John Taylor, Martyrdom Account

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<​The Story of Carthage jail.​>
Branch Mills, Westport, Conn.
August 23, 1856.
Being requested by and , Church Historians, to write an account of events that transpired before and led to the Martyrdom of Joseph & , in Jail <​Gaol​> in State of Illinois, I write the following <​principally​> from memory not having access to any documents relating <​further than a few desultory items contained in “Fords History of Illinois.”​> thereunto. I am afraid that in consequence of the length of time which has transpired since that event it will be very imperfect. I do not profess to give details but confine myself to general items, with the exception of a few dates and short notes furnished by the Historian. & a little assistance <​from whose excellent memory & judgment I had to draw upon in several critical cases​>
In the year A.D. 1844, a very great excitement prevailed in some parts of the Counties of , and Brown <​and other neighboring counties,​> in relation to the Mormons, and a spirit of vindictive hatred & persecution was exhibited, among the people; which was manifested in the most bitter and acrimonious language, as well as by acts of hostility and violence; frequently threatening the destruction of the citizens of and vicinity and utter anihilation of the Mormons and Mormonism; and in some instances breaking out in the most violent acts of ruffianly barbarity; persons were kidnapped, whipped, prosecuted and falsely accused of various crimes, their cattle or horses injured, destroyed or stolen; vexatious prosecutions were instituted to vex, harrass and annoy. In some remote neighborhoods they were expelled their homes without redress, and in others violence was [p. [1]] threatened to their persons and properties; whilst in others every kind of insult and indignity was heaped upon them, to induce them to abandon their homes, the or .
These annoyances, prosecutions and persecutions were instigated through different agencies and by various classes of men, actuated by different motives; but all uniting in the one object, prosecution, persecution and extermination of the Saints.
There were a number of wicked and corrupt men living in and vicinity, who had belonged to the ; but whose conduct was incompatible with the Gospel; they were accordingly dealt with by the Church, and severed from its communion; Some of these had been prominent members and held official stations, either in the or Church. Among these was , formerly Mayor; Wilson , Councillor to Joseph Smith; , his natural brother and General in the ; Dr. , a man of some property, but with a very bad reputation; and ; the latter, a young Lawyer, & both sons of a respectable and honored man in the Church, known as Judge , who died about twelve months before.
Besides these there were a great many apostates, both in the and country of less notoriety, who, for their delinquencies, had been expelled <​from​> the Church. and and , were cut off from the Church, the former was also cashiered from his Generalship for the most flagrant acts of seduction and adultery; and such was the scandalous nature of the developments in their cases that the , before whom they were tried, had to [p. 2] sit with closed doors. , although councillor to Joseph, was found to be his most bitter foe and maligner, and to hold illicit intercourse contrary to all law, in his own house with a Young Lady resident with him & it was afterwards proved that he had conspired with some Missourians to take Joseph Smith’s life, and was only prevented by Daniel Carns, who was on guard, at his house, and prevented the assassins from seeing him. Yet, although having murder in his heart, his manners were generally courteous and mild, and he was well calculated to deceive.
General was cut off <​for​> seduction, falsehood and defamation, both the above were also court marshalled by the & expelled.
was also cut off from the , probably <​I believe​> for dishonesty, fraud and falsehood. for I know he was eminently guilty of the whole; but whether these were the specific charges, or there were others substituted <​not​>, I don’t know; but I do know that he was a notoriously wicked and corrupt man.
Besides the above characters and their mormonic apostates; there were other three parties. The first of these may be called Religionists, the second Politicians, and the third Counterfeiters, Blacklegs, Horse thieves and Cutthroats.
The Religious party were chagrinned and maddened, because Mormonism came in contact with their religion, and they could not oppose it from the Scriptures; and thus like the ancient Jews when enraged at the exibition of their follies and hypocrisies, by Jesus and His [p. 3] apostles, so these were infuriated against the Mormons, because of their discomfiture by them; and instead of owning the truth, and rejoicing in it, they were ready to gnash upon them with their teeth and to persecute and prosecute the believers in principles they could not disprove.
The political party was those who were of opposite politics from <​to​> us. There were always two parties, the Whigs and the Democrats; and we could not vote for one party without offending the other; and it not unfrequently happened that candidates for office, would place the issue of their election upon opposition to the Mormons, in order to gain political influence from religions predjudice; in which case the Mormons were compelled, in self defence, to vote against them; which resulted almost invariably against our opponents. This made them angry; and although it was of their own provoking, and the Mormons could not be expected to do otherwise; yet they raged, on account of their discomfiture, and sought to wreak their fury on the Mormons. As an instance of the above, when was candidate for the office of Governor of , he pledged himself to his party, that, if he could be elected, he would exterminate or drive the Mormons from the ; the consequence was that was elected. <​The following are his remarks: *​> <​* The Whigs seeing that they had been outgeneralled by the democrats, in securing the Mormon vote, became seriously alarmed & sought to repair their desaster by raising a Fund of crusade against that people. The Whig newspapers teemed with accounts of the wonders & enormities of ; & of the awful wickedness of a party which would consent to recieve the support of such miscriants. , who was really a brave honest man, & who had nothing to do with getting the Mormon charters passed through the legislature, took the stump on this subject in good earnest, & expected to be elected governor almost on this question alone.” There Fords History of Illinois p. 269​>
The third party composed of Counterfeiters, Blacklegs, Horse thieves & Cutthroats, were a pack of scoundrels that infested the whole of that Western country at that time. In some districts their influence was so great as to control important and offices <​on this subject has the following:​> <​I​> <​See ’s History​> There was a [p. 4] combination of Horse thieves, extending from to . There were counterfeiters engaged in merchandising, trading and Storekeeping, in most of the cities and villages; and in some districts. I have been credibly informed, by men to whom they have disclosed their secrets, that, the Judges, Sherifs, constables and Jailors as well as professional men were more or less associated with them. These had in their employ the most reckless abandoned wretches, who stood ready to carry into effect the most desperate enterprises; and were reckless alike of human life or property. Their object in persecuting the Mormons was in part to prevent cover their own rascality and <​in part to​> prevent them from exposing and prosecuting them; but the principal reason was plunder; believing that if they could be removed or driven; they would be made fat on Mormon spoils; besides having in the deserted a good asylum for the prosecution of their diabolical pursuits.
This conglomeration of apostate mormons, Religious bigots, Political fanatics, and combination of blacklegs, all united their forces against the Mormons, <​and organized into a party denominated “Anti-Mormons.”​> and some of them, we have reason to believe, joined the in order to cover their nefarious practices; and when they were expelled, for their unrighteousness, only raged with greater violence. They circulated every kind of falsehood that they could collect, or manufacture against the Mormons. They also had a paper to assist them in their propagations, called the “Warsaw Signal”, edited by a Mr. , a violent and unprincipled [p. 5] man, who shrunk not from any enormity.
These Anti-Mormons held public meetings, which were very numerously attended, where they passed resolutions of the most violent and inflamitory kind, threatening to drive expel and <​the Mormons from the or​> exterminate the<​m​> Mormons from the ; at the same time accusing them of all the vocabulary of crime. Among the resolutions that were passed, the following is a sample: (Insert resolutions of and meetings) They appointed their meetings in various parts of , & other Counties; which soon resulted in the organization of armed mobs, under the direction of officers, who reported to their headquarters, & the reports of which were published in the Anti-Mormon paper, and circulated through the adjoining Counties. We also published in the “Times and Seasons” and the Nauvoo Neighbor”. Two papers published and edited by me at that time, an account, not only of their proceedings; but of our own. But such was the hostile feeling, so well arranged their plans, and so desperate and lawless their measures, that it was with the greatest difficulty that we could get our papers circulated; they were destroyed by Post Masters and others, & scarcely ever arrived at <​the place of​> their destination, so that a great many of the people who would have been otherwise peacable, were excited by their misrepresentations, & instigated to join their hostile or predatory bands.
Emboldened by the acts of those outside, these apostate Mormons, associated with the others, commenced [p. 6] the publication of a libelous paper, in , called the “Nauvoo Expositor”. This paper not only reprinted from the others, but put into circulation the most libellous, false and infamous reports concerning the citizens of , and especially the ladies. I<​t​> was however no sooner put into circulation <​however​> than the indignation of the whole community was aroused; so much so that they threatened its anihilation, and I do not believe that in any other city in the , if the same charges had been made against the Citizens, it would have been permitted to remain one day. As it was among us, under these circumstances, it was thought best to convene the City Council, to take into consideration the adoption of some measures for its removal, as it was deemed better that this should be done legally, than illegally. Joseph Smith therefore, who was then Mayor, convened the City Council for that purpose, the paper was introduced and read, and the subject examined. All, or nearly all present, expressed their indignation at the course taken by The Expositor which was owned by some of the aforesaid apostates, associated with one or two others; , , , (see record and insert other proprietors names) owned it, and the Higbees before referred to; some Lawyers, Storekeepers and others in , who were not mormons; together with the Anti-Mormons, outside of the , sustained it. The calculation was by false statements to unsettle the minds [p. 7] of many in the , & to form combinations there, similar to the Anti-Mormon associations outside of the . Various attempts had heretofore been made, by the party to annoy and irritate the citizens of ; false accusations had been made, vexatious lawsuits instituted, threats made, and various devices resorted to, to influence the public mind, and, if possible to induce us to the commission of some overt act, that might make us amenable to the Law. With a perfect knowlege therefore of the designs of these infernal scoundrels, who were in our midst, as well as <​of​> those who surrounded us, the City Council entered upon the investigation of the matter. They felt that they were in a critical position, and that any move made for the abating of that press would be looked upon, or at least represented as a direct attack upon the liberty of Speech, and of the press; and that so far from displeasing our enimies, it would be looked upon by them as one of the best circumstances that could transpire, to assist them in their nefarious and bloody designs. Being a member of the City Council, I well remember the feeling of responsibility that seemed to rest upon all present; nor shall I soon forget the bold manly independant expressions of Joseph Smith, on that occassion, in relation to this matter. He exibited in glowing colors the meanness, corruption and ultimate designs of the Anti-Mormons, their despicable characters, and ungodly influences; especially those [p. 8] who were in our midst; he told us of the responsibilities that rested upon us as guardians of the public interests, to stand up in the defence of the injured and oppressed, to stem the torrent of corruption, and as men and saints put a stop to this flagrant outrage upon this peoples rights. There is no man a stronger advocate for the liberty of speech and of the press than myself; yet when this noble gift is utterly prostituted and abused, as in the present instance, it loses all claim to our respect and becomes as great an object <​agent​> for evil as, it can possibly be for <​of​> good; and notwithstanding the apparent advantage we should give our enimies by this act; yet it beho[o]ved us, as men, to act independe[n]t of all secondary influences, to perform the part of men of enlarged minds, and boldly and fearlessly, discharge the duties devolving upon us, by declaring as a nuisance and removing this filthy, libellous and seditious sheet, from our midst. The subject was discussed in various forms and after the remarks made by the Mayor, every one seemed to be waiting for some one else to speak. After a considerable pause, I arose and expressed my feelings frankly, as Joseph did <​had done​> and numbers of others followed in the same strain, and I think; but am not certain, that I made a motion for the removal of that press, as a nuisance; this motion was finally put, and carried by all but one, and he conceded that the measure was just, but abstained through fear.
