Sidney Rigdon, Appeal to the American People, 1840, Second Edition

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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to . Accordingly, on Thursday morning, November 8th,  with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great diffi culty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between and Roy’s ferry, on the , they all got  drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses. It was late  in the afternoon, near the setting of the sun. We travelled about  half a mile after we crossed the , and put up for the night. The  next morning there came a number of men, some of them armed, their  threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid  to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore de spatched to to obtain them. We started before their arri val, but had not gone far before we met with a guard, if we  recollect right, of seventy-four men. As to the number, however, we  are not certain; and were conducted by them to and put  into an old vacant house, and a guard set. Sometime through the  course of that day, came in and we were introduced to  him. We enquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried  from our homes and what were the charges against us. He said that  he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time, and  with very little more conversation withdrew. Some short time after  he had withdrawn, came in with two chains in his hands,  and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together.  He had with him ten men armed, who stood at the time of these ope rations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed  down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John  Fulkerson whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains  and padlocks, being seven in number. After that, he searched us,  examining our pockets to see if we had any arms; finding nothing  but pocket knives, he took them and conveyed them off.
spent several days in searching the statutes of to find some authority to hold a court martial. (The troops said  that he had promised when they left, that there were two or three that  they should have the privilege of shooting before they returned.) But  he could find none, and after fruitless search of a number of days he  came again to see us, and informed us that he would turn us over to  the civil authorities for trial. Accordingly, the trial commenced,   on the bench, and , attorney. This  was surely a new kind of court—it was not an inquisition, nor yet a  criminal court, but a compound between. A looker on would be con vinced that both the and were not statisfied that some or  all of the prisoners had been guilty of some criminal act or acts, but,  on the contrary, that their object was to try by all means in their  power to get some person to swear some criminal thing against us,  though they knew we were innocent.
The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men to  obtain witnesses without any civil process whatever; and after wit nesses were brought before the court, they were sworn at bayonet point.  Dr. was the first brought before the court. He had  previously told Mr. , that if he () wished to save  himself, he must swear hard against the heads of the church, as they  were the ones the court wanted to criminate; and if he could swear  hard against them they would, (that is, neither court nor mob,) dis [p. 47]
to . Accordingly, on Thursday morning, November 8th, with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great difficulty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between and Roy’s ferry, on the , they all got drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses. It was late in the afternoon, near the setting of the sun. We travelled about half a mile after we crossed the , and put up for the night. The next morning there came a number of men, some of them armed, their threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore despatched to to obtain them. We started before their arrival, but had not gone far before we met with a guard, if we recollect right, of seventy-four men. As to the number, however, we are not certain; and were conducted by them to and put into an old vacant house, and a guard set. Sometime through the course of that day, came in and we were introduced to him. We enquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried from our homes and what were the charges against us. He said that he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time, and with very little more conversation withdrew. Some short time after he had withdrawn, came in with two chains in his hands, and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together. He had with him ten men armed, who stood at the time of these operations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John Fulkerson whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains and padlocks, being seven in number. After that, he searched us, examining our pockets to see if we had any arms; finding nothing but pocket knives, he took them and conveyed them off.
spent several days in searching the statutes of to find some authority to hold a court martial. (The troops said that he had promised when they left, that there were two or three that they should have the privilege of shooting before they returned.) But he could find none, and after fruitless search of a number of days he came again to see us, and informed us that he would turn us over to the civil authorities for trial. Accordingly, the trial commenced, on the bench, and , attorney. This was surely a new kind of court—it was not an inquisition, nor yet a criminal court, but a compound between. A looker on would be convinced that both the and were not statisfied that some or all of the prisoners had been guilty of some criminal act or acts, but, on the contrary, that their object was to try by all means in their power to get some person to swear some criminal thing against us, though they knew we were innocent.
The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men to obtain witnesses without any civil process whatever; and after witnesses were brought before the court, they were sworn at bayonet point. Dr. was the first brought before the court. He had previously told Mr. , that if he () wished to save himself, he must swear hard against the heads of the church, as they were the ones the court wanted to criminate; and if he could swear hard against them they would, (that is, neither court nor mob,) dis [p. 47]
Page 47