History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]
JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
[front first flyleaf recto]
[front first flyleaf verso]
[front second flyleaf recto]
[front second flyleaf verso]
[22 pages blank; text begins on p. 850]
[31 lines blank]
<1838 November 2 to .> The following letter gives the particulars relating to the Movements of the ’s <troops— in conjunction with the> Mob
“Head Quarters, Camp near November 2. 1838. To His Excellency Commander in Chief Mi. Sir:— On Monday October 29th., the troops ordered out by and myself (as per our report to you of said date) took up their line of March from Camp near , for . We encamped the Night of the 29th. at Linville’s Creek, (a short distance from the Road) about sixteen miles from , at which point we received an express from , informing us that he was then encamped on Log Creek with a force of five hundred men, and that he would join us at the crossing of said Creek on the Road from to , by 10 o clock a.m. the next morning. [HC 3:195] On the 30th. October, the troops got together at the last named point when we mustered about eighteen hundred men. Whilst at this place we received your orders of the 26th. ult, and I received an order of the 27th. ult, and a letter from you of the same date. At this point left me [p. 850]
<November 2nd.> for , when I was left in sole command. I then took up my line of march for Goose Creek, one mile South of , which point we reached about one hour by sun in the evening. Just as the troops were encamping, I received intelligence from , from his position on the right that he had discovered a party of mounted Mormons approaching from the East, and requested permission to intercept them if possible. Leave was granted and his Brigade started off at nearly full speed to accomplish the Order, but the Mormons succeeded in reaching the fort. approached within two hundred yards of their fortress, when they displayed a force of about eight hundred men. <--> At this juncture I ordered, Gen. Graham’s brigade (holding ’ and part of ’s mounted in reserve) to march full speed to the relief of the 1st. Brigade 3rd. Division, but from the inequality of the force of the first detachment. (being only two hundred and fifty strong at that time and the Mormons 800) <--> it was considered prudent to withdraw the troops, and march against them in the morning, which was accordingly done, and they all returned, as dark set in, to camp. At this place I established my head quarters, and continued there during the expedition against the Mormons. The detachment under returned about 9 o’clock P.M. The next morning 31st. of October, I received a message from , the Commander of the Mormon forces -[ Militia]- requesting an interview with me, on an eminence near , which he would designate by hoisting a white flag. I sent him word I would meet him at 2 o’clock p.m. being so much engaged in receiving and encamping fresh troops, who were hourly coming in, that I could not attend before. Accordingly at that time, I started with my staff officers and Brig. Gens. , , and Graham, being left in command We met him and some other Mormons at the point before mentioned. He stated that his object in asking me to meet him there was to know if there could not be some compromise or settlement of the difficulty without a resort to arms. After giving him to understand the nature of your orders, I made him the following propositions, which I furnished him a copy of, also a copy of your order. viz:
1st. To give up their -[the Church]- leaders to be tried and punished. [HC 3:196]
2nd. To make an appropriation of their property, all who had taken up arms, to the payment of their debts, and indemnity for damage done by them.
3rd. That the balance should leave the , and be protected out by the Militia, but to be permitted to remain under protection until further orders were received from the .
4th. To give up the arms of every description to be receipted for.
agreed to the proposition readily, but wished to postpone the matter until morning. I then told him that I would require Jos. Smith Jr., , , , and , as hostages for his faithful compliance with the terms, and would pledge myself and each one of the officers present, that in case he, after reflecting and consulting upon the proposition during the night, declined acceding to them, that the hostages should be returned to him in the morning, at the same point they were received, but it was understood in case they did comply, they were to be held for trial as part of the leaders called for by the first stipulation; I then gave him until one hour by [p. 851]
<November 2> Sun in the evening to produce and deliver them. We then returned to Camp, and I directed the troops to make preparations to march to by an hour and a half by sun, with a determination, in case the hostages were not produced, to make an attack upon the Town forthwith. I directed brigade to be mounted, and to form on the right of the Division, to act as flankers if necessary, and if required to pass entirely around the Town, and form on the north side, with instructions to make the attack at the report of the Cannon, which was to be the signal for the general attack. General Graham’s brigade was mounted and formed on the extreme left to act as flankers, and if required to form the line on the West side, with similar— instructions as to the commencement of the attack. ’s brigade was ordered to parade on foot, and to form on the left of , with instructions to form the line of battle on the South side, with same instructions as to commencement of attack. The Artillery Company with one piece of Ordinance was placed at the head of ’s and ’s brigade, with instructions to occupy an eminence within three hundred yards of the Town. The army being disposed of in this manner, at the appointed time I took up the line of march in direction of . When the troops got within about six hundred yards I discovered the Flag and the hostages advancing. I immediately halted the army, and rode out and [HC 3:197] met them, received the hostages and placed a guard over them for their safety and protection, and ordered the forces back to our encampment. I cannot forbear, at this point, expressing my gratification and approbation of the good conduct and gallant <+> bravery evinced by all the officers and men under my command. They marched up with as much determination, and deliberation as old veterans— not knowing but that the charge would be sounded every moment for surrounding the Town. There was no noise or confusion, nothing but an eager anxiety upon the countenance of every man to get at the work. When the hostages were received, the troops, with some slight exceptions, marched back in <ɵ> profound silence”—
-[The wicked flee when no man pursueth. This saying was truly verified in the first retreat of this army. they fled precipitately through fear, and a great proportion of the men were anxious to get back to the Creek, where they could dispense with some of their clothing and wash themselves in the Water.
+ “Gallant bravery,” that some thousands of men should be so anxious to wash their hands in the blood of 500 poor Saints, I claim not the honor of commanding such a brave army. ɵ “profound silence”— It might have been silence to the for aught I know, for the shoutings, bellowings and yells of this army of Mobocrats was sufficient to deafen any one, not guarded by some higher Spirit, and could only be equalled in the savage war whoop, and the yells of the damned]-——
“November 1st. I ordered the whole forces amounting to twenty five hundred men to parade at 9 o clock A.M. and to take up the line of March for , at half past 9 o’clock, to receive the prisoners and their arms. The troops marched out and formed in the prairie about 200 yards south east of the Town. ’s Brigade formed the West line, ’s the East line, Gen Graham’s and the South line, with the Artillery Company and the Cannon in the centre of the two latter, leaving one side of the square open. The Mormon army reduced to about 600 men by desertion [p. 852]
<November 2> and otherwise, under their Commander , marched out of their town, through the space into our square, formed a hollow square, and grounded their arms. then rode forward and delivered up to me his sword and pistols, I then directed a company from the respective Brigades, to form a front, rear, right and left, plank guards, and to march the Prisoners back to , and protect and take charge of them until the next morning. I then detailed a Company from ’s command, to take charge of the arms. Then, in order to gratify the army and to let the Mormons see our forces, marched around the Town, and through the principal Streets, and back to head quarters. [HC 3:198] Considering the war at an end in this place, I issued orders for ’s Brigade, with the exception of one Company and Gen. Graham’s Brigade, to take up their line of March for their respective head Quarters, and dismiss their men— and directed to take charge of the prisoners (demanded for trial) and arms, and to march them to my Head Quarters at , to await further orders, and to dismiss all except a guard for the prisoners and arms. Nov.r 2nd. I relieved the guard placed over the Prisoners at by 4 Companies of Brigade, and placed them under the command of Col Thompson, 2 Brig, 3 Div. with instructions to report to . The balance of brigade with ’s Company, of ’s Brigade under the command of , I ordered to , a Mormon Town in Daviess County, with instructions to disarm the Mormon forces at that place, and to leave a guard of 50 men for the protection of prisoners, and to report to . In order to carry the treaty and stipulation, into effect, I have required your Aid de-camp, Col Williams, together with Col. Burch and , of , to attend to drawing up the papers legally, and directed Col. Thompson to wait on them with a portion of his command, and to cause all their orders and requirements, consistent with the stipulations to be carried into effect. This day about 12 o’clock there was a Battalion of 100 men from Platte arrived at , which I ordered back, having understood that would be on in a day or two, with sufficient force to operate in and , and for any service that may be required.” “— Major General— Commanding— ” [HC 3:199]
<3. Joseph, hurried across the > Saturday 3. We continued our March and arrived at the which separated us from , where we hurried across the ferry when but few troops passed. The truth was had sent an express from to , to have the Prisoners sent to him, and thus prevent our going to , both armies being competitors for the honor of possessing the “Royal Prisoners”— wanted the privilege of putting us to death himself, and and his troops were desirous of exhibiting us in the Streets of —
<4> Sunday 4. We were visited by some Ladies and Gentlemen— One of the Women came up and very candidly enquired of the troops, which of the prisoners was the Lord [HC 3:200] whom the Mormons worshipped? one of the guard pointed to me with a significant smile, and said “this is he.” The woman then turning to me, inquired whether I professed to be Lord and Savior? I replied, that I professed to be nothing but a Man, and a minister of Salvation sent by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel. This answer so surprised the woman, that she began to inquire into our doctrine; and I preached a discourse both to her, and [p. 853] <November 4 Preached in > her companions, and to the wondering soldiers who listened with almost breathless attention while I set forth the doctrine of Faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance, and baptism for remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost, as recorded in the second Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The woman was satisfied and praised God in the hearing of the Soldiers, and went away praying that God would protect and deliver us. Thus was fulfilled a prophecy which had been spoken publicly by me, a few months previous; that a sermon should be preached in , by one of our Elders, before the close of 1838. The troops having crossed the <Arrived at > about ten o’clock we proceeded on and arrived at past noon— in the midst of great rain, and a multitude of Spectators who had assembled to see us, and hear the bugles sound a blast of triumphant joy, which echoed through the Camp as we were ushered into a vacant house prepared for our reception, with a floor for our beds, and blocks of wood for our pillows.
< arrived at > arrived at with one thousand six hundred men and five hundred more were within eight miles of the . Thus has been visited by six thousand men in one week, when the Militia of the (before any were taken prisoners) amounted only to about five hun[HC 3:201]dred, whose arms having been secured, the Mob continued to hunt the brethren like Wild Beasts. and shot several, ravished the women, and killed one near the , No Saint is permitted to go in or out of the , and they lived on parched Corn.
ordered who had previously gone to with his troops— “to take the whole of the Men of the Mormons prisoners; and place such a guard around them and the Town as will protect the prisoners and secure them until they can be dealt with properly.” and secure all their property, till the best means could be adopted for paying the damages the Citizens had sustained.
<5> Monday 5. We were kept under a small Guard, and were treated with some degree of hospitality and politeness while many— flocked to see us.—— We spent most of our time in preaching and conversation, explanatory of our doctrines and practice, which removed mountains of prejudice, and enlisted the populace in our favor, notwithstanding their old hatred and wickedness towards our Society.
<56 Prisoners taken at .> The brethren at were ordered by to form a line when the names of fifty six present were called, and made prisoners to await their trial for some thing, they knew not what— They were kept under a close guard.
<6 ’s speech> Tuesday 6. paraded the brethren at , and addressed them as follows.
“Gentlemen— You whose names are not attached to this list of names, will now have the privilege of going to your fields and of providing corn, wood &c for your families— Those who are now taken will go from this to prison, be tried, and receive the due demerit of their crimes. But you (except such as charges may hereafter be preferred against) are now at liberty, as soon as the troops are removed that now guard the place, which I shall cause to be done immediately. It now devolves [HC 3:202] upon you to fulfil the treaty that you have entered into— the leading items of which I shall now lay before you— The first requires that your leading men be given up to be tried according to law, this you have already complied with— The second is, that you [p. 854]
<November 6> deliver up your arms— this has been attended to— The third stipulation is, that you sign over your properties to defray the expenses of the War— this you have also done another article yet remains for you to comply with: and that is, that you leave the forthwith, and whatever may be your feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence, it is nothing to me. , who is equal in authority with me, has made this treaty with you. I approve of it— I should have done the same, had I been here, I am therefore determined to see it fulfilled— The Character of this has suffered almost beyond redemption— from the character, conduct and influence that you have exerted, and we deem it an act of justice to restore her character to its former standing among the States by every proper means— The Orders of the to me were, that you should be exterminated, and not allowed to remain in the , and had your leaders not have been given up and the terms of the treaty complied with, before this, you and your families would have been destroyed and your houses in ashes. There is a discretionary power vested in my hands which I shall exercise in your favor for a Season, for this lenity you are indebted to my clemency— I do not say that you shall go now, but you must not think of staying here another Season, or of putting in crops— for the moment you do this the Citizens will be upon you. If I am called here again in case if a noncompliance of the treaty made, do not think that I shall act any more as I have done— you need not expect any mercy, but extermination— for I am determined the ’s order shall be executed. As for your leaders, do not once think— do not imagine for a moment— do not let it enter your mind— that they will be delivered, or that you will see their faces again, for their fate is fixed, their die is cast— their doom is sealed” I am sorry, Gentlemen, to see so great a number of apparently intelligent men found in the situation that you are; and oh! that I could invoke that Great Spirit— The unknown God to rest upon you and make you sufficiently intelligent to break that chain of Superstition, and liberate you from those fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound— That you no longer worship a Man— I would advise you to scatter abroad and never again organize yourselves with Bishops, Presidents &c lest you excite the jealousies of [HC 3:203] the people, and subject yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you— You have always been the aggressors you have brought upon yourselves these difficulties by being disaffected, and not being subject to rule— and my advice is, that you become as other Citizens, lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon yourselves irretrievable ruin—”
< to > The wrote as follows
“It will also be necessary that you hold a military Court of inquiry in , and arrest the Mormons who have been guilty of the late outrages, committed towards the inhabitants of said . My instructions to you are to settle this whole matter completely, if possible, before you disband your forces; if the Mormons are disposed voluntarily to leave the , of course it would be advisable in you to promote that object, in any way deemed proper. The ringleaders of this rebellion, though, ought by no means <to> be permitted to escape the punishment they merit” [p. 855]
<November 6> The Prisoners at were started off for under a strong guard—
<7 to > Wednesday 7. The following order was issued at by
“Brig. Gen. will take up the line of March with his Brigade on this morning, for , in Daviess County, and take possession of the Prisoners at that place, and proceed to ascertain those who committed crimes, and when done to put them under close guard, and when he moves, take them to Keytesville, after leaving them recognized by the proper authority”
<8 at > Thursday 8. There was a severe snow storm yesterday and to day— arrived at , he placed guards around the Town, so that no person [HC 3:204] might pass out or in without permission. All the men in Town were then taken and put under guard, and a court of inquiry was instituted, with on the bench; the said belonged to the Mob and was one of the leaders of it from the time mobbing first commenced in — The attorney belonged to ’s army.
