Expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County.
Attack on the Saints Settled on Big Blue.
Thursday night, the 31st of October, gave the Saints in Zion abundant proof that no pledge on the part of their enemies, written or verbal, was longer to be regarded; for on that night, between forty and fifty persons in number, many of whom were armed with guns, proceeded against a branch of the Church, west of the Big Blue, and unroofed and partly demolished ten dwelling houses; and amid the shrieks and screams of the women and children, whipped and beat in a savage and brutal manner, several of the men: while their horrid threats frightened women and children into the wilderness. Such of the men as could escape fled for their lives; for very few of them had arms, neither were they organized; and they were threatened with death if they made any resistance; such therefore as could not escape by flight, received a pelting with stones and a beating with guns and whips. On Friday, the first of November, women and children sallied forth from their gloomy retreats, to contemplate with heartrending anguish the ravages of a ruthless mob, in the lacerated and bruised bodies of their husbands, and in the destruction of their houses, and their furniture. Houseless and unprotected by the arm of the civil law in Jackson county, the dreary month of November staring them in the face and loudly proclaiming an inclement season at hand; the continual threats of the mob that they would drive every “Mormon” from the county; and the inability of many to move, because of their poverty, caused an anguish of heart indescribable.
The Saints at the Prairie Settlement Attacked.
On Friday night, the 1st of November, a party of the mob proceeded to attack a branch of the Church settled on the prairie, about twelve or fourteen miles from the town of Independence. Two of their number were sent in advance, as spies, viz., Robert Johnson, and———Harris, armed with two guns and three pistols. They were discovered by some of the Saints, and without the least injury being done to them, said mobber Robert Johnson struck Parley P. Pratt over the head with the breech of his gun, after which they were taken and detained till morning; which action, it was believed, prevented a general attack of the mob that night. In the morning the two prisoners, notwithstanding their attack upon Parley P. Pratt the evening previous, were liberated without receiving the least injury. 1
Mobbing at Independence.
The same night, (Friday), another party in Independence commenced stoning houses, breaking down doors and windows and destroying furniture. This night the brick part attached to the dwelling house of A. S. Gilbert, was partly pulled down, and the windows of his dwelling broken in with brickbats and rocks, while a gentleman, a stranger, lay sick with fever in his house. The same night three doors of the store of Messrs. Gilbert & Whitney were split open, and after midnight the goods, such as calicos, handkerchiefs, shawls, cambrics, lay scattered in the streets. An express came from Independence after midnight to a party of the brethren who had organized about half a mile from the town for the safety of their lives, and brought the information that the mob were tearing down houses, and scattering goods of the store in the streets. Upon receiving this information the company of brethren referred to marched into Independence, but the main body of the mob fled at their approach. One Richard McCarty, however, was caught in the act of throwing rocks and brickbats into the doors, while the goods lay scattered around him in the streets. He was immediately taken before Samuel Weston, Esq., justice of the peace, and complaint was then made to said Weston, and a warrant requested, that McCarty might be secured; but Weston refused to do anything in the case at that time, and McCarty was liberated. 2
Other Incidents at Independence.
The same night some of the houses of the Saints in Independence had long poles thrust through the shutters and sash into the rooms of defenseless women and children, from whence their husbands and fathers had been driven by the dastardly attacks of the mob, which were made by ten, fifteen, or twenty men upon a house at a time. Saturday, the 2nd of November, all the families of the Saints in Independence moved with their goods about half a mile out of town and organized to the number of thirty, for the preservation of life and personal effects. The same night a party from Independence met a party from west of the Blue, and made an attack upon a branch of the Church located at the Blue, about six miles from the village of Independence. Here they tore the roof from one dwelling and broke open another house; they found the owner, David Bennett, sick in bed, and beat him most inhumanly, swearing they would blow out his brains. They discharged a pistol at him, and the ball cut a deep gash across the top of his head. In this skirmish a young man of the mob, was shot in the thigh; but by which party the shot was fired is not known.
An Appeal to the Circuit Court.
The next day, Sunday, November 3rd, four of the brethren, viz., Joshua Lewis, Hiram Page, and two others, 3 were dispatched for Lexington to see the circuit judge, and obtain a peace warrant. Two other brethren called on Esquire Silvers, in Independence, and asked him for a peace warrant, but he refused to issue one on account, as he afterwards declared, of his fears of the mob. This day many of the citizens, professing friendship, advised the Saints to leave the county as speedily as possible; for the Saturday night affray had enraged the whole county, and the people were determined to come out on Monday and massacre indiscriminately; and, in short, it was commonly declared among the mob, that “Monday would be a bloody day.”
