Hyrum Smith, Testimony, 1 July 1843 [Extradition of JS for Treason]

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Testimony of before the Municipal Court of the City of , Illinois, upon Saturday the first day of July 1843.—
being first duly sworn saith <​says​> that the Defendant now in Court is his Brother, and that his name is not Joseph Smith Junior, but his name is Joseph Smith Senior, and has been for more than two years past. I have been acquainted with him ever since he was born, which <​was​> is thirtyseven years last <​in​> December <​last,​> and I have not been absent from him at any one time, not even the space of Six months since his Birth, to my recollection, & have been intimately acquainted with all his sayings, doings, business transactions, and movements as much as any one Man could be acquainted with another Mans business up to the present time, and do know <​that​> he has not committed Treason against any State in the , by any Overt Acts, or by levying War, or by aiding, abetting, or assisting an Enemy in any State in the , and that the said Joseph Smith Senior has not Committed Treason in the State of nor violated any Law nor Rule of said , I being personally acquainted with the transactions and doings of said Smith whilst he resided in said , which was for about six months in the year 1838, I being also a resident in said during the same period of <​time​> six months, and I do know that said Joseph Smith Senior never was subject to military duty in any State, neither was he in the State of , he being exempt by the amputation or extraction of a bone from his Leg, and by having a license to preach the Gospel, or being in other words a minister of the Gospel, and I do know that said Smith never bore Arms <​as a​> in any military <​Man in any​> force, or in any Squadron capacity, <​whatever​> whilst in the State of , or previous to that time, neither has he given any Orders or <​assumed any​> command in any capacity whatever, but I do know that whilst he was in the State of , that the People <​commonly​> called Mormons were threatened with violence & extermination. & [p. 1] & on or about the first Monday in August <​1838​> at the election at <​the county seat​> in , the Citizens who were commonly called Mormons were forbidden <​to exercise​> the rights of franchise, and from that unhallowed Circumstance an affray commenced & a fight ensued among the Citizens of that place, <​&​> from that time a mob commenced gathering in that threatening the extermination of the Mormons, the said Smith & myself upon <​hearing that​> learning the particulars of the <​were​> Mobs <​were​> collecting together, & that they had also murdered two of the Citizens of that <​some​> place & would not suffer them to be buried, the said Smith and myself went over to to learn the particulars of the affray, but on arriving <​upon our arrival​> at , were learned that none were killed but several were wounded. We tarried all night at Coll. ’s, the next morning the weather being very warm and having been very dry for some time previously the springs & wells in that neighbourhood <​region​> were dried up; On mounting our horses to return we rode up to the residence of <​’s​>, who was then an acting Justice of the Peace, to obtain some water for ourselves and horses, some few of the citizens accompanied us there, & after obtaining the refreshment of water was asked by said Joseph Smith Senr. if he would use his influence to see that the laws were faithfully executed and prote <​to​> put down mob violence and he gave us a paper written by his own hand stating that he would do so He also requested him to call together the most influential men of the on the next day that we might have an interview with them, to this he acquiesced and accordingly the next day they assembled at the house of and entered into a mutual covenant of peace, and to put down mob violence and to protect each other in the enjoyment of their rights: after this we all parted with the best of feelings & each man returned home to his own home— This mutual agreement of peace however did not last long for but a few days afterwards the Mob began to collect again until several hundreds rendezvoused at Millport a few miles [p. 2] distant from . They immediately commenced making aggressions upon the Citizens <​called Mormons​> taking away <​their​> hogs & cattle, & threatening them with extermination or utter extinction: saying that they had a cannon and there should be no compromise only at it’s mouth: frequently taking men women & children prisoners, whipping them and lacerating their bodies with hickory withes, and tying them to trees and depriving them of food until they were compelled to gnaw the bark from the trees to which they were bound in order to sustain life. Treating them in the most cruel manner they could invent <​or think of​> & doing every thing they could to excite the indignation of the mormon people to the rescue them, in order that they might make that a pretext of an accusation for the breach of the law & that they might the better excite the prejudices of the populace & thereby get aid & assistance to carry out their hellish purposes of extermination. Immediately on the authentication of these facts messengers were dispatched from to Judge of the fifth judicial district of the state of , and also to Commander in chief of that division & giving them information of the existing facts & demanding immediate assistance. returned with the messengers and went immediately to & from thence to millport and <​he​> founds the facts were true as reported to him; that the Citizens of that were assembled together in a hostile attitude to the amount of two or three hundred men threatening the utter extermination of the mormons he immediately returned to and ordered out a sufficent military force to quell the Mob. Immediately after the Army returned & they mob <​were​> dispersed & they army returned, the mob commenced collecting again soon immediately <​after​>: we again applied for military aid when came out with a force of 60 armed men to ; but they were in such a state of insubordination that he said he could not control [p. 3] them & it was thought advisable by and & others that they should return home Major ordered to call out the militia of & defend the against the mob for said he you have great reason to be alarmed for he said from the Platte Country had come down with 200 armed men and had taken up their station at Hunter’s Mill a place distant about 17 or 18 miles north west of the Town of , and also that an armed force had collected <​again​> at Millport, in again <​consisting​> of several hundred men and that an<​other​> armed force had collected at in Carroll County about 50 miles of South east of where about 70 families