Edward Partridge, History, Manuscript, circa 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

In presenting to our readers a history of the persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day-Saints in the State of we feel it our duty to commence <​them​> it <​it​> at the beginning, notwithstanding many of our readers <​we​> are <​aware are​> well acquainted with the outrages committed in <​(an account of them They having been published in the Evening & Morning star)​> and might perhaps rather see the paper filled with other matter <​than <​to have​> those former troubles presented before them again.​> yet there are a great many others, who are altogether unacquainted with those early troubles <​persecutions​> who would feel that we had not done our duty were we to pass by those former troubles <​them​> and commence <​confine​> our h[is]tory to more recent transactions. Thus much by way of introduction.
In the winter of A.D. 1830–31 five elders <​of the church of Jesus Christ 4 <​of which were​> from the State of State & 1 <​was​> from ​> traveled on foot, wading through a deep snow <​which is not common in that country​> through the praries from to Missouri where they made a permanent stand. <​They​> occasionally preaching <​preached​> about the country as the way opened before them. <​A few believed the gospel preached and had been baptized when​> About the middle of the July following July a number more elders’ arrived at , and soon <​shortly​> after a small branch of the church also arrived
At that time there appeared to be but little objection to the church our people’s settleing there, although the preaching had stir[r]ed up some few to show their quils <​appear​> like a hedge hogs when they show their quils <​an enemy is near​>. The church in continued to increase continually untill they were <​it was​> driven from the . As the church increased the hostile spirit of the people increased <​also​> in about the same proportion Our <​The​> enemies circulated <​from time to time​> all manner of <​false​> stories against us <​our people​> <​hoping​> thereby hoping to stir <​up​> the indignation of others. They also <​in the spring of 1832​> brick batted or stoned some of our people’s <​the​> houses <​of the Saints​> breaking in windows and &c. if not only disturbing but endangering the lives of the inmates. In the course of that season a county meeting was called <​at ​> to adopt measures to drive the Saints from the <​but​> the meeting broke up <​without coming to any agreement about the Saints​> having had too much [p. [1]] confusion among themselves <​than to do more​> than to have a few knockdowns after taking a plentiful supply of whisky.
The result of this meeting may be attrebited in part to the influence of certain patriotic individuals among whom Genl. Clark a Sub. Indian agent may be considered as principal, he hearing of the meeting came from his agency <​or home​> some 30 or 40 miles <​distant,​> a day or two before the meeting He appeared quite indignant at the idea of having the laws and Constitution <​Constitution​> and laws trampled <​troddon​> under foot, by the strong trampling upon the weak. He went to certain influential mob characters and offered to decide our case with them in single combat. He said that it would be better for one or two individuals to die than for hundreds to be put to death
Although the meeting had broken up without doing any thing, yet the hostile spirit of individuals were <​was​> no less abated. Such was their thirst for the destruction of the Saints that they, that same fall, shot into <​the houses of​> certain individuals. in the night One house had a blanket ball in particular lodged in the a log near the head of the owner of the house as he lay in bed.
During the winter and Spring of 1833 the mob spirit spread <​itself​> though in a measure secretly, but in the forepart of summer it began to show itself openly by <​in​> the stoning of houses and other insults. Some time in July we saw the unparalleled declaration of the people of made its appearance. in which they charged <​seemed to have tried their best to defame​> our people with a charging them with crime at the same time they acknowledged that the laws of the land would not reach <​our people​> us, which was evidently the case, for they administered held the reins of goverment or in other [p. [2]] words had the administering of the laws in their own hands and could they have found the law broken <​even in a single instance​> who does not know that they would <​have​> put the law <​it​> in force, and thereby substantiated their charges, <​against the saints,​> which they never did, in preference to taking unlawful measures against them. The following strange <​remarkable​> sentence is near the close of their famous declaration “We, therefore, agree, that after timely warning, & receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them: and to that end we each pledge to each other our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors.” The 20th of July was the day set for the people to come together and commence their work of destruction— Accordingly they met to the number of 3 or 400 They chose a committee a committee of 13 of the mob was sent <​dema​> requested an interview with some of the principal elders of the church— 6 were soon called together who met the mob committee. They demanded of our people to have the and indeed all other mechanic’s shops <​together with & ’s ()​> closed forthwith and the society to agree to leave the immediately. Our elders <​asked​> 3 months for consideration which being refused they asked for 10 days when they were informed that 15 minutes was <​were​> the most that could be granted, being driven to the necessity of giving an immediate answer they said that they could not agree <​consent​> to their proposals <​demands​> upon which one of the mob observed, as he left the room, that he was sorry for <​now​> the work of destruction would commence immediately In a short time hundreds of the mob gathered around the (which was a two story brick building) which they soon threw down— <​The press was thrown from the loft &​> The press, book work, paper, type, aparatus &.c. scattered around.— After destroying the printing establishment they proceeded to s for the same purpose [p. [3]] but he agreeing to shut his and pack <​box​> his goods forthwith they concluded to let him alone. They they then proceeded to take certain individuals for the purpose of abusing them: They succeeded in taking and both of whom they tarred and feathered upon the public <​at​> square with hundreds of the mob surrounding them many of whom insulted them. This scene closed the work of the mob for that day. They adjourned to meet the next teusday the 23d inst.
