Movements Of The Mob Upon De Witt—Battle Of Crooked River—Exterminating Order Of Governor Boggs.
Plan of the Mob to Dispossess the Saints.
No sooner had the brethren left De Witt than Sashiel Woods called the mob together, and made a speech to them to the effect that they must hasten to assist their friends in Daviess County. The land sales, he said, were coming on, and if they could get the “Mormons” driven out, they could get all the lands entitled to pre-emptions, and that they must hasten to Daviess County in order to accomplish their object; that if they would join and drive out the Saints, the old settlers could get all the lands back again, as well as all the pay they had received for them. He assured the mob that they had nothing to fear from the state authorities in so doing, for they had now full proof that those authorities would not assist the “Mormons,” and that they [the mob] might as well take their property from them as not. His proposition was agreed to, and accordingly the whole banditti started for Daviess County, taking with them their cannon.
In the meantime, Cornelius Gilliam was busily engaged in raising a mob in Platte and Clinton counties, to aid Woods in his effort to drive peaceable citizens from their homes and take their property.
Plans of Doniphan to Protect the Saints.
On my arrival in Caldwell, I was informed by General Doniphan, of Clay county, that a company of mobbers, eight hundred strong, were marching toward a settlement of our people in Daviess county. He ordered out one of the officers to raise a force and march immediately to what he called Wight’s Town [Adam-ondi-Ahman], and defend our people from the attacks of the mob, until he should raise the militia in his [Clay] and the adjoining counties to put them down. A small company of militia, who were on their way to Daviess county, and who had passed through Far West, he ordered back again, stating that they were not to be depended upon, as many of them were disposed to join the mob, and to use his own expression, were “damned rotten hearted.”
Sunday, October 14.—I preached to the brethren at Far West from the saying of the Savior: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his brethren.” At the close I called upon all that would stand by me to meet me on the public square the next day.
State of Affairs in England.
There were seven cut off from the Church in Preston, England, this day. It was a general time of pruning in England. The powers of darkness raged, and it seemed as though Satan was fully determined to make an end of the work in that kingdom. Elders Joseph Fielding and Willard Richards had as much as they could do for some time, to see to the branches already planted, without planting new ones.
Organization for Defense.
Monday, October 15.—The brethren assembled on the public square of Far West and formed a company of about one hundred, who took up a line of march for Adam-ondi-Ahman. Here let it be distinctly understood that this company were militia of the county of Caldwell, acting under Lieutenant-Colonel George M. Hinkle, agreeable to the order of General Doniphan, and the brethren were very careful in all their movements to act in strict accordance with the constitutional laws of the land.
Mob Depredations at “Diahman.”
The special object of this march was to protect Adam-ondi-Ahman, and repel the attacks of the mob in Daviess county. Having some property in that county, and having a house building there, I went up at the same time. While I was there a number of houses belonging to our people were burned by the mob, who committed many other depredations, such as driving off horses, sheep, cattle, hogs, etc. A number of those whose houses were burned down, as well as those who lived in scattered and lonely situations, fled into the town for safety, and for shelter from the inclemency of the weather, as a considerable snowstorm took place on the 17th and 18th. Women and children, some in the most delicate condition, were thus obliged to leave their homes and travel several miles in order to effect their escape. My feelings were such as I cannot describe when I saw them flock into the village, almost entirely destitute of clothes, and only escaping with their lives.
Affairs at Millport.
During this state of affairs, General Parks arrived in Daviess county, and was at the house of Colonel Lyman Wight on the 18th, when the intelligence was brought that the mob were burning houses; and also when women and children were fleeing for safety, among whom was Agnes M. Smith, wife of my brother, Don Carlos Smith, who was absent on a mission in Tennessee. Her house had been plundered and burned by the mob, and she had traveled nearly three miles, carrying her two helpless babes, and had to wade Grand river.
Parks’ Order to Wight to Disperse the Mob.
Colonel Wight, who held a commission in the 59th regiment under his (General Parks’) command, asked what was to be done. Parks told him that he must immediately call out his men and go and put the mob down. Accordingly a force was immediately raised for the purpose of quelling the mob, and in a short time was on its march, with a determination to disperse the mob, or die in the attempt; as the people could bear such treatment as was being inflicted upon them no longer.
