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´╗┐Title: Scraps of Biography - Tenth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scraps of Biography - Tenth Book of the Faith-Promoting Series" ***

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(MormonTextsProject.org), with thanks to Kimball Gardner,






Designed for the Instruction and Encouragement of Young Latter-day


Salt Lake City.


Copyright applied for at the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington, D. C., by A. H. Cannon.


There is a gradually increasing interest among the young of this people
for reading and study. It is now the ambition of nearly every son and
daughter of the Saints to become well educated. Parents, also, are more
deeply interested in the intellectual growth of the youth. Thus we are
gradually ascending to a higher plane, and our influence is being felt
in a more extended sphere.

The desire, however, to place matter in the hands of the young for
reading and study, should not cause parents to be less careful in
the selection of books. Truth expands the mind and quickens the
understanding, while fiction dulls the perceptions and impairs the
memory. The acquisition of the one is a source of joy to the possessor,
while the constant perusal of the other unfits a person for the study
of that which endures.

That truth is the foundation of all righteousness, and that
righteousness is what we desire, no person among this people will
deny. Hence our anxiety to teach the child from its earliest infancy
the principle of the gospel. In order to assist in this great work of
teaching the gospel principles, we have been led to publish the SERIES
of which this book forms a part. Whether or not our endeavors have met
with any success, we leave for others to say, but we can safely state
that all who have read these little works cannot but realize the fact
that "Truth is stranger than fiction."

That these "SCRAPS OF BIOGRAPHY" may help to instil the great principle
of faith in the minds of the rising generation is the earnest desire of





Birth and Parentage of Elder John Tanner--Himself and Two Children are
Bitten by a Mad Dog--They are Healed--He Becomes Wealthy--Afflicted
With Unknown Disease--Physicians Fail to Cure Him--"Mormon" Elders
Visit Him--He is Converted--Is Miraculously Healed--Goes to
Kirtland--Freely Gives Money for the Benefit of the Church--His Elder's


Receives Blessings in Temple--Assists With "Kirtland Bank"--Starts
for Missouri--His Daughter Dies--Is Attacked by Mob--Nearly
Murdered--Retained as a Prisoner--Released--Removes to Iowa--Receives
the Prophet's Blessing--Goes to the Rocky Mountains--Loses His Property
by Fire--Thrilling Indian Adventure--At Death's Door--Remarkable
Escape--His Death.



Account of My Ancestors--My Birth--Remarkable Vision--Its Effect Upon
Those Who Heard of It--My Father and Grand-Father Become Interested
in Reading the Scriptures--My Grand-Father's Prophecy--His Dislocated
Shoulder Replaced by the Power of God--My Grand-Father's Vision and
Death--"Mormon" Elders Visit the Neighborhood--I Go to Hear Them
Preach--Believe Their Doctrines--My Father Opposed to the Elders.


My Covenant With the Lord--My Sister Desires Baptism--My Brother's
Threat--Visit of Hyrum Smith--My Sister Baptized--I Break My
Covenant--My Father's Dream--My Baptism--Exhortation to the
Young--Spiritual Gifts Received--Meeting Disturbed by Mobs--After
Talking to Them They Become Quiet and Leave the Place--Some of the Mob
Join the Church--The Leader of the Mob Dies Suddenly--Mobbings Cease.


Ordained to the Priesthood--Invited to Preach--I Make Up a Sermon on
my Way--Sermon Apparently a Failure to Me--My Hearers Satisfied With
It--Abused by a Baptist Minister--He Desires a Sign--A Sign Promised
and Fulfilled--Blessings Received in the Kirtland Temple--Words of the
Prophet Joseph--Their Fulfilment--An Incident in Missouri--Literal
Fulfillment of a Prediction Uttered by Joseph Smith--His
Patriotism--Strange Phenomenon--Its Effect.


A Case of Palsy Healed--Its Effect on the People--Mr. Bridge's
Unbelief--The Case of Widow Cade--She is Partially Cured by
Faith--Tempts the Lord and Dies--I am Called on a Mission to
Europe--Terrible Sea-storm--The Prayers of the Elders are Heard and the
Winds Cease--We Arrive Safely in a Badly-Shattered Ship.


I Go to Switzerland--God's Power Manifested in My Behalf--A Prophecy
Fulfilled--Condition of the Swiss Mission--Where Elders were Expelled
Evil Spirits Take Possession--Karl G. Maeser Writes Me a Letter--I
Return it, Thinking it is a Ruse to Entrap Me--I Receive it Again--
Brother Maeser's Faith and Baptism--Elders Partake of Poisoned
Food--Are Restored to Health--My Mission Ends.



My Birth and Parentage--My Father's Business--He Employs Joseph Smith,
Jun.--Character of this Youth--I Start in Business for Myself--My
Health Compels Me to Change Occupation--Joseph Smith, Jun., a Constant
Visitor at My House--He Relates His Experience--His Statements Leave no
Room for Doubt in Me--He is Bitterly Persecuted.


Joseph Smith's Perseverance--Organization of the Church--Joseph
Smith Visits Me--His Own Account of His Visit--He Asks Me to Pray--I
Refuse--I Go to the Woods and Try to Offer up Prayer--Am Attacked by
a Devil--Curious Actions while thus Afflicted--The Prophet Casts the
Devil Out--The Spirit of God Shows Me Glorious Things--This Miracle
Witnessed by Many Persons.


I am Baptized--First Conference of the Church--Remarkable Visions--The
Prophet Visits the Colesville Branch--Holds Meeting--Persecution
Begins--A Presbyterian Preacher Tries to Mislead My Sister-in-law, but
Fails--Baptisms--Mob Gathers--Joseph Arrested by a Constable--Wicked
Men Lie in Ambush for Him--He is Delivered from the Mob by the
Constable--His Unjust Trial--He is Acquitted.


Joseph's Second Arrest--Cruelty of His Guard--His Trial--I,
with Others, am Called as a witness--Chagrin of Prosecuting
Attorney--Eloquence of Joseph's Lawyers--The Constable Begs Joseph's
Forgiveness for His Cruel Conduct--He Delivers the Prophet from the
Hands of the Mob--The Acquittal--At My House Our Leaders are Again
Persecuted--Their Escape--Names of Our Leading Opponents.


I Visit Joseph at Harmony--Revelation Concerning the Sacrament
--Persecutions at Harmony--The Brethren Visit Me--God Blinds the Eyes
of Their Enemies--The Prophet Moves to Fayette--False Revelation--Bogus
Stone--False Doctrine Overcome--Hyrum Smith Visits Me--I Labor in the
Ministry with Him--My Aunt's Affliction--Remarkable Manifestation of
God's Power.


Sidney Rigdon's Conversation--Third Conference of the Church--The
Saints Commence to Gather--An Accident--My Aunt's Dream--Its
Fulfillment--Missouri Chosen for a Gathering Place--My Mother's
Wish--Reflections on the Past and Present--Temple Site Located--Labors
Commence--The First Death.


My Appointment--A Visit from Joseph--According to Joseph's Promise,
My Wife Bears Me a Son--New Revelations--My Aunt Overcome by the Evil
One--She Misleads Many--Her Anguish and Restoration.


Mr. Pixley's Bitterness--Our Enemies Make Plans for Our
Overthrow--Their Resolutions--Our Printing Office Destroyed--Brethren
Tarred and Feathered--Our Appeal to the Governor--His Advice--Saints
Driven--Unexpected Engagement--Several Killed and Wounded.


McCarty's Case--Justice Denied Us--The Sufferings of the Saints--The
Brethren Disarmed--Joseph's Opinion of Governor Boggs--Correspondence
Between the State Officials and Our People--Our Petition to the


Court in Jackson County--Officers Awed by a Mob--Zion's Camp--Mob
Meeting--"A Man Stabled"--Campbell's Horrible Fate--God Interposes in
behalf of Zion's Camp--The Cholera--I Go to Kirtland--My Labors There
--Return to Clay County.


Saints Move to Caldwell County--Persecutions Begin Anew--Captain
Bogart and His Mob--The Battle--Hawn's Mill Massacre--Colonel Hinkle's
Treachery--The Brethren Imprisoned.


I Move to Commerce--No Safety for the Saints--John C. Bennett's
Wickedness--Threats of the Mob--We Start for the West--Death of the




Elder John Tanner, son of Joshua and Thankful Tanner, and grandfather
of Apostle F. M. Lyman, was born August 15th, 1778, in the state
of Rhode Island. At the age of thirteen years his parents moved to
Greenwich, Washington county, New York, where, at the death of his
father, who was a farmer, he took charge of the business and settled
his father's estate. Early in the year of 1800, he married Tabitha
Bently, by whom he had a son, Elisha, born March 23rd, 1801. The mother
died on the 9th of the following month. He afterwards married Lydia
Stewart, by whom he had nine children, eight sons and one daughter.

One evening in 1808, when he returned home from his work, he found that
two of his children had been bitten by his dog, which had gone mad, and
in attempting to confine the dog, he also was bitten on the calf of
the leg. Realizing immediately that he had no time to lose, he grasped
a pair of sheep-shears, and cut out the affected parts and filled the
wound with salt. He thus succeeded in saving his own life; and, with
the aid of a prescription he obtained, was also successful in curing
his children.

In the Spring of 1818, he moved with his large family to North West
Bay, where a son and daughter were born. In 1823 he moved into the town
of Bolton, and here, in 1825, he had another son born, but in May of
that year his wife, Lydia, died. He then married a third wife, Eliza
Benwick, by whom he had four sons.

At this time, notwithstanding all the care, labor and expenditure of
raising his numerous family, he had acquired wealth, and had become a
man of much influence, was extensively known and universally respected.
His name was synonymous with benevolence, honesty and integrity.

In the mysterious dispensations of Providence, a terrible calamity was
appointed him in the form of a painful disease, which, according to the
most consummate human skill, was incurable, and entirely unknown to
the medical faculty. His left leg from the thigh down was covered with
black sores, through which the muscles of the limb, having formed into
hollow tubes, or pipes, projected outward to the surface, out of which,
matter was constantly oozing.

He had employed seven of the most eminent physicians in the country,
but all their efforts were unavailing; the last one, Dr. Black, frankly
told him that he could run up a heavy bill for medical attendance;
"but," said he, "you are beyond the reach of medicine, and I can do you
no good!"

For six months Mr. Tanner had neither let his diseased limb hang down
nor his foot touch the floor, but was obliged to keep the leg in a
right angle with his body, resting it on pillows placed on some object
directly in front of him. And yet, with all his bodily suffering, his
mind was active and his noble, generous heart, ever sympathizing with
his fellow-man, beat with untiring zeal for the welfare of humanity.
Feeling assured that he must soon die, he sought opportunities for
doing good.

He had a vehicle so constructed that he could move himself from place
to place without assistance. In the fore part of September, 1832, a
notice was circulated in the place where he lived, that two Latter-day
Saint Elders would preach on a certain evening, at a place specified,
not far from Mr. Tanner's residence. He hailed the announcement with
delight. It afforded him an opportunity (he thought) of doing an
immense amount of good. He was conversant with the Bible and felt
himself amply qualified to battle with heresy, especially that of the
Latter-day Saints, and by doing so, he could confer lasting benefit on
his fellow-creatures. That was his aim and such his anticipations when
the appointed evening arrived. He seated himself in his locomotive and
wended his way to the meeting, feeling confident that he could silence
the so-called "Mormons," whom he sincerely supposed were imposters; but
long before the two Elders, who were Simeon and Jared Carter, finished
their discourses, a wonderful change had come over the mind of Mr.
Tanner, and when they closed the evening services, he invited them to
his home.

That evening a new era dawned upon his existence. After spending the
evening in earnest conversation, when the clock struck the hour of
eleven, he told the missionaries he was ready to be baptized, but that
it would not be possible for him to receive the ordinance. They asked
him, "Why not?" He said on account of his lameness, as he had not put
his foot to the floor for the last six months, and could not possibly
do it. One of the Elders asked him if he did not think there was power
enough in the gospel of Jesus Christ anciently to heal all manner of
diseases, to which he replied in the affirmative. He was then asked if
he did not think that the same cause produced the same effect in all
ages, and if there was not sufficient power in the gospel to heal him.
Mr. Tanner replied that such a thought had not occurred to him, but he
believed that the Lord could heal him. Elder Jared Carter then arose
and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to arise and walk, when,
to use his own expression, "I arose, threw down my crutches, and walked
the floor back and forth--back and forth, praising God, and I felt as
light as a feather."

That same night he walked three-quarters of a mile to Lake George, and
was baptized by Simeon Carter, and walked back, giving thanks to God,
for his complete restoration to health.

As soon as the "Word of Wisdom" was made known to him, he quit the use
of tobacco, tea, coffee and also the use of liquor, and never used them
again during the remainder of his life.

In the Spring of 1834 he fitted out his two sons, John J. and Nathan
and sent them up to Kirtland, where they joined Zion's Camp and went up
to Missouri, with team, wagon and a first class outfit. A little later
in the season he fitted out seven families, and sent them to Kirtland
or to Missouri.

In the Fall of the same year he sold two large farms and two thousand
and two hundred acres of timber land, preparatory to moving to Missouri
in the coming Spring. About the middle of December he received an
impression by dream or vision of the night, that he was needed and must
go immediately to the Church in the West. He told his family of the
instruction he had received and forthwith made preparations for the
start, while his neighbors, with deep regret at what they considered
an insane purpose, tried their utmost to dissuade him; but he knew the
will of God in the present crisis and nothing could deter him from
doing it.

On Christmas day he commenced his journey with all his earthly effects,
and in the dead of Winter traveled the distance of five hundred miles,
to Kirtland where he arrived about the 20th of January, 1835, on the

On his arrival in Kirtland, he learned that at the time he received the
impression that he must move immediately to the Church, the Prophet
Joseph and some of the brethren had met in prayer-meeting and asked the
Lord to send them a brother or some brethren with means to assist them
to lift the mortgage on the farm upon which the temple was being built.

The day after his arrival in Kirtland, by invitation from the prophet,
he and his son, Sidney, met with the High Council, and were informed
that the mortgage of the before mentioned farm was about to be
foreclosed. Whereupon he loaned the prophet two thousand dollars and
took his note on interest, with which amount the farm was redeemed.
He loaned to the Temple Committee, Hyrum Smith, Reynolds, Cahoon and
Jared Carter, thirteen thousand dollars in merchandize at cost prices
in New York, and took their note for the same. This amount, and that
loaned to the prophet, were not included in his liberal donations to
the building of the temple, from time to time. He also signed a note
with the Prophet Joseph and others for thirty thousand dollars for
goods purchased in New York, in which he had no pecuniary interest. The
foregoing is substantial proof of his confidence in the prophet and in
the validity and importance of the work he had embraced.

Here follows a copy of his Elder's certificate:

"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.--This certifies that John Tanner has been
received into this Church of the Latter-day Saints, organized on the
sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred
and thirty, and has been ordained an Elder, according to the rules and
regulations of said Church, and is duly authorized to preach the gospel
agreeably to the authority of that office.

"From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral
character, and his zeal for the cause of righteousness, and diligent
desire to persuade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we
confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people, as a worthy
member of society.

"We therefore, in the name, and by the authority of this Church, grant
unto this our worthy brother in the Lord, this letter of commendation
as a proof of our fellowship and esteem; praying for his success and
prosperity in our Redeemer's cause.

"Given by the direction of a conference of the Elders of said Church,
assembled in Kirtland, Geauga county, Ohio, the third day of March, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six.

"F. G. WILLIAMS, Clerk.

"JOSEPH SMITH, JR., Chairman."



When the temple was finished he participated in its dedication. He
also took part in the "solemn assembly" and the glorious gifts and
manifestations of that memorable occasion. He received his washings and
anointings in that, the first temple of God built by His direction in
this dispensation.

With his characteristic energy, he put forth his best efforts to
assist the prophet in sustaining the "Kirtland Bank," and for that
object he purchased much of its paper; but there was a Judas under the
counter, and the bank went down in spite of all their efforts. Those
who had struggled hardest and invested most were the greatest losers,
and Elder Tanner was one of the foremost, and was completely crippled
financially. Just at that time an outside pressure in the form of
religious persecution had become so unendurable that the Saints had
to leave Kirtland and seek homes in the West; and Elder Tanner, with
a journey of one thousand miles before him, found himself not only
destitute of means but also in debt. Yet his courage and ability were
equal to the emergency. Through the blessing of God he had acquired one
large fortune and he _knew_ that God lived, and that he was His servant.