Teusday morning the mob came together, large companies <​of the mob​> came into bearing red flags threatning the Mormons with <​death &​> destruction <​to the Mormons.​> some of A consultation was had <​held​> between some of the leading men of both parties, nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob party but for the other party to leave the or be put to death. It Seeing the determination of the mob It was proposed by some of our elders that if it would satisfy the mob by so as to let the rest of the society live where they were in peace they would suffer <​themselves to be taken and put to death​> the mob to take them and kill them, but being <​they were​> answered that that would not do, but that every one should die for themselves. At this time to make resistance or even defend themselves was thought to be wrong many <​most if not all​> of our people in thought that they would be doing wrong to <​resist the mob​> even <​by​> defend themselves consequently they thought that they must quietly submit to whatever yoke was put upon them even to the laying down of their lives. With these views, the few elders who were assembled to consult upon the subject <​which were but 6 or 7​> after much consultation thought it better <​best​> to agree to leave the upon the terms agreed upon Viz. <​that those elders would go themselves and also use their influence​> that one half of the society should leave the by the first of the <​following​> following <​next​> January and the other half by the 1st of the following April following that <​and the mob agreed not to molest the church during that time​>, hoping that before either of those dates <​would​> expired that some kind providence would open the way for them to still live there in peace The agreement was put into writing and signed by the parties, all of whic[h] appeared very satisfactory to the <​whole​> mob who had it all <​read &​> explained to them in the [p. [4]]
The church <​saints​> did not like the idea of leaving the <​And​> few if any believed <​at first​> that they should <​would​> have to leave <​it​> but that they would be protected by thinking that government would protect them in their Constitutional rights. A petition The mob party threatened the<​m​> saints <​with destruction​> if they made any effort to get any assistance from any quarter but notwithstanding their threats a petition was carefully got up circulated and obtained the signature of <​a​> great many of the saints and was sent to the of the before it became at all public. This petition set forth <​in​> a concise <​manner​> history of the<​ir​> persecutions and solicited the aid of the in obtaining their protecting them in their rights that they might sue and obtain damages for loss of property, abuse, defamation &.C.. The in his answer expressed a willingness to help them but <​could not untill they law could not be executed without force​> had not the authority
He advised. us <​them​> to make complaint to the circuit Judge or the justice of the peace <​and obtain warrant, against for​> of such as should threaten our <​their​> lives and we <​they​> believed them in danger <​to try the law both to against those who <​should​> threatend their lives and if the law was resisted give him official information of the fact & he see that the law was enforced.​> * <​*Put the warrants in the hands of the sheriff & if they could not be served then he the would enforce the law​> Accordingly <​about the 1st of Nov., when the mob raged again​> application was made to a Justice <​of the peace​> who had not then openly joined the mob, but he refused <​to give a warrant​> saying that if he <​did​> granted <​it​> a warrant he feared that his life would be in danger. They then sent 40 miles to the circuit Judge and after considerable delay obtained a warrant against a number of individuals. When the warrants arrived it was to late to do any thing with them for the whole was getting up in arms and the Saints had as much as they could do to take care of themselves
He also advised them to sue for their damages. They accordingly employed four counsellors at $250. <​each​> to commence and carry their suits <​more or less​> through to final judgement— <​They commenced by starting <​with​> 3 or 4 <​or 5​>— 2 of which were afterwards withdrawn​>
Two or three suits were planted which were kept along for some time when a change of Venue was obtained by <​their​> paying near $300. before the time of final trial which was 2 or 3 years from the commencement of the suits when it was expected that a trial would be had their lawyers evidently turned against them making <​made a​> a sort of compromise with the mob party discontinuing a<​n​> principal <​important suit​> without obtaining any thing not even the paying <​payment​> of the costs <​&​> this was done without the knowledge or consent of their client But employer and on the <​an​>other principal suit there <​was something obtained​>. was <​but​> not enough <​as much​> obtained as had been paid the <​for​> lawyers <​fees​> & costs [p. [5]]
