During the time that was examining the military law, there were something took place, which may be proper to relate in this place. I heard a plan laying, among a number of those who belonged to s army & some of them officers of high rank, to go to , & commit violence on the persons of Joseph Smith, Senior’s , & my wife & daughters.
This gave me some uneasiness. I got an opportunity to send my family word of their design, & to make such arrangements, as they could to guard against their vile purposes, The time at last arrived, & the party started for . I waited with painful anxiety for their return. After a number of days, they returned. I listened to all they said, to find out, if possible what they had done. One night, I think the very night after their return, I heard them relating to some of those who had not been with them, the events of their adventure. Inquiry was made about their success, in the particular object of their visit to . The substance of what they said in answer, was, “that they had passed & repassed both houses, & saw the females, but there were so many men about the , that they dare not venture for fear of being detected, & their numbers were not sufficient to accomplish anything if they had made the attempt, & they came off without trying.”
No civil process of any kind, had been issued against us, we were there held in duress, without knowing what for, or what charges were to be made preferred against us. At last, after long suspense came into the prison, presenting himself, about as awkwardly as at first, & informed us. “that we would be put into the hands of the civil authorities. He said he did not know precisely, what crimes would be charged against us, but they would be within the range of treason, murder , , , theft & stealing.” Here again another smile was forced, & I could not refrain, at the expence of this would be great man, in whom, he said, “the faith of was pledged.” After long & awful suspense, the notable , judge of the circuit court, took the seat, & we were ordered before him for trial, , Esqr prosecuting attorney. All things, being arranged the trial opened. No papers were read to us, no charges of any kind were preferred, nor did we know against what we had to plead. Our crimes had yet to to be found out.
At the commencement, we requested that we might be tried seperately; but this was refused & we were all put on trial together. Witnesses appeared & the swearing commenced. It was so plainly manifested [p. 146]