Several of the members of the City Council were not in the . The following is the [p. 9] Bill referred to; (Insert the Bill) After the passage of the Bill, the Marshall, , was ordered to abate or remove it, which he forthwith proceeded to do, by summoning a posse of men for that purpose. The press was removed, or broken, I dont know which, by the , and the type scattered in the street.
This seemed to be one of those extreme cases that require extreme remedies measures, as the press was still proceeding in its inflamitory course, it was feared that as it was almost universally execrated, should it continue longer, an indignant people might commit some overt act which might lead to serious consequences; and that it was better to use legal, than illegal means.
This as was foreseen was the very course our enemies wished us to pursue, as it afforded them an opportunity of circulating a very plausible story about the Mormons being opposed to the liberty of the press, and of free speech which they were not slow to avail themselves of; stories were fabricated and facts perverted; false statements were made; and this act brought in as an example to sustain the whole of their fabrications, and, as if inspired by Satan, they labored with an energy and zeal worthy of a better cause. They had runners to circulate their reports, not only through ; but in all the surrounding Counties; these reports were communicated to their Anti-Mormon Societies, and these societies circulated them in their several districts. The Anti-Mormon paper the [p. 10] “Warsaw Signal” was filled with inflamatory articles & misrepresentations, in relation to us, and especially to this act of destroying the press. We were represented as a horde of lawless ruffians and brigands, Anti-American and Anti-Republican, steepeed in crime and iniquity; opposed to freedom of Speech and of <​the​> press, and all the rights and immunities of a free and enlightened people; that neither persons nor property were secure, that we had designs upon the Citizens of and of the ; and the people were called upon to rise en masse and put us down, drive us away or exterminate us, as a pest to society, and alike dangerous to our neighbors, the and commonwealth. These statements were extensively copied and circulated throughout the . A true statement of the facts in question was published by us <​both​> in the Times and Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor; but it was found impossible to circulate them <​repetition​> <​in the immediate Counties​> as they were destroyed at the Post Offices, or otherwise by the Agents of the Anti-Mormon<​s,​> party and, in order to get the Mail to go abroad, I had to send the papers a distance of thirty or forty miles from and sometimes to , (upwards of two hundred miles), to insure its proceeding on its route, and then and then one half or two thirds of the papers never reached their place of destination; being intercepted or destroyed by our enemies.
These <​false​> reports stirred up the community around who, many of them, on account of [p. 11] religious prejudice were easily instigated to <​see s account​> join the anti-Mormons and embark in any crusade that might be undertaken against the Mormons; hence their ranks swelled in numbers, and new organizations were formed; meetings were held, resolutions passed, and men and means voluntered for the extirpation of the Mormons. <​The following from is corroboration of the above:​> <​II​> In the mean time legal proceedings were instututed against the members of the City Council of . A writ was issued upon the affidavit of the Laws, , Higbees and , by of a Justice of the Peace in , the County Seat of , and put into the hands of one a Constable of the same place. In this writ the City Council were charged with (see writ and proceedings as published).
The Council refused not to attend to the legal proceedings in the case; but as the law of made it the privilege of the persons accused to go, “or appear before the issuer of the writ, or any other Justice of the Peace.” They requested to be taken before another magistrate, either in the City of , or at any reasonable distance out of it. This the , who was a mobocrat, refused to do, and as this was our legal privilege we refused to be dragged contrary to Law, a distance of eighteen miles, when at the same time we had reason to believe that an organized band of Mobocrats were assembled for the purpose of extermination [p. 12] or murder, and among whom it would not be safe to go without a superior force of armed men. A writ of Habeus Corpus was called for, and issued, by the Municipal Court of taking us out of the hands of and placing us in the charge of the . We went before the Municipal Court and were dismissed. Our refusal to obey this illegal proceeding was, by them, <​construed​> into a refusal to submit to the Law, and circulated as such, and the people either did believe or professed to believe that we were in open rebellion, against the laws and authorities of the . Hence mobs began to assemble, among which <​& all through the country​> inflamitory speeches were made, exciting them to Mobocracy and violence. Soon they commenced their persecutions of our outside settlements kidnapping some and whipping and otherwise abusing others. The persons thus abused fled to , as soon as practicable, and related their injuries to Joseph Smith, then Mayor of the and Lieutenant General of the ; they also went before magistrates and made affidavits of <​what​> they had suffered, seen and heard. These affidavits, in connexion with a copy of all, our proceedings were forwarded by Joseph Smith to , then Governor of , with an expression of our desire to abide law, and a request that the Governor would instruct him how to proceed in case of the arrival of an armed mob against the . The sent <​back​> instructions to: Joseph Smith, that as he was Lieutenant Genl. of the Nauvoo Legion, it was his duty to protect the and surrounding country, and issued orders to that effect. Upon the reception of these orders, Joseph Smith [p. 13] assembled the people of the , and laid before them the s instructions (Let search for these papers .) he also convened the officers of the for the purpose of conferring in relation to the <​See s notes​> best mode of defence. He also issued orders to the men to hold themselves in readiness in case of being called upon. On the following day (see record) Genl. Joseph Smith, with his staff, the leading officers of the Legion and some prominent strangers, who were in our midst, made a survey of the outside boundaries of the , which was very extensive, being about five miles up and down the , and about two and a half back in the Centre, for the purpose of ascertaining the position of the ground and the feasibility of defence, and to make all necessary arrangements in case of an attack.
It may be well here to remark, that numbers of gentlemen who were to us strangers, either came on purpose or were passing through , who, upon learning the position of things, expressed their indignation against our enemies, and who avowed their readiness to assist us, by their counsel or otherwise; it was some of these who assisted us in reconnoitering the , and finding out its adaptability for a defense and the best mode of protection against an armed force. The was called together, and drilled; and every means made use of for defence; at the call of the officers both old and yound [young] came forward both denizens of the , and from the outside regions, and I believe at one time [p. 14] they mustered <​to the number of​> about five thousand.
In the mean time our enemies were not idle in mustering their forces and committing depredations, nor had they been, it was, in fact, their gatherings that called ours into existence; their forces continued to accumulate, they assumed a threatening attitude, and assembled in large bodies, armed and equipped for war, and threatened the destruction & extermination of the Mormons. An account of their outrages and assemb[l]ages was forwarded to almost daily, accompanied by affidavits furnished by eye witnesses of their proceedings. Persons were also sent out to the Counties around with pacific intentions to give them an account of the true state of affairs and to notify them of the feelings and disposition of the people of , and thus if possible quell the excitement. In some of the more distant counties these men were very successfull and produced a salutary influence upon the minds of many intelligent and well disposed men. In neighboring counties, however, where Anti-Mormon influence prevailed, they produced little effect. At the same time guards were stationed around and picquet guards in the distance. At length opposing forces gathered, so near, that more active measures were taken; reconnoitering parties were sent out, and the proclaimed under Martial law. Things now assumed a belligerant attitude, and persons passing through the were questioned as to what they knew of the enemy whilst passes were in [p. 15] in some instances given to avoid difficulty with the guards. Joseph Smith continued to send on messengers to the . ( and other messengers were sent) , then residing at carried a message and dispatches to him, and in a day or two after & others went again with fresh despatches, representations, affidavits and instructions; but as the weather was excessively wet, the rivers swollen, and the bridges washed away in many places, it was with great difficulty that they proceeded on their journeys. As the moboracy had at last attracted the s’ attention, he started, in company with some others, from to the Scene of trouble, and Missed, I believe, both Bro’s and on the road, and of course did not see their documents. H[e] came to and made that place, which was a regular mobocratic den, his head quarters, as it was the County seat, <​however,​> of , that circumstance might in a measure, justify his staying there.
To avoid the appearance of all hostility, on our part, and to fulfill the Law in every particular, at the suggestion of , Judge of that Judicial district, who had come to at the time, and who stated that we had fulfilled the law; but in order to satisfy all he would counsel us to go before , who was not in our , and have [p. 16] a hearing; we did so; and after a full hearing we were again dismissed.
The on the road collected forces, some of whom were respectable; but on his arrival in the neighborhood of the difficulties, he received, as malitia, all the companies of Mob forces who united with him. After his arrival at he sent two gentlemen from there to as a committee to wait upon General Joseph Smith, informing him of the arrival of his , with a request that Genl. Smith would send out a Committee to wait upon the and represent to him the state <​See ’s ac​> of affairs in relation to the difficulties that then existed in the . <​We met this committee while we were reconnoiterey the to find out the best mode of defence as aforesaid​> The s Committee was (See Church Record) Dr. and were appointed as a committee by Genl. Smith to wait upon the . Previous to going, however, we were furnished with affidavits and documents in relation both to our proceedings, and those of the mob; in addition to the General history of the transaction, we took with us <​a​> duplicates of those documents which had been forwarded by , & others. We started for , in company with the aforesaid gentleman, at about seven O’clock on the evening of the 21st of June and arrived in at about 11 P.M.
