Brigham Young, Testimony, 1 July 1843 [Extradition of JS for Treason]

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  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

, sworn, says <​so far as he was acquainted with the facts stated by the previous witnesses he concurs with them & that​> he accompanied Mr. Joseph Smith <​in​>to the State of and arrived at on the 14th. day March 1838 and was neighbour to Mr Smith untill he was taken by ’ Militia as a prisoner of war, as they said, and that he was knowing to his character whilst he was in the State of and that he <​(Mr Smith)​> was in no way connected with the Militia of that , neither did he bear arms at all nor give advice but was a peaceable law abiding good citizen and a true republican in every sense of the word— He was with Mr. Smith a great share of the time till driven out of by an armed force under the exterminating facts order of . He heard the most of Mr. Smith’s public addresses and never did he hear him give advice or encourage anything contrary to the laws of the State of , but to the contrary always instructing his the Mormon people to be peaceable, quiet, and law abiding and if necessity should compel them to withstand their Enemies, by whom they were daily threatened in Mobs at various points. That, they, the Mormons, should attend to their business strictly and not regard reports, and if the Mob did come upon them, <​to​> contend with them by the strong arm of the law; and if that should fail them, and our only relief would be self defence, and to be sure and act only upon the defensive. And he further says that the Militia of there was <​were​> no operations <​against the mob by​> of the Militia of only by the advice of Generals , & . and At the time that the army came in sight of , he observed their approach and thought <​some of​> the militia of the had come to our <​the​> relief <​of the citizens,​> but to my <​his​> great surprise I <​he​> found that they were come to strengthen the hands of the Mobs by whom that were around us, which mobs joined the army <​& which immediately joined the army.​> Apart of these Mobs were painted like Indians and their leader, was also painted in a similiar manner, and styled ther himself the “Deleware Chief”— And afterwards he <​and the other leaders <​rest​> of the mob, claimed & obtained pay​> claimed pay as Militia, for the from the , as will be seen by reference to the acts of the [p. 1] of the Legislature <​for all the time they were engaged as mob.​>— That <​there​> were mormon citizens killed <​murdered & wounded​> by this <​the​> army under the command of and according to he verily believes that several <​women were​> women died in consequence of the brutal treatment they received from the soldiery who had ravished them unt to death by the soldiery of . & — He also stated that he saw Joseph Smith, , , and go delivered up by to , and <​but​> we expected they would have returned to the that evening <​or the next morning​> according to agreement and the pledge of the sacred honor of the officers that they should be allowed to do so, but they did not return at all— The next morning the <​​> arms were demanded and forcibly taken <​took away​> the arms of the Militia of <​(which arms have never as yet being <​been​> returned)​> which assuring them they should be protected but so soon as they obtained possession of the arms they commenced their ravages by plundered <​plundering​> the citizens of their bedding, clothing, rifles <​money, wearing apparel​> and every article of value they could lay their hands upon. And also attempting to violate the chastity of the women <​in sight of​> before their husbands & friends— under the pretence of hunting for prisoners and arms. The soldiers shot down our <​oxen​> Cows, Hogs & fowls at our own doors— taking part away <​& leaving the rest to rot in the streets— They <​soldiers​> also turned their horses into our fields of corrn​>
Here the Here follows <​was shewn​> ’s speech page 58 in a pamphlet entitled an appeal to the American people, & after reading it and was asked by the Court if it was correct? <​and after reading it​> he replied “yes” as far as it goes— For continued he, I was present when that speech was delivered and when fifty seven of our brethren were betrayed into the hands of our enemies as prisoners <​which was​> done at the instigation of our open & avowed enemies such as & others and the treachery <​of​> — In addition to the abov speech referred to, said that “we must not be seen as many as five together if you are ,”said he “the Citizens will be upon you & destroy you. But to flee immediately out of the . There was [p. 2] no alternative for them but to flee, that they need not expect any redress for there was none for them.” With respect to the treaty the further says that there never was any treaty proposed or entered into by or on the part of the Mormons or even thought of. As to the leaders being given up, there was no such contract entered into or thought of by the Mormons or any one called a Mormon except by — And with respect to the trial of the prisoners at , I do not consider that tribunal a legal Court, but an inquisition. For the following reasons, that Mr. Smith was not allowed any evidence <​whatever​> on his part, and <​for​> the conduct of the <​Court​> <​as well as his words affirmed the ’s own​> judge upon that occasion would have disgraced the spanish inquisition for he positively declared <​words affirmed​> “that there was no law for mormons in the state of .” And I do know <​he also knew​> that when Mr. Smith left the State of he did not flee from <​the​> justice for the plain reason that the officers & the people showed did manifest<​ed​> by their works & their words that there was no law <​nor justice​> for the people called Mormons— And further he knows that Mr. Smith has <​ever​> been a strong advocate for the laws & constitutions of his — and that there was no act of his life while in the state of , according to his knowledge, that could be implied or construed in any way whatever to prove him a fugitive from justice— or that he is <​has​> <​been​> guilty of “murder, treason, , , theft, and stealing”. as <​the crimes he was charged with by when he delivered him over to the civil authorities and​> he supposes, that the learned did not know but there was a difference between “larceny, theft & stealing.” He <​The​> also says that they compelled the brethren to sign away their property by executing a Deed of Trust at the point of the bayonet— & that Judge Cameron stood & saw the Mormons sign away their property— & then he and others would run & kick up their heels— and said they were glad of it, <​&​> “we have nothing to trouble us now” [p. [3]] this also said God damn them see how well they feel now— also said he had authority to make what treaties he pleased & the would sanction it— The He also stated that he never transgressed any of the laws of and he never knew a Latter day Saint break a law while there— He also said that if they would search the records of , or Counties they could not find one record of crime against a Latter day Saint, or even in so far as knew
 
C.
 
Testimony of , before the Municipal Court
July 1. 1843
 
Filed Julyl 1st 1843 [p. [4]]

Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    Signature of Brigham Young in handwriting of William W. Phelps.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of George Walker.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.  

  4. new scribe logo

    Notation in handwriting of James Sloan.