William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet

William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet

By Kyle R. Walker

Book Description:

Younger brother of Joseph Smith, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Church Patriarch for a time, William Smith had tumultuous yet devoted relationships with Joseph, his fellow members of the Twelve, and the LDS and RLDS (Community of Christ) churches. Walker’s imposing biography examines not only William’s complex life in detail, but also sheds additional light on the family dynamics of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith, as well as the turbulent intersections between the LDS and RLDS churches. William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet is a vital contribution to Mormon history in both the LDS and RLDS traditions.

Read a Q&A with the author here.

Listen to an interview with the author here.

History – Appendix 3

Brief Chronology of the Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith Family

(Emphasis on Joseph Smith Jr.’s Life)


New England

1771 July 12 Joseph Smith Sr. born in Topsfield, Mass.

1775 July 8 Lucy Mack born in Gilsum, N.H.

1796 Jan 24 Joseph Smith and Lucy Mack married at Tunbridge, Vt.

1797 Loss of firstborn son of the Smiths.

1798 Feb 11 Birth of Alvin.

1800 Feb 9 Birth of Hyrum.

1802 Spring Move to Randolph, Vt.

1803 Winter Move back to the Tunbridge farm (early in the year).

1803 May 17 Birth of Sophronia.

1803 Spring Loss of the Tunbridge farm.

1803 Summer Move to Royalton, Vt.

1803 Fall Move to Sharon, Vt. Rent farm from Solomon Mack.

1804 July 10 Birth of Emma Hale at Harmony, Pa.

1805 Dec 23 Birth of Joseph Jr.

1806/7 Move to Tunbridge.

1808 Mar 13 Birth of Samuel Harrison.

1808/9 Move to Royalton, Vt.

1810 Mar 13 Birth of Ephraim.

1810 Mar 24 Death of Ephraim.

1811 Mar 13 Birth of William.

1811 Apr First in series of seven visions received by Joseph Smith Sr. (1811-19).

1811 Summer Move to Lebanon, N.H.

1812 July 28 Birth of Catharine.

1812/13 Typhoid fever epidemic. All Smith children contract the disease.

1813 Joseph Jr.’s leg operation.

1814 Move from Lebanon, N.H., to Norwich, Vt.

1814 Fall Complete crop failures for the Smiths in Norwich.

1815 Complete crop failures for the Smiths in Norwich.

1815 Newspaper reports of good land available in western N.Y.

1816 Mar 25 Birth of Don Carlos.

1816 June Crops are killed by series of untimely ice storms. “Year without a summer.”

1816 Fall Move from New England to Palmyra, N.Y. (could be Jan. 1817).

New York/Pennsylvania

1817 Smiths purchase 100 acres of virgin forest land two miles south of Palmyra.

1818 Fall Smiths move into small cabin at north end of their Manchester property.

1819 Dec 23 Joseph Jr. turns fourteen years old.

1819/20 Attempted assassination of Joseph Jr.

1820 Spring Joseph Jr.’s first vision

1821 July 18 Birth of Lucy.

1822 Alvin begins construction on frame house at Manchester farm.

1823 Sept 21 Moroni’s first visit to Joseph Jr.

1823 Sept 22 Joseph Jr. views the plates for the first time.

1823 Nov 19 Death of Alvin.

1824 Sept 22 Moroni meets with and teaches Joseph Jr. at Hill Cumorah.

1825 Sept 22 Moroni meets with and teaches Joseph Jr. at Hill Cumorah.

1825 Oct Joseph Jr. hires with Josiah Stowell and works in Harmony, Pa.

1825 Dec Smith family loses farm by fraud and become tenants on their own land.

1826 Joseph Jr. works most of the year for Josiah Stowell and Joseph Knight Sr.

1826 Sept 22 Moroni meets with and teaches Joseph Jr. at Hill Cumorah.

1827 Jan 18 Marriage of Joseph Jr. to Emma Hale at S. Bainbridge, N.Y.

1827 Jan Joseph and Emma move in with the Smiths at the Manchester farm.

1827 Sept 22 Joseph Jr. obtains the plates from the angel Moroni.

1827 Dec Joseph and Emma move to Harmony. Martin Harris gives them $50.

1828 Feb 27 Martin Harris takes facsimile transcript to New York City.

1828 Apr 12 Martin Harris begins work as scribe for Joseph in translation of plates.

1828 June 14 Martin Harris takes 116 manuscript pages from Harmony to Palmyra.

1828 June 15 Birth and death of Joseph and Emma’s first son, Alvin.

1828 June/July Loss of 116 manuscript pages. Joseph loses privileges of translation.

1828 Sept 22 Joseph receives plates again from angel Moroni. A scribe is promised.

1829 Apr 5 Oliver Cowdery arrives in Harmony, Pa.

1829 Apr 7 Oliver Cowdery begins services as scribe to Joseph in translation process.

1829 May 15 John the Baptist confers Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver.

1829 Late May Restoration of Melchizedek Priesthood by Peter, James, and John.

1829 June Joseph and Oliver move to Fayette, N.Y., to Peter Whitmer Sr. home.

1829 June 11 Copyright of Book of Mormon obtained.

1829 June Three Witnesses see angel, plates, and hear the voice of God.

1829 June Eight Witnesses view and handle the ancient plates.

1829 Aug 25 Martin Harris signs agreement of mortgage to printer E. B. Grandin.

1829 Sept Printing process begins for Book of Mormon.

1830 Jan 2 Abner Cole begins illegally publishing parts of the Book of Mormon.

1830 Jan Cole’s illegal activities are put to a stop.

1830 Jan Palmyra citizens agree not to purchase copies of Book of Mormon.

1830 Mar 26 Book of Mormon goes on sale at Palmyra Bookstore.

1830 Apr 6 Legal organization of the Church at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr.

1830 June Revelations of Moses given-translation of the Bible begun.

1830 June 30 Samuel Harrison Smith leaves as first official missionary of the Church.

1830 Summer Joseph Sr. and Don Carlos go on mission to extended Smith family.

1830 Fall Joseph Sr. goes to debtor’s prison for a month.

1830 Fall Oliver Cowdery, Parley Pratt, and companions leave for Lamanite mission.

1830 Fall Great numbers join the Church in northern Ohio, including Sidney Rigdon.

1830 Fall Smith family moves from Manchester cabin to Waterloo, N.Y.

1830 Dec 10 Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge arrive in Waterloo.

1830 Dec Commandment given (D&C 37) to gather to Ohio.


1831 Feb 1 Joseph and Emma arrive at Kirtland, Ohio. Stay with Whitneys.

1831 Feb 9 Law of the Church given (D&C 42).

1831 Mar Joseph and Emma move to Isaac Morley farm.

1831 Apr Lucy Mack Smith and group of eighty Saints depart N.Y. for Ohio.

1831 Apr 30 Joseph and Emma’s twins, Thaddeus and Louisa, are born and die.

1831 Apr 30 Julia Murdock passes away in childbirth with twins.

1831 May 9 Joseph and Emma adopt Murdock twins (Joseph Murdock and Julia)

1831 May Lucy Mack Smith and group arrive in Kirtland.

1831 June Joseph Jr. and company start for Jackson County, Mo.

1831 Aug 2 Foundation of Zion laid in Kaw Township, Jackson County, Mo.

1831 Aug 3 Place for the temple dedicated by Joseph Jr.

1831 Sept 12 Joseph and Emma move to John Johnson farm in Hiram, Ohio.

1832 Feb 16 Vision of the three degrees of glory given.

1832 Mar 24/25 Joseph and Sidney are mobbed, beaten, tarred, and feathered.

1832 Mar 30 Joseph Murdock Smith, eleven months old, dies from exposure.

1832 Apr 1 Joseph Jr. leaves for Mo.

1832 June Joseph Jr. arrives back from trip to Mo.

1832 Sept 12 Joseph and Emma and Julia move to Newel K. Whitney store in Kirtland.

1832 Oct Joseph and Newel Whitney travel to Albany, New York City, and Boston.

1832 Nov 6 Joseph Smith III born at Kirtland.

1832 Dec 25 Revelation on war given (D&C 87).

1832 Dec 27 Beginning of the “Olive Leaf” given (D&C 88). Balance given Jan 1833.

1833 Jan 23 School of the Prophets begins in Kirtland.

1833 Feb 27 Revelation known as the Word of Wisdom given at Kirtland (D&C 89).

1833 Mar 18 First Presidency organized.

1833 July 2 Translation of the Bible “completed.”

1833 July 23 Cornerstone for Kirtland Temple laid.

1833 Oct 5 Joseph Jr. leaves on proselyting mission to Canada.

1833 Nov 4 Joseph Jr. returns to Kirtland.

1833 Nov 25 News received in Kirtland of expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County.

1834 Feb 17 High council is organized at Kirtland (D&C 102).

1834 May 5 Joseph Jr. leaves as leader of Zion’s Camp.

1834 June 19 Arrival of Zion’s Camp in Clay County, Mo.

1834 Aug 1 Joseph Jr. returns to Kirtland.

1835 Feb 14 Organization of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

1835 Feb 28 Organization of the Quorum of the Seventy.

1835 Mar 28 Revelation on priesthood given (D&C 107).

1835 July Egyptian mummies purchased from Michael Chandler.

1836 Mar 27 Kirtland Temple dedication (D&C 109).

1836 Apr 3 The Savior, Moses, Elias, and Elijah come to the temple (D&C 110).

1836 May 17 Mary Duty Smith, grandmother of the Prophet, arrives in Kirtland.

1836 May 27 Grandmother Mary Duty Smith dies; Sidney Rigdon gives funeral address.

1836 June 20 Joseph and Emma’s Frederick G. W. born at Kirtland.

1837 Fall Apostasy in Kirtland grows rapidly.

1838 Jan 12 Joseph Jr. and Sidney Rigdon ride at midnight to escape danger in Kirtland.

1838 Mar 14 Joseph and Emma arrive in Far West, Mo.

1838 June 2 Joseph and Emma’s Alexander Hale born at Far West, Mo.

1838 Aug 6 Election held at Gallatin, Mo.-riot ensues.

1838 Oct 25 David Patten, President of the Twelve, shot and killed at Crooked River.

1838 Oct 27 Extermination order issued by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs.

1838 Oct 30 Haun’s Mill massacre.

1838 Oct 31 Joseph, Hyrum, and others surrender to Missouri militia at Far West.

1838 Nov 1 Joseph, Hyrum, and others sentenced to be shot. Doniphan intervenes.

1838 Nov 13 Birth of Joseph Fielding Smith, son of Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith.

1838 Dec 1 Joseph, Hyrum, and others imprisoned at Liberty Jail.

1839 Feb 7 Emma and the children leave Far West for Ill.

1839 Feb Joseph Sr., Lucy Mack Smith, and extended family begin trek for Ill.

1839 Mar Revelations received in Liberty Jail (D&C 121, 122, and 123).

1839 Apr 6 Joseph and other prisoners taken from Liberty Jail to go to Daviess County.

1839 Apr 15 On way to Boone County on change of venue, Joseph and others allowed to escape.

1839 Apr 22 Joseph and Hyrum are reunited with their families at Quincy, Ill.


1839 May 1 Joseph purchases the first lands for the Church in Ill.

1839 May 10 Move to Commerce, Ill., later called Nauvoo (Hancock County).

1839 July 22 Joseph arises from bed of sickness and gives blessings to the sick.

1839 Oct 29 Joseph leaves for Washington, D.C., to present grievances to the president.

1839 Nov Times and Seasons is published at Nauvoo, Ill.

1839 Nov 28 Joseph arrives in Washington, D.C.

1839 Nov 29 Joseph visits President Martin Van Buren: “Your cause is just . . .”

1839 Dec Joseph visits Saints in Philadelphia and N.J.

1840 Mar 4 Joseph arrives in Nauvoo from Washington, D.C., trip.

1840 June 13 Joseph and Emma’s Don Carlos born at Nauvoo.

1840 Sept 14 Death of Joseph Sr.

1840 Dec 16 Charter for city of Nauvoo, Nauvoo Legion, and university granted.

1841 Feb 4 Joseph commissioned as lieutenant-general of Nauvoo Legion.

1841 Apr 6 Cornerstone laid for the Nauvoo Temple.

1841 June 4 Arrested on old Missouri charges.

1841 June 9 Two-day trial begins at Monmouth, Ill., before Judge Stephen Douglas.

1841 Aug 7 Death of Don Carlos.

1841 Aug 15 Death of Joseph and Emma’s Don Carlos.

1841 Nov 8 Dedication of baptismal font in Nauvoo Temple.

1842 Jan 15 Joseph spends time correcting proof for new edition of the Book of Mormon.

1842 Feb 6 Stillborn son of Joseph and Emma.

1842 Mar 15 Joseph becomes editor of Times and Seasons.

1842 Mar 17 Female Relief Society of Nauvoo organized with Emma as president.

1842 May 4 Temple endowment is introduced in this dispensation.

1842 May 19 Joseph elected mayor of Nauvoo.

1842 Aug 8 Joseph arrested for alleged complicity in Boggs assassination attempt.

1842 Aug Joseph goes into hiding.

1842 Fall Emma and children ill. Emma nearly dies.

1842 Dec 26 Second arrest in Boggs case.

1843 Jan 5 Acquitted in Boggs case.

1843 Jan 18 Joseph and Emma celebrate sixteenth wedding anniversary with guests.

1843 May 28 Sealed to Emma for time and eternity.

1843 June 13 Joseph leaves Nauvoo to visit relatives at Dixon, Ill.

1843 June 23 Arrested by Missouri and Illinois officers disguised as missionaries.

1843 June 30 Arrives back in Nauvoo.

1843 July 1 Discharged by Nauvoo court.

1843 Aug 31 Joseph and Emma move into new residence, Nauvoo Mansion.

1843 Sept 28 Joseph introduces fulness of priesthood ordinances.

1844 Jan 29 Elected candidate for United States presidency.

1844 Feb 20 Instructions given to Twelve to investigate place of refuge for the Saints.

1844 Apr 7 Joseph delivers King Follett discourse.

1844 May 17 Nominated for U.S. presidential candidate at Nauvoo convention.

1844 June 7 Nauvoo Expositor published.

1844 June 10 Joseph, as mayor, orders destruction of Expositor press.

1844 June 18 Nauvoo placed under martial law.

1844 June 22 Joseph, Hyrum, Willard Richards, O. P. Rockwell cross Mississippi River.

1844 June 25 Joseph and Hyrum surrender at Carthage to face Expositor riot charge.

1844 June 27 Death of Hyrum and Joseph Jr. at Carthage Jail.

1844 July 30 Death of Samuel Harrison.

1844 Nov 17 Birth of David Hyrum Smith, son of Joseph and Emma.

1846 Feb 4 Saints begin exodus from Nauvoo to the West.

1847 Dec 23 Emma marries “Major” Lewis C. Bidamon at Nauvoo.

1856 May 14 Lucy Mack Smith dies, having spent her last three years with Emma.

Chapter 53

William Law identified as an enemy of the Church. Joseph Jackson wants Hyrum’s daughter for a wife, is refused, begins to plot the murders of all the Smith family. The Nauvoo Expositor affair. Governor Thomas Ford arrives in Carthage, Illinois. Joseph and Hyrum are arrested, taken to Carthage Jail, and murdered by a mob of between one and two hundred men. Samuel Smith chased by the mob, receives injury, dies thirty-three days after the Martyrdom. Tremendous scene of sorrow at the family viewing of their murdered sons, husbands, and fathers. Church leadership set in order after Joseph’s death. Mother Smith ends her history with a soliloquy and a testimony of warning to her persecutors.

May 17, 1842 to July 1845

About the time that John C. Bennett left Nauvoo, an election was held for the office of mayor, and Joseph, being one of the candidates, was elected to that office. I mention this fact in order to explain a circumstance that took place in the winter of 1843 and 1844, which was as follows. Joseph, in organizing the city police, remarked that “were it not for enemies within the city, there would be no danger from foes without,” adding, “If it were not for a Brutus, I might live as long as Caesar would have lived.”

Someone who suspected that Joseph alluded to William Law went to the latter and informed him that Joseph regarded him as a Brutus; and that it was his own opinion that he (Law) was in imminent danger. Law, on hearing this tale, went immediately to Joseph, who straightway called a council and had all that knew anything concerning the matter brought together and thus succeeded in satisfying Law that he intended no evil in what he had said.

About this time a man by the name of Joseph Jackson, who had been in the city several months, asked Hyrum for his daughter Lovina, for he wished to make a wife of her. Hyrum, not choosing to have his daughter marry a man who did not belong to the Church, refused for this and other reasons. Jackson then asked Joseph to use his influence with Hyrum to get the girl for him. As Joseph refused to do that, he next applied to Law, who was our secret enemy, for assistance in stealing Lovina from her father. Hyrum heard of this and came to me several times for advice. He said he was alarmed about her, that he felt worse than he did when he was in prison. Jackson went from one to another, wherever he could learn that anyone had any feeling against our family, till finally he succeeded in getting a number to join in a conspiracy to murder the whole Smith family. They commenced holding secret meetings, one of which was attended by a man named Eaton, who was our friend, and he exposed the plot.

This man declared that the Higbees, Laws, and Fosters were all connected with Jackson in his operations. There was also another individual, named Augustine Spencer, a dissolute character who, I believe, was concerned in this conspiracy (although his brother Orson, formerly a Baptist minister, was one of Joseph’s warmest friends). About the time of Eaton’s disclosures, this man went to the house of his brother Orson, and abused my sons and the Church at such a rate that Orson finally told him that he must either stop or leave the house. Augustine refused and they grappled. In the contest Orson was considerably injured. He went immediately to Joseph and, stating the case, asked for a warrant. Joseph advised him to go to Dr. Foster, who was a justice of the peace. Accordingly, he went and demanded a warrant of Foster, but was refused. On account of this refusal, Foster was brought before Esquire Wells, and tried for non-performance of duty. At this trial Joseph met Charles Foster, the doctor’s brother, who attempted to shoot him as soon as they met, but Joseph caught his hands and prevented him, and he was compelled to hold the man in this way above an hour in order to preserve his own life. Jackson and the apostates continued to gather strength, till, finally, they established a printing press in our midst. Through this organ they belched forth the most intolerable and the blackest lies that were ever palmed upon a community. Being advised by men of influence and standing to have this scandalous press removed, the city council took the matter into consideration, and finding that the law would allow them to do so, they declared it a nuisance and had it treated accordingly.

