"The Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith"
Written by Dan Jones to Thomas Bullock, 20 January 1855
(LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah)
June 12, 1844—While Joseph Smith was standing by the side of his brother Hyrum, along with several other friends on the portico of the Mansion House, Nauvoo, awaiting the remains of my little son, 3 Â½ years of age, who had died there to be brought out to be buried, and he was about stepping into a carriage he was accosted by this Sheriff of Hancock County with a writ to appear before a Magistrate, Smith, in Carthage, charged with destroying the Press of the "Nauvoo Expositor"; he expostulated in vain for the privilege of paying the last debt of honour to the remains of the sacred dead. A few days previously depositions were taken by Mr. Smith, of men from Carthage, who deposed that a band of men residing at Carthage had colleagued with some of the owners of the above Press to decoy him to Carthage with the intention of assassinating him. Those affidavits were sent to Gov. Ford with a request for protection, which failing to arrive in time of need, advantage was taken of the writ where it allows to appear before the issuer "or any other Magistrate in the County," by demanding a trial before Justice D. H. Wells, where he was honourably acquitted. In a few days however another Sheriff was sent with another warrant for the same offence, demanding him to go to Carthage; but the duty of self preservation, with the entreaties of many friends delayed his going, and expresses were sent to the Governor who, upon hearing of the assemblage of several thousand mob at Carthage repaired there, and was prevailed upon by the mob, as he himself subsequently admitted in public, to send a possee Committatus to bring Mr. Smith to Carthage who, arriving at his house Saturday evening were respectfully received and entertained at Mr. Smith's own table, with the best that the place afforded, as was also their horses fed. Having heard that he would be waylaid and shot in the dark if he went out-that night, Mr. Smith requested the possee to stay wit h him untill morning, but they returned to the mob, and excited them by fabulous tales of hairs breadth escapes, &c.
Sunday 23 Another possee demanded him and tendered Governor Ford's "honour" as pledge for his safety; but Mr. Smith sent to inform him that he would come out next day: and remained with his br. Hyrum and others in Council. The assembled thousands at the Grove, alike was the fair city of Nauvoo on that solemn day enwrapped in sable robes of despair—all felt as if their much loved Prophet was already beyond the vail; nor could the hideing folds of night's dark cloak cheer their throbbing hearts with a beam of hope; but the pensive morrows sun saw a City bathed in tears, and after a night as sleepless to the devoted Saints below as it was to those sleepless on high recording their prayers and sealing up the "vials."
Monday 24th—Eventful day! found hundreds gathered before the Mansion House early in the morning;—in their midst with head erect towering above the rest the Prophet stood gazing alternately on the devoted City and its much loved citizens; in suspense he listened to the entreaties of the throng, not to give himself up or he would be murdered; a few, tho' enough, bravo hearted men proposed to escort him where he would find the Protection denied him by the "Christians" among the red "pagans" of the West:—others, up north would have him go, while a fearless Tar, inured to other climes, whose heart was a malstrom of fury, proffered him a safe passage on a Steam Boat, then ready by, to whiter he would; a smile of approbation lit up the Seers's countenance,—his lovely boys hanging on to his skirts urged on the suite and cryed "Father, O Father dont go to Carthage. they will kill you."—a volley of arguments more powerfull yet from the streaming eyes of her he loved best, and whose embrace was hard to sever; nor least impressive were the pleadings of his doting Mother whose grey ringlets honoured a head weather-beaten by the persecutions of near twice ten years, "My Son, my Son, can you leave me without promising to return? Some forty times before have I have seen you from me dragged, but never before Without saying you would return; What say you now my Son? He stood erect like a beacon among roaring breakers,—his gigantic mind grasping still higher; the fire flashed in his eye, with hand uplifted on high he spoke "My friends, nay dearer still my bretheren, I love you, I love the City of Nauvoo to well to save my life at your expense,—If I go not to them they will come and act out the horrid Missouri scenes in Nauvoo;—I may prevent it, I fear not death, my work is well nigh done, keep the faith and I will die for Nauvoo. So said, the Prophet as he mounted his steed, and together with his brother Hyrum and some 30 or 40 more who chose to follow, they ascended the hill; when near the sacred spot—the Temple, he paused, he looked with admiration first on that, then on the City ere it receded from view in the flats below, and remarked, this is the loveliest place and the beat people under the heavens, little do they know the trials that await them. While on the prairie we met some messengers previously sent to Carthage who had but just been liberated from prison. When within 4 miles of Carthage we met a company of horsemen commanded by Captain Dunn; when they hove in sight Mr. Smith halted his "major" (steed) in the midst of the road and said "brethren you have come far enough; do not further expose your lives, stand aloof, let all their vengeance be wreaked upon my head, I am going like a lamb to the slaughter with a conscience void of offence." At this time Mr. Wood, his Counsell rode in front of the Company to know their intentions and soon returned with an order from the Governor for all the States arms which were at Nauvoo. When signal of acceptance was given they advanced and Mr. Smith adressed them after endorsing the order, declaring his innocense of the charges prefferred against him and demanded of them as an American Citizen to defend his life untill he should have an investigation, to which Capt. Dunn reply'd that he would protect him at the risk of his own life, then turning to his men asked "What say you, boys, will you stand by me to see Mr. Smith have justice?" The response was by three cheers; and we all returned to Nauvoo, got all the arms, and in the evening the Company returned and arrived at Carthage late at night, failing to get a horse I remained in the City.