But he had a large family depending on him, and a long journey was
before him. The necessity of the occasion prompted, and faith in God
inspired, him. In April, 1838, he fitted up with a turnpike-cart, a
borrowed wagon, one horse of his own and three borrowed ones, twenty
dollars in cash and a keg of powder to pay expenses, and started for
Missouri with his family--eleven persons in all. When the money and
powder were spent, they were under the necessity of appealing to the
benevolence of the inhabitants on the road for buttermilk and sometimes
for other food to sustain life.

He had two children, a son and a daughter, born in Kirtland. One of
these, a lovely girl, died on this tedious journey, which was to Elder
Tanner the greatest trial of that time.

On his arrival in Missouri, in conversation with a friend of his,
after narrating the hardships, privations and many of the most
trying circumstances of the journey, he said, "Well, if others have
come up easier, they have not learned so much." This expression is
characteristic of Elder Tanner's very happy faculty of drawing sunshine
from the darkest cloud and honey from the most bitter herb. He
acknowledged the hand of God in all things, knowing that He overrules
all things for good to those who keep His commandments.

He arrived in Far West on the 3rd of July, and there he and his sons
went to work. He paid up his debts, and had sufficient means on hand to
meet the demands and exigences of life.

In the Autumn of 1838, he and his son Myron went to a mill about nine
miles from the town, and when starting for home, the state militia in
the form of a mob came upon them. He told Myron to run and take care of
himself, which he did by crawling under a large pile of clearing brush,
and was not discovered by the mob, which, however, came upon Elder
Tanner. One of the mobbers, snapped his gun at this brave man, but it
refused to go off. He then took hold of the muzzle and struck him over
the head with the breach of the gun, cutting a large ugly gash. This
blow would probably have killed him, had it not been for his heavy felt
hat, the double thickness of which caught the blow first. This attempt
at murder was made by Captain Myer Odell.

Elder Tanner was taken and held prisoner two or three days, wearing his
bloody clothes, and stubbornly refusing to wash the blood from himself.
He kept his team and wagon, and they let him go out upon his word of
honor to take a wounded man to his family, after which, he returned to
their custody and redeemed his word. At this time the Prophet Joseph
was sentenced to be shot, but General Doniphan protested, and withdrew
his men. On the day when the execution was to have taken place, the
Saints laid down their arms, and some of the prisoners, among whom was
Elder Tanner, were released.

During the militia raid just referred to, he lost very heavily as quite
a number of his stock were stolen. As soon as he was set at liberty
from mob custody, he went to work getting things together preparatory
to leaving the state in obedience to the gubernatorial order, and on
the third day of March, 1839, started with his family and his sons'
families for Illinois. He arrived in New Liberty about the first of
April, where he stopped one year to recruit, and was much prospered in
his efforts.

About the middle of March, 1840, he again gathered his effects and
moved within four miles of Montrose, Lee county, Iowa, where his
daughter, Sariah, was born, July, 1840. Here he opened cultivated a
large farm, plowing two hundred and fifty acres, and about two hundred
acres he used for pasture. He enclosed all this by a good fence. In
this place he lived and prospered six years.

At the April conference in 1844, he was called on a mission to the
Eastern States. Before starting, he went to Nauvoo, where he saw the
Prophet Joseph, and, meeting him on the street, gave him his note of
hand for the two thousand dollars loaned in Kirtland, January, 1835,
to redeem the temple land. The Prophet asked him what he wanted done
with the note. Elder Tanner replied, "Brother Joseph, you are welcome
to it." The Prophet then laid his right hand heavily on Elder Tanner's
shoulder, saying, "God bless you, Father Tanner; your children shall
never beg bread."

He aided very materially in the building of the Nauvoo Temple, from
the commencement until its completion; and after it was dedicated he
received therein his endowments, sealings and second anointing.

In the Spring of 1846, he sold his farm at a nominal price and
journeyed to the Rocky Mountains with the Saints who were compelled
to leave Nauvoo, the "City of Joseph." He started about the middle of
May and joined the westward-bound stream of Latter-day Saints in their
memorable exodus from Illinois. He also paid for the removal of two
families besides his own, up to Council Bluffs. On the 16th of July, he
fitted out two of his sons and sent them with the "Mormon Battalion"
into Mexico to fight the battles of our country. On the herd-ground of
the Saints, at a point north-west of Winter Quarters, he herded the
stock for the whole camp of Israel, for three months.

After trials in journeyings--and in losses and hardships in various
forms, he had to be tried by fire. About the middle of January 1847,
his house and three wagon boxes with covers, used for sleeping rooms,
supplies of provisions and groceries, and most of the wearing apparel,
were destroyed by fire. Nothing was saved but beds and a portion of the
bedding. But his noble mind and the persevering energies of his nature
seemed superior to misfortune; and in the Spring he assisted in fitting
out the Pioneers for their journey to the Rocky Mountains, opened up
another farm and raised a good crop.

In the Summer of 1847, Elder Tanner had a thrilling adventure with
Indians. The following account of the marvelous circumstance is from
the journal of Jane Grover (afterwards Sister Stewart).

She says, "One morning we thought we would go and gather goose-berries.
Father Tanner (as we familiarly called the good, patriarchal John
Tanner) harnessed a span of horses to a light wagon, and, with two
sisters by the name of Lyman, his little grand-daughter and I, started
out. When we reached the woods we told the old gentleman to go to a
house which was in sight, and rest, while we picked the berries.

"It was not long before the little girl and I strayed some distance from
the others, when, suddenly we heard shouts. The little girl thought it
was her grandfather, and she was going to answer, but I prevented her,
thinking it might be Indians. We walked forward until within sight of
Father Tanner, when we saw he was running his team around. We thought
it nothing strange at first, but as we approached, we saw Indians
gathering around the wagon, whooping and yelling as others came and
joined them. We got into the wagon to start, when four of the Indians
took hold of the wagon, and two others held the horses by the bits, and
another came to take me out of the wagon. I then began to be afraid as
well as vexed, and asked Father Tanner to let me get out of the wagon
and run for assistance. He said, `No, poor child, it is too late!' I
told him they should not take me alive.

"Father Tanner's face was as white as a sheet! The Indians had
commenced to strip him. They had taken his watch and handkerchief, and
while stripping him, were trying to pull me out of the wagon. I began
silently to appeal to my Heavenly Father. While praying and struggling,
the Spirit of the Almighty fell upon me, and I arose with great power,
and no tongue can describe my feelings. I was as happy as I could be.
A few moments before, I saw worse than death staring me in the face,
and now my hand was raised by the power of God, and I talked to those
Indians in their own language. They let go the horses and wagon, and
stood in front of me while I talked to them by the power of God. They
bowed their heads and answered `yes' in a way that made me know what
they meant. Father Tanner and the little girl looked on in speechless
amazement. I realized our situation. Their calculation was to kill
Father Tanner, burn the wagon, and take us women prisoners. This was
plainly shown to me. When I stopped talking, they shook hands with all
of us and returned all they had taken from Father Tanner, who gave them
back the handkerchief, and I gave them berries and crackers. By this
time the other two women came up and we hastened home.

"The Lord gave me a portion of the interpretation of what I had said,
which is as follows: `I suppose you Indian warriors think you are going
to kill us. Don't you know the Great Spirit is watching you, and knows
everything in your hearts? We have come out here to gather some of
our Father's fruit. We have not come to injure you: and if you harm
us, or injure one hair of our heads, the Great Spirit will smite you
to the earth, and you shall not have power to breath another breath.
We have been driven from our homes and so have you. We have come out
here to do you good and not to injure you. We are the Lord's people,
and so are you; but you must cease your murders and wickedness. The
Lord is displeased with it and will not prosper you if you continue in
it. You think you own all this land, this timber, this water and all
these horses. You do not own one thing on earth, not even the air you
breathe. It all belongs to the Great Spirit.'"

In the latter part of June, 1848, Elder Tanner fitted up five teams and
wagons, and with eighteen months' provisions, started for Salt Lake,
celebrating the 4th of July, on the Elk Horn. Between Wood River and
Laramie a six year old grand-son fell from the tongue of a wagon loaded
with about 3,500 pounds. Both wheels passed obliquely over his bowels,
and he died in twenty minutes. With the exception of this sad accident,
the journey was prosperous, and he arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the
17th of October, and located in South Cottonwood.

In the Autumn of 1849, he was afflicted more or less with rheumatism,
which continued to increase on him till the first of January, 1850,
when he was confined to his bed and suffered severely until the 13th
day of April, when he died "the death of the righteous." He was the
father of twenty children, and has left an example worthy of imitation
by his numerous posterity and by the youth of Zion everywhere.





I am a descendant of Job and Mary Tyler, which said Job Tyler was born
in Wales or England, about the year 1619, or 1620, and emigrated to
America about 1640, some ten years after the landing of the pilgrim
fathers on Plymouth Rock. My emigrant ancestor, Job Tyler, settled
in Andover, Massachusetts, where he raised a family of four sons and
several daughters. I descended from Moses Tyler, the oldest son of
Job and Mary. The town of Andover having been burned and the records
destroyed, I have only tradition, which is rather vague, for much of
the early history of my family. Enough, however, is known to show
that several eminent lawyers, ministers, officers and soldiers of the
war of the revolution were among them. My father, Andrews Tyler, was
in the fourth generation from Job and Mary. He was born at Boxford,
adjoining Andover. His father, Nathaniel Tyler, served as a lieutenant
in the continental army in the revolutionary war. My grand-father with
his family removed from Boxford, Mass., to Herkamer county, New York,
where my father, Andrews Tyler, married Elizabeth Comins, daughter of
lieutenant and regimental quartermaster, John Comins, Jr., in the year
1806, to whom were born eleven sons and one daughter.

I was born in Sempronious, Cayuga county, New York, on the 23rd of
November, 1816.

About the year 1820, or early in 1821, I had a remarkable vision,
which, after sixty-one years have passed away, is as vivid in my
recollection as the scenes of yesterday. I had occasion to rise from
my bed about midnight. Suddenly the room was filled with a brilliant
light, brighter than the noon-day sun. I looked into the fire-place
only to discern a few smouldering coals covered with ashes. I gazed
upon everything visible in the house. All seemed natural except that
the light gave things a brighter hue. I looked over head to an opening
between two loose boards or planks where my father usually kept his
saw, auger and other small tools. There I beheld a hand and wrist which
were nearly transparent, with a wrist-band whiter than the pure snow.
I called to my mother, who awoke at the second call and inquired what
I wanted. I asked who was in the chamber, and was told there was no
one there, and that if there had been I could not have seen him in the
darkness. I replied it was not dark. On my stating that it was lighter
than day-light, and that I could see to pick up a pin, I was told to go
to bed, which I did, when the vision closed, and it was so dark I could
not see my hand before me, although I held it close to my face.

On relating the vision to my mother next morning, she wept like an
infant, and said: "O, my child, I fear you are not long for this
world." I, however, began to amend from that time and soon recovered
from a chronic ailment, and was soon quite well.

The news of the vision soon spread abroad, and was much exaggerated. As
is natural, our house was thronged with visitors, and I had to relate
the vision over and over again. The conclusion was that I would either
die, or the Lord had a great work for me to do. It was predicted that I
would become a preacher of the gospel. This was then considered about
the greatest work in which mortals could engage.

In 1823, my father, with his family, moved to Springfield, Erie Co,
Pa., where his father and some other relatives had previously gone.
About this time my father and grand-father became unusually interested
in reading the scriptures and talking about them to their neighbors.
One day my father happened to open to Mark, 16th chapter, 16th and 17th
verses. After reading them several times carefully he said, "There is
not a true believer in the world," as the promise was that the signs
spoken of should follow those who believed. He showed the passage to
several ministers, mostly Methodists, and argued with them. The more
he argued the more convinced he was that the gospel was not on the
earth, and he was able to confound the most learned divines, although
he was quite illiterate. My grand-father also had the same views and he
prophesied that he would die, but my father would live to see the true
church organized with all the apostolic gifts and blessings.

For this cause much unfavorable comment in the neighborhood was
indulged in, and my grand-father was often asked, usually in a derisive
way, why he did not have his dislocated shoulder, which had been out of
place for some thirty years, replaced by the power of faith. He argued
that it would be done if he had sufficient faith.

One morning he came from his bed room and told my father's family,
with whom he lived, that the Lord had revealed to him that, "Whereas
physicians had said your shoulder could not be set He would let them
know it could be done, for He would do it Himself."

My father replied that if the Lord had given him such a revelation it
would be so, for He could not lie. He, however, was rather incredulous,
notwithstanding he had been advocating the doctrine of miracles for
some time. It happened, not long afterwards, that while my grand-father
was lying in his bed at the dawn of day, thinking quietly of the
blessings of God to him, his shoulder slipped into place with a snap
that he thought might have been heard for a distance of one or two
rods. Previous to this he carried his arm in a sling most of the time
and could not raise his hand to his head, but from that time it was as
limber as the other and had its full strength. This was a testimony
that could not be impeached. Outside of the family, however, it was
looked upon as a mere accident; but the previous revelation to my
grand-father convinced the family that it was done by the power of God.
This was in 1827, and in 1829 my grand-father died.

After my grand-father was taken with his last illness, he told my
parents that an angel appeared to him clothed in white, and told him he
would not recover, for his sickness was unto death. Ten days later he
died. To save ridicule, however, this vision was kept secret and only
told me afterwards by my mother. The true church of Christ was not then
on the earth (February, 1829), nor had such an occurrence been heard
of by us at the time. Although the Father and the Son had appeared to
Joseph Smith some years previously, we had not heard of the vision. The
vision of my grand-father seemed so strange that my parents hardly knew
whether to attribute it to imagination or a reality, as they could not
question his sincerity, he having always been strictly reliable. I have
never doubted, however, his having had the vision.

He walked half a mile to bid my parents good by, although in poor
health. On parting, my grand-father wept like a child, and said, "This
is the last time I shall over visit you while I live."

My father continued his researches of the scriptures, and found that
everything he read confirmed his views. He never allowed a traveling
minister to leave the neighborhood without an argument if he could
avoid it, and his arguments were in no instance refuted.

In the Spring of 1832, Elders Samuel H. Smith and Orson Hyde, of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came to our neighborhood
and held a few meetings. Elder Smith read the 29th chapter of Isaiah at
the first meeting and delineated the circumstances of the coming forth
of the Book of Mormon, of which he said he was a witness. He knew his
brother Joseph had the plates, for the prophet had shown them to him,
and he had handled them and seen the engravings thereon. His speech
was more like a narrative than a sermon. Elder Hyde made a few closing
remarks and appointed another meeting. At the close of the first
meeting my father, as his custom was, sprung his usual question about
the spiritual gifts and was quite surprised to hear Elder Smith say,
"That is our doctrine, and we have those gifts in our Church."

This meeting was held in the house of Mr. Joseph Hartshorn, one of
our neighbors. At the close of the meeting I picked up the Book of
Mormon, which they had left lying on the table, and began to read the
preface in relation to Martin Harris losing 116 pages of the original
manuscript. When I had read as far as a quotation from a revelation,
now found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, my brother, William,
took the book out of my hands and closed it, remarking that good
people said it carried with it a spirit of witchcraft, which caused
those who read it to be bewitched and join the "Mormon" church. I was
then over fifteen years of age and my brother, who was next older than
myself, was in his eighteenth year. He was wild and sometimes profane,
especially when angry, and I was quite taken by surprise to hear him
quote what "good people said," as previously I had never heard him
speak of them, except in derision. The last words I read where so
riveted upon my mind that I sometimes feared there was some truth in
the remark about the book being bewitching. The words were, "I will
show unto them" (the wicked who had designed to change the manuscript
in case Joseph re-translated it) "that my wisdom is greater than the
cunning of the devil."

Before leaving the place the Elders baptized three persons. My father
soon became a bitter enemy. I believed every word of the first
discourse referred to previously, but dared not make my belief known
because of my youth and the bitterness of my father. He admitted
that the "Mormon" doctrines were true, but claimed that the members
of that church had adopted them to cover up a fraud. All classes of
people joined in the cry, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in
sheep's clothing," etc, telling ridiculous stories about "Old Joe Smith
walking on the water," pretended miracles, angels being caught, etc.
The stories were about the same as those which the Elders now have to



There was no human being to whom I dared make known the fact that I
believed in the teachings of the despised "Mormons." I had, however,
for some time been in the habit of engaging in secret prayer, and now,
in this hour of trial, I went to my place of secret resort and poured
out my soul to the Lord and made covenant with Him that in case my
only sister would believe and be baptized I would go with her. I soon
learned that she, like myself, had believed the work from the beginning
and was resolved to be baptized at the first opportunity. She was then
in service at one of our neighbors. When she came home on a visit
father asked her if what he had heard, that she intended to join the
"Mormons," was true. She answered that she believed they were right
and felt it her duty to join them. He remonstrated until he saw that
her mind was bent on being baptized at the first opportunity. He then
said, "If you do join them, you must never darken my door afterwards."
Still her resolution was unchanged. My older brothers told her they
would shoot any "Mormon" Elder who dared to baptize her. Thus matters
continued for several months, during which time I continued praying,
not only for my sister, but for my parents and brothers, although my
mother said but little either way.