At this the apostates left the city in a great rage, swearing vengeance upon Joseph, the council, and the city. They went forthwith to Carthage and got out writs for Joseph and all those who were in any wise concerned in the destruction of the press. But, having no hope of justice in that place, the brethren took out a writ of habeas corpus and were tried before Esquire Wells at Nauvoo. With this the apostates were not satisfied. They then called upon one Levi Williams, who was a bitter enemy to us, whenever he was sufficiently sober to know his own sentiments, for he was a drunken, ignorant, illiterate brute that never had a particle of character or influence until he began to call mob meetings and placed himself at the head of a rabble like unto himself, to drive the “Mormons,” at which time he was joined by certain unmentionable ones in Warsaw and Carthage; and for his zeal in promoting mobocracy he became the intimate acquaintance and confidential friend of some certain preachers, lawyers, and representatives, and, finally, of Joseph Jackson and the apostates.

He, as Colonel Levi Williams, commands the militia (alias mob) of Hancock County. On this man, I say, they called for assistance to drag Joseph and Hyrum, with the rest of the council, to Carthage. Williams swore it should be done and gathered his band together. Joseph, not wishing to fall into the hands of wolves or tigers, called upon the Legion to be in readiness to defend the city and its chartered rights. Just at this crisis, Governor Ford arrived in Carthage. The apostates then appealed from the mob to the governor. At this time he came into the midst of the mob and asked them if they would stand by him in executing and defending the law. They said they would, and so organized them into militia and then demanded the brethren for trial upon the warrant issued by Smith (as he did not choose to recognize the right of habeas corpus granted us in the city charter). At the same time he pledged the faith of the state that the brethren should be protected from mob violence. Those called for in the warrant made their appearance at Carthage, June 24, 1844. On the morning of the twenty-fifth, Joseph and Hyrum were arrested for treason, by a warrant found upon the oaths of A. O. Norton and Augustine Spencer. I will not dwell upon the awful scene which succeeded. My heart is filled with grief and indignation, and my blood curdles in my veins whenever I speak of it.

My sons were thrown into jail, where they remained three days in company with Brothers Richards, Taylor, and Markham. At the end of this time, the governor disbanded most of the men, but left a guard of eight of our bitterest enemies over the jail and sixty more of the same character about a hundred yards distant. He then came into Nauvoo with a guard of fifty or sixty men, made a short speech, and returned immediately.

During his absence from Carthage, the guard rushed Brother Markham out of the place at the point of the bayonet. Soon after this two hundred of those discharged in the morning rushed into Carthage, armed and painted black, red, and yellow, and in ten minutes fled again, leaving my sons murdered and mangled corpses!

In leaving the place, a few of them found Samuel coming into Carthage, alone, on horseback, and, finding that he was one of our family, they attempted to shoot him, but he escaped out of their hands, although they pursued him at the top of their speed for more than two hours. He succeeded the next day in getting to Nauvoo in season to go out and meet the procession with the bodies of Hyrum and Joseph, as the mob had the kindness to allow us the privilege of bringing them home and burying them in Nauvoo, notwithstanding the immense reward which was offered by the Missourians for Joseph’s head.

Their bodies were attended home by only two persons, save those that went from this place. These were Brother Willard Richards and a Mr. Hamilton; Brother John Taylor having been shot in prison, and nearly killed, he could not be moved until some time afterwards.

After the corpses were washed and dressed in their burial clothes, we were allowed to see them. I had for a long time braced every nerve, roused every energy of my soul, and called upon God to strengthen me, but when I entered the room and saw my murdered sons extended both at once before my eyes and heard the sobs and groans of my family and the cries of “Father! Husband! Brothers!” from the lips of their wives, children, brothers, and sisters, it was too much; I sank back, crying to the Lord in the agony of my soul, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken this family!” A voice replied, “I have taken them to myself, that they might have rest.” Emma was carried back to her room almost in a state of insensibility.

Her oldest son approached the corpse and dropped upon his knees and, laying his cheek against his father’s and kissing him, exclaimed, “Oh, my father! my father!” As for myself, I was swallowed up in the depths of my afflictions, and though my soul was filled with horror past imagination, yet I was dumb until I arose again to contemplate the spectacle before me. Oh! at the moment how my mind flew through every scene of sorrow and distress which we had passed, together, in which they had shown the innocence and sympathy which filled their guileless hearts. As I looked upon their peaceful, smiling countenances, I seemed almost to hear them say, “Mother, weep not for us, we have overcome the world by love; we carried to them the gospel, that their souls might be saved; they slew us for our testimony, and thus placed us beyond their power; their ascendancy is for a moment, ours is an eternal triumph.”

I then thought upon the promise which I had received in Missouri, that in five years Joseph should have power over all his enemies. The time had elapsed and the promise was fulfilled.

I left the scene and returned to my room, to ponder upon the calamities of my family. Soon after this, Samuel said, “Mother, I have had a dreadful distress in my side ever since I was chased by the mob, and I think I have received some injury which is going to make me sick.” And indeed he was then not able to sit up, as he had been broken of his rest, besides being dreadfully fatigued in the chase, which, joined to the shock occasioned by the death of his brothers, brought on a disease that never was removed.

On the following day the funeral rites of the murdered ones were attended to, in the midst of terror and alarm, for the mob had made their arrangements to burn the city that night, but by the diligence of the brethren, they were kept at bay until they became discouraged and returned to their homes.

In a short time Samuel, who continued unwell, was confined to his bed, and lingering until the thirtieth of July, his spirit forsook its earthly tabernacle and went to join his brothers, and the ancient martyrs, in the Paradise of God.

At this time William was absent on a mission to the eastern states. And he had taken his family with him in consequence of his wife being afflicted with the dropsy, hoping that the journey might be a benefit to her. Thus was I left desolate in my distress. I had reared six sons to manhood, and of them all, one only remained, and he was far too distant to speak one consoling word to me in this trying hour. It would have been some satisfaction to me if I had expected his immediate return, but his wife was lying at the point of death, which compelled him to remain where he was. His case was, if it were possible, worse than mine, for he had to bear all his grief alone in a land of strangers, confined to the side of his dying wife, and absent from those who felt the deepest interest in his welfare; whilst I was surrounded with friends, being in the midst of the Church; my daughters, too, were with me, and from their society I derived great comfort.

The Church at this time was in a state of gloomy suspense. Not knowing who was to take the place of Joseph, the people were greatly wrought upon with anxiety, lest an imposter should arise and deceive many. Suddenly, Sidney Rigdon made his appearance from Pittsburgh, and rather insinuated that the Church ought to make choice of him, not as President, but as guardian; for “Joseph,” said he, “is still President, and the Church must be built up unto him.” But before he could carry his measures into effect, the Twelve, who had also been absent, arrived and assuming their proper places, all was set to rights.

William, however, did not return till the spring of 1845, when, with great difficulty, he got his wife to Nauvoo. She survived but a short time after her arrival, for in about two weeks, to complete the sum of William’s afflictions, he followed her to the grave. Her disease was brought on by her exposures in Missouri, so that she was what might be termed an indirect martyr to the cause of Christ, which makes the sum of martyrs in our family no less than six in number.

Shortly after William’s return from the East, he was ordained Patriarch of the Church, in the place of Hyrum, who held the keys of that priesthood previous to his death.

I have now given a history of my life as far as I intended carrying it at this time. I leave the world at liberty to pass judgment upon what I have written as seemeth it good. But this much I will say, that all that I have written is true and will stand forever. Yes, it will stand before God at that hour when small and great shall appear to answer at his bar for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil, and there will I meet the persecutors of my family who are the enemies of the Church and declare with a voice that shall penetrate the ears of every intelligence which shall be present on that momentous occasion-when the spirits of the just and the unjust, the beggars and lords, the princes and potentates, the kings and emperors, the angels and seraphs, the cherubims and gods be called before him who is the God of gods and Lord of lords.

Yes, in the presence of all these will I declare concerning our persecutors, that for eighteen years they hunted us like wild beasts who were thirsting for the blood of their prey; that without any just cause they drove me and my family from our home in New York; that they maliciously cast my husband into prison and despitefully used him; that they, while he was there, plundered my house and sought my son Hyrum that they might slay him; that in consequence of their abuse, we fled again before them and went to the state of Ohio. Here they dragged my son Joseph out of his bed at midnight and beat him until life for a season departed from his body, and after he recovered, they still continued to persecute him and the rest of my family so sorely that we were compelled to flee to Missouri, where they again renewed their hostilities against my household, and tore my sons from their wives, from their little ones, and from me; that they were thrown into prison, bound in chains, and sentenced to be shot, and all this when my sons were guilty of no sin and had committed no crime or offense against the law.

I will testify to our Lord that after my sons had been in the hands of their adversaries for six months, they were compelled to fly from the state of Missouri into the state of Illinois in order to save their lives, for Governor Boggs had decreed that all Saints found within his jurisdiction after a certain time should be slain by the sword; that in Illinois, we were promised protection from murders and from mobs and we bought us homes and lived with them for a short time like brothers of one family. They were kind to us and we loved them, but the spoiler came, and certain who were not of our faith, joined themselves with the rabble of Warsaw, Carthage, and Green Plains, and they lied about us and scandalized us unto our friends, which caused our friends to become lukewarm and our enemies to increase, until at last they again seized my sons and cast them into prison and slew them.

Furthermore, I will testify before him who was slain in like manner that in consequence of all these wrongs, the gray hairs of my aged companion were brought down in sorrow to the grave, and he was caused to weep over his children when he was even dying because of the wickedness of their enemies; that the cries of widows and orphans have gone up to the councils of the great men of the land and the rulers of the nation, but they laughed at our calamities; and the hands of murderers were upon us, and we were threatened, oppressed, and despoiled by our enemies. We appealed to lawyers, judges, governors, and presidents, but they heeded not our cry, their pledges were broken, the laws were trampled upon, and the statutes and ordinances of the land were tarnished to gratify murderers, thieves, and robbers.

This shall be my testimony in the day of God Almighty, and if it be true, what will Lilburn W. Boggs, Thomas Carlin, Martin Van Buren, and Governor Ford answer me when I shall appear where the prayers of the Saints and the complaints of the widow and orphan come up before a just and righteous judge, who is not only our judge but the judge of the whole earth?

Say unto those who have suffered us to be thus abused, “Ye have not bound up that which was broken, neither brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost, but with force and cruelty have ye ruled my people; therefore, because ye ruled in unrighteousness, because you have robbers to devour my people, and murderers to steal and pierce the hearts of the defenseless in prison chambers and didst suffer fierce demons to rush upon them with fire and with sword to demolish their dwellings and destroy their substance; because ye had power to preserve the innocent and did not-you cannot answer because you did not take your future destiny to heart.”

You suffered my husband and children to be robbed, imprisoned, and murdered until the cries of five widows and twenty-four orphan children were lifted to you in vain, and we are still chased before a lawless band from one kingdom to another.

Although I am now seventy years of age and a citizen of the United States, and although my father and my brothers fought hard and struggled to establish a government of liberty and equal rights upon this home of my birth, and although I violated no law, yet in common with many thousands equally innocent, we were commanded by a mob to leave a country or stay there at the peril of our lives.

Last of all and most to be deplored, those who are chosen to enforce and execute the law declare that the proceedings are outrageous but we must of necessity submit to them, for our countrymen have all become so corrupt that there are none to defend and maintain the sacredness of the law.

If this be so, well may I say with the poet: Oh, for a lodge in some vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity of shade, where rumor of oppression and deceit might never reach me more.

Let me leave the bones of my fathers and brothers, and the bones of the martyred children, and go to a land where never man dwelt.

Farewell, my country, thou that killest the prophets and hath exiled those that were sent unto thee. Once thou wert fair, once thou wert pure and lovely, when thy legislators were just men and the lawgivers sought the good of the people like unto themselves. But now thou art fallen.

The halls where wisdom and justice once dwelt, debauchery and despotism reign. Thy tables are filled with vomit and filthiness, and the hearts of the people with rottenness and deceit; but, oh, if there is left one in the midst of this sink of corruption in whose breast flows one feeling that warmed the heart of Washington, come forth, I pray you, declare yourself men, and spurn a spot which is so polluted that nothing can cleanse it but the judgments of him who is a consuming fire.

I bid farewell until I shall appear before him who is the judge of both quick and dead; to whom I solemnly appeal in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Chapter 52

City of Nauvoo established. Lucy’s severe illness. Death of a number of the Smith family, including Samuel’s wife, Mary; Don Carlos; Hyrum’s brother-in-law Robert Thompson; Joseph’s toddler son, Don Carlos; Hyrum’s son Hyrum; and Don Carlos’s daughter Sophronia. Joseph the Prophet put on trial in Monmouth, Illinois. Assassination attempt on ex-Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri. Joseph and Orrin Porter Rockwell are accused. To avoid false arrest, Joseph goes into hiding. Joseph is tried and acquitted in Springfield. Joseph is arrested in Dixon, Illinois. He is tried in Nauvoo, Hyrum gives sworn testimony, and Joseph is acquitted.

December 1840 to October 1843

In the month of December, 1840, we received for Nauvoo a city charter with extensive privileges; and in February of the same winter, charters were also received for the Nauvoo Legion and for the University of the City of Nauvoo. Not long after this the office of lieutenant-general was conferred upon Joseph by the vote of the people and a commission from the governor of the state.

In the early part of the same winter, I made Brother Knowlton a visit on Bear Creek. When I arrived there it was dark and I was very cold, and in getting out of the wagon, I stepped upon some round substance which, rolling under my foot, brought me round so suddenly, that in trying to save myself from falling, I injured my right knee. The cold settled in the injured part and the rheumatism set in. I suffered considerable while there, but I only remained about one week. After I returned home, my sickness increased. This, with other sickness produced by the same cause, kept me very low all winter, and for six weeks I had watchers every night. Sophronia and Lucy took care of me and faithfully did they watch over me. Never was a disconsolate widow more blessed in her children than I was in them. By their faithful care I was enabled, after a long season of helplessness, to stand upon my feet again.

The same winter, on the twenty-fifth of January, 1841, Mary Smith, Samuel’s wife, was taken suddenly away to meet my husband where parting shall be no more. She had never been well since she was driven with her infant by the Missouri mob into Far West, and that was the cause of her death.

On the fifth of June the same year, Joseph went, in company with several others, on a visit to Quincy. As he was returning, Governor Carlin sent one of the Missouri writs after him and had him arrested for murder, treason, etc., etc. Joseph, choosing to be tried at Monmouth, Warren County, returned the next day with the officers to Nauvoo and, after procuring witnesses, proceeded to Monmouth. Esquire Browning spoke in Joseph’s defense, and was moved upon by the spirit that was given him, in answer to the prayers of the Saints; and, of course, he gained the case. The opposing attorney tried his utmost to convict Joseph of the crimes mentioned in the writ, but before he had spoken many minutes, he turned sick and vomited at the feet of the judge; which, joined to the circumstance of his advocating the case of the Missourians, who are called pukes by their countrymen, obtained for him the same appellation, and was a source of much amusement to the court.

The Church was much rejoiced when Joseph returned, and many besought him never again to leave the city.

About the first of August, Don Carlos came to me and told me that for a long time he had suffered such distress in his side, that he thought the same disease had fastened upon him as his father had, and he feared it would sooner or later take him away. He was taken bedfast the same day, and on the seventh day of August, he died, and on the eighth he was buried under the honors of war.

On the first day of September, Robert B. Thompson, who was Hyrum’s brother-in-law and associate editor with Don Carlos of the Times and Seasons, died of the same disease which carried Carlos out of the world-supposed to be quick consumption.

On the fifteenth of September, Joseph’s youngest son, who was named after Don Carlos, died after a long season of sickness and distress.

On the twenty-eighth of September, Hyrum’s second son, named Hyrum, died of a fever.

The succeeding winter we were left to mourn over the ravages which death had made in our family, without interruption; but sickness ceased from among us, and the mob retired to their homes.

On the sixth of May, 1842, some assassin attempted to shoot Lilburn W. Boggs, ex-governor of Missouri, and in a trice the cry went forth that “Joe Smith” had shot Governor Boggs. But, as Joseph was on that day at an officer’s drill in Nauvoo, several hundred miles from where Boggs resided, and was seen by hundreds, and, on the day following, at a public training, where thousands of witnesses beheld him, we supposed that the crime being charged upon him was such an outrage upon common sense that when his persecutors became apprised of these facts, they would cease to accuse him. But in this we were disappointed, for when they found it impossible to sustain the charge in this shape, they preferred it in another, in order to make it more probable. They now accused my son of sending O. P. Rockwell into Missouri with orders to shoot the ex-governor, and from this time they pursued both Joseph and Porter with all diligence, till they succeeded in getting the latter into jail in Missouri.

Joseph, not choosing to fall into their hands, fled from the city and secreted himself sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. He generally kept some friends with him, in whom he had confidence, who came frequently to the city. Thus communication was kept up between Joseph, his family, and the Church. At this time Brother John Taylor lay very sick of the fever and was so reduced that he was not able to stand upon his feet. Joseph visited him and, after telling him that he wished to start that night on a journey of fifty miles, requested Brother Taylor to accompany him, saying if he would do so he would be able to ride the whole way. Brother Taylor believing this, they set out together and performed the journey with ease.

This time Joseph remained away two weeks, then made his family and myself a short visit, after which he again left us. In this way he lived, hiding first in one place and then in another, until the sitting of the legislature when Governor Ford wrote Joseph a letter advising him to come to Springfield, with a guard sufficient to secure himself against molestation, and suffer himself to be tried for the crimes alleged against him, namely, that of being accessory to the attempted assassination of ex-Governor Boggs. Joseph went and was tried before Judge Pope and honorably acquitted. When he returned home, there was a jubilee held throughout the city. The remainder of the winter, and the next spring, we spent in peace.

About the middle of June, 1843, Joseph went with his wife to visit Mrs. Wasson, who was his wife’s sister. While he was there, an attempt was made to kidnap him and take him into Missouri, by J. H. Reynolds of that state and Harmon Wilson of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, who was a Missourian in principle. You have read Hyrum’s testimony and can judge of the treatment which Joseph received at their hands. Suffice to say he was shamefully abused. Wilson had authority from the governor of Illinois to take Joseph Smith Jr. and deliver him into the hands of the before-named Reynolds; but as neither of them showed any authority save a brace of pistols, Joseph took them for false imprisonment. He then obtained a writ of habeas corpus of the master in chancery of Lee County, returnable before the nearest court authorized to determine upon such writs; and the Municipal Court of Nauvoo being the nearest one invested with this power, an examination was had before said court, when it was made to appear that the writ was defective and void; furthermore, that he was innocent of the charges therein alleged against him. It was in this case that Hyrum’s testimony was given, which is rehearsed in a preceding chapter.

Not long after this I broke up housekeeping, and at Joseph’s request, I took up my residence at his house. Soon after which I was taken very sick and was brought nigh unto death. For five nights Emma never left me, but stood at my bedside all the night long, at the end of which time she was overcome with fatigue and taken sick herself. Joseph then took her place and watched with me the five succeeding nights, as faithfully as Emma had done. About this time I began to recover, and, in the course of a few weeks, I was able to walk about the house a little and sit up during the day. I have hardly been able to go on foot further than across the street since.

On the third day of October, 1843, Sophronia, second daughter of Don Carlos, died of the scarlet fever, leaving her widowed mother doubly desolate.

Chapter 51

Large tracts of land are purchased at Commerce, Illinois. The Smiths move from Quincy to a log cabin in what will later be called Nauvoo. Sickness reigns in Nauvoo and the Smiths’ household. Don Carlos’s tender letter to his wife. Joseph the Prophet with Sidney Rigdon and others go to Washington, D.C., and visit with President Martin Van Buren to no avail. Mother Smith comments on her love for the Constitution and her sorrow for the nation’s departing from the Founding Fathers’ ideas. Joseph Smith Sr. gives patriarchal blessings to a number of Saints. Father Smith’s health worsens; he gathers his family around him, gives his dying blessings, and passes on. Lucy’s sorrow and reflections after forty-four years of marriage.

April 1839 to September 1840

In the spring of 1839 Joseph and Hyrum came to this place, which was then called Commerce, to look at the situation and make a purchase of land in order to gather the Saints together again. They succeeded in buying a large tract of land from Mr. White, who was one of the proprietors of Commerce, and returned for their families. After they left, we remained a short time in Quincy, as we were not ready to leave at that time. But in a few days my sons sent a team after us to bring us to Commerce, for my husband’s health was so poor that he was unable to attend to any kind of business, and they wanted to have their father near them. Jacob Bigler came after us, but when he saw how poor my husband’s health was, he thought it best to leave the heavy wagon he had brought and get a carriage that would be more pleasant to travel in.

The morning before we started, Mr. Messer came and said that he could not go to work, for he wanted to stay with us while we remained. “This, ” said Mr. Messer, “is the first time I ever left my work on account of a neighbor leaving the place.” He remained with us all the forenoon, and in the afternoon returned with his wife and stayed till near dark. I have always had the warmest attachment for this family, and I pray God that his choicest blessings may rest upon them.

The next morning we set out for Commerce and proceeded about twenty miles when our carriage broke down, leaving us in the middle of the prairie unable to proceed on our journey. My husband and I sat in the burning sun nearly three hours before the necessary aid could be obtained. Brother Bigler went some distance and got another wagon. We then started on and soon arrived at Bear Creek below Lima. This stream was very high and very dangerous for strangers to cross it at all, but providentially we took the right course and, with much difficulty, got across at Sister Lawrence’s house near Lima just after dark. Here we stayed overnight, and the next day came to Commerce, where we found those of our family who were there in good health.

We moved into a small log room attached to the house in which Joseph was living. Here we might have enjoyed ourselves in quiet retirement, but my husband’s health still failed, he was fast sinking into the consumption, and medicines were of but little benefit.

As the season advanced, the brethren who had settled here began to feel the effects of the hardships which they had endured, joined with the unhealthiness of the climate in which we were then situated. They came down with agues and bilious fevers to such an extent that there were some whole families in which there was not one who was able to give another a drink of cold water or even to help themselves. Hyrum’s family was mostly sick. My youngest daughter, Lucy, was also very sick, and there was, in fact, but few of the inhabitants of the place who were well.

Joseph and Emma had the sick brought to their house and took care of them there. They continued to have them brought as fast as they were taken down, until their house, which consisted of four rooms, was so crowded that they had to spread a tent in the yard for that part of the family who were still on their feet. Joseph and Emma devoted their whole time and attention to the care of the sick during this time of distress.

Silas Smith, my husband’s brother, came up from Pike County to consult my husband upon some Church business and returned with the intention of bringing his family here, but before he could accomplish it, he was taken sick and died, and we never saw him again.

About this time William came from Plymouth and informed us that he had sent to Missouri for our furniture and provisions and that nothing remained of all that we had left, as they had been destroyed by the mob. When William returned, he took Hyrum’s oldest daughter, Lovina, who had been sick, with him to Plymouth, thinking that the ride and change of atmosphere would be a benefit to her. Instead she grew much worse, and in a little while she was supposed to be on her deathbed. Her uncle sent word to us that he was afraid that she would not live until we could get there. Her father was not able to sit up when the news came, but Lucy and I started, although Lucy was quite sick and I, myself, would have been unable to go had it not been in a case of extremity. On our arrival at Plymouth, we found her very low, but some better than we expected, for she had revived a little since the messenger had left. She continued to get better from this time until she got quite well, but the ague seemed to take a fresh hold upon Lucy. The journey over the prairie in the hot sun in the dry season of the year, when it was almost impossible to get a drink of cold water to cool her fever, had been a great disadvantage to her health. She remained completely under the power of the disease until the sickness in Commerce had so abated that Joseph could leave home long enough to make a visit to Plymouth.

When he arrived, Lucy was lying on the bed upstairs in a high fever. Upon hearing her brother’s voice below, before he even had time to get up the steps, she flew down as though she had been perfectly well. She was so overjoyed to see her brother and hear that her relatives were all alive and through with the dreadful siege of sickness, that the excitement performed an entire cure so that she did not have the ague again and soon got back her strength.

During the summer, in the commencement of the sickness, Don Carlos came from McDonough County to make preparations to establish a printing press, as the press and type had been buried during the Missouri troubles to keep them out of the hands of our enemies. They had gathered so much dampness that the type was considerably injured, and it was necessary to get it into use as soon as possible. He found one room at liberty, and that was an underground room through which a spring was constantly flowing. It needed a great deal of cleaning out before it could be made to answer his purpose at all. He worked alone in this cellar some time, and together the dampness of the place and his labor caused him to take a severe cold with which he was sick for some time. But he continued his work until he had got his press started, and a few numbers of the paper printed. He went to McDonough to see his family, and after this, returned to Commerce, but found the distress so great that no business could be done. After his arrival in Commerce, he wrote the following letter to his wife, which shows pretty clearly the situation of the Church at the time as well as his affectionate disposition, which was always breathed in every word and stamped on every line he wrote to his family.

Commerce, July 29, 1839.

Beloved companion,

I am in tolerable health and have just risen from imploring the throne of grace in your behalf and that of our family-that God would preserve your health and give you every blessing and protect you by day and by night. When I arrived here, there had been nothing done in the office, as Brother Robinson has been sick every day since I left and is sick yet. I have done but little labor since I returned, for I have been striving against the destroyer and attending upon the sick continually. There are not well ones enough to take care of the sick. There has been but one death, however, since I returned, and that was of a child, but one week old. McLeary and Sophronia are both sick. Brother Robinson’s wife has been nigh unto death. Father is better. Last Tuesday I administered to sixteen souls and have since administered to a great many in company with George A. Smith, and some notable miracles were wrought with our hands. I never had so great power over disease as I have had this week, for this let God be glorified. The devil is determined to destroy the Saints here. There is between 50 and 100 that are sick, but they are generally on the gain and I do not know of more than two or three who are dangerously sick.

I send you five dollars so that you may not be destitute in case you should be sick or in want of money. My dear, you shall be made happy by me, the Lord being my helper. Hereafter you shall not want. Elijah’s God will bless you and I will bless you. You are entwined round my heart with ties that are stronger than death, and time cannot sever them. Yes, deprived of your society and that of my prattling babes, life would be irksome to me. Oh, that you might live till the coming of the Son of Man and I also for your sakes, that I might comfort you and you might comfort me, and we might comfort our babes and instill into their tender and noble minds principles of virtue that God may bless us all that we may be happy. I shall come home as soon as we can get through with our present hurry.

I am as ever your most true and faithful earthly friend both in time and in eternity.

Don C. Smith

We returned to Commerce, and when the weather became cold the sallow faces of the community began to assume a more fresh and ready hue, and all was bustle and business-some building, some fencing, some hauling wood, and indeed all hands were as active in gathering around them the comforts of life as though they had never been disturbed from their possessions, and had no reason to distrust the lasting friendship of those who professed to be their friends.

How often have I looked upon the innocent, cheerful countenances of our brethren and wondered at the difference between them and the dark, lowering, wicked look of the persecutors who thronged our lovely city at the time when Joseph was taken prisoner. The fact is our brethren, when they have the spirit of the gospel upon them, meditate no evil, and consequently, they fear no evil, until they are taught to fear as the sheep is taught to fear the fierce wolf or tiger. But now they have had sufficient experience to make them more wary than they once were, so that they will be likely for the future to calculate both ways and not lick the hand just raised to shed their blood.

It now became a duty for Joseph to fulfill a commandment which he received while in prison to go as soon as he could leave home to the city of Washington and petition Congress for redress. He said that if there was any virtue in the government that they might not fail to do justice for want of a correct understanding of the facts. Accordingly, Joseph set off with Sidney Rigdon, Dr. Foster, Elias Higbee, and Porter Rockwell for the seat of government.

After arriving in Washington, Joseph and Sidney waited upon his excellency Martin Van Buren for some time. They had no opportunity to lay their grievances before him, as rather than lend an ear to the complaints of a distressed people, he chose to give his attention to the frivolous chat of visitors, who had no other business but to compliment him upon his fine circumstances. At length, however, he concluded to listen to them, and heard the entire history of our oppression, and the abuse we had received from our existence as a people until the slaughter of our brethren at Haun’s Mill, and our final expulsion from our homes. They concluded with an appeal to him as the principal officer of this great, mighty republic for his assistance.

Has not everyone read our tale of woe? If you have not, I beseech you to take the trouble to do so. I’ve not told the half, but if you will peruse a pamphlet entitled “Missouri Persecutions,” you will then be able to appreciate the magnanimous reply of this mighty ruler of a mighty republic when his heart was under the fresh influence of the story of his people’s grief. “Hear it ye nations. Hear it, oh ye dead.” Martin Van Buren said, “Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.”

You, that at the peril of your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor stepped forth and placed your names upon the list attached to the Declaration of Independence, and nobly stood targets for the vengeance of the oppressor, willing to sacrifice your own lives to save your countrymen-look down upon your children, spirit of our departed. Washington, but little did you expect that sacred seat which you so lately occupied, and from which you dealt out evenhanded justice to all, would be so very soon filled by one who can do nothing for your own fellow soldiers, when they are murdered upon the soil that you and they defended breast to breast.

But we are your children. We love the Constitution and the law and we will abide the same. We love those hearts from whose pure depths that Constitution emanated. We love the many that fought for us in our infant years. We have your brethren in our midst, some who battled by your side. We honor and we cherish and we love them. The scheme of our national salvation we dearly love, but oh, the hands in which it is placed! They will not take thee for an example. Therefore, we go mourning all the day long, and the chain of the oppressor lays heavy on our necks. Our feet are fettered, our hands are shackled, and behold we are cast into prison, for is this all? We are even murdered, and yet no one has raised the yoke, but still we bow down and bear our grief.

The matter was, however, laid before Congress. They too concluded that our cause was just, but that they could do nothing for us, as Missouri was a sovereign, independent state; and that the “Mormons” might appeal to her for redress, for, in their opinion, she neither wanted the power nor lacked the disposition to redress the wrongs of her own citizens.

Joseph remained with his brethren in Washington until a decision was had upon the subject. While he was absent, his father was very feeble. His cough increased, and he became so weak, that I was often under the necessity of lifting him from his bed. One night I was raising him and he said, “Mother, I don’t know but I shall die here alone with you, and perhaps in your arms while lifting me.”

“Oh, no, Father,” said I, “you will not; for when you die, you will have all your children round you.”

“Well,” said he, “if you say so in real earnest, I believe it will be so.” I told him that it was impressed upon my mind that such would be the case. He was much comforted by this, for he had been very anxious to live until Joseph returned, that he might bless him again before he died.

This was in the winter of 1840. Before spring he got some better so that he walked around the neighborhood and even attended to blessing some few of the brethren, among whom was Elder John E. Page and his wife, Mary. On this occasion he stood upon his feet three hours, and when he got through blessing and preaching, he laid hands on Brother Page, who was terribly afflicted with the black canker, but was healed very suddenly, for there was a great manifestation of the Spirit of God at this meeting.

He gave one person a blessing whom he had never seen before that day, and who had not been in the Church a fortnight. When he blessed her, he repeated a prophecy word for word that had been pronounced upon her head by Brother Page and said that the Spirit testified that she had been told these things in her confirmation. This surprised her, for she had just arrived in Nauvoo with Brother and Sister Page, and she knew that not one word had passed between him and my husband upon the subject.

In March of 1840, Mr. Smith had a relapse and was confined again to his bed, not able to help himself out of it. I was standing by the window and saw Joseph coming, for he had just arrived from Washington. I told Mr. Smith that Joseph was coming and he cried for joy at the thought that he had been spared to see Joseph’s face again. Joseph came immediately into the room, and before he left, he laid hands on him and assisted him out of bed.

Joseph’s family were rejoiced to see him again, for they had heard many reports of danger which had threatened him, and Emma had suffered much uneasiness on the account. The Church was also much rejoiced to meet him, but had they yielded their feelings to the influence of circumstances, their joy would have been mingled with grief, for the Senate of the United States sent back our brethren with documents saying that as Missouri was the place where our difficulties occurred, she alone could exercise jurisdiction in the affair of our trouble, and that whatever might be the outrages committed upon us by the inveterate state of Missouri, we had no hopes of redress. We plainly discovered that murder was licensed and every outrage upon us permitted. However, we did not lose all hopes of resting from persecution for a season. At least the authorities of Illinois had been very forward to give us every assurance of their honor, and it is our motto ever to trust our friends until they betray our trust, and so we acted in this instance, resting perfectly secure upon the laws which were then, and for some time after, promptly executed.

After Joseph’s arrival, he had a house erected for his father, and we were soon very comfortably situated. My husband seemed to revive a little in the spring, but when the heat of the ensuing summer came on, he began to fail again. This was perhaps partially because Missouri again renewed her persecutions against us and sent officers with writs demanding sixty of our brethren, my sons with the rest considered as fugitives from justice (as they chose to call their proceedings just). The brethren concluded at this time to fly from such justice and were obliged to leave the city and absent themselves from their families for some time before the writs were returned.

About this time, General John C. Bennett came into the city and undertook to devise a scheme that would result in the security of our persecuted brethren, that they might remain at home in peace. I do not know what he did. I only know that he seemed to be very much engaged about law as well as the gospel. My heart was then too full of anxiety about my husband to inquire much into matters which I did not understand; however, the result was, Joseph returned from Iowa.

On the evening of his return, his father was taken with vomiting blood. This was the first time that I had allowed myself to doubt but that he would sooner or later recover from his illness, but I now concluded that he was appointed unto death. I sent for Joseph and Hyrum, who, when they came, gave him something to relieve his distress, and he became more easy. This was on Saturday night.

On Sunday, Joseph came in and said, “Now, Father, I am at liberty and I can stay with you as much as you wish. Bennett is here and he will fix things so that we will not be in danger of being disturbed by the Missourians.” His father was delighted to hear it, for he knew that he could live but a short time and he wished Joseph to remain with him. After which Joseph informed his father, that it was then the privilege of the Saints to be baptized for the dead, and Mr. Smith requested that Joseph should be baptized for Alvin immediately.

We had sent for the children who did not live in the city and they had all got here save Catharine, who was detained by a sick husband and sick children. Mr. Smith, being apprised of this, sent Arthur Milliken, who, but a short time previous, was married to our youngest daughter, after Catharine and her children. Mr. Milliken made all haste to get a team and to make the necessary preparations for his journey. Before he went, however, my husband blessed him, as he feared that it might be too late when he returned. He took him by the hand and said:

“Arthur, my son, I have given you my darling, my youngest child, and will you be kind to her?”

“Yes, Father,” he replied, “I will.”

“Arthur,” he continued, “you shall be blessed, and you shall be great in the eyes of the Lord, and if you will be faithful, you shall have all the desires of your heart in righteousness. Now, I want you to go after my daughter Catharine, for I know the faithfulness of your heart, that you will not come back without her.”

Arthur then left. After he was gone, he called us all around his bed and addressed me first.

“Mother,” said he, “do you not know that you are the mother of the greatest family that ever lived upon the earth? The world loves its own, but it does not love us. It hates us because we are not of the world; therefore, all their malice is poured out upon us, and they seek to take away our lives. When I look upon my children and realize that although they were raised up to do the Lord’s work, yet they must pass through scenes of trouble and affliction as long as they live upon the earth, my heart is pained and I dread to leave you so surrounded by enemies.”

At this Hyrum bent over his father and said, “Father, if you are taken away, will you not intercede for us at the throne of grace, that our enemies may not have so much power over us to distress and harass us?” His father laid his hands upon Hyrum’s head and said:

“My son, Hyrum, I seal upon your head your patriarchal blessing which I placed on your head before, for that shall be verified. In addition, I now give you my dying blessing. You shall have a season of peace, so that you shall have sufficient rest to accomplish the work which God has given you to do. You shall be as firm as the pillars of heaven unto the end of your days. I seal upon your head the patriarchal power, and you shall bless the people. This is my dying blessing upon your head in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

To Joseph he said:

“Joseph, my son, you are called to a high and holy calling. You are called to do the work of the Lord. Now, hold out faithful and you will be blessed, and your family shall be blessed, and your children after you. You shall live to finish your work.”

At this Joseph cried out, “Oh, Father, shall I?”

“Yes,” said his father, “you shall. You shall live to lay out all the plan of all the work that God requires at your hand. Be faithful to the end. This is my dying blessing on your head in the name of Jesus. I also confirm your former blessing upon you, for it shall be fulfilled. Even so. Amen.”

