Volume 3 Chapter 13 | BYU Studies

Volume 3 Chapter 13

 

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Chapter 13

Mob Movements On Far West--Treachery Of Colonel Hinkle--Sorrowful Scenes.

The Prophet's Comment on Governor Boggs.

Lilburn W. Boggs had become so hardened by mobbing the Saints in Jackson county, and his conscience so "seared as with a hot iron," that he was considered a fit subject for the gubernatorial chair; and it was probably his hatred to truth and the "Mormons," and his blood-thirsty, murderous disposition, that raised him to the station he occupied. His exterminating order of the twenty-seventh aroused every spirit in the state, of the like stamp of his own; and the Missouri mobocrats were flocking to the standard of General Clark from almost every quarter.

General Clark

Clark, although not the ranking officer, was selected by Governor Boggs as the most fit instrument to carry out his murderous designs; for bad as they were in Missouri, very few commanding officers were yet sufficiently hardened to go all lengths with Boggs in this contemplated inhuman butchery, and expulsion from one of the should-be free and independent states of the Republic of North America, where the Constitution declares, that "every man shall have the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience;" and this was all the offense the Saints had been guilty of.

Doctor Sampson Avard.

And here I would state, that while the evil spirits were raging up and down in the state to raise mobs against the "Mormons," Satan himself was no less busy in striving to stir up mischief in the camp of the Saints: and among the most conspicuous of his willing devotees was one Doctor Sampson Avard, who had been in the Church but a short time, and who, although he had generally behaved with a tolerable degree of external decorum, was secretly aspiring to be the greatest of the great, and become the leader of the people. This was his pride and his folly, but as he had no hopes of accomplishing it by gaining the hearts of the people openly he watched his opportunity with the brethren--at a time when mobs oppressed, robbed, whipped, burned, plundered and slew, till forbearance seemed no longer a virtue, and nothing but the grace of God without measure could support men under such trials--to form a secret combination by which he might rise a mighty conqueror, at the expense and the overthrow of the Church. This he tried to accomplish by his smooth, flattering, and winning speeches, which he frequently made to his associates, while his room was well guarded by some of his followers, ready to give him the signal on the approach of anyone who would not approve of his measures.

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Avard's Danites.

In these proceedings he stated that he had the sanction of the heads of the Church for what he was about to do; and by his smiles and flattery, persuaded them to believe it, and proceeded to administer to the few under his control, an oath, binding them to everlasting secrecy to everything which should be communicated to them by himself. Thus Avard initiated members into his band, firmly binding them, by all that was sacred, in the protecting of each other in all things that were lawful; and was careful to picture out a great glory that was then hovering over the Church, and would soon burst upon the Saints as a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, and would soon unveil the slumbering mysteries of heaven, which would gladden the hearts and arouse the stupid spirits of the Saints of the latter-day, and fill their hearts with that love which is unspeakable and full of glory, and arm them with power, that the gates of hell could not prevail against them; and would often affirm to his company that the principal men of the Church had put him forward as a spokesman, and a leader of this band, which he named Danites.

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Avard's Manner of Proceeding.

Thus he duped many, which gave him the opportunity of figuring as a person of importance. He held his meetings daily, and carried on his crafty work in great haste, to prevent mature reflection upon the matter by his followers, until he had them bound under the penalties of death to keep the secrets and certain signs of the organization by which they were to know each other by day or night.

After those performances, he held meetings to organize his men into companies of tens and fifties, appointing a captain over each company. After completing this organization, he went on to teach the members of it their duty under the orders of their captains; he then called his captains together and taught them in a secluded place, as follows:

Avard's Instructions to His Captains.

My brethren, as you have been chosen to be our leading men, our captains to rule over this last kingdom of Jesus Christ--and you have been organized after the ancient order--I have called upon you here today to teach you, and instruct you in the things that pertain to your duty, and to show you what your privileges are, and what they soon will be. Know ye not, brethren, that it soon will be your privilege to take your respective companies and go out on a scout on the borders of the settlements, and take to yourselves spoils of the goods of the ungodly Gentiles? for it is written, the riches of the Gentiles shall be consecrated to my people, the house of Israel; and thus you will waste away the Gentiles by robbing and plundering them of their property; and in this way we will build up the kingdom of God, and roll forth the little stone that Daniel saw cut out of the mountain without hands, and roll forth until it filled the whole earth. For this is the very way that God destines to build up His kingdom in the last days. If any of us should be recognized, who can harm us? for we will stand by each other and defend one another in all things. If our enemies swear against us, we can swear also. [The captains were confounded at this, but Avard continued]. Why do you startle at this, brethren? As the Lord liveth, I would swear to a lie to clear any of you; and if this would not do, I would put them or him under the sand as Moses did the Egyptian; and in this way we will consecrate much unto the Lord, and build up His Kingdom; and who can stand against us? And if any of us transgress, we will deal with him amongst ourselves. And if any one of this Danite society reveals any of these things, I will put him where the dogs cannot bite him.

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Revolt of Avard's Officers.

At this lecture all of the officers revolted, and said it would not do, they would not go into any such measures, and it would not do to name any such thing; "such proceedings would be in open violation of the laws of our country, would be robbing our fellow citizens of their rights, and are not according to the language and doctrine of Christ, or of the Church of Latter-day Saints."

Avard replied, and said there was no laws that were executed in justice, and he cared not for them, this being a different dispensation, a dispensation of the fullness of times; in this dispensation he learned from the Scriptures that the kingdom of God was to put down all other kingdoms, and the Lord Himself was to reign, and His laws alone were the laws that would exist.

Avard's Teachings Rejected.

Avard's teachings were still manfully rejected by all. Avard then said that they had better drop the subject, although he had received his authority from Sidney Rigdon the evening before. The meeting then broke up; the eyes of those present were opened, Avard's craft was no longer in the dark, and but very little confidence was placed in him, even by the warmest of the members of his Danite scheme.

Avard Excommunicated.

When a knowledge of Avard's rascality came to the Presidency of the Church, he was cut off from the Church, and every means proper used to destroy his influence, at which he was highly incensed and went about whispering his evil insinuations, but finding every effort unavailing, he again turned conspirator, and sought to make friends with the mob.

