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 pro visions and fuel; in a bleak prairie with none to as sist them, and exposed to a lawless banditti, who  were utter strangers to humanity, and this at the ap proach of winter, was more than nature could well  bear; I went to in tears, and stated  the circumstances of my sick, heart-broken and desti tute family, in terms which would have moved any  heart which had a latent spark of humanity yet re maining. 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 bo dy 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 daugh ters, 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 crowd ed around us, anxious to take a parting look, or a si lent shake of the hand, for feelings were too intense  to allow of speech. In the midst of these scenes, or ders were given, and we moved slowly on, surround ed by a brigade of and Van Buren county  troops. After marching about 12 miles, we encamp ed 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