Joseph Young’s Affidavit of the Massacre at Haun’s Mill



In March 1839, while imprisoned in Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the Saints in Quincy, Illinois, counseling them to gather “a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them by the people of this State; And also of all the property and amount of damages which they have sustained, both of character and personal injuries, as well as real property; And also the names of all persons that have had a hand in their oppressions, as far as they can get hold of them and find them out” (D&C 123:1–3). The Saints responded to these directions by producing nearly eight hundred redress petitions and sworn affidavits.1

Perhaps the most widely published petition was Joseph Young’s. Young, older brother of Brigham Young, was an eyewitness to the October 30, 1838, attack at the Mormon settlement of Haun’s Mill. His statement, sworn before Adams County Circuit Court Judge C. M. Woods on June 4, 1839, provides a descriptive narrative of the tragic events of that fateful afternoon.

Within a few weeks after this affidavit was sworn, it was published by Joseph Young’s brother-in-law, John P. Greene. At a Church conference held during the first week of May 1839, Greene was called to preside over the Saints in New York City.2 At the time of his departure a month later, Greene had in hand several Mormon documents recounting the 1838 Mormon conflict, including Young’s deposition. En route to New York, Greene stopped in Cincinnati, where sometime in late June or July 1839 he published the documents in a forty-three-page pamphlet, under the title Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order.”3

Joseph Young’s account was not only the first account of the Haun’s Mill Massacre to appear in the press, but his narrative continued to be published in other works as the principal testimony describing the tragedy. For example, during the summer and fall of 1839, Sidney Rigdon prepared a manuscript, similar in many ways to Greene’s pamphlet, giving additional documented testimony concerning the Mormon troubles in Missouri. Rigdon’s work, published in early 1840, also in Cincinnati, included Young’s narrative.4 In August of that same year, Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith, editors of the Church newspaper Times and Seasons, incorporated Young’s affidavit as part of the Church’s first published history.5 Still later, Church historians assigned to edit and compile Joseph Smith’s official record included Young’s sworn statement as part of the Prophet’s documentary history.6 Young’s statement was also included in an 1886 volume on Missouri history,7 and is still cited by modern American historians.8

The manuscript version of the affidavit remained in the possession of the John P. Greene family and his descendants until about 1968, when it was acquired by Steve A. Kovacich. In 1996, David J. Whittaker, Harold B. Lee Library Curator of Nineteenth Century Western and Mormon Americana, acquired the document in behalf of Brigham Young University.9 This remarkably well-preserved manuscript consists of two lined sheets, folded in half, making eight sides each measuring 31 × 20 cm. The first two sides are blank, and the last six contain text written in brown ink in an unidentified hand. To the side of Young’s signature at the bottom of the final page is the imprinted seal of the circuit court of Adams County, Illinois, confirming that this petition was indeed sworn before a court of law.

A close examination and comparison of the Young affidavit manuscript with the first published version, Greene’s Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons, shows minor editorial changes, evidently made by either Greene or his Cincinnati publisher. Most of the changes are in punctuation, spelling, paragraph structure, and word abbreviations. A few word changes appear, none of which significantly alter the meaning of the original. An original document recounting an important event, Joseph Young’s manuscript affidavit is here produced.

The Document

The following, is a short history of my travels to the state of Missouri, and of a bloody tragedy acted at Haunns Mills, on Shoal creek Oct 30th 1838.

On the sixth day of July last, I started with my family, from Kirtland Ohio, for the State of Missouri the county of Caldwell in the upper part of the state, being the place of my destination10

On the 13th of Oct, I crossed the Mississippi, at Louisiana, at which place I heard vague reports, of the disturbances in the upper country, but nothing that could be relied upon.—I continued my course westward till I cross’d Grand River, at a place call’d Comptons ferry, at which place I heard for the first time, that if I proceeded any further on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped, by a body of arm’d men. I was not willing however while treading my native soil and breathing republican air, to abandon my object; which was to Locate myself, and family, in a fine healthy country, where we could enjoy the society of our friends and connections. Consequently I prosecuted my journey, till I came to Whitneys Mills, situated on shoal creek, in the eastern part of Caldwell county.11 After crossing the creek and going about three miles, we met a party of the mob, about 40 in number, armed with rifles and mounted on horses12 who inform’d us that we could go no farther, west, threatning us with instant death if we proceeded any farther. I asked them the reason of this prohibition, to which they replied, that we were Mormons, and that every one who adher’d to our religious faith would have have [sic] to leave the State in ten days or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned.13

Here we tarried three days and on Fryday the 26th we recrossed the creek, and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the mob for the [p. 2] time being, and gained the residence of a friend in Myers Settlement.14—On Sunday 28th Oct we arrived about 12 Oclock at15 Haunns Mills, where we found a number of our friends, collected together, who were holding a council, and deliberating on the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the mob who were collecting in the neighborhood under the command of Col Jennings16 of Livingston and17 threatning them with house burning, and killing.—The decision of the council was, that our friends there should place themselves in an attitude of self defense.18 Accordingly about 28 of our men arm’d themselves and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might19 come upon them. The same evening for some cause best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty with our friends, which was accepted of, on the condition of mutual forbearance, on both sides, and that each party as far as their influence extended should exert themselves to prevent any further hostilities, upon either party20

At this time however there was another mob collecting on Grand river, at William Manns21 who were threatning us, consequently we remained under arms on, Monday the 29th, which pass’d away without molestation22 from any quarter. On Tuesday the 30th23 that bloody tragedy was acted, the scenes of which I shall never forget! More than three fourths of the day had pass’d in tranquillity as smiling as the preceeding one. I think there was no individual of our company that was apprized of the sudden and awful fate that hung over our heads like an overwhelming torrent, which was to change the prospects the feelings and circumstances of about 30 families.—The banks of shoal creek on either side teem’d with children, sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestick employments; and their fathers employed in [p. 3] guarding the mills and other property, while others where engaged in gathering in their crops, for their winter consumption. The weather was very pleasant, the sun shone clear; all was tranquil; and no one express’d any apprehensions of the awful crisis that was near us even at our doors.

It was about 4 Oclock, while sitting in my cabbin with my babe in my arms, and my wife standing by my side. The door being open, I cast my eyes on the opposite bank of Shoal creek, and saw a large company of arm’d men on horses directing their course towards the mills with all possible speed.—As they advanced through the scattering trees that stood on the edge of the prairie they seem’d to form themselves into a three square position forming as vanguard in front.

At this moment David Evans24 seeing the superiority of their numbers, (There being 240 of them according to their own account) swung his hat and cried for peace. This not being heeded they continued to advance, and their leader Mr Comstock25 fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of ten or twelve seconds. When all at once they discharged about 100 rifles aiming at a blacksmiths shop into which our friends had fled for safety; and charging up to the shop the cracks of which between the logs were sufficiently large, to enable them to aim directly at the bodies of those who had there fled for refuge from the fire of their murderers.

There were several families tented in rear of the shop whose lives were exposed and amidst a shower of bullets fled to the woods in different directions.—After standing and gazing on this bloody scene for a few minutes, and finding myself in the utmost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I commited my family to the protection of Heaven, and leaving the house on the opposite side, I took a path which led up the hill, following in the trail of three [p. 4] of my brethren that had fled from the shop. While ascending the hill we were discovered by the mob, who immediately fired at us and continued so to do, till we reach’d the summit26 In descending the hill, I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes where I lay till eight oclock in the evening, at which time I heard a female voice calling my name in an under tone telling me that the mob had gone, and there was no danger.—I immediately left the thicket and went to the house of Benjamin Lewis,27 where I found my family, (who had fled there) in safety and two of my friends28 mortally wounded, one of whom died before morning.

Here we pass’d the painful night, in deepp and awful reflections, on the scenes of the preceeding evening,—After day light appeared, some four or five men, with myself, who had escaped with our lives from the horrid massacre, repaired as soon as possible, to the mills, to learn the condition of our friends, whose fate, we had but too truly anticipated.

When we arrived at the house of Mr Haunn we found Mr Merricks29 body lying in rear of the house Mr. Mc.Brides30 in front, litteraly mangled from head to foot. We were informed by Miss Rebecca Judd,31 who was an eyewitness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up and then was cut to pieces with a corn cutter by a Mr Rogers,32 of Daviess County, who keeps a ferry on Grand river, and who has since repeatedly boosted [sic] of this act of savage barbarity. Mr York’s33 body we found in the house, and after viewing these corpses, we immediately went to the blacks smiths shop, where we found nine of our friends 8 of whom were already dead, the other Mr Cox34 of Indiana strugling in the agonies of death who expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of inter[n]ment. This last office of kind[p. 5]ness due to the relicts of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies, nor decency for we were in jeopardy every moment, expecting to be fired upon by the mob, who we supposed were lying in ambush, waiting for the first opportunity to dispatch the remaining few who were providentially presserved from the slaughter of the preceeding day