Distinction in Organization Pointed Out.

And here let it be distinctly understood, that these companies of tens and fifties got up by Avard, were altogether separate and distinct from those companies of tens and fifties organized by the brethren for self defense, in case of an attack from the mob. This latter organization was called into existence more particularly that in this time of alarm no family or person might be neglected; therefore, one company would be engaged in drawing wood, another in cutting it, another in gathering corn, another in grinding, another in butchering, another in distributing meat, etc., etc., so that all should be employed in turn, and no one lack the necessaries of life. Therefore, let no one hereafter, by mistake or design, confound this organization of the Church for good and righteous purposes, with the organization of the "Danites," of the apostate Avard, which died almost before it had existed.

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Gathering of the Mob at Richmond.

The mob began to encamp at Richmond on the twenty-sixth, and by this time amounted to about two thousand ready to fulfill the exterminating order, and join the standard of the governor. They took up a line of march for Far West, traveling but part way, where they encamped for the night.

Tuesday, October 30.--The advance guard of the mob were patrolling the country and taking many prisoners, among whom were Brother Stephen Winchester, and Brother Carey, whose skull they laid open by a blow from a rifle barrel. In this mangled condition, the mob laid him in their wagon and went on their way, denying him every comfort, and thus he remained that afternoon and night.

Gen. Clark's Movements.

General Clark was in camp at Chariton under a forced march to Richmond, with about a thousand men, and the governor's exterminating order.

For the history of this day at Haun's Mills, on Shoal creek, I quote the following affidavit of Elder Joseph Young, First President of the Seventies:

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Joseph Young's Narrative of the Massacre at Haun's Mills.

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 destination.

On the thirteenth day of October 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 crossed Grand river, at a place called Compton's Ferry, at which place I heard, for the first time, that if I proceeded any farther on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped by a body of armed 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 Whitney's Mills, situated on Shoal creek, in the eastern part of Caldwell county.

After crossing the creek and going about three miles, we met a party of the mob, about forty in number, armed with rifles, and mounted on horses, who informed us that we could go no farther west, threatening 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;" that everyone who adhered to our religious faith, would have to leave the state in ten days, or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned.

Here we tarried three days; and, on Friday, the twenty-sixth, we re-crossed the creek, and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the mob for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend in Myer's settlement.

On Sunday, twenty-eighth October, we arrived about twelve o'clock, at Haun's 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 Colonel Jennings of Livingston county, and threatening 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. Accordingly about twenty-eight of our men armed themselves, and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might come down upon them.

The same evening, for some reason best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty with our friends, which was accepted, 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 party.

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At this time, however, there was another mob collecting on Grand river, at William Mann's, who were threatening us, consequently we remained under arms.

Monday passed away without molestation from any quarter.

On Tuesday, the 30th, that bloody tragedy was acted, the scene of which I shall never forget. More than three-fourths of the day had passed in tranquility, as smiling as the preceding one. I think there was no individual of our company that was apprised of the sudden and awful fate that hung over our heads like an overwhelming torrent, which was to change the prospects, the feelings and the circumstances of about thirty families. The banks of Shoal creek on either side teemed with children sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestic employments, and their fathers employed in guarding the mills and other property, while others were 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 expressed any apprehension of the awful crisis that was near us--even at our doors.

It was about four o'clock, while sitting in my cabin 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 armed 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 seemed to form themselves into a three square position, forming a vanguard in front.

At this moment, David Evans, seeing the superiority of their numbers, (there being two hundred and forty 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. Nehemiah Comstock, fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of ten or twelve seconds, when, all at once, they discharged about one hundred rifles, aiming at a blacksmith shop into which our friends had fled for safety; and charged 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 the 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 uttermost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed 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 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 reached the summit. In descending the hill, I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight o'clock 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, where I found my family (who had fled there) in safety, and two of my friends mortally wounded, one of whom died before morning. Here we passed the painful night in deep and awful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening.

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After daylight appeared, some four or five men, who with myself, had escaped with our lives from the horrid massacre, and who 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. Haun, we found Mr. Merrick's body lying in the rear of the house, Mr. McBride's in front, literally mangled from head to foot. We were informed by Miss Rebecca Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up, and then cut to pieces with a corn cutter by a Mr. Rogers of Daviess county, who keeps a ferry on Grand river, and who has since repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity. Mr. York's body we found in the house, and after viewing these corpses, we immediately went to the blacksmith's shop, where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead; the other, Mr. Cox, of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death and soon expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of interment. The last office of kindness due to the remains of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies or 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 despatch the remaining few who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day. However, we accomplished without 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. Among those slain I will mention Sardius Smith, son of Warren Smith, about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows 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 boy's head, and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanley, of Carroll, told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this fiend-like murder and heroic deed all over the country.

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The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter was eighteen or nineteen, whose names as far as I recollect were as follows: Thomas McBride, Levi N. Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fuller, Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Campbell, Warren Smith, Sardius Smith, George S. Richards, Mr. William Napier, Augustine Harmer, Simon Cox, Mr. [Hiram] Abbott, John York, Charles Merrick, (a boy eight or nine nears old), [John Lee, John Byers], and three or four others, whose names I do not recollect, as they were strangers, to me. Among the wounded who recovered were Isaac Laney, Nathan K. Knight, Mr. [William] Yokum, two brothers by the name of [Jacob and George] Myers, Tarlton Lewis, Mr. [Jacob] Haun, and several others, [Jacob Foutz, Jacob Potts, Charles Jimison, John Walker, Alma Smith, aged about nine years]. Miss Mary Stedwell, while fleeing, was shot through the hand, and, fainting, fell over a log, into which they shot upwards of twenty balls.

To finish their work of destruction, this band of murderers, composed of men from Daviess, Livingston, Ray, Carroll, and Chariton counties, led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, (among whom I am informed were Mr. Ashby, of Chariton, member of the state legislature; Colonel Jennings, of Livingston county, Thomas O. Bryon, clerk of Livingston county; Mr. Whitney, Dr. Randall, 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 statement of facts, according to the best of my knowledge.

