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OF AFFAIRS at Far West at this time Joseph Smith writes as follows:-
"On the 30th of October a large company of armed soldiery was seen approaching Far West. They came up near to the town, and then drew back about a mile and encamped for the night. We were informed that they were militia, ordered out by the Governor for the purpose of stopping our proceedings, it having been represented to his Excellency, by wicked and designing men from Daviess, that we were the aggressors and had committed outrages in Daviess, etc. They had not yet got the Governor's order of extermination, which I believe did not arrive till the next day. 1
"Wednesday, 31st. The militia of Far West guarded the city the past night, and threw up a temporary fortification of wagons, timber, etc., on the south. The sisters, many of them, were engaged in gathering up their most valuable effects, fearing a terrible battle in the morning, and that the houses might be fired and they obliged to flee, the enemy being five to one against us.
"About eight o'clock a flag was sent, which was met by
1This is doubtless a mistake. According to other records the order was received on the 30th.
several of our people, and it was hoped that matters would be satisfactorily arranged after the officers had heard a true statement of all the circumstances. Colonel Hinkle went to meet the flag, and secretly made an engagement-1st, To give up their [the church's] leaders to be tried and punished; 2d, To make an appropriation of their property, all who had taken up arms, to the payment of their debts, and indemnify for damage done by them; 3d, That the balance should leave the State and be protected out by the militia, but be permitted to remain under protection until further orders were received from the Commander in Chief; 4th, To give up the arms of every description, to be receipted for.
"The enemy was reinforced by about one thousand five hundred men to-day, and news of the destruction of property by the mob reached us from every quarter.
"Towards evening I was waited upon by Colonel Hinkle, who stated that the officers of the militia desired to have an interview with me and some others, hoping that the difficulties might be settled without having occasion to carry into effect the exterminating orders which they had received from the Governor. I immediately complied with the request, and in company with Elders Rigdon and Pratt, Colonel Wight and George W. Robinson, went into the camp of the militia. But judge of my surprise when, instead of being treated with that respect which is due from one citizen to another, we were taken as prisoners of war, and were treated with the utmost contempt. The officers would not converse with us, and the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted us as much as they felt disposed, breathing out threats against me and my companions. I cannot begin to tell the scene which I there witnessed. The loud cries and yells of more than one thousand voices, which rent the air and could be heard for miles, and the horrid and blasphemous threats and curses which were poured upon us in torrents, were enough to appall the stoutest heart. In the evening we had to lie down on the cold ground, surrounded by strong guard, who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life. We petitioned the offices to know why we were thus treated, but they utterly refused
to give us any answer or to converse with us. After we arrived in the camp Brother Stephen Winchester and eleven other brethren who were prisoners volunteered, with permission of the officers, to carry Brother Carey into the city to his family, he having lain exposed to the weather for a show to the inhuman wretches, without having his wounds dressed or being nourished in any manner. He died soon after he reached home.
"Thursday, November 1. Brothers Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were brought prisoners into camp. They held a court martial and sentenced us to be shot on Friday morning, on the public square, as an ensample to the 'Mormons.' However, notwithstanding their sentence and determination they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution. Having an opportunity of speaking to General Wilson, I inquired of him the cause why I was thus treated. I told him I was not sensible of having done anything worthy of such treatment; that I had always been a supporter of the Constitution and of democracy. His answer was, 'I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you, or have you killed.'
"The militia then went into the town and without any restraint whatever plundered the houses and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants. They went to my house and drove my family out of doors. They carried away most of my property and left many destitute. General Doniphan declared he would have nothing to do with such cold-blooded murder, and that he would withdraw his brigade in the morning.
"Governor Boggs wrote General Clark from Jefferson City, that he considered full and ample powers were vested in him to carry into effect the former orders. Says Boggs:-
"'The case is now a very plain one-the Mormons must be subdued and peace restored to the community; you will therefore proceed without delay to execute the former orders. Full confidence is reposed in your ability to do so; your force will be amply sufficient to accomplish the object. Should you need the aid of artillery I would suggest that an application be made to the commanding officer of Fort Leavenworth
for such as you may need. You are authorized to request the loan of it in the name of the State of Missouri. The ringleaders of this rebellion should be made an example of; and if it should become necessary for the public peace, the Mormons should be exterminated or expelled from the State.'
