company of a hundred and fifty soon returned, informing us that they had been hemmed in through the day, and only escaped from their superior knowledge of the ground. We also sent an express to , and by morning were reinforced by quite a number of troops, with at ther [p. 115] head. In the mean time, the painted robbers and murderers under the command of one , came pouring in from the west, to strengthen the enemy, and another company of murderers came in from Carrel [Carroll] county, and were taken into the ranks of , after murdering some twenty of our citizens at , of which I will give a particular account hereafter. Thus both parties were considerably reinforced during the night. In the mean time our people, being determined, if attacked, to defend their homes, and wives and children to the last, spent the night in throwing up a temporary breastwork of building timber, logs, rails, &c., and by morning our south side of the city was fortified with a breastwork, and also a considerable part of the east and west sides; the whole line of fortification extending a mile and a half.— This nights labor may seem incredible; but it happened that a great quantity of building materials had been accumulated near the spot where were thrown up the breastworks: and this proved an excellent material for the work. The next day, towards evening, we were informed that the had ordered this force against us, with orders to exterminate us or drive us from the . As soon as these facts were ascertained, determined not to resist any thing in the shape of authority, however tyrannical or unconstitutional might be the proceedings against us; therefore we had nothing more to do but to submit to be massacred or driven at the option of our persecutors. waiting on Messrs. J. Smith, , , , and , with a polite request from , that we would surrender ourselves as prisoners and repair to his camp, and remain over night, with assurance that as soon as peaceable arrangements could be entered into next morning, we should be released. With this request we readily complied, as soon as we were assured by the pledge of the honor of the principal officers, that our lives should be safe; we accordingly walked near a mile voluntarily, towards the camp of the enemy; who, when they saw us coming came out to meet us by thousands, with at their head.— When the haughty rode up to us, and scarcely passing a compliment, gave orders to his troops to surround us, which they did very abruptly, and we were marched into camp surrounded by thousands of savage looking beings, many of whom were painted like Indian warriors. These all set up a constant yell, like so many blood hounds let loose on their prey, as if they had achieved one of the most miraculous victories which ever dignified the annals of the world. In camp we were placed under a strong guard, and before morning, and several others were added to our number.s history of the persecution. [p. 116]
Installment 8, July 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, July 1840, 1:129–131. This is the eighth installment in the series. To assist in the transition between ’s narrative at the end of the previous installment and the resumption of excerpts from ’s, this section opens with an introductory paragraph (author unknown) and a copy of governor ’s “extermination order” that closely matches the version found in Rigdon’s Appeal to the American People, pages 47–48. Then follows an account of two incidents of assault by Missourians on Latter-day Saints that occurred prior to the encampment of the Missouri militia outside . The account of these incidents was adapted from Appeal to the American People, pages 46 and 78. Beginning at the bottom of page 129, the installment excerpts from Appeal to the American People, pages 48–51.

It was before said that the had long sought an opportunity to destroy us, and drive us from the ; he now had all things arranged according to his liking, an army of several thousand men were now arayed against a few, innocent, unofending citizens who had always been strict to obey the laws of the ; and several thousand more were on their march to , and all this according to the orders of the : the following is the exterminating order under which this mob millitia were acting.
Head Quarters of the Militia,
City of Jefferson,
Oct. 27th 1838.
Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to come with four hundred mounted men, to be raised within your Division, I have received, by , Esq., and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes entirely the face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of an avowed defiance of the Laws, and of having made war upon the people of this . Your orders are therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach in Ray county, with all possible speed.— The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated, or driven from the , if necessary for the public peace.
Their outrages, are beyond all de[s]cription. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Major General Wollock [David Willock] of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of and there to unite with of —who has been ordered with five hundred men, to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express. You can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead therefore, of proceeding as at first directed to re-instate the citizens of in their houses, you will proceed immediately to and, there operate against the Mormons.— of , has been ordered to have four hundred of his Brigade in readiness to join you at . The whole force will be placed under your command.
(Sined) ,
Govenor and Commander-in-Chief
We would here observe that the large army, or rather mob, just before they reached , took a man prisoner by the name of [William] Carey who was a stranger in the country; and one of their number, coolly and deliberately beat out his brains with the breech of his gun. He was then thrown into a wagon and taken with them to their encampment. His family were not allowed to see him, or even permitted to administer to his wants, in the hour of death; he was given up to his family a few minutes before he expired.— This was known by all the officers, but was considered, probally, an act of bravery.
