Facts Relative Expulsion Section I

Facts Relative to the Expulsion

(Section 9)

Your petitioner solemnly declares that he never witnessed a more partial, and unjust, and unlawful transaction than was practiced upon your petitioner; that the whole transaction was nothing more nor less than a spirit of persecution against your petitioner. Your petitioner heard the court say that there was no law for the Mormons, and that they could not stay in the state. Your petitioner declares that there is no evidence against him whereby he should be restrained of his liberty; that the family of your petitioner have been robbed of their property and driven out of the state since your petitioner has been confined, and that they are now destitute of the necessaries of life, and that they consist of a weakly woman and two small children, the oldest only three years of age, and that your petitioner’s health is declining in consequence of his confinement.-Your petitioner therefore prays your honor to grant to him the state writ of habeas corpus, directed to the Jailor of Clay County, (Mo.) commanding him forthwith to bring before you the body of your petitioner, so that his case may be heard, and that your honor dispose of the case of your petitioner as you may deem just and proper, and as in duty bound he will ever pray, etc.


State of Missouri,
Clay County,

Personally appeared before me, Alexander McRae, and maketh oath and saith that the facts stated in the foregoing petition are true as far as stated from his own knowledge, and as far as stated from the information of others he believes to be true. Given under my hand this 15th day of March, A.D. 1839.


Sworn and subscribed 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.


Copy of Hyrum Smith’s Petition. To the honorable Judge Tompkins, or either of the Judges of the Supreme Court for the State of Missouri.

Your petitioner, Hyrum Smith, would beg leave respectfully to represent to your Honor, that he has been confined and restrained of his liberty near five months, some part of the time in chains, that some time in the month of last October there was an armed force under the command of Gen. Lucas, who encamped in the vicinity of Far West in Caldwell County, when and where your humble petitioner was taken from his own house, and from the bosom of his family, and was driven by force of arms into the camp of Gen. Lucas, from thence was under a strong guard carried to Jackson County, and thence to Richmond, Ray County, where without the issuing any precept or warrant by any judicial officer, or without any specific charge alleged against him your humble petitioner, and there he was brought before Austin A. King Judge of the Fifth Judicial District of the state, when after a lengthy examination exparte in its nature, for he does aver, that he had ample testimony to have disproved all the testimony that was brought him, but was prevented from so doing by the great excitement which all that time displayed itself in Ray County, and that too in such a manner as to intimidate the witnesses, which prevented them from giving in their testimony. Many of them were threatened with violence, and were pursued and driven out of the county, and some even out of the state; under such circumstances Judge King committed your petitioner for treason against the state, and removed him or caused him to be removed to the Jail of Clay County, Mo., and where he has been kept in close confinement up to this date. Your petitioner positively declares, that he knew nothing personally of the difficulties in Daviess County; all he knew of them was by report.

Your petitioner declares that about the middle of October, he learned by a small company of Militia under the command of Gen. Doniphan of Clay County, that a large armed force having a cannon with them, were coming to Daviess County to exterminate the people called Mormons from the county, your petitioner having much property there, he went by himself to take care of it and to secure it from being destroyed; and after he had preserved his property he returned to his home in Far West, in Caldwell County. Your petitioner also declares, that the burning of houses and plundering in Daviess County, he had no hand in, and knew nothing of it, only by report. Your petitioner also states that he had no knowledge of any Council at any time in Daviess County, as stated in testimony. Your petitioner also states, that he has made no speech neither in public nor private nor any thing in any wise whereby the most wicked and prejudiced person on the earth could interpret it into treason, in Daviess County or in any other.

Your petitioner also states, that he never has aided in a civil nor in a military capacity; he never has borne arms nor done military service at any time, in all his lifetime up to this date, but has been lawfully exempt from all such service; the family of your petitioner has been robbed of all their substance for their support, both of food, raiment and household furniture, and have been driven from the state with constant threatening of death, if they did not leave the state, by a lawless banditti that was let loose upon the Mormon people without restraint, whilst your petitioner is restrained of his liberty, without scarcely the least shadow of testimony of evil against him, whilst his family has been driven from their home, and even from the state, and all their property and effects for support taken from them by a mob, or this lawless banditti before mentioned, which facts are notorious to the most part of the people in this part or region of country. Your petitioner states that his health is fast declining in consequence of his confinement.

Your petitioner states that one term of the court has passed by since your petitioner has been deprived of his liberty, yet no charge has been preferred against him. Your petitioner thinks the proceedings are unlawful in this whole transaction with your petitioner, therefore, your petitioner prays your Honor to grant to him a state’s writ of Habeas Corpus, directed to the Jailer or Sheriff of Clay County, Mo., commanding him forthwith to bring before you the body of your petitioner, so that this case may be heard before your Honor, and the situation of your petitioner may be considered and adjusted according to law and justice, as it shall be presented before your Honor, and as we are in duty bound will ever pray.
15th March, 1839


Clay County.