of the mormon people had settled upon the Bank of the at a little Town called .” Immediately a messenger, whilst he was yet talking, came in from , stating that three or four hundred men had assembled together <​at that place​> armed cap-a-pie and that they threatened the utter extinction of the citizens of that place if they did not leave the place immediately and that they had also surrounded the town & cut off all supplies of food, so that many of them were suffering with hunger. seemed to be very much alarmed, <​&​> he seemed <​appeared​> to be willing to do all he could to assist and to relieve the sufferings of the mormon people; he advised that a petition be immediately got up & sent to the . A petition was accordingly prepared and a messenger despatched immediately to the and another petition was sent to . The <​mormon​> people throughout the Country were in <​a​> great state of alarm and also in great distress; they saw themselves completely surrounded with armed forces on the north & on the north west and on the South & also , who had formerly been <​was​> a methodist preacher, & who was then a captain over a militia company of 50 soldiers <​but​> who had added to his <​number​> [p. 4] out of the surrounding counties about a hundred more, which made <​his force​> about 150 strong, was stationed at Crooked Creek, sending out his scouting parties taking men women & children prisoners driving off cattle hogs & horses, entering into every house in the on Log & Long Creek; rifling their houses off their most precious articles, such as money, bedding & clothing, taking all their old muskets and their rifles or military implements threatening the people with instant death if they did not deliver up all their precious things; and entered into a covenant to leave the the state or go into the city of by the next morning, saying that “they calculated to drive the people into and then drive them to hell”— also was doing the same on the north west side of — and , was the a Presbyterian minister, was the leader of the mob in , & a very noted man of the same society was the leader of the mob in Carroll County, & they were also sending out their scouting parties; robbing & pillaging houses driving away hogs horses & cattle, taking men women & children & carrying them off; threatening their lives <​&​> subjecting them to all manner of abuses that they could invent or think of. Under this state of alarm & excitement and distress the messengers returned from the & from the other authorities bringing the fatal news, that the mormons could have no assistance; they stated that the said that “the mormons had got into a difficulty with the citizens, and they might fight it out for all what he cared.” He could not render them any assistance.”— The people of were obliged to leave their homes and go into ; but did not until after many of them <​had​> starved to death, for want of proper sustenance & several died on the road there, and were buried by the way side without a coffin or a funeral ceremony & the distress <​sufferings & privations​> of the people cannot be expressed. All the scattered families of the mormon people, in all the Counties except , were driven into with but few exceptions. This only increased their distress, for many thousands <​who​> were driven there, had no habitations or houses to shelter them and [p. 5] were huddled together, some in tents & others under blankets, while others had no shelter from the inclemency of the weather— Nearly two months the people had been in this awful state of consternation, many of them had been killed whilst others had been whipped ’till they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out. About this time came out from , Ray County, who was one of the commissioned officers who was sent out at the time the mob was first quelled and went out to , and I myself & my brother Joseph Smith Senr. went out at the same time. On that <​the​> evening that arrived at my brother, (the late ’s came in to ’s about eleven o’clock at night bringing her two children along with her, one about two years & a half old the other a babe in her arms. She had came <​in​> on foot a distance of three miles & waded which and the water was then about waist deep. <​and the snow about 3 inches deep.​> She stated that a party of the mob, a gang of ruffians, had turned her out of doors, had taken her household goods and had burnt up her house & she had escaped by the skin of her teeth. Her at that time was in Kentucky <​​> <​Tennessee​> and she was lef living alone. This cruel transaction excited the feelings of the people in , especially ’s, and he asked in my hearing how long we had got to suffer such base treatment? said he did not know how long. <​then​> asked him what should be done? told him “he should take a company of men well armed and go and disperse the mob wherever he should find any collected together and take away their arms:” did so, precisely, according to the orders of . And my brother Joseph Smith senr. said made no words about it. And after had dispersed the mob and put a stop to their burning houses belonging to the mormon people & turning women & children out of doors, which they had done up to that time to the amount of 8 or 10 houses which were consumed to ashes— After being cut short in their intended designs the mob started up a new plan. They went to work & moved their families out of the & set fire to their own houses, & not being [p. 6] able to incense the Mormons to commit crimes; they had recourse to this stratagem to set their own houses on fire & send runners into all the Counties adjacent; to declare to the people that the Mormons had burnt up their houses & destroyed their fields and if the people would not believe them, they would tell them to go and see if what they had said was not true. Many people came to see, they saw the houses burning & being filled with prejudice they could not be made to believe; but what <​that​> the Mormons set them on fire, which deed was most diabolical and of the blackest kind, for indeed the mormons did not <​set them on fire nor​> meddle with their houses or their fields. and the houses that were burnt together with the pre emption rights & the corn in the fields, <​had all been previously​> were all purchased <​by the mormons​> of the people & paid for in money & with waggons & horses & with other property about two weeks before; but they had not taken possession of the premises; but this wicked transaction was for the purpose of clandestinely to excite <​exciting​> the minds of a prejudiced populace & the , that they might get an order that they could the more easily carry out their hellish purposes in expulsion, <​or extermination​> extinction or utter extermination <​extinction​> of the mormon people. After witnessing the distressed situation of the people in my brother Joseph Smith Senr & myself returned back to the city of — And immediately despatched a messenger with written documents to stating the facts as they did <​then​>exist praying for assistance if possible & requesting the editor of the “Far West” Newspaper to insert the same in his Newspaper but he utterly refused to do so. We still believed that we should get assistance from the and again petitioned him praying for assistance setting forth our distressed situation. and in the mean time the presiding of the County court issued orders, upon affidavits made to him by the Citizens, to the of the , to order out the Militia of the to stand in constant readiness night & day to prevent the Citizens from being massacred which fearful situation they were in every moment, every thing was very portentous & alarming [p. 7] notwithstanding all this there was a ray of hope yet existing in the minds of the people that the would render us assistance and whilst they people were waiting anxiously for deliverance, men women and children frightened, praying & weeping, we beheld at a distance crossing the prairies approaching the , a large army in military array brandishing their glittering swords in the sunshine & we could not but feel joyful for a moment thinking <​that​> probably that the had sent an armed force to our relief notwithstanding the awful forebodings that pervaded our breasts; but to our great surprise when they the army arrived they came up & formed a line in double file in one half mile from <​on the east of​> the city of and detached three messengers with a white Flag to come to the . They were met by with a few other individuals whose names I do not now recollect I was myself standing close by and could very distinctly hear what <​every word​> they said, feelin being filled with anxiety I rushed forward to the spot expecting to hear good news, but alas and heart thrilling through <​ti​> every soul that heard them, they demanded three persons to be brought out of the , before they should massacre the rest. The names of the persons they demanded were, , & his wife. Immediately the three persons were brought forth to hold an interview with the Officers, who had made the demand. And the officers told them they had now a chance to save their lives, for they calculated to destroy the people & lay the in Ashes. They replied to the officers, and said, “if the people must be destroyed & the burnt to ashes they would remain in the and die with them.” The officers immediately returned & the army retreated and encamped about a mile and half from the — A was immediately despatched <​with a white Flag​> from the of the Militia of , requesting an interview with & , but as the approached the Camp he was fired <​shot​> at by , the Methodist preacher— The name of the Messenger was , who is now Brigardier [p. 8] General in the , however he gained permission to see , he also requested an interview with . said that had been dismounted by a special order of the a few miles back; and had been sent back to Clay County, he <​also​> stated that the reason was, that he () was too merciful unto the mormons and <​​> would not let him have his <​the​> command; but had given it to , who was from <​&​> whose heart had become hardened in <​his​> former rapine and blood, he being one of the leaders in murdering, driving & plundering & burning some 2 or 3 hundred houses belonging to the mormon people in that in the years 1833 and 1834— requested to spare the people and not suffer them to be massacred until the next morning, <​it then being evening,​> he coolly agreed that he would not and also said that “he had not as yet received the ’s order; but expected it every hour, and should not make any further move until he had received it; but he would not make any promise so far as regarded ’s Army,” He having arriving <​arrived​> arriving a few minutes previously & joined the main body of the army— he knowing well at what hour to form a junction with the main body. then returned to the giving this information. The immediately despatched a second Flag of truce messenger with a white flag to request another interview with in order <​of​> to excite touch his sympathy & compassion and if it was possible for him to use his best endeavours to preserve the lives of the people. On the return of this Messenger we learned that several persons had been killed by some of the soldiers who were under the command of . One Mr. Carey had his brains knocked out by the breach <​butt end​> of a Gun and he lay <​bleeding​> several hours; <​but his family were not permitted to approach him, nor any one <​else allowed​> to administer relief to him whilst he lay upon the ground​> in the agonies of death. Mr. Carey had just arrived in the country, from the state of , only a few hours previous to the arrival of the army, he had a family consisting of a wife & several small children, he was buried by [p. 9] <​who is now​> the senior Warden of the Nauvoo Lodge. Another man of the name of John Tanner was knocked in the head at the same time & his skull laid bare the width of <​a man’s​> your hand and he lay to all appearance in the agonies of death for several hours, but by the permission of <​his friends​> brought him out of the camp and with good nursing he slowly recovered & his now living. There was another man whose name I do not now recollect <​is Powell​> who was beat in the head with the Butt of a gun until his <​skull was fractured & his​> brains run out in two or three places, he is now alive & lives in this ; but <​he​> has lost the use of his senses. Several <​persons​> of his family were also left for dead but have since recovered. These acts of barbarity was <​were also​> committed by the soldiers under the command of previous to having received the ’s order of extermination. It was on the evening of the 30th. of October, according to the best of my recollection, that the army arrived at , the sun about half an hour high, in a few moments afterwards arrived with his army and formed a junction: this had been stationed at Hunter’s Mills for about 2 months previous to that time committing depredations upon the inhabitants carrying off <​capturing​> men women & children & carrying them off as prisoners, lacerating their bodies with hickory withes. The army of were painted like indians now & then <​some​> more conspicuous than others was <​were​> designated by red spots, and he also was painted in a similar manner with red spots marked upon his cheeks <​face​> and <​he styled​> called himself the “Delaware Chief.” They would whoop & hollow <​holla​> and yell as nearly like indians as they could & continued to do so all that night. In the morning early the of militia sent a messenger into the Camp with a white flag to have another interview with on his return he informed us that the s order had arrived. said that “the order of the was, to exterminate the Mormons by God but he would be damned if he obeyed that order. but might do what he pleased”. We [p. 10] immediately learned from that “the ’s order which had arrived was only a copy of the original and that the original order was in the hands of who was on his way to , with an additional army of 6,000 men” Immediately after this there came into the a messenger from bringing the awful intelligence of an awful massacre of the people who were residing in that place and that an army <​a force​> of two or three hundred detached from the main body of the army under the superior command of Colonel Ashley, but under the immediate command of Captain who the day previous had promised them peace and protection; but on receiving a copy of the ’s order “to exterminate or to expell” from the hands of Colonel Ashley, he returned upon them the following day and surprised and massacred the whole population of the and then came on to the town of having <​and​> entered into conjunction with the main body of the army— the messenger informed us that he himself with a few others fled into the thickets which preserved them from the massacre, and in <​on​> the following morning they returned and collected the dead bodies of our <​the​> people and buried <​cast​> them into a well; and there were upwards of twenty who were dead or mortally wounded and there are several of the wounded <​who​> are now living in this one of the name of Yocum has lately had his leg amputated through <​in consequence of​> the wounds he then received, he had a ball shot through his head the ball <​which​> entered near his eye & came out at the back part of his head, and another ball passed through one of his arms. The army continued during all the while they had been in encamped in continued to lay waste fields of corn making hogs, sheep & cattle common plunder & shooting them down for sport: one man shot a cow and took a strip of her skin the width of his hand from her head to her tail and tied it around a tree to slip his halter into to tie his horse to. The was surrounded with a strong guard & no man woman or child was permitted to go out or come in under the [p. 11] the penalty of death. Many of the citizens were shot in attempting to go out to obtain sustenance for themselves & families. There was one field fenced in consisting of 1200 acres mostly covered with corn it was entirely laid waste by the horses of the army. And the next day after the arrival of the army, towards evening, came up from the camp requesting to see my brother Joseph, , , , & , stating that the Officers of the army wanted a mutual consultation with those men, also stating that Generals , , and Graham— (however General Graham is an honorable exception, he did all he could to preserve the lives of the people, contrary to the order of the ,) He, , assured them that these Generals had pledged their sacred honor that they should not be abused nor insulted, but should be guarded back in safety in the morning or so soon as the consultation was over. My Brother Joseph replied that he did not know what good he could do in any consultation, as he was only a private individual, however he said that if he was always <​willing​> to do all the good he good could and would obey every law of the land and then leave the event with God: they immediately started with to go down into the Camp, as they were going down about half way to the Camp— they met with a phalanx of men with a wing to the right & to the left & a 4 pounder in the centre— they supposed they were intended as were coming with this strong force to guard them into the Camp in safety; but to their surprise when they came up to , he ordered his men to surround them, and stepped up to the and said “these are the prisoners I agreed to deliver up”. drew his sword and said gentlemen, you are my prisoners and about that time the main army were on their march to meet them— they came up in two divisions and opened to the right & left and my brother and his friends were marched down [p. 12] through their lines with a strong guard in front, and the cannon in the rear, to the Camp amidst the whoopings, howlings, yellings & shoutings of the army which was so horrid & terrific that it frightened the inhabitants of the : it is impossible to describe the feelings of horror & distress of the people— <​After being thus betrayed​> there they were placed under a strong guard of 30 men armed cap-a-pie were which they <​who were​> relieved every two hours, there they were compelled to lay on the cold ground that night, and were told in plain language, that they need never to expect their liberties again, so far for their honor pledged. However this was as much as could be expected from a Mob under the garb of military & executive authority in the State of . And on the next day the soldiers were permitted to patrol the streets, to abuse and insult the people at their leisure, and enter into houses and pillage them, and ravish the women, taking away every gun and every other kind of arms or military implements: and about twelve o’clock on that day came to my house with an armed force and opened the door and called me out of doors & delivered me up as a prisoner unto that force they surrounded me and commanded me to march into the Camp, I told them that I could not go, my family were sick, and I was sick myself and could not leave home; they said they did not care for that I must and should go. I asked when they would permit me to return they made me no answer but forced me along with the point of the Bayonet into the camp and put me under the same guard with my brother Joseph— and within about half an hour afterwards was also brought & placed under the same guard, there we were compelled to stay all that night and lie on the ground; but along sometime in the same night came to me and told me that he had been pleading my case before the court martial but he was afraid he should not succeed, he said there was a Court Martial then [p. 13] in Session, consisting of 13 or 14 officers, <​circuit Judge and the district attorney, also presbyterian priest,​> and about 20 <​other​> priests he so of the different religious denominations in that country, he said they were determined to shoot us on the next morning in the public square, <​of in ​> I made him no reply. On the next morning about sunrise ordered his Brigade to take up the line of march and leave the Camp: he came to us where we were under guard to shake hands <​with us​> and bid us farewell. His first salutation was, “By God your are <​have been​> sentenced by the Court Martial to be shot this morning; but I will be