An aged man by the name of was taken about the same time and regardless of grey hairs, that wore evident ma[r]ks of hardship in the service of his , he was struck over the head with the breech of a gun, and his skull laid bare: but to return. We here quote from ’s Appeal to the American people &c. it being a well written statement of facts.
To .
This order of ’, was given, as he, and the whole band of them pretended, in consequence of the battle: pretending that he had been sent there, by legal authority. Now, for [p. 129] this legal business. came into , without any legal authority whatever, and committed all his outrages: but after he had committed them, he sends a messenger to , for authority. sets down and sends him a writing, authorizing him to guard the line, between the counties of and . ’s order to , was copied by Samuel Tillary [Tillery] after dark on the evening before the battle was fought, and that was fought before day light the next morning, and the letter had to be carried some thirty or forty miles. Here was another piece of legerdemain. was turned into militia, to hide up his wickedness.— We had this account from the mouth of Samuel Tillary; he is Clerk of the Circuit Court in and acts as clerk for .
Let the reader particularly notice, that this , was well acquainted with the operations of the mob, for the space of five years; having been the leader of it, once, himself, at the time it raged in ; and had been petitioned, again and again, after he was Governor; to stop its ravages: and in every instance refused to do it. He now perfectly knew that the whole difficulty, had originated in consequence of its violence and plunder: yet notwithstanding this, he issued the above order. , said, that if it had not been for the vote, which the Mormons gave at the late election, he would have exterminated them before.
After the citizens of were made acquainted with the fact, that , was there, by the ’s order, they ceased to take any measures for defence; but submitted immediately.
In the meantime, the army employed itself in destroying the cornfields, potatoes and turnips, and in taking horses, and plundering houses. Houses were searched by them, as closely to find money, as a man would be searched by a set of Arabs, after a shipwreck. Every dollar was carried off, that could be found, while the lives of the owners were threatened, if they offered the least resistance. Cattle, hogs and sheep, were shot down and, left on the ground to rot. Men, women, and children, were insulted and abused, in a brutal manner!
The next day after we were betrayed into camp, , ordered all the persons in the county of , to give up their arms. After the arms were given up, the men were kept under guard; and all property holders, compelled to sign a Deed of trust, signing away all their property, to defray the expenses of the war; and then they were all commanded to leave the under pain of extermination, between that and corn-planting the next spring.
At the time of giving up the arms, there again followed another scene of brutality. The troops ran from house to house, taking all the arms they could find, from old men, that never thought of going into a field of battle; but there must not be left a single gun in the ; so the troops ran as before described, like a parcel of ravenous wolves; but their great object, in the pursuit of guns, was, to find plunder. They wanted to get into the houses, to see if there was not something they could carry off. Thus they plundered houses until they got satisfied. To secret their property from their ravages, the people had to go and hide it in the bushes, or any where they could find a place of concealment. The troops found some of the property that had been hid. This produced another savage operation. Those wild creatures, tearing like mad men through the bushes, ran from place to place, searching under hay stacks, tearing up floors, hunting pretendedly after arms; but the abundance of property plundered, testifies that they had another object in view.
While the troops were thus engaged, the officers were busily employed in forming some plan to dispose of those, whom they had betrayed into their camp. Seventeen preachers, and nineteen commissioned officers, met with Generals and , and held a court martial. The prisoners, were never admitted into it at all: they were not allowed to plead, introduce evidence, or any thing else. Finally, the august body came to a decision; and that was, that at eight o’clock the next morning, they should be taken into the public square, in the presence [p. 130] of their families and shot. Who among the military characters of the day, will not say that is fit to command an army, when he was at the head of such a court martial as this?
At these high handed and lawless measures demurred.— He told them, that there was not one of them, in the least degree, acquainted with the military law, and understood nothing about court martials; and for his part, if they were going to pursue that course, his hand should be clear of it; and he forthwith ordered his brigade to prepare; and he marched them off. This deterred the others, seeing , was the only lawyer in their number. We presume they would have carried their design into effect, had it not been for ’s leaving them. We had this account from the lips of himself.
