History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 139
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<​June 22​> Luman H. Calkins made the following affidavit:—
City of .)
“June 22nd, 1844.
Personally appeared before me, , an Alderman acting in and for the City of , Luman H. Calkins, and being first duly sworn deposeth and saith, that about seven weeks ago, I came on the Steam Boat ‘Ohio’ from to , when William Nesbit who was on board entered into conversation with your deponent. I asked him if he knew any thing about the conspiracy in to kill Joseph and , and all that believed on them; he said he did— it was intended that they all should be killed between then and the 1st July. I asked him who was at the head of the conspiracy; he replied he was sworn not to tell who the head one was. I asked him if there were any in concerned; he replied there was, and named the two Laws, two Fosters, two Higbees, , and several others. I asked if it was to be made a public thing; he replied the first blow was to be struck in by those who were opposed to Joseph. I asked how many they could rely on in ; he said they could rely on five hundred if they could only get arms for them. He said as soon as the first blow was struck in , there were about 7,000 men ready in to join them to exterminate all who believed on Joseph Smith. He also told me that the ‘Die Vernon’ when she came on her pleasure trip to , that there were none but spies, and who came on purpose to see the places in order to know how to strike, when the time comes to strike; and he also said ‘the Reformers’, had got spies continually passing , in order to spy out all that took place, and there was not a thing took place in but what was made known to them in as soon as a Steamboat landed. I told him I should think he would be afraid to stop here; he said he should stay in , and carry on his butchering as usual, as if there was nothing taking place; that he had as good a gun as any man ever put to his face, and that the first shot he should fire would be to kill Joseph and ; said I, the people will surely kill you then; he replied he would rush through a thousand people to wash his hands in Joseph’s blood, and especially in ’s, if he was to be immediately cut into a thousand pieces; he said he should be willing to die, as soon as he had killed them. [HC 6:531] About five weeks since I had another conversation with William Nesbit, when he confirmed the whole of the foregoing conversation; and he also said, he had made arrangements with Mr. Bostwick of to send him a brace of the best pistols for the purpose of being ready when he wanted them; he also said that he would kill any time that he could get an opportunity without being detected. I then asked him, if could be put in his way so that no man would mistrust him, would you kill him? He said ‘By God I would’. I asked if he would not be afraid to kill him in cold blood; he replied ‘no, I would not, I would do it in a moment if I could get an opportunity’. The day following I left for , and returned on Tuesday 18th ins’t, and on the 19th I saw William Nesbit in the ranks, and I cautioned Richard Brazier to keep an eye on Nesbit, for he had sworn to wash his hands in Joseph’s and ’s blood.
Luman H. Calkins.
“Subscribed and sworn to this 22nd day of June, 1844, before me,
Alderman of the City of .”
At 12 noon orders were sent to the different guards and pickets to let persons pass and repass without hailing them until further orders. [p. 139]
June 22 Luman H. Calkins made the following affidavit:—
City of .)
“June 22nd, 1844.
Personally appeared before me, , an Alderman acting in and for the City of , Luman H. Calkins, and being first duly sworn deposeth and saith, that about seven weeks ago, I came on the Steam Boat ‘Ohio’ from to , when William Nesbit who was on board entered into conversation with your deponent. I asked him if he knew any thing about the conspiracy in to kill Joseph and , and all that believed on them; he said he did— it was intended that they all should be killed between then and the 1st July. I asked him who was at the head of the conspiracy; he replied he was sworn not to tell who the head one was. I asked him if there were any in concerned; he replied there was, and named the two Laws, two Fosters, two Higbees, , and several others. I asked if it was to be made a public thing; he replied the first blow was to be struck in by those who were opposed to Joseph. I asked how many they could rely on in ; he said they could rely on five hundred if they could only get arms for them. He said as soon as the first blow was struck in , there were about 7,000 men ready in to join them to exterminate all who believed on Joseph Smith. He also told me that the ‘Die Vernon’ when she came on her pleasure trip to , that there were none but spies, and who came on purpose to see the places in order to know how to strike, when the time comes to strike; and he also said ‘the Reformers’, had got spies continually passing , in order to spy out all that took place, and there was not a thing took place in but what was made known to them in as soon as a Steamboat landed. I told him I should think he would be afraid to stop here; he said he should stay in , and carry on his butchering as usual, as if there was nothing taking place; that he had as good a gun as any man ever put to his face, and that the first shot he should fire would be to kill Joseph and ; said I, the people will surely kill you then; he replied he would rush through a thousand people to wash his hands in Joseph’s blood, and especially in ’s, if he was to be immediately cut into a thousand pieces; he said he should be willing to die, as soon as he had killed them. [HC 6:531] About five weeks since I had another conversation with William Nesbit, when he confirmed the whole of the foregoing conversation; and he also said, he had made arrangements with Mr. Bostwick of to send him a brace of the best pistols for the purpose of being ready when he wanted them; he also said that he would kill any time that he could get an opportunity without being detected. I then asked him, if could be put in his way so that no man would mistrust him, would you kill him? He said ‘By God I would’. I asked if he would not be afraid to kill him in cold blood; he replied ‘no, I would not, I would do it in a moment if I could get an opportunity’. The day following I left for , and returned on Tuesday 18th ins’t, and on the 19th I saw William Nesbit in the ranks, and I cautioned Richard Brazier to keep an eye on Nesbit, for he had sworn to wash his hands in Joseph’s and ’s blood.
Luman H. Calkins.
“Subscribed and sworn to this 22nd day of June, 1844, before me,
Alderman of the City of .”
At 12 noon orders were sent to the different guards and pickets to let persons pass and repass without hailing them until further orders. [p. 139]
Page 139