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AS MENTIONED in the last chapter Joseph was arrested, or rather kidnapped, by Reynolds of Missouri and Wilson of Illinois, on June 23, 1843.
In this chapter we give the account of this arrest, trial, and release, as published in the records of the time. The testimonies of some of the witnesses are quite lengthy, but the events of the Missouri troubles are given by them in a more consecutive manner than found elsewhere, and hence we think a careful reading would be profitable.
Lucy Smith in her "Joseph Smith the Prophet" briefly relates this incident, as follows:-
"About the middle of June, 1843, Joseph went with his wife to visit Mrs. Wasson, (ten miles southeast of Dixon, Illinois,) who was his wife's sister. Whilst there an attempt was made to kidnap him and take him into Missouri, by J. H. Reynolds, from that State, and Harmon Wilson, of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, who was a Missourian in principle. You have read Hyrum's testimony, and can judge of the treatment which Joseph received at their hands. Suffice it to say, he was shamefully abused. Wilson had authority from the Governor of Illinois to take Joseph Smith, Jr., and deliver him into the hands of the before-named Reynolds; but as neither of them showed any authority save a brace of pistols, Joseph took them for false imprisonment. He then obtained a writ of habeas corpus of the Master in Chancery of Lee County, returnable before the nearest court authorized to determine upon such writs; and the Municipal Court of Nauvoo being
the nearest one invested with this power, an examination was had before said court, when it was made to appear that the writ was defective and void; furthermore, that he was innocent of the charges therein alleged against him. It was in this case that Hyrum's testimony was given, which is rehearsed in a preceding chapter."-Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors, pp. 292, 293.
The Times and Seasons gave the following account of the arrest and other incidents connected therewith:-
"Once more at peace, Mr. Smith flattered himself that his relentless persecutors must have satiated their rage and exhausted their ingenuity to find means to prosecute; and he had favorably hoped that had they invented anything else, that the Executive of this State, alive to the injustice that Mr. Smith had already experienced from the hands of Missouri, would not have countenanced or furthered any demands that might be made by that State upon the Executive of this for the person of Joseph Smith. This we believe he had reason to expect; he was in hopes that the time of his trials pertaining to the tyranny of that State was at an end, and that he would be allowed to enjoy the precious boon of liberty, and to dwell in peace in the bosom of his family and with his friends. Feeling perfectly secure, he set off with his family to Mr. Wasson's, to visit his wife's sister, Mrs. Wasson and family, who resided about twelve miles from Dixon, Lee County, in this State. While he was there a Mr. J. H. Reynolds, sheriff of Jackson County, Missouri (so he says), and Mr. Harmon Wilson, of Carthage, arrived at Dixon, professing to be Mormon preachers; from thence they proceeded to Mr. Wasson's, at whose house Mr. Smith was staying. They found Mr. Smith outside of the door, and accosted him in a very uncouth, ungentlemanly manner, quite in keeping however with the common practice of Missourians. [The language here is so profane that we omit as far as the narrative will permit.] They then hurried him off to a carriage that they had, and without serving process, were for hurrying him off without letting him see or bid farewell to his family or friends. Mr. Smith then said: 'Gentlemen, if you
have any legal process I wish to obtain a writ of habeas corpus,' and was answered, 'G-d d-n you, you shan't have one.' Mr. Smith saw a friend of his passing and said, 'These men are kidnapping me, and I wish a writ of habeas corpus to deliver myself out of their hands.' This friend immediately proceeded to Dixon, whence the sheriff also proceeded full speed. On arriving at the house of Mr. McKennie, tavern keeper, Mr. Smith was thrust into a room and guarded there without being allowed to see anybody, and horses were ordered in five minutes. Mr. Smith then stated to Reynolds: 'I wish to get counsel,' and was answered, G-d d-n you, you shan't have counsel, one word more, G-d d-n you, and I'll shoot you.' 'What is the use of this so often,' said Mr. Smith, 'I have often told you to shoot, and I now tell you again to shoot away;' and seeing a person passing he said, 'I am falsely imprisoned here, and I want a lawyer.' A lawyer came, and had the door banged in his face with the old threat of shooting if he came any nearer; another afterwards came and received the same treatment. Many of the citizens of Dixon, by this time being apprised of his situation, stepped forward and gave the sheriff to understand that if that was their mode of doing business in Missouri, they had another way of doing it here; that they were law-abiding people, and republicans; that Mr. Smith should have justice done him and have the opportunity of a fair trial; but that if they persisted in their course, they had a very summary way of dealing with such people;-and gave them to understand that Mr. Smith should not go without a fair and impartial trial. Mr. Reynolds finding further resistance to be useless, allowed one or two attorneys to come to Mr. Smith, who gave them to understand that he had been taken up without process; that they had insulted and abused him, and he wanted a writ of habeas corpus. Up to this time they had altogether refused to allow the counsel to have private conversation with him.
A writ was sued out by Mr. Smith against Harmon Wilson for a violation of the law in relation to writs of habeas corpus, the said violation consisting in said Wilson having transferred said Smith to the custody of Reynolds for the purpose
of removing Mr. Smith to Missouri, and thereby avoiding the effect and operation of said writ contrary to law.
"There was also another writ sued out from the Circuit Court of Lee County, in favor of Mr. Smith, against Reynolds and Wilson, for private damage, for false imprisonment, upon the ground that the writ issued by the Governor of Illinois was a void writ in law, upon which said writ said Reynolds and Wilson were held to bail; and were in the custody of the sheriff of Lee County. Reynolds and Wilson obtained a writ of habeas corpus for the purpose of being discharged before Judge Young, of Quincy, but they did not go before Judge Young, but gave bail at Carthage for their appearance at the Circuit Court of Lee County in said action.
"Mr. Smith obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the Master in Chancery of Lee County, returnable before the Hon. John D. Caton, judge of the ninth judicial circuit, at Ottawa, upon which said writ Mr. Smith was conveyed by Reynolds and Wilson towards Ottawa as far as Pawpaw Grove, at which last-mentioned place it was ascertained that Judge Caton was on a visit to New York; upon which the party, Messrs. Smith, Reynolds, Wilson, and others in company returned to Dixon, where another writ was issued by the said Master in Chancery, in favor of Smith, returnable before the nearest tribunal in the fifth judicial circuit authorized to hear and determine writs of habeas corpus. It was ascertained that the nearest tribunal authorized to hear and determine upon writs of habeas corpus, was at Nauvoo. On their arrival at Nauvoo a writ of habeas corpus was sued out before and made returnable to the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo, directed to Mr. Reynolds, upon which said writ Mr. Reynolds did produce the body of said Smith before said court, objecting however to the jurisdiction of said court. It was ascertained by the counsel for said Smith that the Municipal Court had full and ample power to hear and determine upon writs of habeas corpus. Upon examination before said court he was discharged from said arrest upon the merits of said case, and upon the further ground of substantial defects in said writ so issued by the Governor of the State of Illinois. . . .
"MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE CITY OF NAUVOO, ILLINOIS.
"Second day of special term, July 1, 1843.
"Before Alderman William Marks, Acting Chief Justice; and Aldermen Daniel H. Wells, Newel K. Whitney, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, and Hiram Kimball, Associate Justices; presiding.
"Exparte Joseph Smith, } Messrs. Walker, Patrick, and
"On Habeas Corpus. } Southwick, Counsel for Smith.
"Mr. Mason, Counsel for Reynolds.
"This case came before the court upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, which was issued by this court, on the 30th of June, 1843, upon the petition of Joseph Smith, Senior, as follows:-
"STATE OF ILLINOIS,} Sect.
"City of Nauvoo. }
"To the Honorable the Municipal Court of the City of Nauvoo, Hancock County and State of Illinois:-
"Your petitioner, Joseph Smith, Sr., who has been arrested by and under the name of Joseph Smith, Jr., states on oath that he is now detained as a prisoner, and in the custody of Joseph H. Reynolds, in the said city of Nauvoo, and State of Illinois, who claims to be the agent of the State of Missouri; and that your petitioner was arrested by one Harmon G. Wilson, by virtue of what purports to be a warrant issued by His Excellency, Thomas Ford, Governor of the State of Illinois, in the county of Lee, and State of Illinois; and by said Wilson your petitioner was delivered into the custody of said Joseph E. Reynolds, at and within the county of Lee, aforesaid; that said supposed warrant, so issued by His Excellency, Thomas Ford, Governor as aforesaid, and the arrest thereupon, and the imprisonment consequent thereupon, by said Wilson, and afterward by said Joseph H. Reynolds, is illegal, and in violation of law, and without the authority of law, as he is informed and verily believes, for the following, besides other reasons; to wit:-
"1st. The said supposed warrant so issued by the said Governor of the State of Illinois, as aforesaid, does not confer any authority to arrest your petitioner, for that it commands the officers therein named to arrest one Joseph Smith, Jr.,
whereas the name of your petitioner is Joseph Smith, Sr., and your petitioner avers that he is not known and reputed by the name of Joseph Smith, Jr.
"2d. The said supposed warrant is defective and void, for that it does not recite that the Joseph Smith, Jr., mentioned therein, has been demanded by the Executive of the State of Missouri, of the Executive of the State of Illinois.
"3d. Said supposed warrant is defective and void, for that it does not state that said Joseph Smith, Jr., therein named, has been indicted or that any other legal accusation of any offense has been legally preferred, and is as pending against him in the said State of Missouri.
"4th. It is defective and void, for that it does not show that any legal foundation was furnished by the Executive of the State of Missouri, upon which to issue the same; and your petitioner avers that the same was issued without due authority of law.
"5th. Said supposed warrant is in other respects defective and void.
"6th. The said Joseph E. Reynolds has no authority to detain your petitioner in custody; for that he is not an officer of the State of Illinois, nor is he legally authorized by the said Governor of the State of Illinois, or otherwise, as the agent of the State of Missouri, in the State of Illinois, or in any other character and capacity to imprison your petitioner within the said State of Illinois.
"7th. Your petitioner before the making of the said arrest upon which he is now detained and imprisoned, had been arrested for the same cause, and upon a charge for the same offense, for which he is now arrested and imprisoned, by virtue of a warrant issued by the Governor of the said State of Illinois, upon a requisition of the executive authority of the said State of Missouri, and was discharged from said arrest and imprisonment by judgment of the Circuit Court of Warren County, at a court holden in the said county of Warren, in or about the month of June, A. D. 1841, in such manner as not to be liable to the said second arrest for the same cause.
"8th. Your petitioner is not a fugitive from justice, and
has not fled from the justice of the said State of Missouri and he is not guilty and has not been guilty of treason in or against the said State of Missouri.
