Facts Relative Expulsion Section G

Facts Relative to the Expulsion

(Section 7)

Whereas Joseph Smith Jr., 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 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.

State of Missouri, ss.
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.


By Samuel Tillery, Dep’y Jailer,
Clay County, Missouri.

Copy of Caleb Baldwin’s Petition,


Liberty, Clay Co., March 15, 1839.

To the honorable Judge Tompkins, or either of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Your petitioner Caleb Baldwin, begs leave to represent to your honor, that sometime in the month of Nov. he was taken prisoner in Far West by Gen. Clark, and marched to Richmond under a strong guard without any charges being preferred against him, and brought before the honorable Austin A. King, and underwent a partial examination exparte in its nature, under the high hand of oppression, and was not allowed the privilege of being examined before the Court then sitting, neither had he the privilege of introducing any testimony before said Court.

Your petitioner would further state, that the said Austin A. King while acting in his official capacity as a committing magistrate, did tell your petitioner that there was no law for him your petitioner, and that he could not stay in the state. Yet your petitioner was held by a strong guard by the said Austin A. King, and after a long examination the said King committed your petitioner to the Jail of Clay County, together with the others of your petitioners, where he has been restrained of his liberty near four months, for the crime of treason against the state, without the least shadow of testimony against him to that amount, or any testimony that was sufficient to have held a man in confinement a single moment. And your petitioner can show before your Honor that he has never committed treason against the state of Missouri, nor any other crime, but has always held himself in readiness to submit to every shadow of law. And now Sir, these are charges too heavy to be borne with submission. And the family of your petitioner has been driven out of the state since his confinement, without any means for their support. And how Sir, in the name of the great God I adjure you, to grant me the state writ of Habeas Corpus, directed to some proper officer, and bring your petitioner before your Honor that he may be discharged according to law. And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.


State of Missouri,
Liberty, Clay Co., March 15th, 1839.

Personally came before me Caleb Baldwin, and made oath that the foregoing matters and facts contained in the above are true, to the best of his knowledge.

Caleb Baldwin.

March 15th, 1839

Sworn to before me Abraham Shafer, a Justice of the Peace within and for Clay County in the state of Missouri, this 15th day of March 1839.

Abraham Shafer, J. P.

Copy of Lyman Wight’s Petition.

To the Honorable Judges of the Supreme Court for the state of Missouri.

I petition to you, gentlemen, or either of you, for a writ of Habeas Corpus to bring me before your honors, there to investigate and lay before you the situation and circumstances of your petitioner, who is now falsely imprisoned in the Clay County Jail, Mo. Your petitioner begs leave of your honors here to set forth some of the most prominent points which have led to this false imprisonment. Your petitioner deposeth and saith, that he was a lawful citizen of Daviess County, and that some time in the month of August last, whilst peaceably at work on his farm, he was threatened day by day by the citizens of Daviess County that if he did not deny his religion they would either exterminate him or drive him from the county.

Your petitioner verily believed that it was the threats of some few foul perpetrators until some time in the month of August, when they not only met from that county, but from other counties, with an armed force of rising 300 rank and file, and before the militia could be raised under General’s Atchison and Doniphan, they had marched within two and a half miles of your petitioners house, who was assisted by a small number of the same Church to which he belonged. Gen’s. Atchison and Doniphan succeeded in dispersing this lawless band-but no sooner was this done than they commenced gathering in Carroll County, where they succeeded in driving from seventy to a hundred families, commonly called Mormons, from that county.

The first news your petitioner got of this extraordinary transaction was by the way of the militia under Col. Dunn, who informed your petitioner that this same band, about 400 strong, well armed and prepared for war, with a field piece, a six pounder, was then within fourteen miles of your petitioners house; the advice from the general officers and judges was, that the people called Mormons should stand in their own defense until the militia could be called out to quell this lawless band, who had threatened to exterminate the Mormons, or drive them from Daviess County. This advice was adhered to by the Mormons; they met the enemy, and without the firing of a gun, or the shedding of blood, took the cannon from them.