Our families had been apprised of their intentions, and were waiting in awful suspense, the arrival of the fatal hour. However, they changed their purpose, and it was decreed that we should be carried to . [p. 131]
Installment 9, August 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Aug. 1840, 1:145–150. The entirety of this ninth installment, including the affidavits of and and , was taken from [], An Appeal to the American People, pages 51–62. The manuscript used for Appeal, titled “To the Publick,” contains earlier—possibly original—drafts of these affidavits. The Youngs’ account was submitted, along with numerous Latter-day Saint petitions for redress for losses suffered in , to the House of Representatives, and it is presently held at the National Archives in . Numbering on the National Archives copy of the Youngs’ affidavit matches a gap in the pagination of “To the Publick,” indicating that at one time the affidavit was included in the larger document.
The narrative was evidently based on a statement by Lewis found in the “To the Publick” manuscript. However, the account included in ’s Appeal to the American People and reproduced in “History of the Persecution” contains significant departures from the manuscript version of Lewis’s statement, and no source is known for the modifications and expansions. Footnotes below identify the most substantive differences between the Lewis manuscript in “To the Publick” and the account published in “History of the Persecution.”.

While these things were carrying on, in and about , scenes still more horrid and soul thrilling, were going on, in another part of the , at a place called , because a man of that name built a mill there. We will give it from the testimony of eye witnesses. We will give it from the testimony of three, who have testified to it; that is, and his ; and . We also, have the testimony of Mrs. A[manda Barnes] Smith, whose , and a little son of nine years of age, were killed, and also a younger boy wounded. But wishing to bring our account into as narrow limits as possible, we omit inserting it.
Here follows the testimony of , and his , transcribed from their own hand writing.
The following is a short history of my travels to the State of , and of a bloody tragedy acted at s, on , October 30th, 1838. On the 6th day of July last, I started with my family from , Ohio, for the State of ; the county of , in the upper part of the , being the place of my destination.
On the 13th of October, I crossed the at Louis[i]ana, at which place I heard vague reports of the disturbances in the upper country; but nothing that could be relied upon. I continued my course westward till I crossed at a place called Compton’s ferry, at which place I heard for the first time, that if I proceeded any further on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped by a body of armed men. I was not willing however, while treading my native soil, and breathing republican air, to abandon my object; which was, to locate myself and family, in a fine healthy country, where we could enjoy the society of our friends and connexions. Consequently, I prosecuted my journey, till I came to Whitney’s mills, situated on , in the eastern part of . After crossing the , and going about three miles, we met a party of the mob, about forty in number, armed with rifles and mounted on horses, who informed us, that we could go no farther west; threatening us with instant death if we proceeded any further. I asked them the reason of this prohibition, to which they replied that we were Mormons, and that every one who adhered to our religious faith would have to leave the in ten days or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned. Here we tarried three days, and on Friday the twenty-sixth, we recrossed the , and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the mob, for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend, in Myers’ settlement. On Sunday 28th of October, we arrived about noon at ; where we found a number of our friends collected together, who were holding a council, and deliberating on the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the mob, who were collecting in the neighborhood, under the command of Col. Jennings of ; and threatening them with house burning and killing. The decision of the council was, that our friends there, should place themselves in an attitude of self-defence.
Accordingly, about twenty eight of our men, armed themselves and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might come upon them. The same evening, for some cause best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number, to enter into a treaty with our friends; which was accepted of, on the condition of mutual forbearance on both sides, and that each party, as far as their influence extended, should exert themselves to prevent any further [p. 145] hostilities upon either party. At this time however, there was another mob collecting on , at William Mann’s, who were threatening us; consequently we remained under arms on Monday the 29th, which passed away without molestation from any quarter. On Tuesday the 30th, that bloody tragedy was acted; the scenes of which, I shall never forget.
More than three fourths of the day had passed in tranquility, as smiling as the preceding one. I think there was no individual of our company that was apprized of the sudden and awful fate that hung over our heads like an overwhelming torrent, to change the prospects, the feelings, and circumstances of about thirty families. The banks of , on either side, teemed with children sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestic employments, and their fathers, employed in guarding the mills and other property; while others were engaged in gathering in their crops for their winter consumption. The weather was very pleasant; the sun shone clear; all was tranquil, and no one expressed any apprehensions of the awful crisis that was near us, even at our doors.