"This morning General Lucas ordered the Caldwell militia to give up their arms. Hinkle, having made a treaty with the mob on his own responsibility, to carry out his treachery, marched the troops out of the city, and the brethren gave up their arms, their own property, which no government on earth had a right to require.
"The mob (called Governor's troops) then marched into town, and under pretense of searching for arms, tore up floors, upset haystacks, plundering the most valuable effects they could lay their hands on, wasted and destroyed a great amount of property which could do themselves no good, compelled the brethren to sign deeds of trust at the point of the bayonet, to pay the expenses of the mob even while the chastity of the place was desecrated. About eighty men were taken prisoners, the remainder were ordered to leave the State, and were forbid to be more than three in a place, and if they were the mob would shoot at them.
"Friday, 2d. About this time Sampson Avard was found by the mob secreted in the hazel brush some miles from Far West, and brought into camp, where they were 'hail fellows well met,' for Avard told them that Daniteism was an order of the church, and by his lying tried to make the church a scapegoat for his sins.
"We were taken to the town, into the public square, and before our departure from Far West, we, after much entreaty, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while with a strong guard. I found my wife and children in tears, who expected we were shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they should see me no more. When I entered my house they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifest in their countenances. I requested to have a private
interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me. I was then obliged to take my departure, but who can realize my feelings which I experienced at that time, to be torn from my companion, and leaving her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. My partner wept, my children clung to me, and were only thrust from me by the swords of the guards who guarded me. I felt overwhelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only recommend them to the care of that God whose kindness had followed me to the present time, and who alone could protect them, and deliver me from the hands of my enemies, and restore me to my family. I was then taken back to the camp, and then I with the rest of my brethren, namely, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, Amasa Lyman, and George W. Robinson, were started off for Independence, Jackson County, and encamped at night on Crooked River, under a strong guard commanded by Generals Lucas and Wilson."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 510, 523-525.
The journal of Lyman Wight agrees with this account. He writes:-
"30th October. This morning about two o'clock came into my house two messengers from Far West and informed me that a large body of troops were encamped in half a mile of that place and for what purpose it was unknown. And as I had been the acting commander of that regiment, Joseph Smith and others requested that I would come forthwith to that place. In an hour's time I was mounted upon my favorite horse, Dragon, and one hundred and twenty mounted men by my side, lightly bounding over the vast prairies between this place and Far West, where we arrived about eight o'clock a. m. and found the whole town in an uproar, and twenty-two hundred well armed men encamped in half a mile of the town, professing to be militia of the State. My advice was to send immediately a flag of truce. This was believed to be a requisite
course, and accordingly George M. Hinkle and John Corrill were appointed to be the bearers of this flag. They came back and informed us, Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, George W. Robinson, and Lyman Wight, that the chief officers of the army desired an interview with us, and that if we were not in the camp previous to six o'clock p. m. they would fall upon and destroy Far West together with its inhabitants; and that if we would come they would pledge their honor that we should be released that night or the next morning early. Accordingly we went and met the whole camp under motion to receive us. Generals Lucas, Wilson, and Doniphan brandished their swords and made a short halt, when George M. Hinkle made his obeisance and said: 'Gentlemen, these are the prisoners whom I agreed to deliver up to you.' We were then hurried into camp in front of the mouth of a six pounder, and placed under a strong guard of ninety soldiers, well armed. This proved to be a dismal night on the account of the rain, and three alarms in the course of the night, which brought every man to his feet, and placed him under arms. The hideous screeches and screaming of this wretched, murderous band would have made a perfect dead silence with the damned in hell. Thus I spent the first night after being imprisoned, for believing the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God.
"31st. This morning Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were brought into camp to be our fellow prisoners. In suffering the wrath of this unhallowed mob militia, we spent this day, which proved to be rainy, on a small spot of ground snugly inclosed [enclosed] by a guard of ninety men. About seven o'clock I was taken one side by General Moses Wilson, who informed me that they were about to hold a court-martial upon the prisoners, and asked me if I would turn State's evidence and swear to what I knew concerning Joseph Smith. I answered that I would. He then said: 'Wight, we do not wish to kill you or hurt you; we believe you to be an honest man.' After using much more sophistry he asked me what I knew concerning him [Joseph Smith]. I informed him that as far as I was acquainted with him that I
knew no man, 'more honest or more philanthropic, having a greater zeal and love for his country and its laws, or one who would strive more for the peace and happiness of mankind than Joseph Smith.' He then informed the guard that he had no further use for me, and ordered them to place me back with the prisoners.