To Don Carlos he said:

“Carlos, my darling son, you remember that when I blessed you, your blessing never was written, and I could not get it done, but now I want you to get my book, which contains the blessings of my family. I want you to take your pen and fill out those parts of your blessing that were not written. You shall have the Spirit of the Lord and shall be able to fill up all the vacancies which were left by Oliver when he wrote it. You shall be great in the sight of the Lord, for he sees and knows the integrity of your heart, and you shall be blessed; and all that know you shall bless you. Your wife and your children shall also be blessed, and you shall live to fulfill all the Lord has sent you to do. Even so. Amen.”

To Samuel he said:

“Samuel, you have been a faithful and obedient child. By your faithfulness, you have brought many into the Church. The Lord has seen your faithfulness and you are blessed in that the Lord has never chastised you, but has called you home to rest; and there is a crown laid up for you which shall grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

“When the Lord called you, he said, ‘Samuel, I have seen thy sufferings, have heard thy cries, seen thy faithfulness, and your skirts are clear of the blood of this generation.’ This is my dying blessing, and all the blessings which I have before pronounced upon you I now seal upon you again. Even so. Amen.”

To William he said:

“William, my son, thou hast been faithful in declaring the word, even before the Church was organized. Thou hast been sick, yet thou hast traveled to warn the people. And when thou couldst not walk, thou didst sit by the wayside and call upon the Lord, until he did provide a way for thee to be carried. Thou wast sick and afflicted, when thou wast away from thy father’s house, and no one knew it to assist thee in thy afflictions; but the Lord did see the honesty of thy heart, and thou wast blessed in thy mission. William, thou shalt be blessed, and thy voice shall be heard in distant lands, from place to place, and they shall regard thy teachings and thy voice. Thou shalt be like a roaring lion in the forest, for they shall hearken and hear thee. And thou shalt be the means of bringing many sheaves to Zion, and thou shalt be great in the eyes of many people, and they shall call thee blessed, and I will bless thee and thy children after thee. And the blessings which I sealed upon thy head before I now confirm again, and thy days shall be many and thou shall do a great work and live as long as thou desire life. Even so. Amen.”

To Sophronia he said:

“Sophronia, my oldest daughter, thou hadst sickness when thou wast young. Thy mother and thy father did cry over thee to have the Lord spare thy life. Thou didst see trouble and sorrow, but thy trouble shall be lessened, for thou hast been faithful in helping thy father and thy mother in the work of the Lord. And thou shalt be blessed, and the blessings of heaven shall rest down upon you and your last days shall be your best days. Although thou shalt see trouble and sorrow and mourning, thou shalt be comforted and the Lord will lift you up and the blessings of the Lord will rest upon you and upon your family. Thou shalt live as long as thou desirest life. I pronounce this dying blessing with your other blessings I seal upon your head. Even so. Amen.”

After this he rested some time and then said:

“Catharine has been a sorrowful child. Trouble has she seen, and the Lord has looked down upon her and seen her patience and has heard her cries. She shall be comforted when her days of sorrow are ended. Then shall the Lord look down upon her, and she shall have the comforts of life and the good things of the world, and then shall she rise up and defend her cause. And she shall live to raise up her family and in time her suffering shall be over, for the day is coming when the patient shall receive their reward. She shall rise over her enemies, and she shall have houses and land and things around her to make her heart glad. I, in this dying blessing, confirm her patriarchal blessing upon her head, and she shall receive eternal life. Even so. Amen.”

To Lucy he said:

“Lucy, thou art my youngest child, thou art my darling. And the Lord gave you unto us to be a comfort to us in our old age, and thou must take good care of thy mother. Thou art innocent and thy heart is right before the Lord. Thou hast been through all the persecution and hast seen nothing but persecution, trouble, and sickness except when the Lord would cheer our hearts. If thou wilt continue and hold out faithful, thou shalt be blessed with a house and land, and thou shalt have food and raiment and no more be persecuted and driven as thou hast hitherto been. And continue faithful and you shall receive a reward in heaven and you shall live long and be blessed, and thou shalt receive a reward in heaven. And now I seal this dying blessing and your patriarchal blessing upon your head. Even so. Amen.”

He then called to me again. “Mother,” said he, “where are you?” I was standing at his back, but went immediately to his head. “Do you not know that you are one of the most singular women in the world?”

I said, “No, I do not.”

“Well,” said he, “I do. You have brought up my children for me by the fireside, and when I was gone from home, you comforted them. You have brought up all my children and could always comfort them when I could not. We have often wished that we might both die at the same time, but you must not desire to die when I do. You must stay to comfort the children when I am gone. So do not mourn, but try to be comforted. Your last days shall be your best days, as to being driven, for you shall have more power over your enemies than you have had. Now, be comforted.”

He paused and then said, “Why, I can see and hear as well as ever I could.” (A pause.) “And I have my senses perfectly well.” (A pause of some minutes.) “I see Alvin.” (Another pause.) “I shall live seven or eight minutes.” He then straightened himself, laid his hands together, and began to breathe shorter and shorter until at last his breath stopped without a struggle or even a sigh. He departed so calmly that we could not believe for some time but that he would breathe again.

I am convinced that no one but a widow can imagine the feelings of a widow, but my situation was not such as is common in similar cases. My beloved companion who had shared my joy and grief for forty-four years lay before me, a cold, lifeless corpse, and the cold hand which I held in mine returned the pressure of my own no longer. My fatherless children stood around me, gazing in agony upon those eyes which had, until a few minutes ago, always beamed upon them with the tenderest gaze. I then thought that there was no evil for me to fear upon the earth more than what I had experienced in the death of my beloved husband. It was all the grief which my nature was able to bear, and I thought that I could never again be called to suffer so great an affliction as this. I reflected upon the many years of happiness which I had spent with him, and that the one with whom I had spent my life was now buried beneath the cold clods, and that portion of my life which lay before seemed desolate indeed. I thought that the greatest sorrow of which it was possible for me to experience had fallen upon me.

My children were all there save Catharine, who did not arrive until the evening of the second day. We were compelled to attend his obsequies the day following his death or run the risk of seeing Hyrum and Joseph torn from their father’s corpse and carried to prison and perhaps to Missouri by our enemies, for they had obtained another writ which they were hurrying to the city in order to serve it upon my sons.

My own heart was broken, and I had but one reason to desire life, which was, as Mr. Smith said in his dying moments, that I might comfort my children. All that has transpired since that period, except the calamities which have befallen my own family, is like a shadow or a dream. From this time I shall enumerate the events of my life as rapidly as possible and shall endeavor to suppress my feelings altogether, until I have related the remainder of what I have to tell.

The evening after my husband was buried, Catharine arrived at our house, bringing her husband upon a bed, sick with the ague. She remained with me some time and comforted me what she could.

Chapter 50

Lucy and Joseph Sr. gather with members of their family and share their experiences of the expulsion from Missouri. Samuel and party nearly starve to death, but are saved by direction from the Lord. Young Lucy becomes very ill. Mother Smith contracts cholera. Both finally receive their health. Mother Smith sees Joseph and Hyrum in vision as they make their way painfully across Missouri. She prophesies of their arrival. They are reunited in Quincy and rejoice together.

Late February 1839 to May 1839

We spent the evening after we arrived in Quincy relating our adventures in escaping from the hands of our enemies. Samuel’s story was very interesting, for he was compelled to fly for his life with a company of others and leave his family behind.

He said that they suffered very much with hunger on their route, as they were pursued by their enemies, and they considered it unsafe to be seen by the inhabitants of the country. Game being very scarce, they soon lacked for provisions and finally ran out altogether, yet they pursued their journey, until they became so faint that they were almost in despair. After counseling together a short time, they concluded to appoint Samuel to receive the word of the Lord, and they united in prayer that the Lord would communicate to them his will concerning what he would have them to do.

After continuing in prayer for some time, it was signified to Samuel that in one-half hour they might obtain some refreshment by traveling in a certain direction. He made this known to the company, and he set out with two others in quest of the promised food. After traveling several miles, they came to an Indian wigwam, and told the Indians by signs that they were hungry. Upon this, the squaw, with all possible speed, made some cakes, baked them in a pan over the fire, and gave each one of them two. They then told her that more of their friends were in the woods far off, and in a trice she made a quantity more of her wheat cakes and gave them to the brethren on a piece of birch bark. She also gave them to understand by signs that she would send more, but she had but little flour and her papooses would be hungry.

After this the brethren traveled on and succeeded in getting sufficient food to sustain them so that none of the company perished. In a short time they separated and took different routes through the country for Quincy, where Samuel arrived some time before we got there.

After we came, it was but a few days before Samuel moved his family into another house, leaving rather more room for those who remained. We soon found that we had many kind neighbors. In fact, they were all kind. One in particular I would mention who lived across the street from us by the name of Messer. This man and his wife seemed to seek every opportunity to oblige us, and while we were there they took care that we were accommodated with everything that we needed which was at their command.

We had not been in Quincy one week when Lucy, my youngest daughter, was taken very sick with a pain in her head and dreadful distress in her limbs, occasioned by her exposure in coming from Missouri. She utterly refused from the first to take any nourishment whatever. I took care of her myself several days, until I was taken in a similar manner myself. The day on which I was taken, Mr. Milliken, a young man to whom she was engaged to be married, came to see her, and he watched with her all that day, for my disease proved to be a very severe case of cholera. Although I suffered dreadfully with the cramp which usually attends that complaint, yet that was nothing in comparison to another pain which operated upon the marrow of my bones and sometimes seemed to me to be almost bursting the bones themselves asunder.

Everything that could be obtained that was known to be good for such diseases was administered in my case, but without effect. Supposing that I could not live any length of time, Lucy wanted to see me, but she was unable to stand on her feet, and Samuel carried her down the stairs in his arms several times before I got any better. At last a young man who was a botanic physician was brought, who gave me a kind of herb tea that relieved me immediately, so that I went to sleep very soon after. I took it and continued from that time getting better until I recovered.

During our sickness, the ladies of Quincy sent us every delicacy which could be obtained, with the hopes of pleasing our appetites, particularly Lucy’s, as she was not inclined to take any kind of food into her stomach. When I got better, I found that since she had been sick, she had taken nothing but ice water, but her fever was broken, and by careful nursing, she was soon able to walk about a little.

Previous to our sickness, Mr. Smith had sent one Brother Lamoreaux to Missouri to see if any intelligence could be obtained concerning the prisoners. This man received strict injunctions from the brethren not to return until he saw my sons or knew where they were. He had now been gone a long time, and no intelligence had come of him or the prisoners.

About the time that Lucy began to go about on her feet a little, Brother Partridge and Brother Morley came to our house from Lima to see if Lamoreaux had written or returned. Upon learning that he had not been heard of, Brother Partridge was in despair. He said that he never would consent to having another messenger sent on such business, that he would go himself, for, said he, “you cannot get anybody to do as they ought to do.”

Just then news came that Lamoreaux had come back, but had not seen Joseph or Hyrum. Upon this Brother Partridge felt worse than ever, and blamed Lamoreaux very much for non-performance of duty. I listened to him some time. At last an assurance entered my heart that my sons would be at home by the following night, and it filled my soul with such joy that I exclaimed aloud with tears, “Brother Partridge, I shall see my sons again before tomorrow night.”

“No,” said he, “Mother Smith, I am perfectly discouraged. I don’t know as we shall ever see them again in the world. At any rate do not flatter yourself that they will be here as soon as that, for I tell you, you will be disappointed. I have always believed everything you told me before, but I have no faith in what you say, for I cannot see any prospect of your prophecy being fulfilled; but if it proves to be true, I will never dispute you again while I live.” I asked him if he would stay in town long enough to see if I told him the truth, and he did so.

That night upon lying down on my bed to go to sleep, I saw my sons in vision on the prairie in Missouri. They appeared to be very tired and hungry. They had but one horse, and I saw them stop and tie him to the burnt stub of a sapling, after which they lay down on the ground to rest themselves. Oh, how pale and faint they looked! I sprang up in bed. “Oh, Father,” I said, “I see Joseph and Hyrum, and they are so weak they can scarcely stand, and now they are lying on the cold ground asleep. Oh, how I want to give them something to eat!”

Mr. Smith begged me to be quiet, saying that I was nervous, but it was impossible to rest, for they were still before my eyes and I saw them until they had lain there nearly two hours. Then one of them went away to try to get something to eat, but did not succeed, and they traveled on. This time Hyrum rode and Joseph walked by his side, holding himself up by the stirrup leather. I saw him almost reel with weakness, and yet I could not help him. My soul was grieved, and I could not sleep, so I arose from my bed and spent the night walking the floor.

The next day I commenced making preparations for their reception as confidently as though I had received word that they would be there for supper, but the day was so long and so tedious that in the afternoon near sunset, I went upstairs to consult with Lucy about my cooking. As we came down, she was before me, and when she came to the bottom of the stairs, she screamed out, “There is Elder Baldwin. Oh, my brothers,” said she, “where are they?” This was Caleb Baldwin, who had been in prison with my sons. He told us that Hyrum and Joseph were then on their way over the river and would soon be in Quincy. Lucy caught her bonnet and started for Hyrum’s house as hard as she could run, but the excitement was not sufficient to keep up her strength, and when she got to the door, she fell prostrate on the floor. After she had communicated the happy news to them, she returned to assist me.

Hyrum and Joseph landed soon after and went immediately to see their families.4 They, with their wives and the rest of our connections, spent the next day with us. When the news went abroad that the Smiths had been liberated and were now at home, the Quincy Grays came down to our house and saluted them in the most polite manner. Our friends swarmed around us, and we spent the day in eating and drinking and making merry. During the afternoon, I asked Joseph in the presence of the company if they were not on the prairie the night previous in the situation that I saw them in vision. They replied that they were. I then asked Brother Partridge if he now believed what I had told him the evening before. He said he would forever after that time acknowledge me a true prophet. The day passed very pleasantly, and my sons returned to their homes as happy as it was possible for them to be.

A short time after this, we were visited by a man by the name of George Miller5 from McDonough County, who showed a very friendly disposition and informed us that he had a quantity of land and also a number of log houses that were somewhat out of repair, but if the brethren were disposed to settle on his premises, they might have the use of the houses by repairing them. We were much pleased with the disposition which he manifested, and before he left, my sons Samuel, Don Carlos, and Jenkins Salisbury, my son-in-law, agreed with him for a piece of land sufficient for them to work that season. Samuel returned with him, and after making preparations for their families they removed them to that place.

Chapter 49

Joseph, Hyrum, and others are taken prisoner in Far West. His parents think Joseph has been murdered. Lucy describes the scenes of Joseph and Hyrum being taken prisoner and their parting emotions. The Spirit whispers peace to the mind and heart of Mother Smith. Merciless conditions in Far West are beyond description. The Smiths leave for Illinois. Lucy describes the deplorable conditions of their journey east. The Saints, as destitute refugees, gather at Quincy, Illinois.

October 31, 1838 to late February 1839

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 over his breast and grasping his sides, cried, groaning with mental agony, “Oh, my God! my God! they have murdered my son and I must die, for I cannot live without him!”

I was unable to answer him. In all our other troubles I had been able to speak a word of consolation to him, but now I could do nothing but mingle my cries and groans with his. Still, the shrieking and screaming continued. No tongue can ever express the sound that was conveyed to our ears nor the sensations that were produced in our hearts. It was like the screeching of a hundred owls mingled with the howling of an army of bloodhounds and the screaming of a thousand panthers all famishing for the prey which was being torn piecemeal among them.

My husband was immediately taken sick and never regained his health afterwards, although he lived two more years.

It will be seen by the testimony of Hyrum that he was taken by the officers the next day after he arrived at the camp, and that he was seated with Joseph on a log. The soldiers began to crowd around, raging and swearing that they would shoot them. Several guns were snapped at them before anyone interfered.

“Protect them,” Captain Martin ordered his men. “Surround the prisoners instantly with drawn swords and loaded muskets. Now, I swear by God, if one of you attempts to harm a hair of the head of one of the prisoners, I will cut his d–d head off in a minute. Do protect them, and if any man attempts to lift a gun to his face to shoot the prisoners, cut him down instantly, for they are innocent men. I know they are innocent. Just look at them. They show the fact in their very faces.”

This man was but a captain, but he stood there on guard and kept his men at their places two nights and a day. He neither slept himself, nor suffered his company to rest until Joseph and Hyrum were taken from this place.

When our sons were to be taken away, a messenger came and told us that if we ever were to see our sons alive again, we would have to go immediately to them, as they were in the wagon to be driven to Independence and would be gone in a few minutes. My husband was then too ill to be able to go, but Lucy and I started alone, for we were the only well ones of the family.

When we came within about four hundred yards of the wagon, we could go no farther because they were surrounded by men. “I am the mother of the Prophet,” I cried, “and is there not a gentleman here who will assist me through this crowd to that wagon that I may take a last look at my children and speak to them once more before they die?” One individual volunteered to make a pathway through the army, and we went on through the midst of swords, muskets, pistols, and bayonets, threatened with death at every step, until at last we arrived at the wagon. The man who accompanied me spoke to Hyrum, who was sitting in the front, and told him his mother was there and wished him to reach his hand to her. He did so, but I was not permitted to see him, for the cover of the wagon was made of very heavy cloth and tied closely down in front and nailed fast at the sides.

We merely shook hands with him and the other prisoners who sat in the forepart of the wagon, before several of the men in the mob exclaimed, “Drive over them,” calling to us to get out of the way, swearing at us and threatening us in the most dreadful manner.

Our friend then conducted us to the hinder part of the wagon where Joseph was, and said, “Mr. Smith, your mother and sister are here and wish to shake hands with you.” Joseph crowded his hand through between the wagon and cover where it was nailed down to the end board. We caught hold of his hand, but he did not speak to us. I could not bear to leave him without hearing his voice. “Oh, Joseph,” said I. “Do speak to your poor mother once more. I cannot go until I hear you speak.”

“God bless you, Mother,” he sobbed out. Then a cry was raised and the wagon dashed off, tearing my son from us just as Lucy was pressing his hand to her lips to bestow upon it a sister’s last kiss-for we knew that they were sentenced to be shot.

We succeeded in getting to the house again, although we were scarcely able to support ourselves. Before this final moment, the wagon had been driven through Far West and my sons had been allowed to see their families, but not permitted to speak to them nor to visit me.

To describe this scene is impossible. You have read something of how they were rushed from their wives and children amid their sobs and screams. Little Joseph clung to his father and exclaimed, “Oh, my Father. Why can you not stay with us?” They answered his question by pushing the child from his father with their swords, but there is a day when that question will be repeated, “Why did you tear the servant of God from his family and from his home and treat him thus cruelly?” If any of you who did this deed are living, let me warn you to prepare yourselves to answer that question before the bar of God, for I testify to you in the name of Jesus, you will have it to do. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord.