Events of Monday, November 4th.
Monday came, and a large party of the mob gathered at the Blue, took the Ferry boat belonging to the Church, threatened lives, etc. But they soon abandoned the ferry, and went to Wilson’s store, about one mile west of the Blue. Word had been previously sent to a branch of the Church, several miles west of the Blue, that the mob were destroying property on the east side of the river, and the sufferers there wanted help to preserve lives and property. Nineteen men volunteered, and started to their assistance; but discovering that fifty or sixty of the mob had gathered at said Wilson’s they turned back. At this time two small boys passed on their way to Wilson’s who gave information to the mob, that the “Mormons” were on the road west of them. Between forty and fifty of the mob armed with guns, immediately started on horseback and on foot in pursuit; after riding about two or two and a half miles, they discovered them, when the said company of nineteen brethren immediately dispersed, and fled in different directions. The mob hunted them, turning their horses meantime into a corn field belonging to the Saints. Corn fields and houses were searched, the mob at the same time threatening women and children that they would pull down their houses and kill them if they did not tell where the men had fled. Thus they were employed in hunting the men and threatening the women, when a company of thirty of the brethren from the prairie, armed with seventeen guns, made their appearance. 4
The former company of nineteen had dispersed, and fled, and but one or two of them returned in the subsequent battle. On the approach of the latter company of thirty men, some of the mob Cried, “Fire, G—d—ye, fire.” Two or three guns were then fired by the mob, which fire was returned by the other party without loss of time. This company is the same that is represented by the mob as having gone forth in the evening of the above incident bearing the olive branch of peace. The mob retreated immediately after the first fire, leaving some of their horses in Whitmer’s corn field, and two of their number, Hugh L. Brazeale and Thomas Linvill dead on the ground. Thus fell Hugh L. Brazeale, who had been heard to say, “With ten fellows, I will wade to my knees in blood, but that I will drive the “Mormons” from Jackson county.” The next morning the corpse of Brazeale was discovered on the battle ground with a gun by his side. Several were wounded on both sides, but none mortally among the brethren except Andrew Barber, who expired the next day. 5 This attack of the mob was made about sunset, Monday, November the 4th; and the same night, runners were dispatched in every direction under pretense of calling out the militia; spreading every rumor calculated to alarm and excite the uninformed as they went; such as that the “Mormons” had taken Independence, and that the Indians had surrounded it, the “Mormons” and Indians being colleagued together.
Gilbert et al on Trial.
The same evening, November 4th—not being satisfied with breaking open the store of Gilbert & Whitney, and demolishing a part of the dwelling house of said Gilbert the Friday night previous—the mob permitted the said McCarty, who was detected on Friday night as one of the breakers of the store doors, to take out a warrant, and arrest the said Gilbert and others of the Church, for a pretended assault, and false imprisonment of said McCarty. Late in the evening, while the court was proceeding with their trial in the court house, a gentleman unconnected with the court, as was believed, perceiving the prisoners to be without counsel and in imminent danger, advised brother Gilbert and his brethren, to go to jail as the only alternative to save life; for the north door of the court house was already barred, and an infuriated mob thronged the house, with a determination to beat and kill; but through the interposition of this gentleman (Samuel C. Owens, clerk of the county court, so it was afterwards learned), said Gilbert and four of his brethren were committed to the county jail of Jackson county, the dungeon of which must have been a palace compared with a court room where dignity and mercy were strangers, and naught but the wrath of man as manifested in horrid threats shocked the ears of the prisoners.
Assault on the Prisoners.
The same night, the prisoners, Gilbert, Morley, and Corrill, were liberated from the jail, that they might have an interview with their brethren, and try to negotiate some measures for peace; and on their return to jail about 2 o’clock, Tuesday morning, in the custody of the deputy sheriff, an armed force of six or seven men stood near the jail and hailed them. They were answered by the sheriff, who gave his name and the names of the prisoners, crying, “Don’t fire, don’t fire, the prisoners are in my charge.” They, however, fired one or two guns, when Morley and Corrill retreated; but Gilbert stood, firmly held by the sheriff, while several guns were presented at him. Two, more desperate than the rest, attempted to shoot, but one of their guns flashed, and the other missed fire. Gilbert was then knocked down by Thomas Wilson, who was a grocer living at Independence. About this time a few of the inhabitants of the town arrived, and Gilbert again entered the jail, from which he, with three of his brethren, were liberated about sunrise, without further prosecution of the trial. William E. M’Lellin was one of the prisoners.
