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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 7
image
kind, and served up in a manner which was disgusting. We continued in this situation, bearing up under the injuries and cruelties we suffered as well as we could, until we were removed to , where we were taken in order to be tried for the crimes with which we had been charged. The grand jury (who were mostly intoxicated,) indibted [indicted] us for treason, etc. etc.—
While there, we got a change of venue to Boon[e] county, and were conducted on our way to that place by a strong guard. The second evening after our departure the guard got intoxicated[,] we thought it a favorable opportunity to make our escape; knowing that the only object of our enemies was our destruction; and likewise knowing that a number of our brethren had been massacred by them on , amongst whom were two children; and that they sought every opportunity to abuse others who were left in that state; and that they were never brought to an account for their barbarious proceedings, but were wincked at, and encouraged, by those in authority. We thought that it was necessary for us, inasmuch as we loved our lives, and did not wish to die by the hand of murderers and assasins; and inasmuch, as we loved our families and friends, to deliver ourselves from our enemies, and from that land of tyrany and oppression, and again take our stand amongst a people in whose bosoms dwell those feelings of republicanism and liberty which gave rise to our nation:— Feelings which the inhabitants of the state of were strangers to. Accordingly we took the advantage of the situation of our guard and took our departure, and that night we travelled a cons[i]derable distance. We continued on our journey both by night and by day, and after suffering much fatigue and hunger, I arrived in Illinois, amidst the congratulations of my friends and the embraces of my family.
I have now resided in this neighborhood for several weeks as it is known to thousands of the citizens of , as well as of the State of , but the authorities of , knowing that they had no justice in their crusade against me, and the people with whom I was associated, have not yet to my knowledge, taken the first step towards having me arrested.
Amongst those who have been the chief instruments, and leading characters, in the unparallelled persecutions against the church of Latter Day Saints; the following stand conspicuous, viz: Generals , , and , , and . also, whose zeal in the cause of oppression and injustlce, was unequalled, and whose delight has been to rob, murder, and spread devastation amongst the Saints. He stole a valuable horse, saddle and bridle from me; which cost two hundred dollars, and then sold the same to . On understanding this I applied to for the horse, who assured me, upon the honor of a gentleman, and an officer, that I should have the horse returned to me; but this promise has not been fulfilled.
All the threats, murders, and robberies which these officers have been guilty of, are entirely looked over by the of the ; who, to hide his own iniquity, must of course shield and protect those whom he employed, to carry into effect his murderous purposes.
I was in their hands as a prisoner about six months, but notwtihstanding their determination to destroy me, with the rest of my brethren who were with me; and although at three different times (as I was informed) we were sentenced to be shot, without the least shadow of law, (as we were not military men,) and had the time, and place apointed for that purpose; yet, through the mercy of God, in answer to the prayers of the saints, I have been preserved, and delivered out of their hands, and can again enjoy the society of my friends and brethren, whom I love; and to whom I feel united in bonds that are stronger than death: and in a state where I believe the laws are respected, and whose citizens, are humane and charitable.
During the time I was in the hands of my enemies; I must say, that although I felt great anxiety, respecting my family and friends, who were so inhumanly treated and abused; and who had to mourn the loss of their husbands and children, who had been slain; and after having been robbed of [p. 7]
kind, and served up in a manner which was disgusting. We continued in this situation, bearing up under the injuries and cruelties we suffered as well as we could, until we were removed to , where we were taken in order to be tried for the crimes with which we had been charged. The grand jury (who were mostly intoxicated,) indibted indicted us for treason, etc. etc.—
While there, we got a change of venue to Boone county, and were conducted on our way to that place by a strong guard. The second evening after our departure the guard got intoxicated, we thought it a favorable opportunity to make our escape; knowing that the only object of our enemies was our destruction; and likewise knowing that a number of our brethren had been massacred by them on , amongst whom were two children; and that they sought every opportunity to abuse others who were left in that state; and that they were never brought to an account for their barbarious proceedings, but were wincked at, and encouraged, by those in authority. We thought that it was necessary for us, inasmuch as we loved our lives, and did not wish to die by the hand of murderers and assasins; and inasmuch, as we loved our families and friends, to deliver ourselves from our enemies, and from that land of tyrany and oppression, and again take our stand amongst a people in whose bosoms dwell those feelings of republicanism and liberty which gave rise to our nation:— Feelings which the inhabitants of the state of were strangers to. Accordingly we took the advantage of the situation of our guard and took our departure, and that night we travelled a considerable distance. We continued on our journey both by night and by day, and after suffering much fatigue and hunger, I arrived in Illinois, amidst the congratulations of my friends and the embraces of my family.
I have now resided in this neighborhood for several weeks as it is known to thousands of the citizens of , as well as of the State of , but the authorities of , knowing that they had no justice in their crusade against me, and the people with whom I was associated, have not yet to my knowledge, taken the first step towards having me arrested.
Amongst those who have been the chief instruments, and leading characters, in the unparallelled persecutions against the church of Latter Day Saints; the following stand conspicuous, viz: Generals , , and , , and . also, whose zeal in the cause of oppression and injustlce, was unequalled, and whose delight has been to rob, murder, and spread devastation amongst the Saints. He stole a valuable horse, saddle and bridle from me; which cost two hundred dollars, and then sold the same to . On understanding this I applied to for the horse, who assured me, upon the honor of a gentleman, and an officer, that I should have the horse returned to me; but this promise has not been fulfilled.
All the threats, murders, and robberies which these officers have been guilty of, are entirely looked over by the of the ; who, to hide his own iniquity, must of course shield and protect those whom he employed, to carry into effect his murderous purposes.
I was in their hands as a prisoner about six months, but notwtihstanding their determination to destroy me, with the rest of my brethren who were with me; and although at three different times (as I was informed) we were sentenced to be shot, without the least shadow of law, (as we were not military men,) and had the time, and place apointed for that purpose; yet, through the mercy of God, in answer to the prayers of the saints, I have been preserved, and delivered out of their hands, and can again enjoy the society of my friends and brethren, whom I love; and to whom I feel united in bonds that are stronger than death: and in a state where I believe the laws are respected, and whose citizens, are humane and charitable.
During the time I was in the hands of my enemies; I must say, that although I felt great anxiety, respecting my family and friends, who were so inhumanly treated and abused; and who had to mourn the loss of their husbands and children, who had been slain; and after having been robbed of [p. 7]
Page 7