Strategem of the Mob.
The mob, having learned the orders of General Parks, and likewise being aware of the determination of the oppressed, broke up their encampment and fled. The mob seeing that they could not succeed by force, now resorted to strategem; and after removing their property out of their houses, which were nothing but log cabins, they fired them, and then reported to the authorities of the state that the “Mormons” were burning and destroying all before them. 1
Beginning of Wm. Clayton’s Ministry.
Friday, October 19.—Elder William Clayton quitted his temporal business in England, and gave himself wholly to the ministry, and soon commenced preaching and baptizing in Manchester.
Vindication of the Prophet’s Business Course in Kirtland.
As I was driven away from Kirtland without the privilege of settling my business, I had, previous to this, employed Colonel Oliver Granger as my agent, to close all my affairs in the east, and as I have been accused of “running away, cheating my creditors, etc.,” I will insert one of the many cards and letters I have received from gentlemen who have had the best opportunity of knowing my business transactions, and whose testimony comes unsolicited:
Painsville, October 19, 1838.
We, the undersigned, being personal acquaintances of Oliver Granger, firmly believe that the course which he has pursued in settling the claims, accounts, etc., against the former citizens of Kirtland township, has done much credit to himself, and all others that committed to him the care of adjusting their business with this community, which also furnishes evidence that there was no intention on their part of defrauding their creditors. [Signed]
John S. Seymour.
Crimes of the Mob Charged to the Saints.
About this time William Morgan, sheriff of Daviess county, Samuel Bogart, Colonel William P. Penniston, Doctor Samuel Venable, Jonathan J. Dryden, James Stone and Thomas J. Martin, made communications or affidavits of the most inflammatory kind, charging upon the “Mormons” those depredations which had been committed by the mob, endeavoring thereby to raise the anger of those in authority, rallying a sufficient force around their standard, and produce a total overthrow, massacre, or banishment of the “Mormons” from the state. These and their associates were the ones who fired their own houses and then fled the country crying “fire and murder.”
Departure of Orson Hyde from Far West.
It was reported in Far West today [October 19th] that Orson Hyde had left that place, the night previous, leaving a letter for one of the brethren, which would develop the secret.
Return of the Prophet to Far West.
Monday, 22.—On the retreat of the mob from Daviess county, I returned to Caldwell, with a company of the brethren, and arrived at Far West about seven in the evening, where I had hoped to enjoy some respite from our enemies, at least for a short time; but upon my arrival there, I was informed that a mob had commenced hostilities on the borders of Caldwell county, adjoining Ray county, and that they had taken some of our brethren prisoners, burned some houses, and had committed depredations on the peaceable inhabitants.
The Saints Flock into Far West.
Tuesday, 23.—News came to Far West, this morning, that the brethren had found the cannon, which the mob brought from Independence, buried in the earth and had secured it by order of General Parks. The word of the Lord was given several months since, for the Saints to gather into the cities but they have been slow to obey until the judgments were upon them, and now they are gathering by flight and haste, leaving all their effects, and are glad to get off at that. The city of Far West is literally crowded, and the brethren are gathering from all quarters.
Inflammatory Letters to the Governor.
Fourteen citizens of Ray county, one of whom was a Mr. Hudgins, a postmaster, wrote the governor an inflammatory epistle. Thomas C. Burch, of Richmond, wrote a similar communication. Also the citizens of Ray county, in public meeting, appealed to the governor of the state, to give the people of Upper Missouri protection from the fearful body of “thieves and robbers;” while the fact is the Saints were minding their own business, only as they were driven from it by those who were crying thieves and robbers.
The Mail Robbed.
The mail came in this evening, but not a single letter to anybody, from which it is evident there is no deposit sacred to those marauders who are infesting the country and trying to destroy the Saints.
The Course of King and Black.
Wednesday, 24.—Austin A. King and Adam Black renewed their inflammatory communications to the governor, as did other citizens of Richmond, viz., C. R. Morehead, William Thornton, and Jacob Gudgel, who scrupled at no falsehood or exaggeration, to raise the governor’s anger against us.
The Apostasy of Thomas B. Marsh.
