Trial Report, 8–26 July 1843, as Published in Nauvoo Neighbor [Extradition of JS for Treason]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page [2]
image
I deem sufficiently qualified to perform according to law in all military operations necessary.”
then went to , when coming in sight of , he discovered about 100 of the mob holding some of the Saints in bondage, and tantalizing others in the most scandalous manner—at the sight of and company the mob took fright and such was their hurry to get away, some cut their bridle reins, and some pulled the bridles from their horses heads and went off with all speed, nothing to prevent the speed of their horses.
I went to , and on my way discovered that the inhabitants had become enraged at the orders of the Generals and , and that they had sworn vengeance, not only against the Church but also against the two Generals, together with , and to carry out their plans they entered into one of the most diabolical schemes ever entered into by man, and these hellish schemes were injuriously carried out: Frstly, by loading their families and goods in covered waggons, setting fire to their houses , moving into the midst of the mob and crying out the Mormons have driven us and burnt our houses. In this situation I found the country between my house and , and also found evacuated and burnt. Rumors were immediately sent to the , with the news that the Mormons were killing and burning every thing before them, and that great fears were entertained that they would reach before the runners could bring the news. This was not known by the Church of Latter Day Saints, until 2200 of the militia had arriven within half a mile of , and they then supposed the militia to be a mob. I was sent for from to —reached there the sun about one hour high in the morning of the 29th of October, 1838, called upon Joseph Smith, enquired the cause of the great uproar, he declared he did not know, but feared the mob had increased their numbers, and was endeavoring to destroy us—I enquired of him if he had had any conversation with any one concerning the matter—he said he had not, as he was only a private citizen of the —that he did not interfere with any such matters. I think that he told me there had been an order from General or , one to the to call out the militia in order to quell the riots, and to go to him he could give me any information on this subject, on enquiring for him I found him not. That between 3 and 4 o’clock, P. M., Colonel of the militia in that place called on me in company with Joseph Smith, and said said he had been in the camp in order to learn the intention of the same, he said they greatly desired to see Joseph Smith, , , , and ; Joseph Smith first enquired why they should desire to see him as he held no office either civil or military. I next enquired why it was they should desire to see a man out of his own county. here observed there is no time for controversy, if you are not into the camp immediately they are determined to come upon before the setting of the sun, and said they did not consider us as military bodies, but religious bodies. He said that if the aforesaid persons went into the camp they would be liberated that night or very early next morning, that there should be no harm done.— We consulted together and agreed to go down —on going about half the distance from the camp, I observed it would be well for Generals , , and others, to meet us and not have us go in so large a crowd of soldiers—accordingly the Generals moved onwards, followed by 50 Artillery men with a four pounder. The whole 2200 moved in steady pace on the right and left keeping about even with the former.— approached the aforesaid designated persons with a vile, base, and treacherous look in his countenance—I shook hands with him and saluted him thus: “we understand you wish to confer with us a few moments, will not to-morrow morning do as well.” At this moment spake and said, here are the prisoners I agreed to deliver to you. then brandished his sword with a most hideous look, and said you are my prisoners, and there is no time for talking at the present, you will march into the camp. At this moment I believe that there was 500 guns cocked and not less than 20 caps bursted, and more hideous yells were never heard, even if the description of the yells of the damned in hell is true as given by the modern sects of the day. The aforesaid designated persons were there introduced into the midst of 2200 mob militia. They then called out a guard of 90 men, placing 30 around the prisoners who were on duty 2 hours and 4 off—prisoners were placed on the ground with nothing to cover but the heavens, and they were overshadowed by clouds that moistened them before morning.— was of a delicate constitution, received a slight shock of Apoplectic fits which excited great laughter and much ridicule in the guard and mob militia. Thus the prisoners spent a doleful night in the midst of a prejudiced and diabolical community. Next day and were dragged from their families and brought prisoners into the camp—they alleging no other reason for taking than that he was brother to Joe Smith the Prophet, and one of his counsellors as President of the Church. The prisoners spent this day as comfortably as could be expected under the existing circumstances. Night came on and under the dark shadows of the night, , subaltern of , took me one side, and said we do not wish to hurt you nor kill you, neither shall you be, by G——d—but we have one thing against you, and that is you are too friendly to Joe Smith, and we believe him to be a G——d d——d rascal! and you know all about his character—I said, I do sir—will you swear all you know concerning him said —I will sir, was the answer I gave—give us the outlines said —I then told said I believed said Joseph Smith to be the most philanthropic man he ever saw and possessed of the most pure and republican principles, a friend to mankind, a maker of peace and sir, had it not been that I had given heed to his counsel I would have given you hell before this time with all your mob forces, he then observed: , I fear your life is in danger for there is no end to the prejudice against Joe Smith—kill and be d——d sir, was my answer. He answered and said there is to be a court martial held this night, and will you attend sir? I will not, unless compelled by force, was my reply. He returned about 11 o’clock that night and took me aside, and said I regret to tell you your die is cast, your doom is fixed, you are sentenced to be shot to-morrow morning on the public square, in , at 8 o’clock. I answered, shoot, and be d——d.
