Affidavit, 7 July 1843–A

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The State of Illinois) ss.
)
Persenally appeared before me , a Notary Public within and for said , Joseph Smith Senr. who being duly sworn, says that in the year 1838, he removed with his family to the State of — that he purchased land and became a resident of , that he was an Elder and teacher of the church of Latter Day Saints, that the religious society of which he was an Elder, numbered several thousand peoples, who were remarkably industrious in their habits, quiet in their manners and conscientious observers of the laws— that they had been for some years prior to his removal thither, purchasing and improving lands, and were possessed of a vast amount of property, probably to the value of $3,500,000 of real and personal estate:— that prejudices had for a long time existed in the minds of the rough and uncultivated people, by whom his people were surrounded, on account of their peculiar religious views, and their different habits of life— that in the summer of 1838, the prejudice of the people against the deponant and his associates became great— that while in the peaceful pursuit of their labors upon their own farms, without any violence or aggression on their part, they were frequently attacked by armed mobs, their houses burned— their cattle stolen— their goods burned and wasted— many inoffensives people murdered— whole families driven out and dispersed over the country, at inclement seasons, and every barbarity which the ingenuity and malice of a mob could devise, inflicted upon them. These scenes of violence raged unchecked by the civil authorities, of and many officers of the State of , were open leaders of the Mob, and shared in its crimes. The armed militia of the were arrayed without authority of law, for the purpose of driving the deponant and his inoffensive people out of the [p. [1]] or of exterminating them if they should remain within it. (For proof of this fact, see the order of , dated Oct. 27, 1838, sent herewith) that this deponant and <​his​> people, received notices, warnings and orders from the civil and millitary officers of , as well as from mobs who co-operated with them, to leave the and were threatened with death if they refused. that this deponant, with others was taken prisoner by an armed mob, and oppressed, imprisoned and carried from place to place to place without authority of law. That his whole people comprising at least fifteen thousand families <​people​> were driven out like wild beasts— that hundreds were murdered by shooting, stabbing, beating, and by having their brains beaten out with clubs— great numbers were starved to death— many died from fatigue and hardships in the fields— women were ravished— children murdered, and every cruelty inflicted. This Deponant with his comerades was <​were​> imprisoned about six months, and until nearly all his people had been driven out of the — that they were then by order of the officers of the set at liberty and ordered to flee from the — that after they were released, they were pursued by armed men, who endeavored to shoot them— that they thus were pursued out of the , and were in peril of their lives as long as they remained within its limits.
And this deponant says that he never committed any crime against the <​laws​> of that he never commanded or controlled any Military or other force— that he never left the voluntarily but hoped <​to be permitted​> to enjoy his rights, property and liberty like other peacible Citizens— but that he [p. [2]] was driven out by force directed by by the officers and approved by the Legislature of And that the lands and homes which his people had purchased and improved are now in many cases occupied and enjoyed by the very men who composed the mobs, who dispossessed them,— and he believes that the desire of plunder was one of the inducements which led led to the great wrongs which his people have suffered. And he further says that the recent requisition made upon the of upon which a warrant for his arrest, has been issued, has its origin in the proceedings before recited, in which this deponant, instead of being a “fugitive” from the Justice of , was driven at the point of the bayonett beyond its borders— and that since such expulsion, he has not been within the limits of . Wherefore he prays that, upon examination of the premises, the of will cause the writ by issued by him, to be revoked, and this deponant released from further proceedings in the premises—
Joseph Smith
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of July A. D. 1843—
Given under my hand and Notarial Seal the day and year last written.
Seal
,
Notary Public,
Ill [p. [3]]
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Footnotes

  1. new scribe logo

    Insertion in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock.