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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 253
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<​July 4​> “That your affiant would further state that this company before mentioned were painted black: that the guns of the guard at the jail were loaded with blank cartridges; that this was an arrangement entered into by the Carthage Greys as said the messenger who came to meet said company in the morning:
“That your said affiant saw Joseph Smith leap from the window of the jail, and that one of the company picked him up and placed him against the well curb, and several shot him, exclaiming ‘Shoot him! Damn him! Shoot him,’ and further your affiant saith not” [HC 7:163]
The following anonymous letter was written:—
“For the Democrat.
, Iowa July 4, 1844
“Mr. Editor,
Sir, On this birthday of our common country I am admonished [HC 7:164] by surrounding circumatances, that something must be done by the friends of liberty, and that speedily too, or the star spangled banner of the American Eagle must soon cease to wave its golden pinions o’er the heads of freemen.
“I was aroused to these reflections by the statements of Messrs and in the Nauvoo Neighbor Extra, of Sunday June 30th 1844, 3 p. m., also of the Neighbor, of yesterday. Mr is a gentleman of high legal attainments, of Madison, in our , possessed of a character for truth and veracity— not to be impeached. Mr is an attorney, of , in this Territory, of the same character and standing: His word may be relied on, and as these gentlemen were in the midst of the circumstances which led to the horrid butchery of Generals Joseph and at on the 27th ult., and as they, like myself, are no Mormons & live in a neighboring territory, I hope the citizens of these will give their statements of this horrid affair that confidence and calm deliberation which the case solemnly demands.
“If the free born sons of american liberty can be incarcerated in prison for some supposed or real crime without the privilege of an investigation and be murdered by a ruthless mob in that defenceless state, in open daylight, and in the presence of the authorities of the land too, where, I ask in the name of freemen, where is our freedom? Where is our security for all the blessings for which our fathers fought and bled? Who will ere long dare lay his head upon his pillow in his own habitation and say, I am safe, if the strong walls of a prison are not sufficient to guarantee safety to citizens of this republic, what may we soon expect who live in unwalled houses? I ask in the name of humanity, are not American liberties on the verge of a mighty precipice, just ready to plunge into the whirlpool of utter dissolution.
“Perhaps it may be said the Mormons are to blame; and supposing they are, does this warrant death and destruction to be hurled at them without judge or jury? The riots at and other places have been sufficiently alarming, but the recent tragedy at mocks all parallel— history has no equal. The page of time till June 27th. 1844 has been [p. 253]
July 4 “That your affiant would further state that this company before mentioned were painted black: that the guns of the guard at the jail were loaded with blank cartridges; that this was an arrangement entered into by the Carthage Greys as said the messenger who came to meet said company in the morning:
“That your said affiant saw Joseph Smith leap from the window of the jail, and that one of the company picked him up and placed him against the well curb, and several shot him, exclaiming ‘Shoot him! Damn him! Shoot him,’ and further your affiant saith not” [HC 7:163]
The following anonymous letter was written:—
“For the Democrat.
, Iowa July 4, 1844
“Mr. Editor,
Sir, On this birthday of our common country I am admonished [HC 7:164] by surrounding circumatances, that something must be done by the friends of liberty, and that speedily too, or the star spangled banner of the American Eagle must soon cease to wave its golden pinions o’er the heads of freemen.
“I was aroused to these reflections by the statements of Messrs and in the Nauvoo Neighbor Extra, of Sunday June 30th 1844, 3 p. m., also of the Neighbor, of yesterday. Mr is a gentleman of high legal attainments, of Madison, in our , possessed of a character for truth and veracity— not to be impeached. Mr is an attorney, of , in this Territory, of the same character and standing: His word may be relied on, and as these gentlemen were in the midst of the circumstances which led to the horrid butchery of Generals Joseph and at on the 27th ult., and as they, like myself, are no Mormons & live in a neighboring territory, I hope the citizens of these will give their statements of this horrid affair that confidence and calm deliberation which the case solemnly demands.
“If the free born sons of american liberty can be incarcerated in prison for some supposed or real crime without the privilege of an investigation and be murdered by a ruthless mob in that defenceless state, in open daylight, and in the presence of the authorities of the land too, where, I ask in the name of freemen, where is our freedom? Where is our security for all the blessings for which our fathers fought and bled? Who will ere long dare lay his head upon his pillow in his own habitation and say, I am safe, if the strong walls of a prison are not sufficient to guarantee safety to citizens of this republic, what may we soon expect who live in unwalled houses? I ask in the name of humanity, are not American liberties on the verge of a mighty precipice, just ready to plunge into the whirlpool of utter dissolution.
“Perhaps it may be said the Mormons are to blame; and supposing they are, does this warrant death and destruction to be hurled at them without judge or jury? The riots at and other places have been sufficiently alarming, but the recent tragedy at mocks all parallel— history has no equal. The page of time till June 27th. 1844 has been [p. 253]
Page 253