Incidents of the 5th of November.
On the morning of the 5th of November, Independence began to be crowded with individuals from different parts of the county armed with guns and other weapons; and report said the militia had been called out under the sanction or at the instigation of Lieutenant Governor Boggs; and that one Colonel Pitcher had the command. Among this militia (so-called) were included the most conspicuous characters of the mob; and it may truly be said that the appearance of the ranks of this body was well calculated to excite suspicion of their horrible designs.
One Hundred Volunteers.
Very early on the same morning, several branches of the Church received intelligence that a number of their brethren were in prison, and the determination of the mob was to kill them; and that the branch of the Church near the town of Independence was in imminent danger, as the main body of the mob was gathered at that place. In this critical situation, about one hundred of the Saints, from different branches, volunteered for the protection of their brethren near Independence, 6 and proceeded on the road towards Independence, and halted about one mile west of the town, where they awaited further information concerning the movements of the mob. They soon learned that the prisoners were not massacred, and that the mob had not fallen upon the branch of the Church near Independence, as had been reported. They were also informed, that the militia had been called out for their protection; but in this they placed little confidence, for the body congregated had every appearance of a mob; and subsequent events fully verified their suspicions.
The Demands of the Mob-Militia.
On application to Colonel Pitcher, it was found that there was no alternative, but for the Church to leave the county forthwith, and deliver into his hands certain men to be tried for murder, said to have been committed by them in the battle, as he called it, of the previous evening. The arms of the Saints were also demanded by Colonel Pitcher. Among the committee appointed to receive the arms of the brethren were several of the most unrelenting of the old July mob committee, who had directed in the demolishing of the printing office, and the personal injuries inflicted on brethren that day, viz., Henry Chiles, Abner Staples, and Lewis Franklin, who had not ceased to pursue the Saints, from the first to the last, with feelings the most hostile.
These unexpected requisitions of the Colonel, made him appear like one standing at the head of both civil and military law, stretching his authority beyond the constitutional limits that regulate both civil and military power in our Republic. Rather than to have submitted to these unreasonable requirements, the Saints would have cheerfully shed their blood in defense of their rights, the liberties of their country and of their wives and children; but the fear of violating law, in resisting this pretended militia, and the flattering assurance of protection and honorable usage promised by Lieutenant Governor Boggs, in whom, up to this time, they had reposed confidence, induced the Saints to submit, believing that he did not tolerate so gross a violation of all law, as had been practiced in Jackson county. 7 But as so glaringly exposed in the sequel, it was the design and craft of this man to rob an innocent people of their arms by stratagem, and leave more than one thousand defenseless men, women and children to be driven from their homes among strangers in a strange land to seek shelter from the stormy blast of winter. All earth and hell cannot deny that a baser knave, a greater traitor, and a more wholesale butcher, or murderer of mankind ever went untried, unpunished, and unhung—since hanging is the popular method of execution among the Gentiles in all countries professing Christianity, instead of blood for blood, according to the law of heaven. 8 The conduct of Colonels Lucas and Pitcher, had long proven them to be open and avowed enemies of the Saints. Both of these men had their names attached to the mob circular, as early as the July previous, the object of which was to drive the Saints from Jackson county. But with assurances from the Lieutenant Governor and others that the object was to disarm the combatants on both sides, and that peace would be the result, the brethren surrendered their arms to the number of fifty or upwards. 9
The men present, who were accused of being in the battle the evening before, also gave themselves up for trial; but after detaining them one day and a night on a pretended trial for murder, in which time they were threatened and brick-batted, Colonel Pitcher, after receiving a watch of one of the prisoners to satisfy “costs of court,” took them into a corn field, and said to them, “Clear!” [Meaning, of course, clear out, leave.]
Savagery of the Mob.