I will now return to my family at home. For some time nothing was heard in the house but sighs and groans, as we thought we had seen Joseph and Hyrum for the last time. But in the midst of my grief, I found consolation that surpassed all earthly comfort. I was filled with the Spirit of God and received the following by the gift of prophecy: “Let your heart be comforted concerning your children, for they shall not harm a hair of their heads, and before four years, Joseph shall speak before the judges and great men of the land and his voice shall be heard in their councils. And in five years from this time he will have power over all his enemies.”

This relieved my mind, and I was prepared to comfort my children. “My children,” said I, “do not cry anymore. The mob will not kill them, for the Lord has signified to me that he will deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.” This was a great comfort to us all, and we were not so much distressed afterwards as to their lives being taken.

As soon as William was able to stir about a little, he besought his father to leave the place and move to Illinois, but Mr. Smith would not consent to do this, for he was in hopes that our sons would be liberated and peace be settled again. William still expostulated with him, but to no effect. At last Mr. Smith declared that he would not go away from Far West unless he was called upon to do so by revelation. “Very well, Father,” said William, “I can give you revelation, then,” and he rehearsed the vision which he had related to me. Mr. Smith answered this by saying that the family might get ready to start, and then if we were obliged to go, there would be nothing to hinder us.

Our business in Far West had been trading in corn and wheat, as well as keeping a public boardinghouse. When the state mob came in, we had some corn and wheat on hand but very little flour or meal, therefore we had sent a young man that lived with us to mill with fourteen bags of grain to be ground. But he had been obliged to leave because the mob was so near at hand that the miller declared it unsafe for the brethren to remain about his mill lest the mob militia should burn his premises. We were therefore obliged for a long time to pound our corn in a samp-mortar to make bread. It was all the breadstuff we had for a length of time, but there were many who subsisted on parched corn.

The people were all driven in from the country, and there was more than an acre of land in front of our house completely covered with beds, lying in the open sun, where men, women, and children were compelled to sleep in all weather. These were the last who had got into the city, and the houses were so full that there was no room for them. It was enough to make the heart ache to see children in the open sun and wind, sick with colds and very hungry, crying around their mothers for food and their parents destitute of the means of making them comfortable, while their houses, which lay a short distance from the city, were pillaged of everything, their fields thrown open for the horses belonging to the mob to lay waste and destroy, and their fat cattle shot down and turning to carrion before their eyes, while a strong guard, which was set over us for the purpose, prevented us from making use of a particle of the stock that was killed on every side of us.

It may be said that this evil certainly might have been provided against if Joseph Smith had the spirit of prophecy. To this I reply that he did all in his power to get the brethren to move into the city before they heard of the mob, but they did not hearken to counsel. Let this be an everlasting warning to the Saints not to reject the counsel of the authorities of the Church because they do not understand the reason of its being given. If the brethren at Haun’s Mill had observed to do what they were advised repeatedly to do, their lives would no doubt have been preserved, for they would have been at Far West with the rest of the brethren. I shall not attempt here to give a detail of facts which are already published. My mind is loathe to dwell on these days of sorrow more than is necessary.

When William began to be able to walk, he went to the stable to see after his horse, and not finding him, he inquired of one of the mob officers where his horse was. The officers replied that he had sent a messenger on him with a dispatch to another part of the county. William told him that the horse must be returned, for he would not have him used in any such way. In a little while the dispatch came up, and William took the horse by the bridle and ordered the rider to dismount, with the officer seconding the order. It was obeyed and the horse was led to the stable.

Soon after this the brethren were compelled to lay down their arms and sign away their property. It was done immediately in front of our house, and I could hear General Clark’s speech distinctly in which he declared that my sons must die, that “their die was cast, their doom was fixed, their fate was sealed,” and also that if he could invoke the spirit of the unknown God to rest upon us, he would advise us to scatter abroad. I thought of the words of Paul to the Athenians and of the scripture which saith, “Ye know not God. I speak this to your shame.” For General Clark did not know that he could not measure arms with the Almighty, or he would not have said so positively what was to befall my imprisoned children.

Soon after Hyrum left home, his youngest son was born. This was Mary’s first child. Mary’s confinement was considered rather premature, being probably brought on by her extreme anxiety about her husband. She never saw him but once afterwards before she left the state in which he was held a prisoner. Mary suffered in her sickness beyond description, but in her affliction, her sister, Mrs. Thompson, stood by her and devoted her whole time to nursing and comforting her as they were equally alone, for one of their husbands was imprisoned and the other flying for his life. However, she gained sufficient strength to accompany Emma to the prison once before she left the state.

At this time, my husband sent to Joseph to know if it was the will of the Lord that we should leave the state. Whereupon Joseph sent him a revelation which he had received while in prison, which satisfied my husband’s mind, and he was willing to remove to Illinois as soon as possible.

After this, William made his arrangements as soon as possible to remove his family to Illinois, and in a short time had them comfortably situated in the town of Plymouth and sent back his team for his father’s family.

We loaded the wagon with our goods, but just before we were ready to start, word came that Sidney Rigdon’s family were ready to start and they must have the wagon. Thus, we were compelled to remain a season longer until William sent the team again. The wagon was again loaded and again unloaded, for another messenger came, saying that Emma, my son’s wife, was ready, and she must have the wagon. However, after a long time, we succeeded in getting one wagon in which to convey beds, clothing, and provisions for our own family and two of our sons-in-law and their families. Don Carlos, my youngest son, was in company with us. He rode with his wife and children in a one-horse buggy, and the greatest part of their baggage was also in our wagon.

In consequence of our crowded situation, we left a large stock of provisions and most of our pursuit in boxes and barrels in the house. But that was not the worst, for our horses were what is termed wind-broken, and every hill which we came to, we were obliged to get out and walk, which was both tiresome to the patience and the body.

The first day we arrived at a place called Tinney’s Grove, where we lodged in an old log house, spending a rather uncomfortable time. The day after, I traveled on foot half the day, and at night came to the house of one Mr. Thomas, who was then a member of the Church. My husband was very much out of health, as he had not recovered from the shock occasioned by the capture of Hyrum and Joseph, and he suffered much with a severe cough.

The third day in the afternoon, it commenced raining. When night arrived, we stopped at a house and asked permission to stay over. The man of the house showed us a miserable outhouse, filthy enough to sicken the stomach, even to look at, and told us if we would clean this place out and haul our own wood, we might lodge there. We cleaned out the place so as to be able to lay our beds down, and here we spent the night without a fire. The next morning the landlord charged us seventy-five cents for the use of this shed, and we went on in the pouring rain. We asked for shelter at many places but were refused admittance until near night. We traveled through the rain and mud without finding anyone who was willing to take us in. At last we came to one other place very much like where we had spent the night before. Here we stayed all night, again without a fire.

The day after, which was the fifth from the time we started, just before we got to Palmyra, Missouri, Don Carlos called to us and said, “Father, this exposure is too bad and I will not bear it any longer. And the first place I come to that looks comfortable, I shall drive up to the house and go in, and do follow me.”

We soon came to a handsome, neat-looking farmhouse which was surrounded with every appearance of comfort. The house stood a short distance from the road, but there was a large gate which opened into the field in front of it. Don Carlos opened the gate, drove into the field, and then, after he had assisted us through, he started to see the landlord, who met him before he came to the house. “Landlord,” said Don Carlos, “I do not know but that I am trespassing, but I have with me an aged father, who is sick, besides my mother and a number of women with small children. We have now traveled two days and a half in the rain, and we shall die if we are compelled to go much further. If you will allow us to stay with you overnight, we will pay you any price for our accommodations.”

“Why, what do you mean, sir?” said the gentleman. “Do you not consider us human beings? Do you think that we would turn anything that was flesh and blood away from our doors in such a time as this? Where are your parents? Drive your wagons to the door and help your wife and children out. I will attend to the others.” He then assisted Mr. Smith and myself into the room where his lady was sitting, but as she was not well and he was afraid the dampness of the room might cause her to take cold, he ordered a black servant to make her a fire in another room. He then helped each one of the family into the house and hung their cloaks and shawls up to dry, saying he never in his life saw a family so uncomfortable from the effects of rainy weather.

At this house we had everything that could conduce to our comfort as this gentleman, whose name was Esquire Mann, did all that he could do to assist us. He brought us milk for our children, hauled us water to wash with, furnished good beds to sleep in, and more. In short, he left nothing undone.

In the evening he remarked that he had been sent by the people of his county the year before to be a member of the House of Representatives, where he met one Mr. Carroll, who was sent from the county where the Mormons resided. “And,” said Esquire Mann, “if I ever felt like fighting any man it was him, for he never raised his hand nor his voice in behalf of that abused people once while the House was in session. My blood boiled to hear how they were treated, but I never was a member of the House before and had not sufficient confidence to take a stand in their behalf upon the floor as I would have done if I had been a man of a little more experience.”

After spending the night here with this good man, we set out again the next morning, although it continued raining, for we were obliged to travel in order to avoid being detained by high water. We went on through mud and rain until we arrived within six miles of the Mississippi River. Here the ground was low and swampy, so much so that a person on foot would sink in above his ankles at every step. The weather grew colder and it began snowing and hailing, but still we were compelled to go on foot as the horses were not able to draw us. As we were crossing this place, Lucy lost her shoes several times, and her father had to thrust his cane into the mud to ascertain where they were, because they were so completely covered with mud and water.

When we came to the Mississippi River, we could not cross nor yet find a place of shelter, for there were many Saints there waiting to go over into Quincy. The snow was now six inches deep and still falling, but we were very tired, and we made up our beds on the snow and went to rest with what comfort we might under such circumstances. The next morning, our beds were covered with snow, but we rose and after considerable pains succeeded in folding up our frozen bedding. We tried to light a fire, but finding it impossible, we resigned ourselves to our situation and waited patiently for some opportunity to cross the river.

Soon after, Samuel came over from Quincy, and he, with Seymour Brunson’s assistance, obtained permission of the ferryman to have us cross that day. About sunset we landed in Quincy, where Samuel had hired a house into which we moved. Our household included five other families, namely, Mr. Smith and myself with our daughter, Henry and Hyrum Hoit, also the families of Samuel Smith, Jenkins Salisbury, William McLeary, and Brother Graves.

Chapter 48

Hyrum Smith gives sworn statement of the trials, tribulations, abuses, and privations of the Saints in Missouri. Mob action at Far West, Diahman, DeWitt, and Haun’s Mill. Missouri militia marches on Far West to lay siege to the city. Joseph, Hyrum, and others are taken prisoner and marched to Independence, Richmond, and Liberty. Sufferings and privations of these leaders and the Saints in general are enumerated. Joseph and others spend six months under guard and in prison. Sufferings of the brethren in Liberty Jail. More than twelve thousand Saints are driven from Missouri. Brethren are aided in escaping.

March 1838 to April 1839

Here I shall introduce a brief history of our troubles in Missouri, given by my son Hyrum when Joseph was before the municipal court at Nauvoo, June 30, 1843, on a writ of habeas corpus:

Hyrum Smith, sworn, said that the defendant now in court is his brother, and that his name is not Joseph Smith Jr., but his name is Joseph Smith Sr. and has been for more than two years past.

“I have been acquainted with him ever since he was born, which was thirty-seven years in December last, and I have not been absent from him at any one time, not even the space of six months, since his birth, to my recollection, and have been intimately acquainted with all his sayings, doings, business transactions, and movements, as much as any one man could be acquainted with any other man’s business, up to the present time, and do know that he has not committed treason against any state in the Union, by any overt act, or by levying war, or by aiding and abetting, or assisting an enemy, in any state of the Union. And that the said Joseph Smith has not committed treason in the state of Missouri, nor violated any law or rule of said state, I being personally acquainted with the transactions and doings of said Smith, whilst he resided in said state, which was for about six months in the year 1838; I being also a resident in said state, during the same period of time. And I do know that said Joseph Smith never was subject to military duty in any state, neither was he in the state of Missouri, he being exempt by the amputation or extraction of a bone from his leg, and by his having a license to preach the gospel, or being in other words, a minister of the gospel. And I do know that said Smith never bore arms as a military man, in any capacity whatever, whilst in the state of Missouri, or previous to that time; neither has he given any orders, or assumed any command in any capacity whatever.

“But I do know that whilst he was in the state of Missouri, that the people commonly called ‘Mormons,’ were threatened with violence and extermination; and on or about the first Monday in August, 1838, at the election at Gallatin, the county seat in Daviess County, the citizens who were commonly called ‘Mormons’ were forbidden to exercise the rights of franchise, and from that unhallowed circumstance an affray commenced, and a fight ensued among the citizens of that place, and from that time a mob commenced gathering in that county, threatening the extermination of the ‘Mormons.’ The said Smith, and myself, upon hearing that mobs were collecting together, and that they had also murdered two of the citizens of the same place, and would not suffer them to be buried, the said Smith and myself went over to Daviess County to learn the particulars of the affray; but upon our arrival at Diahman, we learned that none were killed, but several were wounded.

“We tarried all night at Colonel Lyman Wight’s. The next morning, the weather being very warm, and having been very dry for some time previous, the springs and wells in that region were dried up. On mounting our horses to return, we rode up to Mr. Black’s, who was then an acting justice of the peace, to obtain some water for ourselves and horses. Some few of the citizens accompanied us there, and after obtaining the refreshment of water, Mr. Black was asked by said Joseph Smith if he would use his influence to see that the laws were faithfully executed and to put down mob violence, and he gave us a paper written by his own hand, stating that he would do so. He [Joseph Smith] also requested him to call together the most influential men of the county the next day, that we might have an interview with them. To this he acquiesced, and accordingly, the next day they assembled at the house of Colonel Wight and entered into a mutual covenant of peace to put down mob violence and to protect each other in the enjoyment of their rights. After this, we all parted with the best of feelings, and each man returned to his own home.

“This mutual agreement of peace, however, did not last long; for, a few days afterwards, the mob began to collect again, until several hundreds rendezvoused at Millport, a few miles distant from Diahman. They immediately commenced making aggressions upon the citizens called ‘Mormons,’ taking away their hogs and cattle, and threatening them with extermination, or utter extinction, saying that they had a cannon, and there should be no compromise only at its mouth. They frequently took men, women, and children prisoners, whipping them and lacerating their bodies with hickory withes, and tying them to trees, and depriving them of food until they were compelled to gnaw the bark from the trees to which they were bound in order to sustain life, treating them in the most cruel manner they could invent or think of, and doing everything they could to excite the indignation of the ‘Mormon’ people to rescue them, in order that they might make that a pretext for an accusation for the breach of the law, and that they might the better excite the prejudice of the populace, and thereby get aid and assistance to carry out their hellish purposes of extermination.

“Immediately on the authentication of these facts, messengers were dispatched from Far West to Austin A. King, judge of the fifth judicial district of the state of Missouri, and also to Major-General Atchison, commander-in-chief of that division, and Brigadier-General Doniphan, giving them information of the existing facts and demanding immediate assistance.

“General Atchison returned with the messengers and went immediately to Diahman and from thence to Millport, and he found the facts were true as reported to him; that the citizens of that county were assembled together in a hostile attitude, to the amount of two to three hundred men, threatening the utter extermination of the ‘Mormons.’ He immediately returned to Clay County and ordered out a sufficient military force to quell the mob.

“Immediately after they were dispersed and the army returned, the mob commenced collecting again. Soon after, we again applied for military aid, when General Doniphan came out with a force of sixty armed men to Far West; but they were in such a state of insubordination, that he said he could not control them, and it was thought advisable by Colonel Hinckle, Mr. Rigdon, and others, that they should return home. General Doniphan ordered Colonel Hinckle to call out the militia of Caldwell, and defend the town against the mob, for, said he, ‘you have great reason to be alarmed,’ for, he said, Neil Gilliam, from Platte County, had come down with two hundred armed men, and had taken up their station at Hunter’s Mill, a place distant about seventeen or eighteen miles northwest of the town of Far West, and, also, that an armed force had collected again at Millport, in Daviess County, consisting of several hundred men, and that another armed force had collected at DeWitt, in Carroll County, about fifty miles southeast of Far West, where about seventy families of the ‘Mormon’ people had settled, upon the bank of the Missouri River, at a little town called DeWitt.

“Immediately, whilst he was yet talking, a messenger came in from DeWitt, stating that three or four hundred men had assembled together at that place, armed cap-a-pie, and that they threatened the utter extinction of the citizens of that place if they did not leave the place immediately; and that they also surrounded the town and cut off all supplies of food, so that many of them were suffering with hunger.

“General Doniphan seemed to be very much alarmed, and appeared to be willing to do all he could to assist and to relieve the sufferings of the ‘Mormon’ people. He advised that a petition be immediately got up and sent to the governor. A petition was accordingly prepared, and a messenger immediately dispatched to the governor,6 and another petition was sent to Judge King.

“The ‘Mormon’ people throughout the country were in a great state of alarm, and also in great distress. They saw themselves completely surrounded with armed forces on the north, and on the northwest, and on the south. Bogart, who was a Methodist preacher and who was then a captain over a militia company of fifty soldiers, but who had added to his number out of the surrounding counties about a hundred more, which made his force about one hundred and fifty strong, was stationed at Crooked Creek, sending out his scouting parties, taking men, women, and children prisoners, driving off cattle, hogs, and horses, entering into every house on Log and Long Creeks, rifling their houses of their most precious articles, such as money, bedding, and clothing, taking all their old muskets and their rifles or military implements, threatening the people with instant death if they did not deliver up all their precious things and enter into a covenant to leave the state or go into the city of Far West by the next morning, saying that they ‘calculated to drive the people into Far West, and then drive them to hell.’ Gilliam also was doing the same on the northwest side of Far West; and Sashiel Woods, a Presbyterian minister, was the leader of the mob in Daviess County; and a very noted man of the same society was the leader of the mob in Carroll County; and they were also sending out their scouting parties, robbing and pillaging houses, driving away hogs, horses, and cattle, taking men, women and children, and carrying them off, threatening their lives, and subjecting them to all manner of abuses that they could invent or think of.

“Under this state of alarm, excitement and distress, the messengers returned from the governor, and from the other authorities, bringing the fatal news that the ‘Mormons’ could have no assistance. They stated that the governor said that the ‘Mormons’ had got into a difficulty with the citizens, and they might fight it out for all what he cared. He could not render them any assistance.