Thomas B. Marsh, formerly president of the Twelve, having apostatized, repaired to Richmond and made affidavit before Henry Jacobs, justice of the peace, to all the vilest slanders, aspersions, lies and calumnies towards myself and the Church, that his wicked heart could invent. He had been lifted up in pride by his exaltation to office and the revelations of heaven concerning him, until he was ready to be overthrown by the first adverse wind that should cross his track, and now he has fallen, lied and sworn falsely, and is ready to take the lives of his best friends. Let all men take warning by him, and learn that he who exalteth himself, God will abase. Orson Hyde was also at Richmond and testified to most of Marsh’s statements. 2
The following letter, being a fair specimen of the “truth and honesty” of many others which I shall notice, I give it in full:
Communication of Woods and Dickson to Governor Boggs.
Carrolton, Missouri, October 24, 1838.
Sir.—We were informed, last night, by an express from Ray county, that Captain Bogart and all his company, amounting to between fifty and sixty men were massacred by the Mormons at Buncombe, twelve miles north of Richmond, except three. This statement you may rely on as being true, and last night they expected Richmond to be laid in ashes this morning. We could distinctly hear cannon, and we know the Mormons had one in their possession. Richmond is about twenty-five miles west of this place, on a straight line. We know not the hour or minute we will be laid in ashes—our country is ruined—for God’s sake give us assistance as quick as possible.
The Prophet’s Statement of the Buncombe Affair.
These mobbers must have had very accute ears to hear cannon, (a six pounder) thirty-seven miles! So much for the lies of a priest of this world. Now for the truth of the case. This day about noon, Captain Bogart, with some thirty or forty men called on Brother Thoret Parsons, at the head of the east branch of Log creek, where he was living, and warned him to be gone before next day at ten in the morning, declaring also that he would give Far West thunder and lightning before next day at noon, if he had good luck in meeting Neil Gillum, (Cornelius Gilliam) who would camp about six miles west of Far West that night, and that he should camp on Crooked creek. He then departed towards Crooked creek.
Raid on the Pinkham Residence.
Brother Parsons dispatched a messenger with this news to Far West, and followed after Bogart to watch his movements. Brothers Joseph Holbrook and David Juda, who went out this morning to watch the movements of the enemy, saw eight armed mobbers call at the house of Brother Pinkham, where they took three prisoners, Nathan Pinkham, Brothers William Seely and Addison Green, and four horses, arms, etc. When departing they threatened Father Pinkham that if he did not leave the state immediately they “would have his damned old scalp.” Having learned of Bogart’s movements the brethren returned to Far West near midnight, and reported their proceedings and those of the mob.
Crooked River Battle.
On hearing the report, Judge Elias Higbee, the first judge of the county, ordered Lieutenant Colonel Hinkle, the highest officer in command in Far West, to send out a company to disperse the mob and retake their prisoners, whom, it was reported, they intended to murder that night. The trumpet sounded, and the brethren were assembled on the public square about midnight, when the facts were stated, and about seventy-five volunteered to obey the judge’s order, under command of Captain David W. Patten, who immediately commenced their march on horseback, hoping without the loss of blood to surprise and scatter the camp, retake the prisoners and prevent the attack threatening Far West.
Thursday, 25.—Fifteen of the company were detached from the main body while sixty continued their march till they arrived near the ford of Crooked river, (or creek) where they dismounted, tied their horses, and leaving four or five men to guard them, proceeded towards the ford, not knowing the location of the encampment. It was just at the dawning of light in the east, when they were marching quietly along the road, and near the top of the hill which descends to the river that the report of a gun was heard, and young Patrick O’Banion reeled out of the ranks and fell mortally wounded. Thus the work of death commenced, when Captain Patten ordered a charge and rushed down the hill on a fast trot, and when within about fifty yards of the camp formed a line. The mob formed a line under the bank of the river, below their tents. It was yet so dark that little could be seen by looking at the west, while the mob looking towards the dawning light, could see Patten and his men, when they fired a broadside, and three or four of the brethren fell. Captain Patten ordered the fire returned, which was instantly obeyed, to great disadvantage in the darkness which yet continued. The fire was repeated by the mob, and returned by Captain Patten’s company, who gave the watchword “God and Liberty.” Captain Patten then ordered a charge, which was instantly obeyed. The parties immediately came in contact, with their swords, and the mob were soon put to flight, crossing the river at the ford and such places as they could get a chance. In the pursuit, one of the mob fled from behind a tree, wheeled, and shot Captain Patten, who instantly fell, mortally wounded, having received a large ball in his bowels.