However we accomplished with out molestation this painful task.—The place of burying was a vault in the ground formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously.35

Among those slain I will mention Sardius Smith,36 son of Warren Smith,37 about 9 years old who through fear had crawl’d under the bellowses in the shop where he remained till the massacre was over when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Carroll county who presented his rifle near the boys head and litterly blow’d off the upper part of it. Mr Stanley of Carroll told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this fiendlike murder, and heroick deed all over the country38

The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter was 18 or 19 whose names as far as I recollect were as follows, Thomas M[c]Bride39 Levi Merrick,,40 Elias Benner,,41 Josiah Fuller,,42 Benjamin Lewis,,43 Alexander Campbell,,44 Warren Smith,,45 Sardius Smith,,46 George Richards,,47 Mr Napier,,48 Mr Hammer,,49 Mr Cox,,50 Mr. Abbott,,51 Mr York,,52 William Merrick,,53 (a boy 8 or 9 years old), and three or four others, whose names I do not recollect as they were strangers to me54

Among the wounded who recovered were Isacc Laney,55 Nathan K. Knight,,56 Mr Yokum,,57 two brothers by the name of Myers,,58 Tarlton Lewis,,59 Mr Haunn60 and several others.61 Miss Mary Stedwell while fleeing was Shot through the hand, and fainting fell over a log into which they shot up wards of twenty balls62[p. 6] To finish their work of of [sic] destruction this band of murderers composed of men from Daviess, Livingston Ray, Carroll and Chariton led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, (among whom I am inform’d were Mr Ashby from Chariton member of the State Legislature,63 Col Jennings of Livingston,,64 Thomas O. Bryon clerk of Livingston county65 Mr Whitney66 Sr. Randal67 and many others) proceeded to rob the houses, wagons and, tents, of bedding and clothing drove off horses, and wagons, leaving widows and orphans destitute of the necessaries of life, and even stripped the clothing from the bodies of the slain!

According to their own account they fired seven rounds in this awful butchery, making upwards of sixteen hundred shots at a little company of men about thirty in number

I hereby certify the above to be a true statements of facts according to the best of my knowledge

[signed] Joseph Young

State of Illinois
County of Adams

I hereby certify that Joseph Young this day came before me and made oath in due form of law that the statements contained in the foregoing Sheets are true according to the best of his knowledge and belief

In testimony wherof I have hereunto Set my hand and affixed the Seal of the Circuit Court at Quincy this fourth day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred And thirty-Nine


C. M. Woods, Clerk
Circuit Court Adams Co

About the author(s)

Alexander L. Baugh is Assistant Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University.


1. These petitions and affidavits have been compiled and published in Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992).

2. Joseph Smith, Jr., History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2d ed., rev., 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971), 3:347–48.

3. John P. Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order” (Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839), 22–24. For a description of the Greene publication, see Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Volume One, 1830–1847 (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 86–88.

4. Sidney Rigdon, An Appeal to the American People: Being an Account of the Persecutions of the Church of Latter Day Saints; and of the Barbarities Inflicted on Them by the Inhabitants of the State of Missouri (Cincinnati: Glezen and Shepard, 1840), 52–56. See also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, 103–4.

5. “A History of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” Times and Seasons 1 (August 1840): 144–47.

6. The statement appears in History of the Church, 3:183–86.

7. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri, Written and Compiled From the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources, Including a History of Their Townships, Towns and Villages (St. Louis: National Historical, 1886), 151–54.

8. For example, Richard Hofstadter and Michael Wallace, eds., “Anti-Mormon Riot, 1838,” in American Violence: A Documentary History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 301–4. Joseph Young’s account is also among the 218 petitions located in the National Archives and recently published in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions. The Young account reproduced in that source (720–24), unlike the manuscript affidavit printed below, was not sworn before the law, is signed by Joseph and his wife, Jane, and includes a half dozen words and phrases, most with strikeouts running through them, not included in the manuscript affidavit. The two accounts also differ in punctuation, paragraphing, and the spelling out of numbers, but the several additions in the National Archives version appear to be the only substantial textual differences between the two accounts. These additions will be noted in these endnotes beginning with the designation “National Archives version reads.” Although most of the affidavits in the National Archives are dated 1840, no date appears on the Young account located there. It is not clear whether the Young account in the National Archives is the source for the manuscript affidavit, or whether the manuscript affidavit is the source for the Young account in the National Archives.

