History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1650
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<​July 1​> consumption, had been brutally violated by a gang of them, and died in their hands, leaving three little children, in whose presence the scene of brutality took place.
After I got out of prison, and had arrived in Illinois, I met a strange man in the street, who was inquiring and inquired of me respecting a circumstance of this kind— saying he had heard of it, and was on his way going to to get the children if he could find them. He said the woman thus murdered was his Sister, or his wife’s sister. I am not positive which. The man was in great agitation. What success he had I know not.
The trial at last ended, and Joseph Smith Senior, , , , and were sent to in the village of , Clay county Missouri.
We were kept there from three to four months; after which time we were brought out on habeas corpus, before one of the county judges. During the hearing under the habeas corpus I had, for the first time, an opportunity of hearing the evidence, as it was all written and read before the court.
It appeared from the evidence, that they attempted to prove us guilty of treason in consequence of the militia of being under arms at the time that ’ army came to . This [HC 3:464] calling out of the Militia, was what they founded the charge of treason upon— an account of which I have given above. The charge of murder was founded on the fact, that a man of their number, they said, had been killed in the battle.
The other charges were founded on things which took place in . As I was not in at that time, I cannot testify anything about them.
A few words about this written testimony.
I do not now recollect of one single point, about which testimony was given, with which I was acquainted, but was misrepresented, nor one solitary witness whose testimony was there written, that did not swear falsely; and in many instances I cannot see how it could avoid being intentional on the part of those who testified— for all of them did swear things that I am satisfied they knew to be false at the time— and it would be hard to persuade me to the contrary.
There were things there said, so utterly without foundation in truth— so much so— that the persons swearing, must, at the time of swearing, have know it. The best construction I can ever put on it, is, that they swore things to be true which they did not know to be so, and this, to me, is wilful perjury.
This trial lasted for a long time, the result of which was, that I was ordered to be discharged from prison, and the rest remanded back: but I was told by those who professed to be my friends, that it would not do for me to go out of jail at that time, as the mob were watching, and would most certainly take my life— and when I got out, that I must leave the , for the mob availing themselves of the exterminating order of , would, if I were found in the , surely take my life— that I had no way to escape them but to flee with all speed from the . It was some ten days after this before I dare leave the . At last the evening came in which I was to leave the . Every preparation was made that could be made for my escape. There was a carriage ready to take me in and carry me off with all speed. A pilot was ready— one who was well acquainted with the country— to pilot me through the country so that I might not go on any of the public roads. My wife came to the to accompany me, [p. 1650]
July 1 consumption, had been brutally violated by a gang of them, and died in their hands, leaving three little children, in whose presence the scene of brutality took place.
After I got out of prison, and had arrived in Illinois, I met a strange man in the street, who was inquiring and inquired of me respecting a circumstance of this kind— saying he had heard of it, and was on his way going to to get the children if he could find them. He said the woman thus murdered was his Sister, or his wife’s sister. I am not positive which. The man was in great agitation. What success he had I know not.
The trial at last ended, and Joseph Smith Senior, , , , and were sent to in the village of , Clay county Missouri.
We were kept there from three to four months; after which time we were brought out on habeas corpus, before one of the county judges. During the hearing under the habeas corpus I had, for the first time, an opportunity of hearing the evidence, as it was all written and read before the court.
It appeared from the evidence, that they attempted to prove us guilty of treason in consequence of the militia of being under arms at the time that ’ army came to . This [HC 3:464] calling out of the Militia, was what they founded the charge of treason upon— an account of which I have given above. The charge of murder was founded on the fact, that a man of their number, they said, had been killed in the battle.
The other charges were founded on things which took place in . As I was not in at that time, I cannot testify anything about them.
A few words about this written testimony.
I do not now recollect of one single point, about which testimony was given, with which I was acquainted, but was misrepresented, nor one solitary witness whose testimony was there written, that did not swear falsely; and in many instances I cannot see how it could avoid being intentional on the part of those who testified— for all of them did swear things that I am satisfied they knew to be false at the time— and it would be hard to persuade me to the contrary.
There were things there said, so utterly without foundation in truth— so much so— that the persons swearing, must, at the time of swearing, have know it. The best construction I can ever put on it, is, that they swore things to be true which they did not know to be so, and this, to me, is wilful perjury.
This trial lasted for a long time, the result of which was, that I was ordered to be discharged from prison, and the rest remanded back: but I was told by those who professed to be my friends, that it would not do for me to go out of jail at that time, as the mob were watching, and would most certainly take my life— and when I got out, that I must leave the , for the mob availing themselves of the exterminating order of , would, if I were found in the , surely take my life— that I had no way to escape them but to flee with all speed from the . It was some ten days after this before I dare leave the . At last the evening came in which I was to leave the . Every preparation was made that could be made for my escape. There was a carriage ready to take me in and carry me off with all speed. A pilot was ready— one who was well acquainted with the country— to pilot me through the country so that I might not go on any of the public roads. My wife came to the to accompany me, [p. 1650]
Page 1650