List of Casualties. Death of Patten and O’Banion.
The ground was soon cleared, and the brethren gathered up a wagon or two, and making beds therein of tents, etc., took their wounded and retreated towards Far West. Three brethren were wounded in the bowels, one in the neck, one in the shoulder, one through the hips, one through both thighs, one in the arms, all by musket shot. One had his arm broken by a sword. Brother Gideon Carter was shot in the head, and left dead on the ground so defaced that the brethren did not know him. Bogart reported that he had lost one man. The three prisoners were released and returned with the brethren to Far West. Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but it caused so much distress that he begged to be left by the way side. He was carried into Brother Winchester’s, three miles from the city of Far West, where he died that night. Patrick O’Banion died soon after, and Brother Carter’s body was also brought from Crooked river, when it was discovered who he was.
I went with my brother Hyrum and Lyman Wight to meet the brethren on their return, near Log creek, where I saw Captain Patten in a most distressing condition. His wound was incurable.
The Prophet’s Reflections on the Death of David W. Patten.
Brother David Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he had lived, a man of God, and strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection, in a world where mobs will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife was—”Whatever you do else, do not deny the faith.”
How different his fate to that of the apostate, Thomas B. Marsh, who this day vented all the lying spleen and malice of his heart towards the work of God, in a letter to Brother and Sister Abbot, to which was annexed an addenda by Orson Hyde.
The following letter will show the state of public feeling in the country at this time:
E. M. Ryland’s Letter to Messrs. Rees and Williams.
Lexington, six o’clock p. m.
October 25, 1838.
To Messrs. Amos Rees and Wiley C. Williams:
Gentlemen,—This letter is sent on after you on express by Mr. Bryant, of Ray county, since you left this morning. Mr. C. R. Morehead came here on express for men to assist in repelling a threatened attack upon Richmond tonight. He brought news that the Mormon armed force had attacked Captain Bogart this morning at daylight, and had cut off his whole company of fifty men. Since Mr. Morehead left Richmond, one of the company (Bogart’s) has come in and reported that there were ten of his comrades killed and the remainder were taken prisoners, after many of them had been severely wounded; he stated further that Richmond would be sacked and burned by the Mormon banditti tonight. Nothing can exceed the consternation which this news gave rise to. The women and children are flying from Richmond in every direction. A number of them have repaired to Lexington, amongst whom is Mrs. Rees. We will have sent from this county since one o’clock this evening about one hundred well-armed and daring men, perhaps the most effective our county can boast of. They will certainly give them (the Mormons) a warm reception at Richmond tonight. You will see the necessity of hurrying on to the City of Jefferson, and also of imparting correct information to the public as you go along. My impression is, that you had better send one of your number to Howard, Cooper and Boone counties, in order that volunteers may be getting ready and flocking to the scene of trouble as fast as possible. They must make haste and put a stop to the devastation which is menaced by these infuriated fanatics, and they must go prepared and with the full determination to exterminate or expel them from the state en masse. Nothing but this can give tranquility to the public mind, and re-establish the supremacy of the laws. There must be no further delaying with this question any where. The Mormons must leave the state, or we will, one and all, and to this complexion it must come at last. We have great reliance upon your ability, discretion and fitness for the task you have undertaken, and we have only time to say, God speed you.
E. M. Ryland, Judge.
The brethren had not thought of going to Richmond—it was a lie out of whole cloth.
Governor Boggs’ Order to General John B. Clark.
Friday, Headquarters Of The Militia,
City Of Jefferson October 26, 1838.
