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ON October 5 and 6 there was a quarterly conference held at Far West. On the last day of this conference Stephen Chase was ordained President of the Elders' Quorum in Far West; and Isaac Laney, Horace Alexander, and Albert Sloan were ordained elders. Samuel Bent and Isaac Higbee were appointed to fill the places of John Murdock and George M. Hinkle in the council, they having removed to De Witt.
Joseph writes concerning the thrilling events following the abandonment of De Witt, as follows:-
"Monday, 15th. The brethren assembled on the public square and formed a company of about one hundred, who took up a line of march for Adam-ondi-ahman; and here let it be distinctly understood that this company were militia of the county of Caldwell, acting under Lieutenant-Colonel Hinkle, agreeable to the order of General Doniphan, and the brethren were very careful in all their movements to act in strict accordance with the constitutional laws of the land.
"The special object of this march was to protect Adam-ondi-ahman and repel the attacks of the mob in Daviess County. Having some property in that county and having a house building there, I went up at the same time. While I was there a number of houses belonging to our people were burned by the mob, who committed many other depredations,
such as driving off horses, sheep, cattle, hogs, etc. A number of those whose houses were burned down as well as those who lived in scattered and lonely situations fled into the town for safety, and for shelter from the inclemency of the weather, as a considerable snowstorm took place on the 17th and 18th. Women and children, some in the most delicate situations, were thus obliged to leave their homes and travel several miles in order to effect their escape. My feelings were such as I cannot describe when I saw them flock into the village, almost entirely destitute of clothes, and only escaping with their lives.
"During this state of affairs General Parks arrived at Daviess County and was at the house of Colonel Lyman Wight on the 18th, when the intelligence was brought that the mob were burning houses; and also when women and children were fleeing for safety, among whom was Agnes M. Smith, wife of my brother, Don Carlos Smith, who was absent on a mission in Tennessee, her house having been plundered and burned by the mob, she having traveled nearly three miles, carrying her two helpless babes, and having had to wade Grand River.
"Colonel Wight, who held a commission in the 59th regiment under his (General Parks') command, asked what was to be done. He told him that he must immediately call out his men and go and put them down. Accordingly a force were immediately raised for the purpose of quelling the mob, and in a short time were on their march, with a determination to drive the mob or die in the attempt; as they could bear such treatment no longer.
"The mob, having learned the orders of General Parks, and likewise being aware of the determination of the oppressed, broke up their encampment and fled. The mob seeing that they could not succeed by force now resorted to stratagem; and after removing their property out of their houses, which were nothing but log cabins, they fired them, and then reported to the authorities of the State that the 'Mormons' were burning and destroying all before them. . . .
"About this time William Morgan, sheriff of Daviess County, Samuel Bogart, Colonel William P. Peniston, Doctor Samuel Venable,
Jonathan J. Dryden, James Stone, and Thomas J. Martin, made communications or affidavits of the most inflammatory kind, charging upon the 'Mormons' those depredations which had been committed by the mob, endeavoring thereby to raise the anger of those in authority, rally a sufficient force around their standard, and produce a total overthrow, massacre, or banishment of the 'Mormons' from the State. These and their associates were the ones who fired their own houses and then fled the county, crying 'fire and murder.'
"It was reported in Far West to-day that Orson Hyde had left that place the night previous, leaving a letter for one of the brethren which would develop the secret.
"Monday, 22d. On the retreat of the mob from Daviess I returned to Caldwell with a company of the brethren, and arrived at Far West about seven in the evening, where I had hoped to enjoy some respite from our enemies, at least for a short time; but upon my arrival there I was informed that a mob had commenced hostilities on the borders of that county, adjoining to Ray County, and that they had taken some of our brethren prisoners, burned some houses, and had committed depredations on the peaceable inhabitants.
"Tuesday, 23d. News came to Far West this morning that the brethren had found the cannon which the mob brought from Independence, buried in the earth, and had secured it by order of General Parks. The word of the Lord was given several months since for the saints to gather into the cities, but they have been slow to obey until the judgments were upon them, and now they are gathering by flight and haste, leaving all their effects, and are glad to get off at that. The city of Far West is literally crowded, and the brethren are gathering from all quarters.
"Fourteen citizens of Ray wrote the Governor an inflammatory epistle, one of which was Mr. Hudgins, postmaster; and Thomas C. Burch, of Richmond, wrote a similar communication. Also the citizens of Ray, in public meeting, appealed to the Governor of the State to give the people of upper Missouri protection from this fearful body of 'thieves and robbers,' when the saints were all minding their own
business, only as they were driven from it by those who were crying 'thieves and robbers.'