Noth <​About this time​> A few families moved into Van Buren Co. the Co. S. of but the <​hostile spirit of the​> inhabitants of that Co. and <​manifested by​> their threats induced them to move back <​again​> to Co. again The petitioning <​of​> the and the employing of counsel by the Saints had a tendency no dout to Stir up the mob again. In Octr. they began to rage again <​However​> nothing very serious was done till towards the last of the month
The saints had as yet <​had​> made no resistance but taking the subject into consideration they found that they would be justified by the laws of both God and man in defending themselves their families and houses against all <​who molested them​> unlawfully. they therefore concluded that from that time forward they would defend themselves as well as they could against mobbers hoping that that <​when it was understood​> would dampen the <​hostile​> spirit of the mob<​bers who​> which was <​were at that time​> continually threatening them, but it had a contra effect
That together with the petitioning of the and the employing of counsel had a tendency to enrage the mob. In Oct. they began again to stone houses though nothing very serious was done till the last of it <​last of it.​> On the <​thursday​> night of the 31st a mob of 40 or 50 <​armed and​> collected armed themselves and proceeded armed against a settlement of the Saints who lived about 10 miles S. West of there they began to destroy buildings again, they unroofed ten houses and partly threw down <​the bodies of​> some of them they then caught some three or four of the men whom they whipped and beat in a barbarous manner <​notwithstanding the cries and entreaties of their wives & children​> others evaded a beating by flight The saints made no resistance: not having been collected together having been <​but being​> <​were​> taken by surprise, they <​and​> were <​not​> collected together or in a situation to defend themselves against so large a body <​consequently they made no resistance​>. The mob threat After threatening to come again, in a rougher manner, the mob dispersed.
The news of this outrage soon spread through the different settlements of the saints and produced a feelings more easily felt than described for they <​very well​> knew that inasmuch as the mob had broken <​by the threatenings of the mob and their breaking​> the agreement or treaty <​<​which was​> made but a few days before <​as it were​>​> that <​there was​> trouble was ahead The<​y​> saints were in a scattered situation their settlements extending east & west 10 or 12 miles and what to do <​for their safety​> they knew not. To resist large bodies of the mob as in their scattered situation appeared useless and to gather together in one body immediatily was impracticable for they had not <​in any one place​> houses to dwell in or food for themselves and stock— A consultation was held by near by some of the p[r]incipal men <​of the church​> to see what was best to be done. It was concluded to obtain a peace warrant if possible against some of the <​principal​> leaders of the mob and also to advise their br[ethre]n to gather together in four or five bodies in their different neighborhoods [p. [6]] and defend themselves as well as they could whenever the mob came upon them. They then went to a magistrate and applied for a warrant but he refused to grant one. <​They then read​> The ’s letter directing them to proceed in that way was <​then​> read to him upon which he replied that <​that​> he cared nothing about it. That was a solemn <​At that very​> time the streets were full of <​filled with​> mobbers passing and repassing threatening the saints in different directions <​with destruction.​> and yet they <​denied the​> benefit of the law <​was​> refused them <​And​> To be deprived at such of the benefit of the law at such a critical time as that was well calculated to make the Saints feel solemn and mourn over the depravity of man But they had but little <​not much​> time for reflection for night was they had many things to do to prepare for the night which was just at hand in the which they expected the mob would come <​be​> upon them Up to this time the person <​the persons​> of <​of​> women and children were considered safe they seldom being abused therefore the men run together leaving their families at home [p. [7]]