It was about 4 o’clock, while sitting in my cabin, with my babe in my arms, and my standing by my side, the door being open, I cast my eyes on the oppisite bank of , and saw a large company of armed men on horses, directing their course towards the mills, with all possible speed. As they advanced through the scattering trees that stood on the edge of the prairy, they seemed to form themselves into a three square position, forming a van guard in front. At this moment David Evans, seeing the superiority of their numbers (there being two hundred and forty of them, according to their own account) swung his hat and cried for peace. This not being heeded, they continued to advance, and their leader , fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of ten, or twelve seconds, when, all at once they discharged about one hundred rifles, aiming at a black smith’s shop, into which our friends had fled for safety: and charging up to the shop, the cracks of which, between the logs, were sufficiently large to enable them to aim directly at the bodies of those who had there fled for refuge from the fire of their murderers.— There were several families, tented in rear of the shop, whose lives were exposed, and amidst a shower of bullets, fled to the woods in different directions. After standing and gazing on this bloody scene for a few minutes, and finding myself in the utmost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed my family to the protection of heaven, and leaving the house on the opposite side, I took a path which led up the hill, following in the trail of three of my brethren that had fled from the shop. While ascending the hill, we were discovered by the mob, who immediately fired at us and continued so to do, till we reached the summit. In descending the hill, I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight o’clock in the evening, at which time I heard a female voice calling my name in an under tone, telling me that the mob had gone and there was no danger. I immediately left the thicket and went to the house of Benjamin Lewis, where I found my family (who had fled there) in safety, and two of my friends mortally wounded, one of whom, died before morning.
Here we passed that awful night in deep and painful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening. After day light appeared, some four or five men with myself who had escaped with our lives from the horrid massacre, repaired as soon as possible, to the mills, to learn the condition of our friends whose fate, we had truly anticipated.
When we arrived at the house of , we found Mr. [Levi] Merrick’s body lying in the rear of the house, ’s in front, literally mangled from head to foot. We were imformed by Miss Rebecca Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up, and then was cut to pieces with an old corn cutter, by a of , who keeps a ferry on , and who has since, repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity. ’s body we found in the house; and after viewing [p. 146] these corpses we imm[e]diately went to the black-smith’s shop where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead, the other, Mr. [Simon] Cox of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death and soon expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to a place of interment: This last office of kindness due to the relics of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremoni[e]s nor decency: for we were in jeopardy, every moment expecting to be fired on by the mob, whom, we supposed were lying in ambush, waiting for the first opportunity to despatch the remaining few, who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day. However, we accomplished without molestation this painful task. The place of burying, was a vault in the ground, formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously. Among those slain, I will mention Sardius Smith, son of , about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows in the shop, where he remained until the massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Corrill [Carroll] County, who presented his rifle near the boy’s head and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanley of Corrill, told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this deed all over the .
The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter, was eighteen or nineteen, whose names, as far as I can recollect, were as follows: [,] Levi Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fullor [Fuller], Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Campbell, , Sardius Smith, George Richards, Mr. [William] Napier, Mr. Harmar [Austin Hammer], Mr. [Simon] Cox, , , Wm. Merrick a boy 8 or 9 years old and three or four more, whose names I do not recollect, as they were strangers to me. Among the wounded who recovered, were Isaac Laney [Leany], who had six balls shot through him, two through his body, one through each arm, and the other two through his hips. Nathan K. Knight shot through the body; Mr. [William] Yokum who was severely wounded, besides being shot through the head, , —— [George] Myers, , , and several others. Miss Mary Stedwell, while fleeing, was shot through the hand and fainting, fell over a log, into which, they shot upwards of twenty balls.
To finish their work of destruction, this band of murderers, composed of men from , , , , and Corrill Counties; led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, proceeded to rob the houses, wagons and tents, of bedding and clothing; drove off horses and wagons, leaving widows and orphans destitute of the necessaries of life; and even strip[p]ed the clothing from the bodies of the slain!
According to their own account, they fired seven rounds in this awful massacre, making upwards of fifteen hundred shots at a little company of men of about thirty in number!
I certify the above, to be a true statement of facts relative to the above mentioned massacre according to my best recolection.
(Signed) .