General John B. Clark, 1st Division Missouri Militia:
Sir:—Application has been made to the commander-in-chief, by the citizens of Daviess county, in this state, for protection, and to be restored to their homes and property, with intelligence that the Mormons, with an armed force, have expelled the inhabitants of that county from their homes, have pillaged and burnt their dwellings, driven off their stock, and were destroying their crops; that they (the Mormons) have burnt to ashes the towns of Gallatin and Millport in said county; the former being the county seat of said county, and including the clerk’s office and all the public records of the county, and that there is not now a civil officer within said county. The commander-in-chief therefore orders that there be raised, from the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 12th Divisions of the militia of this state, four hundred men each, to be mounted and armed as Infantry or Riflemen, each man to furnish himself with at least fifty rounds of ammunition, and at least fifteen days provisions. The troops from the 1st, 5th, 6th and 12th, will rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard county, on Saturday, the 3rd day of next month (November) at which point they will receive further instructions as to their line of march. You will therefore cause to be raised the quota of men required of your division (four hundred men) without delay, either by volunteer or drafts, and rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard county, on Saturday, the third day of next month (November) and there join the troops from the 5th, 6th and 12th divisions. The troops from the 4th division will join you at Richmond in Ray county. You will cause the troops raised in your division, to be formed into companies according to law, and placed under officers already in commission. If volunteer companies are raised, they shall elect their own officers. The preference should always be given to volunteer companies already organized and commissioned. You will also detail the necessary field and staff officers. For the convenience of transporting the camp equipage, provisions and hospital stores for the troops under your command, you are authorized to employ two or three baggage wagons. By order of the Commander-in-Chief,
B. M. Lisle, Adj.-General.
Letters of Horace Kingsbury and John W. Hawden on the Business Integrity of the Prophet and his Agents in Kirtland.
To all persons that are or may be interested. I, Horace Kingsbury, of Painsville township, Geauga county, and state of Ohio, feeling the importance of recommending to remembrance every worthy citizen who has by his conduct commended himself to personal acquaintance by his course of strict integrity, and desire for truth and common justice, feel it my duty to state that Oliver Granger’s management in the arrangement of the unfinished business of people that have moved to the Far West, in redeeming their pledges and thereby sustaining their integrity, has been truly praiseworthy, and has entitled him to my highest esteem, and ever grateful recollection.
Painesville, October 26, 1838.
To whom it may concern. This may certify that during the year of eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, I had dealings with Messrs. Joseph Smith, Junior, and Sidney Rigdon, together with other members of the [Mormon] society, to the amount of about three thousand dollars, and during the spring of eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, I have received my pay in full of Colonel Oliver Granger to my satisfaction. And I would here remark that it is due Messrs. Smith and Rigdon, and the [Mormon] society generally, to say that they have ever dealt honorably and fair with me: and I have received as good treatment from them as I have received from any other society in this vicinity; and so far as I have been correctly informed and made acquainted with their business transactions generally, they have, so far as I can judge, been honorable and honest, and have made every exertion to arrange and settle their affairs. And I would further state, that the closing up of my business with said society has been with their agent, Colonel Granger, appointed by them for that purpose; and I consider it highly due Colonel Granger from me, here to state that he has acted truly and honestly in all his business with me, and has accomplished more than I could reasonably have expected. And I have also been made acquainted with his business in that section; and wherever he has been called upon to act, he has done so and with good management he has accomplished and effected the close of a large amount of business for said society, and as I believe, to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.
John W. Hawden.
Painesville, Geauga county, Ohio, October 27, 1838.
Funeral of David W. Patten.
Saturday, 27.—Brother Patten was buried this day at Far West, and before the funeral, I called at Brother Patten’s house, and while meditating on the scene before me in presence of his friends, I could not help pointing to his lifeless body and testifying, “There lies a man that has done just as he said he would—he has laid down his life for his friends.”
Governor Boggs’ Exterminating Order.
Headquarters Militia, City Of Jefferson,
October 27, 1838.
Sir,—Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray county, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Major-General Wallock, of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess and there to unite with General Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express; and you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore, of proceeding as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond, and there operate against the Mormons. Brigadier-General Parks, of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred men of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.
L. W. Boggs,
Governor and Commander-in-Chief.
To General Clark.
Excitement in Upper Missouri.
Great excitement now prevailed, and mobs were heard of in every direction, who seemed determined on our destruction. They burned the houses in the country, and took off all the cattle they could find. They destroyed corn fields, took many prisoners, and threatened death to all the Mormons.
