“Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.,” July 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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promise protection to every religious  society, without distinction.
During this state of things, I do not  recollect that either myself, or the peo ple with whom I was associated, had  done any thing to deserve such treat ment, but felt a desire to live at peace,  and on friendly terms, with the citizens  of that, and the adjoining counties, as  well as with all men; and I can truly  say, “for my love they were my ene mies,” and “sought to slay me without  any cause,” or the least shadow of a  pretext.
My family was kept in a continual  state of alarm, not knowing, when I  went from home, that I should ever re turn again; or what would befall me  from day to day. But notwithstanding  these manifestations of enmity, I hoped  that the citizens would eventually cease  from their abusive and murderous pur poses, and would reflect with sorrow  upon their conduct in endeavoring to  destroy me, whose only crime was in  worshiping the God of heaven, and  keeping his commandments; and that  they would soon desist from harrassing  a people, who were as good citizens as  the majority of this vast republic— who  labored almost night and day, to culti vate the ground; and whose industry,  during the time they were in tha[t]  neighborhood, was proverbial.
In the latter part of September, A.  D. 1838, I took a journey, in compa ny with some others, to the lower part  of the county of , for the pur pose of selecting a location for a  Town. While on my journey, I was  met by one of our brethren from , in Carroll county, who stated that  our people, who had settled in that  place, were, and had been for some  time, surrounded by a mob, who had  threatened their lives, and had shot at  them several times; and that he was  on his way to , to inform the  brethren there, of the facts. I was  surprised on receiving this intelligence,  although there had, previous to this  time, been some manifestations of  mobs, but I had hoped that the good  sense of the ma[j]ority of the people,  and their respect for the constitution,  would have put down any spirit of  persecution, which might have been  manifested in that neighborhood.
Immediately on receiving this intell igence, I made preparations to go to  that place, and endeavor, if possible,  to allay the feelings of the citizens,  and save the lives of my brethren who  were thus exposed to their wrath. I  arrived at , about the first  of October, and found that the  accounts of the situation of that place,  were correct; for it was with much  difficulty, and by travelling unfrequen ted roads, that I was able to get there;  all the principal roads being strongly  guarded by the mob, who refused all  ingress as well as egress. I found my  brethren, (who were only a handfull,  in comparison to the mob, by which  they were surrounded,) in this situa tion, and their provisions nearly ex hausted, and no prospect of obtaining  any more.
We thought it necessary to send im mediately to the , to inform  him of the circumstances; hoping, from  the , to receive the protection  which we needed, and which was  guaranteed to us, in common with oth er citizens. Several Gentlemen of  standing and respectability, who lived  in the immediate vicinity, (who were  not in any wise connected with the  church of Latter Day Saints,) who  had witnessed the proceedings of our  enemies; came forward and made affi davits to the treatment we had receiv ed, and concerning our perilous situa tion; and offered their services to go  and present the case to the  themselves. A messenger was ac cordingly despatched to his , who made known to him our situa tion. But instead of receiving any aid  whatever, or even sympathy from his  , we were told that “the  quarrel was between the Mormons and  the mob,” and that “we might fight it  out.” In the mean time, we had peti tioned the Judges to protect us. They  sent out about one hundred of the mili tia, under the command of ; but almost immediate ly on their arrival, in formed us that the greater part of his  men under had mutinied,  and that he should be obliged to draw  them off from the place, for fear they  would [j]oin the mob; consequently he  could afford us no assistance. [p. 3]
promise protection to every religious society, without distinction.
During this state of things, I do not recollect that either myself, or the people with whom I was associated, had done any thing to deserve such treatment, but felt a desire to live at peace, and on friendly terms, with the citizens of that, and the adjoining counties, as well as with all men; and I can truly say, “for my love they were my enemies,” and “sought to slay me without any cause,” or the least shadow of a pretext.
My family was kept in a continual state of alarm, not knowing, when I went from home, that I should ever return again; or what would befall me from day to day. But notwithstanding these manifestations of enmity, I hoped that the citizens would eventually cease from their abusive and murderous purposes, and would reflect with sorrow upon their conduct in endeavoring to destroy me, whose only crime was in worshiping the God of heaven, and keeping his commandments; and that they would soon desist from harrassing a people, who were as good citizens as the majority of this vast republic— who labored almost night and day, to cultivate the ground; and whose industry, during the time they were in that neighborhood, was proverbial.
In the latter part of September, A. D. 1838, I took a journey, in company with some others, to the lower part of the county of , for the purpose of selecting a location for a Town. While on my journey, I was met by one of our brethren from , in Carroll county, who stated that our people, who had settled in that place, were, and had been for some time, surrounded by a mob, who had threatened their lives, and had shot at them several times; and that he was on his way to , to inform the brethren there, of the facts. I was surprised on receiving this intelligence, although there had, previous to this time, been some manifestations of mobs, but I had hoped that the good sense of the majority of the people, and their respect for the constitution, would have put down any spirit of persecution, which might have been manifested in that neighborhood.
Immediately on receiving this intelligence, I made preparations to go to that place, and endeavor, if possible, to allay the feelings of the citizens, and save the lives of my brethren who were thus exposed to their wrath. I arrived at , about the first of October, and found that the accounts of the situation of that place, were correct; for it was with much difficulty, and by travelling unfrequented roads, that I was able to get there; all the principal roads being strongly guarded by the mob, who refused all ingress as well as egress. I found my brethren, (who were only a handfull, in comparison to the mob, by which they were surrounded,) in this situation, and their provisions nearly exhausted, and no prospect of obtaining any more.
We thought it necessary to send immediately to the , to inform him of the circumstances; hoping, from the , to receive the protection which we needed, and which was guaranteed to us, in common with other citizens. Several Gentlemen of standing and respectability, who lived in the immediate vicinity, (who were not in any wise connected with the church of Latter Day Saints,) who had witnessed the proceedings of our enemies; came forward and made affidavits to the treatment we had received, and concerning our perilous situation; and offered their services to go and present the case to the themselves. A messenger was accordingly despatched to his , who made known to him our situation. But instead of receiving any aid whatever, or even sympathy from his , we were told that “the quarrel was between the Mormons and the mob,” and that “we might fight it out.” In the mean time, we had petitioned the Judges to protect us. They sent out about one hundred of the militia, under the command of ; but almost immediately on their arrival, informed us that the greater part of his men under had mutinied, and that he should be obliged to draw them off from the place, for fear they would [j]oin the mob; consequently he could afford us no assistance. [p. 3]
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