Joseph Young.

State Of Illinois, ss.

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 sheet are true, according to the best of his knowledge and belief. In testimony whereof 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., Ill.

Additional Events of the Massacre.

A younger brother of the boy here killed, aged eight, was shot through the hip. The little fellow himself states that seeing his father and brother both killed, he thought they would shoot him again if he stirred, and so feigned himself dead, and lay perfectly still, till he heard his mother call him after dark.

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Nathan K. Knight saw a Missourian cut down Father McBride with a corn-cutter, and also saw them stripping the dying, and heard the boys crying for mercy. Brother Knight made his escape across the mill-dam, after receiving wounds through his lungs and finger. After the massacre was over, he was led to a house by a woman, and whilst lying there wounded he heard Mr. Jesse Maupin say that he blew one of the boys' brains out. Some time later whilst walking the streets of Far West Brother Knight was met by three Missourians who threatened to butcher him, and one of them by the name of Rogers drew a butcher knife, and said that he had not got his corn-cutter with him, that he cut down McBride with, "but by------I have got something that will do as well:" but by a great chance Brother Knight made his escape from the ruffian.

Atchison Withdraws from "Militia."

General Atchison withdrew from the army at Richmond as soon as the governor's extermination order was received. Up to this time we were ignorant at Far West of the movements of the mob at Richmond, and the governor's order of extermination.

Arrival of more Mob-Militia.

On the 30th of October a large company of armed soldiers were seen approaching Far West. They came up near to the town, and then drew back about a mile, and encamped for the night. We were informed that they were militia, ordered out by the governor for the purpose of stopping our proceedings, it having been represented to his excellency, by wicked and designing men from Daviess that we were the aggressors, and had committed outrages in Daviess county. They had not yet got the governor's order of extermination, which I believe did not arrive till the next day.

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Preparations for a Battle.

Wednesday, October 31.--The militia of Far West guarded the city the past night, and arranged a temporary fortification of wagons, timber, etc., on the south. The sisters, many of them, were engaged in gathering up their most valuable effects, fearing a terrible battle in the morning, and that the houses might be fired and they obliged to flee. The enemy was five to one against us.

Col. Hinkle's Treachery.

About eight o'clock a flag of truce was sent from the enemy, which was met by several of our people, and it was hoped that matters would be satisfactorily arranged after the officers had heard a true statement of all the circumstances. Colonel Hinkle went to meet the flag, and secretly made the following engagement: First, to give up their [the Church's] leaders to be tried and punished; second, to make an appropriation of the property of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of their debts, and indemnify for the damage done by them; third, that the remainder of the Saints should leave the state, and be protected while doing so by the militia; but they were to be permitted to remain under protection until further orders were received from the commander-in-chief; fourth, to give up their arms of every description, which would be receipted for.

Reinforcement of the Mob.

The enemy was reinforced by about one thousand five hundred men today, and news of the destruction of property by the mob reached us from every quarter.

Betrayal of the Prophet et al.

Towards evening I was waited upon by Colonel Hinkle, who stated that the officers of the militia desired to have an interview with me and some others, hoping that the difficulties might be settled without having occasion to carry into effect the exterminating orders which they had received from the governor. I immediately complied with the request, and in company with Elders Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, Colonel Wight and George W. Robinson, went into the camp of the militia. But judge of my surprise, when, instead of being treated with that respect which is due from one citizen to another, we were taken as prisoners of war, and treated with the utmost contempt. 1 The officers would not converse with us, and the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted us as much as they felt disposed, breathing out threats against me and my companions. I cannot begin to tell the scene which I there witnessed. The loud cries and yells of more than one thousand voices, which rent the air and could be heard for miles, and the horrid and blasphemous threats and curses which were poured upon us in torrents, were enough to appall the stoutest heart. In the evening we had to lie down on the cold ground, surrounded by a strong guard, who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life. We petitioned the officers to know why we were thus treated, but they utterly refused to give us any answer, or to converse with us. After we arrived in the camp, Brother Stephen Winchester and eleven other brethren who were prisoners, volunteered, with permission of the officers, to carry Brother Carey into the city to his family, he having lain exposed to the weather for a show to the inhuman wretches, without having his wound dressed or being nourished in any manner. He died soon after he reached home.

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The Prophet and Companions Condemned to be Shot.

Thursday, November 1.--Brothers Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were brought prisoners into camp. The officers of the militia held a court martial, and sentenced us to be shot, on Friday morning, on the public square of Far West as a warning to the "Mormons." 2 However, notwithstanding their sentence and determination, they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution. Having an opportunity of speaking to General Wilson, I inquired of him why I was thus treated. I told him I was not aware of having done anything worthy of such treatment; that I had always been a supporter of the Constitution and of democracy. His answer was, "I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you, or have you killed."

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Robbings of the Militia.

The militia went into the town, and without any restraint whatever, plundered the houses, and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants and left many destitute. They went to my house, drove my family out of doors, carried away most of my property. General Doniphan declared he would have nothing to do with such cold-blooded murder, and that he would withdraw his brigade in the morning.

Governor Boggs wrote General Clark from Jefferson City, that he considered full and ample powers were vested in him [Clark] to carry into effect the former orders; says Boggs:

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Excerpt from Governor Boggs' Communication to General Lucas.

The case is now a very plain one--the "Mormons" must be subdued; and peace restored to the community; you will therefore proceed without delay to execute the former orders. Full confidence is reposed in your ability to do so; your force will be amply sufficient to accomplish the object. Should you need the aid of artillery, I would suggest that an application be made to the commanding officer of Fort Leavenworth, for such as you may need. You are authorized to request the loan of it in the name of the state of Missouri. The ringleaders of this rebellion should be made an example of; and if it should become necessary for the public peace, the "Mormons" should be exterminated, or expelled from the state.

Citizens of Far West Disarmed.

This morning General Lucas ordered the Caldwell militia to give up their arms. Hinkle, having made a treaty with the mob on his own responsibility, to carry out his treachery, marched the troops out of the city, and the brethren gave up their arms, their own property, which no government on earth had a right to require.

High Handed Procedure of the Mob.

