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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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houses, and abused the innocent and  unoffending inhabitants. They went  to my house and drove my family out  of doors. They carried away most of  my property and left many destitute.—  We were taken to the town, into the  public square; and before our departure  from , we, after much entrea ties, were suffered to see our families,  being attended all the while with a strong  guard; I found my and children  in tears, who expected we were shot  by those who had sworn to take our  lives, and that they should see  me no more. When I entered my  house, they clung to my garments,  their eyes streaming with tears, while  mingled emotions of joy and sorrow  were manifest in their countenances.  I requested to have a private interview  with them a few minutes, but this privi lege was denied me, I was then oblig ed to take my departure, but who can  realize my feelings which I experien ced at that time; to be torn from my  , and leaving her surrounded  with monsters in the shape of men, and  my children too, not knowing how their  wants would be supplied; to be taken  far from them in order that my ene mies might destroy me when they  thought proper to do so. My  wept, my children clung to me and  were only thrust from me by the swords  of the guard who guarded me. I felt  overwhelmed while I witnessed the  scene, and could only reccomend them  to the care of that God, whose kind ness had followed me to the present  time; and who alone could protect them,  and deliver me from the hands of my  enemies and restore me to my family
I was then taken back to the camp  and then I with the rest of my brethren,  viz: , ,  , , , and ,  were removed to , Jack son county. They did not make  known what their intention or designs  were in taking us there; but knowing  that some of our most bitter enemies  resided in that , we came to the  conclusion that their design was to  shoot us, which from the testimony of  others. I do think was a correct conclu sion. While there, we were under the  care of Generals and ,  we had to find our own board, and had  to sleep on the floor with nothing but  a mantle for our covering, and a stick  of wood for our pillow. After remain ing there a few days we were ordered  by General to return; we were  accordingly taken back as far as , and there we were thrust into  prison and our feet bound with fetters.  While in , we were under the  charge of from , who suffered all manner of  abuse to be heaped upon us. During  this time my afflictions were great, and  our situation was truly painful. After  remaining there a few days we were  taken before the court of inquiry, but  were not prepared with witnesses, in  consequence of the eruelty [cruelty] of the mob,  who threatend destruction to all who  had any thing to say in our favor: but  notwithstanding their threats there  were a few who did not think their lives  dear so that they might testify to the  truth, and in our behalf, knowing we  were unlawfully confined; but the court  who was prejudiced against us, would  not suffer them to be examined accor ding to law, but suffered the State’s At torney to abuse them as he thought  proper. We were then removed to  Liberty jail in Clay county, and there  kept in close confinement in that place  for more than four months. while  there, we petitioned for  a writ of habeas corpus, but on ac count of the prejudice of the jailor all  communication was cut off; at length  however, we succeeded iin getting a  petition conveyed to him, but for four teen days we received no answer. We  likewise petitioned the other Judges but  with no success. After the expiration  of fourteen days or dered us to appear before him, we  went and took a number of witnesses,  which caused us considerable expense  and trouble; but he altogether refused  to hear any of our witnesses. The  lawyers which we had employed re fused to act; being afraid of the people.  This being the case, we of course could  not succeed, and were consequently  [re]manded back to our prison house.—  We were sometimes visited by our  friends whose kindness and attention,  [I] shall ever remember with feelings of  [li]vely gratitude, but frequently we  were not sufiered to have that privi lege. Our vituals were of the coarsest [p. 6]
houses, and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants. They went to my house and drove my family out of doors. They carried away most of my property and left many destitute.— We were taken to the town, into the public square; and before our departure from , we, after much entreaties, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while with a strong guard; I found my and children in tears, who expected we were shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they should see me no more. When I entered my house, they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifest in their countenances. I requested to have a private interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me, I was then obliged to take my departure, but who can realize my feelings which I experienced at that time; to be torn from my , and leaving her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. My wept, my children clung to me and were only thrust from me by the swords of the guard who guarded me. I felt overwhelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only reccomend them to the care of that God, whose kindness had followed me to the present time; and who alone could protect them, and deliver me from the hands of my enemies and restore me to my family
I was then taken back to the camp and then I with the rest of my brethren, viz: , , , , , and , were removed to , Jackson county. They did not make known what their intention or designs were in taking us there; but knowing that some of our most bitter enemies resided in that , we came to the conclusion that their design was to shoot us, which from the testimony of others. I do think was a correct conclusion. While there, we were under the care of Generals and , we had to find our own board, and had to sleep on the floor with nothing but a mantle for our covering, and a stick of wood for our pillow. After remaining there a few days we were ordered by General to return; we were accordingly taken back as far as , and there we were thrust into prison and our feet bound with fetters. While in , we were under the charge of from , who suffered all manner of abuse to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful. After remaining there a few days we were taken before the court of inquiry, but were not prepared with witnesses, in consequence of the eruelty [cruelty] of the mob, who threatend destruction to all who had any thing to say in our favor: but notwithstanding their threats there were a few who did not think their lives dear so that they might testify to the truth, and in our behalf, knowing we were unlawfully confined; but the court who was prejudiced against us, would not suffer them to be examined according to law, but suffered the State’s Attorney to abuse them as he thought proper. We were then removed to Liberty jail in Clay county, and there kept in close confinement in that place for more than four months. while there, we petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, but on account of the prejudice of the jailor all communication was cut off; at length however, we succeeded iin getting a petition conveyed to him, but for fourteen days we received no answer. We likewise petitioned the other Judges but with no success. After the expiration of fourteen days ordered us to appear before him, we went and took a number of witnesses, which caused us considerable expense and trouble; but he altogether refused to hear any of our witnesses. The lawyers which we had employed refused to act; being afraid of the people. This being the case, we of course could not succeed, and were consequently remanded back to our prison house.— We were sometimes visited by our friends whose kindness and attention, I shall ever remember with feelings of lively gratitude, but frequently we were not sufiered to have that privilege. Our vituals were of the coarsest [p. 6]
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