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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1637
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1 July 1843 • Saturday
<​July 1​> We remained in County three or four days and nights, during most of which time, the prisoners were treated in a gentlemanly manner, and boarded at a hotel, for which they had afterwards, when confined in , to pay the most extravagant price, or have their property, if any they had, attached for the same.— At this time had arrived at , and by orders from the , took on himself the command of the whole of the militia, notwithstanding ’s commission was the oldest, but he was supposed to be too friendly to the Mormons; and therefore dismounted, and sanctioned the measures of , however cruel [blank]; and said, he should have done the same had he been there himself. Accordingly he remanded the prisoners from , and they were taken and escorted by a strong guard to ; threatened several times on the way with violence and death. They were met five miles before they reached , by about one hundred armed men, and when they arrived in town they were thrust into an old cabin under a strong guard. I was informed by one of the guards, that two nights previous to their arrival, held a court martial, and the prisoners were again sentenced to be shot: but he being a little doubtful of his authority, sent immediately to Fort Leavenworth for the military law, and a decision from the [HC 3:447] officers, where he was duly informed, that any such proceeding would be a cool blooded and heartless murder. On the arrival of the prisoners at , Joseph Smith and sent for ; to be informed by him what crimes were alleged against us. He came in and said he would see us again in a few minutes: shortly he returned and said he would inform us of the crimes alleged against us by the state of .
“Gentlemen, you are charged with treason, murder, arson, burglary, larceny, theft, and stealing, and various other charges too tedious to mention, at this time;” and he immediately left the room. In about twenty minutes there came in a strong guard, together with the keeper of the penitentiary of the , who brought with him three common trace chains, noozed together by putting the small end through the ring; and commenced chaining us up one by one, and fastening with padlocks, about two feet apart. In this unhallowed situation, the prisoners remained fifteen days, and in this situation delivered us to the professed civil authorities of the , without any legal process being served on us at all, during the whole time we were kept in chains, with nothing but ex-parte evidence, and that either by the vilest apostates, or by the mob who had committed murder in the state of . Notwithstanding all this ex-parte evidence, did inform our lawyer, ten days previous to the termination of the trial, who he should commit and who he should not; and I heard say on his bench, in the presence of hundreds of witnesses, that there was no law for the Mormons, and they need not expect any. Said he, ‘if the ’s exterminating order had been directed to me, I would have seen it fulfiled to the very letter ere this time.’
After a tedious trial of fifteen days, with no other witnesses but ex-parte ones, the witnesses for the prisoners were either kicked out of doors or put on trial for themselves. The prisoners were now committed to , under the care and direction of Samuel Tillery, jailor.— Here we were received with a shout of indignation and scorn, by the prejudiced populace. Prisoners were here thrust into [p. 1637]
1 July 1843 • Saturday
July 1 We remained in County three or four days and nights, during most of which time, the prisoners were treated in a gentlemanly manner, and boarded at a hotel, for which they had afterwards, when confined in , to pay the most extravagant price, or have their property, if any they had, attached for the same.— At this time had arrived at , and by orders from the , took on himself the command of the whole of the militia, notwithstanding ’s commission was the oldest, but he was supposed to be too friendly to the Mormons; and therefore dismounted, and sanctioned the measures of , however cruel [blank]; and said, he should have done the same had he been there himself. Accordingly he remanded the prisoners from , and they were taken and escorted by a strong guard to ; threatened several times on the way with violence and death. They were met five miles before they reached , by about one hundred armed men, and when they arrived in town they were thrust into an old cabin under a strong guard. I was informed by one of the guards, that two nights previous to their arrival, held a court martial, and the prisoners were again sentenced to be shot: but he being a little doubtful of his authority, sent immediately to Fort Leavenworth for the military law, and a decision from the [HC 3:447] officers, where he was duly informed, that any such proceeding would be a cool blooded and heartless murder. On the arrival of the prisoners at , Joseph Smith and sent for ; to be informed by him what crimes were alleged against us. He came in and said he would see us again in a few minutes: shortly he returned and said he would inform us of the crimes alleged against us by the state of .
“Gentlemen, you are charged with treason, murder, arson, burglary, larceny, theft, and stealing, and various other charges too tedious to mention, at this time;” and he immediately left the room. In about twenty minutes there came in a strong guard, together with the keeper of the penitentiary of the , who brought with him three common trace chains, noozed together by putting the small end through the ring; and commenced chaining us up one by one, and fastening with padlocks, about two feet apart. In this unhallowed situation, the prisoners remained fifteen days, and in this situation delivered us to the professed civil authorities of the , without any legal process being served on us at all, during the whole time we were kept in chains, with nothing but ex-parte evidence, and that either by the vilest apostates, or by the mob who had committed murder in the state of . Notwithstanding all this ex-parte evidence, did inform our lawyer, ten days previous to the termination of the trial, who he should commit and who he should not; and I heard say on his bench, in the presence of hundreds of witnesses, that there was no law for the Mormons, and they need not expect any. Said he, ‘if the ’s exterminating order had been directed to me, I would have seen it fulfiled to the very letter ere this time.’
After a tedious trial of fifteen days, with no other witnesses but ex-parte ones, the witnesses for the prisoners were either kicked out of doors or put on trial for themselves. The prisoners were now committed to , under the care and direction of Samuel Tillery, jailor.— Here we were received with a shout of indignation and scorn, by the prejudiced populace. Prisoners were here thrust into [p. 1637]
Page 1637