The At the men met half a mile west of the . Night came on and a party of the mob was discovered to be <​busy​> in the village by the brickbatting of houses, spies were sent to discover their movements who returned with information that <​they were tearing down a brick house belong to &. ​> & ’s <​which​> was <​found to be​> broken open and some of the goods thrown into the streets. Upon hearing this news the few who were collected together formed themselves into two companies and marched into into town up to the public square where they found <​a number of men in the act of​> but one man Mr <​the others having fled as was supposed at the approach of the​> and he . was in <​they all fled but one who was taken​> the act of stoning the <​of & ​> he was taken, and found to be well lined with whisky— and one or two more went with him to a s a magistrate to get a warrant for him but he refused to give them one consequently was let go. Next morning it was assertained <​that​> the the Mob had not only broken open the and thrown some of the goods into the street but that they had partly thrown down a brick house belonging to . & and broken in windows &.c. one house which had shutters to its windows had one end of a rail thrust into the room where were none but women & children [p. [8]]
Next morning it was ascertained that there were windows broken in where there were none but women and children; one house in particular which had window shutter had a rail thrust through into the room where there were women and women and children were alone. Seeing that <​neither​> sex nor age were <​safe alone​> regarded the families were all moved out of the village that day
The same night an other party of the mob collected about 10 or 12 miles from near a body of the saints— two went to discover the situation of the brn. they came up <​near​> to the guard when discovering them advanced up to them <​when​> one of them struck him over the head with his rifle which cut a large gash in his head and nearly knocked him down <​but he recovering​> and called to his men who were near they took the spies and disarmed armed them of two rifles and three pistols they kept them in custody till morning <​then​> gave them their arms and let them go without injuring them. The rest of their company were heard at a distance but they dispersed without doing any injury <​harm.​>— Saturday Nov. 2d. It was concluded to try again for a peace warrant Accordingly application was made to a justice of the peace of by the name of Silvers who resided some distance from town, and who had not as yet joined the mob, especially openly, but he refused to grant a warrant saying that if he did he feared that his life would be in danger. They then went <​The next day <​4 men were​> started​> for the Circuit judge 40 miles off and after considerable delay obtained a warrant against a number of individuals: When the warrants arrived it was too late to do any thing with them for the whole was getting up in arms and the saints had as much as they could do to take care of themselves. But to return Saturday night came on and a party of the mob gathered at a went to a settlement of the saints living on <​Big​> Blue river about six miles west of town they first tore the roof from a house and then injured the furniture within They then divided their company into two parties one went to pulling the roof from another dwelling house whilst the other <​party​> went to another and broke it open; they found the owner <​David Bennet​> in bed whom they took and beat unmercifully. [p. [9]] one of the company drew a pistol and swore that he would blow out his brains but the ball laid bare his skull without fracturing of it— and <​thus narrowly​> his life was preserved he escaped with his life. A party of the saints were collected near by who hearing the disturbance went to the place the mob began to fire upon them and they returned the compliment, a few guns were discharged from both parties though the fire was not general at length a young man of the mob was shot through the thigh which caused <​Soon after​> the mob to disperse<​d​> soon after for that night
Sunday Nov. 3d. much <​Many​> threatenings were heard from the mobbers that day they were <​greatly enraged and were​> exerting themselves to strengthen their party; for as yet some appeared friendly to the brn. such told them that <​that​> they expected that they all would all be massacred for the enemy were about to get a six pounder and come out openly against them the next day.
Monday the <​Nov.​> 4th inst, came A large mob collected <​at ’s store about a mile​> west of the big Blue <​they came to the Blue,​> and took the ferry boat <​and​> at the big Blue, they also threatened some lives &.C., but for some cause unknown they left the Blue and returned to s store again. [p. [10]]
Whilst the mob was at the Blue threatening the people <​Saints​> the<​y​> brn. sent <​word​> to a body of the Saints <​brn.​> about 5 or 6 miles off <​to the​> S. W. that the <​a large​> mob was there and <​that they​> expected to need help, whereupon 19 brn. started to go and assist them but before they reached s store they learned that the mob had returned there so they turned themselves about and started for home again.
