Volume 7 Chapter 11

Part 4.

Historians’ Second Compilation of Historical Items of Church History, from 22nd of June, 1844, to 8th of August, 1844.

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Part 4 is a second compilation following Period I of this History, made by the Church Historians George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff from the Journals of Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff and others and was published in the Millennial Star, 1862, Vol. 24, pp. 598-792; and 1863, Vol. 25, pp. 6-280. See also Deseret News, Vol. 7, Dec. 9, 1857 to Jan. 20, 1858. This will comprise chapters 11 to 19 inclusive.

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Chapter 11

Miscellaneous Events apart from the Major Facts of the Martyrdom of the Prophet and Patriarch from June 22, 1844, to June 29, 1844.

“Saturday, June 22, 1844.—In the evening Major-General Dunham issued orders to all the guards and sentries on the road to La Harpe, to let persons pass and repass, until further orders, except they discover companies of men, when they must report the same to headquarters immediately.

Varied Incidents of Activity in the Church.

A conference was held at Eagle, Benton county, Tennessee, Elder A. O. Smoot presiding, during which a branch was organized of seventeen members. One elder, one priest and one teacher were ordained.

Sunday, 23.—At 5 a.m., (at Nauvoo) A. P. Rockwood and John Scott asked advice what to do with the cannon, etc.

William Clayton got the public records together and buried them.

5 p.m.—Captain Anderson, of the steamer Osprey, conversed with Joseph, saying the mob at Warsaw threatened firing into his vessel.

President Brigham Young attended meeting at Lowell, Massachusetts.

Elder Heber C. Kimball preached at Wilmington, Delaware, in the forenoon, to an attentive congregation: he had a chill after he got through. Elder Lyman Wight spoke in the afternoon.

A conference was held at Kirtland, and was addressed by Elder Lorenzo Snow and others. Twelve persons were baptized and confirmed, and eight ordained elders.

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Monday, 24.——

Affidavit of J. R. Wakefield

‘Territory of Iowa,

Henry County.

Calm Procedures in Destroying the Nauvoo Expositor Press.

Dr. J. R. Wakefield being duly sworn, deposeth and sayeth, that on the 10th of June he, in company with two others, went on the hill in the city of Nauvoo, and in the neighborhood of the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor, when a company of men approached, headed by the marshal of the city, Mr. Greene, some armed, but not many. After marching in front of the printing office, the marshal demanded the keys of the office, in behalf of the mayor and municipal court of Nauvoo, to destroy the press, type and appurtenances of said press, and burn them in the street.

Mr. Higbee replied, in behalf of the whole of the editors of said newspaper, that he would not give up the key—that he set the court and city at defiance, and should hold them and the marshal responsible for their acts in this affair.

Accordingly orders were given to an officer of the company to forcibly take from the building the press, and destroy it according to order. It was done without any noise, or confusion, shouting, or riotous proceedings, and further deponent saith not.

[Signed] J. R. Wakefield.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th day of June, 1844.

A. McKinney, J. P.

Tuesday, 25.—Elder Cahoon returned from Carthage for some papers, which were sent out by A. P. Rockwood.

F. M. Higbee’s Designs Against the Prophet’s Life.

Orrin P. Rockwell met F. M. Higbee about 4 p.m. and accused him of seeking Joseph’s life. Higbee made use of some very insulting language in reply, when a scuffle ensued, during which a letter dropped out of Higbee’s hat, which stated that there were seventy of the mob ready in Iowa to come upon Nauvoo tonight.

It is currently reported that the mob intend to make a rush on the jail tonight.

A strong guard placed in and round the city.

About 9 p.m. it began to rain very heavily.

Arrival of Capt. Singleton of the Illinois Militia in Nauvoo to Keep the Peace.

Wednesday, 26.—8 a.m., Captain Singleton arrived, with about sixty mounted militia, to protect the city in case a mob should come against it. He was authorized to take command of the police, and to use such measures as he might consider necessary.

