Parley P. Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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promised to try to live, and though an age should separate us, we would live for each other. I then kissed her and the little babes, and departed. Till now I had refrained from weeping, but to be forced from so helpless a family, who were destitute of provisions and fuel; in a bleak prairie with none to assist them, and exposed to a lawless banditti, who were utter strangers to humanity, and this at the approach of winter, was more than nature could well bear; I went to in tears, and stated the circumstances of my sick, heart-broken and destitute family, in terms which would have moved any heart which had a latent spark of humanity yet remaining. But I was only answered with an exulting laugh, and a taunt of triumph, from this hardened murderer.
As I returned from my house towards the main body of the army who were to conduct us, I halted with the guard at the door of , and heard the sobs and groans of his wife, at his parting words. She was about to be confined in child-birth when he left her to accompany us. As we returned to the waggon we saw taking leave of his wife and daughters, who stood at a little distance in tears of anguish inexpressible; whilst in the waggon sat Joseph Smith; while his aged and venerable came up, overwhelmed in tears, and took us all by the hand.
In the meantime, hundreds of the brethren crowded around us, anxious to take a parting look, or a silent shake of the hand, for feelings were too intense to allow of speech. In the midst of these scenes, orders were given, and we moved slowly on, surrounded by a brigade of and Van Buren county troops. After marching about 12 miles, we encamped for the night on . Here began to treat us more kindly; he became very sociable, conversing freely on the subject of his [p. 43]
promised to try to live, and though an age should separate us, we would live for each other. I then kissed her and the little babes, and departed. Till now I had refrained from weeping, but to be forced from so helpless a family, who were destitute of provisions and fuel; in a bleak prairie with none to assist them, and exposed to a lawless banditti, who were utter strangers to humanity, and this at the approach of winter, was more than nature could well bear; I went to in tears, and stated the circumstances of my sick, heart-broken and destitute family, in terms which would have moved any heart which had a latent spark of humanity yet remaining. But I was only answered with an exulting laugh, and a taunt of triumph, from this hardened murderer.
As I returned from my house towards the main body of the army who were to conduct us, I halted with the guard at the door of , and heard the sobs and groans of his wife, at his parting words. She was about to be confined in child-birth when he left her to accompany us. As we returned to the waggon we saw taking leave of his wife and daughters, who stood at a little distance in tears of anguish inexpressible; whilst in the waggon sat Joseph Smith; while his aged and venerable came up, overwhelmed in tears, and took us all by the hand.
In the meantime, hundreds of the brethren crowded around us, anxious to take a parting look, or a silent shake of the hand, for feelings were too intense to allow of speech. In the midst of these scenes, orders were given, and we moved slowly on, surrounded by a brigade of and Van Buren county troops. After marching about 12 miles, we encamped for the night on . Here began to treat us more kindly; he became very sociable, conversing freely on the subject of his [p. 43]
Page 43