"The mail came in this evening, but not a single letter to anybody, from which it is evident there is no deposit sacred to those murderers who are infesting the country and trying to destroy the saints.
"Wednesday, 24th. Austin A. King and Adam Black renewed their inflammatory communications to the Governor, as did other citizens of Richmond; viz., C. R. Morehead, William Thornton, and Jacob Gudgel, who manifested no scruples at any falsehood or exaggeration to raise the Governor's anger against us.
"Thomas B. Marsh, formerly President of the Twelve, having apostatized, repaired to Richmond and made affidavit before Henry Jacobs, justice of the peace, to all the vilest calumnies, aspersions, lies, and slanders, towards myself and the church that his wicked heart could invent. He had been lifted up in pride by his exaltations and the revelations of heaven concerning him, until he was ready to be overthrown by the first adverse wind that should cross his track, and now he has fallen, lied and sworn to it, and is ready to take the lives of his best friends. Let all men take warning by him, and learn that he who exalteth himself God will abase.
"Orson Hyde was also at Richmond, and testified to most of Marsh's statements.
"The following letter being a fair specimen of the truth and honesty of a multitude of others which I shall notice, I give it in full:-
"'CARROLLTOWN, Missouri, October 24, 1838.
"'Sir:-We were informed, last night, by an express from Ray County, that Captain Bogart and all his company, amounting to between fifty and sixty men, were massacred by the Mormons at Buncombe, twelve miles north of Richmond, except three. This statement you may rely on as being true, and last night they expected Richmond to be laid in ashes this morning. We could distinctly hear cannon, and we know the Mormons had one in their possession. Richmond is about twenty-five miles west of
this place, on a straight line. We know not the hour or minute we will be laid in ashes-our country is ruined-for God's sake give us assistance as quick as possible.
"These mobbers must have had very acute ears to hear cannon (a six-pounder) thirty-seven miles. So much for the lies of a priest of this world. Now for the truth of the case. This day about noon, Captain Bogart with some thirty or forty men called on Brother Thoret Parsons, where he was living, at the head of the east branch of Log Creek, and warned him to be gone before next day at ten in the morning, declaring also that he would give Far West thunder and lightning before next day at noon if he had good luck in meeting Neil Gillium, who would camp about six miles west of Far West that night, and that he should camp on Crooked Creek, and departed towards Crooked Creek.
"Brother Parsons dispatched a messenger with this news to Far West, and followed after Bogart to watch his movements. Brothers Joseph Holbrook and Judith, who went out this morning to watch the movements of the enemy, saw eight armed mobbers call at the house of Brother Pinkham, where they took three prisoners (Nathan Pinkham, Brothers William Seely, and Addison Green) and four horses, arms, etc., and departed, threatening Father Pinkham if he did not leave the State immediately they 'would have his damned old scalp;' and having learned of Bogart's movements, returned to Far West near midnight and reported their proceedings and those of the mob.
"On hearing the report, Judge Higbee, the first judge of the county, ordered Lieutenant Colonel Hinkle, the highest officer in command in Far West, to send out a company to disperse the mob and retake their prisoners, whom, it was reported, they intended to murder that night. The trumpet sounded and the brethren were assembled on the public square about midnight, when the facts were stated, and about seventy-five volunteered to obey the Judge's order,
under command of David W. Patten, who immediately commenced their march on horseback, hoping to surprise and scatter the camp, retake the prisoners, and prevent the attack threatened upon Far West without the loss of blood.
"Thursday, 25th. Fifteen of the company were detached from the main body, while sixty continued their march till they arrived near the ford of Crooked River (or Creek), where they dismounted, tied their horses, and leaving four or five men to guard them, proceeded towards the ford, not knowing the location of the encampment. It was just at the dawning of light in the east when they were marching quietly along the road, and near the top of the hill which descends to the river, when the report of a gun was heard, and young O'Banion reeled out of the ranks and fell mortally wounded. Thus the work of death commenced, when Captain Patten ordered a charge and rushed down the hill on a fast trot, and when within about fifty yards of the camp formed a line. The mob formed a line under the bank of the river, below their tents. It was yet so dark that little could be seen by looking at the west, while the mob, looking towards the dawning light, could see Patten and his men, when they fired a broadside, and three or four of the brethren fell. Captain Patten ordered the fire returned, which was instantly obeyed, to great disadvantage in the darkness which yet continued. The fire was repeated by the mob, and returned by Captain Patten's company, and gave the watchword, 'God and liberty,' when Captain Patten ordered a charge, which was instantly obeyed. The parties immediately came in contact, with their swords, and the mob were soon put to flight, crossing the river at the ford and such places as they could get a chance. In the pursuit one of the mob fled from behind a tree, wheeled, and shot Captain Patten, who instantly fell mortally wounded, having received a large ball in his bowels.