"Sometime about the hour of eleven o'clock General Doniphan called on me and said to me: 'Wight, your case is a damned hard one; you are all sentenced to be shot to-morrow morning at eight o'clock on the public square in Far West, by fourteen to seven, and for this reason I wash my hands against such cool-blooded and heartless murder.' And also said he should move his troops, numbering three hundred, before sunrise the next morning, and would not suffer them to witness such hard-hearted, cruel, and base murder. He then shook hands with me and bade me farewell."
We need not remind the reader that those of these prisoners who were not members of any military organization were not subject to a court martial, but if crime was alleged should have been tried before the civil courts. Nor was there any necessity for the military to be called out to make the arrest, as they had not then, nor at any other time had they resisted arrest. There were no warrants for them, nor were they cited to trial. Lyman Wight was, so far as we know, the only military officer among them. There might have been some pretext for trying him before a court martial if he had been guilty of any breach of military discipline. But no claim of this kind was ever made that we are aware of, nor was he ever charged with disobeying his superior officers. So the whole transaction was illegal and uncalled for, both from a military and civil standpoint. Yet did they, in utter disregard of all law, try these men before a military court, and sentence them to death.
General Doniphan was ordered to execute the sentence, but with characteristic courage and manliness he spurned the order, though by doing so he became subject to trial and punishment for insubordination. The following is a copy of the order:-
"Brigadier-General Doniphan; Sir: You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at nine o'clock to-morrow morning.
"Samuel D. Lucas,
-History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, p. 137.
To the honor of General Doniphan, he dared to take the consequence of returning the following reply to his superior:-
"It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty to-morrow morning, at eight o'clock; and if you execute those men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God!
"A. W. Doniphan, Brigadier-General."
-Ibid., p. 137.
This historian continues as follows:-
"The prisoners somehow heard of the order, and kneeled in prayer, and prayed fervently that it might not be executed. And it was not. Flagrantly insubordinate as was General Doniphan's refusal, he was never called to account for it."-Ibid., p. 137.
It may be well here to mention the strange action of George M. Hinkle in delivering his brethren into the hands of the enemy. His act was looked upon by the church as the act of a traitor, he was expelled from the church, and was afterward held in contempt by his brethren; but the writer of the History of Caldwell County gives a different solution, and we here insert it for the consideration of the reader:-
"Doubtless this officer was actuated by the noble motive of desiring to save the lives of scores if not hundreds of his brethren in his action, but he concealed the real state of affairs from the leaders of the church, and his conduct was marked with something of diplomacy-the Mormons called it duplicity and treachery. He visited the parties designated by General Lucas, and informed them that they were wanted, not for hostages, but to confer with General Lucas
and the other military authorities in arranging a compromise or truce. Doubtless he feared that if he disclosed the real purpose for which they were wanted, they would refuse to surrender themselves, and the most direful results would follow. He knew that the militia against him numbered about 3,000, or about five to one of his own force; that a fight could result but one way, and under the Governor's orders the consequences would be most frightful and terrible-practically wholesale slaughter. 'Gen.' [Col.] Hinkle was a Kentuckian, and personally brave and fearless. He did not fear danger for himself, but for his brethren, and his course, it must be admitted, was certainly for the best. Yet the Mormons ever afterwards regarded him as a traitor, and he was cut off from the church, and spent his last days in Iowa, and died aloof from his former brethren."-History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, pp. 135,136.
Article 2 of the contract between Hinkle and Lucas, as given on page 256 of this work, was afterward interpreted to hold the saints for the payment of the debts of the war which had been waged against them. This whole procedure has been looked upon by men of fairness as being extraordinary and cruel.