25th Documents of importance for the trial being in Mrs. Smith's possession, by request I took them out to Carthage and arrived during the trial of Mr. Smith and the City Council and in time to give in my evidence, which was admitted to be not the least important in their favour. There I heard Wilson Law, in endeavouring to get a warrant against Mr. Smith for Treason, declare that in preaching from Daniel II, 44, Mr. Smith had said that the kingdom referred to therein was already set up, and that he (Mr. Smith) was the King over it! Wonder if Daniel himself was not most treasonable for predicting it? The defendants having given bail to appear at the quarter sessions were released and returned to Nauvoo; but before Mr. Smith could leave I went down stairs in Hamiltons Hotel where I overheard the leaders of the mob say that they did not expect to prove anything against him, but that they had eighteen accusations against him, and at as one failed they would try another to detain him there. One of them, by the name of Jackson, reply'd when I told them to desist from their cruel persecutions "that they had worked too hard to get old Joe to Carthage to let him get out of it alive, and pointing to his pistols said, "The balls are in there that will decide his case." I repaired upstairs and informed Mr. Smith what threats I had heard, when he informed me "They are going to take me to prison without a guard; you will not leave me will you?" to which I reply'd that I had come to die with him the rather. He took me aside into the front room and asked "Have you anything with you?" One little bulldog I reply'd, and this switch, pointing to a black hickory club in my hand, the which parryed the rifles of the assassins in prison by Mr. Taylor. Let me have the first said he, which was no sooner said than safely deposited where I wished a dozen more to be. Now the rush of heavy treads up the stairs drew our attention and the stentorian voice of an officer demanding the prisoners, when Dr. Willard Richards met him in the door which was actually too narrow for any but himself. Mr. Reid, their Counsell, also Mr. Taylor, Hyrum Smith, Judge Phelps, Col. Markam and all remonstrated against such an unnecessary exposition of the defendants lives untill they desisted. It was then that Justice Smith made out a mittimus, and the "Carthage Gray's" escorted them to prison. Being dark, Mr. Smith asked me to get inside somehow, and Col. Markam on one side, with a hickory club, while I was on the other, outside the guard, I parry'd off the guns and bayonets of the drunken rabble who tried to break the ranks to stab them; the prison doors being open a light was produced I rushed between the guard and the door and found my way into the farthest cells unhindered, followed by the defendants and the above named, except Judge Phelps, who remained (I think) at Hamiltons, Mr. Reid also, but some few other bretheren were with us with whom I was not personally acquainted untill then; but it will be a long time ere I forget.
The first night in Carthage cells with the Prophet and the Patriarch! Amusing conversation on various interesting topics engaged in till late; after prayer, which made Carthage prison into the gate of heaven for awhile, we lay promiscuously on the floor, the last words spoken were by the Prophet, "For the most intelligent dream to night bretheren;" And the first words spoken next morning were by him also enquiring for the same. None, save one, were told, which was listened to by all as follows—"Portrayed before my mind was Gov. Ford and troops on their way accross the prairie to Nauvoo, the prisoners had plead in vain to return with him, although promised by him to go; with a letter of importance I saw myself driven from Carthage, galloping through the masses of medley soldiers, half Indians and semi-barbarians, I hurried across the prairie, had gone down on a boat from Nauvoo towards Quincy, but while landed Warsaw awoke, in the midst of powder, smoke, death, and carnage." The Prophet reply'd it was ominous of future events, nor did he believe the Governor would ever take him to Nauvoo alive.
