“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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have tried their utmost, to defame our  people, charging them with crimes, and  many other things; at the same time  acknowledging that the laws of the  land would not reach the case of the  Mormons: which was evidently a fact,  for they held the reins of government  in their own hands, or in other words,  had the administering of the laws them selves; and could they have found the  laws broken, even in a single instance,  who does not know, that they would  have put it in force? and thereby sub stantiated their charges against the  saints, which they never did do, in  preference to taking unlawful measures  against them.
The following remarkable sentence,  is near the close of their famous declar ation. “We therefore agree, that after  timely warning, and receiving an ad equate compensation for what little  property they,” -[the Mormons,]- “can not take with them, they refuse to  leave us in peace, as they found us, we  agree to use such means as may be  sufficient to remove them; and to that  end we each pledge to each other, our  bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and  sacred honors.” The 20th of July was  the day set, for the people to come to gether, and commence their work of  destruction. Accordingly they met to  the number of from 3 to 500. A com mittee of 13 of the mob, requested an  interview with some of the principal  elders of the church: Six were soon  called together, who met the mob com mittee. They demanded of those el ders, to have the , and  indeed all other mechanic shops, be longing to our people, together with   & ’s , closed forth with; and the society to leave the   immediately. Those elders  asked for three months, to consider up on their demand, which was refused,  they then asked for ten days, when  they were informed that fifteen min utes were the most that could be gran ted. Being driven to the necessity of  giving an immediate answer, and being  interogated seperately, they each one  answered that they could not consent  to their demands: upon which one of  the mob observed, as he left the room,  that he was sorry, for, said he, the  work of distruction will commence  immediately. In a short time, hun dreds of the mob gathered around the  , (which was a, two story  brick building,) which they soon threw  down. The press was thrown from  the upper story, and the aparatus,  book work, paper, type, &c. &c. scat tered through the streets. A family,  residing in the lower story, was also  thrust out in great haste. After de stroying the printing establishment,  they proceeded to for the same purpose, but  agreeing to shut it, and box the goods  soon, they concluded to let it alone.—  They then went in search of certain  individuals, for the purpose of taking,  and abusing them. They succeeded in  taking , and , both of whom they tarred and  feathered, upon the public square, sur rounded by hundreds of the mob.—  A number more were taken, but they  succeeded in making their escape,  through the over anxiety of their keep ers, who wished to have the sport of  seeing those who were being tarred.—  The scene ended the work of the mob  for that day; and they adjourned to  meet the next Tuesday, the 23d inst.
On Tuesday morning, large compa nies of the mob rode into  bearing red flags, threatening death  and destruction, to the Mormons. A  consultation was held by some of the  leading men of both parties. Nothing  appeared satisfactory to the mob but for  our people to either leave the  or be put to death. Seeing the deter mination of the mob, some few of the  leading elders offered their lives, pro vided that would satisfiy them, so as to  let the rest of the society live, where  they then lived, in peace; they would  not agree to this, but said that every  one should die for themselves, or leave  the . At that time, the most,  if not all, of our people, in ,  thought they would be doing wrong, to  resist the mob, even by defending them selves; consequently they thought, that  they must quietly submit, to whatever  yoke was put upon them, even to the  laying down of their lives.
With these views, the few elders  who were assembled, at the time, to  consult upon the subject, (which were  but six or seven,) after counselling [p. 18]
have tried their utmost, to defame our people, charging them with crimes, and many other things; at the same time acknowledging that the laws of the land would not reach the case of the Mormons: which was evidently a fact, for they held the reins of government in their own hands, or in other words, had the administering of the laws themselves; and could they have found the laws broken, even in a single instance, who does not know, that they would have put it in force? and thereby substantiated their charges against the saints, which they never did do, in preference to taking unlawful measures against them.
The following remarkable sentence, is near the close of their famous declaration. “We therefore agree, that after timely warning, and receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they,” -[the Mormons,]- “cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them; and to that end we each pledge to each other, our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors.” The 20th of July was the day set, for the people to come together, and commence their work of destruction. Accordingly they met to the number of from 3 to 500. A committee of 13 of the mob, requested an interview with some of the principal elders of the church: Six were soon called together, who met the mob committee. They demanded of those elders, to have the , and indeed all other mechanic shops, belonging to our people, together with & ’s , closed forthwith; and the society to leave the immediately. Those elders asked for three months, to consider upon their demand, which was refused, they then asked for ten days, when they were informed that fifteen minutes were the most that could be granted. Being driven to the necessity of giving an immediate answer, and being interogated seperately, they each one answered that they could not consent to their demands: upon which one of the mob observed, as he left the room, that he was sorry, for, said he, the work of distruction will commence immediately. In a short time, hundreds of the mob gathered around the , (which was a, two story brick building,) which they soon threw down. The press was thrown from the upper story, and the aparatus, book work, paper, type, &c. &c. scattered through the streets. A family, residing in the lower story, was also thrust out in great haste. After destroying the printing establishment, they proceeded to for the same purpose, but agreeing to shut it, and box the goods soon, they concluded to let it alone.— They then went in search of certain individuals, for the purpose of taking, and abusing them. They succeeded in taking , and , both of whom they tarred and feathered, upon the public square, surrounded by hundreds of the mob.— A number more were taken, but they succeeded in making their escape, through the over anxiety of their keepers, who wished to have the sport of seeing those who were being tarred.— The scene ended the work of the mob for that day; and they adjourned to meet the next Tuesday, the 23d inst.
On Tuesday morning, large companies of the mob rode into bearing red flags, threatening death and destruction, to the Mormons. A consultation was held by some of the leading men of both parties. Nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob but for our people to either leave the or be put to death. Seeing the determination of the mob, some few of the leading elders offered their lives, provided that would satisfiy them, so as to let the rest of the society live, where they then lived, in peace; they would not agree to this, but said that every one should die for themselves, or leave the . At that time, the most, if not all, of our people, in , thought they would be doing wrong, to resist the mob, even by defending themselves; consequently they thought, that they must quietly submit, to whatever yoke was put upon them, even to the laying down of their lives.
With these views, the few elders who were assembled, at the time, to consult upon the subject, (which were but six or seven,) after counselling [p. 18]
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