The mob (called Governor's troops) then marched into town, and under pretense of searching for arms tore up floors, upset haystacks, plundered the most valuable effects they could lay their hands on, wantonly wasted and destroyed a great amount of property, compelled the brethren at the point of the bayonet to sign deeds of trust to pay the expenses of the mob, even while the place was desecrated by the chastity of women being violated. About eighty men were taken prisoners, the remainder were ordered to leave the state

in ten days, or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned.

Here we tarried three days; and, on Friday, the twenty-sixth, we re-crossed the creek, and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the mob for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend in Myer's settlement.

On Sunday, twenty-eighth October, we arrived about twelve o'clock, at Haun's 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 Colonel Jennings of Livingston county, and threatening 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. Accordingly about twenty-eight of our men armed themselves, and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might come down upon them.

The same evening, for some reason best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty with our friends, which was accepted, 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 party.

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At this time, however, there was another mob collecting on Grand river, at William Mann's, who were threatening us, consequently we remained under arms.

Monday passed away without molestation from any quarter.

On Tuesday, the 30th, that bloody tragedy was acted, the scene of which I shall never forget. More than three-fourths of the day had passed in tranquility, as smiling as the preceding one. I think there was no individual of our company that was apprised of the sudden and awful fate that hung over our heads like an overwhelming torrent, which was to change the prospects, the feelings and the circumstances of about thirty families. The banks of Shoal creek on either side teemed with children sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestic employments, and their fathers employed in guarding the mills and other property, while others were 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 expressed any apprehension of the awful crisis that was near us--even at our doors.

It was about four o'clock, while sitting in my cabin 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 armed 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 seemed to form themselves into a three square position, forming a vanguard in front.

At this moment, David Evans, seeing the superiority of their numbers, (there being two hundred and forty 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. Nehemiah Comstock, fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of ten or twelve seconds, when, all at once, they discharged about one hundred rifles, aiming at a blacksmith shop into which our friends had fled for safety; and charged 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 the 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 uttermost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed 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 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 reached the summit. In descending the hill, I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight o'clock 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, where I found my family (who had fled there) in safety, and two of my friends mortally wounded, one of whom died before morning. Here we passed the painful night in deep and awful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening.

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After daylight appeared, some four or five men, who with myself, had escaped with our lives from the horrid massacre, and who 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. Haun, we found Mr. Merrick's body lying in the rear of the house, Mr. McBride's in front, literally mangled from head to foot. We were informed by Miss Rebecca Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up, and then cut to pieces with a corn cutter by a Mr. Rogers of Daviess county, who keeps a ferry on Grand river, and who has since repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity. Mr. York's body we found in the house, and after viewing these corpses, we immediately went to the blacksmith's shop, where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead; the other, Mr. Cox, of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death and soon expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of interment. The last office of kindness due to the remains of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies or 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 despatch the remaining few who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day. However, we accomplished without 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. Among those slain I will mention Sardius Smith, son of Warren Smith, about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows 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 boy's head, and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanley, of Carroll, told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this fiend-like murder and heroic deed all over the country.

[Page 186]

The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton slaughter was eighteen or nineteen, whose names as far as I recollect were as follows: Thomas McBride, Levi N. Merrick, Elias Benner, Josiah Fuller, Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Campbell, Warren Smith, Sardius Smith, George S. Richards, Mr. William Napier, Augustine Harmer, Simon Cox, Mr. [Hiram] Abbott, John York, Charles Merrick, (a boy eight or nine nears old), [John Lee, John Byers], and three or four others, whose names I do not recollect, as they were strangers, to me. Among the wounded who recovered were Isaac Laney, Nathan K. Knight, Mr. [William] Yokum, two brothers by the name of [Jacob and George] Myers, Tarlton Lewis, Mr. [Jacob] Haun, and several others, [Jacob Foutz, Jacob Potts, Charles Jimison, John Walker, Alma Smith, aged about nine years]. Miss Mary Stedwell, while fleeing, was shot through the hand, and, fainting, fell over a log, into which they shot upwards of twenty balls.

To finish their work of destruction, this band of murderers, composed of men from Daviess, Livingston, Ray, Carroll, and Chariton counties, led by some of the principal men of that section of the upper country, (among whom I am informed were Mr. Ashby, of Chariton, member of the state legislature; Colonel Jennings, of Livingston county, Thomas O. Bryon, clerk of Livingston county; Mr. Whitney, Dr. Randall, 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 statement of facts, according to the best of my knowledge.

Joseph Young.

State Of Illinois, ss.

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 sheet are true, according to the best of his knowledge and belief. In testimony whereof 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., Ill.

Additional Events of the Massacre.

A younger brother of the boy here killed, aged eight, was shot through the hip. The little fellow himself states that seeing his father and brother both killed, he thought they would shoot him again if he stirred, and so feigned himself dead, and lay perfectly still, till he heard his mother call him after dark.

[Page 187]

Nathan K. Knight saw a Missourian cut down Father McBride with a corn-cutter, and also saw them stripping the dying, and heard the boys crying for mercy. Brother Knight made his escape across the mill-dam, after receiving wounds through his lungs and finger. After the massacre was over, he was led to a house by a woman, and whilst lying there wounded he heard Mr. Jesse Maupin say that he blew one of the boys' brains out. Some time later whilst walking the streets of Far West Brother Knight was met by three Missourians who threatened to butcher him, and one of them by the name of Rogers drew a butcher knife, and said that he had not got his corn-cutter with him, that he cut down McBride with, "but by------I have got something that will do as well:" but by a great chance Brother Knight made his escape from the ruffian.

Atchison Withdraws from "Militia."

General Atchison withdrew from the army at Richmond as soon as the governor's extermination order was received. Up to this time we were ignorant at Far West of the movements of the mob at Richmond, and the governor's order of extermination.

Arrival of more Mob-Militia.

On the 30th of October a large company of armed soldiers were seen approaching Far West. They came up near to the town, and then drew back about a mile, and encamped for the night. We were informed that they were militia, ordered out by the governor for the purpose of stopping our proceedings, it having been represented to his excellency, by wicked and designing men from Daviess that we were the aggressors, and had committed outrages in Daviess county. They had not yet got the governor's order of extermination, which I believe did not arrive till the next day.

