Facts Relative Expulsion Section D
Facts Relative to the Expulsion
The arms which were taken from us here, which we understand to be about 630, besides swords and pistols, we care not so much about, as we do the pay for them; only we are bound to do military duty, which we are willing to do, and which we think was sufficiently manifested by the raising of a volunteer company last fall, at Far West, when called upon by General Parks, to raise troops for the frontier. The arms given up by us, we consider were worth between twelve and fifteen thousand dollars, but we understand they have been greatly damaged since taken, and at this time, probably would not bring near their former value. And as they were, both here and in Jackson County, taken by the militia, and consequently by the authority of the state, we therefore ask your honorable body to cause an appropriation to be made by law, whereby we may be paid for them, or otherwise have them returned to us and the damages made good. The losses sustained by our people in leaving Jackson County, are so situated that it is impossible to obtain any compensation for them by law, because those who have sustained them are unable to prove those trespasses upon individuals. That the facts do exist,-that the buildings, crops, stock, furniture, rails, timber, etc. of the society, have been destroyed in Jackson County, is not doubted by those who are acquainted in this upper country, and since these trespasses cannot be proved upon individuals, we ask your honorable body to consider this case, and if, in your liberality and wisdom, you can conceive it to be proper to make an appropriation by law to these sufferers, many of whom are still pressed down with poverty in consequence of their losses, would be able to pay their debts, and also in some degree be relieved from poverty and woe, whilst the widows heart would be made to rejoice and the orphans tear measurable dried up, and the prayers of a grateful people ascended on high, with thanksgiving and praise, to the author of our existence, for that beneficent act. (Q) (R)
In laying our case before your honorable body, we say that we are willing, and ever have been to conform to the constitution and laws of the United States, and of this State. We ask in common with others, the protection of the laws. We ask for the privilege guaranteed to all free citizens of the United States and of this State to be extended to us, that we may be permitted to settle and live where we please, and worship God according to the dictates of our conscience without molestation. And while we ask for ourselves this privilege we are willing all others should enjoy the same.
We now lay our case at the feet of your legislature, and ask your honorable body to consider it, and do for us, after mature deliberation, that which your wisdom, patriotism, and philanthropy may dictate. And we, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.
HEBER C. KIMBALL,
GEORGE W. HARRIS,
JOHN M. BURK.
A committee appointed by the citizens of Caldwell County to draft this memorial, and sign it in their behalf.
Far West, Caldwell Co., Mo., Dec. 10, 1838.
Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, From the State of Missouri, under the "Exterminating Order."
The following statements of facts are made by me with a strong assurance of their correctness. Of many of the events described I was personally a witness; and the accounts of others I have received from men who were engaged in them, and in whose veracity I put entire confidence. Under oath, I should willingly declare, that to the best of my knowledge these notes contain the truth, and nothing but the truth.
JOHN P. GREENE.
On Tuesday , when the mob again assembled, they went to the houses of several of the leading Mormons; and, taking Isaac Morley, David Whitmer, and others, they told them to bid their families farewell, for they would never see them again. Then driving them at the point of the bayonet to the public square, they stripped and tarred and feathered them, amidst menaces and insults. The commanding officer then called twelve of his men, and ordering them to cock their guns and present them at the prisoner’s breasts, and to be ready to fire when he gave the word,-he addressed the prisoners, threatening them with instant death, unless they denied the book of Mormon and confessed it to be a fraud; at the same time adding, that if they did so, they might enjoy the privileges of citizens. David Whitmer, hereupon, lifted up his hands and bore witness that the Book of Mormon was the Word of God. The mob then let them go.
A meeting of the people in Independence was held, and the mob entered into an agreement to drive the Mormons from the county or die. Very inflammatory language was used by Mr. Childs and Mr. Brazill. The latter of whom swore that he would expel them if he had to wade up to his neck in blood. It was the excitement produced by this meeting, and under these threatening circumstances, that the Mormons first placed themselves in an attitude of defence.
It is here to be particularly noted, that Lilburn W. Boggs, then Lieutenant Governor, was acting in concert with the militia officer, who headed this attack upon the Mormons, and assisted in making the treaty by which they pledged themselves to give up their guns and leave the county, on condition that they should be protected from all wrong and insult while so doing.
"Instigated by the press and pulpit, or, what is still worse, by the personal examples of some of the clergy, who actually marched with rifle in hand, at the head of parties of the mob, and afterwards published an excuse, in order to justify the mob in such awful wickedness;-(among other clergymen, who were personally engaged in such conduct, I would identify the Rev. Isaac McCoy, a noted missionary to the Indians.") P. P. Pratt.
Horrible to relate, several women thus driven from their homes gave birth to children in the woods and on the prairies, destitute of beds or clothing, having escaped in fright. It is stated, on the authority of Solomon Hancock, an eye-witness, that he, with the assistance of two or three others, protected 120 women and children, for the space of 8 or 10 days, who were obliged to keep themselves hid from their pursuers, while they were hourly expecting to be massacred-and who finally escaped into Clay County, by finding a circuitous route to the ferry.