Shortly after our arrival in , Colonel from the army of , came with orders from , who was commander in Chief of the expedition, to have us forwarded <forth>with to — Accordingly on Thursday <started for > morning we started with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great difficulty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between and Roy’s ferry, on the , they all got drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses. It was late in the afternoon, near the setting of the Sun. We travelled about half a mile after we crossed the , and put up for the night.
<9> Friday 9th. This morning there came a number of men, some of them armed, their threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore dispatched to to obtain them. We started before their arrival, but had not gone far before we met with a guard of about seventy four men, and were conducted by them to and put into an old vacant house, and a guard set. Sometime < came> through the course of that day, came in and we were introduced to him— We enquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried from our homes and what were the charges against us. He said that he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time, and with very little more conversation withdrew. [HC 3:205] Some short time after he had withdrawn, came <Brought chains and Padlocks> in with two chains in his hands, and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together. He had with him ten men armed, who stood at the time of these operations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John Fulkerson whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains and padlocks, being seven in number.
After that, he searched us, examining our pockets to see if we had any arms; finding nothing but pocket knives, he took them and conveyed them off.
<[David] Holman’s Permit 10.> Saturday 10. “I permit David Holman to remove from to there to remain during the winter or to pass out of the — — Brig. Gen. by F. G. Cockner Aid— Novr. 10th. 1838—” [p. 856]
<November 10.> The foregoing is a true specimen of Liberty
had spent his time since our arrival at in searching the Laws to find authority for trying us by Court Martial. Had he not been a Lawyer of eminence I should have supposed it no very difficult task to decide that quiet, peaceful, unoffending and private Citizens too, except as Ministers of the Gospel, were not amenable to a military tribunal in a Country governed by civil laws. But be this as it may wrote the that he had
< to > “detained Gen. White and his field officers here, a day or two, for the purpose of holding a Court martial if necessary. I this day made out charges against the Prisoners, and called on to try them as a Committing Court, and I am now busily engaged in procuring Witnesses, and submitting facts— There being no civil officers in , [HC 3:206] I have to use the Military to get witnesses from there, which I do without reserve— The most of the Prisoners here I consider guilty of Treason, and I believe will be convicted, and the only difficulty in law is, can they be tried in any County but ? if not they cannot be there indicted, until a change of population— In the event the latter view is taken by the civil courts, I suggest the propriety of trying Jo Smith and those leaders taken by , by a Court Martial for mutiny. This I am in favor of only as a dernier resort. I would have taken this course with Smith at any rate; but it being doubtful whether a court martial has jurisdiction or not, in the present case— that is, whether these people are to be treated as in time of war, and the mutineers as having mutinied in time of War— and I would here ask you to forward to me the Attorney General’s opinion on this point. it will not do to allow these leaders to return to their treasonable work again, on account of there not being indicted in . They have committed treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny and perjury”
<Prisoners acquitted at > The Three days investigation having closed at every man was honorably acquitted. being judge— then ordered every family to be out of in ten days, with permission to go to , and there tarry until Spring, and then leave the under pain of extermination, the weather was very cold, more so than usual, for that season of the year; and in keeping this order of ’s they had to leave their crops and houses, and to live in tents and waggons in this inclement season of the year— As for their flocks and herds the mob had delivered them from the trouble of taking care of them, or from the pain of seeing them starve to death, by stealing them. An arrangement was made in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve which had been previously appointed should have the privilege of going from to for the term of four weeks for the purpose of conveying their crops from to . The committee were to wear white badges on their hats for protection. [HC 3:207]
<30 killed a multitude wounded, 100 missing &c> About Thirty of the brethren have been killed, A multitude wounded, about a hundred are missing, and about Sixty at , awaiting their trial, for what they know not.
<11> Sunday 11th. While in , we were under the charge of from , who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful— [HC 3:208] informed us that he would turn us over to the Civil authorities for trial Joseph Smith Jr., , , [p. 857] <November 11. Prisoners names > , , , , , Washington Voorhees, Sidney Turner, John Buchanan, Jacob Gates, Chandler Holbrook, , Jesse D. Hunter, Andrew Whitlock, Martin C. Al[l]red, William Al[l]red, , , Elijah Newman, Alvin G. Tippetts, Zedekiah Owens, , Thomas Beck, Moses Clawson, John J. Turnur, Daniel Shearer, Daniel S. Thomas, , Elisha Edwards, John S. Higby, Ebenezer Page, Benjamin Covey, , , James M. Henderson, , David Frampton, George Kimball Joseph W. Younger, Henry Zabriski, Allen J. Stout, Sheffield Daniels, Silas Ma<y>nard, Anthony Head, Benjamin Jones, <brought to Trial> Daniel Carn, John T. Earl, and Norman Shearer were brought before at for trial charged with the several crimes of High Treason against the , murder, burglary, arson, robbery and larceny—
<12.> Monday 12. The first act of the Court was to send out a body of armed men, without a civil process to obtain witnesses—
<13.> Tuesday 13. We were placed at the bar presiding and States Attorney, Witnesses were called and sworn at the point of the bayonet. < a witness> was the first brought before the Court. He had previously told Mr. ,
“that if he () wished to save himself, he must swear hard against the heads of the Church, as they were the ones the court wanted to criminate; and if he could swear hard against them they would not, (that is, neither court or mob) disturb him. I intend to do [HC 3:209] it, said he, in order to escape, for if I do not they will take my life.”
This introduction is sufficient to shew the character of his testimony. and he swore just according to the statement he had made, doubtless thinking it a wise course to ingratiate himself into the good graces of the mob— The following witnesses were examined in behalf of the , <many of> whom, if we may judge from their testimony, <Witnesses> swore upon the same principle as , namely, Wyatt Cravens, Nehemiah Odle, Capt. , Morris Phelps, , Robert Snodgrass, George Walton, , James C. Owens, Nathaniel Carr, Abner Scovell, , , James C. Owens, re-examined, William Splawn, Thomas M. Odle, , Allen Rathbun, Jeremiah Myers, Andrew J. Job, Freeburn H. Gardner, , Elisha Camron, Charles Bleckley, James Cobb, Jesse Kelly, Addison Price, Samuel Kimball , , , George W. Worthington, Joseph H. Mc.Gee, John Lockhart, Porter Yale, Benjamin Slade, Ezra Williams, Addison Green, , Timothy Lewis, and Patrick Lynch.
<18 Permit to Committee> Sunday 18. While our suit was going forward, gave the following Permit in
“I permit the following persons as a Committee on the part of the Mormons, to pass and repass in and through the County of during the winter (to wit) , John Read, , , Z. Wilson, E[lijah] B. Gaylord, , , , William Earl, , Henry Humphrey, upon all lawful business. Novr. 18. 1838. Brig. Genl. Commanding by F. G. Cocknu Aid.”
< arrested our Witnesses & put them in prison.> We were called upon for our witnesses, and we gave the names of some forty or fifty, was de[HC 3:210]spatched with a Company of Militia to procure them, arrested all he could find, thrust them into prison, and we were not allowed to see them— We were again [p. 858] <November> called upon most tauntingly for witnesses. we gave the names of some others and they were also thrust into prison so many, as were to be found. In the mean time <Witnesses for the Defendants> Malinda Porter, Delia F. Pine, , Jonathan W. Barlow, Thorit Parsons Ezra Chipman, and Arza Judd Jr. volunteered and were sworn, on the defence, but were prevented by threats from telling the truth as much as possible. We saw <Allen sworn> a man at the window by the name of Allen, and beckoned him to come in, and had him sworn, but when he did not testify to please the Court, several rushed upon him with their Bayonets, and he fled the place; and three men took after him with loaded guns, and he barely escaped with his life— It was of no use to get any more witnesses if we could have done it.
<24th. &c acquitted> Thus this mock investigation continued from day to day till Saturday when several of the brethren were discharged by as follows.
“Defendants against whom nothing is proven viz , John Buchhannan, Andrew Whitlock, , Jedediah Owens, , , Daniel S. Thomas, Elisha Edwards, Benjamin Covey, David Frampton, Henry Zabriskiy, Allen J. Stout, Sheffield Daniels, Silas Maynard, Anthony Head, John T. Earl, Ebenezer Brown, , , Chandler Hobrook, Martin Alread [Allred], William Al[l]red, The above defendants have been discharged by me there being no evidence against them, Novr. 24th. 1838.” “ Judge &c”
Our church organization was converted by the testimony of the Apostates, into a temporal Kingdom, which was to fill the whole Earth, and subdue all other Kingdoms. [HC 3:211] Much was inquired by the <Daniels prophecies> (who, by the bye was a Methodist,) concerning the Prophecy of Daniel “In the days of these Kings shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom which shall break in pieces all other Kingdoms and stand for ever” &c “And the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole Heaven, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High” &c just as though it was treason to believe the bible.
<28 Danl. Ashby’s letter on > Wednesday 28. Daniel Ashby a Member of the Senate wrote that he <“>was in the battle -[mob]- at , that thirty one mormons were killed and seven of his party wounded
<Court closed 29> The remaining prisoners were all released or admitted to bail, except , , , , and myself, who were sent to , Clay County, to , to stand our trial for treason and Murder. The treason for having whipped the Mob out of , and taking their Cannon from them; and the murder for the man killed in the battle. Also Morris Phelps, , , and Norman Shearer, who were put into <Confined in Chains> Jail, to stand their trial for the same crimes— during the investigation we were mostly confined in Chains, and received much abuse. The matter of driving away witnesses or casting them into prison, or chasing them out of the County, was carried to such a length that our Lawyers and , told us not to bring our witnesses [HC 3:212] there at all, for if we did there would not be one of them left for final trial, for no sooner would and his men know who they were, than they would put them out of the County. As to mak<ing> any impression on , if a Cohort of angels were to come down, and declare we were clear, said it would all be the same, for he () had determined from the beginning to cast us into [p. 859] <November 29th.> prison; we never got the privilege of introducing our witnesses at all; if we had we could have disproved all they swore.
<’s letter> “ Esqre. to the Representatives from — Novr. 29. 1838.