About December, 1832, Elder Hyrum Smith, brother to the prophet,
came to our neighborhood. My father told him that his daughter, who
was present, was bent on being baptized into his church, stating at
the same time, that the Elder who baptized her would do so at his
peril. The Elder quite mildly remarked in substance as follows: "Mr.
Tyler, we shall not baptize your daughter against your wishes. If our
doctrine be true, which we testify it is, if you prevent your daughter
from embracing it, the sin will be on your head, not on ours or your

This remark pricked him to the heart. He began to think that possibly
the "Mormons" were right and he was wrong. He therefore decided to
counsel his daughter in the matter and then permit her to exercise her
free agency. He would thus relieve himself of any responsibility.

His remarks to my sister were to the effect that if this new religion
was true, it was the best religion in the world, but, if false, it was
the worst. "These men," said he, "know whether it is true or false,
but I do not." He wished her to reflect upon all these things before
making a move in the matter. She replied that she had weighed them long
ago and believed it to be her duty to be baptized. He took her on an
ox-sled to Lake Erie, a distance of two miles, where, after a hole was
cut through three feet of solid ice, she was baptized and confirmed
into the Church by Elder Hyrum Smith.

But where was the writer who had covenanted with the Lord to go with
his sister in case she was baptized?

He remained at home, a broken-hearted, bashful boy, without stamina
enough to come out and confront a wicked world. Soon after, my
grand-father appeared to my father in a dream, and told him that this
was the people he prophesied of while living, and my parents were
baptized. Then my persecuting brothers followed. When the last named
went into the water I stood on the shore, feeling as though my ease
was almost hopeless. I had twice failed to keep my covenants with the
Lord and now the third promise was about to be broken. At this juncture
my father, who knew nothing of my covenants, observing that I looked
downcast, stepped to my side and asked what was the matter. I was
speechless and could not utter a word. I had been studying how I could
ever have a heart to call upon the Lord again. How could He trust me
further? On my father asking if it was not hard for my sister, parents
and brothers to leave me, I broke completely down and wept aloud. My
father then for the first time told me I could be baptized if I wished.
I, however, waited until the next Wednesday, this being on Sunday.
During the interval, however, I plead with the Lord to forgive me of
my sin of covenant-breaking; and when I came up out of the water, not
before, did I feel that He had answered my prayers, and that _all_ my
sins were pardoned. This was on the 16th day of January, 1833. I was a
little over sixteen years of age.

I hope my young readers will keep their covenants with the Lord and
not have the sorrow of heart I had. It was so intense that I question
very much whether I could survive the same length of time with my
present infirmities of age. I had not the advantages of the present
period. I had only what I had learned from reading the Bible. I had
only heard perhaps from two to four gospel sermons and those mainly by
young Elders. I do not mention this fact in justification of my course,
yet I do believe that the Lord was more merciful towards me than He
would have been if I had had the advantages that the people have now,
especially those of our young people who have kind parents who are
Latter-day Saints to encourage and lead them along in the right way.
One kind word of invitation and persuasion on the part of my parents at
a proper time would have removed all obstacles, and been hailed as a
heavenly boon. I desired to break the fetters which seemed to bind me.

Here let me exhort all parents to do all they can to encourage their
children to be baptized at eight years of age, and much earlier to
pray, ask a blessing on the food, and attend the primary meetings and
Sabbath schools. At and prior to the time of my serious convictions,
of which I have spoken, such institutions and encouragement would have
been prized above all earthly things.

I did attend a Methodist Sabbath school, the only one I knew anything
about; but at the tender age of fifteen years I was better versed
in the true interpretation of the scriptures than the teacher. But
attending Sabbath school kept me out of the company of wicked boys, and
had a tendency to teach me a reverence for the Sabbath day.

After I was baptized, however, I never attended the Methodist Sabbath
school any more, although it was desired that I should. My teachers
said I was always honest and truthful, and they believed I was sincere
in my religion, and if I would continue to attend their Sunday school I
would see my error. They believed I had been converted, and that when I
got a few years older I would be called to preach the gospel, and would
be the means of saving many souls.

I admitted having been converted and that I knew my sins were forgiven,
and further testified that obedience to "Mormonism," so-called, was
what had brought peace to my soul; and the nearer I lived to it, the
more of the peace of the Holy Spirit I felt.

The gift of prophecy was poured out upon me. I also received the gift
and interpretation of tongues. But what then and ever since has seemed
to me the greatest gift I received was to speak easily and fluently in
my own language. This was the first gift I received. It came upon me
in great power. A few months after my baptism several leading Elders
from Kirtland, Ohio, were about to be dragged from our school house by
a mob who had assembled to tar and feather them. When the Elders and
others failed to stop them from disturbing the meeting, I stepped upon
a form or bench and began to talk to the people. Five minutes had not
elapsed when, aside from my voice, a pin dropping upon the floor might
have been easily heard. After I had spoken about ten or fifteen minutes
the mob left the house, and, after consulting outside a few moments,
retired, and we had a good meeting.

This circumstance had gone out of my mind until about 1849, while
stopping over night at the house of a brother named Brim. Alfred O.
Brim, who was one of the mob, called my attention to it, and asked me
if I knew that they had a keg of tar and a feather bed in the carriage
in which they came to the meeting.

I replied that I did not think I ever heard of it. He said they brought
the tar and the feathers with the full intent to use them on the
Elders, but they were so surprised at the power with which I spoke that
they knew I was helped by some invisible spirit. They had known me
since I was seven years old, and were satisfied that I had not made up
the speech, and that I was not capable of doing so. They decided that
it must be of the Lord or of the devil. Of this they could not be the
judges, not, as they said, having the discerning of spirits. Hence one
of them suggested that lest they be found fighting against God, they
had better retire. All agreed to it and they left.

Brim and several of his brothers afterwards joined the church, and were
at one time prominent tanners in Salt Lake county, Utah.

Dr. Rion, an eminent physician of Springfield, who, I believe, was the
leader, it was said, died instantly of apoplexy, some time after, while
sitting in his chair.

I never heard any more talk of mobbing in that neighborhood. Thus
the Lord made use of a humble, unlearned boy to break up a spirit of
mobocracy which had existed for some months, and saved His servants
from cruel treatment and possible death.



On the 4th day of August, 1834, I was ordained to the lesser Priesthood
under the hands of Lorenzo Wells, who at the time presided over the
branch. Within less than a month, I was invited to bring an Elder with
me and preach in Mercer Co., Pa. I sent an appointment, but, being
unable to get an Elder to accompany me, I resolved to go alone. The
distance was about fifty miles.

On the way I preached in my mind the greatest sermon I ever had
preached, and perhaps greater than I have ever been able to preach
since. This sermon, of course, I intended to preach when I reached
my destination. The arguments would be irresistible. When I arrived,
I sang, opened the meeting by prayer, sang again, and read my text,
but the sermon--alas, it was gone, and I would have given everything
I possessed to have been back home. This was the first gospel sermon
ever preached in the neighborhood, for although my made-up sermon was
gone, I made an effort to teach the people the way of life. I read
a great many passages of scripture on the first principles of the
gospel, making brief comments on each as I could think of but little
to say. After occupying perhaps three quarters of an hour, and, as I
supposed disgusting every one, I brought the meeting to a close with
a faint hope, and a very faint one, too, that I would be invited to
speak again. In that case I would plead with the Lord to forgive me
for making up a sermon beforehand and help my future efforts, and the
people would not be so much disappointed, after all, if I could have an
opportunity to redeem myself.

No sooner was the meeting closed than the people gathered around me and
requested me to preach at their houses, and, I believe, four out of the
remaining evenings of the week were engaged in much less time than it
has taken me to write it.

While walking towards the residence of my friend I saw a thicket of
underbrush not far from our path. To it I retired and poured out my
soul to the Lord to forgive me my folly and aid me in the future.

While seated at the dinner table, my friend remarked:

"Well, Daniel, you had nearly all the big men of the county, from the
county seat, to hear you, and what do you think they said about your

I was ashamed to answer that I expected they would set it down as a
fruitless effort to deceive the people, and felt badly hurt that he
should ask me such a question in company. I, however, put on as bold a
front as I could, and simply answered that I did not know.

In this case I learned that man's thoughts were not always as the
Lord's thoughts, for the rule is, that when the Elder satisfies his
own feelings, the hearers are pleased and edified; yet, in this case,
the rule was reversed. My friend and former neighbor informed me that
the learned judge and lawyers inquired of him where I had graduated,
adding that they never heard a man quote so much scripture to prove his
doctrines and apply it so well. In fine, it was the greatest sermon
they ever heard.

Now, my young friends, it was not I that had preached a great sermon. I
am sure it was not; for to this day I look upon it as one of my weakest
efforts at preaching. It being only my fourth trial, I think you will
come to a similar conclusion. The fact was, when I read to them the
holy scriptures the Spirit of the Lord rested upon them, although they
knew it not, and opened their eyes to see and understand the truth.
This is what is meant by the scripture, "How shall they hear without a
preacher, and how shall he preach except he be sent?" The Lord sends
His servants to preach the gospel, and a portion of His Spirit rests
upon those who hear, and they are "born again" to "see the kingdom of
God," preparatory to being "born of water and of the Spirit," to enter
into it. The first birth is being converted from error to truth, being
able to see clearly that it is truth. The second is the immersion in
water for remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of
the Holy Ghost.

Before leaving the neighborhood a learned Baptist minister by the name
of Peters, arose at the close of a meeting held in a private house
and abused me in a shameful manner, frothing at the mouth. I replied
briefly to all that was worth answering, and he was confounded. He
subsequently came to my lodgings, and we sat and conversed on the
principles of the gospel until after midnight.

Like others of his spirit, he was desirous of having a sign. I finally
told him I would give him a sign, which was that, if he did not
speedily repent and be baptized for the remission of his sins, the
judgments of God would overtake him. He left me with a downcast look.
He doubtless expected that I would hunt up some sick person and heal
him. About three weeks afterward my friend came to our place on a visit
and informed me that my prediction was literally fulfilled. The learned
Mr. Peters, who boasted of being proficient in three dead languages,
had been thrown from a horse, and crippled for life. The last I heard
of him he was a helpless, imbecile pauper.

I had the inestimable blessing of receiving my endowments in the temple
at Kirtland, being anointed a priest after the order of Aaron. It
would be impossible for me to describe all the blessings bestowed upon
the different quorums of the priesthood. Some saw angels, others saw
the horses and chariots of Israel. Some spoke in tongues and others
predicted many of the great calamities that are now befalling the
nations, such as pestilence, war, famine, tornadoes, etc.

All felt that they had a foretaste of heaven. In fact, there were
several weeks in which we were not tempted of the devil; and we
wondered whether the millennium had commenced. At or near the close of
the endowments, the Prophet Joseph addressed us. Among other things
he said: "Brethren, for some time Satan has not had power to tempt
you. Some have thought that there would be no more temptation. But the
opposite will come; and unless you draw near to the Lord you will be
overcome and apostatize."

A few months later, four of the Apostles were cut off from the Church
for apostasy, and the standing of one or two others was very doubtful.
Numbers from other quorums also fell away and were cut off.

Brief descriptions of the Missouri persecutions have been published
at different times. If a detailed account of the mobbings the Saints
endured while in Missouri were to be published it would make a large

I will mention one prophecy among the many predictions of the Prophet
Joseph Smith that was literally fulfilled.

During the persecutions in the fall of 1838, one of the brethren
happened to be a stranger in Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri, a distance
of some thirty or forty miles from Far West, in Caldwell county,
where the Saints dwelt. About sundown he saw men loading guns into a
carriage, and learned that they were to be taken that night to the mob
in Daviess county, to fight the "Mormons." He feigned to be traveling
in the opposite direction, and took a circuitous route to Far West,
but did not arrive there until about eight o'clock the next morning.
He related what he had seen of the actions of the mob, and a call was
immediately made for ten volunteers to accompany Captain Allred, of the
militia, to intercept and take the arms. To do this we had about twenty
miles to ride across a trackless prairie, to reach the road leading
from Richmond to Daviess county, where the mob was quartered. The man
with the guns had a good, smooth road, free from rocks or obstructions
of any kind, and, to all human appearance, might have reached his
destination before we obtained the news of his having the arms.

When all were mounted, the Prophet Joseph said to Brother Allred, "I
want you to ride as fast as your horses can carry you," (pointing the
direction, that he might not reach the road in rear of the carriage)
"and you will get those arms." These last words inspired faith in the
little band, and even the horses did not seem to become weary.

When we neared the road, we cast our eyes towards Richmond, and at a
distance of about half a mile we discovered a black-covered carriage
standing in the road, without any team attached to it. On nearing
it, we saw that it was empty. We examined and found that one of the
axles was newly broken in two. Here was the carriage described, but
where were the guns? We soon discovered a trial in the high grass
where something heavy had been dragged from near the carriage. We
followed this trial a short distance and found a wooden box, containing
seventy-four United States yaugers. While consulting how to get them
to the town, we looked in the direction of the mob and discovered two
men coming, about as fast as they could drive, in a lumber wagon. When
they discovered us, supposing us to be mobs, they swung their hats and
shouted "hurrah!" two or three times, and our little troop responded in
the same way.

They got very near before they discovered their mistake. Brother
Allred directed the teamster to drive along side of the box. He then
told the two men to get out and put it into the wagon, and then follow
him. We returned the way we came, and reached our destination about
sundown, when, after the guns were taken from the wagon, the men and
team were released. The prediction of the prophet was fulfilled, and
the long-range guns, which were the best then known, designed for our
destruction, were in our hands.

Joseph, knowing that the guns were government property, sent a dispatch
immediately to notify General Atchinson and Colonel Doniphan of Clay
county, what had been done. They directed that the arms should be
delivered over to them, they pledging their honor that they should not
be used against our people.

The prophet's patriotism would not allow him to retain government
property, although it had been obtained by our enemies for our
destruction. If this was not a test of loyalty I fail to see an
opportunity where a test could be given.

I will relate one incident which occurred during the exodus of the
Saints from Missouri: On the 13th of February, 1839, about two o'clock
in the afternoon, an object was seen flying diagonally across our
road, apparently about two hundred yards in front of us. To me, at
first sight, it had the appearance of a large prairie hawk. It assumed
the form of a fish to Brother Stephen M. St. John, and it appeared
differently to others during the less than one minute it was in sight.
It was seen all over the state, and the people were considerably
frightened, fearing that it was a forerunner of some terrible calamity,
which would befall them for their "unjust and inhuman treatment of the
Mormons." The result was that we were more kindly treated during the
remainder of our exodus from the state.



While traveling and preaching in the state of Mississippi, in 1841 or
1842, I was invited to remain all night with a Mr. John Knight, who was
prostrate with the palsy, and had been in that condition for several
weeks. This man was an infidel although his family belonged to the
Methodist church. Being called upon to pray, before going to bed, I
remembered the afflicted head of the family. When the prayer was ended
he said, that as I was praying for him, a warming influence such as
he had never felt before, extended down his palsied side. After I had
tarried over a few nights with him, he desired to receive the ordinance
of the laying on of hands. I called in two other Elders, and we
explained to him that should he be healed and then refuse to obey the
gospel he would incur a great responsibility. He finally agreed that if
he ever was so far relieved as to be able to get to the water he would
be baptized. At this time he had lain upon what is termed a cricket,
or tribet, for about six or eight weeks. His left side and limbs were
powerless. When he desired to be turned over it was done by pulling a
blanket, kept under him for that purpose. There lived in that vicinity
a Methodist preacher by the name of Bridges. Like many of his class, he
persecuted the Saints, never forgetting to demand a sign. In his public
discourses he would say, "Let the Mormons heal old man Knight and we
will all believe on them." But we did not propose to tempt the Lord by
asking a sign to gratify the curiosity of a wicked man. We, however,
anointed the palsied side, according to Mr. Knight's request, and laid
our hands upon him, and when the palsey was rebuked he straightened the
afflicted arm while our hands were yet upon him.