<​See ’s ac​> We put up at the same with the kept by a ; on our arrival we found the in bed; but not so with the other inhabitants [p. 17] The town was filled with a perfect set of rabble and rowdies, who, under the influence of Bacchus seemed to be holding a grand saturnalia, whooping yelling, and vociforating as if Bedlam had broken loose.
On our arrival at the , and while while supper was preparing, a man came to me dressed as a soldier and told me that a man named <​Daniel​> Carn had just been taken prisoner, and was about to be committed to jail and wanted me to go bail for him; believing this to be a ruse to get me out alone, and that some violence was intended, after consulting with , I told the man that I was well aquainted with Mr. Carn, that I knew him to be a gentleman and did not believe that he had transgressed law; and moreover that I considered it a very singular time to be holding Courts, and calling for security; particularly as the was full of rowdyism. I informed him that both and myself would, if necessary, go bail for him in the morning; but that we did not feel ourselves safe among such a set at that late hour of the night.
After supper, <​on retiring to our room,​> we had to pass through another which was seperated from ours only by a board partition; the beds in each room being placed side by side with the exception of this fragile partition; <​on​> the beds <​that was​> in each the room that we passed through I discovered a man by the name of Jackson laying; a desperate character, and a reported <​reputed notorious​> cutthroat, and Murderer. I hinted to the that things looked rather [p. 18] suspicious, and looked to see that my arms were in order. The and I both occupied one bed. We had scarcely lain down when a knock at the door, accompanied by a voice announced the approach of , a young Lawyer and apostate, before referred to. He addressed himself to the and stated, that the object of his visit was to obtain the release of Daniel Carn, that Carn he believed to be an honest man, that if he <​had done​> did anything wrong, it was through improper counsel and that it was a pity that he should be incarcerated in Jail; particularly when he could be so easily released; he urged the , as a friend, not to leave so good a man in such an unpleasant position situation; he finally prevailed upon the to go and <​to​> give bail assuring him that on his giving bail Carn would be immediately released dismissed.
During this conversation I did not say a word. left the to dress, with the intention of returning and taking him to the Court. as quick as had gone I told the that he had better not go; that I believed this affair was all a ruse to get us seperated; that they knew we had public documents with us from Genl. Smith, to shew to the , that I believed their object was to get in possession of those papers, & perhap when they had seperated us, to murder one, or both. The who was actuated by the best of motives, in yielding to the assumed solicitude of , coincided with my views, <​he then went to and​> and when returned, he told [p. 19] him that he had concluded not to go that night; but that both he and I would both wait upon the Justice and Mr Carn in the Morning. That night I lay awake, with my pistols under my pillow, waiting for any emergency. Nothing more occurred during the night. In the morning we arose early, and after breakfast sought an interview with the , and were told that we could have an audience at, I think, 10 O’clock. In the meantime we called upon Mr. [Robert F.] Smith a Justice of the Peace, who had Mr. Carn in charge. We represented that we had been called upon the night before by two different parties to go bail for <​a​> Mr. <​Daniel​> Carn, who we were informed he had in custody, and that believing Mr. Carn to be an honest man, we had come now for that purpose and were prepared to enter into recognizances for his appearance. Whereupon Mr. Smith, the Magistrate remarked; “that under the present excited state of affairs he did not think he would, be justified in receiving bail from , as it was a matter of doubt whether property would not be rendered valueless there in a few days.
Knowing the party we had to do with, we were not much surprised at this singular proceeding; we then remarked that both of us possessed property in Farms, out of in the , and referred him to the County records. He then stated that such was the nature of the charge against Mr. Carn, that he believed he would not be justified in receiving any bail. We were thus con [p. 20]firmed <​confirming​> <​us​> in the opinion that the nights proceedings before, in relation to their desire to have us give bail, was a mere ruse to seperate us. We were not permitted to speak with Carn, the real charge against whom was— that he was travelling in or its neighborhood; what the fictitious one was, if I <​then​> knew, I have since forgotten, as things of this kind were then of daily occurrense.
After waiting the ’s pleasure, for some time, we had an audience; but such an audience! He was surrounded by some of the vilest and most unprincipled men in creation; some of them had an appearance of respectability; but many of them lacked even that. , and I believe were there, , and , a Lawyer from ; a Mobocratic Merchant from , the aforesaid Jackson, a number of his associates Mr. [blank] the s secretary in all some fifteen or twenty persons, most of whom were recreant to virtue, honor, integrity and everything that is considered honorable among men. I can well remember the feelings of disgust that I had in seeing the surrounded by such an infamous group, and on being introduced to men of so questionable a character; and had I been on private business I should have turned to depart, and told the that if he thought proper to associate with such questionable characters, I should beg leave to be excused; but coming, as we did, on public business, we could not, of course, consult [p. 21] our private feelings.
We, then, stated to the that, in accordance with his request, Genl. Joseph Smith had, in response to his call, sent us to him as a committee of Conference; that we were aquainted with most of the circumstances that had transpired, in, and about lately, and were prepared to give him the information; that moreover we had in our possession testimony and affidavits confirming <​confirmatory​> of what we should say, which had been forwarded to him by <​Genl.​> Joseph Smith; that communications had been forwarded to his Excellency by , & others, some of which had not reached their destination; but of which we had duplicates with us. We then in brief related an outline of the difficulties, and the course we had pursued from the commencement of the troubles, up to the present; and handing him the documents, respectfully submitted the whole. During our conversation and explanations with the , we were frequently <​rudely​> interrupted rudely and impudently contradicted by the fellows he had around him, and of whom he seemed to take no notice.
He opened and read a number of the documents himself, and as he proceeded he was frequently interrupted by: “thats a lie”— “Thats a God damned lie.” “Thats an infernal falsehood.” “That a blasted lie.” &c. These men evidently winced, on an exposure of their acts, and thus vulgarly, impudently and falsely repudiated them. One of their num [p. 22]ber, , addressed himself several times to me, while in conversation with the . I did not notice him until after a frequent repetition of his insolence, when I informed him “that my business, at that time, was with .” Whereupon I continued my conversation with his . During the conversation, the expressed a desire that Joseph Smith and all parties concerned in passing or executing the City Law, in relation to the press, had better come to ; that however repugnant it might be to our feelings, he thought it would have a tendency to allay public excitement and prove to the people, what we professed, that we wished to be governed by law. We represented to him the course we had taken in relation to this matter, our willingness to go before another Magistrate, other than the Municipal Court; the illegal refusal of our request by the , our dismissal by the municipal Court, a legally constituted tribunal, our subsequent trial before at the instance of (the circuit Judge) and our dismissal by him. That we had fulfilled the law in every particular; that it was our enemies who were breaking the law and having murderous designs were only making use of this, as a pretext to get us into their power. The stated that the people viewed it differently and that notwithstanding our opinions, he would recomend that the people should be satisfied. We then remarked [p. 23] to him that should Joseph Smith comply with his request, it would be extremely unsafe, in the present excited state of the country to come with out an armed force; that we had a sufficiency of men and were competent to defend ourselves; but that there might be danger of collission should our forces and that of our enemies be brought in such close proximity there might be danger of collission. He strenuously advised us not to bring any arms and pledged his faith as Governor and the faith of the that we should be protected, and that he would guarrantee our perfect safety.
We had, at that time, about five thousand under arms, one thousand of which would have been amply sufficient for our protection.
At the termination of our interview, and previous to our withdrawal; after a long conversation and the perusal of the documents which we had brought, the informed us, that he would prepare a written communication for Genl. Joseph Smith, which he desired us to wait for. We were kept waiting for this instrument some five or six hours. Late in the evening <​About 5 O Clock in the afternoon​> we took our departure, with <​not​> the most pleasant feelings The associations of the , the spirit that he manifested to compromise with those scoundrels, the length of time that he had kept us waiting, and his general deportment, together with the infernal spirit that we saw exhibited by those whom he admitted to his councils, made the prospect anything but pleasing promising. We returned on horseback [p. 24] <​See s Ac​> and arrived at , I think, about eleven <​eight​> or twelve <​nine​> O’clock at night. <​Accompanied by Captain [Christopher] Yates, in command of a company of mounted men, who came for the purpose of escorting Joseph Smith & the accused company in case of thier complying with the Governor’s request & going to ​> <​We​> Went directly to Br. Joseph’s and when <​Captain Yates​> delivered to him the s communication. A Council was called, consisting his <​Josephs​> brother I think, , , , and one or two others, when the following letter was read from the : (Insert letter) We <​then​> gave a detail of our interview with the .
