“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
Page 145
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Installment 9, August 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Aug. 1840, 1:145–150. The entirety of this ninth installment, including the affidavits of and and , was taken from [], An Appeal to the American People, pages 51–62. The manuscript used for Appeal, titled “To the Publick,” contains earlier—possibly original—drafts of these affidavits. The Youngs’ account was submitted, along with numerous Latter-day Saint petitions for redress for losses suffered in , to the House of Representatives, and it is presently held at the National Archives in . Numbering on the National Archives copy of the Youngs’ affidavit matches a gap in the pagination of “To the Publick,” indicating that at one time the affidavit was included in the larger document.
The narrative was evidently based on a statement by Lewis found in the “To the Publick” manuscript. However, the account included in ’s Appeal to the American People and reproduced in “History of the Persecution” contains significant departures from the manuscript version of Lewis’s statement, and no source is known for the modifications and expansions. Footnotes below identify the most substantive differences between the Lewis manuscript in “To the Publick” and the account published in “History of the Persecution.”.

A HISTORY, OF THE  PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LAT TER DAY SAINTS IN  .
 
continued.
 
While these things were carrying on,  in and about , scenes still  more horrid and soul thrilling, were  going on, in another part of the ,  at a place called Hauns’ Mill, because  a man of that name built a mill there.  We will give it from the testimony of  eye witnesses. We will give it from  the testimony of three, who have testi fied to it; that is, and  his ; and . We al so, have the testimony of Mrs. A[manda Barnes]  Smith, whose , and a little son  of nine years of age, were killed, and  also a younger boy wounded. But  wishing to bring our account into as  narrow limits as possible, we omit in serting it.
Here follows the testimony of , and his , transcribed from  their own hand writing.
The following is a short history of my  travels to the State of , and of  a bloody tragedy acted at Haun’s  Mills, on , October 30th,  1838. On the 6th day of July last, I  started with my family from ,  Ohio, for the State of ; the  county of , in the upper part  of the , being the place of my  destination.
On the 13th of October, I crossed  the at Louis[i]ana, at which  place I heard vague reports of the dis turbances in the upper country; but  nothing that could be relied upon. I  continued my course westward till I  crossed at a place called  Compton’s ferry, at which place I  heard for the first time, that if I pro ceeded any further on my journey, I  would be in danger of being stopped by  a body of armed men. I was not will ing however, while treading my native  soil, and breathing republican air, to  abandon my object; which was, to lo cate myself and family, in a fine heal thy country, where we could enjoy the  society of our friends and connexions.  Consequently, I prosecuted my jour ney, till I came to Whitney’s mills,  situated on , in the eastern  part of . After cross ing the , and going about three  miles, we met a party of the mob,  about forty in number, armed with ri fles and mounted on horses, who in formed us, that we could go no farther  west; threatening us with instant death  if we proceeded any further. I asked  them the reason of this prohibition, to  which they replied that we were Mor mons, and that every one who adhered  to our religious faith would have to  leave the in ten days or renounce  their religion. Accordingly they drove  us back to the mills above mentioned.  Here we tarried three days, and on  Friday the twenty-sixth, we recrossed  the , and following up its banks,  we succeeded in eluding the mob, for  the time being, and gained the resi dence of a friend, in Myers’ settlement.  On Sunday 28th of October, we arriv ed about noon at Haun’s mills; where  we found a number of our friends col lected together, who were holding a  council, and deliberating on the best  course for them to pursue, to defend  themselves against the mob, who were  collecting in the neighborhood, under  the command of Col. Jennings of ; and threatening them with  house burning and killing. The de cision of the council was, that our  friends there, should place themselves  in an attitude of self-defence.
Accordingly, about twenty eight of  our men, armed themselves and were  in constant readiness for an attack of  any small body of men that might  come upon them. The same evening,  for some cause best known to them selves, the mob sent one of their num ber, to enter into a treaty with our  friends; which was accepted of, on the  condition of mutual forbearance on  both sides, and that each party, as far  as their influence extended, should ex ert themselves to prevent any further [p. 145]

Installment 9, August 1840


Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, Aug. 1840, 1:145–150. The entirety of this ninth installment, including the affidavits of and and , was taken from [], An Appeal to the American People, pages 51–62. The manuscript used for Appeal, titled “To the Publick,” contains earlier—possibly original—drafts of these affidavits. The Youngs’ account was submitted, along with numerous Latter-day Saint petitions for redress for losses suffered in , to the House of Representatives, and it is presently held at the National Archives in . Numbering on the National Archives copy of the Youngs’ affidavit matches a gap in the pagination of “To the Publick,” indicating that at one time the affidavit was included in the larger document.
The narrative was evidently based on a statement by Lewis found in the “To the Publick” manuscript. However, the account included in ’s Appeal to the American People and reproduced in “History of the Persecution” contains significant departures from the manuscript version of Lewis’s statement, and no source is known for the modifications and expansions. Footnotes below identify the most substantive differences between the Lewis manuscript in “To the Publick” and the account published in “History of the Persecution.”.

A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN .
 
continued.
 
While these things were carrying on, in and about , scenes still more horrid and soul thrilling, were going on, in another part of the , at a place called Hauns’ Mill, because a man of that name built a mill there. We will give it from the testimony of eye witnesses. We will give it from the testimony of three, who have testified to it; that is, and his ; and . We also, have the testimony of Mrs. Amanda Barnes Smith, whose , and a little son of nine years of age, were killed, and also a younger boy wounded. But wishing to bring our account into as narrow limits as possible, we omit inserting it.
Here follows the testimony of , and his , transcribed from their own hand writing.
The following is a short history of my travels to the State of , and of a bloody tragedy acted at Haun’s Mills, on , October 30th, 1838. On the 6th day of July last, I started with my family from , Ohio, for the State of ; the county of , in the upper part of the , being the place of my destination.
On the 13th of October, I crossed the at Louisiana, at which place I heard vague reports of the disturbances in the upper country; but nothing that could be relied upon. I continued my course westward till I crossed at a place called Compton’s ferry, at which place I heard for the first time, that if I proceeded any further on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped by a body of armed men. I was not willing however, while treading my native soil, and breathing republican air, to abandon my object; which was, to locate myself and family, in a fine healthy country, where we could enjoy the society of our friends and connexions. Consequently, I prosecuted my journey, till I came to Whitney’s mills, situated on , in the eastern part of . After crossing the , and going about three miles, we met a party of the mob, about forty in number, armed with rifles and mounted on horses, who informed us, that we could go no farther west; threatening us with instant death if we proceeded any further. I asked them the reason of this prohibition, to which they replied that we were Mormons, and that every one who adhered to our religious faith would have to leave the in ten days or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned. Here we tarried three days, and on Friday the twenty-sixth, we recrossed the , and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the mob, for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend, in Myers’ settlement. On Sunday 28th of October, we arrived about noon at Haun’s mills; where we found a number of our friends collected together, who were holding a council, and deliberating on the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the mob, who were collecting in the neighborhood, under the command of Col. Jennings of ; and threatening them with house burning and killing. The decision of the council was, that our friends there, should place themselves in an attitude of self-defence.
Accordingly, about twenty eight of our men, armed themselves and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might come upon them. The same evening, for some cause best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number, to enter into a treaty with our friends; which was accepted of, on the condition of mutual forbearance on both sides, and that each party, as far as their influence extended, should exert themselves to prevent any further [p. 145]
Page 145