The mob by some means learned that they were on the road west of them when <​they​> from 50 to 70 of them took their rifles, and mounted their horses and went in pursuit of them. After traveling about two miles they came in sight of them when they <​all​> fled into the woods Some went immediately home and informed their brn. of what they had seen, as soon as possible about 30 of the brn <​who had lived in the settlement where the mob then was & some of whom had had their houses unroofed​> took their arms and started <​as soon as possible​> to meet the mob. The mob meantime <​they​> went to ’s <​a lame bro. who had not left his home​> pointed their guns at him and threatened his life provided he did not tell them where the brn. had fled to. they also threatened women and children they turned their horses into the brns. cornfields and hunted [5 words illegible] for them In this manner they spent their time for about an hour when <​about sundown​> the thirty saints <​brn​> marched up and as soon as they came near the mob fired upon them and they fired back again immediately, soon the mob retreated and <​left the ground they were followed a short distance but not far <​by the Brn. who then stopped​>​> were followed a short distance Two of the mob <​and a number of horses​> were killed and a number more <​some four or five <​5 or 6​>​> wounded they were so scared <​frightened​> that they left their dead on the ground ov <​over​> night the saints had a num <​4 or 5​> wounded— one <​Barber​> mortally who died the next day— was shot in the bowels by the first gun fired
The same day at , , , and some others were taken for an assault and battery and false imprisonment by whom they had taken the friday night previous: And although they could not get a warrant for him for breaking the yet he had obtained one for them for catching him at it They were prisoners in the court house in open court when news of the battle reached town it was stated that the Mormons had killed 20 of the mob <​and had gone to s & shot his son​> In a moment as it were [p. [11]] all was confusion in the house most were for massacreing the prisoners forthwith but a few more humane than the rest advised them to elect for jail to save their lives which they did and were hurried and <​with difficulty pl​> protected by those few friends to the jail where they felt happy to be locked in. They were visited by some influential men who told them that the mob was <​had​> now become desperate and that the whole had become enraged and nothing would stop them from massacreing the whole society but to leave the forthwith. (The body <​to come in over the leaf​> near town learned <​in the evening​> that those <​the​> brn. were shut up in jail and as they supposed for the purpose of being killed <​They sent​> Word was sent <​immediately​> to br. who lived about 6 miles off of their situation and requesting help). About midnight the sheriff and two other men went with & to visit their brn. collected near town. <​and​> after a short consultation it was agreed to leave the immediately <​The party​> In returning back to jail the party were <​met at the jail​> by a party of mobbers who were disposed to kill the prisoners in spite of the Sheriff & his assis[t]ants & <​seeing their danger​> run but were fired at had two guns snapped at him one of which flashed in the pan he was then knocked down but not injured so but that he soon got into the jail where he felt measurably safe
These were times that tried men’s souls to stay where they were was death and to undertake to remove so large a body at once there being about ten or twelve hundred of them looked like destruction any how Property <​however​> at that time was no object: If they could but have sufficient to live upon they chose rather to wander off into some lonely wilderness or desert <​where they could enjoy peace​> than to stay where they were <​even if they could and not be put to death​> and be continually harrassed as they had been for a few month past. But to return to the thread of our story
During the night the mob sent their runners over the to stir up the feelings of the people <​by misrepresenting the doings of the saints​> so as to have them all turn out and exterminate the<​m​> saints at once they the people took their arms and flocked to town <​​> as fast as possible so that early next morning there were hundreds ready for war pretended to call out the militia as he said to quell the mob <​and make peace between the parties​> but the fact was he put himself <​or was put some said by then Lieutenant Gov.​> at the head of the mob for the purpose [p. [12]] of making a show of legality for what they did.
during the night collected <​together​> a hundred or more of the saints, they <​who​> were <​but​> poorly armed some having nothing but clubs, and marched them on the road to<​wards​> town calculating <​expecting​> to stop at the camp of the saints near town but hearing of <​the release of the prisoners and of​> the agreement <​of the brn.​> to leave the and <​also that the militia had been <​were was​> called out​> the excitement produced at <​to make peace​> in consequence of his Co. before he had got near <​had reached​> the brns <​settlement​> he turned aside his men into the woods and concluding to disperse and go home— News flew to town that with a co. of his brn. were marching towards that place this <​so​> enraged and his pretended militia that they he demanded <​that & his Co. should give up their arms <​& that​>​> those men <​who were in the battle the day before should​> to be given up to be tried for murder and also that and his Co. should give up their arms <​saying that​> if they did <​would do​> those things they should be saf[e]ly protected in removing out of the otherwise there was no peace for them