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He read his orders from the governor, and wanted to know if our men would obey his orders, when the brethren responded ‘yes’, whereupon notification was sent to the police to meet at 6 p.m., in the Masonic Hall. He further reported that Dr. Foster had given him information at Carthage, where he would find three presses in Nauvoo, for making bogus money, and said that he wanted to get hold of them.

6 p.m.—The police assembled in the Seventies’ Hall, and entered into a temporary organization to act under Captain Singleton. Many of the regular police being officers of the Legion, and on active service, their places were filled for the time.

At midnight Captain Singleton sent a notification to the major-general’s quarters, that he wanted the Nauvoo Legion to be in readiness for parade at an hour’s notice, when notifications were sent to the colonels of the several regiments accordingly.

Thursday, 27.—About 9 a.m., John P. Greene arrived in Nauvoo with subpoenas for witnesses for the expected trial on Saturday the 29th instant.

At 10 a.m., orders were received from Captain Singleton, to call out that portion of the Nauvoo Legion resident within the limits of the city, for review at noon. General Dunham immediately issued similar orders to the commandants.

At noon about two-thirds of the Legion turned out to parade, nearly all of whom were well armed, although all the state arms had been taken away, which caused Captain Singleton and his company to express their astonishment. The captain made a remark to the effect that it would not do to come against such a force as this. The Legion was soon dismissed, on account of a messenger from the governor reporting that all the troops were dismissed, except a small escort which was with him.

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The Arrival of Governor Ford in Nauvoo.

5 p.m.—Governor Ford, with about fifty men arrived at the Mansion, and gave notice that he would shortly address the citizens. In about half an hour he ascended the frame of a building opposite the Mansion, and addressed the people.

Whereabouts of the Twelve—Their Depression of Spirit

We here insert the location of the Twelve Apostles on this memorable day:—

President Brigham Young and Elder Wilford Woodruff spent a portion of the day together in the city of Boston, and were sitting together in the railway depot at the time of the massacre of the Prophets; they felt very sorrowful, and depressed in spirits, without knowing the cause.

Elders Heber C. Kimball and Lyman Wight traveled from Philadelphia to New York by railway and steamboat. Elder Kimball felt very mournful as though he had lost some friend, and knew not the cause.

Elder Orson Hyde was in the hall occupied by the saints in Boston, examining maps, and designating or pointing out each man’s district or field of labor, in company with Elders Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff and others, a part of the day. He felt very heavy and sorrowful in spirit, and knew not the cause, but felt no heart to look on the maps. He retired to the further end of the hall alone, and walked the floor; tears ran down his face * * * . He never felt so before, and knew no reason why he should feel so then.

Elder Parley P. Pratt was on the canal boat between Utica and Buffalo, N. Y., on his return to Nauvoo, and was much depressed in spirit; his brother William Pratt came on board of the same boat, and Parley asked him if he had any books or pamphlets containing the gospel of Christ, or the words of life; if so, to put them under lock and key, for the people are not worthy of them for, said Parley, ‘I feel that the spirit of murder is in the hearts of the people through the land.’

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Elders Willard Richards and John Taylor were the only two of the Quorum of the Twelve who were not on missions, and the only two men who were with the martyrs when they fell and sealed their testimony with their blood.

Elder George A, Smith rode with Elder Crandall Dunn, from Napoleon, to Elder Noah Willis Bartholemew’s, near Jacksonburg, Jackson county, Michigan, and felt unusually cast down and depressed in spirits. About five o’clock he repaired to an oak grove, and called upon the Lord, endeavoring to break the spell of horror which had dominion over his mind. He remained there a long time without finding any relief, and then went back to Brother Bartholomew’s, and went to bed with Elder Crandall Dunn; he could not sleep, but spent the night in a series of miserable thoughts and reflections. Once it seemed to him that some fiend whispered in his ear, ‘Joseph and Hyrum are dead; ain’t you glad of it?’