Personally appeared before me Hyrum Smith and maketh oath and saith, that the facts stated in this foregoing petition are true as far as stated from his own knowledge, of others he believes to be true, given under my hand this 15th day of March A. D. 1839. HYRUM SMITH. Sworn to before me, Abraham Shafer, a Justice of the Peace for Clay County, Missouri, this 15th day of March, 1839.


County of Clay,

This day personally appeared before me, Abraham Shafer, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county of Clay aforesaid, Alanson Ripley, Heber C. Kimball, William Huntington, Joseph B. Noble and Hyrum Smith, who being duly sworn do depose and say, that the matters and things set forth in the foregoing petition, upon their own knowledge are true in substance and in fact, and so far as set forth upon the information of others they believe to be true.


Sworn and subscribed to, this 15th day of March, 1839, before me.


Messrs. Editors: At the request of my friends, or at least those in whom I have confided as friends, I have written an account of my troubles and losses in the state of Missouri. I went to Missouri to procure land for myself and children. I entered two hundred acres of land and settled on it with the intention of living in peace with all men; and we lived in peace and harmony until the fourth of November, when a worthless mob came and scattered all our joys. It was Sunday, late in the afternoon, they came to one of my buildings (which was evacuated, but part of my goods were in it,) and burned it with its contents to the ground, except a few articles which they carried off. They then came to my son-in-law’s, where he was at home with his wife and child, and ordered him from his own house and home.

They next came to my house to order me from my own house and land. My son-in-law started to come to my house to see what they intended to do to me and my family-the ruffians ordered him back-he would not go back, but told them he had disturbed no one, had violated no law, and always reverenced and supported the government of the United States-he therefore contended that he had a right to go where he pleased. One of them spoke and said, “you are a d-d liar,” and got down from his horse and struck him with a rock. My son-in-law then went up to him and threw him down, a second one then broke a club over him, and the third one presented a gun and fired at him, but we do not know whether the ball hit him or not, as he was so shamefully bruised with a gun which they broke over him that the doctors could not tell whether the ball had entered his scull or not. When they were murdering him in this awful manner, oh! it makes my heart lament to think of it, his wife with uplifted hands and streaming eyes begged of them to spare his life, but they took no notice of her lamentations, and regarded her as a mere reptile beneath their feet, and continued to beat him over the head with a gun until they burst the brains from his scull.

After thus inhumanly mangling him they mounted their horses and bawled out at us to begone by early breakfast time the next morning or they would kill every one of us. When his wife had recovered and come to herself, in the agony of her soul she exclaimed, oh my father, my companion is killed,-yes, replied these ruffians, with horrible oaths, your companion is killed, and we will kill more of your companions. These barbarous villains then rode off laughing at our distress. After some ten or fifteen minutes we raised him up and gave him some water, which caused him to revive a little; we then took him to the house and laid him down and began to make preparations for starting. It was then dark, and in getting ready to start we all happened to be out of the house except my little grand-daughter, who on seeing her father in this miserable condition, left her seat and sat down by him, and wept as if she participated in his misery; she was only three years old. It was about one hour in the night when we got ready to start-although the moon shone bright it was a dreary night to us.

I was at the stable when the mob came in sight; two of my daughters came to me, and although most distracted, prevailed on me not to go near them or say a word or we should all be murdered. In this wretched condition we moved off, leaving our houses, homes, and property to be filched and destroyed by a lawless set of demons in human form. We went four miles from home that night, carrying my son-in-law, whose misery was past description. In the morning we went back for our cows and other property, but the mob who had augmented and collected on the spot refused to let us have our cows, but said if we would come back and say nothing we might have part of our household goods, but the rest of our property they intended to keep to pay the destruction of property in Daviess so they kept the whole and divided it among themselves. When the news came back that we could get nothing, it was distressing to us all, for we left in such a confused state that we took nothing for ourselves or horses. We took neither bread nor meat, or even a fowl, or any necessary article of the kind, although we had plenty that we had left. The mob then burned my three houses, my stable and crib, which contained about 100 bushels of corn, the rest was in the field. There were many of them I did not know, but six of them that I did know I will mention, viz: Benjamin Clark, Jesse Clark, Atherton Wethers, Peliman Ellis, John Gardner, of Chariton County, and John Hase, of Elk township.

Thus I, an old man, almost three-score years old, and a cripple, with a set of helpless women and my son-in-law, spent that night and the next day until noon alone in the wilderness. At that time my other son-in-law, with his wife and three small children came to us as we were crossing the creek in Macon County. A melancholy sight it was for them to behold their father, mother, and sisters, driven from home wandering in the desert, and the still more heartrending sight was to see their kinsman thus brutally slaughtered, weltering in his own blood and destitute of any place to lay his mangled body, except on the ground in the howling wilderness.

Copyright © 2022 Mormon History. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org.

Pin It on Pinterest