damned if I will have any of the honor of it or any of the disgrace of it, therefore I have ordered my brigade to take up the line of march and to leave the camp for I consider it to be cold-blooded murder and I bid you farewell,” and went away— This movement of made considerable excitement in the army & there was considerable whisperings amongst the officers of the army, we listened very attentively & frequently heard it mentioned by the guard that “the damned Mormons would not be shot this time” in a few moments the guard was relieved with a new set one of those new guards said that “the damned mormons would not be shot this time for the movement of had frustrated the whole plan and that the officers had called another Court Martial and had ordered my l us to be taken to and there to be executed.” and in a few moments there were two large wagons drove up & we were ordered to get into them and whilst we were getting into them there came up four or five men armed with guns <​who​> drew up and snapped their guns at us in order to kill us, some flashed in the pan and others only snapped but none of their guns went off. They were immediately arrested by several officers and their guns taken from them and the drivers drove off We requested of to let us go to our houses and get some clothing in order to do this he had to drive <​we had to​> be drove up into the it was with much difficulty that we could get his permission to go and see our [p. 14] families and get some clothing; but after considerable consultation we were permitted to go under a strong guard of five or six men to each one of us and we were not permitted to speak to any one of our families under the pain of death: the guard who <​that​> went with me ordered my to get me some clothes immediately within two minutes and if she did not do it I should go off without them I was obliged to submit to their tyranical orders however painful it was with my & children clinging to my arms & to the skirts of my garments and was not permitted to utter to them a word of consolation and in a moment was hurried away from them at the point of the Bayonet— we he were hurried back to the wagons & ordered into them, all in about the same space of time, in the mean while our & & Sisters had forced their way to the wagons to get permission to see us; but were forbidden to speak to us, And <​and​> they immediately drove off for , we travelled about 12 miles that evening & encamped for the night the same strong guard was kept around us and were relieved every two hours and we were permitted to sleep on the ground, the night was then cold with considerable snow on the ground & for the want of covering & clothing we suffered extremely with the cold: that night was a commencement of a fit of sickness from which I have not wholly recovered unto this day, in consequence of my exposure to the inclemency of the weather, our provision was fresh beef roasted in the fire on a stick, the army having no bread in consequence of the want of mills to grind the grain. In the morning at the dawn of day we were forced on our journey and were exhibited to the inhabitants along <​the road​> the same as they exhibit a carravan of Elephants or Camels, we were examined from head to foot by men women & children, only I believe they did not make us open our mouths to look at our teeth: this treatment was continued incessantly until we arrived at in . After our arrival at we were driven all through the for inspection and then we were ordered into an old log house and there kept under guard [p. 15] as usual until supper, which was served up to us as we sat upon the floor or on billetts of wood, and we were compelled to stay in that house all that night & the next day & They continued to exhibit us to the public by letting the people come in and examine us & then go away & give place for others alternately all that day & the next night; but on the morning of the following day we were permitted to go to the Tavern to eat and to sleep; but afterwards <​they​> made us pay for our own expenses, for board, lodging & attendance and for which they made a most exorbitant charge. We remained in the Tavern about two days & two nights when an officer arrived with authority from to take us back to , Ray County, where the had arrived with his army to await our arrival there; but on the morning that we of our start for we were informed by “that it was expected by the soldiers that we would be hung up by the necks on the road whilst on the march to that place, and that it was prevented by a demand made of <​for​> us from who had the command in consequence of seniority and that it was his prerogative to execute us himself. And he should give us up into the hands of the officer who would take us to and he might do with us as he pleased.” During our stay at the officers informed us that “there were 8 or 10 horses <​in that place​> belonging to the Mormon people which had been stolen by the soldiers, and that we might have two of them to ride upon if we would cause them to be sent back to the owners after our arrival at .” We accepted of them and they were rode to and the owners came there and got them. We started in the morning under our new officer, , of Keatsville, Chariton County with several other men to guard us over, we arrived <​there​> on friday evening the 9th. day of November in the month of November and were thrust into an old log house with a strong guard placed over us. After we had been there for the space of half an hour [p. 16] there came in a man who was said to have some notoriety in the penetentiary bringing in his hands a quantity of chains & padlocks. He said he was commanded by to put us in chains— Immediately the soldiers rose up and pointing their guns at us placed their thumb on the cock, and their finger on the trigger and the s prison keeper went to work putting a chain around the leg of each man and fastening it on with a padlock until we were all chained together, seven of us. In a few moments came in , we requested to know of him what was the cause of all this harsh & cruel treatment. He refused to give us any information at that time; but said he would in a few days. So we were compelled to continue in that situation camping on the floor all chained together without any chance or means to be made comfortable, having to eat our victuals as they <​it​> were <​was​> served up to us, using our fingers & teeth instead of knives & forks. Whilst we were in that situation, a young man of the name of , brother in law to my brother came to see us & put <​up​> at the tavern where made his quarters, he happened to come in time to see make choice of his men to shoot us on Monday morning the 12th. day of November he saw them make choice of their rifles & load them with two balls in