The History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri, has this to say upon the subject:-
"What authority General Lucas had to make such a 'treaty' and to impose such conditions, is not clear. It would seem that he regarded the Mormons as composing a foreign nation, or at least as forming an army with belligerent rights, and with proper treaty-contracting powers. The truth was they were and had not ceased to be citizens of Missouri, amenable to and under jurisdiction of its laws If they had committed any crime they ought to have been punished, just the same as other criminals. There was no authority for taking their arms from them except that they were proved to be militia in a state of insubordination. There was no sort of authority for requiring them to pay the expenses of the war. There was no sort of authority for requiring them to leave the State. It was monstrously illegal and unjust to attempt to punish them for offenses for
which they had not been tried and of which they had not been convicted. It would be a reasonable conclusion that in making his so called 'treaty' General Lucas was guilty of illegal extortion, unwarranted assumption of power, usurpation of authority, and flagrant violation of the natural rights of man.
"By an act of the legislature approved December 11, 1838, the sum of $2,000 was appropriated, 'for the purpose of relieving the indigent and suffering families in Caldwell and Daviess Counties,' and the following commissioners were appointed to expend the sum and 'distribute food, raiment, and other necessaries' among the deserving: Anderson Martin, Wm. Thornton, and John C. Richardson, of Ray County; Elisha Camron, John Thornton, and Eli Casey, of Clay; Henry McHenry, of Caldwell, and M. T. Green, of Daviess. It is asserted that not a dollar of the appropriation was expended for the benefit of the Mormons, although the act itself did not especially exclude them. The Gentiles were the sole beneficiaries.
"The same legislature also prohibited the publication of 'the orders, letters, evidences, and other documents relating to the Mormon disturbances,' and enjoined the Secretary of the State from 'furnishing or permitting to be taken copies of the same for any purpose whatsoever.' Two years later, however, this prohibition was rescinded. (See Acts 10th Gen. Assembly, p. 334.) Why the act was passed in the first place may better be conjectured than positively asserted."-History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, p. 143.
On November 4 General Clark arrived at Far West and assumed command.
The speech he made on the 6th, when he had gathered the people of Far West on the public square, will give the reader an idea of the man and what measures might be expected of him. It was 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 providing corn, wood, etc., 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 upon you to fulfill 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 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 State forthwith; and whatever may be your feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence, it is nothing to me; General Lucas, 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 State 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 Governor to me were, that you should be exterminated, and not allowed to remain in the State; and had your leaders not 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 of a noncompliance of a 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 Governor'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 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, etc., lest you excite the jealousies of 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."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, p. 555.
About ten thousand of the State militia was called out to march against Far West, and for what purpose? To meet a foreign foe? No. What then? To meet a regiment of State troops-a part of their own force, whose officers were commissioned by the Governor of the State, and who had always acted under orders of their superior officers. They had never failed to report for duty when called upon. In this instance they were not ordered to report for duty. They were simply reserved as a foe that their ten thousand gallant comrades might have an enemy to fight. Strange military tactics were these!
On November 6, 1838, the Governor wrote General Clark, authorizing and directing him to hold a military court of inquiry in Daviess County. The order read as follows:-
"It will also be necessary that you hold a military court of inquiry in Daviess County and arrest the Mormons who
have been guilty of the late outrages committed towards the inhabitants of said county. 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 State, of course it would be advisable in you to promote that object in any way deemed proper. The ringleaders of their rebellion, though, ought by no means to be permitted to escape the punishment they merit."-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 555, 556.
General Clark ordered Brigadier-General Robert Wilson to Adam-ondi-ahman for the purpose of this inquiry.
General Wilson arrived at Adam-ondi-ahman November 8, 1838, and immediately put a guard around the town, with instruction to allow no person to pass in or out without permission. He then put every man in town under guard, and instituted a court of inquiry with Adam Black, before-mentioned, on the bench, and a soldier of General Clark's command acting as prosecuting attorney. After three days investigation every man was by this court "honorably acquitted."
After this acquittal General Wilson issued an order that every family must be out of town within ten days, with permission to go to Caldwell County for the winter, then to leave the State under pain of extermination. Here is a specimen of the permits granted to men against whom no charge had been sustained:-
"I permit David Holman to remove from Daviess to Caldwell County, there to remain during the winter, or to pass out of the State.
"R. Wilson, Brigadier-General
"By F. G. Cocknu, Aid.
"November 10, 1838."
There was an agreement made between the mob and the saints by which the latter could obtain their stock with the consent of their opponents. The agreement was as follows:-
"1. That the Mormon committee be allowed to employ, say twenty teamsters for the purpose of hauling off their property.