“The people of DeWitt were obliged to leave their homes and go into Far West; but did not do so until many of them had starved to death for want of proper sustenance, and several died on the road there and were buried by the wayside without a coffin or a funeral ceremony. The distress, sufferings, and privations of the people cannot be expressed.

“All the scattered families of the ‘Mormon’ people, in all the counties except Daviess were driven into Far West, with but few exceptions. This only increased their distress, for many thousands who were driven there had no habitations or houses to shelter them and were huddled together, some in tents, and others under blankets, while others had no shelter from the inclemency of the weather. Nearly two months the people had been in this awful state of consternation, many of them had been killed, whilst others had been whipped until they had to swathe up their bowels to prevent them from falling out.

“About this time General Parks, who was one of the commissioned officers, came out from Richmond, Ray County, to Diahman, and I, myself, and my brother Joseph Smith went out at the same time.

“On the evening that General Parks arrived at Diahman, the wife of the late Don Carlos Smith, my brother, came into Colonel Wight’s about eleven o’clock at night, bringing her two children along with her, one about two and a half years old, the other a babe in her arms. She came in on foot, a distance of three miles, and waded Grand River, and the water was then about waist deep, and the snow about three inches deep. She stated that a party of the mob, a gang of ruffians, had turned her out of doors, had taken her household goods, and had burnt up her house, and she had escaped by the skin of her teeth. Her husband at that time was in Virginia, and she was living alone.

“This cruel transaction excited the feelings of the people of Diahman, especially of Colonel Wight, and he asked General Parks in my hearing how long we had got to suffer such base treatment. General Parks said he did not know how long. Colonel Wight then asked him what should be done. General Parks told him he ’should take a company of men, well armed, and go and disperse the mob wherever he should find any collected together, and take away their arms.’ Colonel Wight did so precisely, according to the orders of General Parks, and my brother, Joseph Smith, made no order about it.

“And after Colonel Wight had dispersed the mob, and put a stop to their burning houses belonging to the ‘Mormon’ people and turning women and children out of doors, which they had done up to that time, to the amount of eight or ten houses, which were consumed to ashes, after being cut short in their intended designs, the mob started up a new plan. They went to work and moved their families out of the county, and set fire to their houses, and not being able to incense the ‘Mormons’ to commit crimes, they had recourse to this stratagem-to set their houses on fire and send runners into all the counties adjacent to declare to the people, that the ‘Mormons’ had burned up their houses and destroyed their fields; and if the people would not believe them, they would tell them to go and see if what they had said was not true. Many people came to see-they saw the houses burning; and being filled with prejudice, they could not be made to believe, but that the ‘Mormons’ set them on fire; which deed was most diabolical and of the blackest kind; for indeed the ‘Mormons’ did not set them on fire nor meddle with their houses or their fields.

“And the houses that were burnt, together with the pre-emption rights, and the corn in the fields, had all been previously purchased by the ‘Mormons’ of the people, and paid for in money, and with wagons and horses, and with other property about two weeks before; but they had not taken possession of the premises. This wicked transaction was for the purpose of clandestinely exciting the minds of a prejudiced populace and the executive, that they might get an order, that they could the more easily carry out their hellish purposes in expulsion or extermination or utter extinction of the ‘Mormon’ people.

“After witnessing the distressed situation of the people in Diahman, my brother, Joseph Smith, and myself, returned back to the city of Far West and immediately dispatched a messenger with written documents to General Atchison, stating the facts as they did then exist, praying for assistance if possible, and requesting the editor of the Far West to insert the same in his newspaper, but he utterly refused to do so.

“We still believed that we should get assistance from the governor and again petitioned him, praying for assistance, setting forth our distressed situation. And in the meantime, the presiding judge of the county court issued orders, upon affidavits made to him by citizens, to the sheriff of the county to order out the militia of the county to stand in constant readiness night and day to prevent the citizens from being massacred, which fearful situation they were exposed to every moment.

“Everything was very portentous and alarming. Notwithstanding all this, there was a ray of hope yet existing in the minds of the people that the governor would render us assistance. And whilst the people were waiting anxiously for deliverance-men, women, and children frightened, praying and weeping-we beheld at a distance, crossing the prairies and approaching the town, a large army in military array, brandishing their glittering swords in the sunshine; and we would not but feel joyful for a moment, thinking that probably the governor had sent an armed force to our relief, notwithstanding the awful forebodings that pervaded our breasts.

“But to our great surprise when the army arrived, they came up and formed a line in double file within one-half mile on the east of the city of Far West, and dispatched three messengers with a white flag to come to the city. They were met by Captain Morey with a few other individuals, whose names I do not now recollect. I was, myself, standing close by, and could very distinctly hear every word they said.

“Being filled with anxiety, I rushed forward to the spot, expecting to hear good news, but, alas! and heart-thrilling to every soul that heard them-they demanded three persons to be brought out of the city, before they should massacre the rest. The names of the persons they demanded were Adam Lightner, John Cleminson, and his wife. Immediately the three persons were brought forth to hold an interview with the officers who had made the demand, and the officers told them they had now a chance to save their lives, for they calculated to destroy the people, and lay the city in ashes. They replied to the officers, and said, ‘If the people must be destroyed, and the city burned to ashes, we will remain in the city and die with them.’ The officers immediately returned, and the army retreated and encamped about a mile and a half from the city.

“A messenger was immediately dispatched with a white flag, from the colonel of the militia of Far West requesting an interview with General Atchison and General Doniphan; but, as the messenger approached the camp, he was shot at by Bogart, the Methodist preacher. The name of the messenger was Charles C. Rich, who is now brigadier-general of the Nauvoo Legion. However, he gained permission to see General Doniphan. He also requested an interview with General Atchison. General Doniphan said, that General Atchison had been dismounted by a special order of the governor, a few miles back, and had been sent back to Liberty, Clay County. He also stated, that the reason was, that he (Atchison) was too merciful unto the ‘Mormons’ and Boggs would not let him have the command, but had given it to General Lucas, who was from Jackson County, and whose heart had become hardened by his former acts of rapine and bloodshed, he being one of the leaders in murdering, driving, plundering, and burning some two or three hundred houses belonging to the ‘Mormon’ people in that county, in the years 1833 and 1834.

“Mr. Rich requested General Doniphan to spare the people and not suffer them to be massacred until the next morning, it then being evening. He coolly agreed that he would not and also said, that he had not as yet received the governor’s order, but expected it every hour and should not make any further move until he had received it; but he would not make any promises so far as regards Neil Gilliam’s army, (he having arrived a few minutes previously, and joined the main body of the army, he knowing well at what hour to form a junction with the main body).

“Mr. Rich then returned to the city, giving this information. The colonel [G. M. Hinckle] immediately dispatched a second messenger with a white flag to request another interview with General Doniphan in order to touch his sympathy and compassion, and if it were possible for him to use his best endeavors to preserve the lives of the people. On the return of this messenger, we learned that several persons had been killed by some of the soldiers, who were under the command of General Lucas.

“One Mr. Carey had his brains knocked out by the breech of a gun, and he lay bleeding several hours, but his family were not permitted to approach him, nor any one else allowed to administer relief to him whilst he lay upon the ground in the agonies of death. Mr. Carey had just arrived in the country, from the state of Ohio, only a few hours previous to the arrival of the army. He had a family consisting of a wife and several small children. He was buried by Lucius N. Scovil, who is now the senior warden of the Nauvoo Legion.

“Another man, of the name of John Tanner, was knocked on the head at the same time, and his skull laid bare the width of a man’s hand, and he lay, to all appearance, in the agonies of death for several hours; but by the permission of General Doniphan, his friends brought him out of the camp, and with good nursing he slowly recovered, and is now living.

“There was another man, whose name is Powell, who was beaten on the head with the breech of a gun until his skull was fractured. He is now alive, and resides in this [Hancock] county, but has lost the use of his senses. Several persons of his family were also left for dead, but have since recovered.

“These acts of barbarity were also committed by the soldiers under the command of General Lucas, previous to having received the governor’s order of extermination.

“It was on the evening of the thirtieth of October, according to the best of my recollection, that the army arrived at Far West, the sun about half an hour high. In a few moments afterwards, Cornelius Gilliam arrived with his army and formed a junction. This Gilliam had been stationed at Hunter’s Mill for about two months previous to that time-committing depredations upon the inhabitants, capturing men, women and children, and carrying them off as prisoners, lacerating their bodies with hickory withes.

“The army of Gilliam were painted like Indians, some of them were more conspicuous than others, designated by red spots, and he also was painted in a similar manner, with red spots marked on his face, and styled himself the ‘Delaware Chief.’ They would whoop, and halloo, and yell, as nearly like Indians as they could, and continued to do so all that night.

“In the morning early the colonel of the militia [G. M. Hinckle] sent a messenger into the camp, with a white flag, to have another interview with General Doniphan. On his return, he informed us that the governor’s order had arrived. General Doniphan said that the order of the governor was to exterminate the ‘Mormons,’ but he would be d–d if he would obey that order, but General Lucas might do as he pleased.

“We immediately learned from General Doniphan, that the governor’s order that had arrived was only a copy of the original, and that the original order was in the hands of Major-General Clark, who was on his way to Far West, with an additional army of six thousand men.

“Immediately after this there came into the city a messenger from Haun’s Mill, bringing the intelligence of an awful massacre of the people who were residing in that place, and that a force of two or three hundred, detached from the main body of the army, under the superior command of Colonel Ashley, but under the immediate command of Captain Nehemiah Comstock, who, the day previous, had promised them peace and protection, but on receiving a copy of the governor’s order, ‘to exterminate or expel,’ from the hands of Colonel Ashley, he returned upon them the following day, and surprised and massacred the whole population of the town, and then came on to the town of Far West, and entered into conjunction with the main body of the army.

“The messenger informed us that he, himself, with a few others, fled into the thickets which preserved them from the massacre, and on the following morning they returned and collected the dead bodies of the people, and cast them into a well; and there were upwards of twenty who were dead or mortally wounded, and there are several of the wounded, who are now living in this city. One, by the name of Yocum, has lately had his leg amputated, in consequence of wounds he then received. He had a ball shot through his head, which entered near his eye and came out at the back part of his head, and another ball passed through one of his arms.

“The army during all the while they had been encamped in Far West, continued to lay waste fields of corn, making hogs, sheep and cattle common plunder, and shooting them down for sport.

“One man shot a cow and took a strip of her skin the width of his hand, from her head to her tail, and tied it around a tree to slip his halter into to tie his horse to.

“The city was surrounded with a strong guard, and no man, woman, or child was permitted to go out or come in under the penalty of death. Many of the citizens were shot, in attempting to get out to obtain sustenance for themselves and families. There was one field fenced in, consisting of twelve hundred acres, mostly covered with corn. It was entirely laid waste by the horses of the army.

“The next day after the arrival of the army, towards evening, Col. Hinckle came up from the camp, requesting to see my brother Joseph, Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and George W. Robinson, stating that the officers of the army wanted a mutual consultation with those men. Hinckle also assured them that these Generals Doniphan, Lucas, Wilson and Graham, (however, General Graham is an honorable exception; he did all he could to preserve the lives of the people, contrary to the order of the governor,) had pledged their sacred honor, that they should not be abused or insulted; but should be guarded back in safety in the morning, or so soon as the consultation was over.

“My brother Joseph replied that he did not know what good he could do in any consultation, as he was only a private individual. However, he said that he was always willing to do all the good he could and would obey every law of the land, and then leave the event with God.

“They immediately started with Colonel Hinckle to go down into the camp. As they were going down, about halfway to the camp, they met General Lucas with a phalanx of men, with a wing to the right and to the left and a four-pounder in the center. They supposed he was coming with his strong force to guard them into the camp in safety; but, to their surprise, when they came up to General Lucas, he ordered his men to surround them, and Hinckle stepped up to the general and said, ‘These are the prisoners I agreed to deliver up.’

“General Lucas drew his sword, and said, ‘Gentlemen, you are my prisoners,’ and about that time the main army were on their march to meet them.

“They came up in two divisions and opened to the right and left, and my brother and his friends were marched down through their lines with a strong guard in front and the cannon in the rear to the camp, amidst the whoopings, howlings, yellings, and shoutings of the army, which were so horrid and terrific, that they frightened the inhabitants of the city. It is impossible to describe the feelings of horror and distress of the people.

“After being thus betrayed, they were placed under a strong guard of thirty men, armed cap-a-pie, which were relieved every two hours. There they were compelled to lie on the cold ground that night and were told in plain language that they need never expect their liberties again. So far for their honors pledged! However, this was as much as could be expected from a mob under the garb of military and executive authority in the state of Missouri.

“On the next day, the soldiers were permitted to patrol the streets, to abuse and insult the people at their leisure, and enter into the houses and pillage them and ravish the women, taking away every gun and every other kind of arms or military implements. About twelve o’clock that day, Colonel Hinckle came to my house with an armed force, opened the door and called me out of doors and delivered me up as a prisoner unto that force. They surrounded me and commanded me to march into the camp. I told them that I could not go; my family were sick, and I was sick myself, and could not leave home. They said they did not care for that-I must and should go. I asked when they would permit me to return. They made me no answer, but forced me along with the point of the bayonet into the camp, and put me under the same guard with my brother Joseph; and within about half an hour afterwards, Amasa Lyman was also brought and placed under the same guard. There we were compelled to stay all that night and lie on the ground. But some time in the same night, Colonel Hinckle came to me and told me that he had been pleading my case before the court-martial, but he was afraid he would not succeed.

“He said there was a court-martial then in session, consisting of thirteen or fourteen officers; Circuit Judge Austin A. King, and Mr. Birch, district attorney; also Sashiel Woods, Presbyterian priest, and about twenty other priests of the different religious denominations in that country. He said they were determined to shoot us on the next morning in the public square in Far West. I made him no reply.

“On the next morning about sunrise, General Doniphan ordered his brigade to take up the line of march and leave the camp. He came to us where we were under guard to shake hands with us and bid us farewell. His first salutation was, ‘By G–d, you have been sentenced by the court-martial to be shot this morning; but I will be d–d if I will have any of the honor of it, or any of the disgrace of it, therefore I have ordered my brigade to take up the line of march and to leave the camp, for I consider it to be cold-blooded murder, and I bid you farewell,’ and he went away.

“This movement of General Doniphan made considerable excitement in the army, and there was considerable whisperings amongst the officers. We listened very attentively and frequently heard it mentioned by the guard that ‘the d–d Mormons would not be shot this time.’

“In a few moments the guard was relieved by a new set. One of those new guards said that ‘the d–d Mormons would not be shot this time,’ for the movement of General Doniphan had frustrated the whole plan, and that the officers had called another court-martial and had ordered us to be taken to Jackson County and there to be executed; and in a few moments two large wagons drove up, and we were ordered to get into them; and while we were getting into them, there came up four or five men armed with guns, who drew up and snapped their guns at us in order to kill us. Some flashed in the pan, and others only snapped, but none of their guns went off. They were immediately arrested by several officers, and their guns taken from them, and the drivers drove off.

“We requested General Lucas to let us go to our houses and get some clothing. In order to do this, we had to be driven up into the city. It was with much difficulty that we could get his permission to go and see our families and get some clothing; but, after considerable consultation, we were permitted to go under a strong guard of five or six men to each of us, and we were not permitted to speak to any one of our families, under the pain of death. The guard that went with me ordered my wife to get me some clothes immediately, within two minutes; and if she did not do it, I should go off without them.

“I was obliged to submit to their tyrannical orders, however painful it was, with my wife and children clinging to my arms and to the skirts of my garments, and was not permitted to utter to them a word of consolation, and in a moment was hurried away from them at the point of the bayonet.

“We were hurried back to the wagons and ordered into them, all in about the same space of time. In the meanwhile, our father, and mother, and sister had forced their way to the wagons to get permission to see us, but were forbidden to speak to us and we were immediately driven off for Jackson County. We traveled about twelve miles that evening, and encamped for the night.

“The same strong guard was kept around us and was relieved every two hours, and we were permitted to sleep on the ground. The nights were then cold with considerable snow on the ground, and for the want of covering and clothing, we suffered extremely with the cold. That night was the commencement of a fit of sickness from which I have not wholly recovered unto this day, in consequence of my exposure to the inclemency of the weather.

“Our provision was fresh beef, roasted in the fire on a stick; the army having no bread, in consequence of the want of mills to grind the grain.

“In the morning, at the dawn of day, we were forced on our journey, and were exhibited to the inhabitants along the road, the same as they exhibit a caravan of elephants or camels. We were examined from head to foot by men, women, and children, only I believe they did not make us open our mouths to look at our teeth. This treatment was continued incessantly until we arrived at Independence, in Jackson County.

“After our arrival at Independence, we were driven all through the town for inspection, and then we were ordered into an old log house and there kept under guard as usual until supper, which was served up to us as we sat upon the floor or on billets of wood, and we were compelled to stay in that house all that night and the next day.

“They continued to exhibit us to the public by letting the people come in and examine us, and then go away and give place for others alternately, all that day and the next night. But on the morning of the following day we were all permitted to go to the tavern to eat and sleep; but afterwards they made us pay our own expenses for board, lodging, and attendance, and for which they made a most exorbitant charge.

“We remained in the tavern about two days and two nights, when an officer arrived with authority from General Clark to take us back to Richmond, Ray County, where the general had arrived with his army, to await our arrival. But on the morning of our start for Richmond, we were informed by General Wilson that it was expected by the soldiers that we would be hung up by the necks on the road while on the march to that place, and that it was prevented by a demand made for us by General Clark, who had the command in consequence of authority; and that it was his prerogative to execute us himself.

“During our stay at Independence, the officers informed us that there were eight or ten horses in the place belonging to the ‘Mormon’ people, which had been stolen by the soldiers, and that we might have two of them to ride upon if we would cause them to be sent back to the owners after our arrival at Richmond. We accepted of them and they were ridden to Richmond, and the owners came there and got them.

“We started in the morning under our new officer, Colonel Price, of Keytsville, Chariton County, Missouri, with several other men to guard us. We arrived there on Friday evening, the ninth day of November, and were thrust into an old log house with a strong guard placed over us. After we had been there for the space of half an hour, there came in a man who was said to have some notoriety in the penitentiary, bringing in his hands a quantity of chains and padlocks. He said he was commanded by General Clark to put us in chains.

“Immediately the soldiers rose up, and pointing their guns at us, placed their thumb on the cock and their finger on the trigger, and the state’s prison keeper went to work putting a chain around the leg of each man and fastening it on with a padlock, until we were all chained together, seven of us.