After breakfast were removed to an upstairs room the entrance to which was up a flight of stairs from the front prison door, which was guarded by soldiers, by alternate four hours; the door was of pine, common batton, without bolts, lock, or even a latch that would shut; on the south side were two large windows, and one on the East, a tier of cells lead from the North, while the entrance was at the N. West corner. Its furniture consisted of a bedstead, chair or two, and some mattresses.
During the forenoon we were visited by Judge Phelps, J. P. Green, J. S. Fullmer and C. H. Wheelock, the last I think brought a revolver in his boot, and left it with the prisoners when he retired; most of my forenoon's work consisted in hewing, with my penknife, a wharped door to get it on the latch, and in preparing to fortify against a night attack, in which Col. Markam was also industrious. The Prophet appeared extremely anxious by his injunctions to the messengers who left for Nauvoo, amongst whom were Dr. Bernhisel, I think, to send out testimonies to exonerate his brother Hyrum. A portion of us were alternately preaching to the guards, at which the Prophet, Patriarch and all took turns, and several were relieved before their time was out because they admitted they were proselyted to the belief of the innocency of the prisoners, which, rendered them incompetent of guarding! Frequently they admitted they had been imposed upon by the tales of the mob and more than once was it heard "Let us go home boys for I will not fight against these men." Hyrum showed an ardent devotion to the Prophet, every way encouraging him to believe that the Lord for His Church's sake would release him to their service, while Joseph reply'd, "Could my brother Hyrum be but liberated it would not matter so much about me; poor Rigdon, I am glad he has gone to Pittsburgh out of way, were he to preside, in less than five years he would lead the Church to destruction." He entertained us much by the recital of two dreams the which he had received not long before, one, In which he saw himself pitched into a dry well by Wm and Wilson Law who had previously tied his hands behind him; while struggling to get up and near the top he discovered Wilson tackled by a ferocious wild beast in an adjoining wood, crying for his help while nearer to him still was William with outstretched tongue; blue in the face, and the green poison forced out of his mouth by the coiling of a huge serpent around his body, relaxing its embrace occasionally and thereby enabling him to cry aloud "Oh brother Joseph come and save me or I die." To which he reply'd as he had done to a similar request from his brother Wilson, "I cannot, for you have tied my hands behind me." Ere long however his guide finding him there released and comforted the Prophet while the others met the just retribution of the demerit.
Another time he had seen himself on a lee shore in a heavy storm saving a ship from wrecking by wadeing through the foaming surf and leading her out to the open sea; again the reckless mariners on board rushed into dangerous breakers in despite of his commands from on shore to them to beat off to sea. Again he stemmed the raging seas, now and anon overwhelmed in the foam, with a mighty effort he sprang to the surface, the raging elements hushed at his command, and as on a sea of Glass he marched with the Patriarch by his side, untill in the offing he recognized his brother Samuel, light as a fairy, skipping or'e the main;—but the sequel forgotten by me may be remembered by others; the interpretation he gave, I believe, was the stranding of the great ship "Uncle Sam," owing to rejecting a safe pilot. Their walking on the tranquil ocean donated their triumphs beyond the vail, Samuel's sudden exit after his bretheren solves the only mystery which the Prophet did not unravel, but sure it is that he gave frequent intimations that he would soon gain his liberty, and soar on high beyond the "rage of mobs and angry strife."
Governor Ford and the prisoners Counsell visited them, and at the close of a lengthy appeal from the Prophet, in which he denied the charges preferred against him, and plead for the protection of his life from mob violence untill he could prove himself so, which appeared to make but little impression upon His Excellency beyond a verbal promise that he should have justice, and that his friends present, aggreeably to his request should visit him, His Excellency promised to take them with him to Nauvoo, which promise he afterwards recalled through fear of the mobs. Dr. Richards was busily engaged in writing as dictated by the Prophet. Elder Taylor amused him by singing, &c.