A short time previous to the massacre at , we made peace with the mob characters living near us, as declaration had been made by the leaders of the band, that all persons who would not take up arms against the society, should, with the Mormons, be driven out of the ; and thus drawing the division line so close that we thought it necessary to ascertain the feelings of our neighbors around us. We met them and an agreement was entered into between us, that we would live in peace, let others do as they would. A large number of our company living at the at that time, were immigrants who had just came into the place. On the first day of November 1838, without apprehending any danger whatever from the mob, we were visited by about three hundred mounted men, coming with great speed, and fell upon us with the ferocity of tigers. They were not discovered until within one hundred and fifty yards of us. They immediately commenced firing upon us, without asking us to surrender, or giving us a chance to surrender, or even giving us to understand what they wanted, only as we were taught by the sound of guns, the groans of [p. 147] the dying, and the screams of the women and children, being only about forty in number, and wholly unprepared to engage in any contest whatever. We were forced to take shelter under cover of an old log building, used as a black-smith’s shop, which was neither chinked or mudded.
When men ran out and called for peace they were shot down; when they held up their hats and handkerchiefs and crying for mercy, they were shot down; when they attempted to run, they were cut down by the fire of guns; and when they stood still, they were shot down by putting their guns through the cracks of the building.— After pleading for mercy, and having none shown us, and seeing they were determined to slaughter us en masse, and many of our brethren slain around us, leaving our numbers but few, and seeing it was but death for us, we concluded to sell our lives as dear as possible, and soon commenced firing at the mob who were firing from all directions at us. But few of the mob were injured in consequence of their shielding themselves by trees and logs; women and children were equally brutally treated with the men, and found no place from the sympathies of these murderers. One woman by the name of Mary Steadwell was shot through the hand while holding it up in the attitude of defence. As she ran from the mob, others pierced her clothes; after running as far as she could, she threw herself behind a log, whilst a volley of balls poured after her, filling the log where she lay, twelve or fourteen of which were taken out and preserved for future generations to witness. Many other women had balls shot through their clothes, while fleeing into the woods with their children in their arms; others were brutally insulted and abused: One small boy was killed, having his brains blown out; and during the affray, two other boys, belonging to , (who was also killed at the time,) hid themselves under the bellows; and when those murderers came into the shop, after killing all within except two men, (one wounded and the other not,) who lay concealed from their view by being covered with blood and dead bodies of the slain. The elder of the boys, crying for mercy from his hiding place, was immediately put to death by putting the muzzle of a gun to the lad’s ear and blowing off the top of his head. One of these savages who participated in this transaction, accosted his comrade, (while committing this horrid deed,) thus—“It is a damned pity to kill boys;” but was hushed by having the thought put into his head in reply, that “little sproughts soon became large trees” and if these boys were suffered to live, they, like their father, would be Mormons—a crime punishible with death even before committed,—a faith now extant in , where it is supposed to have its birth, and it is hoped will have its burial. The other lad was supposed to have been killed, but they did not quite accomplish their object the younger receiving a wound in his hip which carried off his hip bone.— While the mob were in the shop, if they perceived life remaining in any of the wounded, while struggling in the agonies of death, they were immediately dispatched, at the same time plundering the pockets of the dead stripping off their boots, shoes, and clothing. After the mob had learned that two men escaped with their lives they would declare publicly, that if they got into another such affair they would inspect more closely by sticking their knives in their toes. This Massacre took place about sun an hour high, on Tuesday, and continued until seventeen were killed and fifteen wounded, the remaining few escaping.
Among those who attempted to escape, was a man by the name of , a soldier and Patriot of the revolution and a Justice of the Peace. While making the best use of his tottering limbs and worn out frame for his escape, he was met in his retreat by a young man from by the name of , who immediately demanded the old man’s gun, which was delivered up, and was then shot down by said . This not killing the old man, he lifted his hands in the attitude of suplication and begged for mercy, at the same time appealing to his silvery locks as adding still more force, and credit to his cries and tales of suffering, while in the defence of his and the [p. 148] constitution thereof. But the young man deaf to every thing but death and murder, regarded not the old man, but seizing an old corn cutter or piece of a sythe, commenced first to hew off the old man’s fingers while holding them up for mercy, and next cutting his hands from his arms, and then severing his arms form his body, and last of all, laying open the skull and beheading the body of the poor sufferer who had fought and spilt his blood for the privileges enjoyed by his murderer.