We were in hopes said he, you would come out against Joe Smith, but as you have not, you will have to share the same fate with him. I answered, you may thank Joe Smith that you are not in hell this night; for had it not been for him, I would have put you there. Somewhere about this time came up and said to me; , the decision is a damned hard one, and I have washed my hands against such cool and deliberate murder. He further told me, that General Graham and several others, (names not recollected,) were with him in the decision, and opposed it with all their power; that he should move his soldiers away by day light, in the morning; that they should not witness such a heartless murder, , I wish you well. I then returned to my fellow prisoners, to spend another night on the cold damp earth, and the canopy of heaven to cover us. The night again proved a damp one. At the removal of ’s part of the army, the camp was thrown into the utmost confusion and consternation. , fearing the consequence of such hasty and inconsiderate measures, revoked the decree of shooting the prisoners, and determined to take them to . Consequently, he delivered the prisoners over to , ordering him to see them safe to , . About the hour the prisoners were to have been shot on the public square in , they were exhibited in a wagon in the , all of them having families there, but myself; and it would have broken the heart of any person possessing an ordinary share of humanity, to have seen the separation. The aged and of Joseph Smith were not permitted to see his face, but to reach their hands through the curtains of the wagon, and thus take leave of him. When passing his own house, he was taken out of the wagon and permitted to go into the house, but not without a strong guard, and not permitted to speak with his family but in the presence of his guard and his eldest son, , about six or eight years old, hanging to the tail of his coat, crying father, is the mob going to kill you? The guard said to him, ‘you damed little brat, go back. you will see your father no more.’ The prisoners then set out for , accompanied by Generals and , and about three hundred troops for a guard. We remained in two or three 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 they might have been; 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, had a court martial, and the prisoners were again sentenced to be shot; but he being a little doubtful of his authority, sent immediately to for the military law, and a decision from the ’s 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 myself sent for ; to be informed by him what crimes were alledged 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 alledged against us by the state of .
“Gentlemen, you are charged with treason, murder, , , , theft, and stealing, and various other charges too tedious to mention, at this time;” and he 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 two 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 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 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 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 jail without a regular ; the jailor having to send for one some days after. The mercies of the jailor were intolerable, feeding us with a scanty allowance, on the dregs of coffee and tea, from his own table, and fetching the provisions in a basket, on which the chickens had roosted the night before, without being cleaned; five days he fed the prisoners on human flesh, and from extreme hunger I was compelled to eat it. In this situation we were kept until about the month of April, when we were remanded to for trial before the grand jury.— We were kept under the most loathsome and despotic guards they could produce in that of lawless mobs. After six or eight days the grand jury, (most of whom by the by, were so drunk that they had to be carried out and into their rooms as though they were lifeless,) formed a fictitious indictment, which was sanctioned by , who was the ’s Attorney under at our ex-parte trial, and who at that time stated that the Mormons ought to be hung without judge or jury, he the said judge, made out a without day or date, ordering the sheriff to take us to Columbia. The sheriff selected four men to guard five of us. We then took a circuitous route, crossing prairies sixteen miles without houses, and after travelling three days the sheriff and I were together, by ourselves five miles from any of the rest of the company, for sixteen miles at a stretch. Th[e] sheriff here observed to me, that he wished to God he was at home, and your friends and you also. The sheriff then showed me the mittimus, and he found it had neither day or date to it; and said the inhabitants of would be surprised that the prisoners had not left them sooner; and said he, by God, I shall not go much further. We were then near Yellow creek, and there were no houses nearer one way than sixteen miles and eleven another way; except right on the creek. Here a part of the guard took a spree while the balance helped us to mount our horses, which we purchased of them and for which they were paid. Here we took a change of venue and went to without difficulty, where we found our families who had been driven out of the under the exterminating order of . I never knew of Joseph Smith’s holding any office, civil or military, or using any undue influence in religious matters during the whole routine of which I have been speaking.
.
, sworn. Says, I arrived in , Caldwell county, Missouri, on the 4th of April, 1839, and enjoyed peace and quietness in common with the rest of the citizens, until the August following, when great excitement was created by the office seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of from voting. Soon after the election, which took place in the early part of August, the citizens of were threatened with violence from those of , and other counties adjacent to .
This, the August 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in , and in all the countties in the , where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time till we were all out of the , it was but one scene of violence following another in quick succession.
There were at this time, settlements in , , Carroll, , and counties, as well as some families living in other counties. A simultaneous movement was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the , which soon became violent, and threatnings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held and the most inflamatory speeches made, and resolutions passed which denounced all the citizens of these counties in the most bitter and rancorous manner. These resolutions were published in the papers, and the most extensive circulation given to them, that the presses of the country were capable of giving.
The first regular mob that assembled was in Carroll county, and their efforts were directed against the settlements made in that county, declaring their determination to drive out of the county all the citizens who were of our religion, and that indiscriminately, without regard to any thing else but their religion. The only evidence necessary to dispossess any individual or family, or all the evidence required, would be that they were Mormons, as we were called, or rather that they were of the Mormon religion. This was considered of itself crime enough to cause any individual or family to be driven from their homes, and their property made common plunder. Resolutions to this effect were made at public meetings held for the purpose, and made public through the papers of the in the face of all law, and all authority.
I will now give a history of the settlement in Carroll county. In the preceding April, as myself and family were on our way to , we put up at a house in Carroll county, on a stream called Turkey creek, to tarry for the night. Soon after we stopped, a youngerly man came riding up who also stopped and staid through the night. Hearing my name mentioned he introduced himself to me as , said he lived in that county at a little town called , on the , and had been at , to get some of those who were coming into that place, to form a settlement at ; speaking highly of the advantages of the situation, and soliciting my interference in his behalf, to obtain a number of families to commence at that place, as he was a large proprietor in the town plat. He offered a liberal share in all the profits which might arise from the sale of property there, to those who would aid him in getting the place settled. In the morning we proceeded on our journey.
Some few weeks after my arrival, the said , in company with a man by the name of , came to on the same bnsiness; and after much solicitation on their part, it was agreed that a settlement should be made in that place, and in the July following, the first families removed there, and the settlement soon increased, until in the October following, it consisted of some seventy families. By this time a regular mob had collected, strongly armed; and had obtained possession of a cannon, and stationed a mile or two from the . The citizens being nearly all new comers, had to live in their tents and wagons, and were exerting themselves to the uttermost to get houses for the approaching winter. The mob commenced committing their depredations on the citizens, by not suffering them to procure the materials for building, keeping them shut up in the , not allowing them to go out to get provisions, driving off their cattle, and preventing the owners from going in search of them. In this way the citizens were driven to the greatest extremities, actually suffering for food and every comfort of life, in consequence of which there was much sickness and many died; females gave birth to children without a house to shelter them, and in consequence of the exposure, many suffered great afflictions and many died.