About the middle of the afternoon the Sheriff came, to take the prisoners to the Courthouse to be tried, followed by drunken mobs armed and threatening; an altercation ensued between him and the Prison Keeper, because, as was proved by the mittinus to the latter that the prisoners having been placed with him for "safe keeping," were not under the jurisdiction of the former; whereupon the former rushed upstairs and threatened to enforce obedience had not the latter ordered him off his premises untill he produced authority to enter. The brethreren named remonstrated with the parties to await the decision of the Counsel who were not present but sent for. In the meantime Mr. Smith seeing the mob gathering and assuming a threatening aspect concluded it best to go with them then, and putting on his hat, followed by all of us walked boldly into their midst,—politely locked arms with the worst mobocrat he could see, whereas Hyrum paterned after him by clenching the next worse one, followed by Elders Richards and Taylor escorted by a guard, but the mobocrats side was the best protections from the levelled rifles of the surrounding bush hiders, Col. Markam on one side, myself on the other, with our "switches" parry'd off the crowding rabble, and after ascending to the Court House much exertion was made by the mob to proceed forthwith with the trial without letting the defendants have their witnesses, and as soon as they were overruled, and the trial postponed untill next day, the only Justice in the place, the Smith before spoken of, who could grant subpoenas for witnesses, absconded untill a late hour, as if purposely to prevent the appearing of the defendants witnesses, and in keeping with the conviction expressed by them the previous day "That the law cannot touch him, but that powder and ball will." In the evening they were again escorted to the prison amidst the whooping, hallooing and denunciations of infuriated thousands; while some tauntingly upbraided him for not calling a legion of angels to release him, and to destroy his enemies, inasmuch as he pretended to have a miraculous power; others asked him to prophecy when and what manner of death awaited him, professing themselves to know all about it; in fact one was forcibly reminded of the taunting and jeering of the Jews to our holy and meek Redeemer, so similar did their words and actions prove their spirits to be.
During the evening the Patriarch read and commented upon copious extracts from the Book of Mormon, the imprisonments and deliverance of the servants of God for the Gospels sake; Joseph bore a powerful-testimony to the guards of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon—the restoration of the Gospel, the administration of angels, and that the Kingdom of God was again upon the earth, for the sake of which he was at that time incarcerated in that prison, and not because-he had violated any law of God or of man.
Late, we retired to rest, Joseph and Hyrum on the only bedstead while 4 or 5 lay side by side on mattresses on the floor, Dr. Richards sitting up writing untill his last candle left him in the dark; the report of a gun, fired close by, caused Joseph whose head was by a window, to arise, leave the bed and lay himself by my side in close embrace; soon after Dr. Richards retired to the bed and while I thought all, but myself and heaven asleep, Joseph asked in a whisper if I was afraid to die. "has that time come think you? Engaged in such a cause I do not think that death would have many terrors," I replied. "You will see Wales and fulfill the mission appointed you ere you die" he said. I believed his word and relied upon it through trying scenes which followed. All the conversation evinced a presentiment of an approaching crisis. At midnight I was awoke by heavy treads as of soldiery close by, and I heard a whispering "Who, and how many a shall go in?" under our window; upon arising I saw a large number of men in front of the prison, and gave the alarm as they rushed up the stairs to our room door; we had taken the precaution to fortify ourselves by placing a chair, the only defence, against the door, which one of the bretheren seized for a weapon, and we stood by the door awaiting their entrance; hearing us they hesitated; when the Prophet with a "Prophets voice" called——out "Come on ye assassins we are ready for you, and would as willingly die now as at daylight." Hearing this they retired again, and consulted, advanced and retreated alternately, evidently failing to agree, untill the assassins terror, the morning light, chased the murderers with their kindred friends and the darkness to the abodes where the reveller in crime was the hero of the day.
