“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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this legal business. came in to , without any legal authori ty whatever, and committed all his out rages: but after he had committed them,  he sends a messenger to , for authority. sets  down and sends him a writing, author izing him to guard the line, between the  counties of and . ’s order to , was  copied by Samuel Tillary [Tillery] after dark  on the evening before the battle was  fought, and that was fought before day  light the next morning, and the letter  had to be carried some thirty or forty  miles. Here was another piece of le gerdemain. was turned into  militia, to hide up his wickedness.—  We had this account from the mouth  of Samuel Tillary; he is Clerk of the  Circuit Court in and acts  as clerk for .
Let the reader particularly notice,  that this , was well ac quainted with the operations of the mob,  for the space of five years; having been  the leader of it, once, himself, at the  time it raged in ; and  had been petitioned, again and again,  after he was Governor; to stop its rav ages: and in every instance refused to  do it. He now perfectly knew that the  whole difficulty, had originated in con sequence of its violence and plunder:  yet notwithstanding this, he issued the  above order. , said, that if it  had not been for the vote, which the  Mormons gave at the late election, he  would have exterminated them before.
After the citizens of were  made acquainted with the fact, that  , was there, by the ’s order, they ceased to take any  measures for defence; but submitted  immediately.
In the meantime, the army employ ed itself in destroying the cornfields,  potatoes and turnips, and in taking  horses, and plundering houses. Hous es were searched by them, as closely  to find money, as a man would be  searched by a set of Arabs, after a  shipwreck. Every dollar was carried  off, that could be found, while the lives  of the owners were threatened, if they  offered the least resistance. Cattle,  hogs and sheep, were shot down and,  left on the ground to rot. Men, wo men, and children, were insulted and  abused, in a brutal manner!
The next day after we were betray ed into camp, , ordered all the  persons in the county of , to  give up their arms. After the arms  were given up, the men were kept un der guard; and all property holders,  compelled to sign a Deed of trust,  signing away all their property, to de fray the expenses of the war; and then  they were all commanded to leave the   under pain of extermination, be tween that and corn-planting the next  spring.
At the time of giving up the arms,  there again followed another scene of  brutality. The troops ran from house  to house, taking all the arms they  could find, from old men, that never  thought of going into a field of battle;  but there must not be left a single gun  in the ; so the troops ran as be fore described, like a parcel of raven ous wolves; but their great object, in  the pursuit of guns, was, to find plunder.  They wanted to get into the houses, to  see if there was not something they  could carry off. Thus they plundered  houses until they got satisfied. To se cret their property from their ravages,  the people had to go and hide it in the  bushes, or any where they could find  a place of concealment. The troops  found some of the property that had  been hid. This produced another sav age operation. Those wild creatures,  tearing like mad men through the bush es, ran from place to place, searching  under hay stacks, tearing up floors,  hunting pretendedly after arms; but  the abundance of property plundered,  testifies that they had another object in  view.
While the troops were thus engaged,  the officers were busily employed in  forming some plan to dispose of those,  whom they had betrayed into their  camp. Seventeen preachers, and nine teen commissioned officers, met with  Generals and , and held  a court martial. The prisoners, were  never admitted into it at all: they were  not allowed to plead, introduce evi dence, or any thing else. Finally,  the august body came to a decision;  and that was, that at eight o’clock the  next morning, they should be taken  into the public square, in the presence [p. 130]
this legal business. came into , without any legal authority whatever, and committed all his outrages: but after he had committed them, he sends a messenger to , for authority. sets down and sends him a writing, authorizing him to guard the line, between the counties of and . ’s order to , was copied by Samuel Tillary Tillery after dark on the evening before the battle was fought, and that was fought before day light the next morning, and the letter had to be carried some thirty or forty miles. Here was another piece of legerdemain. was turned into militia, to hide up his wickedness.— We had this account from the mouth of Samuel Tillary; he is Clerk of the Circuit Court in and acts as clerk for .
Let the reader particularly notice, that this , was well acquainted with the operations of the mob, for the space of five years; having been the leader of it, once, himself, at the time it raged in ; and had been petitioned, again and again, after he was Governor; to stop its ravages: and in every instance refused to do it. He now perfectly knew that the whole difficulty, had originated in consequence of its violence and plunder: yet notwithstanding this, he issued the above order. , said, that if it had not been for the vote, which the Mormons gave at the late election, he would have exterminated them before.
After the citizens of were made acquainted with the fact, that , was there, by the ’s order, they ceased to take any measures for defence; but submitted immediately.
In the meantime, the army employed itself in destroying the cornfields, potatoes and turnips, and in taking horses, and plundering houses. Houses were searched by them, as closely to find money, as a man would be searched by a set of Arabs, after a shipwreck. Every dollar was carried off, that could be found, while the lives of the owners were threatened, if they offered the least resistance. Cattle, hogs and sheep, were shot down and, left on the ground to rot. Men, women, and children, were insulted and abused, in a brutal manner!
The next day after we were betrayed into camp, , ordered all the persons in the county of , to give up their arms. After the arms were given up, the men were kept under guard; and all property holders, compelled to sign a Deed of trust, signing away all their property, to defray the expenses of the war; and then they were all commanded to leave the under pain of extermination, between that and corn-planting the next spring.
At the time of giving up the arms, there again followed another scene of brutality. The troops ran from house to house, taking all the arms they could find, from old men, that never thought of going into a field of battle; but there must not be left a single gun in the ; so the troops ran as before described, like a parcel of ravenous wolves; but their great object, in the pursuit of guns, was, to find plunder. They wanted to get into the houses, to see if there was not something they could carry off. Thus they plundered houses until they got satisfied. To secret their property from their ravages, the people had to go and hide it in the bushes, or any where they could find a place of concealment. The troops found some of the property that had been hid. This produced another savage operation. Those wild creatures, tearing like mad men through the bushes, ran from place to place, searching under hay stacks, tearing up floors, hunting pretendedly after arms; but the abundance of property plundered, testifies that they had another object in view.
While the troops were thus engaged, the officers were busily employed in forming some plan to dispose of those, whom they had betrayed into their camp. Seventeen preachers, and nineteen commissioned officers, met with Generals and , and held a court martial. The prisoners, were never admitted into it at all: they were not allowed to plead, introduce evidence, or any thing else. Finally, the august body came to a decision; and that was, that at eight o’clock the next morning, they should be taken into the public square, in the presence [p. 130]
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