Hearing of their great sufferings, a number of the men of determined on going to see what was doing there. Accordingly we started, eluded the vigilance of the mob, and notwithstanding they had sentinels placed on all the principal roads, to prevent relief from being sent to the citizens, safely arrived in , and found the people as above stated.
During the time we were there, every effort that could be, was made to get the authorities of the country to interfere and scatter the mob. [The] judge of the circuit court was petitioned, [but] without success, and after that the of the , who returned for answer that the citizens of had got into a difficulty with the surrounding country, and they might get out of it; for he would have nothing to do with it, or this was the answer that the messenger brought when he returned.
The messenger was a Mr. Caldwell, who owned a ferry on , about three miles from , and was an old settler in the place.
The citizens were completely besieged by the mob, no man was at liberty to go out, nor any to come in. The extremities to which the people were driven, were very great, suffering with much sickness, without shelter, and deprived of all aid either medical or any other kind, and being without food or the privilege of getting it, and betrayed by every man who made the least pretension to frindship; a notable instance of which I will here give as a sample of many others of a similar kind. There was neither bread nor flour to be had in the place; a steamboat landed there and application was made to get flour but the captain said there was none on board. A man then offered his services to get flour for the place; hnowing [knowing], he said, where there was a quantity. Money was given to him for that purpose; he got on the boat and went off; and that was the last we heard of the man or the money. This was a man who had been frequently in during the siege, and professed great friendship. In this time of extremity a man who had a short time before moved into , bringing with him a fine yoke of cattle, started out to hunt his cattle, in order to butcher them to keep the citizens from actual starvation, but before he got but a little way from the , he was fired upon by the mob and narrowly escaped with his life and had to return, or at least, such was his report when he returned. Being now completely inclosed on every side, we could plainly see many men on the opposite side of the river, and it was supposed that they were there to prevent the citizens from crossing, and indeed a small craft crossed from them with three men in it, who said that that was the object for which they had assembled.
At this critical moment, with death staring us in the face, in its worst form; cut off from all communication with the surrounding country, and all our provisions exhausted, we were sustained as the children of Israel in the desert, only by different animals. They by quails, and us by cattle and hogs which came walking into the camp, for such it truly was, as the people were living in tents and wagons, not being privileged with building houses What was to be done in this extremity? why, recourse was had to the only means of subsistence left, and that was to butcher the cattle and hogs which came into the place, without asking who was the owner, or without knowing, and what to me is remarkable, is, that a sufficient number of animals came into the camp to sustain life during the time in which the citizens were thus besieged by the mob. This indeed was but coarse living, but such as it was, it sustained life.
From this circumstance, the cry went out that the citizens of , were thieves and plunderers, and were stealing cattle and hogs. During this time the mob of Carroll county said that all they wanted was that the citizens of should leave Carroll county and go to and counties. The citizens finding that they must leave , or eventually starve, finally agreed to leave; and accordingly preparations were made and was vacated. The first morning after we left, we put up for the night in a grove of timber. Soon after our arrival in the grove, a female who a short time before had given birth to a child, in consequence of the exposure died. A grave was dug in the grove, and the next morning the body was deposited in it without a coffin, and the company proceeded on their journey; part of them going to and part into : This was in the month of October, 1838.
In a short time after their arrival in and counties, messengers arrived informing the now citizens of and , that the mob was marching to , with their cannon with them, threatening death to the citizens, or else that they should all leave . This caused other efforts to be made to get the authorities to interfere. I wrote two memorials, one to the , and one to circuit judge, imploring their assistance and intervention to protect the citizens of against the threatened violence of the mob.— These memorials were accompanied with affidavits which could leave no doubt on the mind of the or , that the citizens before mentioned were in eminent danger. At this time things began to assume an alarming aspect both to the citizens of and counties. Mobs were forming all around the country, declaring that they would drive the people out of the . This made our appeals to the authorities more deeply solicitous as the danger increased, and very soon after this the mobs commenced their depredations; which was a general system of plunder: tearing down fences, exposing all within the field to destruction, and driving off every animal they could find.
Sometime previous to this, in consequence of the threatenings which were made by mobs, or those who were being formed into mobs, and the abnses [abuses] committed by them on the persons and property of the citizens; an association was formed, called the band.
This, as far as I was acquainted with it, (not being myself one of the number, neither was Joseph Smith, Senior,) was for mutual protection against the bands that were forming, and threatened to be formed; for the professed object of committing violence on the property and persons of the citizens of and counties. They had certain signs and words by which they could know one another, either by day or night. They were bound to keep those signs and words secret; so that no other person or persons than themselves could know them. When any of these persons were assailed by any lawless band, he would make it known to others who would flee to his relief at the risk of life. In this way they sought to defend each others lives and property, but they were strictly enjoined not to touch any person, only those who were engaged in acts of violence against the persons or property of one of their own number or one of those whose life and property they had bound themselves to defend.
This organization was in existence when the mobs commenced their most violent attempts upon the citizens of the before mentioned counties, and from this association arose all the horror afterwards expressed by the mob at some secret clan known as Danites.
The efforts made to get the authorities to interfere at this time was attended with some success. The militia were ordered out under the command of , of , Brigadier Generals , of , and , of , who marched their troops to , where they found a large mob, and said in my presence, he took the following singular method to disperse them. He organized them with his troops as part of the militia called out, to suppress and arrest the mob; after having thus organized them, discharged them and all the rest of the troops as having no further need for their services, and all returned home.
This however, seemed only to give the mob more courage to increase their exertions with redoubled vigor. They boasted after that, that the authorities would not punish them, and they would do as they pleased. In a very short time their efforts were renewed with a determination not to cease until they had driven the citizens of and such of the citizens of as they had marked out as victims, from the . A man by the name of who resided in , and formerly sheriff of said , organized a band who painted themselves like Indians, and had a place of rendezvous at Hunter’s Mills on a stream called Grindstone. I think it was in , the county west of and between it and the west line of the . From this place they would sally out and commit their depredations. Efforts were again made to get the authorities to put a stop to these renewed outrages, and again and were called out with such portions of their respective brigades as they might deem necessary to suppress the mob, or rather mobs, for by this time there were a number of them. came to , and while there, recommended to the authorities of to have the militia of said called out as a necessary measure of defence; assuring us that had a large mob on the Grindstone, and his object was to make a descent upon , burn the and kill or disperse the inhabitants; and that it was very necessary that an effective force should be ready to oppose him, or he would accomplish his object.