and his men reluctan[t]ly consented to these propositions but were persuaded finally <​They reluctan[t]ly consented to those propositions and were it not for the fear of resisting the authorities they would sooner <​have​> shed their blood in defence of their rights than to have submitted to such oppression​> <​however the arms were given up​> <​and​> gave up their arms amounting to about 50 guns, one pistol & 1 sword & A number <​of those who​> that were in the battle delivered themselves up as prisoners and The saints <​now​> made all possible exertion to leave the was the principal instrument with the militia in making <​receiving​> these last proposals and getting them consented to
After detain[in]g the prisoners a day and night and pretending to try them for murder also threatening & brickbatting them took them into a cornfield so that their lives might not be in danger from his pretended militia and <​after​> taking a watch from one of them for costs as he was constable said to them “clear”
— promised to give back the arms <​whenever the saints​> they left the this he afterwards refused to do <​whereupon​> the ’s order was twice obtaind for them but he would not obey him it neither have they ever been paid for. Tuesday <​Wednesday​> Nov. 6 Having taken so many arms, the mob now felt safe, they were no longer militia The saints concluded to concluded that it woul to go south into Van Buren Co. which was consented to by a number of leading men, but before night word was sent to them that they must not <​might​> go west or South but <​North and east otherwise​> they would meet with trouble. Wednesday Nov 6th The arms being taken from the Saints the mob now felt safe and were no longer militia they formed themselves into companies and went forth on horseback armed to harrass the saints and pick up all the arms they could find. Two of these companies were headed by [p. [13]] baptist priests. The rev. headed a co. <​one​> of about 60 or 70 the other’s co. was about <​from​> 30 to 40 <​The priests name not recollected​> they went forth through the different Settlement of the saints threatening them with death and destruction if they were not off immediately, demanding their arms <​they even stripped the brn <​even to penkn[n]ives​> of all the<​ir​> farms they could find​> <​&c they broke​> & breaking open houses where they found them shut and pillaging pillaged of them
The men were mostly from home that <​day​> making arrangements for getting away. The mobs whipped, <​and shot at​> some and others they hunted after <​for​>as they said to kill them. Such mobs well lined with whisky <​as they​> were <​and looking & acting worse than savages​> were well calculated to frighten women and children which they <​effectually​> did in some cases effectually one settlement was so frightened that <​a party of​> from 130 to 150 women & children <​not waiting the return of their husbands & fathers​> left forthwith <​with <​only​> 5 or 6 men to protect them on foot​> without taking any <​of their​> things and wandered forth <​south a number of days under the broad canopy of heaven​> not knowing which way the church was a going to go. The <​stubs of the​> newly burnt grass & <​weeds​> were so hard that <​they​> cut the feet of those who had no shoes so that many of them bled and became very sore and bled profusely. Many <​O[t]hers​> fled towards the , and in the course of a short time <​the most of the church​> were under way for , some few went E. and others south Everetts ferry <​on the road​> leading from to was thronged for near two weeks in crossing the Saints besides what crossed above & below. After some of the head men <​had​> left the and the Saints were generally getting under way the mobs ceased in a measure <​ceased​> to harrass them. The people of received the Saints with as much hospitality as could be expected
The most of the Saints saved much of their moveable property <​still​> but their losses and sacrifices were <​still​> very great <​in the destruction of crops, furniture, clothing &c. & their loss of stock​> Their grain <​& many other things​> would not bear transportation & pay ferr[y]ing across the consequently was either sold <​at a great sacrifice​> for what it would fetch <​bring​> which was but a trifle or left without selling though some <​who had teams & not much else to do & were permitted to return​> moved the principal of their effects notwiths[t]anding have <​it might be at a [illegible]​> loss reckoning their time & all expences
Four aged families the youngest man being 65 years <​old​> of age whose penury & infirmaties forbade a speedy removal <​& who did not remove with the rest of the church thinking​> thought that probably they might be permitted to winter in <​as they were to old to be very dangerous the youngest man of this 4 being 65​> but in <​the last of​> Dec. they were driven from their houses by a mob party <​man being 65 years​> who broke in their windows & doors, hurling large rocks Stones into their houses whereby <​some of​> their lives were greatly endangered. “Some of these men have toiled & bled in the defence of their ; and old Mr Jones, one of the sufferers, served as life guard to Genl. Geo. Washington in the revolutionary war.”