There not being any men left, or not enough to bury the dead, the women were compelled to bury their husbands by throwing them into a well close to the black-smith shop. The next day after the massacre a large company of them came back, blowing their bugle and firing their guns in an exulting manner. They carried off goods of all description, horses, wagons, and harnesses, stripping the horses and moving wagons of all the goods, furniture and clothing of any value, leaving the widows and orphans to suffer in that inclement season of the year. Cows, hogs, and horses were driven off in droves. They robbed the families of all their beds and bedding, and even took the widow’s cloaks; the dead men strip[p]ed of their clothing; also, another of the persons engaged in this horrid affair was a man by the name of Stephen Bunnels [Reynolds], who made his boasts, at public places, that he was the man who killed one of the little boys. This boasting has been made in the presence of the authorities of the state at , when innocent men were kept in chains for nothing but defending themselves, wives and children from such savages as these.
After this bloody affray was ended, a young man had crept from his hiding place and returned to the shop was sent to to obtain assistance to bury the dead, (a distance of about 20 miles.) The young man arrived within two or three miles of , where he met a company of men: he was asked where he was from and where he was going; and answering them correctly he was then asked if he knew where the militia were; he told them he did not know of any. They then told him to face about and go with them, and they would lead him where there were five or six thousand of them. He was then compelled to go to , and stopped at Samuel McCriston’s that night. In the morning they robbed him of a fine fur cap, and ordered him to take off his overcoat, telling him it was too fine for a Mormon to wear. They then concluded to shoot him, and disputed among themselves who should do it. And some hard words and threats were used among themselves who should have the fine horse the young man rode. However they soon quit their dispute and , (a Presbyterian Preacher of long standing in Corrilton [Carrollton], the county seat of Corril [Carroll] county,) saddled the young man’s horse, and rode him about for some time, as if trying him, to see if he would answer his purpose. This was also the same man who took the young man’s cap, and his boy wears it now, or did the last information received from that quarter. After being thoroughly satisfied with riding the the hores, he dismounted and Samuel McCriston mounted and rode for some time, while was equally engaged in the trial of another horse, which it appeared had been obtained in the same way in which they intended to get this.
McCriston rode off the horse and the young man was taken to , although he begged to be let loose that he might go and help the widows and children bury the dead at ; still he was kept for many days a prisoner at , in Ray county.
The mobbing party here mentioned, consisted of nine persons, , (preacher,) Joseph Ewing, (preacher,) Jacob Snorden, Wiley Brewer, John Hills (preacher,) and four more, their names not mentioned or known. After tormenting the young man all in their power, he was let go, and returned to mourn the loss of friends, without being able or privileged to pay the last debt of honor and respect to his murdered relatives.
A short time after this affair at , Capt. , the same who commanded a Massacre, with forty or fifty others, took possession of the mill for two or three weeks, and thus cut off all the resources of the widows and orphans who had [p. 149] survived. During this time they lived on the best that the neighborhood could afford, plundering and stealing all the palatable food which had by the industry and prudence of murdered husbands, been laid in store for themselves and families.
They burned all the books that they could find, they shot the hogs and cattle, it seemed for pleasure of shooting game, as they did not consume near all they killed.
One day with a number of men went to , who was at the time laying confined with wounds received in the massacre. They came to question , to ascertain where certain of his neighbors were who had escaped the murdering party. told them he did not know. I then got up, left the room, but was followed by some of the company, who commanded me not to leave until the could see me. The was accordingly called upon and came out to see me; he very gravely and sternly charged me to be gone or on the act of starting on Tuesday evening, this being on Sunday evening. He said I must obey at my peril, or renounce Mormonism. I asked him what I must deny; he said deny that Jo. Smith is a Prophet. As for moving I told him I thought it quite a short notice to get ready to leave the , and the weather being so cold, and robbed of all our clothing, &c.— I also told him that my wife was quite sick and not able to move so soon, and furthermore the roads are guarded or said to be, so that no Mormon could pass either way without being mobbed. I asked him if I must be driven off by one company, and and another lay in wait to murder me as I go. I told him I thought the condition of the treaty was that we could stay until spring: he replied that was the first conclusion, but he had just received new orders from the General, and that was, that all Mormons should be driven out of the state forthwith. I then asked him if the way was not guarded so that I would be in no danger in passing the roads. He said he would give me a pass or ticket which would carry me safely through the , provided I continued to travel in an eastward course and minded my own business. We soon parted, and on the next day I went to the mill and received my pass which reads as follows. Having the original in my possession I give it verbatim.
November 13th, 1838.
This is to certify that , a Mormon, is permitted to leave and pass through the State of in an eastward direction unmolested during good behaviour.
Capt. Militia.
The next day Hiram Comstock, the