"9th. Your petitioner was not, and has not been within the limits of the said State of Missouri, for more than four years next, before the making of said arrest and imprisonment whereby he is now detained, nor for or during four years before any indictment or other legal accusation was preferred against him.
"10th. Your petitioner avers that the said supposed warrant, so issued by the said Governor of the said State of Illinois, and under color of which your petitioner is now imprisoned, and the document purporting to be an authority to receive the said Joseph Smith, Jr., are wholly defective and insufficient to legally authorize the arrest and imprisonment of your petitioner: copies of which supposed warrant and the supposed authority from the Executive of the State of Missouri are hereunto annexed.
"Wherefore your petitioner prays that a writ of habeas corpus may be awarded, directed to the said Joseph H. Reynolds, commanding him that he bring your petitioner forthwith and without delay, before this honorable court, together with the causes of his caption and detention, in order that your petitioner may be dealt with according to law; and your petitioner as in duty bound, will ever pray.
"JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.
"Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 30th day of June, A. D. 1843, at the City of Nauvoo, Illinois.
"Clerk of the Municipal Court, of the City of Nauvoo.
"STATE: of ILLINOIS,} Sct.
"City of Nauvoo. }
"The People of the State of Illinois to the Marshal of said City; Greeting:-
"Whereas application has been made before the Municipal Court of said city that the body of one Joseph Smith, Sr., of the said city of Nauvoo (who is styled in the warrant by which he is held in custody, Joseph Smith, Jr.), is in the
custody of Joseph H. Reynolds,-These are therefore to command the said Joseph H. Reynolds to safely have the body of the said Joseph Smith, Sr., who is styled Joseph Smith, Jr., in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention, by whatever name the said Joseph Smith, Sr., may be known or called, before the Municipal Court of said city forthwith, to abide such order as the said court shall make in their behalf: and further, if the said Joseph H. Reynolds or other person or persons having said Joseph Smith, Sr., of said city of Nauvoo in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you, the marshal of said city, or other person authorized to serve the same, are hereby required to arrest the person or persons so refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid, and bring him or them, together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal Court aforesaid, to be dealt with according to law; and herein fail not, and bring this writ with you.
"Witness, James Sloan, Clerk of the Municipal Court at Nauvoo, this 30th day of June [L. S.] in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-three.
"James Sloan, Clerk.
"I, Joseph H. Reynolds, the within named, do hereby return this writ, with the body of Joseph Smith, with the following cause of caption and detention; to wit: The within named Joseph Smith was arrested on a warrant issued by the Governor of the State of Illinois, by one Harmon T. Wilson, a constable of Hancock County, in the State of Illinois, on the 23d day of June, A. D. 1843, a copy of which warrant is hereunto annexed and marked letter B, and delivered over to my custody as directed by said writ. The person of said Smith was, on said 23d of June, in the county of Lee and State of Illinois, by the said Wilson delivered over to my custody, and that I received and detained the said Smith in my custody by virtue of a certain warrant of attorney issued by the Governor of the State of Missouri, a copy of which is hereto
annexed, and marked letter B, directing me to receive the said Smith, and convey him to and deliver him to the sheriff of Daviess County in the State of Missouri, and that the within detention referred to, is the same referred to, and none other.
"JOSEPH H. REYNOLDS.
"NAUVOO, June 30, 1843.
"Executive Department, City of JEFFERSON.
"Know ye that I, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of the State of Missouri, having full trust and confidence in the integrity and abilities of Joseph H. Reynolds, do hereby constitute and appoint him as the agent of the said State of Missouri, to proceed to the State of Illinois, for the purpose of receiving from the proper authorities of that State, one Joseph Smith, Jr., charged with treason by him committed against the State of Missouri, and as having fled from justice to the State of Illinois, and I do hereby authorize and direct said Joseph H. Reynolds to convey said Joseph Smith, Jr., from the State of Illinois, and deliver him to the custody of the sheriff of Daviess County in the State of Missouri.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused to be affixed the
[L. S.] great seal of the State of Missouri.
"Done at the city of Jefferson this 13th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three. By the Governor,
"JAMES L. MINOR, Secretary of State
"Thomas Ford, Governor of the State of Illinois, to all Sheriffs and Constables of any County of the State, and to Harmon T. Wilson, of the County of Hancock; Greeting:-
"Whereas it has been made known to me by the executive authority of the State of Missouri, that one Joseph Smith, Jr., stands charged with the crime of treason, against the State of Missouri, and alleged that Joseph Smith, Jr., has fled from the justice of the said State of Missouri, and taken refuge in the State of Illinois,
"Now therefore I, Thomas Ford, Governor of the State of Illinois, pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, do hereby command you to arrest
and apprehend the said Joseph Smith, Jr., if he be found within the limits of the State aforesaid, and cause him to be safely kept and delivered to the custody of Joseph H. Reynolds, Esq., who has been duly constituted the agent of the said State of Missouri to receive the said fugitive from the justice of said State, he paying all fees and charges for the arrest and apprehension of said Joseph Smith, Jr., and make due returns to the executive department of this State of the manner in which this writ may be executed.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of
[L. S.] the State to be affixed.
"Done at the city of Springfield, this 17th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, and of the independence of the United States the sixty-seventh.
"By the Governor, THOMAS FORD.
"THOMAS CAMPBELL, Secretary of State.
"The following witnesses were examined, viz.: Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young, George W. Pitkin, Lyman Wight, and Sidney Rigdon.
"Hyrum Smith sworn. Said that the defendant now in court is his brother, and that his name is not Joseph Smith, Jr., but his name is Joseph Smith, Sr., and has been for more than two years past. I have been acquainted with him ever since he was born, which was thirty-seven years in December last, and I have not been absent from him at any one time, not even the space of six months since his birth, to my recollection, and have been intimately acquainted with all his sayings, doings, business transactions and movements, as much as any one man could be acquainted with another man's business up to the present time, and do know that he has not committed treason against any State in the Union, by any overt act, or by levying war, or by aiding and abetting or assisting an enemy in any State in the Union, and that the said Joseph Smith, Sr., has not committed treason in the State of Missouri, nor violated any law or rule of said State, I being personally acquainted with the transactions and doings of said Smith whilst he resided in said
State, which was for about six months in the year 1838; I being also a resident in said State during the same period of time, and I do know that said Joseph Smith, Sr., never was subject to military duty in any State, neither was he in the State of Missouri, he being exempt by the amputation or extraction of a bone from his leg, and by his having a license to preach the gospel, or being, in other words, a minister of the gospel; and I do know that said Smith never bore arms, as a military man, in any capacity whatever, whilst in the State of Missouri, or previous to that time; neither has he given any orders or assumed any command in any capacity whatever; but I do know that whilst he was in the State of Missouri, that the people commonly called Mormons were threatened with violence and extermination, and on or about the first Monday in August, 1838, at the election at Gallatin, the county seat in Daviess County, the citizens who were commonly called Mormons were forbidden to exercise the rights of franchise, and from that unhallowed circumstance an affray commenced, and a fight ensued among the citizens of that place, and from that time a mob commenced gathering in that county, threatening the extermination of the Mormons.
"The said Smith and myself upon hearing that mobs were collecting together, and that they had also murdered two of the citizens of the same place, and would not suffer them to be buried, . . . went over to Daviess County to learn the particulars of the affray, but upon our arrival at Diahman, we learned that none were killed but several were wounded; we tarried all night at Colonel Lyman Wight's. The next morning the weather being very warm and having been very dry for some time previously, the springs and wells in that region were dried up; on mounting our horses to return, we rode up to Mr. Black's, who was then an acting justice of the peace, to obtain some water for ourselves and horses. Some few of the citizens accompanied us there, and after obtaining the refreshment of water, Mr. Black was asked by said Joseph Smith, Sr., if he would use his influence to see that the laws were faithfully executed and to put down mob violence, and he gave us a paper, written by his own hand,
stating that he would do so. He also requested him to call together the most influential men of the county on the next day that we might have an interview with them. To this he acquiesced, and accordingly the next day they assembled at the house of Colonel Wight and entered into a mutual covenant of peace, to put down mob violence and to protect each other in the enjoyment of their rights; after this we all parted with the best of feelings and each man returned to his own home.
"This mutual agreement of peace however did not last long, for but a few days afterwards the mob began to collect again, until several hundreds rendezvoused at Millport, a few miles distant from Diahman. They immediately commenced making aggressions upon the citizens called Mormons, taking away their hogs and cattle, and threatening them with extermination or utter extinction; saying that they had a cannon and there should be no compromise only at its mouth; frequently taking men, women, and children prisoners, whipping them and lacerating their bodies with hickory withes, and tying them to trees and depriving them of food until they were compelled to gnaw the bark from the trees to which they were bound in order to sustain life; treating them in the most cruel manner they could invent or think of, and doing everything they could to excite the indignation of the Mormon people to rescue them, in order that they might make that a pretext of an accusation for the breach of the law, and that they might the better excite the prejudice of the populace and thereby get aid and assistance to carry out their hellish purposes of extermination.
"Immediately on the authentication of these facts, messengers were dispatched from Far West to Austin A. King, judge of the fifth judicial district of the State of Missouri, and also to Major General Atchison, commander in chief of that division, and Brigadier-General Doniphan, giving them information of the existing facts, and demanding immediate assistance. General Atchison returned with the messengers and went immediately to Diahman and from thence to Millport, and he found the facts were true as reported to him; that the citizens of that county were
assembled together in a hostile attitude to the amount of two or three hundred men, threatening the utter extermination of the Mormons. He immediately returned to Clay County and ordered out a sufficient military force to quell the mob. Immediately after they were dispersed, and the army returned, the mob commenced collecting again; soon after, we again applied for military aid, when General Doniphan came out with a force of sixty armed men to Far West; but they were in such a state of insubordination that he said he could not control them, and it was thought advisable by Colonel Hinkle, Mr. Rigdon, and others, that they should return home. General Doniphan ordered Colonel Hinkle to call out the militia of Caldwell and defend the town against the mob, for said he, you have great reason to be alarmed, for he said Neil Gillium from the Platte country had come down with two hundred armed men and had taken up their station at Hunter's mill, a place distant about seventeen or eighteen miles northwest of the town of Far West, and also that an armed force had collected again at Millport, in Daviess County, consisting of several hundred men, and that another armed force had collected at De Witt, in Carroll County, about fifty miles southeast of Far West, where about seventy families of the Mormon people had settled upon the bank of the Missouri River at a little town called De Witt. Immediately a messenger, whilst he was yet talking, came in from De Witt, stating that three or four hundred men had assembled together at that place armed cap-a-pie, and that they threatened the utter extinction of the citizens of that place if they did not leave the place immediately, and that they had also surrounded the town and cut off all supplies of food, so that many of them were suffering with hunger. General Doniphan seemed to be very much alarmed, and appeared to be willing to do all he could to assist, and to relieve the sufferings of the Mormon people; he advised that a petition be immediately got up and sent to the Governor. A petition was accordingly prepared and a messenger dispatched immediately to the Governor, and another petition was sent to Judge King
"The Mormon people throughout the country were in a
great state of alarm, and also in great distress. They saw themselves completely surrounded with armed forces on the north, and on the northwest, and on the south, and also Bogard, who was a Methodist preacher, and who was then a captain over a militia company of fifty soldiers, but who had added to his number out of the surrounding counties about a hundred more, which made his force about one hundred and fifty strong, was stationed at Crooked Creek, sending out his scouting parties, taking men, women, and children prisoners, driving off cattle, hogs, and horses, entering into every house on Log and Long creeks, rifling their houses of their most precious articles, such as money, bedding, and clothing, taking all their old muskets and their rifles or military implements, threatening the people with instant death if they did not deliver up all their precious things, and enter into a covenant to leave the State or go into the city of Far West by the next morning, saying that 'they calculated to drive the people into Far West, and then drive them to hell.' Gillium also was doing the same on the northwest side of Far West; and Sashiel Woods, a Presbyterian minister, was the leader of the mob in Daviess County; and a very noted man of the same society was the leader of the mob in Carroll County; and they were also sending out their scouting parties, robbing and pillaging houses, driving away hogs, horses, and cattle, taking men, women, and children, and carrying them off, threatening their lives and subjecting them to all manner of abuses that they could invent or think of.