Br. Joseph was very much dissatisfied with the s letter and with his general deportment, and so was <​were​> the council; and it became a serious question, as to the course we should pursue. Various projects were discussed; but nothing definitely decided upon for some time. In the interim two gentlemen arrived, one of them if not both sons, <​of​> I think, <​See Dr. s Ac​> of Ex-President . They had come to , and were very anxious for an interview with Br. Joseph Smith. These gentlemen detained him for some time, and as our Council was held in s room in the , the laid down; and as it was now between two and three O’clock in the morning & I had had no rest the previous night, I was fatigued, and thinking that Br. Joseph might not return, I left for home and rest. Being very much fatigued I slep[t] soundly and was somewhat surprised in the morning by Mrs. Thompson entering my room about seven O’Clock, and exclaiming in surprise, “What you here! the brethren have crossed the some time since.” “What brethren?” I asked. Br. Joseph & and [p. 25] I immediately arose and upon learning that they had crossed the , and did not in<​tend​>to go to , I called together a number of men in whom I had confidence and had the Type, Stereotype plates and most of the valuable things removed from the ; believing that should they and his force come to , the first thing they would do, would be to burn the , for I knew that they would be exasperated if Br. Joseph went away. We had talked over these matters the night <​even​> before; but nothing was decided upon. It was Br. Joseph’s opinion that should we leave for, for a time, public excitement which was then at its so intense would be allayed; that it would throw onto the the responsibility of keeping the peace; that in the event of any outrage the onus would rest upon the <​who​> was amply prepared <​with troops​> and and could command all the forces of the to preserve order, and that the acts of his own men would be an overwhelming proof of their seditious designs; not only to the but to the world, he moreover thought that in the East, where he intended to go, public opinion would be set right in relation to these matters, and its expression would partially influence the West, and, that after the first ebullition things would assume a shape that would justify his return. I made arrangements for crossing the and Br. & Joseph Cain who were both employed in the with me assisted all that lay in their power; together with Br. Brower and several hands in the printing office [p. 26] As we could not find out the exact whereabouts of Joseph and the brethren, I crossed the in a boat furnished by Br. and Alfred Bell, and after the removal of the things from the , Joseph Cain brought the account Books to me that we might make arrangement for their adjustment, and Br. , Cousin to Br. Joseph, went to obtain money for the journey; and also to find out and report to me the location of the Brethren. As was an active enterprising man & in the event of not finding Br. Joseph, I calculated to go to , for the time being and should need a companion; I said to ; “Can you go with me ten or fifteen hundred miles? he answered “Yes.” “Can you start in half an hour?” “Yes.” However I told him “he had better see his family who lived over the , and prepare a couple of horses and the necessary equipage for the journey, and that if we did not find Br. Joseph before, we would start at nightfall.” A laughable incident occurred on the eve of my departure. after making all the preparations I could, previous to leaving , & having bid adieu to my family, I went to a house adjoining the owned by a Br. Eddy. There I disguised myself, so as not to be known, and so effectual was the transformation that those who had come after me with a boat, did not know me. I went down to the boat and sat in it. Br. Bell thinking it was a stranger watched my moves for some time, very impatiently, and then said to “I wish that old gentleman [p. 27] would go away, he has been pottering about <​around​> the boat for some time, and I am afraid will be coming.” When he discovered his mistake he was not a little amused. I was conducted by Br. Bell, to a house that was surrounded by timber, on the opposite side of the . There I spent several hours in a chamber with <​Br​> Joseph Cain, adjusting my accounts, and I made arrangements for the stereotype plates of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants to be forwarded East, thinking to supply the company with subsistence money through the sale of those Books in <​the​> East.
My horses were reported ready by and funds on hand by Br. . In about half an hour I should have started, when Br. came to me and with word that he had found the Brethren; that they had concluded to go to and wished me to return to and accompany them. I must confess that I felt a good deal disappointed at this news; but I immediately made preparation to go. <​Escorted by Br. I & my party went to the neighborhood of where we met Joseph , & others. thinks that was not with Joseph & , in the morning; but that he met him, Joseph & & Br. Calhoun in the afternoon, near returning to .​> On my return to <​meeting the brethren​>, I learned that it was not Br. Josephs desire to return; but that he came back by request of some of the brethren, and that it coincided more with s feelings than with those of Br. Joseph. In fact after his return expressed himself as perfectly satisfied with the course taken, and said that “he felt much more at ease in his mind, than he did before.”
On our return the calculation was to throw ourselves under the immediate protection of the , and to trust to his word and faith for our preservation. A message was, I think <​believe​>, sent to the that night, stating that we should come to in the Mornin <​morning.​> <​The party that came along with us to escort us back in case we returned to by [illegible] having returned. It would seem from the following remarks of that was a design on foot, which was that if we refused to go to at the request that there should be a<​n​> mob increased force called for by the & that we should be destroyed by them in acordance with this project Captain Yates returned with his possee accompanied by the who held the writ. The followig is the ’s remarks, in relation to this affair.​> [p. 28]
In the morning Br. Joseph had an interview with the officers of the , with the leading members of the City Council, and with the principal men of the — The officers were instructed to dismiss their men; but to have them in <​in a state of​> readiness to be called upon in any emergency that might occur.
About 10 O’clock the members of the City Council, the , Br. Joseph and and a number of others started for , all on horseback. We were instructed by Br. Joseph Smith not to take any arms, and we consequently left them behind. We called at the house of Br. [Albert G.] Fellows on our way out. Br. Fellows lived about four miles from (See Minutes) <​see Ac​> While at Br. Fellows’ house, <​​> accompanied by Mr. Cooke <​one of the ’s Aid de Camps​> came up from en route for , with a requisition from the for the State arms (See notes and document.) On their return we <​we all returned to with them; the ’s request was complied with, & after taking some refreshment, we all returned to​> <​&​> proceeded to . and We arrived there at late O’clock at <​in the​> night. A great deal of excitement prevailed on, & after our arrival. The had received into his companies <​Company​> all of the Companies what <​that​> had been in the mob, these fellows were riotous and disorderly, halloing, yelling and whooping around the streets like Indians; many of them intoxicated; the whole presented a scene of rowdyism & low bred ruffianism only found among mobocrats and desperadoes, and entirely revolting to the best feelings of humanity. The made a speech to them to the effect, that he would show Joseph and to them in the Morning. About (see record) here the Companies with the , were drawn up into line and <​I think​> took Joseph by the arm and (See Record) and as he passed through between the ranks, <​the I think leading in front​> he very politely intrtroduced them as Genl. Joseph Smith & Genl. . All were orderly and corteous, except one company of Mobocrats; The Carthage Greys, who seemed to find fault on [p. 29] account of two much honor being paid to them. There was afterwards a row between the Companies, and they came pretty near having a fight; the more orderly not feeling disposed to endorse or submit to the rowdyism of the Mobocrats. The result was that , who was very much of a gentleman, ordered the Carthage Greys, a company under the command of Capt. [Robert F.] Smith a magistrate in and a most violent mobocrat, under arrest. This matter however was, shortly afterwards, adjusted and the difficulty settled between them. The Mayor, Aldermen, Councillors, as well as the of the City of , together with some persons who had assisted the in removing the Press in , appeared before Justice Smith, the aforesaid Captain and Mobocrat; to again answer to the Charge of destroying the Press; but as there was so much excitement and as the man was an unprincipled villain before whom we were to have our hearing, we thought it most prudent to give bail and consequently became security for each other in $500— bonds each to appear before the County Court at its next session. We had engaged as counsel a lawyer by the name of of , Iowa, and , I think, of Iowa. after some little discussion the bonds were signed and we were all dismissed.
Almost immediately after our dismissal, two men, & , two worthless men, whose words would not have been taken for five cents, and the first of whom had a short time previously been before the Mayor in , for maltreating a lame brother, made affidavit that Joseph and were guilty of treason, and a writ was accordingly issued, for their arrest, and the Constable a rough, unprincipled fellow, wished immediately to hurry <​them​> away the to prison, without any hearing. This rude uncouth manner in the administration of, what he considered the duties of his office, made him exceedingly repulsive to us all. [p. 30] But independent of this acts, the proceedings in this case, were <​altogether​> illegal. Providing the Court was sincere which it was not, and providing these mens oaths were true and Joseph and were guilty of treason, still the whole course was illegal.
The Magistrate made out a mittimus and committed them to prison without a hearing, which he had no right legally to do. The statute Law of expressly provides that “all men shall have a hearing before a Magistrate before they shall be committed to Prison, and Mr. Robert Smith the Magistrate had made out a mittimus committing them to prison contrary to law, without a hearing. As I was informed of this proceeding I went immediately to the and informed him of it, whether he was apprized of it before or not, I do not know; but my opinion is that he was. I represented to him the character of the parties who had made oath, the outrageous nature of the charge, the indignity offered to men in the position which they occupied and that he knew very well that it was a vexatious prosecution, and that they were not guilty of any such thing. The replied that “he was very sorry that the thing had occurred, that he did not believe the charges; but that he thought <​that​> the best thing to be done was in the premises, was to let the Law take its course.” I then reminded him, “that we had come out there at his instance, not to satisfy the law, which we had done before; but the prejudices of the people, in relation to the affair of the press; that we had given bonds, which we could not by law be required to do [p. 31] to satisfy the people at his instance, and that it was asking too much to require gentlemen in their position in life to suffer the degradation of being immured in a jail, at the instance of such worthless scoundrels as those who had made this affidavit. The replied, “That it was an unpleasant affair and looked hard; but that it was a matter over which he had no control, as it belonged to the Judiciary and that he, as the executive, could not interfere with their proceedings, and that he had no doubt but that they would be immediately dismissed.” I told him “that we had looked to him for protection from such insults, and that I thought we had a right to do so from the solemn promises he had made to me and , in relation to our coming without a guard or arms; that we had relied upon his faith and had a right to expect him to fulfil his engagements, after we had placed ourselves implicitly under his care and complied with <​all​> his requests, although extra-Judicial.
He replied that “he would detail a guard, if we required it, and see us protected; but that he could not interfere with the Judiciary.” I expressed my dissatisfaction at the course taken, and told him “That if we were to be subject to Mob-rule, and to be dragged, contrary to law, into prison, at the instance of every informal scoundrel whose oaths could be bought for a dram of Whiskey, his protection availed very little and we had miscalculated his promises.”