Early in the morning of the 27th June, eventfull day! A day ever to be remembered! The Prophet requested me to descend and interrogate the guard as to the cause of the intrusion upon us in the night; in doing which I was replied by the sergeant, whose name was Worrell, I think, of the Carthage Grays, in a very bitter spirit that "We have had too much trouble to bring old Joe here to let him ever escape out alive, and unless you want to die with him you better leave before sundown, and you are not a d——n bit better than him for taking his part." I endeavored to cool him down and to recall those threats which so ill became those who were entrusted with the lives of men, but he insisted the more "You'll see that I can prophecy better than old Joe that neither he nor his brother nor anyone who will remain with them will see the sun set today." With such threats did the sergeant, in presence of his men, declaim against the prisoners; and one of them levelled and cocked his rifle at me, swearing with an awfull imprecation how he "would love to bore a home through old Joe." Joseph and Hyrum were all this time listening unobservedly at the head of the stairs to all that was said, and on my return desired me to go and inform Governor Ford of all that I had heard."
While going to his Excellency's quarters I saw an assemblage of people and met Col. Markam who was out of the gaol before me; I listened to what they had to say and beheld one of the mobocrats addressing the crowd saying that they would make a sham discharge in obedience to orders, but that the Gov. and Mac Donough troops would leave for Nauvoo in the forenoon, "Then we will return to town boys and tear that prison down and have those two men's lives before sundown," which declaration was not uttered a whisper or in a corner, but at the top of his voice, which echoed in the walls of the Town Hall and public square, and which was responded to by the loud three cheers of the crowd as eagerly as tho' [crease in original fold has worn away the words] another barrel of whiskey was called into their midst to the eternal disgrace of the name of sectarianism be it remarked. Accompanied by, whether Col. Markam, J. P. Green or J.S Fullmore or who I do not remember, I went to His Excellency's apartment in Hamilton's Hotel, where I found several officers with him in conversation; in their presence I informed him of the threats made against the lives of the prisoners, offering to produce further proof if necessary; to which he at length reply'd "You are unnecessarily alarmed for your friends safety sir, the people are not that cruel."
Irritated by such a remark I urged the necessity of placing better men than professed assassins to guard them; that they were American Citizens surrendered to his "pledged honour" that they were also Master Masons, and as such I demanded the protection of their lives; when this appeal failed to reach his adamantine heart, whose face appeared to be pale with fright or horror, I remarked that I had then but one request to make if he left their lives in the hands of those men to be sacrificed. "What is that sir?" he asked in a hurried tone. "It is that the Almighty will preserve my life to a proper time and place to testify that you have teen timely warned of their danger." All this produced no other visible effect than to turn him round and stroll to the other end of the room. I returned to the prison, and sought to enter, but would not be let in by the guard. I again returned to the Hotel when his Excellency was standing in front of the Mac Donough troops line, ready to escort him to Nauvoo, the disbanded mob, retiring to their rear at the time, shouted loud in his hearing that they were going only a short distance out of town and would return and hang old Joe and Hyrum as soon as the Governor would be gone out of the way. "I begged to call his attention there and then to their own threats which he could hardly fail to hear as well as myself (creased and worn line) for myself and friends to be in prison according to his promise to the prisoners when he declined giving any, but told Col. Demming to give me one to take to Dr. Richards the secretary, by obtaining which I was near being massacred, and was told by Chauncey Higbee on the street that they "were determined to kill Joe and Hyrum and that I had better go away to save myself." I was then alone in the midst of the turbulent mob with whom I contended for the innocency of the prisoners, and for their right of trial, untill enraged, they attempted to seize me, but I eluded their grasp. Meeting Mr. A. . W. Babbit in the street I informed him that Mr. Smith wished to see him, whither he went with me; he was admitted as Counsel. I tried to get in by means of Dr. Richards' pass, in my hand, but in vain; Joseph, Hyrum,—all endeavoured to get me in but failed; I however informed Dr. Richards who was allowed to come outside, of the threats of the mobs, who reply'd that they deemed any life in imminent danger in the midst of the mob. I was handed a letter from Mr. Smith, with a request to take it to Mr. Browning of Quincy forthwith; the guard aware of the letter informed the mob "that Joe had sent orders to raise the Nauvoo Legion to rescue him," drew the mob around me, and they demanded the letter, which I utterly refused to give up to them; when some would take it by force others objected; the mob disagreed among themselves while same said I should not leave the place alive, others swore that I should not stay longer there; at this the former party said if I left then I should not reach Nauvoo alive, and about a dozen started off with rifle in hand to waylay me where the road runs through the woods. Having previously ordered my horse which was already in the street, I took advantage of their disagreement and no sooner in the saddle than both spurs were