"Under this state of alarm, excitement, and distress the messengers returned from the Governor and from the other authorities, bringing the fatal news that the Mormons could have no assistance. They stated that the Governor said that 'the Mormons had got into a difficulty with the citizens, and that they might fight it out for all he cared. He could not render them any assistance.'
"The people of De Witt were obliged to leave their homes and go into Far West; but did not until after many of them had starved to death for want of proper sustenance, and several died on the road there, and were buried by the wayside,
without a coffin or a funeral ceremony, and the distress, sufferings, and privations of the people cannot be expressed. All the scattered families of the Mormon people, in all the counties except Daviess, were driven into Far West, with but few exceptions.
"This only increased their distress, for many thousands who were driven there had no habitations or houses to shelter them, and were huddled together, some in tents and others under blankets, while others had no shelter from the inclemency of the weather. Nearly two months the people had been in this awful state of consternation; many of them had been killed, whilst others had been whipped until they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out.
"About this time General Parks came out from Richmond, Ray County, who was one of the commissioned officers who was sent out to Diahman, and I myself, and my brother, Joseph Smith, Sr., went out at the same time. On the evening that General Parks arrived at Diahman, my brother's, the late Don Carlos Smith's wife, came in to Colonel Wight's about eleven o'clock at night, bringing her two children along with her, one about two years and a half old, the other a babe in her arms. She came in on foot, a distance of three miles, and waded Grand River, and the water was then about waist deep, and the snow about three inches deep. She stated that a party of the mob, a gang of ruffians, had turned her out of doors, had taken her household goods and had burnt up her house, and she had escaped by the skin of her teeth. Her husband at that time was in Virginia, 1 and she was living alone.
"This cruel transaction excited the feelings of the people in Diahman, especially Colonel Wight, and he asked General Parks in my hearing how long we had got to suffer such base violence. General Parks said he did not know how long. Colonel Wight then asked him what should be done. General Parks told him 'he should take a company of men, well armed, and go and disperse the mob wherever
1This is probably an error. Others say he was in Tennessee.
he should find any collected together, and take away their arms:' Colonel Wight did so precisely, according to the orders of General Parks. And my brother, Joseph Smith, Sr., made no words about it. And after Colonel Wight had dispersed the mob and put a stop to their burning houses belonging to the Mormon people and turning women and children out of doors, which they had done up to that time to the amount of eight or ten houses which were consumed to ashes-after being cut short in their intended designs, the mob started up a new plan. They went to work and moved their families out of the county and set fire to their houses, and not being able to incense the Mormons to commit crimes, they had recourse to this stratagem to set their houses on fire and send runners into all the counties adjacent, to declare to the people that the Mormons had burnt up their houses and destroyed their fields, and if the people would not believe them, they would tell them to go and see if what they had said was not true. Many people came to see; they saw the houses burning, and being filled with prejudice, they could not be made to believe but that the Mormons set them on fire. . . . And the houses that were burnt, together with the preëmption rights, and the corn in the fields, had all been previously purchased by the Mormons of the people, and paid for in money, and with wagons and horses, and with other property, about two weeks before; but they had not taken possession of the premises. But this wicked transaction was for the purpose of clandestinely exciting the minds of a prejudiced populace and the Executive, that they might get an order, that they could the more easily carry out their hellish purposes, in expulsion or extermination or utter extinction of the Mormon people.
"After witnessing the distressed situation of the people in Diahman, my brother, Joseph Smith, Sr., and myself returned back to the city of Far West, and immediately dispatched a messenger with written documents to General Atchison, stating the facts as they did then exist, praying for assistance if possible, and requesting the editor of the Far West to insert the same in his newspaper; but he utterly refused to do so. We still believed that we should get
assistance from the Governor, and again petitioned him, praying for assistance, setting forth our distressed situation; and in the meantime the presiding judge of the county court issued orders-upon affidavits made to him by the citizens-to the sheriff of the county, to order out the militia of the county to stand in constant readiness night and day to prevent the citizens from being massacred, which fearful situation they were exposed to every moment.
"Everything was very portentous and alarming. Notwithstanding all this, there was a ray of hope yet existing in the minds of the people that the Governor would render us assistance; and whilst the people were waiting anxiously for deliverance-men, women, and children frightened, praying and weeping-we beheld at a distance, crossing the prairies and approaching the town, a large army in military array, brandishing their glittering swords in the sunshine, and we could not but feel joyful for a moment, thinking that probably the Governor had sent an armed force to our relief, notwithstanding the awful forebodings that pervaded our breasts. But to our great surprise, when the army arrived they came up and formed a line in double file in one half mile on the east of the city of Far West, and dispatched three messengers with a white flag to come to the city. They were met by Captain Morey with a few other individuals whose names I do not now recollect. I was myself standing close by, and could very distinctly hear every word they said.
"Being filled with anxiety, I rushed forward to the spot, expecting to hear good news; but alas! and heart-thrilling to every soul that heard them, they demanded three persons to be brought out of the city before they should massacre the rest. The names of the persons they demanded were Adam Lightner, John Cleminson, and his wife. Immediately the three persons were brought forth to hold an interview with the officers who had made the demand, and the officers told them they had now a chance to save their lives, for they calculated to destroy the people and lay the city in ashes. They replied to the officers and said, 'If the people must be destroyed, and the city burned to ashes, they would
remain in the city and die with them.' The officers immediately returned, and the army retreated and encamped about a mile and a half from the city. A messenger was immediately dispatched with a white flag from the colonel of the militia of Far West, requesting an interview with General Atchison and General Doniphan; but as the messenger approached the camp, he was shot at by Bogart, the Methodist preacher. The name of the messenger was Charles C. Rich, who is now Brigadier-General in the Nauvoo Legion. However, he gained permission to see General Doniphan; he also requested an interview with General Atchison. General Doniphan said that General Atchison had been dismounted by a special order of the Governor a few miles back, and had been sent back to Liberty, Clay County. He also stated that the reason was that he (Atchison) was too merciful unto the Mormons, and Boggs would not let him have the command, but had given it to General Lucas, who was from Jackson County, and whose heart had become hardened by his former acts of rapine and bloodshed, he being one of the leaders in murdering, driving, plundering, and burning some two or three hundred houses belonging to the Mormon people in that county in the years 1833 and 1834.
"Mr. Rich requested General Doniphan 2 to spare the people, and not suffer them to be massacred until the next morning, it then being evening. He coolly agreed that he would not, and also said that 'he had not as yet received the Governor's order, but expected it every hour, and should not make any further move until he had received it; but he would not make any promises so far as regarded Neil Gillium's army,' he having arrived a few minutes previously, and joined the main body of the army; he knowing well at what hour to form a junction with the main body. Mr. Rich then returned to the city, giving this information. The colonel immediately dispatched a second messenger with a white flag, to request another interview with General Doniphan, in order to touch his sympathy and compassion, and if it were possible, for him to use his best endeavors to preserve the lives of the people. On the
2We think this name should be Lucas.
return of this messenger we learned that several persons had been killed by some of the soldiers who were under the command of General Lucas. One Mr. Carey had his brains knocked out by the breech of a gun, and he lay bleeding several hours; but his family were not permitted to approach him, nor anyone else allowed to administer relief to him whilst he lay upon the ground in the agonies of death. Mr. Carey had just arrived in the country from the State of Ohio, only a few hours previous to the arrival of the army. He had a family, consisting of a wife and several small children. He was buried by Lucius N. Scovil, who is now the senior warden of the Nauvoo Lodge. Another man, of the name of John Tanner, was knocked on the head at the same time, and his skull laid bare the width of a man's hand, and he lay, to all appearance, in the agonies of death for several hours; but by the permission of General Doniphan his friends brought him out of the camp, and with good nursing he slowly recovered, and is now living. There was another man whose name is Powell, who was beat on the head with the breech of a gun until his skull was fractured and his brains run out in two or three places. He is now alive and resides in this county, but has lost the use of his senses. Several persons of his family were also left for dead, but have since recovered. These acts of barbarity were also committed by the soldiers under the command of General Lucas, previous to having received the Governor's order of extermination.
"It was on the evening of the 30th of October, according to the best of my recollection, that the army arrived at Far West, the sun about half an hour high. In a few moments afterwards Cornelius Gillium arrived with his army, and formed a junction. This Gillium had been stationed at Hunter's Mills for about two months previous to that time, committing depredations upon the inhabitants, capturing men, women, and children, and carrying them off as prisoners, lacerating their bodies with hickory withes. The army of 'Gillum' were painted like Indians; some of them were more conspicuous than were others, designated by red spots, and he also was painted in a similar manner, with red
spots marked on his face, and styled himself 'the Delaware chief.' They would whoop, and halloo, and yell as nearly like Indians as they could, and continued to do so all that night. In the morning early the colonel of militia sent a messenger into the camp with a white flag, to have another interview with General Doniphan. On his return he informed us that the Governor's order had arrived. General Doniphan said that 'the order of the Governor was, to exterminate the Mormons by God, but he would be damned if he obeyed that order; but General Lucas might do what he pleased.' We immediately learned from General Doniphan that 'the Governor's order that had arrived was only a copy of the original, and that the original order was in the hands of Major-General Clark, who was on his nay to Far West with an additional army of six thousand men.' Immediately after this there came into the city a messenger from Haun's Mill, bringing the intelligence of an awful massacre of the people who were residing in that place, and that a force of two or three hundred, detached from the main body of the army, under the superior command of Colonel Ashley, but under the immediate command of Captain Nehemiah Comstock, who the day previous had promised them peace and protection, but on receiving a copy of the Governor's order 'to exterminate or to expel from the hands of Colonel Ashley, he returned upon them the following day and surprised and massacred the whole population of the town, and then came on to the town of Far West and entered into conjunction with the main body of the army. The messenger informed us that he himself with a few others fled into the thickets, which preserved them from the massacre, and on the following morning they returned and collected the dead bodies of the people and cast them into a well; and there were upwards of twenty who were dead or mortally wounded, and there are several of the wounded who are now living in this city. One, of the name of Yocum, has lately had his leg amputated in consequence of wounds he then received. He had a ball shot through his head, which entered near his eye and came out at the back part of his head, and another ball passed through one of his arms.