I now had to go out in my district and fill appointments which I had
made; but when I returned at the end of two weeks, I learned that Mr.
Knight had walked nearly half a mile and had been baptized. A goodly
number of others had also been baptized, and we organized a branch of
the Church with Samuel L. Gully (known as Lieutenant Gully, in the
history of the Mormon Battalion), as presiding Elder. All apostatized
shortly afterwards excepting Elder Gully and a few others who had
believed and were anxious to get baptized before this remarkable case
of healing occurred, thus proving the truth of the revelation which
says, "Those who seek signs shall have signs, but not unto salvation."
Even the man who received this manifestation of God's power went back
to the beggarly elements of the world, although he still bore testimony
to the fact that he was healed, but said he "did not know whether
Joseph Smith was a true prophet or an imposter."

But what of Mr. Bridges? This wicked preacher, when reminded of his
own sayings in regard to believing if shown a sign, answered that the
old man had been "playing the possum" all the time, and that there had
been nothing the matter with him. "Playing the possum," simply means
pretending to be sick when one is well. The proverb is derived from an
animal known as the "opossum." It is something larger than a common
domestic cat, and when pursed by dogs or men will lie upon the ground
and feign itself dead. Thus the preacher pretended to believe Mr.
Knight feigned his illness to "palm off a Mormon deception," although
he had been prostrated some time before he knew anything about the
Latter-day Saints, or they of him.

During my travel, I often stopped with a widow woman by the name of
Cade. She had two sons living with her, one a widower, the other a
bachelor; all where friendly and had some little faith. This lady, whom
I should judge was about seventy years of age, had a wen, or growing
tumor, on her throat about the size of a hen's egg. On one of my calls
she requested me to administer to her for the removal of this tumor. I
complied with her request, and in half an hour afterwards the lump was
half gone. I left her with the swelling still going down; but my story
ends badly, for after I was gone, Satan tempted her sons to believe
that the virtue was in the olive oil with which she was anointed. This
view weakened her faith and the healing power departed from her. Her
sons went to the store and purchased a bottle of oil, similar to that
which I had anointed her with, but to no effect. The circumstance was
related to a physician of the neighborhood, who told the family that
what had happened to her was simply the natural effect of the oil in
softening the tumor; that it could only be cured by being taken out
with surgical instruments; that he could remove it without difficulty
and prolong her life, but it would eventually prove fatal unless
removed. She consented to have the doctor try his skill on her, and she
died under the operation. There were not a few, even among outsiders,
who attributed her death to tempting the Lord. That their conclusion
was correct, I think none of my young readers will doubt. I always felt
sorry for her, as she was a kind-hearted, good woman, but was deceived
by the persuasion of others. Her sons always regretted what they had
done, but never joined the Church.

Had her faith continued in the Lord she would doubtless have been
entirely healed in a very short time and lived to glorify God for a
number of years.

Thus we see that His "anger is kindled against those who do not
acknowledge His hand in all things." I hope no one who reads this
little book will be guilty of tempting the Lord as this woman did, or
fail to acknowledge His hand in all things. Even in losses, sickness or
death in our families His hand should be acknowledged, and all will be
sanctified for our good in the end.

At the Spring conference, in 1853, I was called on a mission to
Europe, with a number of others. While crossing the ocean, when about
two hundred miles from Liverpool, we encountered, what the captain
said, was the severest storm he had experienced during thirty years
of sea-faring life. There were seven Elders on board the English sail
ship, _Ashburton_. When the storm became the most severe only four
could be got together. We had taken second cabin passage, and, of
course, had a room with bunks in which to sleep. To this room Elders
Charles R. Dana. Israel Barlow and myself repaired, leaving Brother
Thomas Colburn outside to watch and tend the door while we prayed and
rebuked the raging wind and boisterous sea. We had but just commenced
to pray when the door of the ventilator of our room flew open and let
a large stream of water upon us. Brother Barlow sprang upon one of the
upper bunks and closed the door and held it to its place while Brother
Dana and myself continued the prayer. By this time the ship had come so
near capsizing that a bottle of ink being open and standing over one
door-post, which was about six feet high, emptied its contents upon
the opposite post about one and a half feet from the door sill, making
an angle, by actual measurement, of over fifty degrees, which was just
about as far as she could go without capsizing. Just at this juncture
the wind was rebuked by the servants of the Lord, and so sudden was the
reaction that the ship creaked from stem to stern and we did not know
but what she might fall to pieces. But the main damage done was to lose
her sails and cause the yard-arm to fall and break the ship-carpenter's
leg. The cargo was shiped to one side so that she could not run level
during the remainder of the voyage. We had on board, among other
passengers, a Presbyterian temperance lecturer, with whom we had had
many arguments on the use of the spiritual gifts, he taking the view
that they were done away because no longer needed. His berth was on the
opposite side of the ship. Before the prayer was closed and the door
opened, he stood trembling with excitement outside No sooner was the
door opened than he exclaimed hastily and in an excited manner, "Havn't
you been praying? havn't you been praying?" On Elder Dana inquiring why
he asked that question, he nervously answered, "I thought you had; the
wind stopped blowing so suddenly."

During the remainder of the journey, whenever there was more than a
gentle breeze of wind, this man and his friends were sure to find their
way to our cabin, as though they thought, if all the balance of the
ship sank, our side would float all right.

This is one of the many incidents that might be cited to show that
our enemies are not sincere in opposing our doctrines. I firmly
believe that many people who hear the gospel preached have an inward
conviction of its truth; but the love of riches and popularity with the
fear of their friends deserting them and the frowns of the world, in
many instances, cause their love to grow cold and they smother their
convictions and become our enemies. On this subject the Lord has said,
"Every ear shall hear and every heart _shall_ be penetrated." I think
both occur at the same time; that there may be a time in the future
when they will feel it much stronger, when it is too late to benefit
them, I also admit; for they will even seek death and not be able to
find it.

Among the passengers was a young man, son of an Irish widow, who lived
in Dublin, Ireland. Becoming consumptive, he went to New York for his
health. Growing worse, he decided to return and die in the land of his
fathers, and have a tender mother's care to soothe his last hours. But,
alas, when the land-breeze struck him, the night before we sighted
land, he expired, and was buried in the sea.

We sailed along at the rate of about ten miles per hour until about
seven o'clock in the evening when the sky was suddenly darkened by a
thick fog, a contrary wind arose and simultaneously with it a brig
struck our ship's stern, took off her helm or rudder, got tangled in
her rigging and took off her top-mast and top-sail and damaged her
generally. The brig's rudder was also taken away by our ship, and she
was so damaged that her captain asked permission to lash her to our
ship, but our captain replied that his ship was so badly damaged that
he dared not allow it. A wail went up from the little craft that they
would all go to the bottom. They were soon out of our sight.

The wind and fog continued, and Captain Williams, of the _Ashburton_,
lay drunk in his cabin, most of the time. There was but one man on
board who understood the channel in which we were sailing. And he was
mate of another vessel of the same line (the "Black Ball"), which
sailed previous to ours. He was on a spree when his ship left New York,
and, although an excellent officer, could not be induced for love or
money to go on board until "he had had it out." Being over his drunken
spree he entered our ship, the control of which, during our last
calamity, was intrusted entirely to him. Our only method of guiding the
ship was by a rope tied to the corner of the main sail and pulling it
from one side to the other. To do this required the assistance of all
the passengers and for three days and nights we barely escaped being
dashed to pieces on the rocks which abounded all around us. Finally we
succeeded in landing in Belfast harbor.

Here we left our ship waiting repairs and took steamer for Liverpool,
where we arrived a few hours later.

The brig we came in contact with was wrecked on the coast of the Isle
of Man, but no lives were lost.

During my stay in England, which was less than a year, there were many
cases of healing and other incidents of interest occurred, but such
things being usual with all the Elders I need not rehearse them.



In the fall 1854, I was sent to Switzerland, to take charge of the
Swiss and Italian missions; the French and German missions were
subsequently added.

Here was fulfilled a prediction spoken in tongues by a Sister More, in
the tenth Ward, of Salt Lake City, the year before I was called on my
European mission. I was at the time going on crutches, with a broken
leg, and having but little hope of ever being able to walk. The leg was
badly fractured, and by getting out of place and having to be reset
caused the bones to be very slow in knitting together. It was about
seven months before I could bear any weight upon my broken limb. While
in this condition, I went on my crutches to a little prayer meeting in
a private house, there being no public meeting house then built in the

In going to the meeting, my worst fears of always being a cripple had
loomed up before me like a great mountain, and, like Jonah, I felt that
"it was better for me to die than to live." This was a weakness in me,
of course, but so it was.

After the meeting was opened, Sister More arose and began to speak in
tongues. She addressed her remarks to me, and I understood her as well
as though she had spoken the English language. She said: "Your leg will
be healed, and you will go on a foreign mission and preach the gospel
in foreign lands. No harm shall befall you, and you shall return in
safety, having great joy in your labors."

This was the substance of the prophecy. It was so different from my
own belief and the fears of many others that I was tempted not to give
the interpretation, lest it should fail to come to pass. The Spirit,
however, impressed me and I arose, leaning upon my crutches, and gave
the interpretation.

Not long afterwards I was told in a dream what to do to strengthen my
fractured limb, and it began to receive strength immediately, and in
the short space of about one week I dispensed with my crutches and
walked with a cane.

Although Switzerland was a republic, the people were not prepared for a
free government. After a few months, most of the American and English
Elders were banished, and the work devolved mainly on the native
Elders, and even they were sometimes cast into prison.

On one occasion, a zealous youth, whom I had directed to be ordained a
Priest, took some tracts printed in the German language to distribute
among the people. He left one with an invalid woman who had been
several years confined to the house. She believed, and asked to be
administered to that she might be healed, in order that she could be
baptized. I sent an Elder to learn whether she wanted a sign or whether
she was sincere. If found sincere and humble, he was to administer to
her by anointing her with oil and laying his hands upon her. He found
that she believed with all her heart. He attended to the ordinance
and went a distance of about four miles to stay over night. The next
morning she walked all that way to be baptized.

Among the remarkable incidents in the Swiss mission is the fact that
after the Elders were driven out for preaching the doctrine of direct
revelation, strange noises were heard in people's houses, especially
in the city of Zurich, from which place all foreign Elders had been
banished. The noises consisted of rapping upon cupboards, tables,
dishes and other like things. The Saints were not troubled with them,
but they became so frequent that they created great excitement among
the outside people.

Elder John Bar wrote to me to know what it meant, and asking if it was
of the Lord, and, if so, why did it not visit the Saints?

I answered that the people had rejected revelation from the Lord,
and banished the Elders who taught inspiration. That it was known in
America as spirit-rapping, and that it would probably take definite
shape soon. Soon after circles were formed around tables, and the
rapping in other places ceased.

I believe this was the first introduction of Spiritualism into the
cantons, and, so far as known, in Europe, and was similar to the first
in the United States made known to "the Fox girls" of New York. Thus,
my young readers will perceive that these false spirits and other
delusions follow the rejection of the gospel.

About this time, I received a letter, inquiring about the Saints and
their doctrines, from Karl G. Maeser, a professor of theology in
Dresden, in Saxony. In consideration of the excitement and desire on
the part of many of the police authorities to trap the Elders; Elder
Chislett and myself looked upon it as a snare to entrap us. I returned
the letter without answer. No sooner had I dropped it into the letter
box than a strong feeling came over me that the man might be an honest
enquirer after truth. On telling this to Elder Chislett, he said if
such be the case the door would be closed.

I answered, "No, that letter will return."

He said, "No; you may get another, but the same letter will never come

I repeated, "If he is an honest enquirer after truth _that_ letter will
return, and I will accept it as an evidence of sincerity."

Elder Chislett said, "If it does return I will set you down as a

On receipt of his returned letter, Professor Maeser forwarded it
to Elder John Van Cott, at Copenhagen. As Elder Van Cott knew I
was presiding over the German mission, he mailed the letter to me,
explaining that he had directed the professor to me, as he was doing
nothing in the German language, and he believed him to be an honest
inquirer after truth. I answered Professor Maeser's letter, and he
wanted to know more. I sent him German publications: he believed them
all and said during an approaching vacation he would come to Geneva, a
distance of about six hundred miles, and be baptized.

Thinking this might be an opening to establish the gospel in the heart
of Germany, where it had not been preached for about eighteen hundred
years, I wrote and told the professor that if there was free toleration
of religion perhaps I might send an Elder to preach the gospel to
others as well as to instruct him further in its principles. He wrote,
in answer, that no religion, except the Lutheran, was allowed to be
taught, and that was the national religion.

He thought, however, that as all persons who took up their abode in the
kingdom had to make known their business, an Elder might go under the
guise of a teacher of the English language. On my informing him that I
apprehended such a policy might draw a class around him who would be
liable to betray him to prison and banishment, and as I had an Elder
under my charge who had some knowledge of the German language, I asked
him whether it would not be better that his object be known to be to
complete his education in the same. Simple as this suggestion was, it
struck him with great force. Knowing that I was unacquainted with their
laws and customs and that he had been taught them from childhood, in
fact, was a leading teacher among his fellows, he referred to this fact
and said he could see the wisdom of the Lord in it, and it was another
evidence to him that the Latter-day Saints were His people, and he
would be exceedingly glad if I could send an Elder to baptize him.

An important duty now devolved upon me which was to inform the learned
professor that our Elders, like the ancient disciples, traveled and
preached the gospel "without purse or scrip," and, if an Elder was
sent, he would have to sustain him free of charge. Most men of his type
would have spurned such a proposition. Not so with this humble servant
of the Lord. In his reply he said: "If you send an Elder, my house
shall be his house, my table shall be his table, all I have shall be
his as well as mine."

Apostle Franklin D. Richards, president of the European mission, who
had recently arrived in Geneva from Liverpool, on hearing this letter
read, immediately decided to send Elder William Budge, who was then in
England, having been banished from Zurich, a prominent Swiss canton.

On Elder Budge's arrival, he was reported as a gentleman from England,
having come to complete his education in the German language, which
was, of course, one part of his mission. He was instructed to confine
his labors principally to the professor and his family, and to baptize
none until he had further instructions.

President Richards now decided to visit Italy, where there were a few
Saints in the Waldensian valleys under the presidency of Elder Samuel
Francis. These Saints were very poor, and the most of them lived very
hard. Some of them having to subsist five months in the year on roasted
chestnuts, and, perhaps, a little sheep's or goat's milk, without any
other food, having to winter in stables in order to receive warmth from
the animals in the absence of fuel. Brother Richards was accompanied by
Elders Wm. H. Kimball, John L. Smith, John Chislett, and myself.

About the time of our arrival one of the native brethren had by mistake
eaten poison mushrooms, taking them for the variety often used as
food in that country. He reeled as he walked to a chair, or stool, to
receive the ordinance of laying on of hands. President Richards rebuked
the poison, and he recovered. Shortly afterwards an outsider collected
some of the same variety, which were cooked, and the man with his wife
and children, died through eating them.

Shortly after our return from Italy, President Richards and Elder
Kimball repaired to Dresden, the capital of Saxony, where they were
heartily greeted by Elder Budge and Professor Karl G. Maeser. They
remained a few days, during which time President Richards baptized
the professor and eight others, and organized a branch of the Church,
with Brother Maeser as presiding Elder. When the authorities learned
to their satisfaction that he had joined the Church of the Saints they
not only dropped him from his position, but banished him from the
kingdom. Of his standing and usefulness among the Saints but little
need be said. His charge of the Brigham Young Academy at Provo, and
the blessings accruing to the youth of Zion, are too well known and
appreciated to require any eulogy from me. Suffice it to say, that
I had felt that I was doing but little good beyond filling a plain
duty in responding to the call to go on a mission from England to

I refer to this incident to encourage the young Elders who read this
little book to not feel discouraged because they do not baptize as
many as some others. I hope they will not feel that they are not being
useful on that account. I baptized none personally while on that
mission of about three and a half years, and yet, although I suffered
much affliction and persecution, I look back upon it as one of the
happiest times of my life.




I was born September 13th, 1800, in Marlborough, Windham county,
Vermont. My father's name was Joseph and my mother's maiden name was
Polly Peck.

My father moved into the state of New York, when I was nine years of
age, and settled on the Susquehanna river, near the bend in Chenango
county, town of Bainbridge, and stayed there two years. He then moved
down the river six miles into Broome county, town of Colesville, and
there remained nineteen years.