9. See David J. Whittaker, “Register to Joseph Young’s Narrative of the Haun’s Mill Massacre,” Special Collections and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter cited as BYU Archives).

10. Joseph Young’s family, consisting of five persons, left Kirtland, Ohio, on July 6, 1838, with the company called the Kirtland Camp, consisting of approximately 515 Latter-day Saints. The main body arrived in Far West, Missouri, on October 2, then relocated to Adam-ondi-Ahman, where they arrived two days later. History of the Church, 3:87–148; “Kirtland Camp,” Historical Record 7 (July 1888): 593–603. Young and several other families became separated from the main group and arrived several weeks later.

11. Whitney’s Mill was operated by an early Livingston County resident and land owner named Joshua Whitney. The mill site was situated on Shoal Creek in Livingston County downstream from Haun’s Mill. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 146, 705, 1188. This source corrects the recent misplacement of Whitney’s Mill in Caldwell County. See the inside cover of Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, and Clark V. Johnson, “Northern Missouri,” in S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Historical Atlas of Mormonism (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 42–43.

12. National Archives version reads “horses back.

13. Amanda Barnes Smith, a member of Young’s company, wrote: “We came to Caldwell County. . . . Whilst we were traveling, And minding our own business we were stopt by a Mob. they told us that if we went another step they would kill us all. They then took our guns from us. (As we were traveling into a new country we took guns along with us.) They took us back five miles, placed a guard around us, And there kept us three day[s], then let us go. . . . The names of the Heads of this mob were Thomas O Brion, County Clerk, Jefferson Brion, William . . . [Ewell] Esqr. And James Austin all of Livingston County Mo. After they let us go, we travelled ten miles when we came to . . . eight or ten houses belonging to our Brethren. Here we stopped for the night” (Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 538).

This account is also in History of the Church, 3:323–24. See also Amanda Smith, quoted in Edward W. Tullidge, Women of Mormondom (New York: n.p., 1877), 121; and “Amanda Smith,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (April 1, 1881): 165. William H. Walker’s wagon company was stopped in the same area. Every wagon was searched and raided of all firearms, and company members were warned if they proceeded further they would be killed. [William H. Walker], The Life Incidents and Travels of Elder William Holmes Walker and His Association with Joseph Smith, the Prophet (n.p.: Elizabeth Jane Walker Piepgrass, 1943), 6. Captain William Mann and a group of Livingston County guards were the likely culprits in these two detainments. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 146; Burr Joyce, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 6, 1887, quoted in The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Volume 2: 1836–1844 (Independence, Mo.: Herald House, 1951), 227. Burr Joyce was Return I. Holcombe’s penname.

14. The Myers settlement was situated a few miles east of Haun’s Mill and was founded by Jacob Myers Sr.

15. National Archives version reads “at noon.”

16. Young may have been referring to either William O. Jennings or Jennings’s father, Thomas. In History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, William O. Jennings was initially described as chief in command of the massacre (146–47). However, an errata section towards the end of the book corrects this characterization: “In the account of the massacre at Haun’s Mill, and in other pages of this volume, it is stated that the so-called Gentile forces, or State troops, were commanded by Col. Wm. O. Jennings of Livingston county. So many statements were made to the compiler to this effect that the fact was not questioned. Too late to insert the correction in the proper place, comes the assertion of two or three parties, who ought to and doubtless do know the truth of the matter, that it was Col. Thomas Jennings, the father of Wm. O. Jennings, who was the chief in command. Wm. O. Jennings was the captain of the leading company and bore a most conspicuous part, and being a prominent citizen and well known, it came to be believed, after a lapse of so many years, that he was the commander. This correction is made mainly upon the authority of Robt. Lauderdale, who was at Haun’s Mill” (History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 1263–64. See also Walter Williams, ed., A History of Northwest Missouri, 3 vols. [Chicago: Lewis, 1915], 1:560).

William Jennings was active in politics, government, and civic affairs and was “one of the best known citizens of the county.” He was killed by an unknown assailant on January 30, 1862, at the age of 60. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 775–76. In 1861, Thomas Jennings shot and killed two men in Chillicothe, Missouri. One shooting was deliberate, the other accidental. He was committed to jail, escaped, recaptured, and tried and acquitted in 1862. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 767–71.