Respected Friends:— Humanity to an injured people prompts me at present to address you thus. You were aware of the treatment (to some extent before you left home) received by that unfortunate race of beings called the Mormons, from , in the form of human beings inhabiting , , and a part of ; not being satisfied with the relinquishments of all their rights as Citizens and human beings, in the treaty forced upon them by , by giving up their arms, and throwing themselves upon the mercy of the , and their fellow Citizens generally, hoping thereby protection of their lives and property, are now receiving treatment from those demons, that makes humanity shudder. and the cold chills run over any man, not entirely destitute of any feeling of humanity. These demons are now constantly strolling up and down , in small companies armed, insulting the women in any and every way, and plundering the poor devils of all the means of subsistence (scanty as it was) left them, and driving off their horses, cattle, hogs &c and rifling their houses and farms of every thing therein, taking beds, bedding, wardrobe and all such things as they see they want, leaving the poor Mormons in a starving and naked condition. These are facts I have from authority that cannot be questioned, and can be maintained and substantiated at any time. There is now a petition afloat in our Town, signed by the Citizens of all parties and grades, which will be sent you in a few days, praying the Legislature to make some speedy enactment applicable to their case— they are entirely willing to leave our , so soon as this inclement season is over, and a number have already left, and are leaving daily, scattering themselves to the four winds of the Earth— [HC 3:213] Now, Sirs, I do not want by any means to dictate to you the course to be pursued, but one fact I will merely suggest. I this day was conversing with Mr. George M. Pryer, who is just from , relating the outrages there committed daily. I suggested to him the propriety of the Legislature’s placing a guard to patrol on the lines of , say of about twenty five men, and give them, say, about one dollar or one and a half per day, each man, and find their provisions &c, until, say, the first day of June next. Those men rendering that protection necessary to the Mormons, and allowing them to follow, and bring to justice any individual who has heretofore, or will hereafter be guilty of plundering or any violation of the laws. I would suggest that George M. Pryer be appointed Captain of said Guard, and that he will be allowed to raise his own men— <if> he is willing thus to act. He is a man of correct habits, and will do justice to all sides, and render due satisfaction. Should this course not be approved of, I would recommend the restoration of their arms, for their own protection. One or the other of these suggestions is certainly due the Mormons from the . She has now their leaders prisoners to the number of fifty or sixty, and I apprehend no danger from the remainder in any way, until they will leave the . ”
is not a Mormon but a friend of Man. [p. 860]
<(see addenda page 3.)> [HC 3:214]
<November 30 Conveyed to > Friday 30. About this time those of us who had been sentenced thereto were conveyed to , put in close confinement, and all communication with our friends cut off During our trial accompanied by and others at times were busy in plundering and robbing the houses of , , and the Widow Phoebe Ann Patten, and others under pretence or Color of law, or an order from , as testified to by the members of the different families robbed.
<December 1. Committees meet> Saturday December 1. 1838
“At a meeting of the committee on the part [HC 3:215] of the Mormons and a like Committee on the part of the citizens of met at on this first Dec. 1838. The following propositions by the Mormon Committee were made & agreed to by the Committee—
1st. That the Mormon Committee be allowed to employ say 20 teamsters for the purpose of hauling off their property. 2nd. That the Mormon Committee collect whatever stock they may have in at some point & some 2 or 3 of the : Committee be notified to attend for the purpose of examining said Stock. & convey or attend the Mormon Committee out of the limits of the — & it is further understood that the Mormon Committee is not to drive or take from this : any stock of any description at any other time, nor under any other circumstances than these mentioned As witness our hands—
, Dr. K. Kerr, Committee— The above—— propositions were made and agreed to by the undersigned, committee on the part of the Mormons— , , , , Z. Wilson.” [HC 3:216]
<5.> Wednesday 5. The Legislature having assembled, laid before the house of Representatives all the information in his possession relative to the difficulties between the Mob and “Mormons”
<10> Monday 10th. "
<Memorial to Legislature> “To the Honorable Legislature of the State of , in Senate and House of Representatives convened. We the undersigned petitioners, inhabitants of , Missouri, in consequence of the late calamity that has come upon us, taken in connection with former afflictions, feel it a duty we owe to ourselves and our Country, to lay our case before your honorable body for consideration. It is a well known fact, that a Society of our people commenced settling in , Missouri, in the Summer of 1831, where they, according to their ability, purchased lands and settled upon them with the intention and expectation of becoming permanent Citizens in common with others— Soon after the Settlement began, persecution began, and as the Society increased, persecution also increased, until the Society at last was compelled to leave the . And although an account of these persecutions has been published to the world, yet we feel that it will not be improper to notice a few of the most prominent items in this memorial. On the 20th. of July 1833, a mob convened at a Committee of which called upon a few of the men of our Church there, and [HC 3:217] stated to them that the , and indeed all other Mechanic shops must be closed forthwith, and the Society leave the immediately. These propositions were so unexpected, that a certain time was asked for, to consider on the subject, before an answer should be returned, which was refused, and our men being individually interrogated, [p. 861]
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature> each one answered that he could not consent to comply with their propositions. One of the Mob replied that he was sorry, for the work of destruction would commence immediately. In a short time, the , which was a two story brick building, was assailed by the mob and soon thrown down, and with it much valuable property destroyed. Next they went to the for the same purpose, but , one of the owners, agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design. Their next move was their dragging of from his house and family to the public square, where, surrounded by hundreds, they partially stripped him of his clothes, and tarred and feathered him from head to foot— A man by the name of was also tarred at the same time— This was Saturday, and the mob agreed to meet the following Tuesday— to accomplish their purpose of driving or massacreing the Society. Tuesday came, and the mob came also, bearing with them a red flag in token of blood. Some two or three of the principal men of the Society offered their lives, if that would appease the wrath of the Mob, so that the rest of the Society might dwell in peace upon their lands. The answer was, that unless the Society would leave “en masse,” every man should die for himself. Being in a defenceless situation, to save a general massacre, it was agreed that one half of the Society should leave the by the first of the next January, and the remainder by the first of the following April. A treaty was entered into and ratified, and all things went on smoothly for a while. But some time in October the wrath of the mob began again to be kindled, insomuch, that they shot at some of our people, whipped others, and threw down their houses, and committed many other depredations; indeed the society of Saints were harassed for some time both day and night— their houses were brickbatted and broken open— women and children insulted &c. The of A. S. Gilbert & Co. was broken open, ransacked, and some if the goods strewed in the Streets. These abuses, with many others of a very aggravated nature, so stirred up the indignant feelings of our people, that <when> a party of them, say about 30, met a company of the mob of about double their number,—— a skirmish took place in which some two or three of the mob and one of our people. were killed. This raised as it were the whole in arms, and nothing would satisfy them, but an im[HC 3:218]mediate surrender of the arms of our people, and they forthwith to leave the — Fifty one guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day. The next day parties of the mob, from 30 to 70, headed by Priests, went from house to house, threatning women and children with death if they were not off before they returned. This so alarmed them, that they fled in different directions; some took shelter in the woods, while others wandered in the prairies till their feet bled. In the mean time the weather being very cold, their sufferings in other respects were very great. The Society made their escape to as fast as they possibly could, where the people received them kindly, and administer to their wants. After the Society had left , their buildings amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise— destroyed, and much of their crops, as well as furniture, stock, &c— which if properly estimated, would make a large sum, for which they have not as yet received any [p. 862]
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature> remuneration. The Society remained in nearly three years; when, at the suggestion of the people there, they removed to that section of country known now as . Here the people purchased out most of the former inhabitants, and also entered much of the wild land. Many soon owned a number of Eighties, while there was scarcely a man that did not secure to himself at least a forty. Here we were permitted to enjoy peace for a season, but as our Society increased in numbers, and settlements were made in and Carrol[l] Counties, the mob spirit spread itself again— For months previous to our giving up our arms to ’ army, we heard little else than rumors of mobs, collecting in different places, and threatning our people. It is well known that the people of our Church who had located themselves at , had to give up to a mob and leave the place, notwithstanding the Militia were called out for their protection. From the mob went towards , and while on their way there they took two of our men prisoners and made them ride upon the Cannon, and told them that they would drive the Mormons from to and from to hell, and that they would give them no quarter only at the cannon’s mouth. The threats of the Mob induced some of our people to go to to help to protect their brethren who had settled at , on — The mob soon fled from : and after they were dispersed and the cannon taken, during which time no blood was shed, the people of returned to their homes in hopes of enjoying peace and quiet; but in this they were disappointed, for a large mob was soon found to be collecting on the Grindstone, <-[fork of [HC 3:219] ]-> from ten to fifteen miles off, under the command of , a scouting party of which, came within four miles of , and drove off stock belonging to our people, in open day light. About this time word came to that a party of the Mob had come into to the south of — that they were taking horses and cattle— burning houses, and ordering the Inhabitants to leave their homes immediately— and that they had then actually in their possession three men prisoners. This report reached in the evening and was confirmed about midnight. A company of about sixty men went forth under the command of , to disperse the mob, as they supposed. A battle was the result, in which and two of his men were killed, and others wounded. , it appears, had but one killed, and others wounded. Notwithstanding the unlawful acts committed by ’s men previous to the battle, it is now asserted and claimed that he was regularly ordered out as a militia captain, to preserve the peace along the line of and Counties. That battle was fought four or five days previous to the arrival of and his army. About the time of the battle with , a number of our people who were living near , on Shoal Creek, about twenty miles below , together with a number of emigrants who had been stopped there in consequence of the excitement, made an agreement with the Mob which was about there, that neither party should molest the other, but dwell in peace. Shortly after this agreement was made, a mob party of from two to three hundred, many of whom are supposed to be from , some for , and also those who had [p. 863]
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature> agreed to dwell in peace, came upon our people there, whose number in men was about forty, at a time they little expected any such thing, and without any ceremony notwithstanding they begged for quarters, shot them down as they would tigers or panthers. Some few made their escape by fleeing. Eighteen were killed, and a number more severely wounded— This tragedy was conducted in the most brutal and savage manner. An old man, after the massacre was partially over, threw himself into their hands and begged for quarters, when he was instantly shot down; that not killing him, they took an old corn cutter and literally mangled him to pieces. A lad of ten years of age, after being shot down, also begged to be spared, when one if them placed the muzzle of his gun to his head and blew out his brains. [HC 3:220] The slaughter of these—— not satisfying the mob, they then proceeded to rob and plunder. The scene that presented itself after the massacre, to the widows and orphans of the killed, is beyond description. It was truly a time of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation. As yet, we have not heard of any being arrested for these murders, notwithstanding there are men boasting about the Country, that they did kill on that occasion more than one Mormon, whereas, all our people who were in the battle with against , that can be found, have been arrested, and are now confined in jail to await their trial for murder— When arrived near , and presented the ’s Order, we were greatly surprised, yet we felt willing to submit to the authorities of the . We gave up our arms without reluctance; we were then made prisoners, and confined to the limits of the for about a week, during which time the men from the Country were not permitted to go to their families, many of whom were in a suffering condition for the want of food and fire wood, the weather being very cold and stormy. Much property was destroyed by the troops in , during their stay there: such as burning house logs, rails, corn cribs, boards &c the using of Corn and Hay, the plundering of houses, the killing of cattle, sheep and hogs, and also the taking of horses not their own, and all this without regard to owners, or asking leave of any one. In the mean time, men were abused, women insulted and abused by the troops, and all this, while we were kept prisoners. Whilst the was guarded, we were called together by the order of , and a guard placed close around us, and in that situation, were compelled to sign a deed of trust for the purpose of making our individual property all holden, as they said, to pay all debts of every individual belonging to the Church, and also to pay for all damages the old inhabitants of may have sustained in consequence of the late difficulties in that . was now arrived, and the first important move made by him was the collecting of our men together on the square, and selected out about fifty of them, whom he immediately, marched into a house and confined close; this was done without the aid of the [HC 3:221] Sheriff or any legal process— The next day 46 of those taken, were driven like a parcel of menial slaves, off to , not knowing why they were taken, or what they <were> taken for— After being confined in more than two weeks, about one half were liberated; the rest after another week’s confinement, were, [p. 864]
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature> most of them, required to appear at Court, and have since been let to bail. Since withdrew his troops from , parties of armed men have gone through the , driving off horses, sheep, and cattle, and also plundering houses. The barbarity of ’ troops ought not to be passed over in silence. They shot our Cattle and Hogs, merely for the sake of destroying them, leaving them for the Ravens to eat. They took Prisoner an aged man by the name of , and without any reason for it he was struck over the head with a gun, which laid his skull bare— Another man by the name of [William] Carey was also taken prisoner by them, and without any provocation had his brains dashed out by a gun. He was laid in a waggon, and there permitted to remain, for the space of 24 hours, during which time no one was permitted to administer to him comfort or consolation, and after he was removed from that situation he lived but a few hours. The destruction of property, at and about , is very great. Many are stripped bare as it were, and others partially so; indeed, take us as a body, at this time, we are a poor and afflicted people, and if we are compelled to leave the in the Spring, many, yes, a large portion of our Society, will have to be removed at the expence of the , as those who might have helped them, are now debarred that privilege in consequence of the deed of trust we were compelled to sign, which deed so operates upon our real Estate, that it will sell for but little or nothing at this time. We have now made a brief statement of some of the most prominent features of the troubles that have befallen our people since their first settlement in this , and we believe that these persecutions have come in consequence of our religious faith, and not for any immorality on our part. That instances have been of late, where individuals have trespassed upon the rights of others, and thereby broken the laws of the Land, we will not pretend to deny, but yet we do believe that no crime can be substantiated against any of the people who have a standing in our Church, of an earlier date than the Difficulties in . And when it is considered that the rights of this people have been trampled upon from time to time, with impunity, and abuses heaped upon them almost innumerable, it ought, in some degree, to palliate for any infraction of the law, which may have been made on the part of our people. The late order of , to drive us from this , or exter[HC 3:222]minate us, is a thing so novel, unlawful, tyrannical, and oppressive, that we have been induced to draw up this Memorial and present this statement of our case to your honorable body, praying that a law may be passed, rescinding the order of the to drive us from the , and also giving us the sanction of the Legislature to inherit our lands in peace— we ask an expression of the Legislature, disapproving the conduct of those who compelled us to sign a deed of trust, and also disapproving of any man or set of men, taking our property in consequence of that deed of trust, and appropriating it to the payment of debts not contracted by us, or for the payment of damages sustained in consequence of trespasses committed by others. We have no common stock, our property is individual property, and we feel willing to pay our debts as other individuals do, but we are not willing to be bound for other people’s debts also. The arms which were taken from us here, which we understand to be [p. 865]
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature.> about 630, besides swords and pistols, we care not so much about, as we do the pay for them; only we are bound to do military duty, which we are willing to do, and which we think was sufficiently manifested by the raising of a volunteer company last fall, at , when called upon by , to raise troops for the frontier.