In the winter After as <​it​> was thought <​that​> the mob <​spirit​> had died away some 5 or 6 families moved back from Van Buren Co. to their former homes in where what they had for the sustenence of themeslves & stock was. They had not been long back before a mob party visited them in the night and took the men some of whom <​and​> they beat <​some of the men​> with chairs & clubs till life was nearly extinct and <​then​> left them for dead. one <​by the name of Leonard​> was a long time recovering [p. [14]] indeed he <​has​> never has overcome <​out grown​> <​fully recovered from​> that beating The Governor <​​> was disposed to bring the leaders of the mob<​bers​> to justice consequently <​about 10 or 12​> witnesses <​of the saints​> were subpoened <​to attend the Feb. term of the circuit court​> and ’s co. <​was​> ordered to guard them over to & back, <​with his Co. of grays​> the Atorney Genl. was also ordered to attend the trial at the Feb. term of the circuit court court to assist the circuit attorney. The witnesses were guarded over to and after being there a short time they were visited by the circuit attorney in co. with the atto[r] ney Genl. they informed the witnesses that such was the excitement that it was doubtfull whether any thing could be done to bring the mobbers to justice, that if any were convicted they would only be fined some trifling sum not to exceed $5 at most, and <​they​> advised them not to come before the grand jury <​and intimated that the extent of the <​there would be​> danger​> the witnesses observed <​replied​> that they had been ordered there by the court and that they supposed <​that​> that they were still subject to the court or <​to them​> the attorneys. as to the danger of going before the grand jury <​they feared it not —​> they were ready & willing to go & testify to the truth— they feared not [p. [15]]
In a short time after the attor[n]eys left them they were informed by that <​the​> judge had sent him <​word​> that the grand juries witnesses nor <​&​> the guard were <​not​> wanted there any more <​longer​> soon paraded his men <​as soon &​> as well as he could for the crowd and <​immediately​> marched off immediately the witnesses following <​him​> as well as they could All hopes were now given up of ever bringing that people to justice. <​Their hatred towards the saints seemed to be unabating​> they frequently <​sent word​> over to that they were comeing over to drive the Saints from that place they even went so far as to circulate a paper in they object of which was to obtain volunteers in <​there​> to assist them in drving the<​m​> saints away. however in the Jackson mobbers <​they​> had but a few friends for some time
In 1834 if we mistake not a<​n​> peaceable inoffensive man br. by the name of Ira Willis <​who belonged <​among​> to the saints​> went into to hunt for a lost cow <​he was <​taken​> by the some of the​> <​some​> the ruffians there took him <​residing there who​> and whipped him unmercifully The same year Mr br. a man of great peaceable man went to to see a man who owed him, on his way he was discovered & overtaken by some few of that lawless banditti <​banditti​> who beat him with hand spikes no doubt with an intent to kill him but his life was preserved and he escaped out of their hands
Thus have that people unceasingly <​abused &​> persecuted the saints whenever they could get an opportunity
A wealthy farmer living in who was then friendly to the saints and who was in the habit of sending flour & Whisky into to sell, it generally being higher there than in , sent over his negro & team with a load of of flour & Whisky They were stopped on the road <​by some of the good people of ​> and the flour & whisky barrels cut to pieces with an ax and their contents wasted
appeared willing to guard back the saints <​to ​> at any time when they got ready to go but said that he had not power <​authority​> to keep a guard their there for their protection They were advised by many <​some of the most​> influential men <​in the upper country​> who were friendly towards them though not believers in their faith to have enough of their brn. emigrate to that country <​to enable them​> (so that they would have strength enough) to maintain their rights should they <​mob​> ever attempt to trample upon them again and then get the to set them back upon their lands. Accordingly word was sent forth to the churches to that effect and in the summer of 1834 a company <​of about 200​> came <​went​> from the eastern churches to for that purpose— but few of them <​however​> moved their families because that they knew not what the result would be— it was but an experiment [p. [16]]
As Whilst this company was forming and going up <​to ​> rumor with her ten thousand tongues was busy<​ly​> <​engaged​> <​in​> circulating falsehoods about them insomuch that before they arrived at there was <​considerable​> a great excitement <​even there​> the <​People from​> people coming going <​went​> over <​in​>to and <​called held​> holding a meeting and raised <​stirred up​> all the feelings <​there that​> they could against the saints The anger of the <​people of​> fear not rose to a great pitch but <​and​> many in <​the​> counties adjoining them on the south side of the were determined that the saints should not be set <​go​> back upon their lands <​The people of​> had furnished themselves with <​a number of​> cannon and their n[e] ighbors from the adjoining counties volunteered <​by hundreds​> to assist them provided <​that​> the should attempt to set the saints back <​again​> into