to work, and a race horse and rider were enveloped in a cloud of dust with balls whistling nor saw the second scene untill beyond the point of timber stretching into the prairie half a mile; to myright I discovered the road to Nauvoo, and the Gov. and escort about 4 miles off having dined there; proving that I was on the Carthage road, my horse having like myself, lost the waylaid road leading through the woods, and thereby escaped those awaiting me there. I turned across the plain to the other road, and passed the Governor, whereas, as was ascertained afterwards, had I advanced half a mile farther on the Carthage road, I should have come upon a gang of about 300 painted assassins who were then beyond a prairie ridge on that road waiting the disappearing of His Exce1lency in order to march upon the prison and execute the horrid threats. Thus I was providentially led as if between two fires unharmed. While tediously traversing the sea of grass which separated Nauvoo from Carthage, tho' under all the pressure my crafft could this carry, my dream in the prison came fresh to view, and this for the fulfillment of it; The letter actually in my possession, the troops in full view, myself going to Quincy filled my soul with ominous forebodings of the sequel, so that having left the troops far behind, arriving in the edge of the City I entreated of the crowds who had assembled to meet His Excellency, to haste to Carthage and save the Prophet's life—the only alternative. But wiser ones, perhaps, had otherwise decreed, and I with thousands more had the mortification of seeing, [illegible word] greeted within the mourning "City of Joseph" the "Pilate" that should have changed places and doom; had the untold disgrace I say of listening to a man stuck up in front of the Prophet's house and harangueing an innocent and inoffensive people with insinuations applicable only to his own party; anything less than the Superhuman endurance of Saints would have been tantalized to retaliate, when in presence of the wives, children, and friends of' his victims he declared that "a great crime had been done by placing the City under Martial Law, (which was done only so far as self preservation from the mobs was demanding,) and a sever atonement must be made; so prepare your minds for the emergency." So awful a threat proceeding from the lips of the highest functionary of a State, while the victims had surrendered themselves as pledges of his "honour," drew from bursting hearts of many bystanders a half stifled shriek of horror as it echoed in the walls of the Prophet's house and drew louder shrieks from his wife and mother the latter sank into her chair crying "My sons O my sons lives are means to make theatonement." Even the obdurate spirit of the speaker felt the shock; and appeared to quiver from the effects of his own denunciations, from which he could not recoil. But I forbear to advert to that memorable oration! After which he and his escort were entertained at the Mansion House, and while sitting at the Prophet's table the hands of the assassins were dripping with his blood, and His Excellency might have said "A severe atonement has been," as doubtless the Prophet and Patriarch were weltering in their own atoning blood while their doom was being proclaimed to their families and friends.
Late that night I boarded a steamer bound to St. Louis, and landed at Warsaw after midnight, seeing a great excitement on the land I stepped among them when I heard a mobocrat stating that "Joe and Hyrum were both shot while trying to escape from prison,"—He said that they had sent messengers to Quincy and the lower Counties to raise the Militia to defend Warsaw against an attack from the Mormons; but that "their real object was, when they got them there, to take the beauty and booty of Nauvoo." One in order to stimulate the others, said, "I know, where a chest full of gold is hid in old Joe's cellar." The general feeling manifested there was of rejoicing at the crime committed, and of exulting in the horrid act of shedding innocent blood, which reminded me of the sequel of my dream. although I hoped against hope that they boasted of their desires, rather than of overt acts. Then I got hold of a "Warsaw Signal Extra," a slit of paper a little larger than my hand, was just issued, containing nothing but the news of the massacre; commencing by putting the letter J for Joseph upside down; it stated "that the Mormons attacked the prison;—that the guards were compelled to shoot the prisoners in defense of their own lives, and to prevent their escape;—that three of the Citizens of Hancock were shot by Joe;—the Mormons have killed Governor Ford and suite, burned Carthage, and we look for them to attack Warsaw every hour; will not the inhabitants of the surrounding Country rush to our defence before we, our wives and children will be massacred." In order to dupe the public to believe this tissue of falsehood, without even a shadow of truth in one statement of it, to my positive knowledge, they had sent a number of women and children in their night clothes on a previous down Steamer to Quincy, merely to raise their sympathy in their favour, even when the mob acknowledged the whole as got up purposely to create alarm, and even boasted of "Tom Sharps" long headed shrewdness in the scheme, and exulted in the prospect of heralding forth that first impression on the public mind so as to justify the horrid deed; and singular as it may appear to a sane minds that the above account of the tragedy took the lead through all Newspapers through the States East, West, North and the Canadas, South and Texas, and then through Europe it went, then around the world; and even to this day we find Clergy, Priests and Editors who either know no better, or knowing, willfully reiterate these glaring falsehoods to the ends of the Earth.