Seeing there was no prospect of redress, from the I returned to the room and found [p. 32]
[pp. 33–36 missing]
as they deserved. The principles of equal rights that have been instilled into our bosoms, from our cradles, as American citizens forbid us submitting to every foul indignity and succumbing to and pandering to wretches so infamous as these. But independent of this, the course that we pursued we considered to be strictly legal; for notwithstanding the insult, we were anxious to be governed strictly by law and therefore convened the City Council; and, being desirous in our deliberations to abide law, summoned legal counsel to be present on the occasion. Upon investigating the matter we found that our City Charter gave us power to remove all nuisances; and furthermore upon consulting Blackstone upon what might be considered <​a​> nuisance, that distinguished lawyer, who is considered authority, I believe, in all our courts, states among other things that “A libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance and abated as such.” Here then one of the most eminent English Barristers whose works are considered standard with us declares that a libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance, and our own Charter, given up by the Legislature of this State, gives us the power to remove nuisances, and [consi]dering that press abated as a nuisance, we conceived that we were acting strictly in accor[dance] [p. 37] were willing to abide the consequences of our own acts; but were unwilling, in answering a writ of that kind, to submit to illegal exactions sought to be imposed upon us under the pretence of law, when we know they were in open violation of it. When that document was presented to me by I offered, in the presence of more than twenty persons, to go to any other magistrate either in our , or Appanoose, or any other place where we should be safe; but we all refused to put ourselves into the power of a mob. What right had that constable to refuse our request? He had none according to law; for you know, , that the <​statute​> law in is, that the parties served with the writ “shall go before him who served <​issued​> it, or some other Justice of the Peace. Why, then, should we be dragged to where the law did does not compel us to go? Does not this look like many others of our prosecutions with which you are aquainted? and had we not a right to expect foul play? This very act was a breach of law, on his part, an assumption of power that did not belong to him, and an attempt, at least, to deprive us of our legal and constitutional rights and privileges. What could we do under the circumstances different from what we did do? We sued for, and obtained a writ of Habeus Corpus from the mu[nicipal] [p. 38]
satisfy the people, we had better go before another Magistrate, who was not in our . In accordance with his advice we went before , with whom you are well aquainted, both parties were present, witnesses were called on both sides; the case was fully investigated, and we were again dismissed, and what is this pretended desire to enforce law, and these lying, base rumors put into circulation for; but to seek through mob influence, and under pretence of law, to make us submit to requisitions that are contrary to law and subversive of every principle of justice? And when you, sir, required us to come out here, we came, not because it was legal; but because you required it of us, and we were desirous of showing to you, and to all men that we shrunk not from the most rigid investigation of our acts. We certainly did expect other treatment than to be immured in a jail, at the instance of these men; and I think, from your plighted faith, we had a right to after disbanding our own forces and putting ourselves entirely in your hands; and now, after having fulfilled my part, Sir, as a man and an American Citizen, I call upon you, , and think that I have a right to do so, to deliver us from this place and rescue us from this outrage that is sought to be practised upon us by a set of infamous scoundrels.
<​*​> 5 Genl. Smith, there is a great deal of truth [p. 39[a]] <​*​> . But you have <​placed men under arrest​> detained men as prisoners, placed ners, & given passes to others, some of which I have seen.
To the first of these charges I should say you have been misinformed, if you mean without a legal process, that we have given passes is certainly true.
<​​> City Marshall. Perhaps I can explain, since these difficulties have commenced, you are aware that we have been placed under very peculiar circumststances, our has been placed under a very rigid police guard, in addition to this picquet guards have been placed outside the to prevent any sudden surprise, & those guards have questioned suspected or suspicious persons, as to thier business. To strangers, in some instances, passes have been given, to prevent difficulty in passing those guards it is some of those passes that you have seen. No person sir has been imprisoned without a legal cause, in our .
4 Why did you not give a more speedy answer to the possee that I sent out?
4 Gen Smith (Insert note 4)
5 “I think myself that sufficient time was not allowed by the possee. I furthermore think too that there is a great deal of truth in what you say [p. 39[b]]
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Municipal Court, upon complaint could have removed it; but for the City Council to take upon themselves the law making and the execution of the law is, in my opinion, wrong; besides these men ought to have had a hearing before their property was destroyed; to destroy it without was an infringement of their rights; besides it is so contrary to the feelings of American people to interfere with the press. And furthermore, I cannot but think <​that​> it would have been better more judicious for you to have gone with to , notwithstanding the law did not require it. Concerning your being in jail I am sorry for that; I wish it had been otherwise. I hope you will soon be released; but I cannot interfere.”
Joseph Smith:— “, allow me, Sir, to bring one thing to your mind, that you seem to have overlooked. You state that you think it would have been better for us to have submitted to the requisition of and to have gone to . Do you not know Sir, that that writ was served at the instance of an Anti-Mormon mob, who had passed resolutions, and published them, to the effect that they would exterminate the Mormons <​leaders​> <​are you not informed that was not only threatened when coming to but had a gun fired at his boat by they <​the said​> Mob in when coming up to .​> and that this <​very thing​> was made use of as a means to get us into their hands, and we could not, without taking an armed force with us go there without, according to their published [p. 40]
I see, I see.
Furthermore, in relation to the press, you say that you differ from me in opinion; be it so, the thing after all is only a legal difficulty and the courts I should judge competent to decide on that matter. If our act was illegal we are willing to meet it and although I cannot see the distinction that you draw about the acts of the City <​Council​> and what difference it could have made in point of fact, law or justice, between the City Council’s acting together or seperate, or how much more legal it would have been for the Municipal Court, who were a part of the City Council, to act seperate, instead of with the Councillors. Yet if it is deemed that we did a wrong, in destroying that press, we refuse not to pay for it, we are desirous to fullfil the law in every particular, and are responsible for our acts. You say that the parties ought to have had a hearing. Had it been a civil suit, this, of course, would have been proper; but there was a flagrant violation of every principle of right; a nuisance; and it was abated on the <​same​> principle of <​that​> any noisome stench or putred carcase would have been removed. Our [3 words illegible] fore was to stop the foul noi[s]om[e] filthy sheet, and then the next, in our opinion, would have been to have prosecuted the man for a breach of public decency. And furthermore, again let me say , I sho[all?] look to you for our protection. I [5 words illegible] of going to , If [2 words illegible] Sir, I wish [to go a?]long. I refuse [no?]t to answer any law [p. 41]; but I do not consider myself safe here.
I am in hopes that you will be acquitted; but if I go I will certainly take you along; I do not however apprehend danger. I think you are perfectly safe, either here or any where else. I cannot however interfere with the law. I am placed in peculiar circumstances, and seem to be blamed by all parties.
Joseph Smith. , I ask nothing but what is legal, I have a right to expect protection, at least from you, for independent of law you have pledged your faith, and that of the for my protection, and I wish to go to .
And you shall have protection, Genl. Smith. I did not make this promise without consulting my officers, who all pledged their honor’s to its fulfilment. I do not know that I shall go tomorrow to ; but if I do I will take you along.
at 1/4 past 10 O’Clock the left.
At about 1/2 past 12 O’Clock , one of Joseph’s counsel came in apparently very much elated, he stated that, “upon an examination of the law, he found that the Magistrate had transcended his jurisdicti[on] and that [2 words illegible] committed them without exam[ination] his jurisdiction ended, that he had him upon [illegible] hook; that he ought to have examined them [before?] he committed them, and that having violated [the?] law in this particular, he had no further [power?] over th[em]; for once committed they were [out of?] his jurisdiction, as the power of the M[agistrate?] extended no further than their committal [3 words illegible] now they could <​not​> be brought out exce[pt] [3 words illegible] [p. 42] session of the Circuit court, or by a writ of Habeus Corpus; but that if Justice [Robert F.] Smith would consent to go to , for the trial, he would compromise matters with him and overlook this matter.”
further stated that “the Anti-Mormons or mob had concocted a scheme to get out a writ from , with a demand upon for the arrest of Joseph Smith, and his conveyance to , and that a man by the name of Wilson had returned from the night before the burning of the press, for this purpose.
At half past two O’clock came to the Jail with a man named Simpson , professing to have some order; but would not send up his name and the guard would not let pass. and <​see s ac​> went to inform the and Council; at about twenty minutes to three returned and stated that he thought the was doing all he could.
At about 10 minutes to three came with news from .
Soon after came with an order from Esquire Smith to convey the prisoners to the Court House for trial. He was informed that the process was illegal; that they had been placed there contrary to law, and that they refused to come out unless by legal process. I was informed that Justice Smith who (was also Captain of the Carthage Greys) went to the and informed him of the matter and that the replied; “You have your force [p. 43] and of course can use them.” The certainly did return accompanied by a guard of armed men, and by force and under protest hurried the prisoners to the Court.
About 4 O’clock the case was called by Capt. Robert F Smith J. P. The counsel of prisoners called for subpoenas to bring witnesses. At twenty-five minutes past four took copy of order to bring prisoners from Jail to trial (See this document) afterwards took names of witnesses.
Counsel present for the were , , , and .
25 minutes to five the writ was returned as served June 25th..
Many remarks were made at the Court that I paid but little attention to, as I considered the whole thing, illegal and a complete burlesque.
objected to the proceedings in toto, in consequence of its illegality showing that the prisoners were not only illegally committed; but that being once committed the magistrate had no further power over them; but as <​it was​> the same Magistrate <​before​> <​before whom he was pleading who imprisoned them contrary to law & the same who, as Captains forced them from jail, his arguments availed little​> was present the arguments availed but little. He then urged that the prisoners be remanded untill witnesses could be had and urged a continuance for that purpose. suggested untill twelve O’clock next day. [illegible] again untill witnesses could be obtained; tha[t the?] Court meet at a specific time, and that if w[itnesses?] were not present to again adjourn without [illegible] the pri[so]ners. After various remarks fr[om?] , and others, the Court st[ated?] “this writ was served yesterday and we [2 words illegible] untill tomorrow at 12 [P.] M. to get witn[esses?] [p. 44] We then returned to Jail. On our return to Jail we were taken to <​Imediately after our return went to the & obtained from him, an order for us to occupy ​> a large open room containing a bedstead. I rather think the same <​See s Ac​> room had been appropriate to the use of debtors, at any rate there was free access to the Jailors house and no bars nor locks, except such as might be on the outside door of the Jail. The Jailor (Mr. ) and his wife manifested a disposition to make us as comfortable as they could; we ate at their table, which was well provided, and, of course, paid for it.
I do not remember the names of all who were with us that night and the next morning in jail, for several went and came; among those that we considered stationary was <​were​> <​See Drs Ac​> <​Doubtfull​>, , , Capt. , Dr. and . <​ <​says that he​> was there from Wednesday in the forenoon until 11 O’clock next day & that he returned for the purpose of paying attention to when <​as​> he was expected to go to the next day​> We were, however, visited by numerous friends, among whom was <​were​> Uncle , , , besides lawyers, as counsel. There was also a great variety of conversation, which was rather desultory than otherwise, and referred to circumstances that had transpired; our former and present grievances, the spirit of the troops around us, and the disposition of the ; the devising of legal, and other plans for deliverance, The nature of testimony required, the gathering of proper witnesses, and a variety of other topics, including our religious hopes &c.
During one of these conversations remarked; “Br. Joseph if it is necessary that you die in this operation, and they will take me in your stead, I will suffer for you. At another time, when conversing about deliverance, I said: [p. 45] “Br. Joseph if you will permit it, and say the word; I will have you out of this place in five hours if the Jail has to come down to do it.” My idea was to go to and collect a force sufficient, as I considered the whole concern a legal farce and a flagrant outrage upon our liberty and rights.