"The army, during all the while they had been encamped in Far West, continued to lay waste fields of corn, making hogs, sheep, and cattle common plunder, and shooting them down for sport. One man shot a cow and took a strip of her skin, the width of his hand, from her head to her tail and tied it around a tree to slip his halter into, to tie his horse to. The city was surrounded with a strong guard, and no man, woman, or child was permitted to go out or come in, under the penalty of death. Many of the citizens were shot in attempting to go out to obtain sustenance for themselves and families. There was one field fenced in, consisting of twelve hundred acres, mostly covered with corn. It was entirely laid waste by the horses of the army, and the next day after the arrival of the army, towards evening, Colonel Hinkle came up from the camp, requesting to see my brother Joseph, Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and George W. Robinson, stating that the officers of the army wanted a mutual consultation with those men; also stating that Generals Doniphan, Lucas, Wilson, and Graham,-however, General Graham is an honorable exception, he did all he could to preserve the lives of the people, contrary to the order of the Governor,-he (Hinkle) assured them that these generals had pledged their sacred honor that they should not be abused or insulted, but should be guarded back in safety in the morning, or so soon as the consultation was over. My brother Joseph replied that he did not know what good he could do in any consultation, as he was only a private individual; however, he said he was always willing to do all the good he could and would obey every law of the land, and then leave the event with God. They immediately started with Colonel Hinkle to go down into the camp. As they were going down about half way to the camp they met General Lucas with a phalanx of men, with a wing to the right and to the left and a four-pounder in the center. They supposed he was coming with this strong force to guard them into the camp in safety; but to their surprise, when they came up to General Lucas he ordered his men to surround them, and Hinkle stepped up to the General and said, 'These are the prisoners I agreed to deliver up.'
General Lucas drew his sword and said, 'Gentlemen, you are my prisoners;' and about that time the main army were on their march to meet them. They came up in two divisions, and opened to the right and left, and my brother and his friends were marched down through their lines, with a strong guard in front and a cannon in the rear, to the camp, amidst the whoopings, hallooings, yellings, and shoutings of the army, which was so horrid and terrific that it frightened the inhabitants of the city.
"It is impossible to describe the feelings of horror and distress of the people. After being thus betrayed they were placed under a strong guard of thirty men, armed cap-a-pie, which they relieved every two hours. There they were compelled to lay on the cold ground that night, and were told in plain language that they need never to expect their liberties again. So far for their honors pledged. However, this was as much as could be expected from a mob under the garb of military and executive authority in the State of Missouri. On the next day the soldiers were permitted to patrol the streets, to abuse and insult the people at their leisure, and enter into houses and pillage them, and ravish the women, taking away every gun and every other kind of arms or military implements; and about twelve o'clock on that day Colonel Hinkle came to my house with an armed force, opened the door and called me out of doors, and delivered me up as a prisoner unto that force. They surrounded me and commanded me to march into the camp. I told them that I could not go: my family were sick, and I was sick myself, and could not leave home. They said they did not care for that-I must and should go. I asked when they would permit me to return. They made me no answer, but forced me along with the point of the bayonet into the camp, and put me under the same guard with my brother Joseph; and within about half an hour afterwards Amasa Lyman was also brought and placed under the same guard. There we were compelled to stay all that night, and lie on the ground; but along sometime in the same night Colonel Hinkle came to me and told me that he had been pleading my case before the court-martial, but he was afraid he should
not succeed. He said there was a court-martial then in session, consisting of thirteen or fourteen officers, Circuit Judge A. A. King, and Mr. Birch, district attorney; also Sashiel Woods, Presbyterian priest, and about twenty other priests of the different religious denominations in that country. He said they were determined to shoot us on the next morning in the public square in Far West. I made him no reply.
"On the next morning about sunrise General Doniphan ordered his brigade to take up the line of march and leave the camp. He came to us where we were under guard, to shake hands with us, and bid us farewell. His first salutation was, 'By God, you have been sentenced by the court-martial to be shot this morning; but I will be damned if I will have any of the honor of it, or any of the disgrace of it; therefore I have ordered my brigade to take up the line of march and to leave the camp, for I consider it to be cold-blooded murder, and I bid you farewell;' and he went away. This movement of General Doniphan made considerable excitement in the army, and there was considerable whisperings amongst the officers. We listened very attentively, and frequently heard it mentioned by the guard that the damned Mormons would not be shot this time. In a few moments the guard was relieved with a new set; one of those new guards said that the damned Mormons would not be shot this time, for the movement of General Doniphan had frustrated the whole plan, and that the officers had called another court-martial, and had ordered us to be taken to Jackson County, and there to be executed; and in a few moments two large wagons drove up and we were ordered to get into them, and while we were getting into them, there came up four or five men armed with guns, who drew up and snapped their guns at us, in order to kill us. Some flashed in the pan, and others only snapped, but none of their guns went off. They were immediately arrested by several officers and their guns taken from them, and the drivers drove off.
"We requested of General Lucas to let us go to our houses and get some clothing. In order to do this we had to
be driven up into the city. It was with much difficulty that we could get his permission to go and see our families and get some clothing; but after considerable consultation we were permitted to go under a strong guard of five or six men to each of us, and we were not permitted to speak to any one of our families, under the pain of death. The guard that went with me ordered my wife to get me some clothes immediately, within two minutes, and if she did not do it I should go off without them. I was obliged to submit to their tyrannical orders, however painful it was, with my wife and children clinging to my arms and to the skirts of my garments, and was not permitted to utter to them a word of consolation, and in a moment was hurried away from them at the point of the bayonet. We were hurried back to the wagons and ordered into them, all in about the same space of time. In the meanwhile our father, and mother, and sisters, had forced their way to the wagons to get permission to see us, but were forbidden to speak to us; and they immediately drove off for Jackson County.
"We traveled about twelve miles that evening, and encamped for the night. The same strong guard was kept around us, and were relieved every two hours, and we were permitted to sleep on the ground. The nights were then cold, with considerable snow on the ground, and for the want of covering and clothing we suffered extremely with the cold. That night was a commencement of a fit of sickness from which I have not wholly recovered unto this day, in consequence of my exposure to the inclemency of the weather. Our provision was fresh beef roasted in the fire on a stick, the army having no bread in consequence of the want of mills to grind the grain. In the morning at the dawn of day we were forced on our journey, and were exhibited to the inhabitants along the road, the same as they exhibit a caravan of elephants or camels. We were examined from head to foot, by men, women, and children; only I believe they did not make us open our mouths to look at our teeth. This treatment was continued incessantly, until we arrived at Independence, in Jackson County. After our arrival at Independence we were driven all through the
town for inspection, and then we were ordered into an old log house, and there kept under guard as usual, until supper, which was served up to us as we sat upon the floor, or on billets of wood, and we were compelled to stay in that house all that night and the next day.
"They continued to exhibit us to the public, by letting the people come in and examine us, and then go away and give place for others, alternately all that day and the next night; but on the morning of the following day we were all permitted to go to the tavern to eat and to sleep; but afterward they made us pay our own expenses for board, lodging, and attendance, and for which they made a most exhorbitant [exorbitant] charge. We remained in the tavern about two days and two nights, when an officer arrived with authority from General Clark, to take us back to Richmond, Ray County, where the General had arrived with his army to await our arrival there; but on the morning of our start for Richmond, we were informed by General Wilson that it was expected by the soldiers that we would be hung up by the necks on the road, while on the march to that place, and that it was prevented by a demand made for us by General Clark, who had the command in consequence of seniority, and that it was his prerogative to execute us himself; and he should give us up into the hands of the officer, who would take us to General Clark, and he might do with us as he pleased.
"During our stay at Independence, the officers informed us that there were eight or ten horses in that place belonging to the Mormon people, which had been stolen by the soldiers, and that we might have two of them to ride upon, if we would cause them to be sent back to the owners after our arrival at Richmond. We accepted of them, and they were rode to Richmond, and the owners came there and got them.
"We started in the morning under our new officer, Colonel Price, of Keytsville, Chariton County, with several other men to guard us over. We arrived there on Friday evening, the 9th day of November, and were thrust into an old log house, with a strong guard placed over us. After we had been there for the space of half an hour there came in a man who was said to have some notoriety in the penitentiary,
bringing in his hands a quantity of chains and padlocks. He said he was commanded by General Clark to put us in chains. Immediately the soldiers rose up and pointing their guns at us, placed their thumb on the cock, and their finger on the trigger; and the State's prison keeper went to work, putting a chain around the leg of each man, and fastening it on with a padlock, until we were all chained together, seven of us.
"In a few moments came in General Clark. We requested to know of him what was the cause of all this harsh and cruel treatment. He refused to give us any information at that time, but said he would in a few days; so we were compelled to continue in that situation, camping on the floor, all chained together, without any chance or means to be made comfortable, having to eat our victuals as it was served up to us, using our fingers and teeth instead of knives and forks.
"Whilst we were in this situation, a young man of the name of Grant, brother-in-law to my brother William Smith, came to see us, and put up at the tavern where General Clark made his quarters. He happened to come in time to see General Clark make choice of his men to shoot us on Monday morning, the 12th day of November. He saw them make choice of their rifles, and load them with two balls in each, and after they had prepared their guns, General Clark saluted them by saying, 'Gentlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the Mormon leaders on Monday morning at eight o'clock! But in consequence of the influence of our friends, the heathen General was intimidated, so that he durst not carry his murderous designs into execution, and sent a messenger immediately to Fort Leavenworth to obtain the military code of laws. After the messenger's return, the General was employed nearly a whole week, examining the laws; so Monday passed away without our being shot. However, it seemed like foolishness to me for so great a man as General Clark pretended to be, should have to search the military law to find out whether preachers of the gospel, who never did military duty, could be subject to court-martial. However, the General seemed to learn that fact
after searching the military code, and came into the old log cabin where we were under guard, and in chains, and told us he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities, as persons guilty of treason, murder, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing. The poor deluded General did not know the difference between theft, larceny, and stealing.