While on this passage down to Quincy 40 miles distant, I met a steamer crowded with Soldiers and other passengers being the Militia first sent for by the mob to Warsaw,—the Boats neared and stopped; and to the disgrace of civilization, when the Captain of our boat reply'd to the enquiry for the news from above, "Nothing only old Joe and Hyrum are killed;" it was responded to by hearty cheers and swinging of hats by all that Boatfull of—what? As our passengers and crew had hats off to return the salute, I shouted at the top of my voice although inadvertantly—"Shame gentlemen, shame on such cruelty, will you by cheering approbate the blackest crime recognized by the laws of even barbarous nations—will you as civilized men tolerate the cold blooded murder of American Citizens, and that while laying in prison untried, while the honour of the State was pledged to protect them? Gentlemen, desist, or whose lives will be safe if Republicanism is swallowed up by such a blood thirsty spirit as that? All this was spoken in much less time than writing and with other power than mine which carried shame to their faces and paralized the arms that still clenched the hats tho' drooping by their sides, and sent them sneaking out of sight. On our arrival we saw the Carthage families in a crowd on the banks of the Mississippi as monuments of the sincerity of the blood stained crew, whose actions were admissable of the inefficiency of their testimonies to sustain their foul cause Quincy was all in an uproar,—a crowd of Militia waiting for a steamer to take them to the scene of supposed action—the Warsaw mobs' emissaries inflaming the populace and distributing that infernal Budget of Tom Sharp the "Extra" already noticed. A meeting of the Citizens was convened in the City Hall to which I repaired, and after listening to the death almost, to the exciting lies of the mob emissaries of Warsaw—I jumped up and demanded a hearing—that I could prove all the statements made to be known falsehoods purposely to excite false alarm; a fuss followed "Down with him" "Order, Order." "Hear the stranger;" the "Hear" carried and on I spun my tale; as if with a voice of fearless little thunder, characteristic of truth alone; I denied that the Mormons had attacked the prison, that I was the last Mormon but one from Carthage yesterday evening—left all the Mormons peacably at Nauvoo about midnight that Gov. Ford nor any of his suit were neither killed nor wounded when they left Nauvoo early in the morning—that it was palpably false about Carthage being burnt;—that the Mormons had no intention of attacking Warsaw and that neither Militia nor any other need not trouble themselves about Warsaw or go there, unless they wished to attack Nauvoo, that that there was the only object the mob had in calling them there; and I also told them what I had heard at Warsaw carried a strong influence, and the Chair decided "No cause of alarm, all go about your business." Soon after this a Steamer came up the river having a company of Militia on board; again my antagonist mounted the wheelhouse and preached his infuriating sermon, who, before he could put in the amen, found another alongside of him tearing his [illegible] by piece meals, as he had done in the Court House, to his irremediable chagrin, and swayed a similar proselyting influence, so that instead of embarking more Militia on board, those already there landed and remained there. My noble friends, the mobocrats, just alluded to, forseeing the end of their campaigne in that field, concluded to leave on that Boat for Warsaw threatening veangeance on my head. Having accomplished my mission thereto, I was about going also had not the Captain of the Boat, who was an intimate friend of mine informed me that I had better wait for another Steamer, as the mobocrats had concocted a plan to take my life if I went up with them, to revenge on me for defeating their object. I accordingly waited till evening when I started up on another Boat. While on the passage, the hostile spirit of mobocracy was rife among the passengers, which caused much dispute because I would defend the innocency of Joseph and Hyrum; only occasionally I found a truth seeking person amongst them. Before we reached Warsaw the Captain and Clerk of the Boat, who were old friends of mine while Boating together, informed me that some of the mob on board intend to inform at Warsaw that I was on board, and that "the mob there will take you ashore and hang you without Judge or Jury." I remonstrated against going on shore, because if landed on the Illinois side I must travel up through the heart of a mob country who would hunt me out like hunting a wolf; whereas If I landed on the Missouri side it would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire." I could not escape them. They said that the fury of the mob