The militia was accordingly called out. He also said that there had better be a strong force sent to to guard the citizens there: he recommended that to avoid any difficulties which might arise, they had better go in very small parties, without arms, so that no legal advantage could be taken of them. I will here give a short account of the courts and internal affairs of , for the information of those who are not acquainted with the same.
has three courts of law peculiar to that . The supreme court, the circuit court and the county court. The two former, about the same as in many other states of the . The county court, is composed of three judges, elected by the people of the respective counties. This court is in some respects like the court of probate in , or the surrogate’s court of ; but the powers of this court are more extensive than the courts of or . The judges, or any one of them, of the county court of , has the power of issuing , in all cases where arrests are made within the county where they preside. They have also all the power of justices of the peace in civil, as well as criminal cases; for instance, a warrant may be obtained from one of these judges, by affidavit, and a person arrested under such warrant. From another of these judges, a habeas corpus may issue, and the person arrested be ordered before him, and the character of the arrest be inquired into, and if in the opinion of the judge, the person ought not to be holden by virtue of said process, he has power to discharge him. In the internal regulation of the affairs of , the counties in some respects are nearly as independent of each other as the several states of the . No considerable number of men armed, can pass out of one county into, or through another county, without first obtaining the permission of the judges of the county court, or some one of them, otherwise they are liable to be arrested by the order of said judges, and if in their judgement they ought not thus to pass, they are ordered back from whence they came; and in case of refusal, are subject to be arrested or even shot down in case of resistance. The judges of the county court or any one of them, have the power to call out the militia of said county upon affidavit being made to them for that purpose, by any of the citizens of said county; shewing it just, in the judgement of such judge or judges, why said militia should be called out to defend any portion of the citizens of said county. The following is the course of proceedure: Affidavit is made before one or any number of the judges, setting forth, that the citizens of said county, or any particular portion of them, is either invaded or threatened with invasion by some unlawful assembly whereby their liberties, lives or property may be unlawfully taken. When such affidavit is made to any one of the judges or all of them, it is the duty of him or them, before whom such affidavit is made, to issue an order to the sheriff of the county, to make requisition upon the commanding officer of the militia of said county, to have immediately put under military order such a portion of the militia under his command as may be necessary for the defence of the citizens of said county.
In this way the militia of any county may be called out at any time deemed necessary by the county judges, independently of any other civil authofity of the .
In case that the militia of the county is insufficient to quell the rioters, and secure the citizens against the invaders, then recourse can be had to the judge of the circuit court, who has the same power over the militia of his judicial district, as the county judges have over the militia of the county. And in case of insufficiency in the militia of the judicial district of the circuit jndge, recourse can be had to the governor of the , and all the militia of the called out, and if this should fail, then the governor can call on the President of the , and all the forces of the nation be put under arms.
I have given this expose of the internal regulations of the affairs of , in order that the court may clearly understand what I have before said on this subject, and what I may hereafter say on it.
It was in view of this order of things that , who is a lawyer of some celebrity in , gave the recommendation he did at , when passing into with his troops, for the defence of the citizens of said . It was in consequence of this, that he said, that those of which went into , should go in small parties, and unarmed, in which condition they were not subject to any arrest from any authority whatever.
In obedience to these recommendations the militia of was called out; affidavit having been made to one of the judges of the , setting forth the danger which it was believed the citizens were in, from a large marauding party assembled under the command of one , on a stream called Grindstone. When affidavit was made to this effect, the issued his order to the of the , and the to the commanding officer, who was Colonel , and thus were the militia of the county of put under military orders.
however, instead of going into , soon after he left returned back to with all his troops, giving as his reason, the mutinous character of his troops; which he said would join the mob, he believed, instead of acting against them, and that he had not power to restrain them.
In a day or two afterwards, of , also came to , and said that he had sent on a number of troops to to act in concert with . He also made the same complaint concerning his troops, that had, doubting greatly whether they would render any service to those in who were threatened with violence by the mobs assembling; but on hearing that , instead of going to had returned to , followed his example and ordered his troops back to , and thus were the citizens of and those of , who were marked out as victims by the mob, left to defend themselves the best way they could.
What I have here stated in relation to Generals and , were conversations had between myself and them, about which I cannot be mistaken, unless my memory has betrayed me.
The militia of the county of were now all under requisition, armed and equipped according to law. The mob after all the authorities of the had been recalled, except the force of , commenced the work of destruction in earnest; showing a determination to accomplish their object. , where I resided, which was the shire town of , was placed under the charge of a captain by the name of , who made my house his head quarters; other portions of the troops were distributed in different places in the , wherever danger was apprehended. In consequence of s’ making my house his head quarters, I was put in possession of all that was going on, as all intelligence in relation to the operations of the mob was communicated to him. Intelligence was received daily of depredations being committed not only against the property of the citizens, but other persons; many of whom when attending to their business, would be surprised, and taken by marauding parties, tied up and whipped in a most desperate manner. Such outrages were common during the progress of these extraordinary scenes, and all kinds of depredations were committed. Men driving their teams to and from mills where they got grinding done, would be surprised and taken, their persons abused, and their teams, wagons, and loading all taken as booty by the plunderers. Fields were thrown open and all within them exposed to the destruction of such animals as chose to enter. Cattle, horses, hogs and sheep were driven off, and a general system of plunder and destruction of all kinds of property, carried on to the great annoyance of the citizens of , and that portion of the citizens of marked as victims by the mob. One afternoon a messenger arrived at calling for help, saying that a banditti had crossed the south line of , and were engaged in threatening the citizens with death if they did not leave their homes and go out of the within a very short time; the time not precisely recollected; but I think it was the next day by ten o’clock, but of this I am not certain. He said they were setting fire to the prairies, in view of burning houses and desola [p. [2]]
I deem sufficiently qualified to perform according to law in all military operations necessary.”
then went to , when coming in sight of , he discovered about 100 of the mob holding some of the Saints in bondage, and tantalizing others in the most scandalous manner—at the sight of and company the mob took fright and such was their hurry to get away, some cut their bridle reins, and some pulled the bridles from their horses heads and went off with all speed, nothing to prevent the speed of their horses.