each & after they prepared their guns saluted them by saying “gentlemen you shall have the honor of shooting the Mormon leaders on Monday morning at 8. O!clock—” But in consequence of the influence of our friends the heathen was intimidated so that he durst not carry his murderous designs into but and sent a messenger immediately to to obtain the Military code of laws, after the messenger’s return the was employed nearly a whole week examining the laws, so Monday passed away without our being shot: however it seemed like foolishness to me for so great a man as appeared to be, should <​have​> want to search the military law [p. 17] to find out whether preachers of the Gospel who never did military duty should <​could​> be subjects to of court martial; however the seemed to learn that fact after searching the military code and came into the old log cabin where we were under guard & in chains & told us he had concluded to deliver us over unto the civil authorities; as persons guilty of treason, murder, , , <​theft​> and stealing the poor deluded did not know the difference between <​theft​> larceny & stealing— Accordingly we were put into the handed over to the pretended civil authorities and the next morning our chains were taken off and we were guarded to the Court House where there was a pretended court in session being the Judge & the district attorney the two extremely & very honorable gentlemen who sat on the Court Martial when we were sentenced to be shot. Witnesses were called up & sworn at the point of the bayonet and if they would not swear to the things they were told <​to do​> they were threatened with instant death <​& I do know <​possitively​> that the evidence given in by those men whilst under duress was false​> this order <​state​> of things was continued 12 or 14 days <​&​> after that <​time​> we were permitt ordered by the to introduce some rebutting evidence saying if we did not do it we should be thrust in<​to​> prison I could hardly understand what the meant for I considered we were in prison already and could not think of anything but the persecutions in the days of Nero knowing that it was a religious persecution & the court an inquisition: however we gave him the names of 40 persons who are <​were​> acquainted with all the persecutions & sufferings of the people. The made out a Subpena and inserted the names of those men & caused it to be placed in the hands of the notorious methodist minister and he took 50 <​armed​> soldiers & started for I saw the Subpena given to him & his company when they started. In the course of a few days they returned with most all those 40 men whose names were inserted in the Subpena & thrust them into Gaol [jail] & we were not permitted to bring one of them before the court [p. 18] but the turned upon us with an air of indignation & said gentlemen you must get your witnesses or you shall be committed to Gaol immediately; for we are not a going to hold the Court open on expense much longer for you any how. We felt very much distrest & opprest at that time. Brother said what shall we do, our witnesses are all thrust into prison & probably will be & we have no power to do any thing, of course we must submit to this tyranny & oppression, we cannot help ourselves, several others made similar expressions in the agony of their souls; but my brother Joseph did not say anything he being sick at that time with the tooth ache and ague in his face, in consequence of a severe cold brought on by being exposed to the severity of the weather— However it was considered best by and that we should try to get some witnesses before the pretended court, accordingly I myself gave the names of about 20 other persons the inserted them in a Subpena & caused it to be placed into the hands of the methodist priest & he again started off with his 50 soldiers to take those men prisoners as he had done before to the forty others— The sat & laughed at the good opportunity of getting the names for the benefit that they might the more easily capture them & so bring them down to be thrust into prison in order to prevent us from getting the truth before the pretended court, of which himself was the chief inquisitor or conspirator. returned from his second expedition with one prisoner only th whom he also thrust into prison— The people in had learned the intrigue & had left the having been made acquainted with the treatment of the former witnesses. But we, on learning that we could not obtain witnesses, whilst privately consulting with each other what we should do, discovered a Mr. Allen standing by the window on the outside of the house, we beckoned to him as though we [p. 19] we would have him come in, he immediately came in, at that time retorted upon us again saying gentlemen are you not going to introduce some witnesses <​also​> saying it was the last day he should hold the Court open for us & if we did not rebut the testimony that had been given against us he should have to commit us to Gaol. I had then got Mr Allen into the house and before the Court, so called, I told the we had one witness if he would be so good as to put him under oath he seemed unwilling to do so; but after a few moments consultation the ’s arose and said he should object to that witness being sworn, and that he should object to that witness giving in his evidence at all, stating that this was not a court to try the case; but only a court of investigation on the part of the , Upon this arose and said “he would be God damned if the witness should not be sworn, and that it was a damned shame that these Defendants should be treated in this manner: and that they should <​could​> not be permitted to get one witness before the Court whilst all their witnesses even forty at a time have been taken by force of arms & thrust into the “Bullpen” in order to prevent them from giving their testimony.” After sat down the permitted the Witness to be sworn and enter upon his testimony but so soon as he began to speak a man by the name of Cook <​who was a Son <​or Brother​> in law of priest the methodist and​> who was a lieutenant <​&​> who<​se​> place at that time was to superintend the guard stepped in before the pretended Court and took him by the shoulder & the nape of his neck and jammed his head down under the pole or log of wood that was placed up around the placed where the inquisition was sitting to keep the bystanders from <​intruding​> from upon the majesty of the inquisitors, and jammed him along to the door and kicked him out of doors. He instantly turned to some soldiers who were standing by him and said to them “go and shoot him damn him, shoot him damn him.” [p. 20] The soldiers ran after the man to shoot him, he fled for his life & with great difficulty made his escape. The pretended court immediately