Rivalry Among The Militia Generals For Possession Of The Prisoners—”Trial” At Richmond.
Rival Efforts for Possession of the Prisoners.
Saturday, 3.—We continued our march and arrived at the Missouri river, which separated us from Jackson county, where we were hurried across the ferry when but few troops had passed. 1 The truth was, General Clark had sent an express from Richmond to General Lucas, to have the prisoners sent to him, and thus prevent our going to Jackson county, both armies being competitors for the honor of possessing “the royal prisoners.” Clark wanted the privilege of putting us to death himself, and Lucas and his troops were desirous of exhibiting us in the streets of Independence. 2
Prophet’s Interview with a Lady.
Sunday, 4.—We were visited by some ladies and gentlemen. One of the women came up, and very candidly inquired of the troops which of the prisoners was the Lord whom the “Mormons” worshiped? One of the guard pointed to me with a significant smile, and said, “This is he.” The woman then turning to me inquired whether I professed to be the Lord and Savior? I replied, that I professed to be nothing but a man, and a minister of salvation, sent by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel.
This answer so surprised the woman that she began to inquire into our doctrine, and I preached a discourse, both to her and her companions, and to the wondering soldiers, who listened with almost breathless attention while I set forth the doctrine of faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance, and baptism for remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost, as recorded in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
The woman was satisfied, and praised God in the hearing of the soldiers, and went away, praying that God would protect and deliver us. Thus was fulfilled a prophecy which had been spoken publicly by me, a few months previous—that a sermon should be preached in Jackson county by one of our Elders, before the close of 1838.
Arrival of the Prisoners in Independence.
The troops having crossed the river about ten o’clock, we proceeded on and arrived at Independence, past noon, in the midst of a great rain, and a multitude of spectators who had assembled to see us, and hear the bugles sound a blast of triumphant joy, which echoed through the camp. We were ushered into a vacant house prepared for our reception, with a floor for our beds and blocks of wood for our pillows.
General Clark arrived at Far West with one thousand six hundred men, and five hundred more were within eight miles of the city.
Overwhelming Numbers of Mob Militia.
Thus, Far West has been visited by six thousand men in one week, when the militia of the city (before any were taken prisoners) amounted only to about five hundred. After depriving these of their arms the mob continued to hunt the brethren like wild beasts, and shoot several, ravished the women, and killed one near the city. No Saint was permitted to go in or out of the city; and meantime the Saints lived on parched corn.
General Clark ordered General Lucas, who had previously gone to Adam-ondi-Ahman with his troops, “to take the whole of the men of the ‘Mormons’ prisoners, and place such a guard around them and the town as will protect the prisoners and secure them until they can be dealt with properly,” and secure all their property, till the best means could be adopted for paying the damages the citizens had sustained.
Severity in the Treatment of Prisoners Modified.
Monday, 5.—We were kept under a small guard, and were treated with some degree of hospitality and politeness, while many flocked to see us. We spent most of our time in preaching and conversation, explanatory of our doctrines and practice, which removed mountains of prejudice, and enlisted the populace in our favor, notwithstanding their old hatred and wickedness towards our society.
Fifty-six Additional Prisoners.
The brethren at Far West were ordered by General Clark to form a line, when the names of fifty-six present were called and made prisoners to await their trial for something they knew not what. They were kept under a close guard.
Tuesday, 6.—General Clark paraded the brethren at Far West, and then addressed them as follows.
General Clark’s Harrangue to the Brethren.
Gentlemen, you whose names are not attached to this list of names, will now have the privilege of going to your fields and providing corn, wood, etc., for your families. Those who are now taken will go from this to prison, be tried, and receive the due demerit of their crimes. But you (except such as charges may hereafter be preferred against) are now at liberty, as soon as the troops are removed that now guard the place, which I shall cause to be done immediately. It now devolves upon you to fulfill the treaty that you have entered into, the leading items of which I shall now lay before you:
The first requires that your leading men be given up to be tried according to law; this you have already complied with.
The second is, that you deliver up your arms; this has been attended to.
The third stipulation is, that you sign over your properties to defray the expenses of the war; this you have also done.