The arms given up by us, we consider were worth between twelve and fifteen thousand dollars but we understand they have been greatly damaged since taken, and at this time, probably would not bring near their former value. And as they were, both here and in , taken by the Militia, and consequently by the authority of the , we therefore ask your honorable body to cause an appropriation to be made by law, whereby we may be paid for them, or otherwise have them returned to us and the damages made good. The losses sustained by our people in leaving , are so situated that it is impossible to obtain any compensation for them by law, because those who have sustained them are unable to prove those trespasses upon individuals. That the facts do exist, that the buildings, crops, stock, furniture, rails, timber, &c. of the society, have been destroyed in , is not doubted by those who are acquainted in this upper country, and since these trespasses cannot be proved upon individuals, we ask your honorable body to consider this case, and if, in your liberality and wisdom, you can conceive it to be proper to make an appropriation by law to these sufferers, many of whom are still pressed down with poverty in consequence of their losses, would be able to pay their debts, and also in some degree be relieved from poverty and woe, whilst the widows heart would be made to rejoice, and the orphan’s tear measurably dried up, and the prayers of a [HC 3:223] grateful people ascend on high, with thanksgiving and praise, to the author of our existence, for that beneficent act.
In laying our case before your honorable body, we say that we are willing, and ever have been to conform to the Constitution and Laws of the , and of this . We ask in common with others the protection of the laws. We ask for the privilege guaranteed to all free Citizens of the and of this to be extended to us, that we may be permitted to settle and live where we please, and worship God according to the dictates of our conscience without molestation. And while we ask for ourselves this privilege we are willing all others should enjoy the same. We now lay our case at the feet of your legislature, and ask your honorable body to consider it, and do for us, after mature deliberation, that which your wisdom, patriotism, and philanthropy may dictate. And we, as in duty bound, will ever pray &c.
, , , , , , , , . A Committee appointed by the Citizens of to draft this memorial, and sign it in their behalf— Caldwell Co. Mo. Decr. 10. 1838.”
<13 High Council met> Thursday 13.
“Agreeable to appointment the standing High Council met, when it was found that several were absent, who, (some of them) have had to flee for their lives, therefore it being necessary that those vacancies be filled, the meeting was called for that purpose, and also, to express each other’s [p. 866]
<December 13 High Council> feelings respecting the word of the Lord. President presiding. The Council was opened by prayer by . After prayer made a few remarks saying he thought it all important to have the Council— re-organized, and prepared to do business. He advised the Councillors to be wise and judicious in all their movements and not hasty in their transactions; as for his faith it was the same as ever, and he fellowshipped all such as loved the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in act as well as word. [HC 3:224] arose and said he felt as formerly for he had endeavored to keep a straight forward course; but wherein he had been out of the way, in any manner he meant to mend in that thing, and he was determined to do as much as possible, as he would be done by, and his faith was as good as ever, he was in fellowship with all who wanted to do right. said as to his faith in the work it was the same as ever, he did not think that Joseph was a fallen prophet, but he believed in every <rev>elation that had come through him: Still he thought that perhaps Joseph had not acted in all things according to the best wisdom. yet how far he had been unwise he could not say; he did not think that Joseph would be removed and another planted in his stead; but he believed he would still perform his work, he was still determined to persevere and act in righteousness in all things so that he might at last gain a crown of glory and reign in the Kingdom of God. responded with President ’s feelings and wished still to walk with the brethren. said that he was firm in the faith and he believed the time would come when Joseph would stand before Kings, and speak marvelous words. expressed his feelings in a similar manner— says his faith is the same as ever, and he has confidence in Br. Joseph as ever. says he is a firm believer in the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, and that Br. Joseph is not a fallen prophet, but will yet be exalted and become very high. John Badger says his confidence in the work is the same as ever, and his faith, if possible, is stronger than ever, he believes that it was necessary that these scourges should come. says that as it respects the scourges which have come upon us, that the hand of God was in it &c. says that his faith is as ever and that he feels to praise God in prisons and in dungeons and in all circumstances.—— . After some consultation it was thought expedient to nominate High Priests to fill the vacancies. The Council was organized as follows No. 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6. John Badger 7; , 8; 9; 10; 11; 12. Voted that fill the Vacancy of No. 4, and the place of No. 11, and John Badger the place of No. 7. and the place of until he returns. [HC 3:225] Council adjourned until Friday evening 6 o’clock Closed in prayer by . Clerk.” [p. 867]
<December 13> Isaac Russel[l] who had become connected with a small camp of the Saints of about Thirty families going west, turned from his course at Louisiana, led them north ten miles on the Spanish claims, where they built huts, or lived <Russel turned Apostate> in tents through the winter in great suffering Russel turned prophet -[apostate]- said Joseph had fallen and he was appointed to lead the people, Chandler Rogers who was moving West, was met by a mob at and compelled to turn back, and fell in with Russel’s Camp. Russel said he was “the chosen of the Lord,” and when they left that place, they would have to go on foot, and take nothing with them, and they must sell their teams &c Some would not sell and he cursed them.
<16 Joseph’s Letter in > Sunday 16. I wrote the following letter.
“, Missouri, Decr. 16. 1838
To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in , and all the Saints who are scattered abroad, who are persecuted and made desolate, and who are afflicted in divers manners for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s by the hands of a cruel mob and the tyrannical disposition of the authorities of this , and whose perils are greatly augmented by the wickedness and corruption of false brethren, may grace, mercy, and the peace of God be, and abide with you, and notwithstanding all your sufferings, we assure you, that you have our prayers and fervent desires for your welfare day and night. We believe that that God who seeth us in this Solitary place will hear our prayers, and reward you openly. Know assuredly, Dear Brethren, that it is for the testimony of Jesus that we are in bonds and in prison. But we say unto you that we consider that our condition is better, (notwithstanding our sufferings) than those who have persecuted us and smitten us, and borne false witness against us, and we most assuredly believe that those who do bear false witness against us, do seem to have a great triumph over us [HC 3:226] for the present. But we want you to remember Haman and Mordecai, you know that Haman could not be satisfied so long as he saw Mordecai at the King’s gate— and he sought the life of Mordecai and the people of the Jews, But the Lord so ordered it, that Haman was hanged upon his own gallows. So shall it come to pass with poor Haman in the last days, those who have sought by unbelief and wickedness, and by the principle of Mobocracy to destroy us, and the people of God, by killing and scattering them abroad, and willfully and maliciously delivering us into the hands of murderers, desiring us to be put to death, thereby having us dragged about in Chains and cast into prison, and for what cause? it is because we were honest men, and were determined to defend the lives of the Saints at the expense of our own. I say unto you, that those who have thus vilely treated us like Haman, shall be hanged upon their own gallows, or in other words shall fall into their own gin, and snare and ditch and trap which they have prepared for us, and shall go backwards and stumble and fall, and their name shall be blotted out, and God shall reward them according to all their abominations. Dear Brethren do not think that our hearts faint, as though some strange thing had happened unto us for we have seen and been assured of all these things beforehand, and have an assurance [p. 868]
<December 16 Joseph’s Letter in > of a better hope than that of our persecutors, therefore God hath made broad our Shoulders for the burden, We glory in our tribulation because we know that God is with us, that he is our friend, and that he will save our souls. We do not care for them that can kill the body; they cannot harm our souls; we ask no favors, at the hands of Mobs, nor of the world, nor of the Devil, nor of his Emissaries the Dissenters. and those who love, and make, and swear falsehoods to take away our lives— We have never dissembled, nor will we for the sake of our lives, Forasmuch then as we know that we have been endeavoring with all our minds, mights and strength to do the will of God, and all things whatsoever he has commanded us— And as to our light speeches which may have escaped our lips from time to time, they have nothing to do with the fixed purposes of our hearts. Therefore it sufficeth us to say, that our souls were vexed from day to day. We refer you to Isaiah who considers those who make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate. We believe that the Old Prophet verily told the truth, we have no retraction to make, we have reproved in the Gate and men have laid snares for us, we have spoken words and men have made us offenders, and notwithstanding all this our minds are not yet darkened but feel strong in the [HC 3:227] Lord. But behold the words of the Savior “If the light which is in you become darkness, behold how great is that darkness”, look at the Dissenters. Again if you were of the world, the world would love its own. Look at a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing, Look at his brother Look at the beloved brother , who aided him in leading us, as the Savior was led, into the Camp as a Lamb prepared for the Slaughter, as a Sheep dumb before his Shearers, so we opened not our mouths. But these men like Balaam being greedy for reward, sold us into the hands of those who loved them, for the world loves his own. I would remember who comes up to us as one of Job’s Comforters, God suffered such kind of beings to afflict Job, but it never entered into their hearts that Job would get out of it all. This poor man who professes to be much of a Prophet has no other dumb ass to ride, but , to forbid his madness when he goes up to curse Israel and this ass not being of the same kind as Balaams, therefore the angel notwithstanding appeared unto him, yet he could not penetrate his understanding sufficiently so, but what he brays out cursings instead of blessings, Poor Ass whoever lives to see it, will see him and his rider perish like those who perished in the gainsaying of Core, or after the same condemnation, Now as for these and the rest of their Company we will not presume to say that the world loves them, but we presume to say they love the world, and we classify them in the error of Balaam, and in the gainsaying of Core, and with the company of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram. Perhaps our brethren may say, because we thus write, that we are offended at these Characters! if we are, it is not for a word, neither because they reproved in the gate, but because they have been the means of shedding innocent blood. Are they not murderers then at heart? Are [p. 869]
<December 16 Joseph’s letter in > not their consciences seared as with a hot iron. We confess that we are offended but the Savior said, it must needs be that offences come, but wo unto them by whom they come, and again blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake” Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you— Now dear brethren if any men ever had reason to claim this promise, we are the men, for we know that the world not only hates us, [HC 3:228] but they speak all manner of evil of us falsely, for no other reason than that we have been endeavoring to teach the fullness <of the gospel> of Jesus Christ— After we were bartered away by and were taken into the Militia Camp, we had all the evidence we could have asked for that the world hated us— If there were Priests among them of all the different sects they hated us, and that most cordially too, If there were Generals they hated us, If there were Colonels they hated us, and the Soldiers and Officers of every kind hated us, and the most profane, blasphemous, and drunkards and whoremongers hated us— they all hated us most cordially. And now what did they hate us for? purely because of the testimony of Jesus Christ, Was it because we were liars? We know that it has been reported by some, but it has been reported falsely, Was it because we have committed treason against the Government? in , or of burglary, or of larceny, or of arson, or any other unlawful act in — We know that Priests, and certain Lawyers, and certain Judges, who are the instigators, aiders and abettors of a certain gang of murderers and robbers, who have been carrying on a scheme of mobocracy to uphold their Priestcraft against the Saints of the last days, for a number of years, and have tried by a well contemplated and premeditated scheme to put down by physical power a system of religion that all the world by their mutual—— attainments and by any fair means whatever were not able to resist. Hence Mobbers were encouraged by Priests and Levites, by the Pharisees, Saducees and Essenees and the Herodians, and the most worthless abandoned and debauched, lawless and inhuman and the most beastly set of men that the Earth can boast of— and indeed a parallell cannot be found any where else, to gather together to steal, to plunder, to starve and to exterminate and burn the houses of the Mormons— These are the characters that by their treasonable and avert acts have desolated and laid waste . these are the characters that would fain make all the world believe that we are guilty of the above named acts— but they represent us falsely— We stood in our own defence and we believe that no man of us acted only in a just, a lawful and a righteous retaliation against such Marauders. We say unto you, that we have not committed treason nor any other unlawful act in — Was it for murder in against Mob Militia who was a Wolf in the first instance, Hide and hair, teeth, legs, and tail, who afterwards put on a Militia Sheepskin with the wool on, who can sally forth in the day time into the flock and snarl [p. 870]
<December 16 Joseph’s letter in > and shew his teeth, and scatter and devour the flock and [HC 3:229] satiate himself upon his prey, and then sneak back into the bramble in order that he might conceal himself in his well tried skin with the wool on. We are well aware that there is a certain set of Priests and Satellites and Mobbers that would fain make all the world believe that we are the dogs that barked at this howling wolf that made such havoc among the sheep, who when he retreated, howled and blated at such a desperate rate, that if one could have been there he would have thought that all the wolves whether wrapped up in sheep skins, or in goat skins or in any other skins, and in fine all the beasts of the forest were awfully alarmed and catching the scent of innocent blood, they sallied forth with one tremendous howl and crying of all sorts and such a howling and such a tremendous havoc never was known, such a piece of inhumanity and relentless cruelty and barbarity cannot be found in all the Annals of history— These are the characters that would make the world believe that we had committed murder by making an attack upon this howling wolf while we were at home and in our beds and asleep, and knew nothing of that transaction, any more than we know what is going on in China while we are within these walls. Therefore we say again unto you we are innocent of these things and they have represented us falsely. Was it for committing adultery, we are aware that false slander has gone abroad for it has been reiterated in our ears. These are falsehoods also. Renegade Mormon Dissenters are running through the world and spreading various foul and libelous reports against us thinking thereby to gain the friendship of the world because they know that we are not of the world, and that the world hates us, therefore they make a tool of these fellows, by them try to do all the injury, they can and after that they hate them worse than they do us, because they find them to be base traitors and sycophants— Such characters God hates, we cannot love them, the world hates them, and we sometimes think that the Devil ought to be ashamed of them. We have heard that it is reported by some, that some of us should have said, that we not only dedicated our property but our families also to the Lord, and Satan taking advantage of this has transfigured it into licentiousness, such as a community of wives which is an abomination in the sight of God. When we consecrate our property to the Lord it is to administer to the wants of the poor and needy, for this is the law of God, it is not [HC 3:230] for the purpose of the rich, those who have no need; and when a man consecrates or dedicates his wife and children, he does not give them to his brother, or to his neighbor for there is no such law: for the law of God is, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s Wife He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery already in his heart. Now for a man to consecrate his <property> Wife, and Children to the Lord, is, nothing more nor less, than to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the widow and the fatherless, the sick, and the afflicted, and do all he can to administer to their relief in their afflictions, and for him, and his house to serve [p. 871]
<December 16 Joseph’s Letter in > the Lord— In order to do this, he and all his house must be virtuous, and must shun the very appearance of evil— Now if any person has represented any thing otherwise than what we now write, he or she is a liar and has— represented us falsely— and this is another manner of evil which is spoken against us falsely. We have learned also since we have been prisoners that many false and pernicious things which were calculated to lead the Saints far astray and to do great injury, have been taught by as coming from the Presidency and we have reason to fear, that many other designing and corrupt characters like unto himself have been teaching many things, which the Presidency never knew of, being taught in the Church by any body until after they were made prisoners, which if they had known of, they would have spurned them and their authors from them, as they would the gates of hell— Thus we find that there have been frauds and secret abominations and evil works of darkness going on, leading the minds of the weak and unwary, into confusion and distraction, and palming it all the time upon the Presidency, while mean time the Presidency were— ignorant as well as innocent of those things, which were practicing in the Church in their name, and were attending to their own Secular and Family concerns, weighed down with sorrow, in debt, in poverty, in hunger, assaying to be fed, yet finding themselves, receiving deeds of Charity, but inadequate to their subsistence, and because they received those deeds, they were envied and hated, by those who professed to be their friends.
