“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 162
image
care of them, or from the pain of seeing them starve to death, by stealing them. An arrangement was made in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve, which had been previously appointed, should have the privilege of going from to for the term of four weeks, for the purpose of conveying their crops from to . The committee were to wear white badges on their hats for their protectoin.
But in a short time after this arrangement was made, withdrew with his army, and the mob rose up as soon as the army had gone, and forbid the Committee from coming again into under pain of death. By this the mob secured unto themselves several hundred thousand bushels of corn, besides large quantities of oats, and the saints were left to seek their bread and shelter where they could find it.
We will now return to the prisoners in . Shortly after our arrival in , Colonel from the army of , came with orders from who was commander-in-chief of the expedition, to have us forwarded forthwith to . Accordingly, on Thursday morning, November 8th, with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great difficulty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between and Roy’s ferry, on the , they all got drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses. It was late in the afternoon, near the setting of the sun. We travelled about half a mile after we crossed the river, and put up for the night. The next morning there came a number of men some of them armed, their threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore despached to to obtain them. We started before their arrival, but had not gone far before we met with a guard, if we recollect right of seventy four men. As to the number, however, we are not certain: and were conducted by them to and put into an old vacant house, and a guard set. Sometime through the course of that day, came in and we were introduced to him. We enquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried from our homes and what were the charges against us. He said that he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time, and with very little more conversasion withdrew. Some short time after he had withdrawn, came in with two chains in his hands, and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together. He had with him ten men armed, who stood at the time of these operations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John Fulkerson whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains and padlcks, being seven in number. After that, he searched us, examining our pockets to see if we had any arms; finding nothing but pocket knives, he took them and conveyed them off.
spent several days in searching the statutes of to find some authority to hold a Court Martial. (The troops said that he had promised when they left, that there were two or three that they should have the privilege of shooting before they returned.) But he could find none, and after a fruitless search of a number of days he came again to see us and informed us that he would turn us over to the civil authorities for trial. Accordingly, the trial commenced; on the bench, and , attorney. This was surely a new kind of Court: it was not an inquisition nor yet a criminal court, but a compound between. A looker on would be convinced that both the judge and attorney were not satisfied that some or all of the prisoners had been guilty of some criminal act or acts, but on the contrary that their object was to try by all means in their power to get some person to swear some criminal thing aginst us, through [though] they were innocent.
The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men, to obtain witnesses without any civil process whatever; and after witnesses were brought before the court, they were sworn at bayonet point. Dr. was the first brought [p. 162]
care of them, or from the pain of seeing them starve to death, by stealing them. An arrangement was made in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve, which had been previously appointed, should have the privilege of going from to for the term of four weeks, for the purpose of conveying their crops from to . The committee were to wear white badges on their hats for their protectoin.
But in a short time after this arrangement was made, withdrew with his army, and the mob rose up as soon as the army had gone, and forbid the Committee from coming again into under pain of death. By this the mob secured unto themselves several hundred thousand bushels of corn, besides large quantities of oats, and the saints were left to seek their bread and shelter where they could find it.
We will now return to the prisoners in . Shortly after our arrival in , Colonel from the army of , came with orders from who was commander-in-chief of the expedition, to have us forwarded forthwith to . Accordingly, on Thursday morning, November 8th, with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great difficulty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between and Roy’s ferry, on the , they all got drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses. It was late in the afternoon, near the setting of the sun. We travelled about half a mile after we crossed the river, and put up for the night. The next morning there came a number of men some of them armed, their threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore despached to to obtain them. We started before their arrival, but had not gone far before we met with a guard, if we recollect right of seventy four men. As to the number, however, we are not certain: and were conducted by them to and put into an old vacant house, and a guard set. Sometime through the course of that day, came in and we were introduced to him. We enquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried from our homes and what were the charges against us. He said that he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time, and with very little more conversasion withdrew. Some short time after he had withdrawn, came in with two chains in his hands, and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together. He had with him ten men armed, who stood at the time of these operations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John Fulkerson whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains and padlcks, being seven in number. After that, he searched us, examining our pockets to see if we had any arms; finding nothing but pocket knives, he took them and conveyed them off.
spent several days in searching the statutes of to find some authority to hold a Court Martial. (The troops said that he had promised when they left, that there were two or three that they should have the privilege of shooting before they returned.) But he could find none, and after a fruitless search of a number of days he came again to see us and informed us that he would turn us over to the civil authorities for trial. Accordingly, the trial commenced; on the bench, and , attorney. This was surely a new kind of Court: it was not an inquisition nor yet a criminal court, but a compound between. A looker on would be convinced that both the judge and attorney were not satisfied that some or all of the prisoners had been guilty of some criminal act or acts, but on the contrary that their object was to try by all means in their power to get some person to swear some criminal thing aginst us, through [though] they were innocent.
The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men, to obtain witnesses without any civil process whatever; and after witnesses were brought before the court, they were sworn at bayonet point. Dr. was the first brought [p. 162]
Page 162