Br. Joseph remarked: “That will not be the best way. It would be much better, if we contemplated escape, to call for a change of venue, and while passing from one place to another to escape from the custody of the constable, and then claim our legal rights and protect ourselves untill we obtained them.”
came in to see us and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time; “would any of you like to have this.” Br. Joseph immediately replied: “Yes, give it to me.” Whereupon he took the pistol and put it in his pantaloons pocket. The pistol was a six shooting revolver of Allens patent; it belonged to me, and was one that I furnished when he talked of going with me to the East, previous to our coming to . I have it now in my possession. went out on some errand and was not suffered to retur[n]
<​doubtfull​>
<​see s​>
The report that <​of​> the having gon[e to] without taking the prisoners along [illegible] very unpleasant feelings, as we were apprised [that?] we were left to the tender mercies of the Cartha[ge] Greys, <​& are the company under the direction of their Ca​> a company strictly mobocratic and who we knew to be our most deadly enemies. <​Their Captain Esq. Smith was a most unprincipled villain​> <​besides this all the mob forces composing the s troops were dismissed, with the exception of one or two companies that the took with him to . The great part of the mob was liberated, the remainder was our guard.​> We [look?]ed upon it, not only as a breach of fa[ith on the?] <​Insert the insertion of the troops​> the part of the ; but also an [illegible] [p. 46] a desire to insult us, if nothing more, by leaving us in the proximity of such men. The prevention of ’s return was among the first of their hostile movements. then went out and he also was prevented from returning. He was very angry at this; but the mob paid no attention to him; they drove him out of town, at the point of the bayonet and threatened to shoot him if he returned; he went, I am informed, to for the purpose of raising a company of men for our protection.
<​see Ac​> <​ went to after witnesses​> & it is my opinion that <​did also​> and and that when came in to us it was after his return from .
Some time after dinner we sent for some wine. It has been reported, by some; that this was taken as a sacrament. It was no such thing; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us. I think it was who went after it; but they would not suffer him to return. I believe we all drank of the wine & gave some to one or two of the prison guards.
We all of us felt unusually dull and languid with a remarkable depression of spirits. In consonance with those feelings I sang a song that had lately been introduced into entitled <​[ins]ert the [whol]e Song​>
“A poor wayfaring man of grief &c”
The song is pathetic and the tune quite plaintive and was very much in accordance with our feelings at the time, for our spirits were all depressed dull and gloomy and surcharged with indefinite ominous forebodings. After a lapse of some time requested me again to sing that song. I replied “ I do not feel like singing.” [p. 47] When he remarked; “Oh! never mind, commence singing and you will get the spirit of it.” At his request I did so. soon afterwards I was sitting at one of the front windows of the jail, when I saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs. The other brethren had seen the same; for, as I went to the door, I found Br. and already leaning against the door <​it​>, they both pressed against it <​the door​> with their shoulders, to prevent its being opened; as the lock and latch were comparitively useless. While in this position, the mob, who had come up stairs and strove to open the door, probably thought it was locked and fired a ball through the keyhole; at this and leapt back from the door, standing right opposite to the door, with his face towards it; almost instantly another ball passed through the pannel of the door and struck on the left side of the nose and entering his face and head; simultaneously, at the same instant, another ball from the outside entered his back passing through his body and striking his watch. The ball came from the back through the jail [illegible] opposite the door, and must, from its range, ha[ve] been fired <​from​> by the Carthage Greys; as the [illegible] of fire arms shot close by the jail would ha[ve] entered the ceiling, we being in the second stor[y] and there never was a time <​after​> that could have received the latter wound. Immediate[ly] when the balls struck him he fell [illegible] his back, crying as he fell “I am a de[ad man] he never recovered <​moved​> afterw[ard] [p. 48]
I shall never forget the feeling of deep sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Br. Joseph as he drew nigh to & leaning over him exclaimed; “Oh! My poor dear brother !” He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm quick step and a determined expression of countenance approached the door, and pulling the six shooter <​left by ,​> from his pocket, opened the door slightly and fired <​snapped​> the the pistol six sucessive times; only three of the barrels, however, discharged. I afterwards understood that <​two or​> two of <​three​> were wounded by these discharges, two of whom <​I am informed​> died. I had in my hands a large strong hickory stick, brought there by and left by him, and which I had seized as soon as I saw the mob approach; and while br. Joseph was firing the pistol I stood close behind him.
As soon as he had discharged it he stepped back and I immediately took his place next the door, whilst he occupied the one I had done while he was shooting. , at this time, had a knotty walking stick in his hands belonging to me & and stood next to Br. Joseph, a little further from the door in an oblique direction, apparently to avoid the rake of the fire from the door. The firing of Br. Joseph made our assailants pause for a moment, very soon after, however, they pushed the door some distance open and protruded and discharged their guns into the room when I parried them off with my stick, giving another direction to the balls.
It certainly was a terrible scene; streams [p. 49[a]] of fire as thick as my arm passed by me as these men fired; and unarmed, as we were, it looked like certain death. I remember feeling as though my time had come; but I do not know when, in any critical position I was more calm, unruffled and energetic, and acted with more promptness and decision. It certainly was far from pleasant to be so near the muzzles of those fire arms as they belched forth their liquid flame and deadly balls. while I was engaged in parying the guns Br. Joseph Said; “That’s right , parry them off as well as you can.” These were the last words I ever heard him speak on earth.
Every moment the crowd at the door became more dense as they were unquestionably pressed on by those in the rear ascending the stairs untill the whole entrance, at the door was litterally crowded with muskets and rifles; whilst with the swearing, shouting and demoniacal expressions, of those outside the door and on the stairs & the firing of guns mingled with their horrid oaths and execrations made it look like pandemonium let loose, and was, indeed a fit representatio[n] of the horrid deed in which they were en[ga]ged.
After parrying the guns for some tim[e] which now protruded thicker and further into the room, and seeing no hope of escape, or protection there, as we were <​now​> s[ur]rounded unarmed, it occurred to me [that] we might have some friends outside [illegible] [p. 49[b]] there might then be some chance of escape; but here there seemed to be none. As I expected them every moment to rush into the room— and nothing but extreme cowardice that kept them out— as the tumult <​and pressure​> increased, without any other hope, I made a spring for the window, which was right in front of the jail door, where the mob was standing, and also exposed to the fire of the Carthage Greys, who were stationed some ten or twelve rods off. The weather was hot and, we all of us had our coats off and the window was raised to admit air, as I reached the window and was on the point of leaping out, I was struck by a ball from the door, about midway of my thigh, which struck the bone and flattened out almost to the size of a quarter dollar, and then passed on through the fleshy part to within about half an inch <​This description should go accompanied by the surgical operation.​> of the outside. I think some prominent nerve must have been struck severed or injured, for as soon as the ball struck me I fell like a bird when shot, or an ox struck by a butcher, and lost entirely and instantaneously all power to move of action or locomotion. I fell onto the window sill and cried out I am shot. Not possessing any power to move, I felt myself falling outside of the window; but immediately I fell inside, from to me, at that time, an unknown cause; when I struck the floor my animation seemed restored, as I have sometimes seen squirrels and birds after being shot. As soon as I felt the powers of motion I crawled under the a bed which was in a corner of the room [p. 50] not far from the window when I received my wound While on my way and under the bed, I was wounded in three other places; one ball entered a little below the left knee and never was extracted; another entered into the fore part of my left arm a little above the wrist, and passing down by the joint it lodged in the fleshy part of the <​my​> hand, about midway in my hand and a little above the upper joint of my little finger.
Another struck me on the fleshy part of the left hip and tore away the flesh, as large as my hand, dashing the mangled fragments of flesh and blood against the wall. My wounds
My wounds were painful and the sensation produced was as though a ball had passed <​through &​> down the whole length of my leg. I very well remember my reflections, at the time. I had a very painful idea of becoming lame and decrepid and being an object of pity, and I felt as though I had rather die than be placed in such circumstances.
It would seem that immediately after my attempt to leap <​out​> the window, Joseph also did the same thing, of which circumstance, I have no knowlege only from information. The first thing <​that I noticed was a cry​> that he “had leapt the <​out of​> window.” A cessation of firing followed, the mob rushed down stairs, [illegible] went to the window. Immediatel[y] afterwards I saw the going towards the jail door, and as there was an iron door at the head of the stairs adjoining our d[oor?] which led into the cells for criminals [it?] struck me that the was going in t[here?] and I said to him stop and take [me?] [p. 51] along; he proceeded to the door and opened it, and then returned and dragged me along to a small cell prepared for criminals.
was very much troubled and exclaimed: “Oh! is it possible that they have killed both and Joseph! It cannot surely be, and yet I saw them shoot him.” and elevating his hands two or three times he exclaimed “Oh Lord, my God, spare thy servants!" he then said “ this is a terrible event, and he dragged me further into the cell saying, “I am sorry I cannot do better for you.” and taking an old filthy mattrass he covered me with it saying and said; “That may hide you and you may yet live to tell the tale; but I expect they will kill me in a few moments.” While laying in this position, I suffered the most excruciating pain
Soon afterwards came to me informing me that the mob had precipitately fled, and at the same time confirming my worst fears, that Joseph was assuredly dead. I felt a dull lonely sickening sensation at the news. When I reflected that our noble cheiftain had fallen the Prophet of the living God had fallen, and that I had seen his brother in the cold embrace of death, it seemed as though there was an open void or vacuum in the great field of human existence to me, and <​& a dark <​gloomy​> chasm, blank or, ​> a void in the Kingdom and that we were left alone. Oh! how lonely was that feeling! How cold, barren and desolate! In the midst of difficulties he was always the first in motion; in critical positions <​his​> counsel was always sought: As our Prophet [p. 52] he approached our God and obtained for us his will; but now our Prophet, our Counsellor, our General, our Leader was gone; and amid the fiery ordeal that we then had to pass through, we were left alone without his aid; and as our future guide, for things spiritual or temporal— for all things pertaining to this world or the next— he had spoken for the last time on earth.