I went to , and on my way discovered that the inhabitants had become enraged at the orders of the Generals and , and that they had sworn vengeance, not only against the Church but also against the two Generals, together with , and to carry out their plans they entered into one of the most diabolical schemes ever entered into by man, and these hellish schemes were injuriously carried out: Frstly, by loading their families and goods in covered waggons, setting fire to their houses , moving into the midst of the mob and crying out the Mormons have driven us and burnt our houses. In this situation I found the country between my house and , and also found evacuated and burnt. Rumors were immediately sent to the , with the news that the Mormons were killing and burning every thing before them, and that great fears were entertained that they would reach before the runners could bring the news. This was not known by the Church of Latter Day Saints, until 2200 of the militia had arriven within half a mile of , and they then supposed the militia to be a mob. I was sent for from to —reached there the sun about one hour high in the morning of the 29th of October, 1838, called upon Joseph Smith, enquired the cause of the great uproar, he declared he did not know, but feared the mob had increased their numbers, and was endeavoring to destroy us—I enquired of him if he had had any conversation with any one concerning the matter—he said he had not, as he was only a private citizen of the —that he did not interfere with any such matters. I think that he told me there had been an order from General or , one to the to call out the militia in order to quell the riots, and to go to him he could give me any information on this subject, on enquiring for him I found him not. That between 3 and 4 o’clock, P. M., Colonel of the militia in that place called on me in company with Joseph Smith, and said said he had been in the camp in order to learn the intention of the same, he said they greatly desired to see Joseph Smith, , , , and ; Joseph Smith first enquired why they should desire to see him as he held no office either civil or military. I next enquired why it was they should desire to see a man out of his own county. here observed there is no time for controversy, if you are not into the camp immediately they are determined to come upon before the setting of the sun, and said they did not consider us as military bodies, but religious bodies. He said that if the aforesaid persons went into the camp they would be liberated that night or very early next morning, that there should be no harm done.— We consulted together and agreed to go down —on going about half the distance from the camp, I observed it would be well for Generals , , and others, to meet us and not have us go in so large a crowd of soldiers—accordingly the Generals moved onwards, followed by 50 Artillery men with a four pounder. The whole 2200 moved in steady pace on the right and left keeping about even with the former.— approached the aforesaid designated persons with a vile, base, and treacherous look in his countenance—I shook hands with him and saluted him thus: “we understand you wish to confer with us a few moments, will not to-morrow morning do as well.” At this moment spake and said, here are the prisoners I agreed to deliver to you. then brandished his sword with a most hideous look, and said you are my prisoners, and there is no time for talking at the present, you will march into the camp. At this moment I believe that there was 500 guns cocked and not less than 20 caps bursted, and more hideous yells were never heard, even if the description of the yells of the damned in hell is true as given by the modern sects of the day. The aforesaid designated persons were there introduced into the midst of 2200 mob militia. They then called out a guard of 90 men, placing 30 around the prisoners who were on duty 2 hours and 4 off—prisoners were placed on the ground with nothing to cover but the heavens, and they were overshadowed by clouds that moistened them before morning.— was of a delicate constitution, received a slight shock of Apoplectic fits which excited great laughter and much ridicule in the guard and mob militia. Thus the prisoners spent a doleful night in the midst of a prejudiced and diabolical community. Next day and were dragged from their families and brought prisoners into the camp—they alleging no other reason for taking than that he was brother to Joe Smith the Prophet, and one of his counsellors as President of the Church. The prisoners spent this day as comfortably as could be expected under the existing circumstances. Night came on and under the dark shadows of the night, , subaltern of , took me one side, and said we do not wish to hurt you nor kill you, neither shall you be, by G——d—but we have one thing against you, and that is you are too friendly to Joe Smith, and we believe him to be a G——d d——d rascal! and you know all about his character—I said, I do sir—will you swear all you know concerning him said —I will sir, was the answer I gave—give us the outlines said —I then told said I believed said Joseph Smith to be the most philanthropic man he ever saw and possessed of the most pure and republican principles, a friend to mankind, a maker of peace and sir, had it not been that I had given heed to his counsel I would have given you hell before this time with all your mob forces, he then observed: , I fear your life is in danger for there is no end to the prejudice against Joe Smith—kill and be d——d sir, was my answer. He answered and said there is to be a court martial held this night, and will you attend sir? I will not, unless compelled by force, was my reply. He returned about 11 o’clock that night and took me aside, and said I regret to tell you your die is cast, your doom is fixed, you are sentenced to be shot to-morrow morning on the public square, in , at 8 o’clock. I answered, shoot, and be d——d.
We were in hopes said he, you would come out against Joe Smith, but as you have not, you will have to share the same fate with him. I answered, you may thank Joe Smith that you are not in hell this night; for had it not been for him, I would have put you there. Somewhere about this time came up and said to me; , the decision is a damned hard one, and I have washed my hands against such cool and deliberate murder. He further told me, that General Graham and several others, (names not recollected,) were with him in the decision, and opposed it with all their power; that he should move his soldiers away by day light, in the morning; that they should not witness such a heartless murder, , I wish you well. I then returned to my fellow prisoners, to spend another night on the cold damp earth, and the canopy of heaven to cover us. The night again proved a damp one. At the removal of ’s part of the army, the camp was thrown into the utmost confusion and consternation. , fearing the consequence of such hasty and inconsiderate measures, revoked the decree of shooting the prisoners, and determined to take them to . Consequently, he delivered the prisoners over to , ordering him to see them safe to , . About the hour the prisoners were to have been shot on the public square in , they were exhibited in a wagon in the , all of them having families there, but myself; and it would have broken the heart of any person possessing an ordinary share of humanity, to have seen the separation. The aged and of Joseph Smith were not permitted to see his face, but to reach their hands through the curtains of the wagon, and thus take leave of him. When passing his own house, he was taken out of the wagon and permitted to go into the house, but not without a strong guard, and not permitted to speak with his family but in the presence of his guard and his eldest son, , about six or eight years old, hanging to the tail of his coat, crying father, is the mob going to kill you? The guard said to him, ‘you damed little brat, go back. you will see your father no more.’ The prisoners then set out for , accompanied by Generals and , and about three hundred troops for a guard. We remained in two or three 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 they might have been; 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, had a court martial, and the prisoners were again sentenced to be shot; but he being a little doubtful of his authority, sent immediately to for the military law, and a decision from the ’s 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 myself sent for ; to be informed by him what crimes were alledged 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 alledged against us by the state of .
