“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 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 tha[t] 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 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 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]
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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