These reflections and a thousand others flashed upon the mind. I thought why must the good perish and the virtuous be destroyed? Why must God’s nobility, the salt of the earth, the most exalted of the human family; and the most perfect types of all excellence, fall victims to the cruel, fiendish hate of incarnate devils?
The poignanancy of my grief, I presume, however, was some what allayed by the extreme suffering that I endured from my wounds.
Soon afterwards I was taken to the head of the stairs and laid there where I had a full view of the our beloved, and now murdered There he lay as I had left him, he had not mo[ved] d a limb; he lay placid and calm, a monument of greatness even in death; but his noble spirit had le[ft] its tenement and gone to dwell in regions more cong[e]nial to his exalted nature. Poor ! he was [a] good man and my soul was cemented to his. If ever there was an exemplary, honest, good and virtuo[us] man, an embodiment of all that is noble in the human form was its representative
While I lay there a number of persons ca[me] [p. 53] around, among the rest a physician; the Doctor on seeing a ball lodged in my <​left​> hand, took a penknife from his pocket and made an incision in my hand, for the purpose of extracting the ball therefrom; and having obtained a pair of carpenters compasses, made use of them to draw or pry it out the ball; alternately using the penknife and compasses. After sawing for some time with a dull pen knife and prying and pulling with with the compasses, he ultimately succeeded in extracting the ball, which was about an half ounce one. Some time afterwards he remarked to a friend of mine that I “had nerves like the Devil to stand what I did, in its extraction.” I really thought I had need of nerves to stand such surgical butchery, and that whatever my nerves might be, his practice was devilish.
This company wished to remove me to ’s , the place where we had stayed previous to our incarceration in jail. I told them, however, that I did not wish to go, I did not consider it safe.” They protested, “that it was, and that I was safe with them; that it was a perfect outrage for men to be used as we had been; that they were my friends; that it was for my good they were counseling me and that I could be better taken care of there than here”.
I replied “I dont know you. Who am I among?” I am surrounded by assassins and murderers, witness your deeds! Dont talk to me of kindness or comfort, look at your murdered victims! Look at me! I want none of your counsel nor comfort. There may be some <​safety here​>; I [p. 54] can be assured of none anywhere else.”
They “God damned their souls to hell”. made the most solemn asseverations, and swore by God and the Devil, and everything else, that they could think of, that they would stand by me to death, and protect me. In half an hour every one of them had left town fled from the town.
Soon after a coroners jury was assembled in the room over the body of . Among the jurors was Captain [Robert F.] Smith of the “Carthage Greys” who had assisted in the murder, and the same justice before whom we had been <​tried​>. I heard the name of as being in the neighborhood; on hearing his name mentioned I immediately spoke up and said; “Captain Smith you are a Justice of the Peace— I have heard s name mentioned— I want to swear my life against him.” I was informed that word was immediately sent to him to leave the place, which he did.
was busy during this time attending to the coroners inquest and to the removal of the bodies, and making arrangements for their <​removal​> from to . When h[e] had a little leisure he again came to me and at his suggestion I was removed to I felt that he was the only friend the only perso[n] that I could rely upon in that town. It was with difficulty that sufficient persons could b[e] found to carry me to the ; for immediately after the murder a great fear fell upon all the people, and men, women and children fled with great precipitation (C-9) leaving nothing nor <​anybody​> anythi[ng] [p. 55] in the town, but two or three women and children, and one or two sick persons. It was with very great difficulty that prevailed upon , Hotel keeper, and his family to stay; they would not untill had given a solemn promise that he would see them protected, & hence I was looked upon as a hostage. Under those circumstances notwithstanding, I believe they were hostile to the Mormons, and were glad that the murder had taken place; yet they did not actually participate in it, and feeling that I should be a protection to them they stayed.
The whole community knew that a dreadful outrage had been perpetrated by those villains, and fearing lest the citizens of , as they possessed the power, might have a disposition to visit them with a terrible vengeance, they fled in the wildest confusion. And indeed it was with very great difficulty that the citizens of could be restrained; a horrid, barbarous murder had been committed; the most solemn pledge violated, and that too whilst the victims were, contrary to the requirements of law, putting themselves into the hands of the to pacify a popular excitement. This outrage was enhanced by the reflections that we were able to protect ourselves against, not only all the mob, but against three times their number and that of the s troops put together. These were again exascerbated by the speech of the in town. The whole events were so faithless, so dastardly, so mean, cowardly and contemptible; without one extenuating circumstance, that it would not have been surprising if the citizens of had arisen, en masse, and blot[t]ed the wretches out of existence. The citizens of knew they would have done so under such circumstances, and judging us by themselves, they were all panic stricken and fled. , too, after his expulsion from , [p. 56] had gone home, related the circumstances of his ejectment and was using his influence to get a company to go out. Fearing that when the people heard that their Prophet and had been murdered, under the above circumstances; <​they might act rashly;​> and knowing that if they once got roused, like a mighty avalanche they would lay the country waste, before them and take a terrible vengeance; and as none of the Twelve were in , and no one perhaps with sufficient influence to control the people, after consulting me, wrote the following note; and fearing that my family might be seriously affected by the news, I told him to insert that I was slightly wounded (Insert note) I remember sighing signing my name as quickly as possible lest the tremor of my hand should be noticed, and their fears too excited. A messenger was dispatched immediately with that note, but he was intercepted by the , who, on hearing a Cannon fired at which was the to be the signal for the murder, immediatly fled with his company, and fearing that the citizens of , when apprised of the horrible outrage, would immediately rise and pursue, he turned back the messenger. A second one was sent which was treated similarly; and not untill a third attempt could news be got to .
<​ was the first messenger sent to warn & told the the took him back​>
, brother to Joseph & , was the first Brother <​that​> I saw after the outrage; I am not sure whether he took the news or not; he lived at the time at Hancock County and was on his way to to see his brothers, when he was met by some of the troops, or rather mob, that had been dismissed by the , and who were on their way home; on learning that he was Joseph Smith’s brother they sought to kill him; but he escaped and fled into the woods, where he was chased for a length of time, by them; but after severe fatigue and much danger [p. 57] and excitment, he succeeded in escaping and came to . He was on horseback when he arrived; he <​and​> was not only very much tired with the fatigue and excitement of the chase he had had; but was also very much distressed in feelings, on account of the death of his brothers; these things produced a fever which laid the foundation for his death, which took place the 30th. July, thus another of the brothers fell a victim, although not directly; <​yet​> atributable yet indirectly to this infernal mob.
I lay from about five o’clock untill two O’clock next morning without having my wounds dressed, as there was scarcely any help, of any kind, in ; and was busy with the dead bodies, preparing them for removal. My wife, Leonora [Cannon Taylor] started early the next day, having had some little trouble in getting a company, or a p[h]ysician to come with her; after considerable difficulty she succeeded in getting an escort, and Doctor came along with her. Soon after my and Mother arrived from Oquakie [Oquawka], near which place they had a farm at that time, and hearing of the trouble hastened along.
, Brigadier General of the Hancock Co. Malitia, was very much of a gentleman and showed me every courtesy; and Col. Jones also was very solicitous about my welfare. I was called upon by several gentlemen from and other places, among whom was , as well as by our own people; and a Dr. [blank] from , I think, extracted a ball from my left high that was giving me much pain; it lay about half an inch deep, and my thigh was considerably swollen, The Doctor asked me if I thought I could would be tied during the operation. I told him no, that I could endure the cutting, associated with the operation, as well without and I did so; indeed, so great was the [p. 58] pain that I endured at the time, that the cutting was rather a relief than otherwise. A very laughable incident occurred at the time; my wife Leonora went into an adjoining room to pray for me, that I might be sustained during the operation, while on her knees, at prayer a Mrs. Bedell, an old lady of the methodist persuasion, entered and patting Mrs. Taylor on the back with her hand said; “There’s a good lady, pray for God to forgive your sins; pray that you may be converted and the Lord may have mercy on your soul.” The scene was so ludicrous that Mrs. Taylor knew not whether to laugh or be angry. Mrs. Taylor informed me that Mr. Hamilton, the father of the who kept the house, rejoiced at the murder and said in company “that it was done up in the best possible manner style, and Showed good generalship," and she further believed that the other branches of the family sanctioned it; these were the associates of the old lady referred to, and yet she could talk of conversion and saving souls in the midst of blood and murder; such is man and such consistency.
The ball being extracted was the one that first struck me, which I before referred to, it entered on the outside of my left thigh about five inches from my knee, and passing rather obliquely towards my body, had, it would seem, struck the bone; for it was flat[ten]ed out nearly as thin and large as a quarter dollar.
The passed on staying at only a few minutes, and he did not stop untill h[e] got fifty miles from .
There have been various opinions about the complicity of the in the murder; some supposing that he knew all about it, and assisted or winked at its execution. It is somewhat dificult to form [p. 59] an opinion a correct opinion, from the facts as presented; it is very certain that things looked more than suspicious against him.
In the first place, he positively knew that we had broken no law.
Secondly, He knew that the mob had not only passed inflamitory resolutions threatening extermination to the Mormons; but that they had actually assembled armed mobs, and commenced hostilities against us.
Thirdly, He took those very mobs that had been arrayed against us, and enrolled them as his troops; thus legalizing their acts.
Fourthly, He requested us to come to , without arms promising protection and then refused to interfere in delivering us from prison, although Joseph and were put there contrary to law.
Fifthly, Although he refused to interfere in our behalf; yet, when Capt. [Robert F.] Smith went to him and informed him that the persons refused to come out, he told him that he “had his a command and knew what to do.” thus sanctioning the use of force in the violation of law, when opposed to us; Whereas he would not for us interpose his executive authority to free us from being incarcerated, contrary to law, although he was fully informed of all the facts of the case, as we kept him posted in the affairs all the time
Sixthly, He left the prisoners in Carthage Jail contrary to his plighted faith.
<​He disbanded the which had never violated Law & disarmed them. And had about his person in the shape of militia known mobocrats & violaters of the law​>
Seventhly, Before he went he dismissed all the troops that could be relied upon, as well as many of the mob, and left us in charge of the “Carthage Greys”, a company that he knew were mobocratic; our most bitter enemies and who had passed resolutions [p. 60] to exterminate us, and who had been placed under guard by only the day before.