“Gentlemen, you are charged with treason, murder, , , , theft, and stealing, and various other charges too tedious to mention, at this time;” and he 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 two 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 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 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 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 jail without a regular ; the jailor having to send for one some days after. The mercies of the jailor were intolerable, feeding us with a scanty allowance, on the dregs of coffee and tea, from his own table, and fetching the provisions in a basket, on which the chickens had roosted the night before, without being cleaned; five days he fed the prisoners on human flesh, and from extreme hunger I was compelled to eat it. In this situation we were kept until about the month of April, when we were remanded to for trial before the grand jury.— We were kept under the most loathsome and despotic guards they could produce in that of lawless mobs. After six or eight days the grand jury, (most of whom by the by, were so drunk that they had to be carried out and into their rooms as though they were lifeless,) formed a fictitious indictment, which was sanctioned by , who was the ’s Attorney under at our ex-parte trial, and who at that time stated that the Mormons ought to be hung without judge or jury, he the said judge, made out a without day or date, ordering the sheriff to take us to Columbia. The sheriff selected four men to guard five of us. We then took a circuitous route, crossing prairies sixteen miles without houses, and after travelling three days the sheriff and I were together, by ourselves five miles from any of the rest of the company, for sixteen miles at a stretch. The sheriff here observed to me, that he wished to God he was at home, and your friends and you also. The sheriff then showed me the mittimus, and he found it had neither day or date to it; and said the inhabitants of would be surprised that the prisoners had not left them sooner; and said he, by God, I shall not go much further. We were then near Yellow creek, and there were no houses nearer one way than sixteen miles and eleven another way; except right on the creek. Here a part of the guard took a spree while the balance helped us to mount our horses, which we purchased of them and for which they were paid. Here we took a change of venue and went to without difficulty, where we found our families who had been driven out of the under the exterminating order of . I never knew of Joseph Smith’s holding any office, civil or military, or using any undue influence in religious matters during the whole routine of which I have been speaking.
.
, sworn. Says, I arrived in , Caldwell county, Missouri, on the 4th of April, 1839, and enjoyed peace and quietness in common with the rest of the citizens, until the August following, when great excitement was created by the office seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of from voting. Soon after the election, which took place in the early part of August, the citizens of were threatened with violence from those of , and other counties adjacent to .
This, the August 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in , and in all the countties in the , where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time till we were all out of the , it was but one scene of violence following another in quick succession.
There were at this time, settlements in , , Carroll, , and counties, as well as some families living in other counties. A simultaneous movement was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the , which soon became violent, and threatnings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held and the most inflamatory speeches made, and resolutions passed which denounced all the citizens of these counties in the most bitter and rancorous manner. These resolutions were published in the papers, and the most extensive circulation given to them, that the presses of the country were capable of giving.
The first regular mob that assembled was in Carroll county, and their efforts were directed against the settlements made in that county, declaring their determination to drive out of the county all the citizens who were of our religion, and that indiscriminately, without regard to any thing else but their religion. The only evidence necessary to dispossess any individual or family, or all the evidence required, would be that they were Mormons, as we were called, or rather that they were of the Mormon religion. This was considered of itself crime enough to cause any individual or family to be driven from their homes, and their property made common plunder. Resolutions to this effect were made at public meetings held for the purpose, and made public through the papers of the in the face of all law, and all authority.
I will now give a history of the settlement in Carroll county. In the preceding April, as myself and family were on our way to , we put up at a house in Carroll county, on a stream called Turkey creek, to tarry for the night. Soon after we stopped, a youngerly man came riding up who also stopped and staid through the night. Hearing my name mentioned he introduced himself to me as , said he lived in that county at a little town called , on the , and had been at , to get some of those who were coming into that place, to form a settlement at ; speaking highly of the advantages of the situation, and soliciting my interference in his behalf, to obtain a number of families to commence at that place, as he was a large proprietor in the town plat. He offered a liberal share in all the profits which might arise from the sale of property there, to those who would aid him in getting the place settled. In the morning we proceeded on our journey.
Some few weeks after my arrival, the said , in company with a man by the name of , came to on the same bnsiness; and after much solicitation on their part, it was agreed that a settlement should be made in that place, and in the July following, the first families removed there, and the settlement soon increased, until in the October following, it consisted of some seventy families. By this time a regular mob had collected, strongly armed; and had obtained possession of a cannon, and stationed a mile or two from the . The citizens being nearly all new comers, had to live in their tents and wagons, and were exerting themselves to the uttermost to get houses for the approaching winter. The mob commenced committing their depredations on the citizens, by not suffering them to procure the materials for building, keeping them shut up in the , not allowing them to go out to get provisions, driving off their cattle, and preventing the owners from going in search of them. In this way the citizens were driven to the greatest extremities, actually suffering for food and every comfort of life, in consequence of which there was much sickness and many died; females gave birth to children without a house to shelter them, and in consequence of the exposure, many suffered great afflictions and many died.
Hearing of their great sufferings, a number of the men of determined on going to see what was doing there. Accordingly we started, eluded the vigilance of the mob, and notwithstanding they had sentinels placed on all the principal roads, to prevent relief from being sent to the citizens, safely arrived in , and found the people as above stated.