The Appeal of Atchison and Lucas to Governor Boggs, Asking his Presence at the seat of War.
Headquarters Of The 3rd And 4th Division, Missouri
Militia, Richmond, October 28, 1838.
To the Commander-in-Chief, Missouri Militia:
Sir:—From late outrages committed by the Mormons, civil war is inevitable. They have set the laws of the country at defiance, and are in open rebellion. We have about two thousand men under arms to keep them in check. The presence of the commander-in-chief is deemed absolutely necessary, and we most respectfully urge that your excellency be at the seat of war as soon as possible.
Your most obedient servants,
David R. Atchison, M. G. 3rd Div. 3
Samuel D. Lucas, M. G. 4th Div.
Chapter 12 Notes
1. It was a cunning piece of diabolism which prompted the mob of Daviess county to set fire to their own log cabins, destroy some of their own property and then charge the crime to the Saints. But it was not without a precedent in Missouri. Two years before that, something very similar occurred in Mercer county, just northeast of Daviess. In June of the year 1836, the Iowa Indians, then living near St. Josoph, made a friendly hunting excursion through the northern part of the state, and their line of travel led them through what was known as the “Heatherly settlement,” in Mercer county. The Heatherlys, who were ruffians of the lowest type, took advantage of the excitement produced by the incursion of the Indians, and circulated a report that they were robbing and killing the whites. During the excitement these Heatherlys murdered a man by the name of Dunber, and another man against whom they had a grudge, and then fled to the settlements along the Missouri river, representing that they were fleeing from the Indians for their lives. This produced great excitement in the settlements in the surrounding counties; the people not knowing at what hour the Indians might be upon them. The militia was called out for their protection; but it was soon ascertained that the alarm was a false one. The Heatherlys were arrested, tried for murder, and some of them sent to the penitentiary. This circumstance occurring only two years before the action of the mob about Millport, and in a county adjacent to Daviess county, doubtless suggested the course pursued by the mob in burning their own houses and fleeing to all parts of the state with the report that the “Mormons” had done it, and were murdering and plundering the old settlers. These false rumors spread by the mob, were strengthened in the public ear by such men as Adam Black, Judge King of Richmond, and other prominent men who were continually writing inflammatory communications to the governor.—For the Heatherly incident, see “History of Livingston County, Missouri,” written and compiled by the National Historical Company (1886), chapter 3, pp. 710, 713.
2. The chief points in the affidavit of Thomas B. Marsh, referred to in the text, are as follows: “They have among them a company, considered true Mormons, called the Danites, who have taken an oath to support the heads of the Church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong. Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with his oath, as being against moral and religious principles. On Saturday last, I am informed by the Mormons, that they had a meeting at Far West, at which they appointed a company of twelve, by the name of the ‘Destruction Company,’ for the purpose of burning and destroying, and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the Mormons, they were to burn Buncombe, and if the people of Clay and Ray made any movement against them, this destroying company were to burn Liberty and Richmond. * * * * The Prophet inculcates the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith’s prophecies are superior to the laws of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies; and if he was not let alone, he would be a second Mohammed to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky mountains to the Atlantic ocean; that like Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was, ‘the Alcoran or the Sword.’ So should it be eventually with us, ‘Joseph Smith or the Sword.’ These last statements were made during the last summer. The number of armed men at Adam-ondi-Ahman was between three and four hundred.
“Thomas B. Marsh.
“Sworn to and subscribed before me, the day herein written.
“J. P. Ray county, Missouri.
“Richmond, Missouri, October 24, 1838.”
“Affidavit Of Orson Hyde.
“The most of the statements in the foregoing disclosure I know to be true; the remainder I believe to be true.
“Richmond, October 24, 1838.
“Sworn to and subscribed before me, on the day above written.
“Henry Jacobs, J. P.”
