“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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these corpses we imm[e]diately went to  the black-smith’s shop where we found  nine of our friends, eight of whom  were already dead, the other, Mr. [Simon] Cox  of Indiana, struggling in the agonies  of death and soon expired. We im mediately prepared and carried them  to a place of interment: This last office  of kindness due to the relics of depart ed friends, was not attended with the  customary ceremoni[e]s nor decency: for  we were in jeopardy, every moment  expecting to be fired on by the mob,  whom, we supposed were lying in am bush, waiting for the first opportunity  to despatch the remaining few, who  were providentially preserved from the  slaughter of the preceding day. How ever, we accomplished without moles tation this painful task. The place of  burying, was a vault in the ground,  formerly intended for a well, into  which we threw the bodies of our  friends promiscuously. Among those  slain, I will mention Sardius Smith,  son of , about nine years  old, who, through fear, had crawled  under the bellows in the shop, where  he remained until the massacre was  over, when he was discovered by a Mr.  Glaze of Corrill [Carroll] County, who present ed his rifle near the boy’s head and  literally blowed off the upper part of it.  Mr. Stanley of Corrill, told me after wards that Glaze boasted of this deed  all over the .
The number killed and mortally  wounded in this wanton slaughter, was  eighteen or nineteen, whose names, as  far as I can recollect, were as follows:  [,] Levi Merrick, Elias  Benner, Josiah Fullor [Fuller], Benjamin Lew is, Alexander Campbell, ,  Sardius Smith, George Richards, Mr.  [William] Napier, Mr. Harmar [Austin Hammer], Mr. [Simon] Cox, , , Wm. Merrick a  boy 8 or 9 years old and three or four  more, whose names I do not recollect,  as they were strangers to me. Among  the wounded who recovered, were  Isaac Laney [Leany], who had six balls shot  through him, two through his body,  one through each arm, and the other  two through his hips. Nathan K.  Knight shot through the body; Mr.  [William] Yokum who was severely wounded,  besides being shot through the head,  , —— [George] Myers, , , and several oth ers. Miss Mary Stedwell, while flee ing, was shot through the hand and  fainting, fell over a log, into which,  they shot upwards of twenty balls.
To finish their work of destruction,  this band of murderers, composed of  men from , , ,  , and Corrill Counties; led by  some of the principal men of that sec tion of the upper country, proceeded  to rob the houses, wagons and tents, of  bedding and clothing; drove off horses  and wagons, leaving widows and or phans destitute of the necessaries of  life; and even strip[p]ed the clothing  from the bodies of the slain!
According to their own account,  they fired seven rounds in this awful  massacre, making upwards of fifteen  hundred shots at a little company of  men of about thirty in number!
I certify the above, to be a true  statement of facts relative to the above  mentioned massacre according to my  best recolection.
(Signed) .
.
A short time previous to the massa cre at , we made peace  with the mob characters living near  us, as declaration had been made by  the leaders of the band, that all per sons who would not take up arms  against the society, should, with the  Mormons, be driven out of the ;  and thus drawing the division line so  close that we thought it necessary to  ascertain the feelings of our neigh bors around us. We met them and  an agreement was entered into be tween us, that we would live in peace,  let others do as they would. A large  number of our company living at the  mill at that time, were immigrants who  had just came into the place. On the  first day of November 1838, without  apprehending any danger whatever  from the mob, we were visited by  about three hundred mounted men,  coming with great speed, and fell upon  us with the ferocity of tigers. They  were not discovered until within one  hundred and fifty yards of us. They  immediately commenced firing upon  us, without asking us to surrender, or  giving us a chance to surrender, or  even giving us to understand what  they wanted, only as we were taught  by the sound of guns, the groans of [p. 147]
these corpses we immediately went to the black-smith’s shop where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead, the other, Mr. Simon Cox of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death and soon expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to a place of interment: This last office of kindness due to the relics of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies nor decency: for we were in jeopardy, every moment expecting to be fired on by the mob, whom, we supposed were lying in ambush, waiting for the first opportunity to despatch the remaining few, who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day. However, we accomplished without molestation this painful task. The place of burying, was a vault in the ground, formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously. Among those slain, I will mention Sardius Smith, son of , about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows in the shop, where he remained until the massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Corrill Carroll County, who presented his rifle near the boy’s head and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanley of Corrill, told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this deed all over the .
The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter, was eighteen or nineteen, whose names, as far as I can recollect, were as follows: , Levi Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fullor [Fuller], Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Campbell, , Sardius Smith, George Richards, Mr. William Napier, Mr. Harmar [Austin Hammer], Mr. Simon Cox, , , Wm. Merrick a boy 8 or 9 years old and three or four more, whose names I do not recollect, as they were strangers to me. Among the wounded who recovered, were Isaac Laney Leany, who had six balls shot through him, two through his body, one through each arm, and the other two through his hips. Nathan K. Knight shot through the body; Mr. William Yokum who was severely wounded, besides being shot through the head, , —— George Myers, , , and several others. Miss Mary Stedwell, while fleeing, was shot through the hand and fainting, fell over a log, into which, they shot upwards of twenty balls.
To finish their work of destruction, this band of murderers, composed of men from , , , , and Corrill Counties; led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, proceeded to rob the houses, wagons and tents, of bedding and clothing; drove off horses and wagons, leaving widows and orphans destitute of the necessaries of life; and even stripped the clothing from the bodies of the slain!
According to their own account, they fired seven rounds in this awful massacre, making upwards of fifteen hundred shots at a little company of men of about thirty in number!
I certify the above, to be a true statement of facts relative to the above mentioned massacre according to my best recolection.
(Signed) .
.
A short time previous to the massacre at , we made peace with the mob characters living near us, as declaration had been made by the leaders of the band, that all persons who would not take up arms against the society, should, with the Mormons, be driven out of the ; and thus drawing the division line so close that we thought it necessary to ascertain the feelings of our neighbors around us. We met them and an agreement was entered into between us, that we would live in peace, let others do as they would. A large number of our company living at the mill at that time, were immigrants who had just came into the place. On the first day of November 1838, without apprehending any danger whatever from the mob, we were visited by about three hundred mounted men, coming with great speed, and fell upon us with the ferocity of tigers. They were not discovered until within one hundred and fifty yards of us. They immediately commenced firing upon us, without asking us to surrender, or giving us a chance to surrender, or even giving us to understand what they wanted, only as we were taught by the sound of guns, the groans of [p. 147]
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