During the time we were there, every effort that could be, was made to get the authorities of the country to interfere and scatter the mob. The judge of the circuit court was petitioned, but without success, and after that the of the , who returned for answer that the citizens of had got into a difficulty with the surrounding country, and they might get out of it; for he would have nothing to do with it, or this was the answer that the messenger brought when he returned.
The messenger was a Mr. Caldwell, who owned a ferry on , about three miles from , and was an old settler in the place.
The citizens were completely besieged by the mob, no man was at liberty to go out, nor any to come in. The extremities to which the people were driven, were very great, suffering with much sickness, without shelter, and deprived of all aid either medical or any other kind, and being without food or the privilege of getting it, and betrayed by every man who made the least pretension to frindship; a notable instance of which I will here give as a sample of many others of a similar kind. There was neither bread nor flour to be had in the place; a steamboat landed there and application was made to get flour but the captain said there was none on board. A man then offered his services to get flour for the place; hnowing [knowing], he said, where there was a quantity. Money was given to him for that purpose; he got on the boat and went off; and that was the last we heard of the man or the money. This was a man who had been frequently in during the siege, and professed great friendship. In this time of extremity a man who had a short time before moved into , bringing with him a fine yoke of cattle, started out to hunt his cattle, in order to butcher them to keep the citizens from actual starvation, but before he got but a little way from the , he was fired upon by the mob and narrowly escaped with his life and had to return, or at least, such was his report when he returned. Being now completely inclosed on every side, we could plainly see many men on the opposite side of the river, and it was supposed that they were there to prevent the citizens from crossing, and indeed a small craft crossed from them with three men in it, who said that that was the object for which they had assembled.
At this critical moment, with death staring us in the face, in its worst form; cut off from all communication with the surrounding country, and all our provisions exhausted, we were sustained as the children of Israel in the desert, only by different animals. They by quails, and us by cattle and hogs which came walking into the camp, for such it truly was, as the people were living in tents and wagons, not being privileged with building houses What was to be done in this extremity? why, recourse was had to the only means of subsistence left, and that was to butcher the cattle and hogs which came into the place, without asking who was the owner, or without knowing, and what to me is remarkable, is, that a sufficient number of animals came into the camp to sustain life during the time in which the citizens were thus besieged by the mob. This indeed was but coarse living, but such as it was, it sustained life.
From this circumstance, the cry went out that the citizens of , were thieves and plunderers, and were stealing cattle and hogs. During this time the mob of Carroll county said that all they wanted was that the citizens of should leave Carroll county and go to and counties. The citizens finding that they must leave , or eventually starve, finally agreed to leave; and accordingly preparations were made and was vacated. The first morning after we left, we put up for the night in a grove of timber. Soon after our arrival in the grove, a female who a short time before had given birth to a child, in consequence of the exposure died. A grave was dug in the grove, and the next morning the body was deposited in it without a coffin, and the company proceeded on their journey; part of them going to and part into : This was in the month of October, 1838.
In a short time after their arrival in and counties, messengers arrived informing the now citizens of and , that the mob was marching to , with their cannon with them, threatening death to the citizens, or else that they should all leave . This caused other efforts to be made to get the authorities to interfere. I wrote two memorials, one to the , and one to circuit judge, imploring their assistance and intervention to protect the citizens of against the threatened violence of the mob.— These memorials were accompanied with affidavits which could leave no doubt on the mind of the or , that the citizens before mentioned were in eminent danger. At this time things began to assume an alarming aspect both to the citizens of and counties. Mobs were forming all around the country, declaring that they would drive the people out of the . This made our appeals to the authorities more deeply solicitous as the danger increased, and very soon after this the mobs commenced their depredations; which was a general system of plunder: tearing down fences, exposing all within the field to destruction, and driving off every animal they could find.
Sometime previous to this, in consequence of the threatenings which were made by mobs, or those who were being formed into mobs, and the abnses abuses committed by them on the persons and property of the citizens; an association was formed, called the band.
This, as far as I was acquainted with it, (not being myself one of the number, neither was Joseph Smith, Senior,) was for mutual protection against the bands that were forming, and threatened to be formed; for the professed object of committing violence on the property and persons of the citizens of and counties. They had certain signs and words by which they could know one another, either by day or night. They were bound to keep those signs and words secret; so that no other person or persons than themselves could know them. When any of these persons were assailed by any lawless band, he would make it known to others who would flee to his relief at the risk of life. In this way they sought to defend each others lives and property, but they were strictly enjoined not to touch any person, only those who were engaged in acts of violence against the persons or property of one of their own number or one of those whose life and property they had bound themselves to defend.
This organization was in existence when the mobs commenced their most violent attempts upon the citizens of the before mentioned counties, and from this association arose all the horror afterwards expressed by the mob at some secret clan known as Danites.
The efforts made to get the authorities to interfere at this time was attended with some success. The militia were ordered out under the command of , of , Brigadier Generals , of , and , of , who marched their troops to , where they found a large mob, and said in my presence, he took the following singular method to disperse them. He organized them with his troops as part of the militia called out, to suppress and arrest the mob; after having thus organized them, discharged them and all the rest of the troops as having no further need for their services, and all returned home.
This however, seemed only to give the mob more courage to increase their exertions with redoubled vigor. They boasted after that, that the authorities would not punish them, and they would do as they pleased. In a very short time their efforts were renewed with a determination not to cease until they had driven the citizens of and such of the citizens of as they had marked out as victims, from the . A man by the name of who resided in , and formerly sheriff of said , organized a band who painted themselves like Indians, and had a place of rendezvous at Hunter’s Mills on a stream called Grindstone. I think it was in , the county west of and between it and the west line of the . From this place they would sally out and commit their depredations. Efforts were again made to get the authorities to put a stop to these renewed outrages, and again and were called out with such portions of their respective brigades as they might deem necessary to suppress the mob, or rather mobs, for by this time there were a number of them. came to , and while there, recommended to the authorities of to have the militia of said called out as a necessary measure of defence; assuring us that had a large mob on the Grindstone, and his object was to make a descent upon , burn the and kill or disperse the inhabitants; and that it was very necessary that an effective force should be ready to oppose him, or he would accomplish his object.