After the Saints had surrendered their arms, which had been used only in self-defense, the tribes of Indians in time of war let loose upon women and children, could not have appeared more hideous and terrific, than did the companies of ruffians who went in various directions, well armed, on foot and on horseback, bursting into houses without fear, knowing the arms were secured; frightening distracted women with what they would do to their husbands if they could catch them; warning women and children to flee immediately, or they would tear their houses down over their heads, and massacre them before night. At the head of these companies appeared the Reverend Isaac McCoy, with a gun upon his shoulder, ordering the Saints to leave the county forthwith, and surrender what arms they had. Other pretended preachers of the Gospel took a conspicuous part in the persecution, calling the “Mormons” the “common enemy of mankind,” and exulting in their afflictions.
Events of 5th and 6th of November.
On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the 5th and 6th of November, women and children fled in every direction before the merciless mob. One party of about one hundred and fifty women and children fled to the prairie, where they wandered for several days with only about six men to protect them. Other parties fled to the Missouri river, and took lodging for the night where they could find it. One Mr. Barnet opened his house for a night’s shelter to a wandering company of distressed women and children, who were fleeing to the river. During this dispersion of the women and children, parties of the mob were hunting the men, firing upon some, tying up and whipping others, and pursuing others with horses for several miles.
Scenes on the Banks of the Missouri.
Thursday, November 7th, the shores of the Missouri river began to be lined on both sides of the ferry, with men, women and children; goods, wagons, boxes, chests, and provisions; while the ferrymen were busily employed in crossing them over. When night again closed upon the Saints, the wilderness had much the appearance of a camp meeting. Hundreds of people were seen in every direction; some in tents, and some in the open air, around their fires, while the rain descended in torrents. Husbands were inquiring for their wives, and women for their husbands; parents for children, and children for parents. Some had the good fortune to escape with their families, household goods, and some provisions; while others knew not the fate of their friends, and had lost all their effects. The scene was indescribable, and would have melted the hearts of any people upon earth, except the blind oppressor, and the prejudiced and ignorant bigot. Next day the company increased, and they were chiefly engaged in felling small cottonwood trees, and erecting them into temporary cabins, so that when night came on, they had the appearance of a village of wigwams, and the night being clear, the occupants began to enjoy some degree of comfort.
Lieutenant Governor Boggs.
Lieutenant Governor Boggs has been represented as merely a curious and disinterested observer of these events; 10 yet he was evidently the head and front of the mob; for as may easily be seen by what follows, no important move was made without his sanction. He certainly was the secret mover in the affairs of the 20th and 23rd of July; and, as will appear in the sequel, by his authority the mob was converted into militia, to effect by stratagem what he knew, as well as his hellish host, could not be done by legal force. As Lieutenant Governor, he had only to wink, and the mob went from maltreatment to murder. The horrible calculations of this second Nero were often developed in a way that could not be mistaken. Early on the morning of the 5th, say at 1 o’clock a. m., he came to Phelps, Gilbert, and Partridge, and told them to flee for their lives. Now, unless he had given the order to murder no one would have attempted it, after the Church had agreed to go away. His conscience, however, seemed to vacillate at its moorings, and led him to give the secret alarm to these men. 11
The Saints who fled from Jackson county, took refuge in the neighboring counties, chiefly in Clay county, the inhabitants of which received them with some degree of kindness. Those who fled to the county of Van Buren were again driven, and compelled to flee, and these who fled to Lafayette county, were soon expelled, or the most of them, and had to move wherever they could find protection. 12
The “Stars” Fall.
November 13.—About 4 o’clock a. m. I was awakened by Brother Davis knocking at my door, and calling on me to arise and behold the signs in the heavens. I arose, and to my great joy, beheld the stars fall from heaven like a shower of hailstones; a literal fulfilment of the word of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, and a sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand. In the midst of this shower of fire, I was led to exclaim, “How marvelous are Thy works, O Lord! I thank Thee for Thy mercy unto Thy servant; save me in Thy kingdom for Christ’s sake. Amen.”