Elder Amasa Lyman was in the city of Cincinnati, and felt that depression of spirit mentioned by his brethren.

News of the Martyrdom of the Prophets Brought to Nauvoo.

Friday, 28.—News arrived in Nauvoo at daylight, that Joseph and Hyrum were murdered yesterday while in jail, committed upon an illegal mittimus by Robert F. Smith, justice of the peace and captain of the company stationed at the jail.

General Deming issued the following proclamation:

Proclamation of General Deming to the People of Hancock County

Headquarters, June 28, 1844. 4 o’clock, a.m.

To the Citizens of Carthage and Hancock County:

In pursuance of an order from Governor Ford, instructing me to the exercise of such discretionary powers as I may deem necessary for the preservation of the public safety, and the lives and property of our citizens; I hereby invite all citizens to remain at their several homes in Hancock county and cooperate with me in establishing tranquility and safety throughout the county.

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The most efficient means have been put in requisition for concentrating the military force of the neighboring counties at Carthage, and in twelve hours there will be a sufficient force for the protection of every citizen in the county.

I confidently believe there is no just apprehension of an attack upon any place by the Mormon citizens of our county. And I hereby strictly command all citizens of Hancock county to abstain from violence towards the Mormon population, under penalty of the severest inflictions of military law, and act in no case only on the defensive.

The corpses of the murdered men will be forthwith removed to Nauvoo, under an escort from headquarters.

Given under my hand this 28th June, 1844, 4 o’clock, a.m.

[Signed] M. R. Deming, Brigadier-General.

4th Brigade and 5th Division

It is hoped and expected that the governor will be at headquarters in a few hours.’

The Nauvoo Legion Ordered Out—”Keep Quiet”.

At 7 1/2 a.m., General Dunham issued orders for the whole of the Legion to meet on the parade ground, east of the Temple, at 10 a.m. They met accordingly, when addresses were delivered, and exhortations given to the saints to keep quiet, and not to let their violently outraged feelings get the better of them.

About noon a council of officers of the Legion was held, and from thence they went to meet the sad procession that accompanied the bodies of the murdered Prophet and Patriarch.

Arrival of the Bodies of the Martyrs at Nauvoo.

At 2 1/2 p.m., the corpses arrived at Mulholland Street, on two wagons, guarded by a few men from Carthage, and nearly all the citizens collected together and followed the bodies to the Mansion, where the multitude were addressed by Dr. Richards, W. W. Phelps, and Messrs. Woods and Reid, who exhorted the people to be peaceable and calm and use no threats.

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Names of the Prophet’s Bodyguard

We here insert the names of Joseph’s bodyguard:—

Alpheus Cutler, capt. John Snyder,
Amos C. Hodge, Christian Kreymer,
James Allred, Lewis D. Wilson,
Thomas Grover, William Marks,
Reynolds Cahoon, James Emmet,
Shadrach Roundy, John S. Butler,
Samuel H. Smith,
Edward Hunter, herald and armor bearer.

The following are the names of the martial band:—

Names of the Nauvoo Legion Band

E. P. Duzette, major,
L. W. Hancock, fife major,
Dimick B. Huntington, drum major,
Elisha Everett, leader,
William Carter, ————Lyon,
Dominicus Carter, Aroet Hale,
James W. Cummings, Abram Day,
Joseph Richards, L. W. Hardy,
Geo. W. Taggart, Willard Smith,
Wm. D. Huntington, Stephen Wilber,
Jesse Earl, Lewis Hardy,
J. M. King, James Leithead,
H. B. Jacobs, J. M. Frink,
A. J. Clothier, Eleazer King,
Sylvester Duzette, ————Sprague.

In the afternoon Elders Heber C. Kimball, Lyman Wight, William Smith and wife, went by railway cars and steamboat to Boston.

Saturday, 29.—The Legion was out all last night, expecting a mob to come.