17. National Archives version reads “and Mr. Ashby of Ca a member of the State Legislature.”

18. On October 25, Jacob Haun met with Joseph Smith at Far West. Joyce, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 226. Recognizing the volatility of the situation, the Mormon leader told Haun to abandon the settlement so as to not risk the lives of the Saints in the area. [Daniel Tyler], “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor 27 (February 1, 1892): 94–95. However, when Haun returned to the settlement he reported that Joseph’s instructions were for them to stay and protect the mill. David Lewis, a Haun’s Mill resident, believed Jacob Haun deliberately misrepresented the Prophet’s position and deceived the community members. According to Lewis, when Haun returned to the community he “said if we thought we could ma[i]ntain the mill it was Josephs council for us to do so, if we thought not to come to Farewest and we thought from the way the thing was represented it would be like cowards to leave and not try to maintain it . . . [and] we thought to guether [sic] up all our affects and leave our houses would be useless, for we did not know that it was Josephs decided council for us to do so” (David Lewis, Autobiography, microfilm of holograph, 11–12, Archives Division, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City [hereafter cited as LDS Church Archives]). On another occasion, Joseph Smith reportedly said, “None had ever been killed who abode by my counsel. At Hauns’ [sic] Mill the brethren went contrary to my counsel; if they had not, their lives would have been spared.” History of the Church, 5:137. Ultimately, the Haun’s Mill Saints should not bear the blame for rejecting Joseph Smith’s instruction. Had Haun reported truthfully, presumably most of the community members would have followed the Prophet’s recommendation and moved into Far West. If responsibility is to be affixed to anyone, that individual must be Jacob Haun, and not the members of the community at large.

19. National Archives version reads “that should might.”

20. On October 25, five days before the assault, a number of Livingston County raiders rode into the Haun’s Mill settlement and demanded that the Mormons give up their arms. Ellis Eamut, Account, in Journal History of the Church, October 30, 1838, photocopy of holograph, LDS Church Archives, 11–12; Lewis, Autobiography, 11; Isaac Leany affidavit, Isaac Leany petition, and Jacob Foutz petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 266–67, 486, 694. After confiscating what weapons they could from both Mormon settlers and emigrants, vigilante leaders entered into peace negotiations. David Lewis wrote, “We then sent delegates to them to see if we could not compermise with them and live in pease, they met our delegates with guns and in a hostile manner, but fineally they agreed with our men that they would be at pease with us.” Lewis, Autobiography, 10. Leaders at Haun’s Mill negotiated with leaders of several vigilante groups on different occasions. In these exchanges, both sides agreed to leave the other alone and live peaceably. Historical sources suggest that confiscation of the Saints’ weapons, followed by peace negotiations, were part of the overall plan of the Missouri regulators to ensure the eradication of the Mormon community. Saints without weapons minimized possible resistance in the event of an attack and reduced the risk of casualties among the attacking forces. The pretended truce was intended to lead the Saints to believe that an attack was unlikely. The Saints, however, were neither naive nor totally unsuspecting of their enemies’ intentions. One witness said that after peace negotiations, the Saints “felt more satisfied, having, as we thought, a perfect understanding of their intentions, but at the same time we though[t] it best to keep up a watch at the mills for fear any individuals might come privately and burn them.” Eamut, Account, 13.

21. William Mann lived in Mooresville township, Livingston County. According to Amanda Barnes Smith, Mann entered the blacksmith shop after the initial assault and stripped the boots from the feet of the injured Warren Smith, Amanda’s husband. Warren Smith died soon afterwards. Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 127. Following the Mormon surrender, Mann visited Far West, where he pointed to Warren Smith’s boots on his own feet and boasted, “Here is a pair of boots that I pulled off before the d—d Mormon was done kicking!” Mann, quoted by Amanda Smith, in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 127. See also “Amanda Smith,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (April 15, 1881), 173; Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 538; also in History of the Church, 3:324.

22. National Archives version reads “without any molestation.”

23. National Archives version reads “thirtieth of Oct.”

24. David Evans was captain of the Mormon forces at Haun’s Mill and president of the local branch of the Church. He lived about two miles from the mill. He was one of only four men who escaped from the blacksmith shop without injury. The day after the attack, he helped bury the dead. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 145–51; Artemisia M. Foote, “Artemisia Sidnie Myers Foote’s Experience in the Persecutions of the Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” typescript, 2, BYU Archives; Isaac Leany petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 486; Joyce, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 229.