Several persons, who returned for the purpose of securing the remnants of their property, were caught, and cruelly beaten. A Mr. Leonard was so beaten, that from head to foot he was left perfectly raw, and for months was unable to lie upon his back. Another was tied up and whipped in such an inhuman manner, that his bowels gushed, out and he died on the spot. The mob in Jackson County were not satisfied with their injuries. They often crossed the river and insulted, outraged, and plundered their victims-until such commotion was produced, that the inhabitants of Clay County were compelled to hold a meeting and invite the Mormons to seek another home.
After their removal into Caldwell and Daviess counties, the Mormons were allowed to enjoy comparative quiet. The circumstances attending their settlement in Caldwell County were as follows: As it was found that difficulty arose when they were residing in other communities, it seemed better that they should live apart. Petitions were, in consequence, sent into the Legislature, and by them granted, that a county should be set off for their good; and Caldwell County was assigned to them as a place of residence. Here they were allowed to organize the government for the county. Of the officers then appointed, two of the judges, thirteen magistrates, and all the military officers, and the county clerk, were Mormons. These steps were taken, be it carefully observed, by the advice of the State Legislature; and the officers were appointed in the manner directed by law. The county town of Caldwell was Far West.
Early in August, at the State election in Daviess County, at the town of Gallatin, after the polls were opened, Mr. William Peniston, candidate for Representative to the State Legislature, stood upon the head of a barrel, and harangued the people. His speech was made up of attack and threats upon the Mormons, during which, with most degrading epithets, he accused them of being horse-thieves and robbers, and swore that they should not vote in that county. This language, as might naturally be expected, produced some feeling of indignation among the Mormons, who were present. Thereupon, a Mormon, Mr. Samuel Brown, replied to those near him, that the assertions were untrue, and that he intended to exercise his rights as a citizen; he was immediately struck at by R. Weldin, who threatened him for his impertinence, and, as he was attempting to repeat the blow, was caught by the arm by another Mormon, whose name was Durfee. Eight or ten men with clubs and staves fell upon Durfee, knocked him down, and a general engagement ensued, in which clubs, bricks, and dirks, were freely used. Finding the Mormons resolute, a compromise was affected, and their rights of voting being granted, the election proceeded, was concluded in peace, and all returned in quiet to their homes.
Meanwhile the election had been going on in Caldwell County.
The day following the election, two or three successive messengers, who, be it observed, were not Mormons, rode into Far West, (the county town of Caldwell), and spread the report that there had been a battle in Gallatin, and that several of the Mormons had been killed, and their bodies refused their friends for burial, and left upon the ground. This, as afterwards appeared, was a mere deceit, to lure them into violence. The news created much excitement, and 75 or 100 individuals determined to go in small parties and separately, to Adam-ondi-Ahman, and inquire into the truth of the report, where, on arriving, they were informed of the real state of the case. Fearing, however, that farther trouble might grow out of the affair, and desirous, if possible, to prevent it, and individual went to Adam Black, justice of the peace, and proposed that an agreement should be entered into to keep the peace on both sides. Mr. Black acceded to the proposal, and requested that Messrs. Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight should come to his house, and confirm the contract. The paper was drawn up by Mr. Black, and signed by both parties, and the Mormons returned to Far West, the same day, rejoicing in the thought that the difficulty was settled, as they hoped much good from Mr. Black’s influence. The news of this agreement having gone abroad, some citizens of Daviess County were greatly dissatisfied that Mr. Black had taken it upon himself to enter into it without their authority-whereupon, Mr. Black, to appease them, went to Austin A. King, Circuit Judge, and obtained a writ for the apprehension of Smith and Wight, under the charge that they and others, with threats of violence, had compelled him to sign the agreement. They gave themselves up and were brought before Judge King to Gallatin; and although no charge against them was sustained, yet to pacify the mob, who had meantime collected in great numbers, they were put under their own bonds although no security whatever was demanded, (Judge King thus showing that he thought nothing of the accusation), to appear at the next court term. It should be distinctly stated that Joseph Smith, being a resident of Caldwell County, could not have been taken under the writ, but voluntarily submitted himself to the court. After the examination they returned home. Meanwhile Wight was constantly threatened with violence.
The excitement continued to increase, until a mob of about three hundred armed men from Daviess and other counties was collected, who made prisoners of some of the Mormons, shooting and driving away their cattle, and threatening to exterminate or expel them from the county unless they would deny their faith. The conduct of the rioters became so alarming, that it was found necessary for Maj. Gen. Atchison to call out the militia from Ray and Clay counties, under the command of Generals Doniphan and Parks.
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- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section 2
- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section 3
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- Facts Relative to the Expulsion Section 11