[Page 188]

Preparations for a Battle.

Wednesday, October 31.--The militia of Far West guarded the city the past night, and arranged a temporary fortification of wagons, timber, etc., on the south. The sisters, many of them, were engaged in gathering up their most valuable effects, fearing a terrible battle in the morning, and that the houses might be fired and they obliged to flee. The enemy was five to one against us.

Col. Hinkle's Treachery.

About eight o'clock a flag of truce was sent from the enemy, which was met by several of our people, and it was hoped that matters would be satisfactorily arranged after the officers had heard a true statement of all the circumstances. Colonel Hinkle went to meet the flag, and secretly made the following engagement: First, to give up their [the Church's] leaders to be tried and punished; second, to make an appropriation of the property of all who had taken up arms, for the payment of their debts, and indemnify for the damage done by them; third, that the remainder of the Saints should leave the state, and be protected while doing so by the militia; but they were to be permitted to remain under protection until further orders were received from the commander-in-chief; fourth, to give up their arms of every description, which would be receipted for.

Reinforcement of the Mob.

The enemy was reinforced by about one thousand five hundred men today, and news of the destruction of property by the mob reached us from every quarter.

Betrayal of the Prophet et al.

Towards evening I was waited upon by Colonel Hinkle, who stated that the officers of the militia desired to have an interview with me and some others, hoping that the difficulties might be settled without having occasion to carry into effect the exterminating orders which they had received from the governor. I immediately complied with the request, and in company with Elders Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, Colonel Wight and George W. Robinson, went into the camp of the militia. But judge of my surprise, when, instead of being treated with that respect which is due from one citizen to another, we were taken as prisoners of war, and treated with the utmost contempt. 1 The officers would not converse with us, and the soldiers, almost to a man, insulted us as much as they felt disposed, breathing out threats against me and my companions. I cannot begin to tell the scene which I there witnessed. The loud cries and yells of more than one thousand voices, which rent the air and could be heard for miles, and the horrid and blasphemous threats and curses which were poured upon us in torrents, were enough to appall the stoutest heart. In the evening we had to lie down on the cold ground, surrounded by a strong guard, who were only kept back by the power of God from depriving us of life. We petitioned the officers to know why we were thus treated, but they utterly refused to give us any answer, or to converse with us. After we arrived in the camp, Brother Stephen Winchester and eleven other brethren who were prisoners, volunteered, with permission of the officers, to carry Brother Carey into the city to his family, he having lain exposed to the weather for a show to the inhuman wretches, without having his wound dressed or being nourished in any manner. He died soon after he reached home.

[Page 190]

The Prophet and Companions Condemned to be Shot.

Thursday, November 1.--Brothers Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were brought prisoners into camp. The officers of the militia held a court martial, and sentenced us to be shot, on Friday morning, on the public square of Far West as a warning to the "Mormons." 2 However, notwithstanding their sentence and determination, they were not permitted to carry their murderous sentence into execution. Having an opportunity of speaking to General Wilson, I inquired of him why I was thus treated. I told him I was not aware of having done anything worthy of such treatment; that I had always been a supporter of the Constitution and of democracy. His answer was, "I know it, and that is the reason why I want to kill you, or have you killed."

[Page 191]

Robbings of the Militia.

The militia went into the town, and without any restraint whatever, plundered the houses, and abused the innocent and unoffending inhabitants and left many destitute. They went to my house, drove my family out of doors, carried away most of my property. General Doniphan declared he would have nothing to do with such cold-blooded murder, and that he would withdraw his brigade in the morning.

Governor Boggs wrote General Clark from Jefferson City, that he considered full and ample powers were vested in him [Clark] to carry into effect the former orders; says Boggs:

[Page 192]

Excerpt from Governor Boggs' Communication to General Lucas.

The case is now a very plain one--the "Mormons" must be subdued; and peace restored to the community; you will therefore proceed without delay to execute the former orders. Full confidence is reposed in your ability to do so; your force will be amply sufficient to accomplish the object. Should you need the aid of artillery, I would suggest that an application be made to the commanding officer of Fort Leavenworth, for such as you may need. You are authorized to request the loan of it in the name of the state of Missouri. The ringleaders of this rebellion should be made an example of; and if it should become necessary for the public peace, the "Mormons" should be exterminated, or expelled from the state.

Citizens of Far West Disarmed.

This morning General Lucas ordered the Caldwell militia to give up their arms. Hinkle, having made a treaty with the mob on his own responsibility, to carry out his treachery, marched the troops out of the city, and the brethren gave up their arms, their own property, which no government on earth had a right to require.

High Handed Procedure of the Mob.

The mob (called Governor's troops) then marched into town, and under pretense of searching for arms tore up floors, upset haystacks, plundered the most valuable effects they could lay their hands on, wantonly wasted and destroyed a great amount of property, compelled the brethren at the point of the bayonet to sign deeds of trust to pay the expenses of the mob, even while the place was desecrated by the chastity of women being violated. About eighty men were taken prisoners, the remainder were ordered to leave the state, and were forbidden, under threat of being shot by the mob to assemble more than three in a place.

Avard's Treachery.

Friday, November 2.--About this time Sampson Avard was found by the mob secreted in the hazel brush some miles from Far West, and brought into camp, where he and they were "hail fellows well met;" for Avard told them that Daniteism was an order of the Church, and by his lying tried to make the Church a scape-goat for his sins.

[Page 193]

Myself and fellow prisoners were taken to the town, into the public square, and before our departure we, after much entreaty, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while by a strong guard. I found my wife and children in tears, who feared we had been shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they would see me no more. When I entered my house, they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifested in their countenances. I requested to have a private interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me by the guard. I was then obliged to take my departure. Who can realize the feelings which I experienced at that time, to be thus torn from my companion, and leave her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children, too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; while I was to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. My partner wept, my children clung to me, until they were thrust from me by the swords of the guards. I felt overwhelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only recommend them to the care of that God whose kindness had followed me to the present time, and who alone could protect them, and deliver me from the hands of my enemies, and restore me to my family. 3

[Page 194]

After this painful scene I was taken back to the camp, and with the rest of my brethren, namely, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, Amasa Lyman, and George W. Robinson, started off for Independence, Jackson county, and encamped at night on Crooked river, under a strong guard commanded by Generals Lucas and Wilson.