Of this testimony and the action of Marsh and Hyde the late President Taylor in his discourse on Succession in the Presidency, makes these pertinent remarks: “Testimonies from these sources are not always reliable, and it is to be hoped, for the sake of the two brethren, that some things were added by our enemies that they did not assert, but enough was said to make this default and apostasy very terrible. I will here state that I was in Far West at the time these affidavits were made, and was mixed up with all prominent Church affairs. I was there when Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde left there; and there are others present who were there at the same time. And I know that these things, referred to in the affidavits, are not true. I have heard a good deal about Danites, but I never heard of them among the Latter-day Saints. If there was such an organization, I never was made acquainted with it * * * * * * Thomas B. Marsh was unquestionably instigated by the devil when he made this statement, which has been read in your hearing [the foregoing affidavit]. The consequence was, he was cut off from the Church. * * * * * * It would be here proper to state, however, that Orson Hyde had been sick with a violent fever for some time, and had not yet fully recovered therefrom, which, with the circumstances with which we were surrounded, and the influence of Thomas B. Marsh, may be offered as a slight palliation for his default. * * * * * * It may be proper here again to say a few words with regard to Brother Orson Hyde, whose endorsement of the terrible charges made by Thomas B. Marsh in his affidavit, has already been read. Suffice it to say, in addition to what has previously been stated, he was cut off from the Church, and of course lost his apostleship; and when he subsequently returned, and made all the satisfaction that was within his power, he was forgiven by the authorities and the people and was again re-instated in the quorum.”
Schuyler Colfax, vice-president of the United States, in his discussion with the late President John Taylor on the “Mormon Question,” quoted this Marsh-Hyde affidavit, and Elder Taylor in reply said: “I am sorry to say that Thomas B. Marsh did make that affidavit, and that Orson Hyde stated that he knew part of it and believed the other; and it would be disingenuous in me to deny it; but it is not true that these things existed, for I was there and knew to the contrary; and so did the people of Missouri, and so did the governor of Missouri. How do you account for their acts? Only on the score of the weakness of our common humanity. We were living in troublous times, and all men’s nerves are not proof against such shocks as we then had to endure.”
3. It is to be regretted that General David R. Atchison joined with General Lucas in signing the above communication. Up to this time Major General Atchison had apparently exercised his influence counseling moderation in dealing with the “Mormons.” He was a resident of Clay county when the Saints were driven into that county from Jackson. He, with General Doniphan and Amos Rees, had acted as counsel for the exiles, and had seen the doors of the temple of justice closed in their faces by mob violence, and all redress denied them. He was acquainted with the circumstances which led to their removal from Clay county, to the unsettled prairies of what afterwards became Caldwell county. He knew how deep and unreasonable the prejudices were against the Saints. Can it be possible that he did not know how utterly unjustifiable the present movement against them was? Whether he was blinded by the false reports about Millport and Gallatin and Crooked river, or whether his courage faltered, and he became afraid longer to defend a people against whom every man’s hand was raised, I cannot now determine, but one or the other must have been the case. General Atchison, however, was afterwards “dismounted,” to use a word of General Doniphan’s in relating the incident, and sent back to Liberty in Clay county by special order of Governor Boggs, on the ground that he was inclined to be too merciful to the “Mormons,” so that he was not active in the operations about Far West. But how he could consent to join with Lucas in sending such an untruthful and infamous report to the governor about the situation in Upper Missouri, is difficult to determine. The Saints had not set the laws at defiance, nor were they in open rebellion. But when all the officers of the law refused to hear their complaints, and both civil and military authority delivered them into the hands of merciless mobs to be plundered and outraged at their brutal pleasure, and all petitions for protection at the hands of the governor had been answered with: “It is a quarrel between the Mormons and the mob, and they must fight it out,” what was left for them to do but to arm themselves and stand in defense of their homes and families? The movement on Gallatin by Captain Patten and that on Millport by Colonel Wight was ordered by General Parks, who called upon Colonel Wight to take command of his company of men, when the militia under Parks’ command mutinied, and dispersed all mobs wherever he found them. Gallatin was not burned, nor were the records of the county court, if they were destroyed at all, destroyed by the Saints. What houses were burned in Millport had been set on fire by the mob. The expedition to Crooked river was ordered by Judge Higbee, the first judge in Caldwell county and the highest civil authority in Far West, and was undertaken for the purpose of dispersing a mob which had entered the house of a peaceable citizen—one Pinkham—and carried off three people prisoners, four horses and other property, and who had threatened to “give Far West hell before noon the next day.” So that in their operations the acts of the Saints had been strictly within the law, and only in self defense.