The appearance of these signs varied in different sections of the country: in Zion, all heaven seemed enwrapped in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expanse had been suddenly hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Some at times appeared like bright shooting meteors, with long trains of light following in their course, and in numbers resembled large drops of rain in sunshine. These seemed to vanish when they fell behind the trees, or came near the ground. Some of the long trains of light following the meteoric stars, were visible for some seconds; these streaks would curl and twist up like serpents writhing. The appearance was beautiful, grand, and sublime beyond description; and it seemed as if the artillery and fireworks of eternity were set in motion to enchant and entertain the Saints, and terrify and awe the sinners of the earth. Beautiful and terrific as was the scenery, it will not fully compare with the time when the sun shall become black like sack-cloth of hair, the moon like blood, and the stars fall to the earth—Rev. 6:13. 13
Chapter 31 – Notes
1. It was evening. I was out in the act of posting guards a short distance from the dwellings, when two men assailed us, armed with guns and pistols; and supposing it against our principles to make any defense, they attacked the guards. I was without arms, but stepped forward to interfere between them, when one of them drew his gun backwards, and, with both hands struck the barrel of it across the top of my head. I staggered back, but did not fall; the blood came streaming down my face, and I was for an instant stunned by the blow; but recovering myself, I called help from the house and disarmed them, and put them under guard till morning. Their arms were then restored, and they let go in peace. The taking of these two men proved a preventive against an attack that night. They were the advance of a party of men who were about to come upon the settlement, but were disconcerted by this means. (Autobiography of P. P. Pratt, p. 103.)
2. “McCarty was arrested and taken before squire Weston,” says Lyman Wight, in an affidavit upon the subject, “and although seven persons testified against him, he was acquitted without delay. The next day the witnesses were taken before the same man (Squire Weston) for false imprisonment, and by the testimony of this one burglar were found guilty and committed to jail.” In relation to this matter, John Corrill tersely remarked, “Although we could not obtain a warrant against him for breaking open the store, yet he had gotten one for us for catching him at it.”
3. The other two members were Parley P. Pratt and “Mr. Marsh,” supposed to be Thomas B. Marsh. They called upon Judge Ryland at Lexington and made oath concerning the outrages committed against them and the saints in Jackson county but the judge refused to issue any process against the mob, and advised that the Saints fight and kill the mob whenever the latter came upon them.—Pratt’s Persecutions, page 37.
5. Andrew Barber, who fell on this occasion was the first direct martyr to the cause. Among those wounded was Philo Dibble of Ohio. He was wounded in the abdomen at the first fire of the mob. Newel Knight in his Journal, (Scraps of Biography, page 81,) says that he was examined by a surgeon of great experience who had served in the Mohawk War, and he said he never knew a man to live who was wounded in such a manner. Knight also gives the following account of his visit to the wounded man, and the manner in which he was healed by the power of God: “The next day (November 5th), I went to see Brother Dibble, and found the house where he lay surrounded by the mob. I managed to get in, and went to the bed; two men came and seated themselves at the door; as I looked upon Brother Dibble lying there in extreme agony, I drew the bed curtains with one hand and laid the other on his head, praying secretly to our Heavenly Father in his behalf. I then left, as I did not want to put myself into the power of the mob; and the next day business took me some ten miles from the place, where I met Brother Dibble making his escape from the county. He told me that as soon as I placed my hand upon his head, the pain and soreness seemed gradually to move as before a power driving it, until in a few minutes it left his body. He then discharged about a gallon of putrid matter, and the balls and pieces of clothing which had passed into his body.”
7. Another circumstance which embarrassed the Saints not a little in their movements against the mob was the fact that they were divided as to what action it would be proper for them to take in the premises. Parley P. Pratt in his Persecutions of the Saints, page 31, says that the Saints, “having passed through the most aggravating insults and injuries without making the least resistance, a general inquiry prevailed at that time throughout the Church as to the propriety of self-defense. Some claimed the right of defending themselves and their families from destruction, while others doubted the propriety of self-defense.” Under these conditions it can be readily understood that the defense of the Saints was not so effective against their enemies as it might have been had they been perfectly agreed as to the extent to which they would be justified in defending themselves and their families against the violence of the mob.
8. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Gen. 9:6. Newel Knight, in his Journal, Scraps of Biography, page 85, speaks of Governor Boggs as follows: “Although Governor Boggs did not come out and show himself openly in his true colors, we have sufficient evidence that he sustained all the moves of the mob and even directed them. He it was who put in action the movements of July [20th and 23rd], and continued his exertions until he had accomplished all his hellish designs.”
