“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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what to do for their safety, they  knew not. To resist large bodies of  the mob, in their scattered situation,  appeared useless; and to gather togeth er into one body, immediately, was  impracticable, for they had not in any  one place, houses to dwell in, or food  for themselves and stock. A consulta tion was held, near , by  some of the principal men of the  church, to see what was best to be  done; it was concluded to obtain peace  warrants, if possible, against some of  the principal leaders, of the mob; and  also to advise their brethren to gather  together, into four or five bodies, in  their different neighborhoods, and de fend themselves, as well as they could,  whenever the mob should come upon  them. They then went to a magis trate, and applied for a warrant, but  he refused to grant one. The ’s letter, directing them to proceed  in that way, was then read to him, up on which he replied that he cared  nothing about it. At that very time  the streets were filled with mobbers,  passing and repassing, threatening the  saints, in different directions, with des truction. And to be deprived of the  benefit of law, at such a critical time,  was well calculated to make the saints  feel solemn, and mourn over the de pravity of man. But they had not  much time for reflection; for they had  many things to do to prepare for the  night, which was just at hand, in the  which they expected the mob would be  upon them. Up to this time, the per sons of women and children were con sidered safe, they seldom being abused;  therefore the men run together for the  night, leaving their families at home.
At the men met half  a mile west of the .—  Night came on and a party of the mob,  who had staid in the village, were  heard brick-batting the houses; spies  were sent to discover their movements,  who returned with information that  they were tearing down a brick-house,  belonging to and , and  also breaking open their . Upon  hearing that news, those who were col lected together, formed themselves in to two small companies, and marched  up to the public square, where they  found a number of men in the act of  stoning the of Gilbert and Whit ney, (which was broken open, and  some of the goods thrown into the  street) they all fled but one , who was taken and found to  be well lined with whiskey. and one or two more went with  him to , and demanded  a warrant for him, but he refused to  give them one; consequently  was liberated. Next morning it was  ascertained that the windows were  broken in, where there were none but  women and children; one house in par ticular, which had window shutters, and  they were shut, had a rail thrust  through into the room where women  and children were alone. Seeing that  neither sex nor age were safe, the  families were all moved out of the vil lage that day. The same night an other party of the mob collected about  ten or twelve miles from ,  near a body of the saints; two of their  company went to discover the situation  of the brethren; they came near the  guard, when discovering  them, advanced and went up to them:  when one of them struck him over the  head with a rifle, which cut a large  gash in his head, and nearly knocked  him down; but he recovered himself,  called to his men who were near, they  took the spies and disarmed them of  two rifles and three pistols, kept them  in custody until morning, then gave  them their arms and let them go with out injuring them. The rest of their  company were heard at a distance,  but they dispersed without doing any  harm.
to be continued. [p. 20]
what to do for their safety, they knew not. To resist large bodies of the mob, in their scattered situation, appeared useless; and to gather together into one body, immediately, was impracticable, for they had not in any one place, houses to dwell in, or food for themselves and stock. A consultation was held, near , by some of the principal men of the church, to see what was best to be done; it was concluded to obtain peace warrants, if possible, against some of the principal leaders, of the mob; and also to advise their brethren to gather together, into four or five bodies, in their different neighborhoods, and defend themselves, as well as they could, whenever the mob should come upon them. They then went to a magistrate, and applied for a warrant, but he refused to grant one. The ’s letter, directing them to proceed in that way, was then read to him, upon which he replied that he cared nothing about it. At that very time the streets were filled with mobbers, passing and repassing, threatening the saints, in different directions, with destruction. And to be deprived of the benefit of law, at such a critical time, was well calculated to make the saints feel solemn, and mourn over the depravity of man. But they had not much time for reflection; for they had many things to do to prepare for the night, which was just at hand, in the which they expected the mob would be upon them. Up to this time, the persons of women and children were considered safe, they seldom being abused; therefore the men run together for the night, leaving their families at home.
At the men met half a mile west of the .— Night came on and a party of the mob, who had staid in the village, were heard brick-batting the houses; spies were sent to discover their movements, who returned with information that they were tearing down a brick-house, belonging to and , and also breaking open their . Upon hearing that news, those who were collected together, formed themselves into two small companies, and marched up to the public square, where they found a number of men in the act of stoning the of Gilbert and Whitney, (which was broken open, and some of the goods thrown into the street) they all fled but one , who was taken and found to be well lined with whiskey. and one or two more went with him to , and demanded a warrant for him, but he refused to give them one; consequently was liberated. Next morning it was ascertained that the windows were broken in, where there were none but women and children; one house in particular, which had window shutters, and they were shut, had a rail thrust through into the room where women and children were alone. Seeing that neither sex nor age were safe, the families were all moved out of the village that day. The same night another party of the mob collected about ten or twelve miles from , near a body of the saints; two of their company went to discover the situation of the brethren; they came near the guard, when discovering them, advanced and went up to them: when one of them struck him over the head with a rifle, which cut a large gash in his head, and nearly knocked him down; but he recovered himself, called to his men who were near, they took the spies and disarmed them of two rifles and three pistols, kept them in custody until morning, then gave them their arms and let them go without injuring them. The rest of their company were heard at a distance, but they dispersed without doing any harm.
to be continued. [p. 20]
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