"Accordingly we were handed over to the pretended civil authorities, and the next morning our chains were taken off, and we were guarded to the courthouse, where there was a pretended court in session; Austin A. King being the judge, and Mr. Birch, the district attorney, the two extremely and very honorable gentlemen who sat on the court-martial when we were sentenced to be shot. Witnesses were called up and sworn at the point of the bayonet, and if they would not swear to the things they were told to do, they were threatened with instant death; and I do know, positively, that the evidence given in by those men, whilst under duress, was false. This state of things was continued twelve or fourteen days, and after that time we were ordered by the Judge to introduce some rebutting evidence, saying if we did not do it, we would be thrust into prison. I could hardly understand what the Judge meant, for I considered we were in prison already, and could not think of anything but the persecutions of the days of Nero, knowing that it was a religious persecution, and the court an inquisition. However, we gave him the names of forty persons who were acquainted with all the persecutions and sufferings of the people. The Judge made out a subpna, and inserted the names of those men, and caused it to be placed in the hands of Bogart, the notorious Methodist minister, and he took fifty armed soldiers and started for Far West. I saw the subpna given to him and his company when they started.
"In the course of a few days they returned with most all those forty men whose names were inserted in the subpna, and thrust them into jail, and we were not permitted to bring one of them before the court; but the judge turned upon us with an air of indignation and said, 'Gentlemen, you must get your witnesses or you shall be committed to jail immediately; for we are not going to hold the court open on expense
much longer for you anyhow.' We felt very much distressed and oppressed at that time. Colonel Wight said, 'What shall we do? Our witnesses are all thrust into prison. and probably will be, and we have no power to do anything; of course we must submit to this tyranny and oppression; we cannot help ourselves.' Several others made similar expressions in the agony of their souls; but my brother Joseph did not say anything, he being sick at that time with the toothache and ague in his face, in consequence of a severe cold brought on by being exposed to the severity of the weather. However, it was considered best by General Doniphan and Lawyer Reese that we should try to get some witnesses before the pretended court; accordingly I myself gave the names of about twenty other persons. The judge inserted them in a subpna and caused it to be placed in the hands of Bogart, the Methodist priest, and he again started off with his fifty soldiers to take those men prisoners, as he had done to the forty others. The judge sat and laughed at the good opportunity of getting the names, that they might the more easily capture them, and so bring them down to be thrust into prison, in order to prevent us from getting the truth before the pretended court, of which himself was the chief inquisitor or conspirator. Bogart returned from his second expedition with one prisoner only, whom he also thrust into prison.
"The people at Far West had learned the intrigue and had left the State, having been made acquainted with the treatment of the former witnesses. But we, on learning that we could not obtain witnesses, whilst privately consulting with each other what we should do, discovered a Mr. Allen standing by the window on the outside of the house. We beckoned to him as though we would have him come in. He immediately came in. At that time Judge King retorted upon us again, saying, 'Gentlemen, are you not going to introduce some witnesses?' Also saying it was the last day he should hold the court open for us, and if we did not rebut the testimony that had been given against us, he should have to commit us to jail. I had then got Mr. Allen into the house, and before the court, so-called. I told the judge we
had one witness, if he would be so good as to put him under oath. He seemed unwilling to do so; but after a few moments consultation, the State's attorney arose and said he should object to that witness being sworn, and that he should object to that witness giving in his evidence at all, stating that this was not a court to try the case, but only a court of investigation on the part of the State. Upon this General Doniphan arose and said 'he would be God damned if the witness should not be sworn, and that it was a damned shame that these defendants should be treated in this manner; that they could not be permitted to get one witness before the court, whilst all their witnesses, even forty at a time, have been taken by force of arms, and thrust into the "bull pen" in order to prevent them from giving their testimony.' After Doniphan sat down the judge permitted the witness to be sworn and enter upon his testimony. But so soon as he began to speak, a man by the name of Cook, who was a brother-in-law to Priest Bogart, the Methodist, and who was a lieutenant, and whose place at that time was to superintend the guard, stepped in before the pretended court and took him by the nape of his neck and jammed his head down under the pole or log of wood that was placed up around the place where the inquisition was sitting to keep the bystanders from intruding upon the majesty of the inquisitors, and jammed him along to the door, and kicked him out of doors. He instantly turned to some soldiers who were standing by him, and said to them, 'Go and shoot him, damn him, shoot him, damn him.'
"The soldiers ran after the man to shoot him; he fled for his life, and with great difficulty made his escape. The pretended court immediately arose, and we were ordered to be carried to Liberty, Clay County, and there to be thrust into jail. We endeavored to find out for what cause, but all that we could learn was because we were Mormons. The next morning a large wagon drove up to the door, and a blacksmith came into the house with some chains and handcuffs. He said his orders were from the judge, to handcuff us and chain us together. He informed us that the judge had made out a mittimus, and sentenced us to jail for treason; he also
said the judge had done this that we might not get bail; he also said the judge stated his intention to keep us in jail until all the Mormons were driven out of the State; he also said that the judge had further stated that if he let us out before the Mormons had left the State, that we would not let them leave, and there would be another damned fuss kicked up. I also heard the judge say myself, whilst he was sitting in his pretended court, that there was no law for us, nor the Mormons, in the State of Missouri; that he had sworn to see them exterminated, and to see the Governor's order executed to the very letter, and that he would do so.
"However, the blacksmith proceeded and put the irons upon us, and we were ordered into the wagon, and they drove off for Clay County, and as we journeyed along on the road we were exhibited to the inhabitants, and this course was adopted all the way, thus making a public exhibition of us until we arrived at Liberty, Clay County. There we were thrust into prison again, and locked up; and were held there in close confinement for the space of six months, and our place of lodging was the square side of a hewed white oak log, and our food was anything but good and decent. Poison was administered to us three or four times. The effect it had upon our system, was, that it vomited us almost to death, and then we would lay some two or three days in a torpid, stupid state, not even caring or wishing for life; the poison being administered in too large doses, or it would inevitably have proved fatal, had not the power of Jehovah interposed in our behalf to save us from their wicked purpose. We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh, for the space of five days, or go without food, except a little coffee, or a little corn bread. The latter I chose in preference to the former. We none of us partook of the flesh except Lyman Wight. We also heard the guard which was placed over us making sport of us, saying that they had fed us upon 'Mormon beef.' I have described the appearance of this flesh to several experienced physicians, and they have decided that it was human flesh. We learned afterwards, by one of the guard, that it was supposed that that act of savage cannibalism in feeding us with human
flesh, would be considered a popular deed of notoriety; but the people on learning that it would not take, tried to keep it secret; but the fact was noised abroad before they took that precaution.
"Whilst we were incarcerated in prison we petitioned the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri for habeas corpus, twice, but were refused both times by Judge Reynolds, who is now the Governor of that State. We also petitioned one of the county judges for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted in about three weeks afterwards; but were not permitted to have any trial; we were only taken out of jail and kept out for a few hours and then remanded back again. In the course of three or four days after that time Judge Turnham came into the jail in the evening, and said he had permitted Mr. Rigdon to get bail; but said he had to do it in the night, and had also to get away in the night, and unknown to any of the citizens, or they would kill him, for they had sworn to kill him if they could find him; and as to the rest of us, he dared not let us go, for fear of his own life, as well as ours. He said it was damned hard to be confined under such circumstances, for he knew we were innocent men, and he said the people also knew it; and that it was only a persecution and treachery, and the scenes of Jackson County acted over again, for fear that we would become too numerous in that upper country. He said the plan was concocted from the Governor down to the lowest judge, and that that damned Baptist priest, Riley, who was riding into town every day to watch the people, stirring up the minds of the people against us all he could, exciting them and stirring up their religious prejudices against us, for fear they would let us go. Mr. Rigdon, however, got bail and made his escape to Illinois. The jailor [jailer], Samuel Tillery, Esq., told us also, that the whole plan was concocted by the Governor down to the lowest judge in that upper country, early in the previous spring, and that the plan was more fully carried out at the time that General Atchison went down to Jefferson City, with General Wilson, Lucas, and Gillium, the self-styled 'Delaware chief.' This was sometime in the month of September, when the mob were collected at De Witt, in Carroll
County. He also told us that the Governor was now ashamed enough of the whole transaction and would be glad to set us at liberty if he dared to do it; but said he, you need not be concerned, for the Governor has laid a plan for your release. He also said that Squire Birch, the State's attorney, was appointed to be circuit judge on the circuit passing through Daviess County, and that he (Birch) was instructed to fix the papers, so that we would be sure to be clear from any incumbrance [encumbrance], in a very short time.
"Sometime in April we were taken to Daviess County, as they said, to have a trial; but when we arrived at that place, instead of finding a court or a jury, we found another inquisition, and Birch, who was the district attorney, the same man who was one of the court-martial when we were sentenced to death, was now the circuit judge of that pretended court; 3 and the grand jury that was empanelled [impaneled] were all at the massacre at Haun's Mill, and lively actors in that awful, solemn, disgraceful, cool-blooded murder, and all the pretense they made of excuse was, they had done it because the Governor ordered them to do it. The same jury sat as a jury in the daytime, and were placed over us as a guard in the nighttime; they tantalized and boasted over us, of their great achievements at Haun's Mills, and at other places, telling us how many houses they had burned, and how many sheep, cattle, and hogs they had driven off, belonging to the Mormons, and how many rapes they had committed. . . . This grand jury constantly celebrated their achievements with grog and glass in hand, like the Indian warriors and their war dances, singing and telling each other of their exploits in murdering the Mormons, in plundering their houses and carrying off their property; at the end of every song they would bring in the chorus. [We omit this chorus, as it is too profane for insertion.-Historian.] Then they would pretend to have swooned away into a glorious trance, in order to imitate some of the transactions at camp meetings. Then they would pretend to come out of their trance, and would shout
3Austin A. King was presiding judge, but Judge Birch was circuit judge and was probably associated with King on this trial.
and again slap their hands and jump up, while one would take a bottle of whisky and a tumbler and turn it out full of whisky and pour it down each other's necks, crying, 'Damn it, take it, you must take it;' and if anyone refused to drink the whisky, others would clinch him whilst another poured it down his neck, and what did not go down the inside went down the outside. This is a part of the farce acted out by the grand jury of Daviess County whilst they stood over us as guards for ten nights successively; and all this in the presence of the great Judge Birch, who had previously said in our hearing that there was no law for the Mormons in the State of Missouri. His brother was then acting as district attorney in that circuit, and if anything was a greater cannibal than the judge.