9. Lyman Wight in an affidavit before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, in 1843, said of this incident of disarming the Saints: “I here agreed that the Church would give up their arms provided the said Colonel Pitcher would take the arms from the mob. To this the Colonel cheerfully agreed, and pledged his honor with that of Lieutenant Governor Boggs, Owens and others. This treaty entered into, we returned home resting secured on their honor, that we should not be further molested; but this solemn contract was violated in every sense of the word. The arms of the mob were never taken away, and the majority of the militia, to my certain knowledge, were engaged the next day with the mob, Colonel Pitcher and Boggs not excepted, going from house to house in gangs of from sixty to seventy in number, threatening the lives of women and children if they did not leave forthwith.”—(Millennial Star, 21:506.) Wight’s statement is also supported by John Corrill. Brief History of the Church of Christ, page 20, 1839.)
11. Elders W. W. Phelps, A. S. Gilbert, and William E. M’Lellin (the last named had also been imprisoned with the others), after their escape through the warning of Boggs, went into Clay county and made an affidavit embodying substantially the foregoing narrative concerning events which had occurred in Jackson county from the 31st of October, and forwarded the same to Governor Dunklin by express.
12. Of the extent of the injuries inflicted upon the Saints in this Jackson county persecution I would add that according to a statement made in a petition to Congress for redress of their Jackson county grievances, it is represented that “The houses of the Mormons in the county of Jackson, amounting to about two hundred, were burned down or otherwise destroyed by the mob, as well as much of their crops, furniture, and stock. The damage done to the property of the Mormons by the mob in the county of Jackson, as above related, as near as they can ascertain, would amount to the sum of $175,000.00. The number of Mormons thus driven from the county of Jackson amounted to about twelve hundred souls.”—(Millennial Star, vol. 17, page 435.)
According to a statement made in an affidavit before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, Parley P. Pratt also states that the number driven from the county was twelve hundred, and that two hundred and three houses were destroyed. Lyman Wight, in an affidavit before the same body also says of the mob, that “they burned two hundred and three houses and one grist mill, these being the only residences of the Saints in Jackson county.”
Of the spirit of cruelty with which the mob prosecuted their determination to expel the Saints from Jackson county, the following instances are given in addition to what is said in the Prophet’s narrative. Lyman Wight, in the before mentioned affidavit, says: “I saw one hundred and ninety women and children driven thirty miles across the prairie in the month of November, with three decrepit men only in their company; the ground was thinly crusted with sleet, and I could easily follow on their trail by the blood that flowed from their lacerated feet on the stubble of the burnt prairie. This company not knowing the situation of the country or the extent of Jackson county, built quite a number of cabins that proved to be in the border of Jackson county. The mob, infuriated at this, rushed on them in the month of January, 1834, burned these scanty cabins and scattered the inhabitants to the four winds, from which cause many were taken suddenly ill and of this illness died.”—(Millennial Star, vol. 21, page 506.)
Another instance is thus related by Newel Knight in his Journal, Scraps of Biography, pages 84 and 85: “I must not omit to mention one act of cruelty, which, if possible, seems to surpass all others. In one of the settlements [in Jackson county] were four families of very old men infirm and very poor. They seemed to think that they would not be molested and so remained behind, but no sooner did the mob learn of it, than they went to their houses, broke their windows and doors, and hurled great stones into their rooms, endangering their lives: thus were these poor old men and their families driven before the ruthless mob in midwinter. These men had served in the Revolutionary War—and Brother Jones had been one of General Washington’s body guard—but this availed them nothing, for they were of the hated people. Thus were all the saints compelled to flee into Clay county, where the sympathies of the people were extended toward them.”
13. Speaking of this event as it appeared to the exiled Saints bivouacked on the Missouri bottoms, EIder Parley P. Pratt in his Autobiography, (page 110) says: “About 2 o’clock the next morning [November 13th], we were called up by the cry of signs in the heavens. We arose, and to our great astonishment all the firmament seemed involved in splendid fireworks, as if every star in the broad expanse had been hurled from its course, and sent lawless through the wilds of ether. Thousands of bright meteors were shooting through space in every direction, with long trains of light following in their course. This lasted for several hours, and was only closed by the dawn of the rising sun. Every heart was filled with joy at this majestic display of signs and wonders, showing the near approach of the coming of the Son of God.” Stephens in his History of the United States (page 455), thus speaks of the same event: “During the fall of 1833 occurred a natural phenomenon of a most wonderful character. This was on the night of the 13th of November. It was what is known as the ‘meteoric shower,’ or the ‘falling of the stars.’ It was witnessed with amazement and astonishment throughout the entire limits of the United States.”