My father owned a farm, a grist-mill and carding machine. He was not
rich, yet he possessed enough of this world's goods to secure to
himself and family, not only the necessaries, but also the comforts of

His family, consisting of my mother, three sons and four daughters, he
raised in a genteel and respectable manner, and gave his children a
good common school education.

My father was a sober, honest man, generally respected and beloved by
his neighbors and acquaintances. He did not belong to any religious
sect, but was a believer in the Universalian doctrine.

The business in which my father was engaged often required him to have
hired help, and among the many he from time to time employed was a
young man by the name of Joseph Smith, Jun., to whom I was particularly
attached. His noble deportment, his faithfulness and his kind address,
could not fail to win the esteem of those who had the pleasure of his
acquaintance. One thing I will mention, which seemed to be a peculiar
characteristic with him in all his boyish sports and amusements; I
never knew any one to gain advantage over him, and yet he was always
kind and kept the good-will of his playmates.

I continued to live with my father until I was twenty-five years old,
or nearly so; and on June 7th, 1825, I married a respectable young
lady, by the name of Sally Coburn. Her health was rather delicate.
She had long held an honorable position in the choir of one of the
most respectable churches in the vicinity; her father was a musician,
and spent much of his time from home, which threw a heavy burden upon
her mother in raising the family; this, however, she bore with much

On leaving my father I went a few miles distant and put in operation a
carding machine, but I soon sold it, and afterwards became engaged in
running a grist-mill. During this time my wife gave birth to a child,
which did not live and her sufferings were very great. I found my
health was gradually declining, and was advised to leave the mill, as
it did not agree with my constitution to work in it. I had no taste for
farming, so I continued in the mill business until the physician told
me I had the consumption, and he thought my case doubtful. I applied
to a skillful Indian doctor, from whom I obtained some relief, but was
obliged to change my business, and I moved back to Colesville, near to
where my father lived.

In settling up my business affairs I suffered a heavy loss, and this,
with the expenses incurred by my sickness, considerably reduced
my pecuniary affairs. But I was not discouraged, for all my labor
prospered in my hands, and I again entered into business.

My oldest brother. Nahum, was married, and lived close at hand; also
my sisters Esther and Anna, with their husbands William Stringham,
and Freeborn Demill, so that I was happy, not only in the society of
my father's immediate family, but also of many relatives who lived in
the same vicinity. Peace, prosperity and plenty, seemed to crown our
labors, and indeed we were a happy family, and my father rejoiced in
having us around him.

During this time we were frequently visited by my young friend, Joseph
Smith, who would entertain us with accounts of the wonderful things
which had happened to him. It was evident to me that great things
were about to be accomplished through him--that the Lord was about to
use him as an instrument in His hands to bring to pass the great and
mighty work of the last days. This chosen instrument told us of God's
manifestations to him, of the discovery and receiving of the plates
from which the Book of Mormon was translated, of his persecutions for
the gospel's sake, and many other items of his eventful life.

So honest and plain were all his statements that there was no room for
any misgivings with me on the subject. Besides, I found by reading and
searching the Bible, that there would be a great falling away from the
gospel as preached and established by Jesus and His apostles, that
in the last days God would set His hand again to restore that which
was lost. Then why should any one persecute this boy? I could not.
Yet, to my certain knowledge, many did; and those who professed to
be preacher's of the gospel, were often his vilest persecutors; and
notwithstanding they all professed to doubt the reality of his having
the plates of which he had spoken, yet so eager were they to get them
from him, that it was only by the Lord, or a kind angel, warning him
from time to time of the pursuit of his enemies, that he was enabled to
preserve the sacred records. In fact, it seemed very much like it was
with Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, being warned of God to flee
from place to place, to save the young child; so has Joseph Smith been
warned many times, and then barely escaped his pursuers. Of this I can
bear a faithful testimony.



Joseph persevered, and the Lord raised up friends who aided him in the
great work of translating and printing the record which the unsealed
part of the sacred plates contained. The title given to the book being

On the sixth day of April, 1830, by revelation and commandment from
God, a Church was organized, called, "The Church of Jesus Christ,"
which consisted of only six members, viz., Joseph Smith, Jun., Oliver
Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jun., Samuel H. Smith, and David

On Sunday, April 11th, 1880, the first public discourse, preached by
a Latter day Saint, was delivered by Oliver Cowdery, at the house of
Peter Whitmer, Sen. During the same month the prophet honored me with a
visit, during which time I received a great manifestation, one long to
be remembered, and in order that my children may know how the Lord has
dealt with me I will make this extract from Joseph Smith's history.

"During this month of April I went on a visit to Mr. Joseph Knight,
of Colesville, Broome Co., N. Y., with whom and his family I had been
previously acquainted, and of whose name I have made mention as having
been so kind and thoughtful towards us, while translating the Book of
Mormon. Mr. Knight and his family were Universalists, but were willing
to reason with me upon my religious views, and were as usual friendly
and hospitable. We held several meetings in the neighborhood, we had
many friends, and some enemies. Our meetings were well attended,
and many began to pray vocally to Almighty God, that He would give
them wisdom to understand the truth. Among those who attended our
meetings regularly, was Newel Knight, son of Joseph Knight. He and
I had many serious conversations on the important subject of man's
eternal salvation; we had got into the habit of praying much at our
meetings and Newel had said he would try and take up his cross,
and pray vocally during meeting; but when we again met together he
rather excused himself. I tried to prevail upon him, making use of
the figure, supposing that he should get into a mudhole, would he not
try to help himself out? and that we were willing now to help him out
of the mudhole, he replied that provided he had got into a mudhole
through carelessness, he would rather wait and get out himself than
have others help him, and so he would wait until he should get into
the woods by himself, and there he would pray. Accordingly he deferred
praying until the next morning, when he retired into the woods; where
(according to his own account afterwards) he made several attempts to
pray, but could scarcely do so, feeling that he had not done his duty,
but that he should have prayed in the presence of others. He began to
feel uneasy, and continued to feel worse both in mind and body, until
upon reaching his own house, his appearance was such as to alarm his
wife very much. He requested her to go and bring me to him. I went,
and found him suffering very much in his mind, and his body acted upon
in a very strange manner. His visage and limbs were distorted and
twisted in every shape and appearance possible to imagine; and finally
he was caught up off the floor of the apartment and tossed about most
fearfully. His situation was soon made known to his neighbors and
relatives, and in a short time as many as eight or nine grown persons
had got together to witness the scene. After he had thus suffered for
a time, I succeeded in getting hold of him by the hand, when almost
immediately he spoke to me, and with great earnestness requested of me,
that I should cast the devil out of him, saying that he knew he was in
him, and that he also knew that I could cast him out. I replied, if
you know that I can, it shall be done, and then almost unconsciously
I rebuked the devil; and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to
depart from him; when immediately Newel spoke out and said that he
could see the devil leave him and vanish from his sight. This was the
first miracle which has been done in this Church, or by any member of
it, and it was done by God, and by the power of godliness; therefore
let the honor and the praise, the dominion and the glory, be ascribed
to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forever and ever, Amen.

"The scene was now entirely changed, for as soon as the devil had
departed from our friend, his countenance became natural, his
distortion of body ceased, and almost immediately the Spirit of God
descended upon him, and the visions of eternity were opened to his
view. He afterwards related his experience as follows: `I now began
to feel a most pleasing sensation resting upon me, and immediately
the visions of heaven were opened to my view. I felt myself attracted
upwards, and remained for sometime enwrapt in contemplation, insomuch
that I knew not what was going on in the room. By and by I felt some
weight pressing upon my shoulder and the side of my head; which served
to recall me to a sense of my situation, and I found that the Spirit of
the Lord had actually caught me up off the floor, and that my shoulder
and head were pressing against the beams.'

"All this was witnessed by many, to their great astonishment and
satisfaction, when they saw the devil thus cast out, and the power of
God and His Holy Spirit thus made manifest. As soon as consciousness
returned, his bodily weakness was such that we were obliged to lay
him upon his bed and wait upon him for some time. As may be expected,
such a scene as this contributed much to make believers of those who
witnessed it, and, finally, the greater part of them, became members of
the Church."



DURING the last week in May I went on a visit to Fayette and was
baptized by David Whitmer.

On the first day of June, 1830, the first conference was held by the
Church. Our number consisted of about thirty, besides many others who
came to learn of our principles, or were already believers, but had
not been baptized. Having opened the meeting by singing and prayer, we
partook of the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A number were confirmed who had lately been baptized, and several were
called and ordained to various offices in the Priesthood. Much good
instruction was given, and the Holy Ghost was poured out upon us in a
marvelous manner. Many prophesied, while others had the heavens opened
to their view. It was a scene long to be remembered. I felt my heart
filled with love, with glory, and with pleasure unspeakable. I could
discern all that was going on in the room and a vision of futurity also
suddenly burst upon me, and I saw, represented, the great work, which,
through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, was to be accomplished.
I saw the heavens opened, I beheld the Lord Jesus Christ seated at
the right hand of the Majesty on High, and it was made plain to my
understanding that the time would come when I should be admitted into
His presence, to enjoy His society for ever and ever.

Such scenes as these were calculated to inspire the hearts of the
Saints with joy unspeakable, and fill us with awe and reverence
for that Almighty Being, by whose grace we had been called and
made the happy partakers of such glorious blessings as were poured
out upon us--to find ourselves engaged in the very same order of
things as were observed and practiced by the holy apostles of old.
To realize the importance and solemnity of the great work which had
fallen upon our young friend Joseph, and to witness and feel with
our natural senses the like glorious manifestations of the power of
the Priesthood, the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost and the
goodness and condescension of a merciful God unto such as obey the
everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within
us sensations of rapturous gratitude and inspire us with fresh zeal
and energy in the cause of truth, and also to confirm our faith in
Joseph Smith being the instrument in the hands of God to restore the
Priesthood again to man on earth and to set up the kingdom of God,
which shall never more be overcome.

Soon after conference Joseph Smith the Prophet, accompanied by
his wife, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer and David Whitmer, came to
Colesville to make us a visit. There were many in our neighborhood who
believed, and were anxiously waiting for an opportunity to be baptized.
Meeting was appointed for the Sabbath, and on Saturday afternoon we
erected a dam across a stream which was close by, with the intention
of baptizing those who applied on Sunday, but during the night a mob
collected and tore away the dam. This prevented us from attending to
the ordinance of baptism that day. It was afterwards ascertained that
the mob had been instigated to this act of molestation, by certain
sectarian priests of the neighborhood, who began to think their craft
was in danger, and took this plan to stop the progress of truth. The
sequel will show how determinedly they prosecuted, their opposition, as
well as to what little purpose in the end.

The Sabbath arrived, we held our meeting, Oliver Cowdery preached,
others bore testimony to the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of
repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on
of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, etc. In the audience were
those who had torn down the dam. They seemed desirous of giving us
trouble, but did not until after the meeting was dismissed, when
they immediately commenced talking to those whom they considered our
friends, to try to turn them against us and our doctrine.

Among those present I will mention the case of one young lady--Miss
Emily Coburn, my wife's sister. The Rev. Mr. Shearer, a divine of
the Presbyterian faith, who had considered himself her pastor,
understanding that she was likely to believe our doctrine, came to
labor with her a short time previous to our meeting. He spent some time
without being able to persuade her against us, and then endeavored to
have her leave her sister's house, and go with him to her father's, who
lived ten miles distant: for this purpose he had recourse to stratagem,
he told her that her brothers were waiting for her at a certain place
and wished her to go home with them. He succeeded thus in getting her
a little way from the house, when seeing that her brothers were not
waiting for her, she refused to go farther with him. He thereupon took
her by the arm and tried to force her along; my wife, her sister, was
soon with them, and the two women being one too many for him he was
obliged to sneak off without accomplishing his errand, after all his
labor and ingenuity. Nothing daunted, however, he went to her father,
and represented something to him, which induced the old gentleman to
give him a power of attorney. Thus armed he returned, and as soon as
our meeting was out on the Sunday evening, he served process upon her,
and immediately carried her off to her father's residence. All his
labor was in vain, however, for the said Emily Coburn in a short time
afterwards was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church.

Early on Monday morning we were on the alert, and before our enemies
were aware of it, Oliver Cowdery proceeded to baptize Emma Smith,
Hezekiah Peck and wife, Joseph Knight and wife, William Stringham,
Joseph Knight Jun., Aaron Culver and wife, Levi Hall, Polly Knight and
Julia Stringham. But before the baptism was entirely finished, the mob
began to collect again. We retired to my father's house, and the mob,
which numbered about fifty surrounded the house, raging with anger,
and apparently wishing to commit violence against us. So violent and
troublesome were they, that the brethren were obliged to leave my
father's house and they succeeded in reaching mine. The mob who soon
found where they had gone, followed them and it was only by great
prudence on our part and help from our Heavenly Father that they were
kept from laying violent hands upon us.

A meeting had been appointed for the evening to confirm those who had
been baptized in the morning. The time appointed had arrived, and our
friends had nearly all collected together, when, to our great surprise
and sorrow, the constable came and arrested Brother Joseph Smith,
Jun., on a warrant charging him with being a disorderly person, and of
setting the country in an uproar, by preaching the Book of Mormon. The
constable soon after he had arrested Joseph, told him that the plan of
those who had got out the warrant for his arrest, was to get him into
the hands of the mob who were now lying in ambush for him, and that he,
the constable, was determined to save Joseph from them, as he found him
to be a different person to what he had been represented. This proved
true, for they had not proceeded far from the house, when the wagon
in which Joseph and the constable were riding, was surrounded by the
mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the constable, but to
their great discomfiture, he gave the horses the whip and was soon out
of their reach. As the constable was driving briskly along, one of the
wagon wheels came off, which accident left them almost in the hands of
the mob, who had pursued them closely. But the constable was an expert
man and managed to get the wheel on again, before the mob overtook him,
and soon left them in the rear once more.

He drove on to the town of South Bainbridge, Chenango county, where
he lodged Joseph in an upper room of a tavern; and in order that all
might be safe for himself and Joseph, he slept, or laid during the
night with his feet against the door, and kept a loaded gun by him,
(Joseph occupied a bed in the same room) and declared that if they were
unlawfully molested he would fight for Joseph, and defend him to the
utmost of his ability.

On the following day a court was convened for the purpose of
investigating the charges which had been made against Joseph Smith,
Jun. On account of the many scandalous reports which had been put in
circulation, a great excitement prevailed.

My father, Joseph Knight, Sen., did not let pass this opportunity of
doing all in his power to assist this persecuted boy. He went to two of
his neighbors. James Davidson and John Reid, Esqs., respectable farmers
who were well versed in the laws of their country, and retained them in
behalf of Joseph during his trial.

The trial commenced among a crowded multitude of spectators, who
generally seemed to believe Joseph guilty of all that had been alleged
against him, and, of course were zealous to see him punished for his

Among the many witnesses called up against Joseph, was one Josiah
Stoal, a gentleman for whom Joseph formerly worked. He was examined as

Question--"Did not the prisoner, Joseph Smith have a horse from you?"


Q.--"Did he not go to you and tell you an angel had appeared unto him,
and told him to get the horse from you?"

A.--"No; he told me no such thing."

Q.--"Well, how did he get the horse from you?"

A.--"He bought it from me the same as any other man would do."

Q.--"Have you had your pay?"

A.--"That is not your business."

The question being repeated, the witness replied, "I hold his note for
the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the money, for I
am well acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jun., and know him to be honest,
and, if he wishes, I am ready to let him have another horse on the same

Mr. Jonathan Thompson was next called and examined.

Question--"Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jun., had a yoke of oxen
of you?"


Q.--"Did he not obtain them from you by telling you that he had a
revelation to the effect that he was to have them?"

A.--"No; he did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen; he
purchased them the same as any other man would."

After several more similar attempts the court was detained for a time
in order that two young ladies, daughters of Josiah Stoal, with whom
Joseph had at times kept company, might be sent for, in order if
possible, to elicit something from them which could be made a pretext
against Joseph.

The young ladies came, and were each examined as to his character and
conduct in general, but in particular as to his behavior towards them
in public and private; they both bore such testimony in Joseph's favor,
as to leave his enemies without a cause for complaint. Several attempts
were made to prove something against Joseph, and even circumstances
which were alleged to have taken place in Broome county were brought
forward. But these Joseph's lawyers would not admit against him, in
consequence of which his persecutors managed to detain the court until
they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broome county. This
warrant they served upon him at the very moment he had been acquitted
by the court.