Another article yet remains for you to comply with, and that is, that you leave the state forthwith; and whatever may be your feelings concerning this, or whatever your innocence, it is nothing to me; General Lucas, who is equal in authority with me, has made this treaty with you—I approve of it—I should have done the same had I been here—I am therefore determined to see it fulfilled. The character of this state has suffered almost beyond redemption, from the character, conduct and influence that you have exerted, and we deem it an act of justice to restore her character to its former standing among the states, by every proper means.
The orders of the governor to me were, that you should be exterminated, and not allowed to remain in the state, and had your leaders not been given up, and the terms of the treaty complied with, before this, you and your families would have been destroyed and your houses in ashes.
There is a discretionary power vested in my hands which I shall exercise in your favor for a season; for this lenity you are indebted to my clemency. I do not say that you shall go now, but you must not think of staying here another season, or of putting in crops, for the moment you do this the citizens will be upon you. If I am called here again, in case of a non-compliance of a treaty made, do not think that I shall act any more as I have done—you need not expect any mercy, but extermination, for I am determined the governor’s order shall be executed. As for your leaders, do not once think—do not imagine for a moment—do not let it enter your mind that they will be delivered, or that you will see their faces again, for their fate is fixed—their die is cast—their doom is sealed.
I am sorry, gentlemen, to see so great a number of apparently intelligent men found in the situation that you are; and oh! that I could invoke that Great Spirit, the unknown God, to rest upon you, and make you sufficiently intelligent to break that chain of superstition, and liberate you from those fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound—that you no longer worship a man.
I would advise you to scatter abroad, and never again organize yourselves with Bishops, Presidents, etc., lest you excite the jealousies of the people, and subject yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you.
You have always been the aggressors—you have brought upon yourselves these difficulties by being disaffected and not being subject to rule—and my advice is, that you become as other citizens, lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon yourselves irretrievable ruin. 3
The governor wrote General Clark as follows:
It will also be necessary that you hold a military court of inquiry in Daviess county, and arrest the Mormons who have been guilty of the late outrages, committed towards the inhabitants of said county. My instructions to you are to settle this whole matter completely, if possible, before you disband your forces; if the Mormons are disposed voluntarily to leave the state, of course it would be advisable in you to promote that object, in any way deemed proper. The ringleaders of this rebellion, though, ought by no means to be permitted to escape the punishment they merit.
The prisoners at Far West were started off for Richmond, under a strong guard.
Wednesday, 7.—The following order was issued at Far West by General Clark:
Brigadier-General Robert Wilson will take up the line of march with his brigade on this morning for Adam-ondi-Ahman, in Daviess county, and take possession of the prisoners at that place, and proceed to ascertain those who committed crimes, and when done, to put them under close guard, and when he moves, take them to Keytesville, after having them recognized by the proper authority.
Progress of Affairs at Diahman.
Thursday, 8.—There was a severe snowstorm yesterday and today. General Wilson arrived at Adam-ondi-Ahman; he placed guards around the town so that no persons might pass out or in without permission. All the men in town were then taken and put under guard and a court of inquiry was instituted with Adam Black on the bench; the said Adam Black belonged to the mob, and was one of the leaders of it from the time mobbing first commenced in Daviess county. The attorney belonged to General Clark’s army.
The Prophet and his Fellow Prisoners Sent to Richmond.
Shortly after our arrival in Jackson county, Colonel Sterling Price, from the army of General Clark, came with orders from General Clark, who was commander-in-chief of the expedition, to have us forwarded forthwith to Richmond. Accordingly, on Thursday morning, we started with three guards only, and they had been obtained with great difficulty, after laboring all the previous day to get them. Between Independence and Roy’s Ferry, on the Missouri river, they all got drunk, and we got possession of their arms and horses.
It was late in the afternoon, near the setting of the sun. We traveled about half a mile after we crossed the river, and put up for the night.
Prisoners not Sufficiently Protected by Guards.
Friday, 9.—This morning there came a number of men, some of them armed. Their threatenings and savage appearance were such as to make us afraid to proceed without more guards. A messenger was therefore dispatched to Richmond to obtain them. We started before their arrival, but had not gone far before we met Colonel Price with a guard of about seventy-four men, and were conducted by them to Richmond, and put into an old vacant house, and a guard set.
Meeting of the Prophet and Gen. Clark.