"2. That the Mormon committee collect whatever stock they may have in Daviess County at some point, and some two or three of the Daviess County committee be notified to attend for the purpose of examining said stock, and convey or attend the Mormon committee out of the limits of the county; and it is further understood that the Mormon committee is not to drive or take from this county any stock of any description at any other time nor under any other circumstances than these mentioned.
"As witness our hands,
"William P. Peniston,)
"Dr. K. Kerr, }Committee
"Adam Black, )
"The above propositions were made and agreed to by the undersigned committee on the part of the Mormons.
"B. S. Wilber.
"J. H. Hale.
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 566, 567.
There was, however, some humanity left in upper Missouri, and some noble-minded men raised their voices in protest against the outrages of the militia and in defense of justice.
The following letter from a citizen of Clay County to members of the legislature is a case in point:-
"M Arthur, Esq., to the Representatives from Clay County.
"LIBERTY, November 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 Daviess, in the form of human beings inhabiting Daviess, Livingston, and a part of Ray County; not being satisfied with the relinquishment of all their rights as citizens and human beings, in the treaty forced upon them by General Lucas, by giving up their arms and throwing themselves upon the mercy of the State 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 Caldwell County, 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, etc., and rifling their houses and farms of everything 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 State 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.
"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 Far West, 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 Caldwell County, 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, etc., until, say the first day of June next; these men rendering that protection necessary to the Mormons and allowing them to follow and bring to justice any individuals who have 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 State. 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 State.
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 565, 566.
On December 10, 1838, a committee appointed by the saints petitioned the legislature as follows:-
"To the Honorable Legislature of the State of Missouri, in Senate and House of Representatives convened:-
"We the undersigned petitioners and inhabitants of Caldwell County, 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 Jackson County, 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 county; 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 Independence-a committee of which called upon a few of the men of our church there and stated to them that the store-printing office, and indeed all other mechanic shops, must be closed forthwith, and the society leave the county 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, 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 printing office, which was a two story building, was assailed by the mob and soon thrown down, and with it much valuable property destroyed. Next they went to the store for the same purpose; but Mr. Gilbert, one of the owners, agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design. Their next move was their dragging of Bishop Partridge 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 Allen 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 massacring 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 defenseless situation, to save a general massacre, it was agreed that one half of the society should leave the county 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 awhile. But sometime 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, etc. The storehouse of A. S. Gilbert and Co. was broken open, ransacked, and some of 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 thirty, 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 country in arms-and nothing would satisfy them but an immediate surrender of the arms of our people and they forthwith to leave the county. 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 fifty to seventy, headed by priests, went from house to house, threatening 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 meantime, the weather being very cold, their sufferings in other respects were very great.
"The society made their escape to Clay County as fast as they possibly could, where the people received them kindly and administered to their wants. After the society had left Jackson County, their buildings, amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise destroyed; and much of their crops, as well as furniture, stock, etc., which, if properly estimated, would make a large sum, for which they have not as yet received any remuneration.
"The society remained in Clay County nearly three years; when, at the suggestion of the people there, they removed to that section of the country known now as Caldwell County. 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 Daviess and Carroll Counties, the mob spirit spread itself again. For months previous to our giving up our arms to General Lucas' army, we heard little else than rumors of mobs collecting in different places and threatening our people. It is well known that the people of our church, who had located themselves at De Witt, had to give up to a mob and leave the place, notwithstanding the militia were called out for their protection.
"From De Witt the mob went towards Daviess County, 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 Daviess to Caldwell, and from Caldwell 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 Daviess to help to protect their brethren who had settled at Diahman, on Grand River. The mob soon fled from Daviess County; and after they were dispersed and the cannon taken, during which time no blood was shed, the people of Caldwell 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 Grand River), from ten to fifteen miles off, under the command of Cornelius Gillium. a scouting party of which came within four miles of Far West and drove off stock belonging to our people, in open daylight.