“In a few moments General Clark came in. We requested to know of him what was the cause of all this harsh and cruel treatment. He refused to give us any information at that time, but said he would in a few days; so we were compelled to continue in that situation-camping on the floor, all chained together, without any chance or means to be made comfortable, having to eat our victuals as they were served up to us, using our fingers and teeth instead of knives and forks.

“Whilst we were in this situation, a young man of the name of Jedediah M. Grant, brother-in-law to my brother, William Smith, came to see us and put up at the tavern where General Clark made his quarters. He happened to come in time to see General Clark make choice of his men to shoot us on Monday morning, the twelfth day of November. He saw them make choice of their rifles and load them with two balls in each; and after they had prepared their guns, General Clark saluted them by saying, ‘Gentlemen, you shall have the honor of shooting the “Mormon” leaders on Monday morning at eight o’clock!’

“But in consequence of the influence of our friend, the inhuman general was intimidated so that he durst not carry his murderous design into execution, and sent a messenger immediately to Fort Leavenworth to obtain the military code of laws.

“After the messenger’s return, the general was employed nearly a whole week examining the laws, so Monday passed away without our being shot. However, it seemed like foolishness to me for so great a man as General Clark pretended to be, should have to search the military law to find out whether preachers of the gospel, who never did military duty, could be subjected to court-martial.

“However, the general seemed to learn the fact after searching the military code, and came into the old log cabin, where we were under guard and in chains, and told us he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities, as persons guilty of treason, murder, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing. The poor, deluded general did not know the difference between theft, larceny, and stealing.

“Accordingly, we were handed over to the pretended civil authorities, and the next morning our chains were taken off, and we were guarded to the courthouse where there was a pretended court in session; Austin A. King being the judge and Mr. Birch the district attorney, the two extremely, and very honorable gentlemen, who sat on the court-martial when we were sentenced to be shot!

“Witnesses were called up and sworn, at the point of the bayonet, and if they would not swear to the things they were told to do, they were threatened with instant death; and I do know, positively, that the evidence given in by those men, whilst under duress, was false.

“This state of things was continued twelve or fourteen days, and after that we were ordered by the judge to introduce some rebutting evidence, saying if we did not do it, we would be thrust into prison. I could hardly understand what the judge meant, for I considered we were in prison already and could not think of anything but the persecutions of the days of Nero, knowing that it was a religious persecution and the court an inquisition; however, we gave him the names of forty persons who were acquainted with all the persecutions and sufferings of the people.

“The judge made out a subpoena and inserted the names of those men and caused it to be placed in the hands of Bogart, the notorious Methodist minister; and he took fifty armed soldiers and started for Far West. I saw the subpoena given to him and his company, when they started.

“In the course of a few days, they returned with most of all those forty men, whose names were inserted in the subpoena, and thrust them into jail, and we were not permitted to bring one of them before the court; but the judge turned upon us, with an air of indignation, and said, ‘Gentlemen, you must get your witnesses, or you shall be committed to jail immediately, for we are not going to hold the court open, on expense, much longer for you, anyhow.’

“We felt very much distressed and oppressed at that time. Colonel Wight said, ‘What shall we do? Our witnesses are all thrust into prison, and probably will be, and we have no power to do anything; of course we must submit to this tyranny and oppression; we cannot help ourselves.’

“Several others made similar expressions, in the agony of their souls, but my brother Joseph did not say anything, he being sick at that time with the toothache, and pain in his face, in consequence of a severe cold brought on by being exposed to the severity of the weather. However, it was considered best by General Doniphan and Lawyer Reese that we should try to get some witnesses, before the pretended court.

“Accordingly, I myself gave the names of about twenty other persons; the judge inserted them in a subpoena, and caused it to be placed in the hands of Bogart, the Methodist priest, and he again started off with his fifty soldiers, to take those men prisoners, as he had done to the forty others.

“The judge sat and laughed at the good opportunity of getting the names, that they might the more easily capture them, and so bring them down to be thrust into prison in order to prevent us from getting the truth before the pretended court, of which himself was the chief inquisitor or conspirator. Bogart returned from his second expedition, with one witness only, whom he also thrust into prison.

“The people at Far West had learned the intrigue and had left the state, having been made acquainted with the treatment of the former witnesses. But we, on learning that we could not obtain witnesses, whilst privately consulting with each other what we should do, discovered a Mr. Allen, standing by the window on the outside of the house. We beckoned to him as though we would have him come in. He immediately came in.

“At that time Judge King retorted upon us again, saying, ‘Gentlemen, are you not going to introduce some witnesses?’-also saying it was the last day he should hold the testimony open for us, and if we did not rebut the testimony that had been given against us, he should have to commit us to jail.

“I had then got Mr. Allen into the house, and before the court (so called) I told the judge we had one witness, if he would be so good as to put him under oath. He seemed unwilling to do so, but after a few moments’ consultation, the state’s attorney arose and said, he should object to that witness being sworn, and that he should object to that witness giving his evidence at all, stating that this was not a court to try the case, but only a court of investigation on the part of the state.

“Upon this, General Doniphan arose, and said he would be G–d d–d, if the witness should not be sworn, and that it was a d–d shame, that these defendants should be treated in this manner, that they could not be permitted to get one witness before the court, whilst all their witnesses, even forty at a time, have been taken by force of arms and thrust into the ‘bull pen,’ in order to prevent them from giving their testimony.

“After Doniphan sat down, the judge permitted the witness to be sworn and enter upon his testimony. But as soon as he began to speak, a man by the name of Cook, who was a brother-in-law to priest Bogart, the Methodist, and who was a lieutenant [in the state militia], and whose place at that time was to superintend the guard, stepped in before the pretended court, and took him by the nape of his neck and jammed his head down under the pole or log of wood that was placed up around the place where the inquisition was sitting, to keep the bystanders from intruding upon the majesty of the inquisitors, and jammed him along to the door, and kicked him out of doors. He instantly turned to some soldiers, who were standing by him, and said to them, ‘Go and shoot him, d–n him, shoot him, d–n him.’

“The soldiers ran after the man to shoot him. He fled for his life, and with great difficulty made his escape. The pretended court immediately arose, and we were ordered to be carried to Liberty, Clay County, and there to be thrust into jail. We endeavored to find out for what cause, but, all that we could learn was, because we were ‘Mormons.’

“The next morning a large wagon drove up to the door, and a blacksmith came into the house with some chains and handcuffs. He said his orders from the judge were to handcuff us and chain us together. He informed us that the judge had made out a mittimus, and sentenced us to jail for treason. He also said the judge had done this, that we might not get bail. He also said the judge stated his intention to keep us in jail until all the ‘Mormons’ were driven out of the state. He also said that the judge had further stated, that if he let us out before the ‘Mormons’ had left the state, that we would not let them leave, and there would be another d–d fuss kicked up. I also heard the judge say myself, whilst he was sitting in his pretended court, that there was no law for us nor the ‘Mormons’ in the state of Missouri; that he had sworn to see them exterminated and to see the governor’s order executed to the very letter, and that he would do so. However, the blacksmith proceeded and put the irons upon us, and we were ordered into the wagon, and were driven off for Clay County. As we journeyed along on the road, we were exhibited to the inhabitants, and this course was adopted all the way, thus making a public exhibition of us until we arrived at Liberty, Clay County.

“There we were thrust into prison again and locked up and were held there in close confinement for the space of six months, and our place of lodging was the square side of a hewed white oak log, and our food was anything but good and decent. Poison was administered to us three or four times. The effect it had upon our system was that it vomited us almost to death, and then we would lay some two or three days in a torpid, stupid state, not even caring or wishing for life-the poison being administered in too large doses, or it would inevitably have proved fatal, had not the power of Jehovah interposed on our behalf to save us from their wicked purpose.

“We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh for the space of five days or go without food, except a little coffee or a little corn bread. The latter I chose in preference to the former. We none of us partook of the flesh, except Lyman Wight. We also heard the guard which was placed over us making sport of us, saying they had fed us on ‘Mormon’ beef. I have described the appearance of this flesh to several experienced physicians and they have decided that it was human flesh. We learned afterwards, by one of the guard, that it was supposed that that act of savage cannibalism in feeding us with human flesh would be considered a popular deed of notoriety: but the people, on learning that it would not take, tried to keep it secret; but the fact was noised abroad before they took that precaution.

“Whilst we were incarcerated in prison, we petitioned the supreme court of the state of Missouri twice for habeas corpus but were refused both times, by Judge Reynolds, who is now the governor of that state. We also petitioned one of the county judges for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted in about three weeks afterwards, but we were not permitted to have any trial. We were only taken out of jail and kept out for a few hours, and then remanded back again.

“In the course of three or four days after that time, Judge Turnham came into the jail in the evening and said he had permitted Mr. Rigdon to get bail, but said he had to do it in the night and unknown to any of the citizens or they would kill him, for they had sworn to kill him if they could find him. And as to the rest of us, he dared not let us go, for fear of his own life as well as ours. He said it was d–d hard to be confined under such circumstances; for he knew we were innocent men, and he said the people also knew it; and that it was only a persecution and treachery, and the scenes of Jackson County acted over again for fear that we would become too numerous in that upper country. He said the plan was concocted from the governor down to the lowest judge, and that that Baptist priest, Riley, was riding into town every day to watch the people, stirring up the mind of the people against us all he could, exciting them and stirring up their religious prejudices against us for fear they would let us go. Mr. Rigdon, however, got bail, and made his escape to Illinois.

“The jailer, Samuel Tillery, Esq., told us also that the whole plan was concocted by the governor, down to the lowest judge, in that upper country early in the previous spring, and that the plan was more fully carried out at the time that General Atchison went down to Jefferson City with Generals Wilson, Lucas, and Gilliam, the self-styled ‘Delaware Chief.’ This was sometime in the month of September, when the mob were collected at DeWitt in Carroll County. He also told us that the governor was now ashamed of the whole transaction, and would be glad to set us at liberty if he dared to do it. ‘But,’ said he, ‘you need not be concerned, for the governor has laid a plan for your release.’ He also said that Esquire Birch, the state’s attorney, was appointed to be circuit judge, on the circuit passing through Daviess County, and that he (Birch) was instructed to fix the papers, so that we would be sure to be clear of any incumbrance in a very short time.

“Sometime in April we were taken to Daviess County, as they said, to have a trial. But when we arrived at that place, instead of finding a court or jury, we found another inquisition, and Birch, who was the district attorney-the same man who was the one of the court-martial when we were sentenced to death-was now the circuit judge of that pretended court, and the grand jury that was empaneled were all at the massacre at Haun’s Mill, and lively actors in that awful, solemn, disgraceful, cool-blooded murder; and all the pretense they made of excuse was, they had done it because the governor ordered them to do it.

“The same men sat as a jury in the daytime and were placed over us as a guard in the nighttime. They tantalized us and boasted of their great achievements at Haun’s Mill and at other places, telling us how many houses they had burned, and how many sheep, cattle, and hogs they had driven off belonging to the ‘Mormons,’ and how many rapes they had committed, and what kicking and squealing there was . . . , saying that they lashed one woman upon one of the d–d ‘Mormon’ meeting benches, tying her hands and her feet fast, and sixteen of them abused her as much as they had a mind to, and then left her bound and exposed in that distressed condition. These fiends of the lower regions boasted of these acts of barbarity and tantalized our feelings with them for ten days. We had heard of these acts of cruelty previous to this time, but we were slow to believe that such acts had been perpetrated. The lady who was the subject of this brutality did not recover her health to be able to help herself for more than three months afterwards.

“This grand jury constantly celebrated their achievements with grog and glass in hand like the Indian warriors at their war dances, singing and telling each other of their exploits in murdering the ‘Mormons,’ in plundering their houses and carrying off their property. At the end of every song they would bring in the chorus, ‘. . . Mormons! we have sent them to hell.’ Then they would slap their hands and shout, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Glory to God!’ and fall down on their backs and kick with their feet a few moments. Then they would pretend to have swooned away into a glorious trance, in order to imitate some of the transactions at camp meetings. Then they would pretend to come out of the trance, and would shout and again slap their hands and jump up, while one would take a bottle of whiskey and a tumbler and turn it out full of whisky and pour down each other’s necks, crying, ‘. . . Take it; you must take it!’ And if anyone refused to drink the whiskey, others would clinch him and hold him, whilst another poured it down his neck; and what did not go down the inside went down the outside.

“This is a part of the farce acted out by the grand jury of Daviess County, whilst they stood over us as guards for ten nights successively. And all this in the presence of the great Judge Birch, who had previously said, in our hearing, that there was no law for the ‘Mormons’ in the state of Missouri. His brother was there acting as district attorney in that circuit, and if anything, was a greater ruffian than the judge.

“After all their ten days of drunkenness, we were informed that we were indicted for ‘treason, murder, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing.’ We asked for a change of venue from the county to Marion County, but they would not grant it, but they gave us a change of venue from Daviess to Boone County, and a mittimus was made out by the pretended Judge Birch, without date, name, or place.

“They fitted us out with a two-horse wagon and horses, and four men, besides the sheriff, to be our guard. There were five of us. We started from Gallatin in the afternoon, the sun about two hours high, and went as far as Diahman that evening, and stayed till morning. There we bought two horses of the guard, and paid for one of them in our clothing which we had with us, and for the other we gave our note.

“We went down that day as far as Judge Morin’s, a distance of some four or five miles. There we stayed until the morning when we started on our journey to Boone County, and traveled on the road about twenty miles distance. There we bought a jug of whiskey, with which we treated the company, and while there the sheriff showed us the mittimus before referred to, without date or signature, and said that Judge Birch told him never to carry us to Boone County, and never to show the mittimus ‘and,’ said he, ‘I shall take a good drink of grog, and go to bed, you may do as you have a mind to.’ Three others of the guard drank pretty freely of whiskey, sweetened with honey; they also went to bed, and were soon asleep, and the other guard went along with us and helped to saddle the horses.

“Two of us mounted the horses, and the other three started on foot, and we took our change of venue for the state of Illinois, and, in the course of nine or ten days, we arrived in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, where we found our families in a state of poverty, although in good health, they having been driven out of the state previously, by the murderous militia, under the exterminating order of the executive of Missouri. And now the people of that state, a portion of them, would be glad to make the people of this state believe that my brother Joseph has committed treason, for the purpose of keeping up their murderous and hellish persecution; and they seem to be unrelenting and thirsting for the blood of innocence, for I do know, most positively, that my brother Joseph has not committed treason, nor violated one solitary item of law or rule in the state of Missouri.

“But I do know that the ‘Mormon’ people, en masse, were driven out of that state after being robbed of all they had, and they barely escaped with their lives, as well as my brother Joseph, who barely escaped with his life. His family also were robbed of all they had, and barely escaped with the skin of their teeth, and all of this in consequence of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, the same being confirmed by the legislature of that state.

“And I do know, so does this court, and every rational man who is acquainted with the circumstances, and every man who shall hereafter become acquainted with the particulars thereof will know, that Governor Boggs, and Generals Clark, Lucas, Wilson, and Gilliam, also Austin A. King, have committed treason upon the citizens of Missouri and did violate the Constitution of the United States and also the constitution and laws of the state of Missouri and did exile and expel, at the point of bayonet, some twelve or fourteen thousand inhabitants from the state and did murder some three or four hundreds of men, women, and children in cold blood, and in the most horrid and cruel manner possible; and the whole of it was caused by religious bigotry and persecution, because the ‘Mormons’ dared to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and agreeable to his divine will, as revealed in the scriptures of eternal truth, and had turned away from following the vain traditions of their fathers and would not worship according to the dogmas and commandments of those men who preach for hire and divine for money and teach for doctrine the precepts of men, expecting that the Constitution of the United States would have protected them therein.

“But notwithstanding the ‘Mormon’ people had purchased upwards of two hundred thousand dollars’ worth of land, most of which was entered and paid for at the land office of the United States in the state of Missouri; and although the President of the United States has been made acquainted with these facts and the particulars of our persecutions and oppressions by petition to him and to Congress, yet they have not even attempted to restore the ‘Mormons’ to their rights, or given any assurance that we may hereafter expect redress from them. And I do also know most positively and assuredly, that my brother Joseph Smith, has not been in the state of Missouri since the spring of the year 1839. And further this deponent saith not.”

Hyrum Smith

Chapter 47

Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith with twenty-two family members are driven from Ohio and take the nearly one-thousand-mile journey to Far West, Missouri. An account of their terrible suffering and trials along the way. Lucy catches a cold that persists and threatens her life. Catharine Smith Salisbury gives birth to a son on the journey. Mother Smith hobbles into the woods at Huntsville, Missouri, prays for three hours, and is completely healed. Lucy recounts the mob action at the election in Gallatin, Missouri. Eight mobsters enter the Smith home in Far West to murder Joseph the Prophet. Lucy withstands them and Joseph softens their hearts. The Missouri militia surround the city of Far West to lay it to ashes.

May 1838 to October 1838

When we were ready to set out for Missouri, I went to New Portage with a conveyance to bring my husband to the rest of his family, and we were shortly on our way together, right glad to meet again, alive and in good health, after so many perilous adventures.

Almost as soon as we were well on our way, my sons began to have calls to preach, and they soon found that if they would yield to every solicitation, our journey would have been a preaching mission of very great length, which was quite inconsistent with the number and situation of our family. They were obliged to notify the people where we stopped that they could not preach to them at all, as if they did, we would not have means sufficient to take us through. They, however, sowed the seeds of the gospel in many places and were the means in the hands of God of doing much good.

We traveled on through many trials and difficulties. Sometimes we lay in our tents through a driving storm. At other times we traveled on foot through marshes and quagmires, exposing ourselves to wet and cold. Once we lay all night in the rain, which descended in torrents, and I, being more exposed than the other females, suffered much with the cold, and upon getting up in the morning, I found that a quilted skirt which I had worn the day before was wringing wet, but I could not mend the matter by changing that for another, for the rain was still falling. I wore it in this situation for three days. In consequence of this, I took a severe cold and was very sick, so that when we arrived at the Mississippi I was unable to sit up at any length and could not walk without assistance. After we crossed this river, we stopped at a Negro hut, a most unlovely place, but we could go no farther. Here my daughter Catharine gave birth to a fine son named Alvin.