But notwithstanding we thus speak, we honor the Church, when we speak of the Church, as a Church, for their liberality, kindness, patience and long suffering, and their continual kindness towards us. And now brethren we say unto you, What more can we enumerate? Is not all, manner of evil of every description spoken of us falsely, yea, we say unto you falsely; we have been misrepresented and misunderstood, and belied, and the purity and integrity, and uprightness of our hearts have not been known, and it is through ignorance, yea the [HC 3:231] very depth of ignorance is the cause of it, and not only ignorance, but on the part of some gross wickedness and hypocricy also, who by a long face, and sanctimonious prayers, and very pious sermons had power to lead the minds of the ignorant and unwary and thereby obtain such influence, that when we approached their iniquities, the Devil gained great advantage, would bring great trouble and sorrow on our heads, and in fine we have waded through an ocean of tribulation and mean abuse, practiced upon us by the ill bred, and the ignorant, such as , , , , , and various others, who are so very ignorant that they cannot appear respectable in any decent and civilized Society and whose eyes are full of adultery and cannot cease from sin— Such characters as , , , , and who are too mean to mention and we had like to have forgotten them. and another whose hearts are full of corruption, whose cloak of hypocrisy was not sufficient to shield them or to hold them up in the hour of trouble, who after having escaped [p. 872]
<December 16 Joseph’s Letter in .> the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and became again entangled and overcome— their latter end is worse than the first— But it has happened unto them according to the word of the Savior “the dog has returned to his vomit, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire”. Again if we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for, of judgment and fiery indignation to come which shall devour these adversaries. For he who despiseth Moses’ law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses, of how much more severe punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath sold his brother, and denied the new and everlasting Covenant by which he was sanctified, calling it an unholy thing and doing despite to the spirit of grace— And again we say unto you, that inasmuch as there be virtue in us, and the holy Priesthood hath been conferred upon us, and the keys of the kingdom hath not been taken from us, for verily thus saith the Lord, be of good cheer, for the keys that I gave unto you are yet with you” Therefore we say unto you Dear Brethren in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we deliver these characters unto the buffetings of Satan, until the day of redemption, that they may be dealt with according to their works, and from henceforth their works shall be made manifest. And now Dear and Well beloved Brethren and when we say brethren, we mean those who have continued Faithful in Christ, Men, Women, and Children, we feel to exhort you in the name of the Lord Jesus, to be [HC 3:232] strong in the faith in the new and everlasting Covenant, and nothing frightened at your enemies. For what has happened unto us is an evident token to them of damnation, but unto us, of Salvation and that of God. Therefore hold on, even unto death for he that seeks to save his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for my sake, and the gospel’s, shall find it, sayeth Jesus Christ.
Brethren from henceforth, let truth and righteousness prevail and abound in you, and in all things be temperate, abstain from drunkenness and from swearing and from all profane language, and from every thing which is unrighteous or unholy; also from enmity, and hatred, and covetousness, and from every unholy desire. Be honest, one with another, for it seemeth, that some have come short of these things, and some have been uncharitable and have manifested greediness because of their debts towards those who have been persecuted and dragged about with chains without cause and imprisoned. Such characters God hates, and they shall have their turn of sorrow in the rolling of the great wheel, for it rolleth and none can hinder. Zion shall yet live, though she seemeth to be dead. Remember that whatsoever measure you mete out to others, it shall be measured to you again. We say unto you, Brethren, be not afraid of your adversaries, contend earnestly against mobs, and the unlawful works of dissenters and of darkness. And the very God of Peace shall be with you, and make a way for your escape from the adversary of your souls. We commend you to God and the word of his grace which is able to make us wise unto Salvation. Amen— Joseph Smith Jr.”— [HC 3:233]
This day Elder , arrived at Jefferson City and on <17.> Monday 17. Presented the petition of the brethren to <General> and others, who were [p. 873] <December 17 Petition presented the Legislature> very anxious to hear from , as there were many reports in circulation, such as “the Mormons kept up the Danite System”, “were going to build the ,” and “more blood would be spilled, before they left the ” &c. which created a hardness in the minds of the people— In the P.M. had an interview with , who enquired about our people and property with as much apparent interest as though his whole soul was engaged for our welfare, and said he had heard that the Citizens were committing depredations on the Mormons and driving off their Stock &c. informed him that armed forces came in the place, and abused men women and children, stole horses, drove off cattle, and plundered houses of every thing that pleased their fancy. said that he would write and to go to , and put down every hostile appearance, he also stated that the Stipulations entered into by the Mormons to leave the , and sign the deed of trust, were unconstitutional, and not valid— replied we want the Legislature to pass a law to that effect showing that the stipulations [HC 3:234] and deeds of trust are not valid and are unconstitutional— and unless you do pass such a law, we shall not consider ourselves safe in the . You say there has been a stain upon the character of the , and now is the time to pass some law to that effect, and unless you do, farewell to the virtue of the ; farewell to her honor and good name, farewell to her Christian virtue, until she shall be peopled by a different race of men; farewell to every name that binds man to man; farewell to a fine soil and a glorious home, they are gone, they are rent from us by a lawless banditti.
<18 Committees Report> Tuesday 18. from the joint committee on the Mormon investigation submitted a report, preamble and resolutions; the essential part is as follows
They consider the evidence adduced in the examination held at , in a great degree exparte, and not of the character which should be desired for the basis of a fair and candid investigation— [HC 3:235] [HC 3:236] 1st. Because it is not authenticated; and 2nd. It is confined chiefly to the object of that inquiry; namely: the investigation of criminal charges against individuals under arrest; for these reasons, but above all, for the reasons that it would be a direct interference with the administration of justice, this document ought not be published, with the sanction of the Legislature. [HC 3:237]
Resolved. That it is inexpedient at this time, to prosecute further the inquiry into the causes of the late disturbances and the conduct of the military operations in suppressing them. Resolved that it is inexpedient to publish at this time, any of the documents accompanying the ’s Message in relation to the late disturbances. Resolved. that it is expedient to appoint a joint committee, composed of [blank] Senators, and [blank] Representatives to investigate the cause of said disturbances, and the conduct of the military operations in suppressing them, to meet at such time, and to be invested with such powers as may be prescribed by law.”
<19. Petition presented> Wednesday 19. Mr. presented the petition to the House, when it was reading, the members were silent as the house of death, after which the debate commenced, and excitement increased ’till the house was in an uproar, their faces turned red, their eyes flashed fire, and their countenances spoke volumes— “Mr. Childs of said there was not one word of truth in it, so far as he had heard, and that it ought never [p. 874] <December 19 Legislators> to have been presented to that body— Not long ago we appropriated two thousand dollars to their relief, and now they have petitioned for the pay for their lands, which we took away from them— We got rid of a great evil when we drove them from , and we have had peace there ever since, and the will always be in difficulty so long as they suffer them to live in the and the [HC 3:238] quicker they get that petition from before that body, the better”— Mr. Ashley from said the Petition was false from beginning to end, and that himself and the Mormons could not live together, for he would always be found fighting against them, and one or the other must leave the , He gave a History of the Massacre, and saw cut up with a Corn Cutter. corrected Mr. Childs, and stated facts in the petition which he was knowing to, and that Mr. Childs ought to know that there could not be the first crime established against the Mormons while in — One member hoped the matter would not be looked over in silence, for his Constituents required of him to know the cause of the late disturbance— Mr. Young of spoke very bitter against the Petition and the Mormons— An aged member from St. Charles moved a reference of the bill to a select Committee, and continued he, “as the Gentleman that just spoke, and other gentlemen want the Petition ruled out of the house, for fear their evil doings will be brought to light, and this goes to prove to me, and others, that the Petition is true”— Mr. Redman of Howard made a long speech in favor of a speedy investigation of the whole matter, said he “The ’s order has gone forth, and the Mormons are leaving; Hundreds are waiting to cross the ; and by and bye they are gone and our is blasted; her character is gone, we gave them no chance for a fair investigation, The demands of us, that we give them a speedy investigation.” Mr. Gyer from , agreed with the— gentleman from Howard “that the Committee should have power to call witnesses from any part of the , and defend them, and unless the [HC 3:239] ’s order was rescinded, he for one would leave the ”— Other gentlemen made similar remarks.
The testimony presented the Committee of investigation, before referred to, was the ’s orders, ’s report, the report of the Ex parte trial at , and a lot of papers signed by no body, given to no body, and directed to no body, containing any thing our enemies were disposed to write—
<High Council> “The High Council of Zion met in Wednesday Decr. 19th. 1838 The Council was organized as follows— No.1, No. 2, . 3; , 4; , 5; , 6; John Badger, 7; , 8; 9; , 10; , 11; , 12; The Council was opened by prayer by President who presided. gave a statement of his feelings, he said his faith was as good as it ever was, notwithstanding he did not feel to fellowship all the proceedings of the brethren in He thought they did not act as wisely, as they might have done. &c.
Voted by the Council that and be or[HC 3:240]dained to the [p. 875]
<December 19 & Ordained> Apostleship to fill vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve. When they came forward and received their ordination under the hands of and — Voted that we send a petition to the general government, and send it by mail— voted that and be a committee to draft the above mentioned petition; also it is their privilege to cho[o]se another person to assist them— Council adjourned until next Wednesday at 1 o clock at this place
<26> having returned to made report—— when the High Council voted that they were satisfied with his proceedings.