"About this time word came to Far West that a party of the mob had come into Caldwell County to the south of Far West; 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 Far West in the evening and was confirmed about midnight. A company of about sixty men went forth under the command of David W. Patten, to disperse the mob, as they supposed. A battle was the result, in which Captain Patten and two of his men were killed and others wounded. Bogart, it appears, had but one killed, and others wounded. Notwithstanding the unlawful acts committed by Captain Bogart'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 Ray and Caldwell Counties. That battle was fought four or five days previous to the arrival of General Lucas and his army. About the time of the battle with Captain Bogart a number of our people who were living near Haun's Mills, on Shoal Creek, about twenty miles below Far West, 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 Chariton County, some from Daviess, and also those who had 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 quarter, shot them down as they would tigers or panthers. Some few made their escape by fleeing. Eighteen were killed, and a number more were 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 quarter, 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 of them placed the muzzle of his gun to his head and blew out his brains. 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 county that they did kill on that occasion more than one 'Mormon;' whereas all our people who were in the battle with Captain Patten against Bogart, that can be found, have been arrested, and are now confined in jail to await their trial for murder.
"When General Lucas arrived near Far West and presented the Governor's order we were greatly surprised; yet we felt willing to submit to the authorities of the State. We gave up our arms without reluctance. We were then made prisoners and confined to the limits of the town 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 firewood, the weather being very cold and stormy.
"Much property was destroyed by the troops in town during their stay there, such as burning house logs, rails, corn cribs, boards, etc.; 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 anyone. In the meantime, men were abused, women insulted, and abused by the troops; and all this while we were kept prisoners.
"Whilst the town was guarded we were called together by the order of General Lucas 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 the debts of every individual belonging to the church, and also to pay for all damages the old inhabitants of Daviess may have sustained in consequence of the late difficulties in that county.
"General Clark had 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 sheriff or any legal process. The next day forty-six of those taken were driven, like a parcel of menial slaves, off to Richmond, not knowing why they were taken or what they were taken for. After being confined in Richmond more than two weeks, about one half were liberated; the rest, after another week's confinement, were most of them required to appear at court, and have since been let to bail. Since General Clark withdrew his troops from Far West, parties of armed men have gone through the county driving off horses, sheep, and cattle, and also plundering houses; the barbarity of General Lucas' 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 Tanner, 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 Carey was also taken prisoner by them, and without any provocation had his brains dashed out by a gun. He was laid in a wagon and there permitted to remain for the space of twenty-four 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 Far West 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 State in the spring, many, yes, a large portion of our society will have to be removed at the expense of the State; 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 operated 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 our first settlement in this State; 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 Daviess County. 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 Governor Boggs to drive us from this State or exterminate 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 Governor to drive us from the State and also giving us the sanction of the legislature to inherit our lands in peace. We ask an expression of the legislature disapproving of 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 damage 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 about six hundred and thirty, 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 Far West, when called upon by General Parks 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 Jackson County, taken by the militia, and consequently by the authority of the State, 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 Jackson County 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, etc., of the society have been destroyed in Jackson County, is not doubted by those who are acquainted in this upper country; and since these trespasses cannot be proven 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 widow's heart would be made to rejoice, and the orphan's tear measurably dried up, and the prayers of a 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 United States and of this State. We ask in common with others the protection of the laws. We ask for the privilege guaranteed to all free citizens of the United States and of this State 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, etc.
"Edward Partridge, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor,
"Theodore Turley, Brigham Young, Isaac Morley,
"George W. Harris John Murdock, John M. Burk,
"A committee appointed by the citizens of Caldwell County, to draft this memorial and sign it in their behalf.
"Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, December 10,1838."
-Millennial Star, vol. 18, pp. 586-589.
On December 16 President Joseph Smith wrote a lengthy epistle to the church, which closed with the following sound advice:-
"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
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,' saith 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 everything 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 work of his grace, which is able to make us wise unto salvation. Amen.
"Joseph Smith, Jr."
-Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 628, 629.
On December 19, 1838, John E. Page and John Taylor were ordained apostles at Far West, Missouri, under the hands of Brigham Young and H. C. Kimball.
The following account of legislative action is from the pen of Joseph Smith:-
"This day [December 16, 1838] Elder David H. Redfield
arrived at Jefferson City, and on Monday, 17th, presented the petition of the brethren to General D. R. Atchison and others, who were very anxious to hear from Caldwell, as there were many reports in circulation, such as 'the Mormons kept up the Danite system,' 'were going to build the Lord's house,' and 'more blood would be spilled before they left the State,' etc.; which created a hardness in the minds of the people.
"In the afternoon Brother Redfield had an interview with Governor Boggs, who inquired about our people and property with as much apparent interest as though his whole soul was engaged for our welfare; and said that he had heard that 'the citizens were committing depredations on the Mormons, and driving off their stock,' etc.