Some time through the course of that day General Clark came in, and we were introduced to him. We inquired of him the reason why we had been thus carried from our homes, and what were the charges against us. He said that he was not then able to determine, but would be in a short time; and with very little more conversation withdrew.
The Prisoners Chained.
Some short time after he had withdrawn Colonel Price came in with two chains in his hands, and a number of padlocks. The two chains he fastened together. He had with him ten men, armed, who stood at the time of these operations with a thumb upon the cock of their guns. They first nailed down the windows, then came and ordered a man by the name of John Fulkerson, whom he had with him, to chain us together with chains and padlocks, being seven in number. After that he searched us, examining our pockets to see if we had any arms. He found nothing but pocket knives, but these he took away with him.
Saturday, November 10.—The following is a true specimen of Missouri liberty.
Form of Permit.
I permit David Holman to remove from Daviess to Caldwell county there to remain during the winter, or to pass out of the state.
R. Wilson, Brigadier-General.
By F. G. Cocknu, Aid.
November 10, 1838.
General Clark Desires to Try the Prophet by Court Martial.
General Clark had spent his time since our arrival at Richmond in searching the laws to find authority for trying us by court martial. Had he not been a lawyer of eminence, I should have supposed it no very difficult task to decide that quiet, peaceful unoffending, and private citizens too, except as ministers of the Gospel, were not amenable to a military tribunal, in a country governed by civil laws. But be this as it may, General Clark wrote the governor that he had—
General Clark’s Report to Governor Boggs.
Detained General White and his field offices here a day or two for the purpose of holding a court martial, if necessary. I this day made out charges against the prisoners, and called on Judge King to try them as a committing court; and I am now busily engaged in procuring witnesses and submitting facts. There being no civil officers in Caldwell, I have to use the military to get witnesses from there, which I do without reserve. The most of the prisoners here I consider guilty of treason; and I believe will be convicted; and the only difficulty in law is, can they be tried in any county but Caldwell? If not, they cannot be there indicted, until a change of population. In the event the latter view is taken by the civil courts, I suggest the propriety of trying Jo Smith and those leaders taken by General Lucas, by a court martial, for mutiny. This I am in favor of only as dernier resort. I would have taken this course with Smith at any rate; but it being doubtful whether a court martial has jurisdiction or not in the present case—that is, whether these people are to be treated as in time of war, and the mutineers as having mutinied in time of war—and I would here ask you to forward to me the attorney-general’s opinion on this point. It will not do to allow these leaders to return to their treasonable work again, on account of their not being indicted in Caldwell. They have committed treason, murder, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny, and perjury.
The three days’ investigation having closed at Adam-ondi-Ahman, every man was honorably acquitted, Adam Black being judge.
Hardships Inflicted on the “Diahman” Saints.
General Wilson then ordered every family to be out of Diahman in ten days, with permission to go to Caldwell, and there tarry until spring, and then leave the state under pain of extermination. The weather is very cold, more so than usual for this season of the year.
In keeping the order of General Wilson the Saints had to leave their crops and houses, and to live in tents and wagons, in this inclement season of the year. As for their flocks and herds, the mob had relieved them from the trouble of taking care of them, or from the pain of seeing them starve to death—by stealing them.
An arrangement was made in which it was stipulated that a committee of twelve, which had been previously appointed, should have the privilege of going from Far West to Daviess county, for the term of four weeks, for the purpose of conveying their crops from Daviess to Caldwell. The committee were to wear white badges on their hats for protection.
Casualties of the Mobbing.
About thirty of the brethren have been killed, many wounded, about a hundred are missing, and about sixty at Richmond awaiting their trial—for what they know not.
Sunday, 11.—While in Richmond we were under the charge of Colonel Price from Chariton county, who allowed all manner of abuses to be heaped upon us. During this time my afflictions were great, and our situation was truly painful. 4
List of the Prisoners.