<27 Anson Call whipped> Thursday 27— Anson Call went to near Elk Horn to sell some property and was taken by ten of the Mob and one Old negro, the names of some of the Mob were two of Judge Dickey’s sons, a Mr. Adams, and a constable, they then ordered him to disarm himself, he told them he had no arms about his person, they ordered him to turn his pockets wrong side outwards, they then said they would peel off his naked back, before morning with a hickory gad, they beat him with their naked hands times without number, they struck him in his face with a bowie knife, and hurt him much a number of times, after tantalizing him about four hours saying he was a damned Mormon, and they would serve him as they had others, tie him with a hickory withe and gad him, and keep him till morning, they then started and came to a hazle grove, while consulting together what course to take with him, he leaped into the brush, when they pursued him, but he made his escape and returned to —
After much legislation, disputation, controversy, and angry speechifying, as the papers of , published at the time, abundantly testify, the petition and memorial were laid on the table until the July following; thus utterly refusing to grant the memorialists their request, thereby refusing to investigate the subject—
After we were cast into prison we heard nothing but [HC 3:242] threatenings, that if any judge or jury, or court of any kind should clear any of us, that we should never get out of the alive—
<2,000 dollars> The appropriated two thousand dollars, to be distributed among the <people of & .> poor the Mormons, <of not excepted, the people of thought they could live on mormon property & did not want their 1000, consequently it was pretended to be given to those of > Judge Cameron, Mc.Henry, and others attended to the distribution, Judge Cameron would drive in the brethren’s hogs, (many of which were identified) and shoot them down in the Streets; and without further bleeding, and a half-dressing, they were cut up and distributed by Mc.Henry, to the poor, at a charge of four and five cents per pound, <the cash price of pork being a cent or a cent and a quarter per pound> which together with a few pieces of refuse goods, such as calicoes, at double and treble price soon consumed the two thousand dollars, doing the brethren very little good, or in reality none, as the property destroyed by them, was equal to what they gave the Saints.
<Legislature> The proceedings of the Legislature were warmly opposed by a large minority of the house, among whom were , of , and all the members from , and Messrs. Rollins and Gordon, from , and by various other members from other counties, but the mob majority carries the day, for the guilty wretches feared an investigation, knowing that it would endanger their lives and liberties— [p. 876]
<December 200,000 appropriated> Some time during this [HC 3:243] Session the Legislature appropriated two hundred thousand dollars, to pay the troops for driving the Saints out of the — Many of the Journals tried to hide the iniquity of the , by throwing a covering of lies over her atrocious deeds. But can they hide the ’s cruel order for banishment or extermination? Can they conceal the facts of the disgraceful treaty of the Generals, with their own Officers and men at the City of ? Can they conceal the fact that twelve or fifteen thousand men, women, and children, have been banished from the without trial or condemnation; And this at an expense of two hundred thousand dollars, and this Sum— appropriated by the State Legislature, in order to pay the troops for this act of lawless outrage? Can they conceal the fact that we have been imprisoned for many months, while our families, friends and witnesses have been driven away? Can they conceal the blood of the murdered husbands and fathers; or stifle the cries of the Widow and the fatherless? Nay! The rocks and mountains may cover them in unknown depths— the awful abyss of the fathomless deep may swallow them up— and still their horrid deeds will stand forth in the broad light of day, for the wondering gaze of angels and of men! They cannot be hid.
Some time in December and were appointed by the Brethren in to visit us at , as often as circumstances would permit, or occasion required, which they faithfully performed.
We were some times visited by our friends whose kindness and attention I shall ever remember with feelings of lively gratitude, but frequently we were not suffered to have that privilege. Our victuals were of the coarsest kind, and served up in <a> manner which was disgusting. Thus in a land of Liberty, in the Town of , Clay County Missouri I and my fellow prisoners, in chains, dungeons, and saw the close of 1838. [HC 3:244]
<January 1> Tuesday January 1. 1839 dawned upon us, as prisoners of hope, but not as Sons of Liberty, O Columbia! Columbia! How art thou fallen “The land of the free, the home of the brave,” “The asylum of the oppressed” oppressing thy noblest Sons, in a loathsome dungeon without any provocation, only that they have claimed to worship the God of their Fathers according to his own word and the dictates of their own consciences— Elder and his companions in tribulation were still held in bondage in their doleful prison in
<7. Anson Call assaulted> Monday 7. Anson Call returned to his farm on the to see if he could secure any of the property he had left in his flight to , and was there met by the mob and beat with a hoop pole about his limbs, body, and head, the man that used the pole about his person, was George W. O. Neal— with much difficulty he returned to , with his person [p. 877] much bruised, and from that time gave up all hopes of securing any of his property
<January 8 Wind in England> Tuesday 8. About this time England and Ireland were visited by a tremendous storm of Wind from the North West, which unroofed and blew down many houses in the Cities and in the Country, doing much damage to the shipping— many hundreds of persons were turned out of doors, and many lives lost on the land and the Sea, and an immense amount of property destroyed— [HC 3:245] such a wind had not been witnessed by any one living, and some began to think that the judgments were about to follow the Elders preaching—
<10 Resolution of Legislature> Thursday 10.
“Resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring therein that the three resolutions of the 18th. December be referred to a joint committee of the two houses heretofore raised on the subject of the Mormon difficulties, with instructions to report a bill in conformity thereto, as soon as they can conveniently prepare the same; which was agreed to.”
<16 Bill for Investigation> Mr. Turner from the joint select committee introduced to the Senate “a bill to provide for the investigation of the late disturbances in this ”
This Bill consists of twenty three sections
“1st. a joint committee shall be appointed to investigate the causes of the late disturbances between the people called Mormons, and other Inhabitants of this , and the conduct of the military operations in repressing them: which Committee shall consist of two Senators, to be elected by the Senate, and three Representatives, to be elected by the House of Representatives.”
The bill further provided that the Committee should meet at Ray County, in the first Monday in May, and thereafter at such times and places as they should appoint; that they should choose a Chairman, Clerk, Sergeant at Arms and Assistants; issue Subpoenas, and other processes: admin[HC 3:246]ister Oaths; keep a record: furnish rooms: pay witnesses $1.50 per day out of the Treasury, receive their pay as members of the Legislature, Clerk four dollars per day, and one dollar and fifty cents for each arrest; in short; all parties concerned were to be paid the highest price, and this Committee were to be clothed with all the powers of the highest courts of Record. This bill did not concern the Mormons as the exterminating order of , and the action of thereon would compel all the Saints to be out of the before the Court would sit, so that they would have no testimony but from Mobbers, and worse Apostates— And this was evidently their object in postponing the time so long.
About this time President proposed to to help the Poor out of the , the replied “the poor may take care of themselves, and I will take care of myself”— replied— “If you will not help them out, I will.”
<24 Joseph to the Legislature> Thursday 24. I wrote as follows from
“To the Honorable the Legislature of — Your memorialists having a few days since, solicited your attention to the same subject, would now respectfully submit to your Honorable Body a few additional facts in support of their prayer— They are now imprisoned under a charge of Treason against the State of , and their lives, and fortunes, and characters being suspended [p. 878]
<January 24 Joseph to the Legislature> upon the result of the criminal charges preferred against them, your Hon. body will excuse them for manifesting the deep concern they feel in relation to their trials for a crime so enormous as that of treason— It is not our object to complain— to asperse any one. All we ask, is, a fair and impartial trial. We ask the sympathies of no one, we ask sheer justice, ’tis all we expect— and all we merit, but we merit that— We know the people of no County in this to which we would ask our final trials to be sent are prejudiced in our favor. But we be[HC 3:247]lieve, that the State of Excitement existing in most of the Upper Counties is such, that a jury would be improperly influenced by it. But that excitement, and the prejudice against us in the Counties comprising the fifth judicial Circuit, are not the only obstacle we are compelled to meet. We know that much of that prejudice against us is not so much to be attributed to a want of honest motive among the Citizens, as it is to wrong information— But it is a difficult task to change opinions once formed, The other obstacle which we candidly consider one of the most weighty, is the feeling, which we believe is entertained by the Hon. against us, and the consequent incapacity to do us impartial justice. It is from no disposition to speak disrespectfully of that <high> officer, that we lay before your Hon. body the facts we do, but simply that the Legislature may be apprised of our real condition. We look upon as like all other mere men, liable to be influenced by his feelings, his prejudices, and his previously formed opinions. We consider his reputation as being partially, if not entirely committed against us. He has written much upon the subject of our late difficulties, in which he has placed us in the wrong— These letters have been published to the world— He has also presided at an excited public meeting as Chairman, and no doubt sanctioned all the proceedings. We do not complain of the Citizens who held that meeting— They were entitled to that privilege— But for the before whom the very men were to be tried for a capital offence, to participate in an expression of condemnation of these same individuals is to us at least apparently wrong, and we cannot think, that we should after such a course on the part of the Judge have the same chance of a fair and impartial trial— as all admit we ought to have— We believe that the foundation of the feeling against us, which we have reason to think entertains, may be traced to the unfortunate troubles which occurred in some few years ago— in a battle between the Mormons and a portion of the Citizens of that , the Brother in Law of was killed. It is natural that the should have some feeling against us, whether we were right or wrong in that controversy. We mention these facts not to disparage — We believe that from the relation he bears to us, he would himself prefer that our trials should be had in a different circuit, and before a different court— Many other reasons, and facts we might mention but we forbear.” [p. 879]
<January 24> This letter was directed to James M. Hughes Esqre.— Member of the House of Representatives— Jefferson City, with the following request [HC 3:248]
“Will you be so good as to present this to the house. This Community here, would, I believe, have no objections for the trial of these men being transferred to . P. H. B.”
<26 Meeting of Saints at > Saturday 26
“A meeting of a respectable number of the Citizens of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was held in according to previous notice to devise, and take into consideration such measures as might be thought necessary in order to their complying with the orders of the to remove from the State of immediately, as made known by to the Citizens of said in the month of November last. The meeting was called to order by and on motion was unanimously called to the Chair, and appointed Secretary— The object of the meeting was then stated by the who briefly adverted to the causes which had brought about the present state of affairs, and called for an expression of sentiment on the best course to be pursued in the present emergency. Several gentlemen addressed the meeting on the subject of our removal from the and the seeming impossibility of complying with the orders of the of in consequence of the extreme poverty of many, which had come upon them by being driven from place to place, deprived of their constitutional rights and privileges, as Citizens of this, and the , and were of the opinion that an appeal to the Citizens of Upper , ought to be made, setting forth our condition, and claiming their assistance towards furnishing means for the removal of the poor of this out of the , as being our right and our due in the present case— On motion Resolved that a Committee of seven be appointed to make a draft of a preamble and resolutions in accordance with the foregoing sentiments, to be presented to a future meeting for their consideration— The following were then appointed namely, , , , , , and — Resolved that the Committee be further instructed to ascertain the [HC 3:249] number of families, who are actually destitute of means for their removal, and report at the next meeting— Resolved that it is the opinion of this meeting that an exertion should be made to ascertain how much can be obtained from individuals of the Society, and that it is the duty of those who have, to assist those who have not, that thereby we may as far as possible, within and of ourselves comply with the demands of the — Adjourned, to meet again on tuesday the 29th instant at twelve o clock. M. , Chair, Secy.—”
<29> Tuesday 29. the Brethren
“met again according to adjournment, was again called to the Chair & appointed Secretary— The Committee appointed to draw up a preamble and resolutions to be presented to the meeting for consideration, presented by their Chairman , a memorial of the [p. 880]
<January 29 Meeting in .> transactions of the people of towards us since our first settlement in this in which was contained some of our sentiments and feelings on the subject of our persecutions by the authority of the , and our deprivation of the rights of Citizenship, guaranteed to us by the Constitution, which was yet in an unfinished state owing to causes which were stated by the Committee and they further apologized for not drawing it up in the form of resolutions agreeable to the vote of the former meeting— The report was accepted as far as completed and by a vote of the meeting, the same committee were directed to finish it, and prepare it for, and send it to the press for publication, and were instructed to dwell minutely on the subject relating to our arms, and the fiend like conduct of the officers of the militia in sequestering all the best of them after their surrender, on condition of being returned to us again, or suffering them to be exchanged for others, not worth half their value, in violation of their bond, and of the honor of the commander of the forces sent against us by the — On motion of President . It was resolved that we this day enter into a Covenant to stand by, and assist each other to the utmost of our abilities in removing from this , and that we will never desert the poor, who are worthy ’till they shall be out of the reach of the exterminating order of , acting for, and in the name of the — After an expression of sentiments, by several who addressed the meeting on the propriety of taking efficient means to remove the poor [HC 3:250] from the it was resolved that a Committee of seven be appointed to superintend the business of our removal and to provide for those who have not the means of moving till the work shall be completed— The following were then appointed, viz— , Charles Bird, , , Daniel Shearer, , and — Resolved that the draft an instrument expressive of the sense of the Covenant, entered into this day, by those present, and that those who were willing to subscribe to the Covenant should do it, that their names might be known which would enable the Committee more expeditiously to carry their business into effect. The instrument was accordingly drawn, and by vote of the meeting, the attached the names of those who were willing to subscribe to it adjourned to meet again on Friday the 1st. Febry next at 12 o’clock M. — Chairman”
The following is the subscription referred to in the preceding minutes with the names which were then, and afterwards attached to it— so far as they have been preserved—
<Subscription—> “We whose names are hereunder written, do each for ourselves individually, hereby covenant to stand by and assist each other to the utmost of our abilities in removing from this , in compliance with the authority of the , and we do hereby acknowledge ourselves firmly bound to the extent of all our available property, to be disposed of by a committee, who shall be appointed for that purpose, for providing means for the removing of the poor and destitute, who shall be considered [p. 881]
<January 29> worthy, from this , till there shall not be one left, who desires to remove from the , With this proviso, that no individual shall be deprived of the right of the disposal of his own property for the above purpose, or of having the control of it, or so much of it, as shall be necessary for the removing of his own family, and to be entitled to the overplus, after the work is effected, and furthermore said Committee shall give receipts for all property, and an account of the expenditure of the same— . Mo. Jany. 29. 1839.”