"Brother Redfield informed him that armed forces came in the place and abused men, women, and children, stole horses, drove off cattle, and plundered houses of everything that pleased their fancy.
"Governor Boggs said that he would write Judge King and Colonel Price to go to Far West and put down every hostile appearance. He also stated that 'the stipulations entered into by the Mormons to leave the State, and sign the deed of trust, were unconstitutional and not valid.'
"Brother Redfield replied, 'We want the legislature to pass a law to that effect, showing that the stipulations 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 State. You say there has been a stain upon the character of the State, and now is the time to pass some law to that effect; and unless you do, farewell to the virtue of the State; 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.'
"Tuesday, 18th. Mr. Turner, 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 Richmond in a great degree ex parte, and not of the character which should be desired for the basis of a fair and candid investigation-
"'1. Because it is not authenticated: and
"'2. It is confined chiefly to the object of that inquiry; namely, the investigation of criminal charges against individuals under arrest. For these reasons, and above all for the reason that it would be a direct interference with the administration of justice, this document ought not to be published with the sanction of the legislature.
"'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 Governor's message in relation to the last disturbances.
"'Resolved: That it is expedient to appoint a joint committee, composed of senators and 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 power as may be prescribed by laws.'
"Wednesday, l9th. Mr. John Carroll presented the petition to the House. While 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 Jackson County, said, 'there was not one word of truth in it, so far as he had heard, and that it ought never 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 Jackson County, and we have had peace there ever since; and the State will always be in difficulty so long as they suffer them to live in the State; and the quicker they get that petition from before that body the better.'
"Mr. Ashley, from Livingston, 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 State.' He gave a history of the Haun's Mill massacre, and saw Jack Rogers cut up McBride with a corn-cutter.
"Mr. Carroll 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 Jackson County.
"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 disturbances.
"Mr. Young, of Lafayette, 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 Governor's order has gone forth, and the Mormons are leaving; hundreds are waiting to cross the Mississippi River, and by and by they are gone and our State is blasted; her character is gone; we gave them no chance for a fair investigation. The State demands of us that we give them a speedy investigation.'
"Mr. Gyer, from St. Louis, agreed with the gentleman from Howard, 'that the committee should have power to call witnesses from any part of the State and defend them; and unless the Governor's order was rescinded, he for one would leave the State.'
"Other gentlemen made similar remarks.
"The testimony presented the committee of investigation, before referred to, was the Governor's orders, General Clark's reports, the report of the ex parte trial at Richmond, and a lot of papers signed by nobody, given to nobody, and
directed to nobody, containing anything our enemies were disposed to write. . . .
"After much legislation, disputation, controversy, and angry speechifying, as the papers of Missouri 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 threatenings, that if any judge or jury or court of any kind should clear any of us we should never get out of the State alive.
"The State appropriated two thousand dollars to be distributed among the people of Daviess and Caldwell, the 'Mormons' of Caldwell not exempted. The people of Daviess thought they could live on 'Mormon' property and did not want their thousand, consequently it was pretended to be given to those of Caldwell. Judge Cameron, Mr. McHenry, 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 half dressing they were cut up and distributed by McHenry to the poor, at a charge of four and five cents 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.
"The proceedings of the legislature were warmly opposed by a minority of the House, among whom were D. R. Atchison, of Clay County, and all the members from St. Louis, and Messrs. Rollins and Gordon, from Boone, and by various other members from other counties; but the mob majority carried the day, for the guilty wretches feared an investigation, knowing that it would endanger their lives and liberties. Sometime during this session the legislature appropriated two hundred thousand dollars to pay the troops for driving the saints out of the State.
"Many of the State journals tried to hide the iniquity of
the State, by throwing a covering of lies over her atrocious deeds. But can they hide the Governor'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 Far West? Can they conceal the fact that twelve or fifteen thousand men, women, and children have been banished from the State 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!
"Sometime in December Heber C. Kimball and Alanson Ripley were appointed by the brethren in Far West to visit us at Liberty jail as often as circumstances would permit, or occasion required, which they faithfully performed. We were sometimes 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 Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, I and my fellow prisoners, in chains, dungeons, and jail, saw the close of 1838." -Millennial Star, vol. 16, pp. 661-665.
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