[Page 195]

The following letter gives the particulars relating to the movements of the governor's troops in conjunction with the mob:

Report of General S. D. Lucas to Governor Boggs.

Headquarters, Camp Near Far West,

November 2. 1838.

To His Excellency, L. W. Boggs, Commander-in-Chief, Missouri Militia:

Sir:--On Monday, October 29th, the troops ordered out by Major-General Atchison and myself (as per our report to you of said date), took up their line of march from camp near Richmond, for Far West. We encamped on the night of the 29th at Linville's creek (a short distance from the road), about sixteen miles from Far West, at which point we received an express from Brigadier-General Doniphan, informing us that he was then encamped on Log creek with a force of five hundred men, and that he would join us at the crossing of said creek, on the road from Richmond to Far West, by ten o'clock the next morning.

[Page 196]

On the 30th of October, the troops got together at the last named point, when we mustered about eighteen hundred men. Whilst at this place we received your orders of the 26th ultimo, and I received an order of the 27th ultimo, and a letter from you of the same date. At this point Major-General Atchison left me for Liberty, when I was left in sole command. I then took up my line of march for Goose creek, one mile south of Far West, which point we reached about one hour by sun in the evening. Just as the troops were encamping, I received intelligence from General Doniphan, from his position on the right, that he had discovered a party of mounted Mormons approaching Far West from the east, and requested permission to intercept them, if possible. Leave was granted, and his brigade started off at nearly full speed to accomplish the order, but the Mormons succeeded in reaching the fort. General Doniphan approached within two hundred yards of their fortress, when they displayed a force of about eight hundred [150] men. At this juncture, I ordered General Graham's brigade (holding General Parks' and part of General Wilson's mounted in reserve) to march full speed to the relief of the First Brigade, Third Division, but from the inequality of the force of the first detachment, (being only two hundred and fifty strong at that time, and the "Mormons eight hundred [150] it was considered prudent to withdraw the troops, and march against them in the morning, which was accordingly done, and they all returned, as dark set in, to camp. At this place I established my headquarters, and continued there during the expedition against the Mormons. The detachment under General Wilson returned about nine o'clock p. m.

The next morning, 31st of October, I received a message from Colonel Hinkle, the commander of the Mormon forces [Caldwell militia], requesting an interview with me on an eminence near Far West, which he would designate by hoisting a white flag. I sent him word I would meet him at two o'clock p. m., being so much engaged in receiving and encamping fresh troops, who were hourly coming in, that I could not attend before. Accordingly at that time, I started with my staff officers and Brigadier-Generals Wilson, Doniphan and Graham, General Parks being left in command. We met him and some other Mormons at the point before mentioned. He stated that his object in asking me to meet him there, was to know if there could not be some compromise or settlement of the difficulty without a resort to arms.

After giving him to understand the nature of your orders, I made him the following propositions, which I furnished him a copy of, also a copy of your order, viz.:

"First--To give up their [the Church's] leaders to be tried and punished.

[Page 197]

"Second--To make an appropriation of their property, all who have taken up arms, to the payment of their debts, and indemnify for damages done by them.

"Third--That the balance should leave the State, and be protected out by the militia, but to be permitted to remain under protection until further orders were received from the commander-in-chief.

"Fourth--To give up the arms of every description, to be receipted for."

Colonel Hinkle agreed to the proposition readily, but wished to postpone the matter until morning. I then told him that I would require Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and George W. Robinson, as hostage for his faithful compliance with the terms, and would pledge myself and each one of the officers present, that in case he, after reflecting and consulting upon the proposition during the night, declined acceding to them, that the hostages should be returned to him in the morning, at the same point they were received, but it was understood in case they did comply, they were to be held for trial as part of the leaders called for by the first stipulation; I then gave him until one hour by sun in the evening to produce and deliver them. We then returned to camp, and I directed the troops to make preparations to march to Far West by an hour and a half by the sun, with a determination in case the hostages were not produced to make an attack upon the town forthwith.

I directed General Parks' brigade to be mounted, and to form on the right of the division, to act as flankers if necessary, and if required to pass entirely around the town, and form on the north side, with instructions to make the attack at the report of the cannon, which was to be the signal for the general attack. General Graham's brigade was mounted, and formed on the extreme left to act as flankers, and if required to form the line on the west side, with similar instructions as to the commencement of the attack.

General Doniphan's brigade was ordered to parade on foot, and to form on the left of General Parks, with instructions to form the line of battle on the south side, with the same instructions as to commencement of attack.

The artillery company, with one piece of ordnance, was placed at the head of General Doniphan's and General Wilson's brigade, with instructions to occupy an eminence within three hundred yards of the town.

The army being disposed of in this manner, at the appointed time I took up the line of march in direction of Far West. When the troops got within about six hundred yards, I discovered the flag and the hostages advancing. I immediately halted the army, and rode out and met them, received the hostages, and placed a guard over them for their safety and protection, and ordered the forces back to our encampment. I cannot forbear, at this point, expressing my gratification and approbation of the good conduct and gallant bravery 4 evinced by all the officers and men under my command. They marched up with as much determination and deliberation as old veterans--not knowing but that the charge would be sounded every moment for surrounding the town. 5 There was no noise or confusion, nothing but an eager anxiety upon the countenance of every man to get at the work.

[Page 198]

When the hostages were received, the troops, with some slight exceptions, marched back 6 in profound silence.

November 1st. I ordered the whole forces, amounting to two thousand five hundred men, to parade at nine o'clock a. m., and to take up the line of march for Far West at half-past nine o'clock, to receive the prisoners and their arms.

The troops marched out and formed in the prairie about two hundred yards southeast of the town. General Wilson's brigade formed the west line, General Doniphan's the east line, General Graham and General Parks the south line, with the artillery company and the cannon in the center of the two latter, leaving one side of the square open.