The militia was accordingly called out. He also said that there had better be a strong force sent to to guard the citizens there: he recommended that to avoid any difficulties which might arise, they had better go in very small parties, without arms, so that no legal advantage could be taken of them. I will here give a short account of the courts and internal affairs of , for the information of those who are not acquainted with the same.
has three courts of law peculiar to that . The supreme court, the circuit court and the county court. The two former, about the same as in many other states of the . The county court, is composed of three judges, elected by the people of the respective counties. This court is in some respects like the court of probate in , or the surrogate’s court of ; but the powers of this court are more extensive than the courts of or . The judges, or any one of them, of the county court of , has the power of issuing , in all cases where arrests are made within the county where they preside. They have also all the power of justices of the peace in civil, as well as criminal cases; for instance, a warrant may be obtained from one of these judges, by affidavit, and a person arrested under such warrant. From another of these judges, a habeas corpus may issue, and the person arrested be ordered before him, and the character of the arrest be inquired into, and if in the opinion of the judge, the person ought not to be holden by virtue of said process, he has power to discharge him. In the internal regulation of the affairs of , the counties in some respects are nearly as independent of each other as the several states of the . No considerable number of men armed, can pass out of one county into, or through another county, without first obtaining the permission of the judges of the county court, or some one of them, otherwise they are liable to be arrested by the order of said judges, and if in their judgement they ought not thus to pass, they are ordered back from whence they came; and in case of refusal, are subject to be arrested or even shot down in case of resistance. The judges of the county court or any one of them, have the power to call out the militia of said county upon affidavit being made to them for that purpose, by any of the citizens of said county; shewing it just, in the judgement of such judge or judges, why said militia should be called out to defend any portion of the citizens of said county. The following is the course of proceedure: Affidavit is made before one or any number of the judges, setting forth, that the citizens of said county, or any particular portion of them, is either invaded or threatened with invasion by some unlawful assembly whereby their liberties, lives or property may be unlawfully taken. When such affidavit is made to any one of the judges or all of them, it is the duty of him or them, before whom such affidavit is made, to issue an order to the sheriff of the county, to make requisition upon the commanding officer of the militia of said county, to have immediately put under military order such a portion of the militia under his command as may be necessary for the defence of the citizens of said county.
In this way the militia of any county may be called out at any time deemed necessary by the county judges, independently of any other civil authofity of the .
In case that the militia of the county is insufficient to quell the rioters, and secure the citizens against the invaders, then recourse can be had to the judge of the circuit court, who has the same power over the militia of his judicial district, as the county judges have over the militia of the county. And in case of insufficiency in the militia of the judicial district of the circuit jndge, recourse can be had to the governor of the , and all the militia of the called out, and if this should fail, then the governor can call on the President of the , and all the forces of the nation be put under arms.
I have given this expose of the internal regulations of the affairs of , in order that the court may clearly understand what I have before said on this subject, and what I may hereafter say on it.
It was in view of this order of things that , who is a lawyer of some celebrity in , gave the recommendation he did at , when passing into with his troops, for the defence of the citizens of said . It was in consequence of this, that he said, that those of which went into , should go in small parties, and unarmed, in which condition they were not subject to any arrest from any authority whatever.
In obedience to these recommendations the militia of was called out; affidavit having been made to one of the judges of the , setting forth the danger which it was believed the citizens were in, from a large marauding party assembled under the command of one , on a stream called Grindstone. When affidavit was made to this effect, the issued his order to the of the , and the to the commanding officer, who was Colonel , and thus were the militia of the county of put under military orders.
however, instead of going into , soon after he left returned back to with all his troops, giving as his reason, the mutinous character of his troops; which he said would join the mob, he believed, instead of acting against them, and that he had not power to restrain them.
In a day or two afterwards, of , also came to , and said that he had sent on a number of troops to to act in concert with . He also made the same complaint concerning his troops, that had, doubting greatly whether they would render any service to those in who were threatened with violence by the mobs assembling; but on hearing that , instead of going to had returned to , followed his example and ordered his troops back to , and thus were the citizens of and those of , who were marked out as victims by the mob, left to defend themselves the best way they could.
What I have here stated in relation to Generals and , were conversations had between myself and them, about which I cannot be mistaken, unless my memory has betrayed me.
The militia of the county of were now all under requisition, armed and equipped according to law. The mob after all the authorities of the had been recalled, except the force of , commenced the work of destruction in earnest; showing a determination to accomplish their object. , where I resided, which was the shire town of , was placed under the charge of a captain by the name of , who made my house his head quarters; other portions of the troops were distributed in different places in the , wherever danger was apprehended. In consequence of s’ making my house his head quarters, I was put in possession of all that was going on, as all intelligence in relation to the operations of the mob was communicated to him. Intelligence was received daily of depredations being committed not only against the property of the citizens, but other persons; many of whom when attending to their business, would be surprised, and taken by marauding parties, tied up and whipped in a most desperate manner. Such outrages were common during the progress of these extraordinary scenes, and all kinds of depredations were committed. Men driving their teams to and from mills where they got grinding done, would be surprised and taken, their persons abused, and their teams, wagons, and loading all taken as booty by the plunderers. Fields were thrown open and all within them exposed to the destruction of such animals as chose to enter. Cattle, horses, hogs and sheep were driven off, and a general system of plunder and destruction of all kinds of property, carried on to the great annoyance of the citizens of , and that portion of the citizens of marked as victims by the mob. One afternoon a messenger arrived at calling for help, saying that a banditti had crossed the south line of , and were engaged in threatening the citizens with death if they did not leave their homes and go out of the within a very short time; the time not precisely recollected; but I think it was the next day by ten o’clock, but of this I am not certain. He said they were setting fire to the prairies, in view of burning houses and desola [p. [2]]
Page [2]