General Clark informed us that he would turn us over to the civil authorities for trial. Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, Lyman Wight, Amasa Lyman, George W. Robinson, Caleb Baldwin, Alanson Ripley, Washington Voorhees, Sidney Turner, John Buchanan, Jacob Gates, Chandler Holbrook, George W. Harris, Jesse D. Hunter, Andrew Whitlock, Martin C. Allred, William Allred, George D. Grant, Darwin Chase, Elijah Newman, Alvin G. Tippets, Zedekiah Owens, Isaac Morley, Thomas Beck, Moses Clawson, John J. Tanner, Daniel Shearer, Daniel S. Thomas, Alexander McRae, Elisha Edwards, John S. Higbee, Ebenezer Page, Benjamin Covey, Ebenezer Robinson, Luman Gibbs, James M. Henderson, David Pettegrew, Edward Partridge, Francis Higbee, David Frampton, George Kimball, Joseph W. Younger, Henry Zobriskie, Allen J. Stout, Sheffield Daniels, Silas Maynard, Anthony Head, Benjamin Jones, Daniel Garn, John T. Earl, and Norman Shearer, were brought before Austin A. King, at Richmond, for trial, charged with the several crimes of high treason against the state, murder, burglary, arson, robbery, and larceny.
Monday, 12.—The first act of the court was to send out a body of armed men, without a civil process, to obtain witnesses.
Tuesday, 13.—We were placed at the bar, Austin A. King presiding, and Thomas C. Burch, the state’s attorney. Witnesses were called and sworn at the point of the bayonet.
The Villainy of Avard.
Dr. Sampson Avard was the first brought before the court. He had previously told Mr. Oliver Olney that if he [Olney] wished to save himself, he must swear hard against the heads of the Church, as they were the ones the court wanted to criminate; and if he could swear hard against them, they would not (that is, neither court nor mob) disturb him. “I intend to do it,” said he, “in order to escape, for if I do not, they will take my life.”
This introduction is sufficient to show the character of his testimony, and he swore just according to the statement he had made, doubtless thinking it a wise course to ingratiate himself into the good graces of the mob.
List of Witnesses against the Saints.
The following witnesses were examined in behalf of the state, many of whom, if we may judge from their testimony, swore upon the same principle as Avard, they were: Wyatt Cravens, Nehemiah Odle, Captain Samuel Bogart, Morris Phelps, John Corrill, Robert Snodgrass, George Walton, George M. Hinkle, James C. Owens, Nathaniel Carr, Abner Scovil, John Cleminson, Reed Peck, James C. Owens (re-examined), William Splawn, Thomas M. Odle, John Raglin, Allen Rathbun, Jeremiah Myers, Andrew J. Job, Freeburn H. Gardner, Burr Riggs, Elisha Camron, Charles Bleckley, James Cobb, Jesse Kelly, Addison Price, Samuel Kimball, William W. Phelps, John Whitmer, James B. Turner, George W. Worthington, Joseph H. McGee, John Lockhart, Porter Yale, Benjamin Slade, Ezra Williams, Addison Green, John Taylor, Timothy Lewis, and Patrich Lynch.
Sunday, 18.—While our suit was going forward General Wilson gave the following permit, in Daviess county:
I permit the following persons, as a committee on the part of the Mormons, to pass and re-pass in and through the county of Daviess during the winter, to-wit.: William Huntington, John Reed, Benjamin S. Wilbur, Mayhew Hillman, Z. Wilson, E. B. Gaylord, Henry Herriman, Daniel Stanton, Oliver Snow, William Earl, Jonathan H. Hale, Henry Humphrey—upon all lawful business.
R. Wilson, Brig.-Gen. Commanding.
By F. G. Cocknu, Aid.
November 18, 1838.
Treatment of Witnesses for the Defense.
We were called upon for our witnesses, and we gave the names of some forty or fifty. Captain Bogart was despatched with a company of militia to procure them. He arrested all he could find, thrust them into prison, and we were not allowed to see them.
During the week we were again called upon most tauntingly for witnesses; we gave the names of some others, and they were thrust into prison, so many as were to be found.
In the meantime Malinda Porter, Delia F. Pine, Nancy Rigdon, Jonathan W. Barlow, Thoret Parsons, Ezra Chipman, and Arza Judd, Jun., volunteered, and were sworn, on the defense, but were prevented as much as possible by threats from telling the truth. We saw a man at the window by the name of Allen, and beckoned him to come in, and had him sworn, but when he did not testify to please the court, several rushed upon him with their bayonets, and he fled the place; three men took after him with loaded guns, and he barely escaped with his life. It was of no use to get any more witnesses, even if we could have done so.