arose and we were ordered to be carried to , Clay County and there to be thrust into Gaol. We endeavoured to find out for what cause, but all we could learn was because we were Mormons. The next morning a large wagon drove up to the door and a blacksmith came into the house with some chain<​s​> & handcuffs, “he said his orders were from the to handcuff us and chain us together, we” he informed us that the had made out a & sentenced us to gaol for treason, he also said the had done this that we might not get bail; he also said the stated his intention to keep us in gaol until all the mormons were driven out of the : he also said that the had also <​further stated​> said that if <​he​> let us out before <​all​> the Mormons had left the , that we would not let them leave & there would be another damned fuss kicked up”— I also heard the say myself whilst he was sitting in his pretended court that “there was no law for us nor for the mormons in the State of : that he had sworn to see them exterminated and to see the ’s order executed to the very letter”— However the Blacksmith proceeded & put the irons upon us & we were ordered into the wagon & they drove off for , and as we journeyed along on the road we were exhibited to the inhabitants, and this course was adopted all the way, thus making a public exhibition of us, until we arrived at , Clay County— There we we were thrust into prison again & locked up— and were held there in close confinement for the space of six months; and our place of lodging was the square side of a hewed log white oak log— and our food was anything but good & decent: poison was administered to us three or four times, the effect it had upon our system was, <​that​> it vomitted us almost to death, and then we would lay some two or three days in a torpid stupid state not even caring [p. 21] or wishing for life— The poison being administer<​ed​> in too large doses or it would inevitably <​have​> proved fatal, had not the power of Jehovah interposed in our behalf to save us from their wicked purpose— We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh for the space of five days or go without food except a little coffee or a little corn bread, the latter I chose in preference to the former— We none of us partook of the flesh except , we also heard the guard which was placed over us making sport of us saying that they had fed us upon “Mormon Beef.” I have described the appearance of this flesh to several experienced Physicians & they <​have​> decided that it was human flesh— We learned afterwards by one of the guard that it was supposed that that act of savage barbarity <​cannibalism​> in feeding us with human flesh, would be considered a popular deed of notoriety; but the people on learning that it would not take, they tried to keep it a secret; but the fact having been <​was​> noised abroad before they took that precaution— Whilst we were incarcerated in prison we applied petitioned the supreme Court of the State of for a Writ of <​twice​> but were refused twice both times by who is now the Governor of that . We also petitioned one of the judges for a Writ of Habeas Corpus which was granted in about three weeks afterwards; but were not permitted to have any trial— we were only taken out of gaol & kept out for a few hours & then remanded back again— In the course of three or four days after that time came into the gaol in the evening & said he had permitted to get bail, but he said he had got to do it in the night & had also got to get away in the night & unknown to any of the Citizens or they would kill him, for they had sworn to kill him if they could find him: and as to the rest of us he dared not let us go, for fear of his own life, as well as ours. He said [p. 22] “it was damned hard to be confined under such circumstances for he knew we were innocent men and <​he said​> the people also knew it— And that it was only a persecution & treachery and the scenes of acted over again, for fear that we would become too numerous in that upper country. He said the plan was concocted by the down to the lowest Judge and that damned baptist minister, priest Riley who was riding into every day to watch the people, stirring up the minds of the people against us all he could, exciting them and stirring up the<​ir​> religious prejudices of the people against us for fear they would let us go.” however got bail & made his escape to . our <​The​> jailor Judge Taylor Samuel Tillery, Esquire told us also “that the whole plan was concocted by the down to the lowest Judge in that upper country early in the previous spring and that the plan was more fully carried out at the time that went down to with generals & and , the self styled “Deleware Chief—” This was some time in the month of September when the mob were collected at , in Carroll County— He also told us “that the was now ashamed enough of the whole transaction and would be glad to set us at liberty if he dared to do it; but said he, you need not be concerned for the has laid a plan for your release. He also said that the ’s Attorney was appointed to be circuit Judge, on the circuit passing through and that he () was instructed to fix the papers so that we would be sure to be clear from any incumbrance in a very short time—” Sometime in April we were taken to , as they said, to have a Trial but when we arrived at that place instead of finding a court or a jury we found another inquisition, and who was the district attorney, the same man who was one of [p. 23] the Court Martial when we were sentenced to death, was now the circuit Judge of that pretended court and the grand Jury that was empannelled were all at the Massacre at and lively actors in that awful, solemn & disgraceful cool blooded murder and all the pretence they made of excuse <​was​> “they had done it because the ordered them to do it”— The same Jury sat as Jury in the day time and were placed over <​us​> as a guard in the night time: they tantalized & boasted over us of their great achievements at & <​at​> other places, telling us “how many houses they had burned & how many sheep cattle & hogs they had driven off belonging to the Mormons and how many rapes they had committed, and what squealing and kicking there was amongst the damned bitches”— Saying that “they lashed one women upon one of the damned mormon meeting house benches, tying her hands and her feet fast and sixteen of them abused her as much as they had a mind to & then left her bound <​& exposed​> in that <​distressed​> condition”— These fiends of the lower regions boasted of these acts of barbarity and tantalised our feelings with them for ten days. We had heard of these acts of cruelty previous to this time, but we were slow to believe that such acts of cruelty had been perpetrated, the lady who was the