|Albert Sloan||Nathan Lewis|
|Charles Bird||William J. Stuart||Eliphas Marsh||Sherman. A. Gilbert|
|Isaac B. Chapman||Joseph Wright||James S. Holman|
|Roswell Stevens||John Badger|
|David Holman||Erastus Bingham|
|Joel Goddard||Elisha Everett|
|Geo. W. Davidson|
|Duncan Mc.Arthur||Harv[e]y Strong|
|James Burnham||Allen Talley||Elizabeth Mackley|
|Leicester Gaylord||Jonathan Hampton||Nahum Curtis||Sarah Mackley|
|Samuel Williams||Anson Call||Lyman Curtis||Andrew Moore|
|John Miller||Peter Dopp||Philip Ballard||Harvey Downey|
|Aaron M. York||William Gould||John Maba|
|Abel Lamb||Reuben Middleton||Lucy Wheeler|
|Daniel Howe||Daniel Mc. Arthur||William Harper||John Turpin|
|William Gregory||Seba Joes||William Earl|
|Jonathan Beckelshimer||Zenas Curtus||Charles Butler||Zenos [Zenas] H. Gurley|
|David Jones||John Reed||Richard Walton|
|William M. Fossett||William R. Orton||Isaac Herron||Anthony Head|
|Charles N. Baldwin||Samuel D. Tyler||Joseph Rose||S.A.P. Kelsey|
|Jesse N. Reed||John H. Goff||David Foot||Moses Evord|
|Thomas Butterfield||L[evi] S. Nickerson||Ophelia Harris|
|James Mc. Millan||Dwight Hardin||Zuba Mc. Donald|
|Chandler Holbrook||Norvil M. Head||David Sessions||Mary Goff|
|Alexander Wright||Stephen V. Foot||Perry Green [Perrigrine] Sessions||Harvey J. Moore|
|William Taylor||Jacob G. Bigler||Alford P. Childs||Francis Chase|
|Eli Bagley||James Daley|
|Reuben P. Hartwell||William Milam||Noah T. Guyman||John Outhouse|
|John Lawry||Lorenzo Clark||David Winters||William J. Leavens|
|Welcome Chapman||William Allread [Allred]||John Pack||Daniel Tyler|
|William Van Ansdall||Sylvenus Hicks||Noah Rogers|
|Arza Adams||Nathan K. Knight||Horatio N. Kent||Stephen N. St. John|
|Henry Jacobs||John Thorp||Joseph W. Pierce||Francis Lee|
|James Carroll||Andrew Rose||Eli Lee|
|David Lyons||John S. Martin||Benjamin Covey|
<January 29 Subscription>
|Michael Borkdull||Alfred Lee||Roswell Evans||Sarah Wixom|
|Miles Randall||Stephen Jones||Leonard Clark||Lewis Zobriski|
|Horace Evans||Eleazer Harris||Nehemiah Harmon||Henry Zobriski|
|Elijah B. Gaylord||Daniel Cathcart||Morris Harris|
|Gershom Stokes||Absalom Tidwell|
|Edwin Whiting||Rachel Page||Alvin Winegar|
|William Barton||Phebe Kellogg||Barnet Cole||Samuel J. Winegar|
|Elisha Smith||Albert Miner||William Thompson|
|James Gallaher||William Woodland||Nathan Cheney||Levi Gifford|
|Robert Jackson||Martin C. Allred||James Sherry|
|Lemuel Merrick||Jedediah Owen||David Frampton|
|Oren Hartshorn||Benjamin F. Bird||Charles Thompson||John Patton|
|Nathan Hawke||Charles Squire||John Wilkins|
|Jacob Curtis||Abram Allen|
|Thomas J. Fisher||Rachel Medford||Trueman Brace||William Felshaw|
|James Leithead||Lyman Stevens|
[HC 3:251] [HC 3:252] [HC 3:253]
<Committee for removing the Poor> The committee who had been appointed for removing the poor from the of , namely, , Charles Bird, , , Daniel Shearer, and , met in the evening of that day, at the house of , and organized, by appointing , Chairman, Daniel Shearer, Treasurer and , Clerk and made some arrangements for carrying the business of removing the poor into operation.
President got Eighty Subscribers to the covenant the first day, and three hundred the second day—
<31.> Thursday 31st. Mr. Turner’s Bill of the 16th. instant passed the Senate—
<Sent the poor $100.> I sent the poor brethren a hundred dollar bill, from Jail, to assist them in their distressed situation—
<February 1 committee> Friday February 1. The Committee
“met according to adjournment at the house of [HC 3:254], was present, and acted as Chairman, and as Secretary— The meeting was called to order by the — on motion resolved that the Covenant entered into at the last meeting, be read by the , which was done accordingly— The then called for the expression of sentiments on the subject of the Covenant— Resolved that the committee be increased to Eleven— The following were then appointed— , Erastus Bingham, , and — Several of the Committee addressed the meeting on the arduous task before them, and exhorting all to exert themselves to relieve and assist them in the discharge of the duties of their office to the utmost of their abilities. Elders and in the most forcible manner addressed the assembly on the propriety of union in order to carry our resolutions into effect, and exhorting the brethren to use wisdom in the sale of their property— . Secy. . Prest.
They met again
“in the evening at ’s declined acting as Clerk, and was appointed in his stead, Resolved to make exertions to remove the families of the [p. 883]
<February 1> Presidency and the other Prisoner’s first— Several of the Committee made report of what had been done by them towards carrying business of the Committee into operation. Elder had also been appointed to visit the branches of the Church on Log, and Upper Goose Creeks, and made report of his proceedings— Resolved that Charles Bird be appointed to go down towards the and establish deposits of Corn for the brethren on the road, and make contracts for ferriage &c”
<4 Senate > Monday 4 Mr. Turner’s bill of 16th. January came up for the first reading,
“when Mr. Wright moved that the bill be laid on the table, until the 4th. day of July next— and upon this question Mr. Primm desired the ayes and nays, which were ordered, and decided in the affirmative”
by eleven majority, which by many was [HC 3:255] considered an approval of all the wrongs the Saints had sustained in the , but on this point I will give no opinion at present—
< left , 6> 6 and 7. The committee were in session— started for with my and Children, and and Wife— [HC 3:256]
<Conference Minutes at > Some time this month there was a conference of the Church at of which the following are the Minutes
“At a meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints held in the Town of , Febry. 1839 to take into consideration the expediency of locating the Church in some place, when was chosen President and — Clerk. Elder Green by request then stated the object of the meeting and stated that a liberal offer had been made by a Gentleman of about twenty thousand acres, lying between the and s, at two dollars per acre to be paid in twenty annual instalments without interest— That a Committee had examined the Land and reported very favorable respecting it, and think it every way suited for a Location for the Church. Bro Rogers then made some statements and gave information respecting the Land, being one of the Committee appointed to examine it— then observed that he was altogether in favor of making the purchase, providing that it was the will of the Lord that we should again gather together, but from the circumstances of being driven from the other places, he almost was led to the conclusion that it was not wisdom that we should do so but hoped that the brethren would speak their minds— The Lord would undoubtedly manifest by his Spirit— Brother Barlow thought that it might be in consequence of not building according to the Pattern that we had thus been scattered— Bro [Wandle] Mace spoke in favor of an immediate gathering— then spoke on the subject and thought it was not expedient under present circumstances, to collect together but thought it was better to scatter into different parts and provide for the poor which will be acceptable to God— said that he had been very favorable to the proposi[HC 3:260]tion, but since the had expressed his opinion, he was willing to give up the idea— Several of the Brethren then spoke on the subject, after which it was motioned and seconded, and unanimously agreed upon, that [3 words illegible] it would not be deem’d advisable to locate on the lands for the present. A committee was appointed to draft a petition to the general government stating our grievances, and one likewise presented to the Citizens for the same object.” [p. 884]
<February 12 Applications for Assistance> Tuesday 12. The Committee sent a delegation to Sister Music, to ascertain her necessities Daniel Shearer and Erastus Bingham went, applications for assistance were made from Sister Morgan, L. Gardner, Jeremiah Mackley’s family, Brother Forbush, Echoed Cheney, T. D. Tyler, D. Mc Arthur &c
<13> Wednesday 13. “Voted that be appointed to superintend the management of the teams, provided for removing the poor, and see that they are fixed for the Journey”
<14 & left > Thursday 14 The persecution was so bitter against Elder (on whom devolved the Presidency of the Twelve, by age, having apostatized) and his life was so diligently sought for, that he was compelled to flee, and he left on this day for — My Brother , had carried a petition to the Mob, to get assistance to help our ’s Family out of , I know not how much he obtained, but my and , started this day for with an Ox team.
The Committee discussed the propriety of paying the debts in — [HC 3:261] was requested to call on Lawyer Barnet who was in Town, and make arrangements concerning the matter— A Letter of Attorney was drawn up for the brethren who felt willing to dispose of their real Estate, to discharge their debts. to sign, appointing their Attorney for that purpose— This was not exactly according to the minds of the Committee, for they only directed to confer with the person above named, for the purpose of obtaining information without reference to his being appointed an attorney for that purpose, independent of any other person or persons.
<15 arrived opposite .> Friday 15. My family arrived at the opposite , after a Journey of almost insupportable hardships, and returned immediately to
<18 ’s order to restore arms> Monday 18.
“Executive Department, City of Jefferson Feb. 18. 1839. To Col. Wiley C. Williams, aid to the . Sir:— you will take measures, as soon as practicable, to cause the arms, surrendered by the Mormons, to be delivered to the proper owners, upon their producing satisfactory evidence of their claims. If, in any case, you think an improper use would be made of them, you can retain such, using a sound discretion in the matter. You will call upon Captain Pollard or any other person who may have arms in possession, and take charge of them, and this will be your authority for so doing. I am respectfully, your obedient servant— .”
Little benefit could have resulted from this order, even if it had been promptly executed, as many of the brethren who owned the arms, had left the , and it would be very difficult to decide what would be “satisfactory evidence” of claims.
<19 Committee> Tuesday 19. The Committee appointed Charles Bird
” to visit the several parts of the [HC 3:262] , and the Town of , to ascertain the number of families, that would have to be assisted in removing, and solicit means from those who are able to do so, for the assistance of the needy, and make report as soon as possible”
<21 arrived at > Thursday 21 arrived at , and in the evening the Committee were in Council, Elders [Erastus] Bingham, , and [Daniel] Shearer, were appointed to sell [p. 885] <February 21 Committee—> house to a Gentleman from
Charles Bird was sent to , relative to a power of Attorney—
“Resolved to send to , to visit the brethren there, and obtain a power of Attorney, from such as had left their lands without selling them— A Report of the Committee appointed to visit the different parts of the to ascertain the number of families, who were destitute of teams for their removal was made. reported 32 families, and Charles Bird 7. as far as they had prosecuted their labors— Resolved to send Erastus Bingham to visit the North West part of the for the same purpose, and then adjourned till Monday next—”
<23 Democratic Association> Saturday 23. At a meeting of the Democratic Association held this evening at , Adams County, Illinois, Mr. Lindsay introduced a resolution setting forth, that the People called “Latter Day Saints”, were many of them in a situation requiring the aid of the Citizens of , and recommending that measures be adopted for their relief; which resolution was adopted, and a committee consisting of eight persons appointed by the Chair— of which Committee J. W. Whitney was Chairman. The Association then adjourned to meet on Wednesday evening then next, after instructing the Committee to procure the Congregational Meeting house as a place of meeting, and to invite as many of [HC 3:263] the people to attend the meeting as should choose to do so, in whose behalf the meeting was to be held, and also all others, citizens of the town. The Committee not being able to obtain the meeting house, procured the Court House for that purpose.