Some Prisoners Discharged.
Thus this mock investigation continued from day to day, till Saturday, when several of the brethren were discharged by Judge King as follows—
Defendants against whom nothing is proven, viz., Amasa Lyman, John Buchanan, Andrew Whitlock, Alvah L. Tippets, Jedediah Owens, Isaac Morley, John J. Tanner, Daniel S. Thomas, Elisha Edwards, Benjamin Covey, David Frampton, Henry Zobriskie, Allen J. Stout, Sheffield Daniels, Silas Maynard, Anthony Head, John T. Earl, Ebenezer Brown, James Newberry, Sylvester Hulett, Chandler Holbrook, Martin C. Allred, William Allred. The above defendants have been discharged by me, there being no evidence against them.
Austin A. King, Judge, etc.
November 24, 1838.
Misconception of the Church Organization.
Our Church organization was converted, by the testimony of the apostates, into a temporal kingdom, which was to fill the whole earth and subdue all other kingdoms.
The judge, who by the by was a Methodist, asked much concerning our views of the prophecy of Daniel: “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall break in pieces all other kingdoms, and stand forever,” * * * * “and the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High.” As if it were treason to believe the Bible. 5
Ashby’s Report of Haun’s Mills Massacre.
Wednesday, 28.—Daniel Ashby, a member of the state senate, wrote General Clark that he was in the battle [massacre] at Haun’s Mills, that thirty-one “Mormons” were killed, and seven of his party wounded.
Prisoners Discharged and Retained.
The remaining prisoners were all released or admitted to bail, except Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, Hyrum Smith, Alexander McRae, Sidney Rigdon, and myself, who were sent to Liberty, Clay county, to jail, to stand our trial for treason and murder. Our treason consisted of having whipped the mob out of Daviess county, and taking their cannon from them; the murder, of killing the man in the Bogart battle; also Parley P. Pratt, Morris Phelps, Luman Gibbs, Darwin Chase, and Norman Shearer, who were put into Richmond jail to stand their trial for the same “crimes.”
Legal Advice to Cease Defense.
During the investigation we were confined in chains and received much abuse. The matter of driving away witnesses or casting them into prison, or chasing them out of the county, was carried to such length that our lawyers, General Doniphan and Amos Rees, told us not to bring our witnesses there at all; for if we did, there would not be one of them left for final trial; for no sooner would Bogart and his men know who they were, than they would put them out of the country.
As to making any impression on King, Doniphan said, if a cohort of angels were to come down, and declare we were innocent, it would all be the same; for he (King) had determined from the beginning to cast us into prison. We never got the privilege of introducing our witnesses at all; if we had, we could have disproved all the evidence of our enemies.
M. Arthur, Esq., to the Representatives from Clay County.
Liberty, November 29, 1838.
Respected Friends:—Humanity to an injured people prompts me at present to address you thus: You were aware of the treatment (to some extent before you left home) received by that unfortunate race of beings called the Mormons, from Daviess, in the form of human beings inhabiting Daviess, Livingston, and part of Ray counties; not being satisfied with the relinquishment of all their rights as citizens and human beings, in the treaty forced upon them by General Lucas, by giving up their arms, and throwing themselves upon the mercy of the state, and their fellow citizens generally, hoping thereby protection of their lives and property, they are now receiving treatment from those demons, that makes humanity shudder, and the cold chills run over any man, not entirely destitute of the feelings of humanity. These demons are now constantly strolling up and down Caldwell county, in small companies armed, insulting the women in any way and every way, and plundering the poor devils of all the means of subsistence (scanty as it was) left them, and driving off their horses, cattle, hogs, etc., and rifling their houses and farms of everything therein, taking beds, bedding, wardrobes, robes, and such things as they see they want, leaving the poor Mormons in a starving and naked condition.
These are facts I have from authority that cannot be questioned, and can be maintained and substantiated at any time. There is now a petition afloat in our town, signed by the citizens of all parties and grades, which will be sent you in a few days, praying the legislature to make some speedy enactment applicable to their case. They are entirely willing to leave our state, so soon as this inclement season is over; and a number have already left, and are leaving daily, scattering themselves to the four winds of the earth.