The constable who served this second warrant upon Joseph had no sooner
arrested him, than he began to abuse him; and so heartless was he,
that, although Joseph had been kept all day in court without anything
to eat since the morning, he hurried him off to Broome county, a
distance of about fifteen miles, before allowing him to eat. The
constable took him to a tavern, where were gathered a number of men,
who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult him. They spit upon
him, pointed their fingers at him, saying, "Prophesy! prophesy!" and
used their utmost ability to pain and torment his mind; and thus did
they imitate those who crucified the Savior of mankind, not knowing
what they did. The tavern was but a short distance from Joseph's own
house; he wished to spend the night with his wife, offering to give any
bail desired, for his appearance; but this was denied him. He applied
for something to eat. The constable ordered him some crusts of bread
and some water, which was the only fare he received that night. At
length he retired to bed; the constable made him lie next to the wall,
he then laid himself down, threw his arms around Joseph, as if fearing
that he intended to escape; and in this not very agreeable manner was
Joseph compelled to spend the night. Next day he was brought before
the magistrate's court of Colesville, Broome county, and placed on
trial. His friends and lawyers were again at his side, and his former
persecutors were arrayed against him with the rage and fury of demons
visible upon their countenances, and manifested in their actions.
Many witnesses were again examined, some of whom swore to the most
palpable falsehoods, just as those had done who appeared against him
the previous day. But they contradicted themselves so plainly that the
court would not admit their testimony. Others were called who showed by
their zeal that they were willing to prove anything against him, but
all they could do was to tell some things they had heard somebody else
say about him.

They proceeded for a considerable time in this frivolous and vexatious
manner, when finally I was called upon, and examined by Lawyer Seymour,
who had been sent for specially for this occasion. One lawyer, Burch,
was also retained on the prosecution, but Mr. Seymour seemed to be a
more zealous Presbyterian, and seemed more anxious and determined that
the people should not be deluded by any one professing godliness and
not denying the power thereof.

As soon as I had been sworn, Mr. Seymour proceeded to interrogate me as

Question.--"Did the prisoner, Joseph Smith, Jun., cast the devil out of

Answer.--"No, sir."

Q.--"Why, have you not had the devil cast out of you?"

A.--"Yes, sir."

Q.--"And had not Joseph Smith some hand in it being done?"

A.--"Yes, sir."

Q.--"And did he not cast him out of you?"

A.--"No, sir, it was done by the power of God, and Joseph Smith was the
instrument in the hands of God on this occasion. He commanded him to
come out of me in the name of Jesus Christ."

Q.--"And are you sure it was the devil?"

A.--"Yes, sir."

Q.--"Did you see him after he was cast out of you?"

A.--"Yes, sir, I saw him."

Q.--"Pray, what did he look like?"

(Here one of the lawyers on the part of the defense told me I need not
answer that question). I replied:

"I believe, I need not answer you that question, but I will do it if I
am allowed to ask you one, and you can answer it. Do you, Mr. Seymour,
understand the things of the Spirit?"

"No," answered Mr. Seymour, "I do not pretend to such big things."

"Well, then," I replied, "it will be of no use for me to tell you what
the devil looked like, for it was a spiritual sight and spiritually
discerned, and, of course, you would not understand it were I to tell
you of it."

The lawyer dropped his head, while the loud laugh of the audience
proclaimed his discomfiture.

Mr. Seymour now addressed the court and in a long and violent harrangue
endeavored to blacken the character of Joseph, and bring him in guilty
of the charges preferred against him.

Messrs. Davidson and Reed followed on Joseph's behalf. They held
forth in true colors the nature of the prosecution, the malignity
of intention, and the apparent disposition of the prosecution to
persecute their client, rather than to do him justice. They took up
the different arguments that had been brought forward by the lawyers
for the prosecution, and having shown their utter futility and
misapplication, they proceeded to scrutinize the evidence which had
been adduced, and each in his turn thanked God that he had been engaged
in so good a cause, as that of defending a man, whose character stood
so well the test of such a strict investigation. In fact, these men,
although not regular lawyers, were, upon this occasion, able to put
to silence their opponents, and convince the court that Joseph Smith,
Jun., was innocent. They spoke like men inspired of God; while those
who were arrayed against Joseph, trembled under the sound of their
voices, and shook before them as criminals before the bar of justice.
Disappointment and shame were depicted on the faces of the assembled
multitude, who now began to learn that nothing could be sustained
against Joseph. The constable, who had arrested Joseph, and treated him
in so cruel and heartless a manner, came forward and apologized and
asked his forgiveness for the ill-treatment he had given him, so much
was this man changed that he told Joseph the mob had resolved, if the
court acquitted him, that they would take him, tar and feather him, and
ride him on a rail; and further, that if Joseph wished, he would lead
him out another way, so that he could escape in safety.

After all the efforts of the people and court to sustain the charges
brought against Joseph proving an entire failure, he was discharged
and succeeded in making good his escape from the mob through the
instrumentality of his new friend, the constable. It was truly a source
of great joy to us to know that Joseph was once more out of the hands
of his persecutors.

After a few days the prophet, accompanied by Oliver Cowdery, came to
my house, intending to confirm those who had been baptized. These
servants of God had scarcely arrived when the mob began to collect,
and so violent were they, that it was thought best for Joseph and
Oliver to make their escape lest they should suffer at the hands of
our enemies. They left without taking any refreshment, the mob closely
pursuing them, and it was ofttimes as much as Joseph and Oliver could
do to escape them. However, by traveling all night, excepting a short
time when they were forced to lie down and rest themselves under a
tree, alternately watching and sleeping, they managed to get beyond
the reach of their pursuers. Thus were they persecuted because of
their religious faith, in a country, whose constitution guarantees to
every man the right of worshiping God according to the dictates of his
own conscience; and by men, too, who were professors of religion, and
zealous to shield themselves under the broad folds of our glorious
constitution, though they could so wantonly deny it to others.

I will here name a few of the most forward instigators of this
unhallowed persecution. Cyrus McMaster, a Presbyterian of high standing
in his church. He at one time told Joseph personally that he considered
him guilty, without judge or jury. The celebrated Dr. Boyington was
another, also a Presbyterian. And a young man by the name of Benton, of
the same religious faith, swore out the first warrant against Joseph.

I will say, however, that amid all our trials, that the God who
delivered Daniel and the three Hebrew children, and preserved them upon
the earth in spite of all their persecutors, preserved the Prophet
Joseph from suffering death, at the hands of those who were his sworn
enemies, and who did all in their power, both in private and public,
to destroy him. The Lord who well knew our weak state, blessed us, by
giving us His Holy Spirit to comfort our hearts, so that our faith
in the restoration of His gospel to man on the earth, through the
instrumentality of Joseph Smith, Jun., remained firm and unshaken.



In the beginning of August I, in company with my wife, went to make a
visit to Brother Joseph Smith, Jun., who then resided at Harmony, Penn.
We found him and his wife well, and in good spirits. We had a happy
meeting. It truly gave me joy to again behold his face. As neither
Emma, the wife of Joseph Smith, nor my wife had been confirmed, we
concluded to attend to that holy ordinance at this time, and also to
partake of the sacrament, before we should leave for home. In order
to prepare for this, Brother Joseph set out to procure some wine for
the occasion, but he had gone only a short distance, when he was met
by a heavenly messenger, and received the first four verses of the
revelation given on page 138, of the Doctrine and Covenants (new
edition), the remainder being given in the September following at,
Fayette, New York.

In obedience to this revelation we prepared some wine of our own make,
and held our meeting, consisting of only five persons namely, Joseph
Smith and wife, John Whitmer, and myself and wife. We partook of the
sacrament, after which we confirmed the two sisters into the Church,
and spent the evening in a glorious manner. The Spirit of the Lord
was poured out upon us. We praised the God of Israel and rejoiced

About this time the spirit of persecution began to manifest itself
against us in the neighborhood where Joseph lived, which was commenced
by a man of the Methodist persuasion who professed to be a minister
of God. And so crafty was he, that he succeeded in influencing Mr.
Hale, father-in-law to Joseph, so that he would no longer give him
protection, although he had promised to do so.

Brother Joseph intended visiting the Saints at Colesville on Saturday
the 21st of August, and on my return, arrangements were made for the
brethren and sisters to meet on that day, if possible, without letting
our enemies know anything about it. But Brother Joseph was prevented
from keeping his engagement on this occasion, but wrote a letter in
which he explained the cause of his not coming: the conveyance in which
he intended to make the journey did not arrive from "the west;" and
the distance was too great to walk. He exhorted the Saints, in a very
excellent letter to remain faithful and true to God, and prophesied
that the wrath of God should soon overtake their wicked persecutors.

On the 29th, however, Brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and John and
David Whitmer came to fill the before-mentioned appointment to hold
meeting and to confirm those who had been baptized in June previous.
As they well knew the hostilities of our enemies in their quarter,
and also knowing it was their duty to visit us, they called upon
our Heavenly Father in mighty prayer that He would grant them an
opportunity of meeting with us; that He would blind the eyes of their
enemies that they might not see, and that on this occasion they might
return unmolested. Their prayers were not in vain. A little distance
from my house they encountered a large company of men at work upon the
public road, among whom were found some of our most bitter enemies who
looked earnestly at the brethren but not knowing them, the brethren
passed on unmolested.

That evening the Saints assembled together and were confirmed, and
partook of the sacrament. We had a happy meeting, having much reason to
rejoice in the God of our salvation, and sing hosannas to His Holy name.

Next morning the brethren set out on their return home, and although
their enemies had offered a reward to any one who would give
information of their arrival at our place, they got clear out of the
neighborhood, without the least annoyance, and arrived home in safety.
It was not long, however, after the brethren had left us, when the mob
began to collect together and threatened and abused us in the most
shameful and disgusting manner during the remainder of the day.

Soon after this I took my team and wagon to Harmony to move Joseph
and his family to Fayette, New York. Mr. Whitmer having heard of the
persecutions which had been raised against Joseph in Harmony, had
invited the prophet to go and live with him. About the last of August,
Joseph arrived at Fayette amid the joy and congratulations of friends
and brethren.

Our business affairs did not suffer materially although we had met with
so much opposition and persecution, and we were still able to live and
aid the work of God.

After arranging my affairs at home, I again set out for Fayette, to
attend our second conference, which had been appointed to be held at
Father Whitmer's, where Joseph then resided. On my arrival I found
Brother Joseph in great distress of mind on account of Hyrum Page, who
had managed to get up some dissension of feeling among the brethren
by giving revelations concerning the government of the Church and
other matters, which he claimed to nave received through the medium
of a stone he possessed. He had quite a roll of papers full of these
revelations, and many in the Church were led astray by them. Even
Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer family had given heed to them, although
they were in contradiction to the New Testament and the revelations of
these last days. Here was a chance for Satan to work among the little
flock, and he sought by this means to accomplish what persecution
failed to do. Joseph was perplexed and scarcely knew how to meet this
new exigency. That night I occupied the same room that he did and the
greater part of the night was spent in prayer and supplication. After
much labor with these brethren they were convinced of their error, and
confessed the same, renouncing the revelations as not being of God,
but acknowledged that Satan had conspired to overthrow their belief
in the true plan of salvation. In consequence of these things Joseph
enquired of the Lord before conference commenced and received the
revelation published on page 140 of the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein
God explicitly states His mind and will concerning the receiving of

Conference having assembled, the first thing done was to consider
the subject of the stone in connection with Hyrum Page, and after
considerable investigation and discussion, Brother Page and all the
members of the Church present renounced the stone, and the revelations
connected with it, much to our joy and satisfaction. The sacrament was
then administered, a number were confirmed, many were ordained, and a
great variety of Church business was transacted.

During this time we had much of the power of God manifested among us
and it was wonderful to witness the wisdom that Joseph displayed on
this occasion, for truly God gave unto him great wisdom and power,
and it seems to me, even now, that none who saw him administer
righteousness under such trying circumstances, could doubt that the
Lord was with him, as he acted--not with the wisdom of man, but with
the wisdom of God. The Holy Ghost came upon us and filled our hearts
with unspeakable joy. Before this memorable conference closed three
other revelations besides the one already mentioned were received from
God by our prophet, and we were made to rejoice exceedingly in His

Soon after this conference Brother Hyrum Smith, wife and family came to
Colesville, to live with me, but most of his time, as also that of my
own, was spent in the villages around, preaching the gospel wherever we
could find any who would listen to us, either in public or private. A
few believed and were baptized, among whom was Emer Harris, brother to
Martin Harris, who proved to be a useful laborer in the vineyard.

Many raged and persecuted us, doing all in their power to stop the
progress of the work. But we moved steadily ahead, putting our trust in
the Lord God of heaven.

On the 14th of October, Brother Hyrum Smith and I held a meeting at
my uncle Hezekiah Peek's. Brother Hyrum had great liberty of speech,
and the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us in a miraculous
manner. There was much good instruction and exhortation given, such
as was calculated to encourage and strengthen the Saints in this
their infantile state. At this meeting, four persons came forward and
manifested their desire to forsake all, serve their God in humility,
and obey the requirements of the gospel.

After the close of the meeting, Brother Hyrum and myself intended
going to spend the night with one of the brethren who lived a short
distance from my uncle's, but as we were ready to start, the Spirit
whispered to me that I should tarry there at my uncle's all night.
I did so, and retired to bed, where I rested till midnight when my
uncle came to my room and desired me to get up, saying he feared his
wife was about to die. This surprised me, as she was quite well when I
went to bed. I dressed myself, and having asked my Heavenly Father to
give me wisdom, and power to rebuke the destroyer from the habitation,
I went to the room where my aunt lay. She was in a most fearful
condition; her eyes were closed, and she appeared to be in the last
agonies of death. Presently she opened her eyes and bade her husband
and children farewell, telling them she must die for the redemption of
this generation, as Jesus Christ had died for the generation in His
day. Her whole frame shook, and she appeared to be racked with the
most exquisite pain and torment; her hands and feet were cold, and the
blood settled in her fingers; while her husband and children stood
weeping around her bed. This was a scene new to me, and I felt she was
suffering under the power of Satan--that was the same spirit that had
bound and over-powered me at the time Joseph cast him out. I now cried
unto the Lord for strength and wisdom that we might prevail over this
wicked and delusive power. Just at this time my uncle cried aloud to
me, saying: "O, Brother Newel, cannot something be done?" I felt the
Holy Spirit of the Lord rest upon me as he said this, and I immediately
stepped forward, took her by the hand, and commanded Satan, in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ, to depart. I told my aunt she would not die,
but that she should live to see her children grown up; that Satan had
deceived her, and put a lying spirit in her mouth; that Christ had made
the only and last atonement for all who would believe on His name; and
that there should be no more shedding of blood for sin. She believed
and stretched forth her hand, and cried unto me, and Satan departed
from her.

After laboring for some time in this vicinity, we returned to my home,
found our wives well and in the enjoyment of the Spirit of the Lord. We
also found Brother Orson Pratt awaiting us, who had been called by the
prophet to labor with us in the ministry.



BROTHER OLIVER COWDERY had been called by revelation to go with Parley
P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson and Peter Whitmer, Jun., to preach to the
Lamanites. Parley P. Pratt had belonged to the same church as Sidney
Rigdon, and had been sent by his sect on some business to New York
state, and while there he heard, and embraced the gospel, was ordained
an Elder and immediately sent on this mission. Having been acquainted
with Sidney Rigdon, he called on him, presented the Book of Mormon to
him as a revelation from God, and before these brethren moved on to the
fulfillment of their mission, Sidney Rigdon, with a large number of the
members of his church, was baptized. The success of these brethren was
immense. They preached in all the towns and villages on their road,
bearing a faithful testimony wherever they could be heard.

In December, Sidney Rigdon visited Joseph Smith, Jun., to inquire of
the Lord what he should do. This was a very pleasant meeting, and, by
the voice of revelation, these brethren were called to labor together
even from their first acquaintance.

A new year dawned upon us, with everything around us bright and
cheerful, and the prospects a head such as to give us joy. In the midst
of persecution we rejoiced, knowing that our God was with us, and His
great work would roll on, and man could not stop its progress.

On the 2nd of January, 1831, the third conference of the Church
assembled. Many of the Saints came together from the region around,
and much good instruction was given. The Saints manifested unshaken
confidence in the great work which they were engaged, and all rejoiced
under the blessings of the gospel. Considerable business was transacted
for the Church.