25. Nehemiah Comstock lived in Mooresville township, Livingston County, and was captain of one of the three companies that attacked the mill community. Prior to the attack, his company confiscated weapons from the Haun’s Mill Saints. Following the massacre, Comstock claimed possession of the mill and confiscated animals and personal possessions of the Saints. Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 131–32; History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 146–47, 150–51; Williams, History of Northwest Missouri, 1:561; Thomas J. Kirk, The Mormons and Missouri: A General Outline of the History of the Mormons from Their Origin to the Present, (Including the Late Disturbance in Illinois;) and a Particular Account of the Mormon Disturbance in Missouri, or the Mormon War: With an Appendix, Containing an Epitome of the Book of Mormon, with remarks on the Nature and Tendency of Mormon Faith (Chillicothe, Mo: J. H. Darlington, 1844), 42–43; Joyce, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 226–28, 232–33.

26. National Archives version reads “summit of the hill.”

27. Benjamin Lewis was mortally wounded while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. David Lewis, Benjamin’s brother, carried Benjamin to David’s home, where he died a few hours later. Benjamin was not buried in the dry well along with the other victims; David buried him apart from the others. Lewis, Autobiography, 14, 16. Photographic historian George Edward Anderson later reported that Benjamin’s body was exhumed and reinterred in a nearby cemetery. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, T. Jeffery Cottle, and Ted D. Stoddard, eds., Church History in Black and White: George Edward Anderson’s Photographic Mission to Latter-day Saint Historical Sites (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1995), 101. If this was indeed the case, Lewis’s body was probably buried in the White Cemetery, a local cemetery just east of the Haun’s Mill property.

28. National Archives version reads “my brethren friends.”

29. Levi N. Merrick (also given as Myrick) was one of eight men killed in the blacksmith shop. Following the attack, his body was transported to Haun’s home. Philindia Myrick affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 505; Lewis, Autobiography, 17.

30. Thomas McBride was wounded while attempting to escape from the blacksmith shop. He was later discovered by Jacob S. Rogers, who mutilated and then killed him. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 149; Joyce, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 229–30; Willard G. Smith, quoted in Alexander L. Baugh, “A Rare Account of the Haun’s Mill Massacre: The Reminiscence of Willard Gilbert Smith,” Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation Newsletter 18/19 (summer/fall 1998): 2. The McBrides lived about three-fourths of a mile from the mill site. Some sources mistakenly report that Thomas McBride was a Revolutionary War veteran. This error was corrected by Thomas McBride’s son, James McBride, who stated that his father was born in March 1776, the year the Revolution began. James McBride, Autobiography, typescript, BYU Archives, 5, 11.

31. Information on Rebecca Judd could not be located, suggesting that Young may have misidentified her. The family of Arza Judd Jr. was living in Caldwell County in 1838. Arza’s two oldest daughters, Mary (age 19) and Rachel (age 16), could have been in the area at the time of the attack. Either of these two might be the young woman Young mentions.

32. Jacob S. Rogers was a Daviess County resident. Joseph H. McGee indicated that Rogers “settled on Grand River, just below the mouth of Honey Creek, at a point known for years after as Rogers’ Ferry on the Grand River.” Joseph H. McGee, “History of Daviess County: Incidents and Reminiscences in its Early Settlement,” North Missourian, February 28, March 14, 1888. See also Joyce, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 230.

33. John York was mortally wounded while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. He was reportedly shot in the head. He died the day after the attack. John Hammer, quoted in Lyman Omer Littlefield, Reminiscences of Latter-day Saints (Logan, Utah: Utah Journal, 1888), 69–70; Lewis, Autobiography, 17.

34. Simon Cox, the first to be shot, was mortally wounded in the blacksmith shop. He lived until the next day. Like most of those who died on the day of the massacre, he was buried in the well. Foote, “Experience in the Persecutions,” 2; Lewis, Autobiography, 13.

35. The well, unfinished and still dry, measured twelve feet deep. Lewis, Autobiography, 17. Fourteen of the victims were buried in the well. Joseph Young supervised the burying of the bodies there and was assisted by a few others, many of whom lived in the vicinity but were not involved in the attack. Most of the dead were placed on a plank, one at a time, carried to the well, and slid into the community grave. For nine-year-old Artemisia S. Myers Foote, the display was horrifying. “Every time they brought one, and slid him in I screamed and cried, it was such an awful sight to see them piled in the bottom in all shapes.” Foote, “Experience in the Persecutions,” 2. David Lewis called the burial “the most heart rending seen [sic] that my eyes ever witnessed.” Lewis, Autobiography, 17.

36. Sardius Smith (sometimes Sardis), son of Warren and Amanda Barnes Smith, was just ten years of age. His gruesome death is noted in a number of historical sources. See n. 38 below.