Now, sirs, I do not want by any means to dictate to you the course to be pursued, but one fact I will merely suggest. I this day was conversing with Mr. George M. Pryer, who is just from Far West, relating the outrages there committed daily. I suggested to him the propriety of the legislature’s placing a guard to patrol on the lines of Caldwell county, say, of about twenty-five men, and give them, say, about one dollar or one and a half per day, each man, and find their provisions, etc., until, say, the first day of June next; these men rendering that protection necessary to the Mormons, and allowing them to follow and bring to justice any individuals who have heretofore or will hereafter be guilty of plundering or any violation of the laws. I would suggest that George M. Pryer be appointed captain of said guard, and that he be allowed to raise his own men, if he is willing thus to act. He is a man of correct habits, and will do justice to all sides, and render due satisfaction.
Should this course not be approved of, I would recommend the restoration of their [the Mormons’] arms for their own protection. One or the other of these suggestions is certainly due the Mormons from the state. She has now their leaders prisoners, to the number of fifty or sixty, and I apprehend no danger from the remainder in any way until they will leave the state.
Mr. Arthur is not a “Mormon,” but a friend of man.
Attested Copy of the Mittimus under which Joseph Smith, Jun., and Others, were sent from Judge King to the Jailer of Liberty Prison, in Clay County, Missouri.
State Of Missouri,
To the Keeper of the Jail of Clay County:
Greeting:—Whereas, Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin, as also Sidney Rigdon, have been brought before me, Austin A. King, judge of the fifth judicial circuit in the state of Missouri, and charged with the offense of treason against the state of Missouri, and the said defendants, on their examination before me, being held to answer further to said charge, the said Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and Caleb Baldwin, to answer in the county of Daviess, and the said Sidney Rigdon to answer further in the county of Caldwell, for said charge of treason, and there being no jail in said counties; these are therefore to command that you receive the said Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, Caleb Baldwin, and Sidney Rigdon into your custody in the jail of the said county of Clay, there to remain until they be delivered therefrom by due course of law.
Given under my hand and seal the 29th day of November, 1838.
Austin A. King.
State of Missouri, County of Clay.
I, Samuel Hadley, sheriff of Clay county, do hereby certify that the above is a true copy of the mittimus to me, directed in the cases therein named.
Samuel Hadley, Jailer.
By Samuel Tillery, Deputy Jailer.
Clay County, Missouri.
Friday, 30.—About this time those of us who had been sentenced thereto, were conveyed to Liberty jail, put in close confinement, and all communication with our friends cut off.
In Liberty Prison.
During our trial William E. McLellin, accompanied by Burr Riggs and others, at times were busy in plundering and robbing the houses of Sidney Rigdon, George Morey, the widow Phebe Ann Patten, and others, under pretense or color of law, on an order from General Clark, as testified to by the members of the different families robbed. 6
Course of Wm. E. McLellin and Burr Riggs.
Saturday, December 1, 1838.—A committee on the part of the “Mormons” and a like committee on the part of the citizens of Daviess county, met at Adam-Ondi-Ahman, on the first of December, 1838, the following propositions by the “Mormon” committee were made and agreed to by the Daviess county committee:
First—That the Mormon committee be allowed to employ, say twenty teamsters for the purpose of hauling off their property.
Second—That the Mormon committee collect whatever stock they may have in Daviess county at some point, and some two or three of the Daviess county committee be notified to attend for the purpose of examining said stock, and convey or attend the Mormon committee out of the limits of the county; and it is further understood, that the Mormon committee is not to drive or take from this county any stock of any description, at any other time, nor under any other circumstances, than these mentioned.
As witness our hands,
William P. Peniston,
Dr. K. Kerr,
The above propositions were made and agreed to by the undersigned committee on the part of the Mormons.
B. S. Wilbur,
J. R. Hale,
Chapter 14 Notes
1. It was during this march between Crooked river and the Missouri that the Prophet predicted that none of the prisoners would lose their lives during their captivity. The incident is thus related by Parley P. Pratt: “As we arose and commenced our march on the morning of the 3rd of November, Joseph Smith spoke to me and the other prisoners, in a low, but cheerful and confidential tone; said he: ‘Be of good cheer, brethren; the word of the Lord came to me last night that our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer during this captivity, not one of our lives shall be taken.’ Of this prophecy I testify in the name of the Lord, and, though spoken in secret, its public fulfillment and the miraculous escape of each one of us is too notorious to need my testimony.”—Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 210.