The Co. from the east arrived in and their <​gentle manners &​> peaceable deportment soon convinced the people of <​that​> Co. of the false reports which had been circulated about them the excitement was done away in a very few days and the people appeared more friendly than before
After the arrival of the brn. from the east a council was held and it was concluded that considering the great wrath of the people south of the that it would not be wisdom to ask the to <​set​> them back at that time
The people of were mostly friendly to the saints but there were a few exceptions Nothing of importance occurred till the summer of 1836 <​however for some time​> a few threats and insults from those who were disaffected was all the hostility manifested till the summer of 1836 * That summer the mob hostile party strengthened it self <​& became <​quite​> bold they whipped some & one day some​> untill It was manifest that from their threatenings and actions that they were determined to fall upon the saints and drive them out of the if they could. <​some 60 or 70 of them assembled one day rode off a few miles & stopped a Co. of movers & turned them back​> <​they also whipped some​> It was equally <​also equally​> manifest that they saints were disposed to defend themselves against mobs <​even to the shedding of blood. At that time​> The most inteligent & respectable citizens of the saw plainly that if some thing were not done to stop it blood would be shed, (for the mob party were determined on driving & the saints were <​as much​> determined not to be <​driven​> drove <​by them​> without first trying their strength). They had <​They therefore​> <​Therefore called​> a meeting of those who were friendly to the Saints in which they appointed a [p. [17]] committee who was to request the Saints to appoint a committee to meet them on at at a certain <​given time​> day
The committees met agreeable to appointment when it was proposed <​a proposition was made​> by the committee to the other <​something to this effect​> that whereas the people of had <​kindly​> received the saints in their distress when <​when​> <​and at that time​> it was expected that they wanted would soon return to and not think of making a permanent home and whereas the prospect of returning to was small at that <​present​> time and <​that​> a portion of the citizen of were dissatisfied to have them stay where they were any longer therefore they <​the committee in behalf​> requested that they <​the saints​> should look them<​selves​> out a new place to of location either in some unsettled part of the or otherwise go out of the as suited them best. The committee disclaimed all right to request any such thing: they said that the saints had just as good a right there as they had but that they thought that considering the opposition that there was to them there it would be better for them to be <​go where they could be​> more by themselves <​& even recommend their gathering to gether which was the very thing they wanted​> <​they said​> <​they​> that if they would consent to go they would send a committee with them who could pilot <​were acquainted​> them anywhere with the country and would pilot them in looking out a location They <​However A location​> had already looked <​been​> searched out a location and purchased about 1600 acres of land <​purchased​> and <​they​> were willing and even making preperations some of them to move away <​there​> there soon consequently the committee on the part of the church consented to the propositions made to them and all parted in <​with apparant​> good feeling Soon afterwards 3 on the part of the church & 2 pilots started to seek a location they traveled a number of days about the new settlements in <​towards​> the N.W. corner of the they finally concluded that the place previously pitched upon Now was the place where they would settle there being but <​a​> few inhabitants <​and they generally willing to sell out​> in a district of country large enough for a Co.
Upon these movements the mob spirit measureably subsided and the saints prepared and moved to their new settlement as fast as their circumstances would permit pleased with the idea of settleing <​together​> by themselves togeth
Here is the end of what has written [p. [18]]
The suits which had been commenced against the people for damages <​progressed so slow and was attended with so much costs that they​> were all dropped but two which were thought <​to be​> sufficient to try the experiment to asscertain whether or not anything could be obtained by law. About Near $300, <​costs​> had to be paid to obtain a change of venue the suits were <​then​> removed to , Court after court passed and the trials were put over— at last <​At Last In the summer of 1836​> the time <​at last​> drew near when it was supposed that the <​trials​> must come on which was very gratifying to those who planted the suits. When the time of court came their lawyers instead of going to trial <​as they should have done​> made a sort of compromise with the mobbers by dropping one suit without even having the costs paid & that this <​too​> without the knowledge or consent of their employer the <​on the​> other suit the defendants agreed to pay a few hundred dollars though not as much as the lawyers fees & costs had been. had their lawyers laboured as hard to have <​had​> a fair trial as they did to bring about this compromise Had our brns <​the​> lawyers been true to them <​brns​> and brought their suits to trial instead of makeing the <​a​> compromise and laboured faithfully for them as though them meant to earn their $1000. there is no doubt but that on the two suits they <​would have​> obtained as many thousands of dollars for them as they did hundreds by the compromise [p. [19]]