"The ground was soon cleared, and the brethren gathered up a wagon or two and making beds therein of tents, etc., took their wounded and retreated towards Far West. Three brethren were wounded in the bowels, one in the neck, one
in the shoulder, one through the hips, one through both thighs, one in the arms, all by musket shot. One had his arm broken by a sword. Brother Gideon Carter was shot in the head and left dead on the ground, so defaced that the brethren did not know him. Bogart reported that he had lost one man. The three prisoners were released and returned with the brethren to Far West. Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but it caused so much distress he begged to be left, and was carried into Brother Winchester's, three miles from the city, where he died that night. O'Banion died soon after, and Brother Carter's body was also brought from Crooked River, when it was discovered who he was.
"I went with my Brother Hyrum and Amasa Lyman to meet the brethren on their return, near Log Creek, where I saw Captain Patten in a most distressing condition. His wound was incurable.
"Brother David W. Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he lived, a man of God and strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection in a world where mobs will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife was, 'Whatever you do else, O, do not deny the faith.'
"How different his fate from that of the apostate, Thomas B. Marsh, who this day vented all the lying spleen and malice of his heart towards the work of God, in a letter to Brother and Sister Abbot, to which was annexed an addenda by Orson Hyde." -Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 395, 405-408.
On October 26,1838, the following order was issued by Governor Boggs:-
"Friday, Headquarters Of the Militia,
"CITY OF JEFFERSON, OCT. 26, 1838.
"GENERAL JOHN B. CLARK, 1st Division, Missouri Militia.
"Sir:-Application has been made to the Commander in Chief, by the citizens of Daviess County, in this State, for protection and to be restored to their homes and property, with intelligence that the Mormons with an armed force have expelled the inhabitants of that county
from their homes, have pillaged and burnt their dwellings, driven off their stock, and were destroying their crops; that they (the Mormons) have burnt to ashes the towns of Gallatin and Millport in said county; the former being the county seat of said county, and including the clerk's office and all the public records of the county, and that there is not now a civil officer within said county. The Commander in Chief therefore orders, that there be raised, from the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 12th divisions of the militia of this State, four hundred men each, to be mounted and armed as infantry or riflemen, each man to furnish himself with at least fifty rounds of ammunition and at least fifteen days' provisions. The troops from the 1st, 5th, 6th, and 12th will rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard County, on Saturday, the 3d day of next month (November), at which point they will receive further instructions as to their line of march. You will therefore cause to be raised the quota of men required of your division (four hundred men), without delay, either by volunteer or drafts, and rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard County, on Saturday, the 3d day of next month (November), and there join the troops from the 5th, 6th, and 12th divisions. The troops from the 4th division will join you at Richmond, in Ray County. You will cause the troops raised in your division to be formed into companies, according to law, and placed under officers already in commission. If volunteer companies are raised they shall elect their own officers. The preference should always be given to volunteer companies already organized and commissioned. You will also detail the necessary field and staff officers. For the convenience of transporting the camp equipage, provisions, and hospital stores for the troops under your command, you are authorized to employ two or three baggage wagons.
"By order of the Commander in Chief,
"B. M. LISLE, Adj.-General."
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 445.
On the following day the famous "exterminating order" was issued, which is as follows:-
"Headquarters Militia, City of JEFFERSON, Oct. 27,1838.
"Sir:-Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., and Wiley E. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this State. Your orders are therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray County, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State, if necessary, for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Major-General Wallock, of Marion County, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there to unite with General Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point, for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express; you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore, of proceeding, as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond, and there operate against the Mormons. Brigadier-General Parks, of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred men of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.
"L. W. Boggs,
"Governor and Commander in Chief.
"To General Clark."
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 446.
This was just what such men as Generals Clark, Lucas, and the lawless element of upper Missouri desired, and they proceeded to satisfy their blood thirsty inclinations. General Atchison, however, revolted at this inhuman order.
The author of the "History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties," Missouri, writes:-
"General Doniphan states to the writer hereof that at this time he also received an order and a letter from Governor Boggs. The order, General Doniphan says, commanded him to obey the orders of Gen. John B. Clark, when he should arrive and assume command, as he had been ordered to do, and the letter was very denunciatory of the Mormons, and declared, among other things, that 'they must all be driven from the State or exterminated.'