2. On this matter of competition for possession of the prisoners Parley P. Pratt, one of the prisoners, repeats a statement made by General Wilson as follows: “It was repeatedly insinuated, by the other officers and troops that we should hang you prisoners on the first tree we came to on the way to Independence. But I’ll be d——d if anybody shall hurt you. We just intend to exhibit you in Independence, let the people look at you, and see what a d——d set of fine fellows you are. And, more particularly, to keep you from that old bigot of a General Clark and his troops, from down country who are so stuffed with lies and prejudice that they would shoot you down in a moment.”—Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 209.
3. This speech of General Clark’s is to be found in the “History of Caldwell and Livingston counties, Missouri, written and compiled by the St. Louis National Historical Company,” 1886, and is introduced as follows: “A few day after his arrival General Clark removed a portion of the restraint he had imposed upon the Mormons’ allowing them to go out for wood, provisions, etc. He assembled the multitude on the temple square and delivered to them a written speech, a copy of which is here given. It goes far to prove that General Clark was ordered to ‘exterminate’ the Mormons, not excepting the women and children, and burn their houses and otherwise destroy their property.”—History of Caldwell and Livington Counties, p. 140.
4. It was during this time that the very remarkable circumstance of the Prophet rebuking the prison guards occurred. The matter is related by Elder Parley P. Pratt in his Autobiography. It appears that during the imprisonment at Richmond Elder Rigdon was taken very ill from the hardships and exposure he had to endure. He was chained next to his son-in-law, George W. Robinson, and compelled to sleep on the hard floor notwithstanding his delirium, the result of fever. Mrs. Robinson, the daughter of Elder Rigdon, had accompanied her husband and father into the prison for the purpose of caring for the latter during his illness. She is represented as being a very delicate woman with an infant at the breast. She continued by the side of her father until he recovered form his illness notwithstanding the loathsomeness of the prison and the vileness of the guards. And now the story of the rebuke as related by Elder Pratt: “In one of those tedious nights we had lain as if in sleep till the hour of midnight had passed, and our ears and hearts had been pained, while we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our guards, Colonel Price at their head, as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the “Mormons” while at Far West and vicinity. They even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters and virgins, and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children. I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or anyone else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as nearly as I can recollect, the following words:
“‘Silence, ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die this instant!’
He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.
“I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight in a dungeon, in an obscure village in Missouri.”—Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 228-230.
5. Respecting this inquiry concerning the passage in Daniel’s prophecy, Elder Parley P. Pratt writes: “This court of inquisition inquired diligently into our belief of the seventh chapter of Daniel concerning the kingdom of God, which should subdue all other kingdoms and stand forever. And when told that we believed in that prophecy, the court turned to the clerk and said: ‘Write that down; it is a strong point for treason.’ Our lawyer observed as follows: ‘Judge, you had better make the Bible treason.’ The court made no reply.”—Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 230.
6. Further concerning the apostasy and conduct of William E. McLellin, soon after the Prophet and his associates were taken prisoners at Far West, Parley P. Pratt says: “While thus confined, William E. McLellin, once my fellow laborer in the Gospel, but now a Judas, with hostile weapon in hand to destroy the Saints, came to me and observed: ‘Well, Parley, you have now got where you are certain never to escape; how do you feel as to the course you have taken in religion?’ I answered, that I had taken the course which I should take if I had my life to live over again. He seemed thoughtful for a moment, and then replied: ‘Well, I think, if I were you, I should die as I had lived; at any rate, I see no possibility of escape for you and your friends.'”—Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 206.
While the brethren were imprisoned at Richmond it is said the “McLellin, who was a large and active man, went to the sheriff and asked for the privilege of flogging the Prophet. Permission was granted on condition that Joseph would fight. The sheriff made known to Joseph McLellin’s earnest request, to which Joseph consented, if his irons were taken off. McLellin then refused to fight unless he could have a club, to which Joseph was perfectly willing; but the sheriff would not allow them to fight on such unequal terms. McLellin was a man of superficial education, though he had a good flow of language. He adopted the profession of medicine.”—Mill. Star, vol., 36: pp. 808, 809.