37. Warren Smith was mortally wounded while in the blacksmith shop. He died shortly after the Missourians stormed the building. Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 121–23, 127; “Amanda Smith,” 173; Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 538–39; Willard G. Smith, quoted in Baugh, “Rare Account,” 2; S. M. Smith to Lilburn W. Boggs, March 21, 1839, in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, and Et cetera in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons; And the Evidence Given before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court-House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith, Jr., and Others, for High Treason and Other Crimes against the State (Fayette, Missouri: Boon’s Lick Democrat, 1841), 8.

38. Historical sources are divided on who killed Sardius Smith. According to Joseph Young and Amanda Barnes Smith, Ira Glaze was the culprit. Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 127. Local history attributes the killing to William Reynolds. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 149, 149 n. 2; Joyce, “The Haun’s Mill Massacre,” 229. David Lewis, a Haun’s Mill resident, heard Stephen Reynolds boast of killing the boy. David Lewis petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 275–76. Nathan Knight claimed he heard Jesse Maupin claim responsibility for the murder. Nathan K. Knight petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 260.

39. See n. 30 above.

40. See n. 29 above.

41. Elias Benner was probably killed in the blacksmith shop.

42. Josiah Fuller was killed in the blacksmith shop. Lewis, Autobiography, 17; Catharine Fuller affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 451. The Fuller family apparently did not remain with the Church following the Missouri episode. In 1887, Fuller’s son, a resident of Adair County, Missouri, assisted by C. R. Ross, located the well site and marked it with a millstone from the site. Andrew Jenson, Autobiography of Andrew Jenson (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1938), 160.

43. See n. 27 above.

44. Alexander Campbell was probably killed in the blacksmith shop.

45. See n. 37 above.

46. See n. 36 and n. 38 above.

47. George S. Richards was the fifteen-year-old son of Phineas and Wealthy Dewey Richards. He was killed in the blacksmith shop. His brother said that he was shot in the head and died instantly. Franklin D. Richards, “Apostle F. D. Richards’ Narrative,” Juvenile Instructor 20 (July 1, 1885): 206.

48. William Napier (sometimes Naper) was killed in the blacksmith shop. He was shot in the head and the chest. Ruth Naper affidavit, and Reuben Naper affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 296, 505–6.

49. Austin Hammer was mortally wounded while defending the blacksmith shop. He lived three or four miles from Haun’s Mill and was guarding the site at the time of the attack. After he was shot, his assailants dragged him out of the shop and stripped his boots off him. After the ordeal he was transported to Jacob Haun’s home, where he died around midnight. He received seven bullets, breaking both thigh bones. Hammer, quoted in Littlefield, Reminiscences of Latter-day Saints, 67–70. Joseph Young incorrectly identified him as Augustine Hammer.

50. See n. 34 above.

51. Hiram Abbot was mortally wounded while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. He died after David Lewis cared for him for five weeks. Prior to the attack on the community, Abbot refused to turn over his gun to the vigilante company, who attempted to confiscate all of the Mormon weapons. Lewis, Autobiography, 11, 14; Rufus Abbot affidavit, and Isaac Leany petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 412, 486, 488.

52. See n. 33 above.

53. Young incorrectly identified the Merrick (sometimes Myrick) boy as William; his name was actually Charles. Charles, age nine, son of Levi Merrick, who was also killed at Haun’s Mill, was the youngest victim. During the attack, he hid behind the bellows in the blacksmith shop along with Sardius and Alma Smith. After the hiding spot was discovered, young Charles received three wounds while trying to run from the shop. He died about four weeks later. Tarlton Lewis affidavit, Philindia Myrick petition, Alma Smith petition, and Amanda Smith petition, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 491, 505, 537, 539; Williams, History of Northwest Missouri, 1:560.

54. Young recalled 18 or 19 killed, but gave the names of only 15. The actual number killed was 17. The two men Young did not list among the dead were John Byers and John Lee, both of whom were probably killed in the blacksmith shop.

55. Isaac Leany received ten bullet wounds while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. Four balls passed entirely through his body. He was also grazed by two more bullets resulting in flesh wounds to each arm. He lived 35 years to the day after the massacre. Lewis, Autobiography, 16; McBride, Autobiography, 13–14; Isaac Leany petitions, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 266–68, 486–88; William Leany, Autobiography, typescript, 6, BYU Archives.

56. Yelling for quarter, Nathan Knight had one finger shot off and another injured. He was also wounded in his leg and back while making his escape. Nathan K. Knight affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 259–60, 476–77; History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 157–58.