It was at this conference that we were instructed as a people, to begin
the gathering of Israel, and a revelation was given to the prophet on
this subject.

Having returned home from conference, in obedience to the commandment
which had been given, I, together with the Colesville Branch, began to
make preparations to go to Ohio. Towards the latter part of January
Brother Joseph Smith and wife, Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge
started for Kirtland, Ohio.

As might be expected, we were obliged to make great sacrifices of our
property. The most of my time was occupied in visiting the brethren,
and helping to arrange their affairs, so that we might travel together
in one company. Having made the best arrangements we could for the
journey, we bade adieu to all we held dear on this earth and in the
early part of April started for our destination.

We had proceeded but a few days on our journey, when I was subpoenaed
as a witness, and had to go to Colesville. On arriving there it was
very evident that this plan had been adopted by our enemies to add
a little more to the persecutions already heaped upon us. The whole
company declined traveling until I should return.

Soon after I left, my aunt, Electa Peek, fell and broke her shoulder in
a most shocking manner; a surgeon was called to relieve her sufferings,
which were very great. My aunt dreamed that I returned and laid my
hands upon her, prayed for her, and she was made whole, and pursued her
journey with the company. She related this dream to the surgeon who
replied, "If you are able to travel in many weeks it will be a miracle,
and I will be a Mormon too."

I arrived at the place, where the company had stopped, late in the
evening; but, on learning of the accident, I went to see my aunt, and
immediately on my entering the room she said, "O, Brother Newel, if
you will lay your hands upon me, I shall be well and able to go on the
journey with you." I stepped up to the bed, and, in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ, rebuked the pain with which she was suffering, and
commanded her to be made whole; and it was done; for the next morning
she arose, dressed herself, and pursued the journey with us.

We arrived at Buffalo without any further trouble, where we were
to take passage on board a sloop for Fairport, Ohio. But the wind
blew from the lake and filled the harbor with ice, so that we were
detained nearly two weeks. When we set sail on the lake, the winds
continued boisterous, and the vessel was tossed about in such a manner
that nearly all the company were sea sick, which made it rather a
disagreeable voyage. We arrived safely, however, at our destination.

On our arrival it was advised that the Colesville branch remain
together, and go to a neighboring town called Thompson, as a man by the
name of Copely had a considerable tract of land there which he offered
to let the Saints occupy. Consequently a contract was agreed upon, and
we commenced work in good faith. But in a short time Copely broke the
engagement, and I went to Kirtland to see Brother Joseph, and to attend
conference, which had been appointed to be held on the 6th of June,

Conference convened. The Elders, from various parts of the country
where they had been laboring, came in, and the power of the Lord was
displayed in our midst. A number were ordained to the Melchizedek
Priesthood, and the hearts of the Saints rejoiced in the rich blessings
bestowed upon them.

We now understood that this was not the land of our inheritance--the
land of promise, for it was made known in a revelation, that Missouri
was the place chosen for the gathering of the Church, and several were
called to lead the way to that state.

A revelation was also given concerning the gathering, on the receipt
of which we, who constituted the Colesville branch, immediately set to
preparing for our journey, and on the third day of June, I took passage
with the Colesville company at Wellsville, Ohio, and arrived at St.
Louis, Mo., on the 13th. On the 18th we took passage on the steamer
_Chieftain_ for Independence.

My mother's health was very poor and had been for a considerable time,
yet she would not consent to stop traveling; her only, or her greatest
desire, was to set her feet upon the land of Zion, and to have her
body interred in that land. I went on shore and bought lumber to make
a coffin in case she should die before we arrived at our place of
destination--so fast did she fail. But the Lord gave her the desire of
her heart, and she lived to stand upon that land; where we arrived on
the 25th of June.

This was the first branch of the Church which had emigrated to the land
of Zion. I found it required all the wisdom I possessed to lead the
company through so long a journey in the midst of their enemies, yet so
great were the mercies and blessings of God to us, that not one of us
was harmed.

Brothers Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Martin Harris, Edward
Partridge, W. W. Phelps, Joseph Coe, and A. S. Gilbert and wife, had
started for Missouri on the 19th of June, and arrived at Independence
about the middle of July. We were glad to find these brethren in good
health and spirits, and it was indeed a joy to meet them once more.

But our feelings can be better imagined than described, when we, found
ourselves upon the Western frontiers. The country itself presented a
pleasant aspect with its rich forests bordering its beautiful streams,
and its deep rolling prairies spreading far and wide, inviting the hand
of industry to establish for itself homes upon its broad bosom. And
this was the place, where the Lord had promised to reveal unto us where
be built up, established--where the New Jerusalem should Zion should be
and our hearts went forth unto the Lord desiring the fulfillment, that
we might know where to bestow our labors profit-ably. We had not long
to wait, for during the month the Lord gave a revelation to Brother
Joseph, designating the spot.

Being no longer at a loss to know where the exact spot for the building
of the temple and the city of Zion was, we immediately prepared for
our labors. On the 2nd day of August, Brother Joseph Smith, Jun.,
the prophet of God, assisted the Colesville branch to lay the first
log as a foundation for Zion in Kaw township, twelve miles west of
Independence. The log was carried by twelve men, in honor of the twelve
tribes of Israel. At the same time, through prayer, Sidney Rigdon
consecrated and dedicated the land of Zion for the gathering of the
Saints. This was truly a season of joy and rejoicing to all the Saints,
who took part in, or witnessed the proceedings.

On the 3rd of August the spot for the temple, a little west of
Independence, was dedicated in the presence of Joseph Smith, Jun.,
Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, Martin Harris, Joseph
Coe, and myself.

On the 4th, the first conference held in the land of Zion, convened
at the house of Brother Joshua Lewis, in Kaw township. The Colesville
branch was present, and much good instruction was given, and we felt
to give thanks to that God who had brought us out of the land of our
nativity and planted us in the land of Zion.

On the 6th, my mother died. She quietly fell asleep rejoicing in the
new and everlasting gospel, and praising God that she had lived to see
the land of Zion and that her body would rest in peace, after all the
suffering she had endured from the persecutions of the wicked.

On the 7th, Brother Joseph attended the funeral, and addressed us in
an impressive and consoling manner. This was the first death that had
occurred in this Church in this land.

On the 9th, in company with several Elders, Brother Joseph Smith Jun.,
left Independence to return to Kirtland. They went down the river in



The time now passed in our common labors, in building houses, plowing,
sowing grain, and all other labors necessary to build up a new country.
We were not accustomed to a frontier life, so things around us seemed
new and strange and the work we had to do was of a different nature to
that which had been done in the East. Yet we took hold with cheerful
hearts, and a determination to do our best, and with all diligence went
to work to secure food and prepare for the coming winter.

I had been appointed to preside over the Colesville branch in this
place. We passed the Winter in a tolerably comfortable manner. Our
meetings were well attended, the hearts of the Saints were united, and
peace and happiness abounded.

On the 24th of April, 1832, Brother Joseph Smith visited us at
Independence, and on the 26th, called a general council of the Church.
Business of much importance was transacted, among which was the public
acknowledgement by the Church of Joseph's true position as President
of the High Priesthood. He had been ordained to that position in the
previous January and now the right hand of fellowship was given him by
the Church in the capacity of its Bishop. The Spirit and power of God
were manifested in our midst, and those who had difficulties, settled
them, so that the blessings of the gospel flowed without restraint. The
brethren were full of good instructions, and we felt ourselves renewed
in spirit.

Brother Joseph did not forget his old friends of the Colesville branch,
and he came the twelve miles to visit us; we welcomed him heartily
and were greatly rejoiced to see his face once more, and to shake him
by the hand. He remained with us two days, and returned on the 30th
to Independence, where he again sat in council with the brethren.
Arrangements were made for printing the book of Doctrine and Covenants,
and the Hymn Book, also for establishing a store by which the Saints
could be supplied with whatever they needed, through the channels of
the Church. It was also arranged that the Saints in Ohio should be
supplied with stores in a similar manner. This gave great satisfaction
to the brethren generally.

On the 14th of October, my wife bore me a son. She had never before
given birth to a living child, and the doctors who had attended her
before, had said it was impossible that she should. But Brother Joseph
blessed her and said she should have the desire of her heart. She
never doubted the prophet's words, and as soon as her son was born she
desired him to be called Samuel, for she said she had asked him from
the Lord. My wife soon recovered from her sickness.

Brother Joseph from time to time sent copies of revelations to me for
the benefit of the branch over which I presided in common with all the
Saints in Zion. On reading one of these revelations to the branch,
my aunt of whom mention has been made, arose and contradicted the
revelation, saying it must be taken in a spiritual light. She went to
such a length that I felt constrained to rebuke her by the authority
of the Priesthood. At this she was angry, and from that time sought
to influence all who would listen to her. The result was a division
of feeling in the branch, and her husband partook of her spirit until
he became so enthusiastic, that he went from branch to branch crying,
"hosanna, glory to God! Zion is redeemed! and blessed is he that
bringeth good tidings to the people!" Sister Peck at length began to
feel the weight of what she had done, but she could not recall it.
She seemed racked with great torment, her mind found no rest, until a
burning fever brought her to a sick bed. She sent for several of the
Elders to administer to her, but found no relief. At last she sent
for P. P. Pratt, Lyman Wight and myself, we laid our hands upon her
and administered to her, after which she looked up in despair and
said she hoped I would deliver her from the awful state she was in.
Her whole frame was racked with intense anguish while her mind seemed
almost in despair. Brother Parley said to me: "Brother Newel, you must
do something for her." My soul was drawn out in pity for her, yet I
knew not what to do. I felt impressed to call the branch together that

When the meeting had been opened as usual, I arose, not knowing what
to do or what to say. After requesting the prayers and united faith of
all present, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, so that I was able to
make plain the cause of Sister Peck's illness--that she had risen up in
opposition to the Priesthood which had been placed over that branch of
the Church, and contradicted the revelations of God, and that by the
sympathies shown her, a division of feeling had gained advantage over
them, until Sister Peck had fallen completely under the power of Satan,
and could not extricate herself. I told the brethren and sisters, if
they would repent of what they had done, and renew their covenants one
with another and with the Lord, and uphold the authorities placed over
them, and also the revelations which the Lord had given unto us, it
would be all right with Sister Peck, for this would break the bands of
Satan and make us free.

I had no sooner closed my remarks than with one united voice, all came
forward and agreed to do so. I then went to Sister Peck, and in the
name of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, commanded
the evil powers to depart from her, and blessed her with peace and
strength, both of body and mind. I then dismissed the meeting and told
the family to go to bed, and rest as usual, and all would be well.
Early the next morning I called to see her, she stretched out her hand
as soon as she saw me, and said, O, Brother Newel, forgive me! I did
not believe one word you said last night, but when I awoke this morning
I found I was not in hell. Her rejoicings were very great, and union
again prevailed with us, and we all felt we had learned a lesson that
would be of lasting benefit to us.

On the 6th of April, 1833, the Church met together at the ferry on
Big Blue river to celebrate the Church's birthday. This was the first
celebration of the kind and the Saints felt their privilege and enjoyed
themselves in the worship of their Heavenly Father, and praised His
holy name. The brethren returned to their homes renewed in spirit,
and rejoicing in heart. Such peace and happiness were not however, to
continue long without an interruption from our enemies, for when the
Saints rejoice, the devil is mad and his children and servants partake
of his spirit. This was proven in this instance, for before this month
had closed, a most dreadful and diabolical spirit of persecution
manifested itself all around us. An immense mob collected together
expressing a determination to drive us from our homes for they would
not allow the "Mormons" to live in their midst.

On hearing this news, a number of the brethren met together and prayed
to God to overrule the wicked designs of the mob meeting, that they
might not have power to agree upon their plans, or to execute their
wicked threats. They broke up in a regular row, and for time all was
well. As might be expected, this caused considerable uneasiness among
us, and it required great wisdom and care on our part to keep the
Saints quiet, and to keep them at their labors.

In the meantime the Lord had given a commandment to Zion to build a
temple to His holy name.



While peaceful pursuits characterized the doings of the Saints, the
mobocratic spirit of our enemies was but slumbering for a short time,
and the uneasy, restless spirit of the people would occasionally
manifest itself, until, at last, in July it again burst forth. The
sectarian priests and missionaries around us were among the first to
come out both secretly and openly against us. Among the more active
of these was a Mr. Pixley, who did not content himself in slandering
us to the people of Jackson co., but also wrote to eastern papers,
telling horrible lies about us, with the evident intention of rousing
a spirit of hatred against us. His talk was of the bitterest kind, his
speeches perfectly inflammatory, and he appeared to have an influence
among the people, to carry them with him in his hellish designs. Nor
did he confine his actions to the white settlers, but tried to stir up
the Indians against us, and used every means in his power to accomplish
his purposes. His efforts were seconded by such men as Reverends McCoy,
Fitzhugh, Bogard, Kavanaugh, Lovelady, Likens, Hunter and others; and
by their perseverance, at last the public mind became so excited,
that on the 20th of July a meeting was called and largely attended by
not only the rabble of the county, but also by men holding official
positions. A full account of this proceeding was published, and it
was stated among other imaginary evils that we were poor, and that
the members of our Church who gathered from various places did not
possess much of this world's goods, which was, apparently, a crime in
their estimation. We were also accused of believing in the gifts and
blessings of the ancient gospel. Other things were enumerated, when
it was resolved that "no Mormon shall in future move and settle in
this county; that those now here shall give a definite pledge of their
intention to move out of the county within a reasonable time; that the
editor of the _Star_ be required forthwith to close his office and
discontinue the business of printing in this county; that the Mormon
leaders here are required to use their influence to prevent any further
emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and to counsel and
advise their brethren here to comply with the above requisitions, and
that those who fail to do so, be referred to those of their brethren
who have the gift of divination and of unknown tongues to inform them
of the lot that awaits them.

"These resolutions were read, considered and unanimously adopted. It
was thereupon agreed that a committee of twelve be appointed forthwith
to wait on the Mormon leaders, and see that the foregoing requisitions
be strictly complied with by them; and upon their refusal, that said
committee do, as the organ of this county, inform them that it is
our unwavering purpose and fixed determination, after the fullest
consideration of all consequences and responsibilities under which
we act, to use such means as shall endure their full and complete
adoption, and that said committee, so far as may be within their power,
report to this present meeting.

"The following gentlemen were named as said committee: Robert Johnson,
James Campbell, Col. Mores Wilson, Joel F. Chiles, Hon. Richard
Fristoe, Abner T. Staples, Gad Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russel Hicks,
Esq., Col. S. D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson and James M. Hunter, to whom was
added Col. R. Simpson, chairman.

"After an adjournment of two hours, the meeting again convened, and the
committee of twelve reported that they had called on Mr. Phelps, the
editor of the _Star_, Edward Patridge, the Bishop of the sect, and Mr.
Gilbert, the keeper of the Lord's storehouse, and some others, and that
they declined giving any direct answers to the requisitions made of
them, and wished an unreasonable time for consultation, not only with
their brethren here, but in Ohio.

"Whereupon it was unanimously resolved by the meeting that the _Star_
printing office, should be razed to the ground and the type and press
secured. Which resolution was, with the utmost order, and the least
noise and disturbance possible, forthwith carried into execution, as
also some other steps of a similar tendency; but no blood was spilled
nor any blows inflicted. The meeting then adjourned until the 23rd
instant, to meet again to know further concerning the determination of
the Mormons."

In the meeting of the 23rd another committee was appointed to wait upon
our leaders and learn from them what course they intended to pursue. At
the meeting of this committee and our brethren it was stipulated that
our people should leave the county before the 1st of January following,
and that those who were then on the way to Zion should only remain
sufficiently long to make a selection of another home.

In the minutes of their meetings the mob neglected to tell of the
outrages inflicted on the persons of Bishop Partridge, Elder Charles
Allen, and others, the two former of whom they took (after demolishing
the printing office) to the public square, and tarred and feathered
them, making at the same time the most horrid threats, merely because
they would not renounce their religion. They have not told of the
solemn covenant entered into by the mob, wherein they pledged their
lives, their bodily power, fortunes and sacred honors to drive the
Saints from Jackson Co. They have not set forth the unholy combination
entered into, to lay waste and destroy the property of the Saints, and
to drive them forth from their prosperous settlements which were being
built up. But all these things are known to God and many of the Saints,
and although the participators fail to record these things, they are
written where it is beyond the power of men to erase them, and where
our enemies will one day hear them read.