The following is from a letter addressed to President Joseph Smith, from Elders Lyman Wight and Heber C. Kimball:—

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Letter From Elders Lyman Wight and Heber C. Kimball to Joseph Smith

‘Philadelphia, Pa., June 19, 1844.

To my well beloved brother and fellow prisoner, 1 President Joseph Smith

I take this opportunity of giving you an abridged history of my transactions, together with Brother Heber C. Kimball, my fellow traveler. We left Nauvoo the 21st day of May, amidst the acclamations of three cheers from the shore, ‘Joseph Smith, the next President of the United States!’


Lyman Wight’s Political Address.

We passed smoothly down the river; there were 165 passengers on board the boat Osprey. I was called upon to deliver a political address, and to show what right Joseph Smith had to the presidential chair, which I did to the entire satisfaction of nearly all the passengers on board, not forgetting at the same time to show that the other candidates had disqualified themselves to all the right and title, by acts of meanness.

Whilst speaking of their mean acts I was frequently interrupted with loud laughing and clapping of hands, by way of approbation. A vote being taken on the presidential question, Joseph Smith received a large majority over all the other candidates.

We reached St. Louis on the 22nd at 10 a.m. Here Brothers Young and Kimball called the church together and instructed them spiritually and politically. We learned that the church at St. Louis numbered nearly 700 souls.

On the 23rd we left St. Louis on board the boat Louis Phillippe, at half past 12 o’clock, with about 200 passengers on board; many of the same that were on the Osprey, together with many new passengers.

Brigham Young’s Address on the Steamboat.

There were at first some little prejudices existing, but President Brigham Young, being called upon, delivered a discourse upon the principles of our doctrine, which entirely allayed the prejudices.

Next evening Brother William Smith was called upon to deliver an address, which he did in the power and demonstration of the spirit, and we were afterwards looked upon as their superiors.

On the 26th we reached Cincinnati, at 6 o’clock, p.m. Elders Young and Kimball went to visit the church in that city, whilst I changed our luggage on board the boat Neptune for Pittsburgh. All the passengers on board the Louis Phillippe being bound for Pittsburgh, came with us.

Members of the Twelve in Conference at Cincinnati.

At 8 a.m. on the 27th, we held a conference with the elders in Cincinnati. I addressed them on the subject of politics, and perseverance in duty, and the great necessity of reform in government. I was followed by Brothers Kimball and Young on the same subjects.

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We then instructed them to have 2,000 copies of your views on the Powers and Policy of the Government printed, and for the elders to scatter them with the velocity of lightning and the voice of thunder.

A Pioneer Cincinnatian for Joseph Smith for President of the United States.

I had nearly forgotten to mention an important occurrence on board of the Louis Phillippe, with a Mr. David Guard, of Lawrenceburgh, Indiana: he is worth from $200,000 to $300,000; he emigrated to Cincinnati when there were but three log cabins in that place. He gave me his views on politics, which completely corresponded with yours. I then gave him two copies of your ‘Views’. He was highly pleased with them, and pledged his word he would have them published in both the Lawrenceburgh papers, as they were both published under his roof, and if they did not comply with so reasonable a request, they (the editors) would have to seek shelter elsewhere.

He also stated that Joseph Smith was the first man since the days of Washington and Jefferson, who had been frank and honest enough to give his views to the people before being elected; and said, that he would go his whole length for such a man, and that if you were not elected this time, you would be the next: let this be an ensample of numerous other cases, as you know it would be too irksome to write them all, or read them.

The Apostles en route for Pittsburgh.

To return to the subject, at ten o’clock this morning (the 27th), we left for Pittsburgh with an addition of passengers. On this boat I was called upon to deliver an address showing the utility of the Book of Mormon, and the present situation of the world, which I did, and by this time we had a complete victory over both priests and people. On this boat a large majority of votes were given for yourself for president.