This band becoming enraged, divided into small squads and fell upon individual Mormons, turned them out of doors, and burned their houses; and, as many of these marauders were from different counties, they burned many of the other citizens houses, supposing them to belong to the Mormons. Your petitioner declares and says, that through the whole transaction he was not away from home, his wife being very much out of health.

This scene being exaggerated by the many false representations called forth a large body of militia; your petitioner, on the 29th day of October, went to the Far West, Caldwell County, where, on his arrival, he found a large body of militia encamped near that place; he was informed by George M. Hinkle that the officers desired to see him; your petitioner replied, he could not be detained for his wife was sick. Hinkle replied, I should not be detained long. Accordingly I went-met General’s Lucas, Doniphan, and Wilson, when Hinkle observed, “here is the prisoners I agreed to deliver you.” Gen. Lucas then drew his sword and ordered us into the camp; from thence your petitioner was moved to Jackson County under a strong guard, and from thence to Ray County where he was put in irons; here for the first time he was made acquainted with the charges against him, and then delivered over to Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Court, who sat in the capacity of Conservator of the Peace: he put your petitioner on trial with some fifty or sixty others under a strong armed force, thence calling on renegade Mormons for testimony; and when their testimony was found insufficient to prove to the court that they had not fully and fairly denied the faith, and become willfully malicious against the prisoners, they were put on trial themselves.

This, together with the exterminating order of the governor, so intimidated the witnesses that some have since acknowledged that they swore for the time being to save their lives. Your petitioner was kept two weeks in irons; in the meantime there was an armed force continually harassing the Mormons in Caldwell and Daviess counties, taking prisoners, promising protection to those who would swear against the present prisoners and those that would not should be put on trial. After a scare of this kind for fifteen days, your petitioner was informed that he could produce his testimony; no sooner were their names given than they were driven by an armed force to the extremity of leaving the state, or hiding up, so that they could not be found, and this to save their lives, as their arms were taken from them, and they threatened with extermination if they did not leave the state; therefore your petitioner was obliged to submit to the evidence, false and exparte as it was in its nature, and abide the decision of the Judge, who pronounced your petitioner to be guilty of Treason, ordered him to be conveyed to the above named Jail, where he has laid in close confinement for near four months.

Your petitioner begs leave to state a few facts to your honors concerning his family in the meanwhile. On the 3rd day of November his wife was put to bed with a son, whilst Cornelius C. Gilliam, with 100 painted men, surrounded the house, screeching and howling in the attitude of the Delaware Indians, he (Gilliam) calling himself after the Delaware Chief, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the militia could keep them out of the house. In this situation your petitioners’ family remained, threatened day by day to leave the county or be exterminated;-accordingly when her babe was eight days old, she was informed she could stay no longer; that she must not only leave the county, but the state-that she need not flatter herself that she would ever see her husband again, for if they could not find law to kill him, they would kill him without law. She was stripped of her beds and bedding, and of her household furniture, then placed in an open wagon with six helpless children to make the best shift she could to get out of the state. The last news your petitioner received from her she was on the bank of the Mississippi river in a tent, depending on the charity of the people for her support; this being the fifth time that your petitioner and family have been unlawfully driven from their house and home since they arrived in the state of Missouri, which was on the sixth day of Sept. 1831.

Your petitioner further states, that there is a slight probability of there being a Court in Daviess County at the next Term, as there is no place to hold it, therefore your petitioner begs leave to say to your honors that his health is fast declining, and as the life of your petitioner and family depends upon his liberty, he will therefore earnestly pray your honors to receive his petition and forthwith issue a writ of Habeas Corpus, directed to the Sheriff of Clay county, Mo., commanding him to bring the body of your petitioner before your honors, so that his case may be heard and fairly investigated. And your petitioner pledges himself to prove the above named items, together with many more, too numerous to mention in this petition. As your petitioner considers himself innocent of any crime, he will therefore the more earnestly pray your honors to receive his petition and grant him the writ, &c.

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