"After all these ten days of drunkenness, we were informed that we were indicted for treason, murder, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing. We asked for a change of venue from that county to Marion County, but they would not grant it; but they gave us a change of venue from Daviess to Boone County, and a mittimus was made out by the pretended Judge Birch, without date, name, or place. They fitted us out with a two-horse wagon, and horses, and four men, besides the sheriff, to be our guard; there were five of us. We started from Gallatin, the sun about two hours high p. m., and went as far as Diahman that evening and staid [stayed] till morning. There we bought two horses of the guard and paid for one of them in our clothing, which we had with us, and for the other we gave our note. We went down that day as far as Judge Morin's, a distance of some four or five miles. There we staid [stayed] until the morning, when we started on our journey to Boone County, and traveled on the road about twenty miles distance. There we bought a jug of whisky, with which we treated the company, and while there the sheriff showed us the mittimus, before referred to, without date or signature, and said that Judge Birch told him never to carry us to Boone County, and never to show the mittimus; 'and' said he, 'I shall take a good drink of grog and go to bed; and you may do as you have a mind to.' Three others of the guard drank pretty freely of
whisky, sweetened with honey; they also went to bed, and were soon asleep, and the other guard went along with us and helped to saddle the horses. Two of us mounted the horses, and the other three started on foot, and we took our change of venue for the State of Illinois, and in the course of nine or ten days arrived safely at Quincy, Adams County, where we found our families in a state of poverty, although in good health; they having been driven out of the State previously, by the murderous militia, under the exterminating order of the Executive of Missouri; and now, the people of that State, a portion of them, would be glad to make the people of this State believe that my brother Joseph has committed treason, for the purpose of keeping up their murderous and hellish persecution; and they seem to be unrelenting, and thirsting for the blood of innocence, for I do know most positively that my brother Joseph has not committed treason, nor violated one solitary item of law or rule in the State of Missouri.
"But I do know that the Mormon people en masse were driven out of that State, after being robbed of all they had, and they barely escaped with their lives, as well as my brother Joseph, who barely escaped with his life; his family also was robbed of all they had, and barely escaped with the skin of their teeth; and all of this in consequence of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, the same being confirmed by the legislature of that State. And I do know-so does this court, and every rational man who is acquainted with the circumstances. and every man who shall hereafter become acquainted with the particulars thereof will know-that Governor Boggs and Generals Clark, Lucas, Wilson, and Gillium, also Austin A. King, have committed treason upon the citizens of Missouri, and did violate the Constitution of the United States, and also the constitution and laws of the State of Missouri; and did exile and expel, at the point of the bayonet, some twelve or fourteen thousand inhabitants from the State, and did murder some three or four hundreds of men, women, and children, in cold blood, and in the most horrid and cruel manner possible. . . .
"But notwithstanding the Mormon people had purchased
upwards of two hundred thousand dollars worth of land, most of which was entered and paid for at the land office of the United States in the State of Missouri-and although the President of the United States has been made acquainted with these facts, and the particulars of our persecutions and oppressions, by petition to him, and to Congress, yet they have not even attempted to restore the Mormons to their rights, or given any assurance that we may hereafter expect redress from them. And I do also know, most positively and assuredly, that my brother, Joseph Smith, Sr., has not been in the State of Missouri since the spring of the year 1839. And further this deponent saith not.
Parley P. Pratt was the next witness. He was an eye witness to much related by Hyrum Smith. He related in detail the difficulties leading up to the attack on Far West, their imprisonment and mock trial. On all important points his testimony was strongly corroborative of Hyrum Smith's.
"George W. Pitkin sworn. Says that he concurs with the preceding witnesses, H. Smith and P. P. Pratt, in all the facts with which he is acquainted; that in the summer of 1838 he was elected sheriff of the county of Caldwell and State of Missouri; that in the fall of the same year, while the county was threatened and infested with mobs, he received an order from Judge Higbee, the presiding judge of said county, to call out the militia, and he executed the same. The said order was presented by Joseph Smith, Sr., who showed the witness a letter from General Atchison giving such advice as was necessary for the protection of the citizens of said county. Reports of the mobs destroying property were daily received. Has no knowledge that Joseph Smith was concerned in organizing or commanding said militia in any capacity whatever. About this time he received information that about forty or fifty 'Yauger rifles' and a quantity of ammunition were being conveyed through Caldwell to Daviess County for the use of the mob; upon which he deputized William Allred to go with a company of men and to intercept them if possible. He did so, and
brought the said arms and ammunition into Far West, which were afterwards delivered up to the order of Austin A. King, judge of the fifth circuit in Missouri. . .
"He further says that whilst in office as sheriff he was forcibly and illegally compelled by Lieutenant Cook, the son in-law or brother-in-law of Bogart, the Methodist priest, to start for Richmond; and when he demanded of him by what authority he acted, he was shown a bowie knife and a brace of pistols; and when he asked what they wanted of him, he said they would let him know when he got to Richmond. Many of the citizens of Caldwell County were taken in the same manner without any legal process whatever and thrust into prison.
"GEORGE W. PITKIN."
Brigham Young was the next witness. He testified to a long and intimate acquaintance with Joseph Smith, and of his good character, and moral teachings. He related the events at Far West substantially as given by Hyrum Smith, and as set forth in this history.
Lyman Wight was the next witness. He related in detail the difficulties in Jackson County, corroborated the testimony of Hyrum Smith and others, and gave some other particulars, from which we make the following extracts:-
"This so exasperated the saints that they mutually agreed with the citizens of Clay County that they would purchase an entire new county north of Ray and cornering on Clay; there being not more than forty or fifty inhabitants in this new county, who frankly sold out their possessions to the saints, who immediately set in to enter the entire county from the general government. The county having been settled, the Governor issued an order for the organization of the county into a regiment of militia; and an election being called for a colonel of said regiment, I was elected unanimously, receiving two hundred and thirty-six votes, in August, 1837. Then organized with subaltern officers, according to the Statutes of the State, and received legal and lawful commissions from Governor Boggs for the same.
"I think sometime in the latter part of the winter said Joseph Smith moved to the district of country the saints had
purchased, and he settled down like other citizens of a new county, and was appointed the first elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holding no office in the county either civil or military. I declare that I never knew said Joseph Smith to dictate by his influence or otherwise any of the officers, either civil or military, he himself being exempt from military duty from the amputation from his leg of a part of the bone on account of a fever sore.
"I removed from Caldwell to Daviess County, purchased a preëmption right, for which I gave seven hundred and fifty dollars, gained another by the side thereof, put in a large crop, and became acquainted with the citizens of Daviess, who appeared very friendly. In the month of June or July there was a town laid off, partly on my preëmption, and partly on lands belonging to government. The emigration commenced flowing to this newly laid off town very rapidly. This excited a prejudice in the minds of some of the old citizens, who were an ignorant set, and not very far advanced before the aborigines of the country in civilization or cultivated minds, fearing lest this rapid tide of emigration should deprive them of office, of which they were dear lovers. This was more plainly exhibited at the August election in the year 1838. The old settlers then swore that not one Mormon should vote at that election; accordingly they commenced operations by fist and skull. This terminated in the loss of some teeth, some flesh, and some blood. The combat being very strongly contested on both sides, many Mormons were deprived of their votes, and I was followed to the polls by three ruffians with stones in their hands swearing they would kill me if I voted.
"A false rumor was immediately sent to Far West, such as two or three Mormons were killed and were not suffered to be buried. The next day a considerable number of the saints came out to my house; said Joseph Smith came with them. He inquired of me concerning the difficulty. The answer was, political difficulties. He then asked if there was anything serious. The answer was, 'No. I think not.' We then all mounted our horses and rode up into the prairie a short distance from my house to a cool spring near the
house of Esq. Black where the greater number stopped for refreshment, whilst a few waited on Esq. Black. He was interrogated to know whether he justified the course of conduct at the late election or not. He said he did not, and was willing to give his protest in writing, which he did, and also desired that there should be a public meeting called, which I think was done on the next day. Said Joseph Smith was not addressed on the subject, but I was, who, in behalf of the saints, entered into an agreement with the other citizens of the county that we would live in peace, enjoying those blessings fought for by our forefathers; but while some of their leading men were entering into this contract, others were raising mobs, and in a short time the mob increased to two hundred and five, rank and file, and they encamped within six miles of Ondiahman.
"In the meantime Joseph Smith and those who came with him from Far West returned to their homes in peace, suspecting nothing; but I, seeing the rage of the mob and their full determination to drive the church from Daviess County, sent to General Atchison, Major-General of the division in which we lived. He immediately sent Brigadier-General Doniphan, with between two hundred and three hundred men. General Doniphan moved his troops near the mob force, and came up and conversed with me on the subject. After conversing some time on the subject, Major Hughes came and informed General Doniphan that his men were mutinizing [mutinying], and the mob were determined to fall on the saints in Ondiahman. I having a colonel's commission under Doniphan, was commanded to call out my troops forthwith, and to use Doniphan's own language 'kill every . . mobocrat or make them prisoners, and if they come upon you give them hell.' He then returned to his troops and gave them an address, stating the interview he had with me; and he also said to the mob that if they were so disposed they could go on with their measures-that he considered that Colonel Wight with the militia under his command all-sufficient to quell every . . . mobocrat in the county, and if they did not feel disposed so to do, to go home or . . he would kill every one of them. The mob then dispersed.
"During these movements Joseph Smith nor any of those of Far West or any other place were not at Ondiahman, only those who were settlers and legal citizens of the place. The mob again assembled and went to De Witt, Carroll County, there being a small branch of the church at that place; but of the transactions at this place I have no personal knowledge. They succeeded in driving the church from that place, some to the east and some to the west, etc. This increased their ardor, and with redoubled forces from several counties of the State they returned to Daviess County to renew the attack. Many wanton attacks and violations of the rights of citizens took place at this time from the hands of this hellish band. I, believing forbearance no longer to be a virtue, again sent to the Major-General for military aid, who ordered out Brigadier-General Parks. Parks came part of the way, but fearing his men would mutinize and join the mob, he came on ahead and conversed with me a considerable time. The night previous to his arrival the wife of Don Carlos Smith was driven from her house by this ruthless mob, and came into Ondiahman, a distance of three miles, carrying two children on her hips, one of which was then rising of two years old, the other six or eight months old; the snow being over shoe-mouth deep, and she having to wade Grand River, which was at this time waist deep, and the mob burnt the house and everything they had in it; and General Parks, passing the ruins thereof, seemed fired with indignation at their hellish conduct, and said he had hitherto thought it imprudent to call upon the militia under my command in consequence of popular opinion, but he now considered it no more than justice that I should have command of my own troops, and said to me, 'I therefore command you forthwith to raise your companies immediately and take such course as you may deem best in order to disperse the mob from this county.' I then called out sixty men and placed them under the command of Captain David W. Patten, and I also took about the same number. Captain Patten was ordered to Gallatin, where a party of the mob were located, and I to Millport, where another party was located. I and Captain
Patten formed the troops under our command, and General Parks addressed them as follows: . . . [Here follows the speech of General Parks as found in this volume, page 115.]