"It is asserted that General Atchison's orders or directions from the Governor were to the same purport as Doniphan's letter from the Governor, and that thereupon General Atchison withdrew from the military force, declaring that he would be no party to the enforcement of such inhuman commands. On the other hand, it is asserted that the Governor's orders to Atchison relieved him from command, directing him to turn over his command to General Lucas. At any rate, General Atchison left the militia at Log Creek on receipt of the Governor's orders and returned to his home at Liberty, and General Lucas was left in sole command."-P. 138.
This information, coming from General Doniphan, is without doubt correct.
The saints were now at the mercy of a mob under command of an officer who had himself been one of the leaders of the mob in Jackson County and who was sustained by an Executive who had aided the mob in robbing them. Nothing was left but to complete the work of destruction.
As the news reached Far West that the Governor had ordered them expelled or exterminated, all hopes of peace fled. If when they thought of their pleasant homes and fruitful farms, made beautiful through sacrifice and toil-if when they thought of wives and children soon to be laid low by the assassin's hand or driven out destitute in the face of the winter's storm, they felt resentful and desperate, can we be surprised? If when they felt that all appeals to the courts and to the Executive had failed to give them relief,
and they saw a horde of marauders marching upon them by the Governor's order; they resolved to die in defense of homes and loved ones, can we blame them? It is just what brave men would have done and what brave men will now excuse them for doing.
It was some time before this that the order known as "Danites" was organized. This, as will be seen, was not done with the knowledge of the church authorities, nor by their order. It was a secret organization, which was severely condemned by the leaders of the church as soon as it became known to them. The chief instigator was not only reprimanded, but he was expelled from the church, and it was supposed the movement was effectually killed; but it was in after years revived by wicked and evil designing men, and has since been the cause of much evil. Joseph Smith in his history as published in the Millennial Star speaks very explicitly regarding this movement and the evils of it. He writes:-
"Lilburn W. Boggs had become so hardened by mobbing the saints in Jackson County, and his conscience so 'seared with a hot iron,' that he was considered a fit subject for the gubernatorial chair; and it was probably his hatred to truth and the 'Mormons,' and his bloodthirsty, murderous disposition, that raised him to the station he occupied. His exterminating order of the twenty-seventh aroused every spirit in the State of the like stamp of his own; and the Missouri mobocrats were flocking to the standard of General Clark from almost every quarter.
"Clark, although not the ranking officer, was selected by Governor Boggs as the most fit instrument to carry out his murderous designs; for bad as they were in Missouri very few commanding officers were yet sufficiently hardened to go all lengths with Boggs in this contemplated inhuman butchery, and expulsion from one of the should-be free and independent States of the Republic of North America, where the Constitution declares that 'every man shall have the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience;' and this was all the offense the saints had been guilty of.
"And here I would state, that while the evil spirits were raging up and down in the State to raise mobs against the 'Mormons,' Satan himself was no less busy in striving to stir up mischief in the camp of the saints; and among the most conspicuous of his willing devotees was one Doctor Sampson Avard, who had been in the church but a short time, and who, although he had generally behaved with a tolerable degree of external decorum, was secretly aspiring to be the greatest of the great, and become the leader of the people. This was his pride and his folly, but as he had no hopes of accomplishing it by gaining the hearts of the people in open strife, he watched his opportunity with the brethren at a time when mobs oppressed, robbed, whipped, burned, plundered, and slew, till forbearance seemed no longer a virtue and nothing but the grace of God without measure could support men under such trials, to form a secret combination by which he might rise a mighty conqueror, at the expense of the overthrow of the church; and this he tried to accomplish by his smooth, flattering, and winning speeches, which he frequently made to his associates, while his room was well guarded by some of his pupils, ready to give him the wink on the approach of anyone who would not approve of his measures.
"In this situation he stated that he had the sanction of the heads of the church for what he was about to do; and by his smiles and flattery persuaded them to believe it, and proceeded to administer to the few under his control an oath, binding them to everlasting secrecy to everything which should be communicated to them by himself. Thus Avard initiated members into his band, firmly binding them by all that was sacred in the protecting of each other in all things that were lawful; and was careful to picture out a great glory that was then hovering over the church, and would soon burst upon the saints as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and would soon unveil the slumbering mysteries of heaven, which would gladden the hearts and arouse the stupid spirits of the saints of the latter day, and fill their hearts with that love which is unspeakable and full of glory, and arm them with power that the gates of hell
could not prevail against them; and would often affirm to his company that the principal men of the church had put him forward as a spokesman and a leader of this band, which he named Danites.