<Prison.> After we were cast into prison, we heard nothing but threatenings, that if any judge or jury, or court of any kind should clear any of us, that we should never get out of the alive. This soon determined our course, and that was to escape out of their hands as soon as we could, and by any means we could. After we had been some length of time in prison, we demanded a habeas corpus of , one of the Judges, which, with some considerable <Great threatenings> reluctance was granted. Great threatenings were made at this time by the mob that if any of us were liberated we should never get out of the alive. After the investigation was released from Prison by the decision of the ; the remainder were committed to jail. He also returned with us until a favorable opportunity offered: through the friendship of the Sheriff, Mr. Samuel Hadley and the jailor, Mr. Samuel Tillery, he was let out of the jail secretly in the night; <after having declared in Prison that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were a fool to his> and being solemnly warned by them to be out of the with as little delay as possible, he made his escape. Being persued by a body of armed men, it was through the direction of a kind providence that he escaped out of their hands and safely arrived in , Illinois—
< & at > About this time Elders and were at , where they had been almost weekly importuning at the feet of the Judges, and while performing this duty on a certain occasion Judge Hughes stared them full in the face and observed to one of his Associates, that by [HC 3:264] the look of these mens eyes they are whipped but not conquered, and let us beware how we treat these men for their looks bespeak innocence, and at that time he entreated his associates to admit of bail for all the [p. 886] <February> prisoners, but the hardness of their hearts would not admit of so charitable a deed— but they continued to importune at the feet of the Judges, and also to visit the prisoners, and no one of the ruling part of the community disputed the innocence of the prisoners, but said, in consequence of the fury of the mob, that even handed justice could not be administered, they were therefore compelled to abandon the idea of importuning at the feet of the Judges, and leave the prisoners in the hands of God.
<26 ’s Letter> Ill. Feb. 26. 1839.
“Mr. . Dear Sir— Yours of the 11th. inst. was received yesterday, I perceive that it had been written before your brethren visited my house— I had also wrote to before I received yours, and which is herewith also sent. I wish here to remark that about 10 or 15 houses or cabins can be had in this neighborhood, and several farms may be rented here. On the Half breed lands I think that more than [HC 3:265] 50 families can be accommodated with places to dwell in, but not a great quantity of cultivated land, as the improvements on that tract are generally new, there are however several farms which can also be rented. Since writing to , I have conversed with a friend of mine, who has also conversed with of in relation to your Church and people. says, that the people called Mormons, were good citizens of the State of , and that he respects them now, as good and virtuous Citizens, and feels disposed to treat them as such. I wish also to say through you, to your people, that Isaac Van Allen Esqre. the Attorney General of , is a personal, and tried friend of mine, and I feel fully authorized from a conversation which I have had with him on the subject to say, that I can assure you of his utmost endeavors to protect you from insult or violence. I will here repeat what I have wrote to , that I do believe, that under a territorial form of government which is directly connected with the general government of the , your Church will be better secured against the capriciousness of public opinion, than under a state government, where murder, rapine and robbery are admirable traits in the character of a demagogue: and where the greatest villains often reach the highest offices. I have wrote to on the subject, and when I receive his answer, I will communicate it to your Church. I desire very much to know how your captive brethren in are faring— I should like to know if Joseph Smith Jr. is at liberty, or not, and what his prospects are. I shall be at , our Seat, during the fore part of next week, and soon after that (perhaps the next week following) I expect to go to I.T. when I expect to see the and converse with him on the subject, I will probably be at home from the 6th. until the 12th. of March— I shall be pleased to see you, or any of your people, at my house at any time, when you can make it convenient. It is now necessary that something definite should be done in relation to renting farms, as the season for commencing such operations is fast approaching us. A Mr. Whitney a Merchant in is owner or proprietor of several farms in this vicinity, and it might be well to see him on the subject— I wish to serve your cause in any matter which providence may afford me the opportunity of doing, and I therefore [p. 887]
<February 26 ’s Letter> request that you feel no hesitancy, or reluctance in communicating to me your wishes, at all times and on any subject. I should be much gratified if it could be convenient for , or some one or more of the leading members of your Church to spend some time with me in travelling through the [HC 3:266] tract, and in hearing and learning the state of the public mind, and feelings of the community in relation to the location of the Church. I feel that I am assuming a very great responsibility in this undertaking, and I wish to be governed by the dictates of wisdom, and discretion, while at the same time I am aware that we are often disposed to view things as we would wish to have them, rather than, as they really are; And our great anxiety to accomplish our object, may some times diminish the obstacles below their real measure. The little knowledge which I have as yet of the doctrines, order or practice of the Church, leaves me under the necessity of acting in all this matter as a stranger, though as I sincerely hope as a friend; for such I assure you I feel myself to be, both towards you collectively as a people, and individually as sufferers. If it should not be convenient for any one to come up, about the 7th. or 8th. March, please write me by the mail. Say to that I regret that I was absent when he was at my house, I cannot visit until after my return from , when I think, if it is thought necessary, I can. Accept Dear Sir, for yourself, and in behalf of your Church and People, assurance of my sincere sympathy in your sufferings and wrongs, and deep solicitude for your immediate relief from present distress, and future triumphant conquest over every enemy. Yours truly, .”
When Elder left in the fall of 1838 either by missing his way, or some other cause, he struck the some distance above its mouth in a destitute situation; and making his wants known, found friends who assisted him, and gave him introductions to several Gentlemen among whom was , to whom he communicated the situation of the Saints; the relation of which enlisted his sympathies, or interest, or both united, and hence a providential introduction of the Church to , and its vicinity; for went direct to , the place of his destination, and made known his interview with , to the Church.
<27 Democratic Association> Wednesday Febry. 27th. 1839. 6 o clock P.M. The members of the Democratic Association, and the Citizens of generally, assembled in the Court House to take into consideration, the state and condition of the people called “The Latter Day Saints,” and organized the Meeting by appointing Gen. Leach [Samuel Leech], Chairman, and James D. Morgan Secretary. Mr. Whitney from the Committee appointed at a former meeting, submitted the following report. The select Committee, to whom the subject was referred of inquiring into and reporting the situation of the persons who have recently arrived here from , and whether their circumstances are such, as that they would need the aid of the Citizens of and its vicinity, to be guided by what they might deem the principles of an expanded benevolence, have attended to the duties assigned them and have concluded on the following
Report [p. 888]
<February 27 Democratic Association in > The first idea that occurred to your Committee was, to obtain correctly the facts of the case, for without them the Committee could come [HC 3:267] to no conclusions, as to what it might be proper for us to do. Without them, they could form no basis upon which the Committee might recommend to this association what would be proper for us to do, or what measures to adopt. The Committee, soon after their appointment, sent invitations to , and several others, to meet the committee and give them a statement of the facts, and to disclose their situation. Those individuals accordingly met the Committee and entered into a free conversation and disclosure of the facts of their situation, and after some time spent therein, the committee concluded to adjourn and report to this meeting, but not without first requesting those individuals to draw up and send us, in writing, a condensed statement of the facts relative to the subjects in charge of your committee, which those individuals engaged to do, and which the Committee request may be taken as part of their report, That statement is herewith lettered A
The Committee believe that our duties at this time, and on this occasion, are all included within the limits of an expanded benevolence and humanity, and which are guided and directed by that charity which never faileth. From the facts already disclosed, independent of the Statement furnished to the committee, we feel it our duty to recommend to this Association that they adopt the following resolutions— Resolved that the Strangers recently arrived here from the State of , known by the name of the “Latter Day Saints,” are entitled to our sympathy and kindest regard, and that we recommend to the Citizens of to extend to them all the kindness in their power to bestow, as persons who are in affliction. Resolved that a numerous committee be raised, composed of some individuals in every quarter of the Town and its vicinity, whose duty it shall be to explain to our misguided fellow Citizens, if any such there be, who are disposed to excite prejudices and circulate unfounded rumors; and particularly to explain to them, that these people have no design to lower the wages of the laboring class, but to procure something to save them from starving. Resolved that a standing Committee be raised, and be composed of individuals who shall immediately inform and others, as many as they may think proper, of their appointment; and who shall be authorised to obtain information from time to time, and should they be of opinion that any individuals either from destitution or sickness, or if they find them houseless, that they appeal directly and promptly to the Citizens of to furnish them with the means to relieve all such cases. Resolved that the Committee last aforesaid, be instructed to use [HC 3:268] their utmost endeavors to obtain employment for all these people, who are able and willing to labor, and also to afford them all needful, suitable, and proper encouragement. Resolved that we recommend to all the Citizens of , that in all their intercourse with the Strangers, that they use and observe a becoming decorum and delicacy, and be particularly careful not to indulge in any conversation or expressions calculated to wound their feelings or in any way to reflect upon those, who, by every [p. 889]
<February 27 Democratic Association in > law of humanity, are entitled to our sympathy and commiseration— all which is submitted— J. W. Whitney Chn— February 27. 1839”
This, gentlemen is a brief outline of the difficulties that we have labored under, in consequence of the repeated persecutions that have been heaped upon us; and as the ’s exterminating order has not been rescinded, we, as a people, were obliged to leave the , and with it, our lands, corn wheat, pork &c that we had provided for ourselves and families, together with our fodder, which we had collected for our Cattle, horses— &c— those of them that we have been able to preserve from the wreck of that desolation which has spread itself over and counties. In consequence of our brethren’s being obliged to leave the , and as a sympathy and friendly spirit has been manifested by the Citizens of , numbers of our brethren, glad to obtain an asylum from the hand of persecution, have come to this place— We cannot but express our feelings of gratitude to the inhabitants of this place for the friendly feelings which have been manifested, and the benevolent hand which has been stretched out to a poor, oppressed, injured, and persecuted people; and as you, gentlemen, of the Democratic Association, have felt interested in our welfare, and have desired to be put in possession of a knowledge of our situation, our present wants, and what would be most conducive to our present good, together with what led to those difficulties, we thought that those documents -[Memorial, Order of Extermination, and ’s address]- would furnish you with as correct information of our difficulties and what led to them as any that we are in possession of. If we should say what our present wants are it would be beyond all calculations, as we have been robbed of our corn, wheat, horses, cattle, cows, hogs, wearing apparel, houses and homes, and indeed, of all that renders life tolerable.
We do not, we cannot expect to be placed in the situation that we once were, nor are we capable, of our[HC 3:269]selves, of supplying the many wants of those of our poor brethren, who are daily crowding here and looking to us for relief, in consequence of our property, as well as theirs being in the hands of a ruthless and desolating Mob. It is impossible to give an exact account of the widows, and those that are entirely destitute, as there are so many coming here daily; but, from enquiry, the probable amount will be something near twenty, besides numbers of others who are able bodied men, both able and willing to work, to obtain a subsistence, yet owing to their peculiar situation, are destitute of means to supply the immediate wants that the necessities of their families call for, We would not propose, gentlemen, what you shall do, but after making these statements, shall leave it to your own judgment, and generosity. As to what we think would be the best means to promote our permanent good, we think that to give us employment, rent us farms, and allow us the protection, and privileges of other Citizens, would raise us from a state of dependence, liberate us from the iron grasp of poverty, [p. 890]
<February 27 Democratic Association> put us in possession of a competency, and deliver us from the ruinous effects of persecution, despotism and tyranny— Written in behalf of a committee of “The Latter Day Saints” . Prest. — Clerk—
To the Democratic association
then made a statement of the wrongs received by the Mormons, from a portion of the people of , and of their present suffering condition
On motion of Mr. [Nehemiah] Bushnell, the report and resolutions were laid upon the table, till tomorrow evening—
On motion of Mr. Bushnell, the meeting adjourned to meet at this place on to morrow evening at seven o clock”
left for , to fulfil his appointment of the 21st. instant—
<28> “Thursday evening Feb. 28. Met pursuant to adjournment— The meeting was called to order by the Chairman. On motion of , a committee of three was appointed to [HC 3:270] take up a collection; Messrs. J. T. Holmes, Whitney, and , were appointed. The Committee subsequently reported that $48.25 had been collected. On motion the amount was paid over to the Committee on behalf of the Mormons. On motion of Mr. Holmes, a committee of three, consisting of S. Holmes, [Nehemiah] Bushnell, and , were appointed to draw up subscription papers and circulate them among the Citizens, for the purpose of receiving contributions in clothing and provisions. On motion 6 were added to that Committee. On motion of J. T. Holmes, J. D. Morgan was appointed a Committee to wait upon the Greys, for the purpose of receiving subscriptions— Mr. Morgan subsequently reported that twenty dollars had been subscribed by that Company.
The following resolutions were then offered by Mr. J. T. Holmes; Resolved that we regard the rights of conscience as natural and inalienable, and the most sacred, guaranteed by the constitution of our free government— Resolved that we regard the acts of all mobs as flagrant violations of law; and those who compose them, individually responsible, both to the laws of God <and> man for every depredation committed upon the property, rights or life of any Citizen— Resolved, That the inhabitants upon the Western Frontier of the State of in their late persecutions of the class of people denominated Mormons, have violated the sacred rights of conscience, and every law of justice and humanity. Resolved, That the of , in refusing protection to this class of people when pressed upon by a heartless mob, and turning upon them a band of unprincipled Militia, with orders encouraging their extermination, has brought a lasting disgrace upon the over which he presides. The resolutions were supported in a spirited manner by Messrs. Holmes, , and Whitney— On motion the resolutions were adopted— On motion the meeting then adjourned— Saml. Leach [Leech] Chn J. D. Morgan Secry.” [HC 3:271]
<5 March ’s Letter> Tuesday 5th. March
“, Ill. Beloved Brother— Having an opportunity to send direct to you by Br. Rogers, I feel to write a few lines to you, [p. 891]