The next morning we set out to find a more comfortable situation for her and succeeded in getting a place about four miles ahead, and my poor child was carried from the loathsome hut to this house in a double wagon. The same day it was agreed that my oldest daughter, Sophronia, and her husband, McLeary, should stay with Catharine, and that Mr. Smith and the remainder of the party would take me with what speed they could to Huntsville.

I was no longer able to ride in a sitting posture, but lay on a bedstead carefully covered, as the fresh air kept me coughing continually. My husband did not much expect me to live to the end of the journey, for I could not travel sometimes more than four miles a day. But as soon as we arrived at Huntsville, he sought a place where we might stop for some time, so that all that nursing could do for me could be done.

Going as far as Huntsville was my own request, but they did not know why I urged the matter. The fact was, I had an impression that if I could get there and be able to find a place where I could be secluded and uninterrupted in calling upon the Lord, I might be healed. Accordingly, I seized upon a time when they were engaged, and by the aid of staffs I reached a fence, and then followed the fence some distance till I came to a dense hazel thicket. Here I threw myself on the ground and thought it was no matter how far I was from the house, for if the Lord would not hear me and I must die, I might as well die here as anywhere. When I was a little rested, I commenced calling upon the Lord to beseech his mercy, praying for my health and the life of my daughter Catharine. I urged every claim which the scriptures give us and was as humble as I knew how to be, and I continued praying near three hours. At last I was entirely relieved from pain, my cough left me, and I was well. Moreover, I received an assurance that I should hear from my sick daughter about the middle of the same day. I arose and went to the house in as good health as I ever enjoyed.

At one o’clock, Wilkins J. Salisbury came to Huntsville and said that Catharine was better and thought if she had a carriage to ride in, she could proceed on her journey.

The next morning Salisbury returned to his wife, who was forty miles from Huntsville. The first day she rode thirty miles, and the day after ten miles, which brought her to Huntsville. When she got there, we were holding a meeting and did not expect her, as the rain had been pouring down in torrents all the forenoon. Although they had driven with great speed through the rain, she was cold, and her bed was very wet. As soon as she was put into a dry bed, she had a dreadful ague fit, and we called the elders to lay hands upon her. This helped her, but she continued weak and inclined to chills and fever for a long time.

The day after she came, I washed a very large quantity of clothes with as much ease as though I had not been out of health at all. When the company was all gathered together, we started on our journey again and arrived at Far West without any further difficulty. Here we met Joseph and Hyrum in good health. They had heard by William and Carlos, who went into Far West before us, of my sickness and were surprised to see me in such good health as well.

We moved into a small log house, having but one room, a very inconvenient place for so large a family. When Joseph saw how we were situated, he proposed that we should take a large tavern house, which he had recently purchased from Brother Gilbert, and we did so. Samuel, previous to this, had moved to a place called Marrowbone, Daviess County. William had moved thirty miles in another direction. We were all now quite comfortable.

Nothing of importance occurred from this time until the first of August when an election took place at Gallatin, the county seat of Daviess County. At this election the Mormon brethren went to the polls as usual for the purpose of voting, but a party of men were collected there who were determined to prevent them from exercising their franchise and forbid them from putting in a vote. Without paying any attention to them, one of the brethren, named John Butler, stepped up to the polls and voted, whereupon a man belonging to the adverse party struck him a severe blow. John Butler was a very high-spirited man and could not brook such treatment; consequently, the blow was returned with a force that brought his antagonist to the ground. Four others of the same party came to the assistance of the fallen man and shared his fate, for Mr. Butler was a man of extraordinary strength and, when excited, was not easily overcome. When the mob party saw the discomfiture of their champions, they were much enraged, and that night procured the assistance of the judge of the election, who wrote a number of letters in their behalf. These letters, which were sent in every direction to all the adjoining counties, stated that Joseph Smith had killed seven men at that place, and that the inhabitants had every reason to expect that he would collect his people together and exterminate all who did not belong to his church. They therefore begged the assistance of their neighbors against the Mormons.

These letters were extensively circulated and as widely believed.

We, who were living at Far West, heard nothing of this until a few days after when Joseph was at our house writing a letter. I was standing at the door of the room where he was sitting, and upon casting my eyes toward the prairie, I saw a large company of armed men advancing toward the city, but, supposing it to be a training day, I said nothing about it to anyone.

I soon observed that the main body of men came to a halt. The officers dismounted and eight of them came up to the house. Thinking that they wanted refreshment or something of that sort, I set chairs. But instead, they entered and placed themselves in a menacing line like a rank of soldiers across the room. When I requested them to sit down they replied, “We do not choose to sit. We have come here to kill Joe Smith and all the Mormons.”

“Oh,” said I, “what has Joseph Smith done that you should want to kill him?”

“He has killed seven men in Daviess County,” replied the foremost, “and we have come to kill him, and all his church.”

“He has not been in Daviess County,” I answered, “consequently the report must be false. Furthermore, if you should see him, you would not want to kill him.”

“There is no doubt that the report is perfectly correct,” rejoined the officer; “it came straight to us, and I believe it; and we were sent to kill the Prophet and all who believe him, and I’ll be d–d if I don’t execute my orders.”

“Then you are going to kill me with the rest, I suppose,” said I.

“Yes, we will,” he replied.

“Very well,” I answered, “but I want you to act like a gentleman about it and do the job quick. Just shoot me down at once, for then it will be but a moment till I shall be perfectly happy. But I would hate to be murdered by any slow process, and I do not see the need of it either, for you can just as well dispatch the work at once as for it to be ever so long a time.”

“There it is again,” said he. “That is always their plea. You tell a Mormon that you’ll shoot him, and all the good it does is to hear them answer, ‘Well, that’s nothing. If you kill me, we shall be happy.’ D–, seems that’s all the satisfaction you can get from them anyway.”

Joseph had continued writing till now, but having finished his letter, he asked me for a wafer to seal it. Seeing that he was at liberty, I said, “Gentlemen, suffer me to make you acquainted with Joseph Smith the Prophet.” He looked upon them with a very pleasant smile and, stepping up to them, gave each of them his hand in a manner which convinced them that he was neither a guilty criminal nor yet a cowering hypocrite. They stopped and stared as though a spectre had crossed their path.

Joseph sat down and entered into conversation with them and explained the views and feelings of the people called “Mormons,” what their course had been, and the treatment which they had received from their enemies since the first. He told them that malice and detraction had pursued them ever since they entered Missouri, but they were a people who had never broken the laws to his knowledge. They stood ready to be tried by the law-and if anything contrary to the law had been done by any of the brethren at Daviess, it would certainly be just to call them to an account, before molesting or murdering others that knew nothing of these transactions at Gallatin.

After this he rose and said, “Mother, I believe I will go home. Emma will be expecting me.” At this, two of the men sprang to their feet, saying, “You shall not go alone, for it is not safe. We will go with you and guard you.” Joseph thanked them and they left with him.

While they were absent, the remainder of the officers stood by the door, and I overheard the following conversation between them:

First Officer: “Did you not feel something strange when Smith took you by the hand? I never felt so in my life.”

Second Officer: “I felt as though I could not move. I would not harm one hair of that man’s head for the whole world.”

Third Officer: “This is the last time you will ever catch me coming to kill Joe Smith or the Mormons either.”

First Officer: “I guess this is my last expedition against this place. I never saw a more harmless, innocent-appearing man than the Mormon Prophet.”

Second Officer: “That story about his killing them men is all a d–d lie. There is no doubt of that, and we have had all this trouble for nothing. It’s the last time I’ll be fooled in this way.”

Those men who went home with my son promised to disband the militia under them and go home. They said that if Joseph had any use for them, they would come back and follow him anywhere. Thus, we considered that hostilities were no longer to be feared from the citizens. Joseph and Hyrum thought it proper, however, to go to Daviess County and ascertain the cause of the difficulty. They did so, and after receiving the strongest assurance of the future good attentions of the civil officers to administer equal rights and privileges among all the citizens, Mormons and anti-Mormons alike, they returned, hoping all would be well.

Soon after this we heard that William and his wife, Caroline, who lived twenty miles distant, were very sick. Samuel was at Far West at the time and set out immediately for William’s house with a carriage in order to bring them to our house. In a few days they arrived, feeling very low, and seemed more likely to die of the disease than to recover from it when they got there. But with close attention and great care, they soon began to show signs of recovery.

During the time when I was taking care of my son William and his wife, many things transpired that would probably be of interest to my readers, which I know nothing about, as I was so engaged with the care of my house and the sickness of my family, that I did not know, nor yet inquire or hear, what was going on.

In a little while after Samuel brought William and Caroline to our house, there was born unto Samuel a son, whom he called by his own name. When he was but three days old, his father was compelled to leave home. Samuel’s family was, at this time, living in a desolate, lonely place about thirty miles from Far West then called Marrowbone, afterwards named Shady Grove. Samuel had not been gone long when a number of the men who lived near him went to his wife and told her that the mob was coming there to drive all the Mormons from the country into Far West and perhaps they would kill them. They accordingly advised her to go immediately to Far West at all hazards and proffered to find her a wagon and boy to drive the horses. She consented, and they brought an open lumber wagon and put her into it on a bed with a very little clothing for herself and her children. In this way, she started for Far West with no one but a small boy to take care of her, the children and the team, and nothing to eat by the way. When they had traveled for some miles they stopped for the night, and in the latter part of the night it began to rain. The water fell upon her in torrents, for she had no shelter for herself or her infant. The bedding was soon completely saturated as the rain continued falling for some time with great violence.

The next day Samuel started from Far West to go to his own house, but met his wife along the way in this situation. He returned with her to Far West, where she arrived about thirty-six hours after she had left Marrowbone without having taken any nourishment. Every garment upon her body, as well as her bed and bedding, was so wet with the rain that the water might have been wrung from them. She was speechless and almost stiff with the cold and effects of her exposure. We laid her on a bed, and my husband and my sons administered to her by the laying on of hands. We then changed her clothing, put her into a bed covered with warm blankets, and after pouring a little rice water into her mouth, she was administered to again. This time she raised her eyes and seemed to revive a little. I continued to employ every means that lay in my power for her benefit and that of my other sick children. In this I was much assisted by Emma and my daughters.

We soon reaped the reward of our labor, for in a short time they began to mend, and I now congratulated myself on the pleasure I should feel in seeing my children all well and enjoying each other’s society again.

After William began to sit up a little, he told me that he had a vision during his sickness, in which he saw a tremendous army of men coming into Far West, and that it was his impression that the time would not be long before he should see it fulfilled. I was soon convinced by the circumstances which afterwards transpired that he was not mistaken in his opinion.

I felt concerned about this, for I feared that some evil was hanging over us, but I knew nothing of the operations of the mob party, until one day Joseph rode up and told me to be not at all frightened, but the mob was coming, and we must all keep perfectly quiet. He wished the sisters to stay indoors and not suffer themselves to be seen in the streets. He could not stay with us, for he wanted to see the brethren and have them keep their families quiet and at home. He rode off, but I soon learned who the mob were. This was the state mob that was sent by the governor, a company of ten thousand men that stationed themselves on Salt Creek.

My son-in-law Mr. McLeary went out with some others to meet the mob and ascertain what their business was. They gave the messengers to understand that they would soon commence an indiscriminate butchery of men, women, and children, that their orders were to convert Far West into a human slaughter pen and never quit it while there was a lisping babe or a decrepit old woman breathing within its bounds. There were, however, three persons that they wished brought forth before they began their operations. They desired to preserve their lives, as some of them were related to one of the mob officers. These were Adam Lightner, John Cleminson and his wife, but after a short interview, John Cleminson, who was not a member of the Church, replied that they had lived with the Mormons and knew them to be an innocent people, “and if,” said he, “you are determined to destroy them, and lay the city in ashes, you must destroy me also, for I will die with them.”

Chapter 46

Mob action increases in Kirtland; apostasy is rampant. Mob threatens to burn the Egyptian mummies. Joseph prophesies of the Lord’s promise of protection on his life. Joseph flees Kirtland to Missouri. Constable Luke Johnson arrests Joseph Smith Sr., then allows him to escape with son Hyrum. Most of the Smiths move temporarily to New Portage, Ohio, to await removal to Missouri.

Summer 1837 to spring 1838

I will now return to the mob, for we have said little of their proceedings for some time, principally because they were not of sufficient importance to demand attention. They had become discouraged and ceased their operations, when they found that despite their best endeavors, we had built the house of the Lord, and that we had seen prosperity in everything to which we had set our hands. But suddenly, seeing that there was a division in our midst, they began to renew their diligence to effect the desire of their hearts, which was our overthrow.

Their first movement was to sue my son Joseph for debt and, with this pretense, seize upon every piece of property which they could have the least pretext to lay hold upon. They considered it quite sufficient if the article in question belonged to any member of the family. Joseph then had in his possession four Egyptian mummies, with some ancient records that accompanied them. These, the mob swore, they would fetch from the Mormon meetinghouse and burn. They devised every invention to get these things into their possession, hoping to destroy the only then existing evidence in writing of the Book of Mormon which was accessible to the world. Accordingly they levied an execution upon them, claiming that they belonged to Joseph, and that he owed them a debt of fifty dollars. This was an unjust demand, for we did not owe any man out of the Church anything, but by various stratagems, we were able to keep them out of the hands of the rabble, who were joined by the apostates.

The persecution became so hot, that Joseph regarded it as unsafe to remain any longer in Kirtland and began making arrangements to move to Missouri. He was preparing for his journey when the first effort was made to get the mummies and their attendant records.

One evening he was at our house, speaking with the brethren of various things he wished to have them do in case he left. When it was quite late, he rose to go home, but as he was about leaving, he turned to the company and said, “Well, brethren, one thing more. I do not want you to be concerned about me, for I shall see you again, let what will happen, for I have a lease of my life for five years anyway, and they will not kill me till after that time is expired.”

That night he was warned by the Spirit of immediate danger and to make his escape as speedily as possible. Therefore, he set out in the night with his family, beds and bedding, and sufficient clothing to make them comfortable. When we came to hear from his house the next morning, he had gone on his journey. Emma’s oldest son was then only five years old.

Soon after Joseph left, the constable, Luke Johnson (who had formerly been a member of the Church), came to our house and served a summons on Mr. Smith which requested him to go to the magistrate’s office. Johnson said that no mischief was intended, and that it was of a peaceable nature.

Mr. Smith was then sick, and I begged Johnson not to take him away among our enemies, for I knew by experience that their design was generally false imprisonment, and that their civil writs too often proved to be very uncivil. Johnson paid no attention to what I said. Indeed, nothing else would satisfy those very “civil” men but his going into a crowd of apostates and mobocrats and running the risk of what treatment he might receive at their hands.

After Mr. Smith arrived at the office, he was soon informed of the cause of his being arrested, and what would be necessary to escape from imprisonment. He was taken before Esquire Cowdery for marrying a couple. As the apostates and the mob did not consider him a minister of the gospel, they contested his right to perform such a ceremony, and he was fined the sum of three thousand dollars, and in case he should default of paying this, he was sentenced to the penitentiary. Luke Johnson bustled about and seemed to be very much engaged, preparing to draw writings for the money and making other arrangements such as were required of him by the party to which he belonged. But at the first opportunity, he went to Hyrum (who had not yet set out for Missouri) and told him to take his father into a room which he pointed out to him. Luke said, “I will manage to get the window out, and he will be at liberty to jump out and go when or where he pleases.”

Hyrum and Mr. Smith left the company, and Luke told the mob that they had gone to consult together about raising the money. By deceiving them in this way, he kept them still until Mr. Smith crept out of the window, with the help of Hyrum and John Boynton (who said he was our friend at this time).

He traveled about four miles and stopped with Brother Snow, who is the father of Miss Eliza Snow, the poetess. The old man said he would secrete him and forbade his family from saying to anyone that Father Smith was there.

When Luke supposed that my husband was out of their reach, he started up and ran into the room where he had left him, saying that he must see after the prisoner. Upon finding that the prisoner had fled, he made a great parade, calling out that he was gone and hunting in every direction for the fugitive. He came to me and inquired if Mr. Smith was at home. This frightened me very much and I exclaimed, “Luke, you have taken my husband away and given him into the hands of the mob and they have killed him.” This he denied but gave me no explanation. In a short time, however, I found out where my husband was and sent him money and clothes to travel with. He started in a few days for New Portage with Carlos, my youngest son, and Brother Wilber. By this time handbills were stuck up on every public or private road, giving a description of his person, and no means which ingenuity could invent was left untried to prevent his escape. Runners were sent through the country to watch for him with authority to bring him back in case they found him. But despite their utmost exertions, he eluded them and succeeded in getting to New Portage, where he remained with Brother Taylor. Don Carlos, having accompanied his father to the above-named place, returned home again to his family; but immediately discovering that the mob contemplated taking him for the same offense, he moved with his family to New Portage, and was there with his father, until the rest of the family were ready to remove to Missouri. Hyrum had already moved there with his family.

Shortly after they left, a man by the name of Edward Woolley came to Kirtland to see Mr. Smith, and not finding him there, he went to New Portage and persuaded my husband to accompany him home.

After Mr. Smith had remained with Mr. Woolley about two weeks, we became very uneasy about him, not having received any intelligence of him since he left us. Accordingly, William resolved to go in pursuit of him to see how he was situated; whether he had met with friends and was comfortably provided for, or had fallen into the hands of his enemies and been murdered by them, for we had as much cause to fear the latter as to hope for the former.

When William arrived at New Portage, now called Norton, it was some time before he could learn exactly where his father had gone. But as soon as he obtained the necessary intelligence, he went immediately to him and had the pleasure of finding him in good health, although in great anxiety about the family, for he did not know how we were situated, nor where we were, since we had designed moving to Missouri soon after he left us.

As soon as it was known that William was in the place, a part of the inhabitants were very anxious that he should preach, and he agreed to do so. But there were a few that declared that if he did preach, they would tar and feather him. One of these was Mr. Bear, a man of extraordinary size and strength. Besides him were three others, no less than he. As these men came in, William was just taking his text, which was, “The Poor Deluded Mormons.” The singularity of this text excited their curiosity so much that they stopped in the door, saying, “Wait, let’s see what he will do with his text,” and they waited so long that they either forgot what they came for, or they changed their minds, for they made no further move towards making use of tar or feathers, and when he got through preaching, Mr. Bear frankly confessed his conviction of the truth and was baptized soon afterwards.

William told his father that we should set out for Missouri soon, and we wished him to be ready to go with us. William then returned home and his father went again to New Portage. Here he remained with Don Carlos until we were ready to go to Missouri.