was such that they would fire their cannons into the Boat, as they had done on other Boats bound for Nauvoo but they would do what they could I told them I would risk the result with God if they would act up to my instructions which they, promised to do; to the credit of Capt. Atchinson of the "Ohio" and generous Officers they did; for while the mob rushed on board as she landed crying "Where is Capt. Jones; where is he; bring him out; out with the d—d Mormon;" and while I could hear a general hallooing on shore "Bring him out, hang him up" &c., and I had crawled under a mattress alongside of which many more laid on the Cabin floor owing to the crowded state of the passengers, the Captain and Officers stood like lions in the Cabin floor keeping a drove of wolves from a pet lamb, declaring that they had landed me below the town. Turned off thus the mob returned on shore and back again only to be repelled the second time, while the mate was busily landing what freight they had for the place, the Engineer being ready to start by the sound of the bell for which I listened with breathless silence, nor dared to breathe freely untill the signal bell rang, and the Boat pushed off; nor did I regret to hear the mob plunge into the river splash,—splash after each other making for the shore without their prey, to the greater disappointment of hundreds of blood thirsty mobs on shore, who had prepared a gallows on a tree on the bank and eagerly anticipated seeing the morning sun shine on a Mormon suspended by it. Fairly afloat the God of my Salvation received the tribute of a grateful heart. I particularize on these scenes to illustrate the spirit present among the mobocrats generally which seemed to sanction by their toleration the sacrifice of the lives of the Martyrs for the Gospel's sake; and altho' alone in this scene, surely I will be an incompromising witness against them.
In the forenoon I landed at the welcome shore of Nauvoo, but Oh what a scene! Never to be pictured or painted by the pencil of art! Sad as the tombs, cheerless groups mourning wend their way by closed stores and windows of former busy life towards the place where lay the bloody corpses of the martyrs! Old, young, male and female together bewail the day—their much loved Prophet and Patriarch from their embraces by ruthless assassins were untimely torn—how can they be comforted? The Sun and the Moon of the City's moral hemisphere are untimely set behind a cheerless bank of storm clouds. The wonted buoyant atmosphere seemed impregnated with death by suffocation—nor could heaven maintain its usual smiles, its face it vailed, and commiserating wept a shower of tears to comingle with those of the Saints below. Heart rending as was the scene along the streets as I passed along the crisis did not come nor the scene beggar description untill within the dining room of the Mansion House, statue like I stood, and saw in their coffins on tables laid the Prophet and Patriarch! Ah, yes, fond hope no longer found a place to doubt, they are they—the lips from whence flowed the words of life like rivers that quenched the thirsting souls of thousands are closed in death—those eyes, the heaven lit torches, are dim and motionless, the spirit has fled. At the head of the one, bathed in tears, was seen the wife of the Prophet with her little boys and adopted Julia—at the other no less so was the Patriarch's wife surrounded six little children who alternately with the grey haired Mother while kneeling in a pool of the comingling dripping gore of the Martyrs on the floor, with her streaming eyes first on one, then on the other cry "My husband, my husband too." "My father in blood." And "my father is dead too," and "my son, my-sons" were the pitiful murmuring of the anguished widows and orphans that echoed in the walls which as but yesterday danced at the music of' the Prophets voice. On, on in solid columns the moving throng moved steadily to and off the solemn scene to take the last look on those they loved most dearly—like-the inexhaustible current of the mighty "Father of waters," as it for ages flowsto the ocean appeared the passing current of mourning friends. The holes of the bullets, the bleeding gashes of the fatal bayonet need not the finger to point them out, nor need the assembled millions as Who are they? when their "Elder Brother" from them will be distinguished by the prints of the nails in his hands and feet. But why linger o'er the horrid scene of humane fiendish conduct they are free, the Prophet and Patriarch have soared on high beyond the rage of mobs, their testimony sealed with their hearts blood when they could have escaped if they would, but heroic like demi-gods they firmly trod the road to death and glory; they boldly leaped on the scaffold with eyes open and souls unsullied forever—honoured their memories.