"Captain Patten then went to Gallatin, when coming in sight of Gallatin, he discovered about one hundred of the mob holding some of the saints in bondage, and tantalizing others in the most scandalous manner. At the sight of Captain Patten and company the mob took fright, and such was their hurry to get away, some cut their bridle reins, and some pulled the bridles from their horses' heads and went off with all speed, nothing to prevent the speed of their horses.
"I went to Millport and on my way discovered that the inhabitants had become enraged at the orders of the Generals Doniphan and Parks, and that they had sworn vengeance, not only against the church, but also against the two Generals, together with General Atchison, and to carry out their plans they entered into one of the most diabolical schemes ever entered into by man, and these hellish schemes were injuriously carried out: Firstly, by loading their families and goods in covered wagons, setting fire to their houses, moving into the midst of the mob and crying out, 'The Mormons had driven us and burnt our houses.'
"In this situation I found the country between my house and Millport, and also found Millport evacuated and burned. Rumors were immediately sent to the Governor, with the news that the Mormons were killing and burning everything before them, and that great fears were entertained that they would reach Jefferson City before the runners could bring the news. This was not known by the Church of Latter Day Saints, until twenty-two hundred of the militia had arrived within half a mile of Far West, and they then supposed the militia to be a mob. I was sent for from Ondiahman to Far West; reached there the sun about one hour high in the morning of the 29th of October, 1838; called upon Joseph Smith, inquired the cause of the great uproar. He declared he did not know, but feared the mob had increased their numbers and was endeavoring to destroy us. I inquired of him if he had had any conversation with anyone concerning
the matter. He said he had not, as he was only a private citizen of the county; that he did not interfere with any such matters. I think that he told me there had been an order from General Atchison or Doniphan, one to the sheriff to call out the militia in order to quell the riots, and to go to him; he could give me any information on this subject. On inquiring for him I found him not. That between three and four o'clock p. m., George M. Hinkle, colonel of the militia in that place, called on me in company with Joseph Smith, and said Hinkle said he had been in the camp in order to learn the intention of the same, he said they greatly desired to see Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight, Sidney Rigdon, P. P. Pratt, and George W. Robinson. Joseph Smith first inquired why they should desire to see him, as he held no office, either civil or military. I next inquired why it was they should desire to see a man out of his own county. Colonel Hinkle here observed, 'There is no time for controversy; if you are not into the camp immediately they are determined to come upon Far West before the setting of the sun;' and said they did not consider us as military bodies, but religious bodies. . ." [His testimony of scenes following agrees with what is elsewhere related in this work.]
Sidney Rigdon was the next witness. He agreed with statements made by other witnesses, and gave a detailed account of the disturbances at De Witt and Far West.
He also gave the following account of the causes for calling out the militia of Caldwell, and an exposition of the laws governing in the case:-
"General Doniphan came to Far West, and while there recommended to the authorities of Caldwell to have the militia of said county called out as a necessary measure of defense; assuring us that Gillium had a large mob on the Grindstone, and his object was to make a descent upon Far West, burn the town and kill or disperse the inhabitants; and that it was very necessary that an effective force should be ready to oppose him, or he would accomplish his object.
"The militia was accordingly called out. He also said that there had better be a strong force sent to Daviess County to guard the citizens there. He recommended that
to avoid any difficulties which might arise they had better go in very small parties, without arms, so that no legal advantage could be taken of them. I will here give a short account of the courts and internal affairs of Missouri, for the information of those who are not acquainted with the same
"Missouri has three courts of law peculiar to that State the supreme court, the circuit court, and the county court. The two former, about the same as in many other States of the Union. The county court is composed of three judges, elected by the people of the respective counties. This court is in some respects like the court of probate in Illinois, or the surrogate's court of New York; but the powers of this court are more extensive than the courts of Illinois or New York. The judges, or any one of them, of the county court of Missouri, has the power of issuing habeas corpus in all cases where arrests are made within the county where they preside. They have also all the power of justices of the peace in civil as well as criminal cases; for instance, a warrant may be obtained from one of these judges, by affidavit and a person arrested under such warrant. From another of these judges a habeas corpus may issue, and the person arrested be ordered before him, and the character of the arrest be inquired into; and if in the opinion of the judge the person ought not to be holden by virtue of said process he has power to discharge him.
"In the internal regulation of the affairs of Missouri the counties in some respects are nearly as independent of each other as the several States of the Union. No considerable number of men armed can pass out of one county into or through another county, without first obtaining the permission of the judges of the county court, or some one of them otherwise they are liable to be arrested by the order of said judges; and if in their judgment they ought not thus to pass they are ordered back from whence they came; and in case of refusal, are subject to be arrested or even shot down in case of resistance. The judges of the county court or any one of them, have the power to call out the militia of said county upon affidavit being made to them for that purpose by any of the citizens of said county; showing it just, in the
judgment of such judge or judges, why said militia should be called out to defend any portion of the citizens of said county. The following is the course of procedure: Affidavit is made before one or any number of the judges, setting forth that the citizens of said county, or any particular portion of them, is either invaded or threatened with invasion by some unlawful assembly whereby their liberties, lives, or property may be unlawfully taken. When such affidavit is made to any one of the judges or all of them, it is the duty of him or them before whom such affidavit is made, to issue an order to the sheriff of the county to make requisition upon the commanding officer of the militia of said county to have immediately put under military order such a portion of the militia under his command as may be necessary for the defense of the citizens of said county.
"In this way the militia of any county may be called out at any time deemed necessary by the county judges, independently of any other civil authority of the State.
"In case that the militia of the county is insufficient to quell the rioters, and secure the citizens against the invaders, then recourse can be had to the judge of the circuit court, who has the same power over the militia of his judicial district as the county judges have over the militia of the county. And in case of insufficiency in the militia of the judicial district of the circuit judge, recourse can be had to the Governor of the State, and all the militia of the State called out; and if this should fail, then the Governor can call on the President of the United States, and all the forces of the nation be put under arms.
"I have given this expose of the internal regulations of the affairs of Missouri, in order that the court may clearly understand what I have before said on this subject, and what I may hereafter say on it.
"It was in view of this order of things that General Doniphan, who is a lawyer of some celebrity in Missouri, gave the recommendation he did at Far West, when passing into Daviess County with his troops, for the defense of the citizens of said county. It was in consequence of this that he said that those of Caldwell County which went into Daviess
County should go in small parties, and unarmed, in which condition they were not subject to any arrest from any authority whatever.
"In obedience to these recommendations the militia of Caldwell County was called out; affidavit having been made to one of the judges of the county, setting forth the danger which it was believed the citizens were in from a large marauding party assembled under the command of one Cornelius Gillium, on a stream called Grindstone. When affidavit was made to this effect, the judge issued his order to the sheriff of the county, and the sheriff to the commanding officer, who was Col. G. M. Hinkle, and thus were the militia of the county of Caldwell put under military orders. . . ."
Elder Rigdon then gives the account of causes leading to the attack on Far West, the surrender, the travels, and trial of the prisoners, substantially as given by others, and concludes with following account of his own discharge from custody and escape to Illinois:-
"The trial at last ended, and Lyman Wight, Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRae, and myself were sent to jail in the village of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri.
"We were kept there from three to four months, after which time we were brought out on habeas corpus before one of the county judges. During the hearing under the habeas corpus, I had for the first time an opportunity of hearing the evidence, as it was all written and read before the court.
"It appeared from the evidence that they attempted to prove us guilty of treason in consequence of the militia of Caldwell County being under arms at the time that General Lucas' army came to Far West. This calling out of the militia, was what they founded the charge of treason upon, an account of which I have given above. The charge of murder was founded on the fact that a man of their number, they said, had been killed in the Bogart battle.
"The other charges were founded on things which took place in Daviess. As I was not in Daviess County at that time, I cannot testify anything about them.
"A few words about this written testimony.
"I do not now recollect of one single point about which testimony was given, with which I was acquainted, but was misrepresented, nor one solitary witness whose testimony was there written that did not swear falsely; and in many instances I cannot see how it could avoid being intentional on the part of those who testified; for all of them did swear things that I am satisfied they knew to be false at the time, and it would be hard to persuade me to the contrary.
"There were things there said so utterly without foundation in truth, so much so, that the persons swearing must at the time of swearing have known it. The best construction I can ever put on it is, that they swore things to be true which they did not know to be so; and this, to me, is willful perjury.
"The trial lasted for a long time, the result of which was that I was ordered to be discharged from prison and the rest remanded back; but I was told by those who professed to be my friends that it would not do for me to go out of jail at that time, as the mob were watching and would most certainly take my life; and when I got out that I must leave the State, for the mob, availing themselves of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, would, if I were found in the State, surely take my life; that I had no way to escape them but to flee with all speed from the State. It was some ten days after this before I dare leave the jail. At last the evening came in which I was to leave the jail. Every preparation was made that could be made for my escape. There was a carriage ready to take me in and carry me off with all speed. A pilot was ready-one who was well acquainted with the country-to pilot me through the country so that I might not go on any of the public roads. My wife came to the jail to accompany me, of whose society I had been deprived for four months. Just at dark the sheriff and jailer came to the jail with our supper. I sat down and ate. There were a number watching. After I had supped, I whispered to the jailer to blow out all the candles but one, and step away from the door with that one. All this was done. The sheriff then took me by the arm and an apparent
scuffle ensued, so much so that those who were watching did not know who it was the sheriff was scuffling with. The sheriff kept pushing me towards the door, and I apparently resisting, until we reached the door, which was quickly opened and we both reached the street. He took me by the hand and bade me farewell, telling me to make my escape which I did with all possible speed. The night was dark. After I had gone probably one hundred rods, I heard some person coming after me in haste. The thought struck me in a moment that the mob was after me. I drew a pistol and cocked it, determined not to be taken alive. When the person approaching me spoke I knew his voice, and he speedily came to me. In a few minutes I heard a horse coming. I again sprung my pistol cock. Again a voice saluted my ears that I was acquainted with. The man came speedily up and said he had come to pilot me through the country. I now recollected I had left my wife in the jail. I mentioned it to them, and one of them returned, and the other and myself pursued our journey as swiftly as we could. After I had gone about three miles, my wife overtook me in a carriage, into which I got, and we rode all night. It was an open carriage, and in the month of February, 1839. We got to the house of an acquaintance just as day appeared. There I put up until the next morning, when I started again and reached a place called Tenny's Grove; and to my great surprise, I here found my family, and was again united with them, after an absence of four months, under the most painful circumstances. From thence I made my way to Illinois, where I now am. My wife, after I left her, went directly to Far West and got the family under way, and all unexpectedly met at Tenny's Grove.