The "Mormon" army, reduced to about six hundred men by desertion and otherwise, under their commander, Colonel Hinkle marched out of their town through the space into our square, formed a hollow square, and grounded their arms. Colonel Hinkle then rode forward and delivered up to me his sword and pistols.

I then directed a company from the respective brigades to form a front, rear, right and left flank guards, and to march the prisoners back to Far West, and protect and take charge of them until the next morning. I then detailed a company from General Doniphan's command to take charge of the arms. Then, in order to gratify the army and to let the "Mormons" see our forces, marched around the town, and through the principal streets and back to headquarters.

[Page 199]

Considering the war at an end in this place I issued orders for General Doniphan's brigade, with the exception of one company, and General Graham's brigade, to take up their line of march for their respective headquarters and dismiss their men, and directed General Wilson to take charge of the prisoners (demanded for trial) and arms, and to march them to my headquarters at Independence, to await further orders, and to dismiss all except a guard for the prisoners and arms.

November 2nd. I relieved the guard placed over the prisoners at Far West by four companies of General Parks' brigade, and placed them under the command of Colonel Thompson, Second brigade, Third division, with instructions to report to General Clark. The balance of General Parks' brigade, with Captain Gillium's company of General Doniphan's brigade, under the command of General Parks, I ordered to Adam-ondi-Ahman, a Mormon town in Daviess county, with instructions to disarm the Mormon forces at that place and to leave a guard of fifty men for the protection of prisoners, and to report to General Clark.

In order to carry the treaty and stipulations into effect I have required your aid-de-camp, Colonel Williams, together with Colonel Burch, and Major A. Rees, of Ray, to attend to drawing up the papers legally, and directed Colonel Thompson to wait on them with a portion of his command, and to cause all their orders and requirements, consistent with the stipulations, to be carried into effect.

This day, about twelve o'clock, there was a battalion of one hundred men from Platte arrived at Far West, which I ordered back, having understood that Major-General Clark would be on in a day or two with sufficient force to operate in Daviess and Livingston, and for any service that may be required.

Samuel D. Lucas,

Major-General, Commanding.

Chapter 13 Notes

1. Elder Parley P. Pratt in his Autobiography referring to this betrayal of the brethren on the part of Hinkle and their reception and treatment by the mob, says: "Colonel George M. Hinkle, who was at that time the highest officer of the militia assembled for the defense of Far West, waited on Messrs. Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, George W. Robinson and myself, with a request from General Lucas that we would repair to his camp, with the assurance that as soon as peaceable arrangements could be entered into we should be released. We had no confidence in the word of a murderer and robber, but there was no alternative but to put ourselves into the hands of such monsters, or to have the city attacked, and men, women and children massacred. We, therefore, commended ourselves to the Lord, and voluntarily surrendered as sheep into the hands of wolves. As we approached the camp of the enemy General Lucas rode out to meet us with a guard of several hundred men. The haughty general rode up, and, without speaking to us, instantly ordered his guards to surround us. They did so very abruptly, and we were marched into camp surrounded by thousands of savage looking beings, many of whom were dressed and painted like Indian warriors. These all set up a constant yell, like so many bloodhounds let loose upon their prey, as if they had achieved one of the most miraculous victories that ever graced the annals of the world. If the vision of the infernal regions could suddenly open to the mind, with thousands of malicious fiends, all clamoring, exulting, deriding, blaspheming, mocking, railing, raging and foaming like a troubled sea, then could some idea be formed of the hell which we had entered.

In camp we were placed under a strong guard, and were without shelter during the night, lying on the ground in the open air, in the midst of a great rain. The guards during the whole night kept up a constant tirade of mockery, and the most obscene blackguardism and abuse. They blasphemed God; mocked Jesus Christ; swore the most dreadful oaths; taunted Brother Joseph and others; demanded miracles; wanted signs, such as 'Come, Mr. Smith, show us a angel.' 'Give us one of your Revelations.' 'Show us a miracle.' 'Come, there is one of your brethren here in camp whom we took prisoner yesterday in his own house, and knocked his brains out with his own rifle, which we found hanging over his fireplace; he lays speechless and dying; speak the word and heal him, and then we will all believe' 'Or, if you are Apostles or men of God, deliver yourselves, and then we will be Mormons" Next would be a volley of oaths and blasphemies; then a tumultuous tirade of lewd boastings of having defiled virgins and wives by force, etc., much of which I dare not write; and, indeed, language would fail me to attempt more than a faint description. Thus passed this dreadful night, and before morning several other captives were added to our number, among whom was Brother Amasa Lyman."--Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 203-205.

2. This incident of sentencing the Prophet and his companion prisoners to be shot on the public square at Far West is also referred to in the History of Caldwell county, compiled by the St. Louis National Historical Company, and the formal orders of General Lucas to Brigadier-General Doniphan and also Doniphan's reply are given. I quote the following: "Yielding to the pressure upon him, it is alleged that General Lucas, at about midnight, issued the following order to General Doniphan, in whose keeping the hostages were:

'Brigadier-General Doniphan:

" 'Sir:--You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.

" 'Samuel D. Lucas,'

" 'Major-General Commanding.'

But General Doniphan, in great righteous indignation, promptly returned the following reply to his superior:

" 'It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning, at 8 o'clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God.

" 'A. W. Doniphan,

" 'Brigadier-General.'

"The prisoners somehow heard of the order, and kneeled in prayer, and prayed fervently that it might not be executed. And it was not. Flagrantly insubordinate as was General Doniphan's refusal, he was never called to account for it. The 'Mormons' have always remembered General Doniphan's humanity on this occasion, as well as on others, and when, in 1873, he went to Salt Lake City, he was received with much feeling, and shown every regard and attention by Brigham Young and the other authorities of the Church and city, and by even the masses of the people."--(History of Caldwell County, p. 137).