Eighthly He was informed of the intended murder both before he left and while on the road, by several different parties.
Ninthly When the Cannon was fired he in signifying that the deed was done; he immediately took up his line of march and fled. How did he know that this signal portends their death if he was not in the secret? It may be said some of the party told him. How could he believe what the party said about the gun signal, if he could not believe the testimony of several individuals who told him in positive terms about the contemplated murder?
<​see s History​> He has I believe stated that he left the Carthage Greys there, because he considered that as their town was contiguous to ours, and that <​as the​> responsibility of their safety rested solely upon them, they would not dare suffer any indignity to befall them. This very admission shows, that he did not really expect danger, and then he knew that these people had published to the world that they would exterminate them, and his leaving them in their hands and talking of their responsibilities was like leaving a lamb in charge of a wolf and trusting to its humanity and honor for its safe keeping.
It is said again that he would not have gone to and thus placed himself in the hands of the Mormons, if he had anticipated any such event, as he would be exposed to their wrath. To this it may be answered that the Mormons did not know their signals, whilst he did, & [p. 61] they were also known in as well as in other places, and as soon as the gun was fired a Merchant of , jumped upon his horse and rode directly to and reported “Joseph and killed, and those who were with him in Jail.” He reported further “that they were attempting to break jail and were all killed by the guard.” This was their story; it was anticipated to kill all and the gun was to be the signal that <​of​> the deed was <​being​> accomplished. This was known in . The also knew it and fled, and he could really be in no danger in , for the Mormons did not know it, and he had plenty of time to escape, which he did.
It is said that he made all his officers promise solemnly that they would help him “protect the Smiths”; this may be, or may not be. At any rate some of the same officers helped to murder them.
The most strong<​est​> argument in the s favor, and one that would bear more weight with me than all the rest put together, would be that he could not believe them capable of such atrocity; and thinking that their talk and threatenings were a mere ebulition of feeling, a kind of braggadocio, and that there was enough of good moral feeling to control the more violent passions, he trusted to their faith. There <​is​> indeed a degree of plausibility about this; but when we put it in juxtaposition to the amount of evidence that he was in possession of, it weighs very little. He had nothing to inspire confidence in them, and everything to make him mistrust them. Besides, why his broken faith? Why his disregard of what was told him by several parties? Again, if he knew [p. 62] not the plan, how did he understand the signal?
Why so oblivious to everything pertaining to the Mormon’s interest, and so alive and interested about the Mobocrats? At any rate, be this as it may he stands responsible for their blood and it is dripping on his garments. If it had not been for his promises of protection they would have protected themselves; it was plighted faith that led them to the slaughter; and to make the best of it, it was a breach of that faith, and a nonfulfillment of that promise, after repeated warnings, that led to their death.
Having said so much I must leave the with my readers and with his God. Justice, I conceive, demanded this much, and truth could not be told without it less; as I have said before, my opinion is that the would not have planned this murder; but he had not sufficient energy to resist popular opinion, even if that opinion led to blood and death.
It was rumored that a strong political party, numbering in its ranks many of the prominent men of the nation, were engaged in a plot for the overthrow of Joseph Smith, and that the was of this party, and , , and Capt. Smith and others <​were​> their accomplices; but whether this was the case or not I don’t know. It is very certain that a strong political feeling existed against Joseph Smith, and I have reason to believe that his letters to were made use of by political parties opposed to and were the means of that statesman’s defeat. Yet if such a combination as the one refered to, existed I am not apprised of it. [p. 63]
While I lay at , previous to Mrs. Taylor’s arrival, a pretty good sort of a man who was lame of a leg, waited upon me and sat up at night with me; after Mrs. Taylor, and my mother and others waited upon me.
Many friends called upon me, among whom were Richard Ballantyne, and Elizabeth Taylor, several of the Perkins family and a number of the brethren from and . Besides these many strangers, from , some of whom expressed indignant feelings against the mob, and sympathy for myself. Br. Alexander Williams called upon me and <​who​> suspected that they had some designs in keeping me there, and stated that he had at a given point in some woods fifty men, and that if I would say the word he would raise other fifty and fetch me out of there. I thanked him; and but told him I thought there was no need. However it would seem that I was in some danger, for Col. Jones before referred to, when absent from me, left two loaded pistols on the table in case of an attack; and some time afterwards, when I had recovered and was publishing the affair, a lawyer, Mr. Backman, stated he had prevented a man by the name of Jackson, before referred to, from coming up <​ascending the​> stairs, who was coming with a design to murder me, and that now he was sorry he had not let him do the deed.
There were others also, of whom I heard, that said I ought to be killed, “and they would do it; but that it was too damned cowardly to shoot a wounded man”; and thus by the chivalry of murderers I was prevented from [p. 64] being a second time mutilated or killed. Many of the mob too came around and treated me with apparent respect, and the officers and people generally looked upon me as <​a​> hostage and <​feared​> that my removal would be the signal for the rising of the mormons.
I do not remember the time that I stayed there; but I think three or four days after the murder, When with a carriage, Br. , with a Waggon, Dr. Ells and a number of others on horseback came, for the purpose of taking me to . I was very weak at the time, occasioned by loss of blood and the great discharge of my wounds, so that when Mrs. Taylor asked me if I could talk I could barely whisper, no. Quite a disscussion arose as to the propriety of my removal, the physicians and people of protesting it would be my death, whilst my friends were anxious for my removal, if possible. I suppose the former were actuated by the above named principle desire to keep me. Col Jones was, I believe, sincere; he had acted as a friend all the time, and he told Mrs. Taylor she ought to persuade me to not to go, for he did not believe I had strength enough to reach . It was finally agreed, however, that I should go; but as it was thought that I could not stand riding in a waggon or carriage, they prepared a hand-carriage <​litter​> for me, I was carried down stairs and put upon it. A number of men assisted to carry me, some of whom had been engaged in the mob. As soon as I got down stairs I felt much better and strengthened, so that I could talk, I suppose the effects of the fresh air. When we had got near the outside of [p. 65] town, I remembered some woods that we had to go through; and telling a person near to call for Dr. Ells, who was riding a very good horse, I said; “Dr. I perceive that the people are getting fatigued with carrying me; there lives, about two or three miles from here, on <​near​> our route, a number of Mormons, will you ride to their settlement as quick as possible, and have them come and meet us.” He started off on a gallop immediately. My object in this was to obtain protection in case of an attack rather than <​to obtain​> help to carry me. Very soon after, the men from made one excuse after another untill they had all left, and I felt glad to get rid of them. I found that the tramping of those carrying me produced violent pain, and a sleigh was produced and attatched to the hind end of Br. s’ Waggon, a bed placed upon it, and I propped up on the bed. Mrs. Taylor rode with me applying ice, and ice water to my wounds. As the sleigh was dragged over the grass, on the prairie, which was quite tall, it moved very easily, and gave me very little pain.
When I got within five or six miles of the the brethren commenced to meet me from the , and they increased in numbers as we grew nearer untill there was a very large company of people of all ages and of both sexes, principally, however, men.
For some time there had been almost incessant rain, so that in many <​low​> places in the [p. 66] prairie it was from one to three feet deep in water; at such places the brethren whom we met took hold of the sleigh lifted it, and carried it over the water, and when we arrived in the neighborhood of the , where the roads were excessively muddy and bad, the brethren tore down the fences and we passed through the fields.
Never shall I forget the difference of feeling that I experienced between the place that I had left and the one that I now arrived at. I had left a lot of reckless bloodthirsty murderers, and had come to the city of the Saints, the people of the living God; friends of truth and righteousness, thousands of whom stood there, with warm, <​true​> hearts, to offer their friendship and services, and to welcome my return. It is true it was a painfull scene, and brought sorrowfull remembrances <​to mind​>, but to me it caused a thrill of joy to find myself once more in the bosom of my friends, and to meet with the cordial welcome of true honest hearts. What was very remarkable I found myself very much better after my arrival at than I was when I started on my journey, although I had travelled eighteen miles.
The next day as some change was wanting I told Mrs. Taylor that if she would send to he had my purse, and watch and they would find money in my purse. Previous to the leaving <​​> I told him that he had better take my purse and watch along, for I was afraid the people would [p. 67] steal them, The had taken my pantaloons pocket and put the watch in it with the purse cut off the pocket and tied a string round the top; it was in this position when brought home. My family however were not a little startled to find that my watch had been struck with a ball. I sent for my vest and upon examination it was found that there was a cut, as if with a knife, in the vest pocket, which had contained my watch. In the pocket the fragments of the glass were found literally ground to powder. It then occurred to me that a ball had struck me, at the time that I felt myself falling out of the window, and that it was this force that threw me inside. I had often remarked to Mrs. Taylor the singular fact of finding myself inside the room when I felt a moment before, after being shot, that I was falling out, and I never could account for it untill then; but here the thing was fully accounted for elucidated & was rendered plain to my mind. I was indeed, falling out when some villain aimed at my heart. The ball struck my watch and forced me back, if I had fallen out I should assuredly have been killed, if not by the fall, by those around, and this ball, intended to dispatch me, was turned by an overruling providence into a messenger of mercy, and saved my life. I shall never forget the feeling of gratitude that I then experienced toward my heavenly Father, the whole scene was vividly pourtrayed before me, and my heart melted before the Lord. I felt the Lord had preserved me by [p. 68] a special act of mercy, that my time had not yet come, and that I had still a work to perform upon the earth.
The following is the letter referred to at the commencement
[4 lines blank]
I[n] addition to the above I give the following: informed me that Joseph looking him full in the face & as solemn as eternity.
“I am going as a lamb to the slaughter; but I am as calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offence towards God & Man.”
I heard him state, in reply to an interrogatory made either by myself or some one in my hearing, in relation to the best course to pursue. “I am not now acting according to my judgment; others must counsel & not me, for the present” or in words to the same effect. [p. 69]
[page [70] blank] [p. [70]]
Assassination etc [p. [71]]

Footnotes

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    Insertion written in left margin, the “I” apparently designating a part of Ford’s History of Illinois to be inserted here.  

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