57. William Yokum (also Yocum) was wounded in the face, head, and leg while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. The leg was later amputated. Lewis, Autobiography, 16–17; Hyrum Smith, quoted in History of the Church, 3:412.

58. The two brothers were George and Jacob Myers Jr. George was wounded in the right shoulder while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. After he was injured, he crawled back to his home. Jacob Myers Jr., who worked at the local mill, was also wounded while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. His leg was broken by a bullet that lodged halfway between his knee and ankle. He also received a flesh wound to the thigh. A year after the attack, his leg was amputated. Foote, “Experience in the Persecutions,” 1–2; Margaret Foutz, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 172; Warren Foote, Autobiography, typescript, 27, BYU Archives.

59. Tarlton Lewis was wounded in the shoulder while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. Lewis, Autobiography, 14; Tarlton Lewis affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 490–91.

60. Jacob Haun, founder of the mill and the community, was wounded, probably while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. Lewis, Autobiography, 17; Jacob H. Potts and Levi Stiltz affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 320.

61. Five additional men and one boy were also wounded in the attack. Jacob Foutz was wounded in the thigh while in the blacksmith shop and escaped being killed by pretending to be dead. Foutz, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 172–74; Jacob Foutz affidavit, Jacob Foutz petition, and Isaac Leany petition, in Johnson, Missouri Redress Petitions, 208, 487–88, 694–95. Charles Jimison (sometimes Jameson), Gilman Merrill, and Jacob Potts were each wounded while trying to escape from the blacksmith shop. Isaac Leany affidavit, and Jacob Potts affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 268, 319–20; Lewis, Autobiography, 14, 16; and Eamut, Account, 15 (Eamut misidentified Gilman Merrill as Elimar Merrill). John Walker was wounded in his right arm while in the blacksmith shop. The wound disabled him from reloading his rifle, so he ran from the shop down to the creek, where he found safety in seclusion. Jane Walker Smith, “Jane Walker Smith’s Story,” in Our Pioneer Heritage, comp. Kate B. Carter, 20 vols. (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958–77), 19:205; Lucy Walker Kimball, quoted in Littlefield, Reminiscences of Latter-day Saints, 38–39. Alma Smith, age six, went into the blacksmith shop at the time of the attack and hid behind the bellows along with his brother Sardius and Charles Merrick. A Missourian who could apparently see his whereabouts from between the cracks shot at him, wounding him in the hip. He fully recovered. Alma Smith affidavit, and Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Missouri Redress Petitions, 537, 538–39; Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 121–28; “Amanda Smith,” 173; Willard G. Smith, quoted in Baugh, “Rare Account,” 1–3.

62. Information about Mary Stedwell could not be found. Numerous sources confirm that she was shot through the hand while trying to escape as the attack began. See, for example, David Lewis petition, and Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 274, 538; Amanda Smith, quoted in Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 122, 126; “Amanda Smith,” 173; “Amanda Smith,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (May 1, 1881): 181.

63. Daniel Ashby, a company member, was an early resident of Chariton County but was a Livingston County resident at the time of the attack at Haun’s Mill. He had been a captain in the state militia during the Big Neck War of 1829. Following the Mormon surrender, he submitted written testimony to General John B. Clark detailing what he observed during the attack. He was also a member of the state legislature and later testified in the Missouri House of Representatives concerning the massacre, stating that the assault occurred because some Missourians living in the area of Haun’s Mill, as well as Mormon dissenters, told the Livingston County residents that the Mormons were planning to attack. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 688–89; Daniel Ashby to John B. Clark, November 28, 1838, in Document Containing the Correspondence, 82–83; Daniel Ashby, quoted in “Letter to the Editor,” Missouri Republican, December 24, 1838, 2.

64. See n. 16 above.

65. Thomas R. Bryan was a resident of Monroe township, Livingston County. Prior to the attack, he was a captain of a vigilante company that stopped Mormons en route to Far West. He also was a member of a Livingston County committee who negotiated what was to have been a treaty with the Mormons a few days prior to the attack. Bryan was born on November 4, 1806, in Tennessee. He moved to Livingston County in 1835 and married in 1840. He was the first county clerk and served for 21 years. This respected citizen died on September 29, 1877, at the age of 70. History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, 146, 1164; Amanda Smith affidavit, in Johnson, Mormon Redress Petitions, 538.

66. See n. 11 above.

67. Information on Randal[l] could not be found.

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