"Thus he duped many, which gave him the opportunity of figuring largely. He held his meetings daily and carried on his work of craft in great haste, to prevent a mature reflection upon the matter, and had them bound under the penalties of death to keep the secrets and certain signs, which they had to know each other by, by day and night.
"After those performances he held meetings to organize his men into companies of tens and fifties, appointing a captain over each company. After this organization he went on to teach them their duty in compliance with the orders of their captains; he then called his captains together and taught them in a secluded place, as follows:-
"My brethren, as you have been chosen to be our leading men, our captains to rule over this last kingdom of Jesus Christ, who have been organized after the ancient order, I have called upon you here to-day to teach you and instruct you in the things that pertain to your duty, and to show you what your privileges are and what they soon will be. Know ye not, brethren, that it soon will be your privileges to take your respective companies and go out on a scout on the borders of the settlements, and take to yourselves spoils of the goods of the ungodly Gentiles? for it is written, the riches of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to my people, the house of Israel; and thus waste away the Gentiles by robbing and plundering them of their property; and in this way we will build up the kingdom of God, and roll forth the little stone that Daniel saw cut out of the mountain without hands, until it shall fill the whole earth. For this is the very way that God destines to build up his kingdom in the last days. If any of us should be recognized, who can harm us? for we will stand by each other and defend one another in all things. If our enemies swear against us, we can swear also. [The captains were confounded at this, but Avard continued.] Why do you startle at this, brethren? As the Lord liveth, I would swear a lie to clear any of you; and if this
would not do, I would put them or him under the sand as Moses did the Egyptian; and in this way we will consecrate much unto the Lord, and build up his kingdom; and who can stand against us? And if any of us transgress, we will deal with him amongst ourselves. And if any one of this Danite society reveals any of these things, I will put him where the dogs cannot bite him.'
"At this lecture all of the officers revolted and said it would not do, they should not go into any such measures, and it would not do to name any such things; 'such proceedings would be in open violation to the laws of our country, and would be robbing our fellow citizens of their rights, and are not according to the language and doctrine of Christ, of the Church of Latter Day Saints.'
"This modern Sampson replied and said there were no laws that were executed in justice, and he cared not for them, this being a different dispensation, a dispensation of the fullness of times; 'in this dispensation I learn from the Scriptures that the kingdom of God was to put down all other kingdoms, and he himself was to reign, and his laws alone were the only laws that would exist.'
"Avard's teachings were still manfully rejected by all. Avard then said that they had better drop the subject; although he had received his authority from Sidney Rigdon the evening before. The meeting then broke up; the eyes of those present were then opened, his craft was no longer in the dark, and but very little confidence was placed in him, even by the warmest of the members of his Danite scheme.
"When a knowledge of Avard's rascality came to the Presidency of the church, he was cut off from the church, and every means proper used to destroy his influence, at which he was highly incensed, and went about whispering his evil insinuations; but finding every effort unavailing, he again turned conspirator, and sought to make friends with the mob.
"And here let it be distinctly understood, that these companies of tens and fifties got up by Avard were altogether separate and distinct from those companies of tens and fifties organized by the brethren for self-defense, in case of an
attack from the mob, and more particularly that in this time of alarm no family or person might be neglected, therefore. one company would be engaged in drawing wood, another in cutting it, another in gathering corn, another in grinding, another in butchering, another in distributing meat, etc., etc., so that all should be employed in turn, and no one lack the necessaries of life. Therefore let no one hereafter, by mistake or design, confound this organization of the church for good and righteous purposes with the organization of the Danites, of the apostate Avard, which died almost before it had existence.
"The mob began to encamp at Richmond on the twenty-sixth, and by this time amounted to about two thousand five hundred, all ready to fulfill the exterminating order and join the standard of the Governor. They took up a line of march for Far West, traveling but part way, where they encamped for the night.
"Tuesday, 30th. Their advance guard were patrolling the country and taking many prisoners, among whom were Brother Winchester and Brother Carey, whose skull they laid open by a blow from a rifle barrel. In this mangled condition the mob laid him in their wagon and went on their way, denying him every comfort, and thus he remained that afternoon and night.
"General Clark was in camp at Chariton under a forced march to Richmond, with about a thousand men and the Governor's exterminating order."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 458-460, 507.
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