subject of their brutality, did not recover her health, to be able to help herself for more than three months afterwards— This grand jury constantly celebrated their achievements with grog & glass in hand like the indian warriors at their war dances singing & telling each other of their exploits, & great in murdering the Mormons, in plundering their houses & carrying off their property, at the end of every song they would bring in the chorus “God damn God”, “God damn Jesus Christ, God damn the presbyterians, God damn the baptists, God damn the Methodists, reiterating one sect after another [p. 24] in the same manner, until they came to the Mormons, to them it was “God damn the God damned Mormons”. “we have sent them to hell.” Then they would slap their hands & shout “hosanna, hosanna, glory to God,” & fall down on their backs & kick with their feet a few moments; then they would pretend to have swooned away into a glorious trance in order to imitate some of the transactions at Camp Meetings. Then they would pretend to come out of their trance & would shout & again slap their hands & jump up, while one would take a bottle of whiskey & a tumbler & turn it out full of whiskey & pour it down each others necks, crying “damn it take it you must take it,” and if he any one refused to drink the whiskey others would clinch him & hold him whilst another pour<​ed​> it down his neck, & what did not go down the inside when <​went​> down the outside, this is a part of the farce acted out under by the grand jury of , whilst they stood over us as guards for ten nights successively & <​And​> all this in the presence of the great ;— who had previously said in our hearing that “there was no law for the Mormons in the state of ”— His brother was then acting as district attorney in that circuit, and if anything, was a greater cannibal than his brother <​the ​>— After all these ten days of drunkenness we were informed that we “were indicted for treason, murder, , , theft and stealing.” We asked for a change of venue to <​from​> that to Marion County, but they would not grant it; but they gave us a change of venue from to ; and a was made out by the pretended without date, name or place. They fitted us out with a two horse wagon & horses & five four men besides the Sheriff to be our guard, there were five of us— we started from at night the sun about two hours high P. M. & went as far as that evening, and staid ’till morning— There we bought two horses off the guard [p. 25] and paid for one of them in our clothing, which we had with us, and for the other we gave our note. And went down that day as far as ’s a distance of some four or five miles, there we staid until the next morning when we started on our journey to and travelled on the road about 20 miles distance, there we bought a Jug of whiskey with which we treated the company and while there, the Sheriff showed us the before referred to, without date or signature, and said “that told him never to carry us to , and never to shew the and said he, I shall take a good drink of Grog and go to bed and <​you may​> we might do as <​you have​> we had a mind to.” Three others of the guard drank pretty freely of whiskey sweetened with honey, they also went to bed & were soon asleep & the other guard went along with us & helped to saddle the horses— Two of us mounted the horses & the other three started on foot and we took our change of venue for the State of and in the course of three <​nine​> or four <​ten​> days arrived safely at , Adams County, where we found our families in a state of poverty although in good health; they having been driven out of the previously, by the murderous militia under the exterminating order of the of : and now the people of that , a portion of them, would be glad to make the people of this believe that my brother Joseph has committed treason, for the purpose of keeping up their murderous & hellish persecution, and they seem to be unrelenting & thirsty <​thirsting​> for the blood of innocence, for I do know most positively that my brother Joseph has not committed treason, nor violated one solitary item of law nor rule in the State of . And further the saith not— But I do know that the Mormon people en masse were driven out of that , after being robbed of [p. 26] all they had, and they barely escaped with their lives. As well as my brother Joseph who barely escaped with his life, his family also was robbed of all they had <​&​> barely escaped with the skin of their teeth— All <​And​> all this in consequence of the exterminating order of the the same being confirmed by the legislature of that . And I do know, so does this Court & every other rational man, who is acquainted with the circumstances, or shall become acquainted and every man, who shall hereafter become acquainted with the particulars <​thereof​> will know, that , and Generals , , & , also , have committed treason upon the citizens of , and did violate the Constitution of the , and also the Constitution and laws of the State of , and did <​exile & expel​> drive at the point of the bayonet, seve some 12 or 14 thousand inhabitants of from the , and did murder some three or four hundreds of men, women & children in cold blood and in the most horrid & cruel manner possible— And the whole of it was caused by religious bigotry & persecution because the Mormons dared to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience & agreeably to his divine will as revealed in the scriptures of eternal truth, and had turned away from following the vain traditions of their fathers and would not worship according to the dogmas & commandments of those men who preach for hire and divine for money & taught <​teach​> for doctrine the precepts of men— expecting that the constitution of the would have protecting <​protected​> them therein. And I do also know that my brother Joseph has not been in the State of since the spring of the year 1839 And further this saith not— But notwithstanding the mormon people had purchased to upwards of Two hundred [p. 27] thousand Dollars worth of land, most of which was entered and paid for at the land offices of the <​in the State of ​>. yet <​And​> although the of the has been made acquainted with these facts and the particulars of our persecutions & oppressions by Petition to him and to Congress, yet <​but​> <​yet​> they have not as yet <​even​> attempted to restore the Mormons to their rights, or given any assurance that we may hereafter expect redress from them— And I do also know most positively & assuredly that my brother Joseph Smith Senr. has not been in the state of since the spring of the year 1839. And further this saith not—
 
Testimony
 
’s, Testimony
July 1, 1843
 
Filed July 1st. 1843.
A [p. 28]

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