"After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said petition, it is ordered and considered by the court that the said Joseph Smith, Sr., be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, and that the said Smith be discharged for want of substance in the warrant, upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the merits of said case, and that he go henceforth without day.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said [L. S.] court, at the city of Nauvoo, this 2d day of July, 1843.
"JAMES SLOAN, Clerk."
The foregoing account of the trial of Joseph Smith is taken from the Times and Seasons, volume 4, pages 242-278.
During the stay of Reynolds and Wilson in Nauvoo they were treated with the utmost kindness. The prophet himself took them to his own house and gave them the places of honor as his guests at his table. His wife waited upon them with her own hands. This was in marked contrast to their brutal conduct when they apprehended him near Dixon and dragged him ruthlessly from her presence.
After Joseph's release by the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, Governor Reynolds of Missouri requested Governor Ford of Illinois to call out the State militia to assist in rearresting him. This Governor Ford declined to do, and gave his reasons as follows:-
"Executive Department, SPRINGFIELD,
"Illinois, July 26,1843.
"To His Excellency, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of Missouri; Sir:-The demand of Joseph H. Reynolds, Esq., the agent appointed by you to receive Joseph Smith, Jr., for a detachment of militia to assist in retaking said Smith, has been duly considered by me, and I now, at the earliest moment, after coming to a conclusion on the subject, proceed to lay before you the result of my deliberations.
"The request for a military force is declined. The reasons which have influenced me in coming to the determination will be furnished to you at large, as soon as I can obtain leisure to do so. I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
"Your obedient servant,
"Executive Department, SPRINGFIELD,
"Illinois, August 14,1843.
"To His Excellency, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of the State of Missouri; Sir:-On the 26th day of July last I had the honor to inform you by letter that after full consideration I
had come to the conclusion to decline ordering out a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Joseph Smith, Jr., who was said to have escaped from the custody of the Missouri agent; and in that letter I engaged to furnish you with my reasons at large for coming to that determination.
"It appears that an indictment was found at a special term of the Daviess Circuit Court, Missouri, held on the 5th day of June last, against Smith, for treason. Upon this indictment the Governor of Missouri issued a requisition to the Governor of this State, demanding the arrest and delivery of Smith. A writ was thereupon duly issued by me for the apprehension and delivery of Smith as demanded. This Writ was put into the hands of an officer of this State to be executed. The officer to whom it was directed immediately arrested Smith, and delivered him to Joseph E. Reynolds, the agent of Missouri, appointed to receive him. The writ has been returned to me as having been fully executed.
"After Smith was delivered into the hands of Mr. Joseph H. Reynolds, it is alleged that he was rescued from his custody by the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo.
"Affidavits on both sides of the question have been filed before me, and I also have additional information on the subject contained in a report of M. Brayman, Esq., a special agent appointed by myself to investigate and collect facts in relation to the whole matter.
"The undisputed facts of the case are that Smith was arrested near Dixon, in Lee County; he was immediately delivered over to Mr. Reynolds; Smith immediately brought an action against Mr. Reynolds for false imprisonment, and held him to bail in the sum of four hundred dollars. Mr. Reynolds being in a strange country, and unable to give bail, was taken into custody by the sheriff of Lee County, and held as a prisoner; whilst Reynolds held Smith as his prisoner. The parties finally concluded to get out writs of habeas corpus, and try the legality of the imprisonment in each case. The writs were accordingly issued, returnable before the nearest judicial tribunal in the circuit in which Quincy is situated, and thereupon all parties proceeded in the direction of Quincy; Smith being in the custody of Reynolds, and Reynolds
himself in the custody of the sheriff of Lee County. On the road during their progress they were met by parties of the citizens of Nauvoo; some or most of whom are said to have been members of the Nauvoo Legion; though there is no evidence that they appeared in a military capacity. There was no exhibition of arms of any description, nor was there any military or warlike array; nor was there any actual force used; though Mr. Reynolds testifies that he felt under constraint, and that Smith, soon after meeting the first parties of Mormons, enlarged himself from his custody. Mr. Reynolds also testifies (and there can be no doubt of the fact) that he was taken to Nauvoo against his will. But whether he was taken there by the command of Smith and his friends, or by the voluntary act of the sheriff of Lee County, who had him in custody, does not appear by any testimony furnished by Mr. Reynolds. The affidavit of the sheriff has not been obtained; though there is evidence on the other side to show that the sheriff of Lee County voluntarily carried Mr. Reynolds to the city of Nauvoo, without any coercion on the part of anyone.
"After arriving at Nauvoo a writ of habeas corpus was issued by the Municipal Court of that city, and Mr. Reynolds was compelled by the authority of the court to produce Mr. Smith before that tribunal. After hearing the case, the court discharged Smith from arrest.
"There is much other evidence submitted; but the foregoing is the material part of it to be considered on the present occasion.
"Now, sir, I might safely rest my refusal to order a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Smith upon the ground that the laws of this State have been fully exercised in the matter. A writ has been issued for his apprehension; Smith was apprehended; and was duly delivered by the officer of this State, to the agent of the State of Missouri, appointed to receive him. No process, officer, or authority of this State has been resisted or interfered with. I have fully executed the duty which the laws impose on me, and have not been resisted either in the writ issued for the arrest of Smith, or in the person of the officer appointed to apprehend
him. If there has been any resistance to anyone, it has been to the officer of Missouri, after Smith came to his custody; and everything had been done on my part which the law warranted me in doing.
"Another objection to ordering a detachment of militia, arises out of the militia laws of this State; the forty-third section of which is as follows: 'Whenever it may be necessary to call into actual service any part of the militia of this State on a requisition of the Executive of the United States, on an actual or threatened invasion of this State, or any of the neighboring States or Territories of the United States, the commander in chief shall forthwith demand from each division a detachment in proportion to the strength thereof, except as hereinafter excepted; which order shall be delivered by a special messenger to the several commandants of divisions, specifying the number demanded from each division; the time and place of rendezvous, if ordered to march; and if the same be detached under any particular act of the United States to indorse [endorse] the same on such order: Provided, that whenever the safety of any of the frontier settlements in this State shall, in the opinion of the Governor, require it, he may exempt the militia in such settlements from being called into service, and make such further provision for the defense as the necessity of the case may require; which exemption shall be expressed in his orders to commandants of the divisions; who, together with the commandants of brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies, shall govern themselves accordingly. And provided also, that such militia-men may be required to serve as spies on their own frontiers; and that on actual invasion or any extreme emergency, the commander in chief, commandants of divisions, brigades, battalions, and companies may call on the whole or any part of the militia under their respective commands, as the nature of the case may require, who shall continue in service, if necessary, until the militia can be regularly called out.'
"The Governor has no other authority in calling out the militia than that which is contained in this section; by which it appears that there must be either a requisition from
the President, an actual or threatened invasion, or some extreme emergency to warrant the Governor in exercising this power. No one of these contingencies has arisen. There has been no requisition from the President, there has been no actual or threatened invasion of the State, nor is this such an extreme emergency as is contemplated by the law. If we allow that force was exhibited and threatened to compel your agent to carry his prisoner before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo; that the court there took cognizance of the cause without jurisdiction, and against the consent of your agent, it would amount at most to a riot; and to a resistance of authority in a single case, and that too under color of law and legal process. To constitute an extreme emergency, so as to justify a call for the militia, there ought, in my opinion, to be something more than a mere illegal act-something more than a design to resist the law in a single instance. The design ought to be general as in treason, rebellion, or insurrection; in which cases an universality of design is essential to constitute the offense.
"If a person resists a constable or sheriff, or other officer charged with the execution of process, with an intention to resist the law in that particular instance; such an act is a misdemeanor at most,-is indictable as such, and may be met by the posse comitatus. But something more than a mere misdemeanor must have been contemplated by the law. It would seem to me that it could never have been intended that the Governor should call out the militia in every case where a constable or sheriff may be resisted; and even in a case of a riotous resistance, it would not be an extreme emergency without some military array, some warlike show, or some threatened resistance to the government itself.
"In this case there has been no warlike array in the proceedings of Smith and his friends; no exhibition of arms, and no actual force of an illegal character. Mr. Reynolds was not subjected to illegal imprisonment. He was arrested on lawful process; and although that process may have been wrongfully obtained, yet his arrest was not riotous or unlawful, but according to the forms of law. Mr. Reynolds continued in the custody of the sheriff by virtue of that process
until he was taken to Nauvoo; and although he was taken to that city against his will, and was by that means compelled to take his prisoner there, yet was he taken by lawful process; by an authorized officer who acted, so far as I have any evidence, freely and voluntarily in so doing. In no one aspect of the case can I consider the present an extreme emergency, warranting a call for the militia according to the provisions of law in this State.
"Thus, sir, I have stated to you the principal reasons which have influenced me in refusing to order a call of the militia. To my mind they are entirely satisfactory; and I hope they will meet with approval of your Excellency, and the citizens of Missouri.
"I have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient servant,
-Times and Seasons, vol. 4, pp. 292-294.
On July 29, 1843, Mr. M. Brayman, Esq., the special agent referred to in the above document, wrote a private and confidential letter to Joseph Smith, which gives expression to convictions high]y creditable to Joseph Smith and the people of Nauvoo. 4
Governor Ford in his history of Illinois agrees with this account in regard to his refusal to call out the militia. (See Ford's History of Illinois, p 317.)
4On my return from Nauvoo I found Governor Ford absent on public business at Rock Island, from whence he did not return for a week after I arrived. I presented him a detailed report of my investigations, in which the fact is fully established that neither you nor your people were guilty of any violence or disorderly or unlawful conduct whatever; but that throughout the whole of the unpleasant scene connected with your arrest, and the ill treatment which you received, your and their conduct was that of peaceful, law-abiding, and good citizens. He is perfectly satisfied on that point. . . .
As to the other points, I can assure you with perfect confidence, that with the evidence now before him, he will issue no more writs-that he will be perfectly satisfied that the demand of Missouri is not only unjust, (as he before believed it to be,) but so palpably illegal and contrary to the meaning of the Constitution as to release him forever from all obligation to give you up, and enable him to justify himself before the world in refusing to do so. (From original in our possession.)
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