Parley P. Pratt, referring to this incident, says: "We were informed that the general officers held a secret council during most of the night, which was dignified by the name of court martial; in which, without a hearing, or, without even being brought before it, we were all sentenced to be shot. The day and hour was also appointed for the execution of this sentence, viz., next morning at 8 o'clock, in the public square at Far West. Of this we were informed by Brigadier-General Doniphan, who was one of the council, but who was so violently opposed to this cold-blooded murder that he assured the council that he would revolt and withdraw his whole brigade, and march them back to Clay county as soon as it was light, if they persisted in so dreadful an undertaking. Said he, 'It is cold-blooded murder, and I wash my hands of it.' His firm remonstrance, and that of a few others, so alarmed the haughty murderer and his accomplices that they dare not put the decree in execution."

3. Of these scenes connected with the separation of the prisoners from their families, Parley P. Pratt writes as follows: "We were now marched to Far West, under the conduct of the whole army; and while they halted in the public square, we were permitted to go with a guard for a change of linen, and to take final leave of our families, in order to depart as prisoners to Jackson county, a distance of sixty miles.

"This was the most trying scene of all. I went to my house, being guarded by two or three soldiers, the cold rain was pouring down without, and on entering my little cottage, there lay my wife sick of a fever, with which she had been for sometime confined. At her breast was our son Nathan, an infant of three months, and by her side a little girl of five years. On the foot of the same bed lay a woman in travail, who had been driven from her house in the night, and had taken momentary shelter in my hut of ten feet square--my larger house having been torn down. I stepped to the bed; my wife burst into tears; I spoke a few words of comfort, telling her to try to live for my sake and the children's; and expressing a hope that we should meet again though years might separate us. She promised to try to live. I then embraced and kissed the little babies and departed. Till now I had refrained from weeping; but, to be forced from so helpless a family, who were destitute of provisions and fuel, and deprived almost of shelter in a bleak prairie, with none to assist them, exposed to a lawless banditti who were utter strangers to humanity, and this at the approach of winter, was more than nature could well endure. I went to General Moses Wilson in tears, and stated the circumstances of my sick, heart-broken and destitute family in tears which would have moved any heart that had a latent spark of humanity yet remaining. But I was only answered with an exultant laugh, and a taunt of reproach by this hardened murderer. As I returned from my house towards the troops in the square, I halted with the guard at the door of Hyrum Smith, and heard the sobs and groans of his wife, at his parting words. She was then near confinement; and needed more than ever the comfort and consolation of a husband's presence. As we returned to the wagon we saw Sidney Rigdon taking leave of his wife and daughters, who stood at a little distance, in tears of anguish indescribable. In the wagon sat Joseph Smith, while his aged father and venerable mother come up overwhelmed with tears, and took each of the prisoners by the hand with a silence of grief too great for utterance. In the meantime hundreds of the brethren crowded around us, anxious to take a parting look, or a silent shake of the hand; for feelings were too intense to allow of speech. In the midst of these scenes orders were given and we moved slowly away, under the conduct of General Wilson and his whole brigade."--Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 207, 208.

The Prophet's mother describes these scenes of sorrow and parting in the following vivid manner:

"At the time when Joseph went into the enemy's camp, Mr. Smith and myself stood in the door of the house in which we were then living, and could distinctly hear their horrid yellings. Not knowing the cause, we supposed they were murdering him. Soon after the screaming commenced, five or six guns were discharged. At this, Mr. Smith, folding his arms tight across his heart, cried out, 'Oh, my God! my God! they have killed my son! they have murdered him! and I must die, for I cannot live without him?'

"I had no word of consolation to give him, for my heart was broken within me--my agony was unutterable. I assisted him to the bed and he fell back upon it helpless as a child, for he had not strength to stand upon his feet. The shrieking continued; no tongue can describe the sound which was conveyed to our ears; no heart can imagine the sensation of our breasts, as we listened to those awful screams. Had the army been composed of so many bloodhounds, wolves, and panthers, they could not have made a sound more terrible. * * * *

"When they [the division of the mob in charge of the prisoners] were about starting from Far West, a messenger came and told us that if we ever saw our sons alive, we must go immediately to them, for they were in a wagon that would start in a few minutes for Independence, and in all probability they would start in a few minutes for Independence, and in all probability they would never return alive. Receiving this intimation, Lucy and myself set out directly for the place. On coming within about a hundred yards of the wagon, we were compelled to stop, for we could press no further through the crowd. I therefore appealed to those around me, exclaiming, 'I am the mother of the Prophet--is there not a gentleman here who will assist me to that wagon, that I may take a last look at my children, and speak to them once more before I die?' Upon this, one individual volunteered to make a pathway through the army, and we passed on, threatened with death at every step, till at length we arrived at the wagon. The man who led us through the crowd spoke to Hyrum, who was sitting in front, and, telling him that his mother had come to see him, requested that he should reach his hand to me. He did so, but I was not allowed to see him; the cover was of strong cloth, and nailed down so close that he could hardly get his hand through. We had merely shaken hands with him, when we were ordered away by the mob, who forbade any conversation between us, and, threatening to shoot us, they ordered the teamster to drive over us. Our friend then conducted us to the back part of the wagon, where Joseph sat, and said, 'Mr. Smith, your mother and sister are here, and wish to shake hands with you.' Joseph crowded his hand through between the cover and wagon, and we caught hold of it; but he spoke not to either of us, until I said, 'Joseph, do speak to your poor mother once more--I cannot bear to go till I hear your voice.' 'God bless you, mother!' he sobbed out. Then a cry was raised, and the wagon dashed off, tearing him from us just as Lucy pressed his hand to her lips, to bestow upon it a sister's last kiss--for he was then sentenced to be shot."--History of the Prophet Joseph by his Mother, Lucy Smith, pp. 249, 250.

4. On this passage the prophet makes the following comments:

"Gallant bravery," that some thousands of men should be so anxious to wash their hands in the blood of five hundred poor Saints? I claim not the honor of commanding such a brave army.

5. Again the Prophet comments:

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth" This saying was truly verified in the first retreat of this army--they fled precipitately through fear and a great proportion of the men were anxious to get back to the creek, where they could dispense with some of their clothing and wash themselves in the water.

6. "Profound silence." It might have been silence to the general for aught I know; for the shoutings, bellowings and yells of this army of mobocrats was sufficient to deafen anyone, not guarded by some higher spirit, and could only be equaled in the savage war whoop, and the yells of the damned.