We arrived at Pittsburgh on the 30th at 6 p.m. Here we left President Brigham Young. Brothers William Smith, Heber C. Kimball and myself left Pittsburgh on the 31st of May, at 10 o’clock, from thence by steamer, stage and railway, we passed over hills and dales, arriving at Washington city [D. C.] on the 2nd of June, preaching to, and thorning everybody with politics that came in our way.

Lyman Wight in Washington D.C.—Impressions.

Thus after a journey of thirteen days we arrived in the great metropolis of the United States; which, by-the-by, with the exception of the Pennsylvania Avenue, more resembles the Methodist slough of despond than any thing like a decent city.

At this time, being near the close of the session, [congress] it was filled up with demagogues, jackleg lawyers and blackleg gamblers, and everything else but intelligence. The senators and representatives generally rise at 8 o’clock in the morning, prepare themselves for business about 11 o’clock, commonly return at 3 and 4 in the afternoon. From 6 till 9 is the only time we could do any business whatever, hence we prepared and watched our opportunity, and did all the business we could betwixt those hours, for ten days, pleading the cause of the poor and oppressed.

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Petition to Congress for “Renumeration of Losses” of the Church in Missouri.

We have got a petition signed, with our names attached, in behalf of the church, asking for a remuneration for our losses and not for our rights, or redress, for they would not receive such a petition from us. It was thought by Judge Semple, Judge Douglas, General [David R.] Atchison and Major Hughs, that our petition would carry if it was not too late in the season. Judge Semple handed it to the chairman of the Committee on Public Lands. He said he would do the best he could for us. General Atchison is of the opinion if we could sue the state of Missouri for redress of grievances, that there was virtue enough in the state to answer our demands, ‘for’, said he, ‘they are ashamed of their conduct.’ Douglas and Semple are of the same opinion.

Brother Kimball and myself spared no pains during our stay at Washington: we found six members of the church, and many attentive hearers. We purpose sending a steady, faithful elder, who we think can build up a large church. We found our time too limited to meet the conferences and transact our business, to tarry longer at present, but shall return, if we find it necessary, after the Baltimore Convention; for we will never leave them, nor forsake them, nor return home, while we think there is a stone unturned, or a conscience that is not harrowed up by our continued preaching,

On the 11th instant we left Washington, and arrived at Brother Saunders’, Wilmington, Delaware, at 5 o’clock the same evening, distance 114 miles. We can assure you we found everything right in this place, and adjacent to it. We found about 100 members, and held two meetings with them, appointing a conference on the 22nd and 23rd inst.

Members of the Twelve at Philadelphia—Righteousness and Union of Joseph and the Twelve Affirmed.

On the 13th at 2 p.m., we left this place for Philadelphia, and arrived at Brother William Smith’s at 5 p.m. Brother Kimball being exposed, had a slight attack of the chills and fever. Since that time we have preached alternately.

The church here numbers nearly 200, out of which number many have commenced sickening, and were growing faint at the many false reports in circulation, fearing that the Prophet had fallen and the Twelve were in transgression, but they have since learned that the Prophet is right, and that the Twelve are with him, and they are beginning to revive; they have stood six tremendous shocks, and I think if they stand the seventh, which is to come tomorrow evening they will survive.

We shall call on them to know whether they intend to gather with the living and sustain the cause of God by the mouth of his Prophets and Apostles, or die in Philadelphia. If they should choose the latter, we shall attend to the funeral ceremonies, and leave them to rest with the dead, and we will go on our way among the living. If they should choose the former, we shall expect a glorious work in this place,

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We shall leave here on the 21st for Wilmington, to attend conference, we shall then return to this place, and from here to New York and Boston, to meet the conferences in those cities, and so continue from place to place until we shall have accomplished the mission appointed unto us.”

Chapter 11.

1. This has reference to their imprisonment together in Liberty prison, Missouri, winter of 1838. B. H. R.

2. This letter represents Elder Lyman Wight at his best, and shows him to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus of no interior order. B. H. R.