In the latter part of September Brothers Hyde and Gould came to us with
counsel and instruction from Brother Joseph, so that they might help us
in our unpleasant circumstances. It was decided to petition Governor
Dunklin for redress and protection, and Brothers Orson Hyde and W. W.
Phelps were sent to Jefferson city for that purpose, bearing a document
setting forth our grievances, and giving details of the shameful
proceedings of July.

The governor received these brethren courteously, but gave them no
answer at the time as the attorney general was absent. He stated that
he desired to maintain law and order in the state, and was willing to
do anything in his power to assist in the protection of the Saints. He
subsequently wrote:

"No citizen, nor number of citizens, have a right to take the redress
of their grievances, whether real or _imaginary_, into their own hands;
such conduct strikes at the very existence of society, and subverts the
foundation on which it is based. Not being willing to persuade myself
that any portion of the citizens of the state of Missouri are so lost
to a sense of these truths as to require the exercise of _force_, in
order to ensure respect for them.

"After advising with the attorney general, and exercising my best
judgment, I would advise you to make a trial of the efficacy of the
laws; the judge of your circuit is a conservator of the peace. If
an affidavit is made before him by any of you, that your lives are
threatened and you believe them in danger, it would be his duty to
have the offenders apprehended and bind them to keep peace. Justices
of peace in their respective counties have the same authority, and it
is made their duty to exercise it. Take, then, this course; obtain a
warrant, let it be placed in the hands of the proper officer, and the
experiment will be tested whether laws can be peaceably executed or
not. In the event that they cannot be, and that fact is officially
notified to me, my duty will require me to take such steps as will
enforce a faithful execution of them."

This communication comforted the hearts of the brethren, for they felt
they were not entirely left in the hands of the ruthless mob, but that
they would be protected in their rights. They renewed their labors
and felt to rejoice before their Heavenly Father. In the meantime the
brethren in Independence retained four lawyers from Clay Co., named,
Wood, Reese, Doniphan, and Atchinson, with a fee of one thousand
dollars. As soon as the mob heard of this they became very much
enraged. They disregarded the compact and assembled together vowing
vengeance on all the "Mormons," being determined that we should leave
forthwith. From the 31st of October until the 4th of November, there
was one continual scene of outrages of the most hideous kind. The mob
collected in different parts of the county and attacked the Saints in
most of their settlements, houses were unroofed, others were pulled
down, leaving women and children, and even the sick and the dying
exposed to the inclemency of the weather. Men were caught and whipped
or clubbed until they were bruised from head to foot, and some were
left upon the ground for dead. The most horrid threats and imprecations
were uttered against us, and women and children were told, with
cursings, that unless they left the country immediately they should be
killed. The brethren had to get together to protect themselves, and
they went from place to place to assist those who were threatened. In
some instances these parties, when marching to the relief of their
brethren, were intercepted and flagrant outrages committed upon them.
Things continued in this state until the 4th of November, when the mob
were hunting a small party of our brethren, and breaking down, and
feeding upon our crops, and otherwise destroying them. While fifty or
sixty were thus engaged, about thirty of the brethren came upon them
and a battle ensued. As soon as the mob saw the brethren coming, some
of them called out, "Fire, G--d d--m ye, fire!" and several shots
were immediately fired into our party, which were promptly returned,
when the mob fled, leaving some of their horses in one of the corn
fields, and H. L. Brazile and Thomas Linvill dead on the ground. We
also learned that several of their number were wounded. We had two or
three wounded. One, a young man named Barber, received a mortal wound;
he was the first man in this dispensation, who was martyred for the
truth's sake. Another, Philo Dibble, was wounded in the abdomen at the
first discharge; he was examined by a surgeon of great experience,
who had served in the Mohawk war, and he said he never knew a man to
live who was wounded in such a manner. The next day I went to see
Brother Dibble, and found the house where he lay surrounded by the
mob. I managed to get in, and went to the bed; two men came and seated
themselves at the door; as I looked upon Brother Dibble lying there in
extreme agony, I drew the bed curtains with one hand and laid the other
upon his head, praying secretly to our heavenly Father in his behalf. I
then left, as I did not wish to put myself into the power of the mob;
and the next day business took me some ten miles from the place, were I
met Brother Dibble making his escape from the county. He told me that
as soon as I placed my hand upon his head, the pain and soreness seemed
gradually to move as before a power driving it, until in a few minutes
it left his body. He then discharged about a gallon of putrid matter,
and the balls and pieces of clothing which had passed into his body.

My mill was doing business for the people generally, yet the mob was
not disposed to let it escape their fury, and we were obliged to guard
it day and night. On one occasion, when two or three companies of the
mob were in the neighborhood, they sent two of their number as spies to
learn our situation. Parley P. Pratt, who was on guard at the mill, on
seeing them, went and accosted them, when one of the two raised his gun
and struck Brother Pratt on the head, cutting a large hole, but Brother
Pratt called to his men, who took the two spies prisoners, and disarmed
them for the night, but the next morning returned their arms to them,
and let them go without doing them any injury. Thus did we leave the
result in the hands of the Almighty.



The brethren at Independence did their best to follow the advice given
in the governor's letter. They caught one, McCarty, while in the act
of breaking in the doors of Gilbert and Co.'s store, and throwing the
contents into the street, and went to issue a warrant against him;
but Samuel Weston Esq., would not issue it, and McCarty was freed. He
immediately turned around and sued Brothers Gilbert, Phelps, McLellin
and others for assault and false imprisonment and they were sent to
jail. Several of the brethren then went to Lexington to see the circuit
judge, while two others called on Mr. Silvers, who refused to issue
a warrant, for his craven heart feared the mob. This he afterwards
acknowledged. The brethren who went to Lexington were more successful.
They obtained a warrant after some delay, but by the time they reached
Independence it was perfectly useless, for the whole country was up
in arms, and all the Saints could do was to protect their wives,
children and themselves from utter extermination. The mob declared that
no warrant should be served, for they would kill the man that dared
attempt it; neither should there be any civil processes at law, for
those who dared commence them should _die_. On one occasion when the
brethren tried to issue a peace warrant, and the justice of the peace
refused, the governor's letter was read to him when he replied, "I
don't care a d--m for that." Thus were the courts of law closed against
us, and justice descended from her lofty seat to mourn in sackcloth and

But what more could be expected? for at the head of the mob were found
the judges, lawyers, justices of peace, sheriffs and their deputies,
constables, jail keepers, and county clerk.

Every attempt made by the brethren to obtain assistance enraged the mob
to a greater degree, and none could remain in their midst and feel that
life was safe. While Brothers Gilbert, Morely and Corvill, were being
conducted back to jail by the deputy sheriff after meeting with the
brethren and persuading them to leave the county, a number of the mob
overtook them, and although the deputy sheriff told his name, and the
names of his prisoners and called on them in God's name not to fire,
yet two of them raised their guns and fired at Brother Gilbert, the one
snapping and the other missing fire.

This was caused by the rumor that had reached Independence concerning
the battle. It was said that twenty of the mob had been killed and a
number wounded, the news flew through the county as on the wings of the
wind, and men who were peaceable before, now rushed into Independence
determined to massacre the Saints. It was indeed a scene of wild

The next day the fury of the mob was in no way abated and the Saints
saw that their lives could be saved only by flight; consequently men,
women and children fled from their homes, some in one direction and
some in another. One large party of women and children, protected only
by six men wandered into the prairie south, and their tracks could be
followed by the blood stains on the ground, the prairie grass had been
burnt, and the sharp stubble lacerated their uncovered feet, cutting
and wounding them in a terrible manner; thus they wandered about for
several days with nothing but the broad canopy of heaven to shelter
them. Some went to the Missouri river intending to cross over into Clay
county, for they had already proven that the people in the adjoining
counties were far from being their friends. Thus homeless, and without
means of taking much to sustain them did the whole Church in Jackson
county flee before the mob, and at night those who went to the river
camped in the rain which poured down in torrents; the frail mother, the
helpless infant, the sick and the dying, all alike without the means
to shelter themselves from the storm. One man by the name of Bennett
opened his house to a number of women and children who were making
their way to the Missouri.

While this was going on, about one hundred of the brethren had
volunteered to go to the protection of their brethren in Independence.
When they had got within one mile of the place they halted and sent
in to learn the situation of the mob. They found that Colonel Pitcher
had put himself at the head of the mob and called them the militia,
expecting by this stratagem to be able to better carry out the hellish
plans of our enemies. Governor Boggs, also gave the mob his influence,
and indeed it was thought he was the grand moving spirit through the
whole affair.

As the brethren in Independence were not in the danger that was
reported, Colonel Wight thought it best to have his men remain in the
woods around during the day. By some means Colonel Pitcher heard of
this arrangement. He was both terrified and angry. He, however, sent
to the brethren and demanded their arms, saying, that it was intended
to disarm both parties; fifty-one guns, one sword and one pistol were
delivered up to him, for although the brethren felt to resist the mob
to the utmost in the defense of their wives and children, this demand
being made under the color of law, it was complied with. But no sooner
was this known than the mob broke forth from the ranks of the pretended
militia and were bolder than ever. Knowing that the Saints were now
without arms; they rode through the country in small bands pillaging
houses, insulting women, whipping men and threatening two-fold

In the midst of this terrible excitement several of the leading Elders
offered themselves and their lives, for their brethren if that would
satisfy and let the rest remain in peace. The answer was, "No; but
every one must die for himself."

I must not omit to mention one act of cruelty, which, if possible,
seems to surpass all others. In one of the settlements were four
families of very old men, infirm and very poor. They seemed to think
that they would not be molested and so remained behind, but no sooner
did the mob learn of it, than they went to their houses, broke their
windows and doors, and hurled great stones into their rooms endangering
their lives; thus were these poor old men, and their families,
driven before the ruthless mob in midwinter. These men had served
in the revolutionary war, and Brother Jones had been one of General
Washington's body guard, but this availed them nothing, for they were
of the hated people. Thus were _all_ the Saints compelled to flee into
Clay Co., where the sympathies of the people were extended towards them.

The Colesville branch, as usual, kept together and formed a small
settlement on the Missouri bottoms, building themselves temporary
houses; a few other families settled with us; and the Saints all around
built themselves places of shelter for the Winter. But the scenes that
were endured, at the river side, immediately after the flight, beggars
description. Yet the Saints did not forget to return thanks unto
Almighty God for deliverance from the hands of their vile enemies and
to seek His protecting care for the future--that He would soften the
hearts of the people to whom they had fled, that they might find among
them something to sustain themselves.

Although Governor Boggs did not come out and show himself openly in
his true colors we have sufficient evidence that he sanctioned all
the movements of the mob and even directed them. He it was who put in
motion the movements of July, and continued his exertions until he had
accomplished all his hellish designs. As Brother Joseph said, "the
great change that may appear to some, in the views, designs and craft
of this man, to rob an innocent people of their arms by stratagem, and
leave more than one thousand defenseless men, women and children, to
be driven from their homes, among strangers in a strange land is so
glaringly exposed in the sequel that all earth and hell cannot deny
that a baser knave, a greater traitor, and a more wholesale butcher,
or murderer of mankind ever went untried, unpunished, or unhung." But
Governor Dunklin was a gentleman and seemed disposed to do what was

Brothers Phelps, Gilbert and McLellin went into Clay Co. and made
affidavit of the outrageous scenes in Jackson Co; and expressed the
same to the governor who immediately ordered a court of inquiry to be
held in Clay county for the purpose of investigating the whole affair,
and meting out justice to all, and the attorney general wrote to the
counsel employed to prosecute the mob, advising our people to organize
themselves into regular companies and then apply to the governor for
weapons of defense. He was of the opinion that the governor would not
only furnish us arms and ammunition, but also troops to assist us in
maintaining our rights, if we would only make application therefore.

About the same time Judge Ryland also wrote, on the authority of the
governor, to one of our counsel, saying among other things that he was
determined to investigate the causes of the recent disturbance and
"take steps to punish the guilty and screen the innocent."

In reply to these communications Elder A. S. Gilbert wrote to the
governor of Missouri as follows:



Nov. 29th, 1833.

"Dear Sir--Yesterday I saw Mr. Doniphan, an attorney of this place,
who informed me that he saw the attorney general, Mr. Wells, in Saline
county, last Saturday week and that Mr. Wells had acquainted him with
your intention of ordering a court of inquiry to be held in Jackson
county, in relation to the late riotous proceedings in that county. Mr.
Doniphan is of the opinion from the conversation he had with Mr. Wells,
that said order will be suspended till a communication is received
from our people, or their counsel. This is therefore to acquaint your
excellency, that most of the heads of our Church had an interview
yesterday on the subject of an _immediate_ court of inquiry to be
held in Jackson county, and by their request to me, I hasten to lay
before your excellency serious difficulties attending our people on an
_immediate_ court of inquiry being called.

"Our Church was at this time scattered in every direction; some in
the new county of Van Buren; a part in this county, and a part in La
Fayette and Ray counties. Some of our principal witnesses would be
women and children, and while the rage of the mob continues, it would
be impossible to gather them in safety at Independence, and that your
excellency may know of the unabated fury with which the last remnant
of our people remaining in that county are pursued at this time, I
here state that a few families, perhaps fifteen or twenty, who settled
themselves more than two years ago on the prairie, about fifteen miles
from the county seat of Jackson county, had hoped from the obscurity
of their location, that they might escape the vengeance of the enemy
through the Winter, consequently they remained on their plantations,
receiving occasionally, a few individual threats, till last Sunday,
when a mob made their appearance among them; some with pistols cocked
and presented to their breasts, commanding them to leave the county in
three days, or they would tear their houses down over their heads, etc.

"Two expresses arrived here from said neighborhood last Monday
morning, for advice and the council advised their speedy removal for
the preservation of life, and their personal effects. I suppose these
families will be out of the county of Jackson this week. In this
distressed situation, in behalf of my brethren, I pray your excellency
to await a further communication which will soon follow this, setting
forth among other things the importance of our people being restored
to their possessions, that they may have an equal chance with their
enemies in producing important testimony before the court, which
the enemy are now determined to deprive them of. Trusting that your
excellency will perceive the agitation and consternation that must
necessarily prevail among most of our people at this day, from the
unparalleled usage they have received and many of them wandering at
this time destitute of shelter.

"An _immediate_ court of enquiry called while our people are thus
situated, would give our enemies a decided advantage in point of
testimony, while they are in possession of their _own_ homes, and
_ours_ also; with no enemy in the county to molest or make them afraid.

"Very Respectfully,

Your Obedient Servant,

A. S. Gilbert."

"To his Excellency Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, Missouri."

"I have seen and read the above letter, and on reflection, I concur
entirely in the opinion therein expressed. I also think that at the
next regular term of the court, an examination of the criminal matter
cannot be gone into, without a guard for the court and witnesses.

(Signed.) Amos Reese."

Those mentioned in this letter as having been threatened on Sunday the
24th, fled into Clay county, and encamped on the Missouri river. There
were about one hundred and fifty men, women and children.

We had sent reports of their proceedings to Brother Joseph Smith and
the brethren in Kirtland, but it appears that in some particulars they
did not agree, being given by different persons, so Brother Joseph
wrote seeking correct information, and for documents. He also sent
comforting news to the Saints reminding all that it is only through
great tribulation, that the blessings are received.

On the 6th of December, a petition and letter were sent to Governor
Dunklin asking for aid and protection. We also asked that a court
of enquiry might be established to investigate the whole matter and
bring the offenders and law-breakers to justice. We thus showed that
we intended to maintain our rights to our inheritances, so that if we
should be deprived of them for any length of time, the responsibility
would not rest upon our shoulders.

The season was very severe and many persons suffered for the
necessaries of life, but we were not forgotten by God nor by our
co-religionists in Kirtland, and the sympathies of the Saints were like
balm to our wounds.

We were soon pained with news that reached us from Van Buren county. It
seems that in the general flight of the Saints some few families went
south into Van Buren county and commenced to open and improve farms,
build houses, etc. They had taken their Winter's provisions with them
and thought to make themselves homes, but the citizens rose up and
without scarcely giving warning commenced to destroy all their stock
and goods, and these Saints once more had to flee for their lives, and
seek refuge among their brethren, who also were exiles.



The year 1834 opened upon the Church, in Missouri, with no flattering
prospects. The Saints were scattered in every direction, awaiting
the action of the government and courts to settle their difficulties
with Jackson Co. On the 1st of January a conference was held, Bishop
Partridge presiding, when everything possible was done to comfort the
hearts of the distressed, and to help them in their afflictions.

On the 9th Brother Gilbert wrote again to Governor Dunklin, explaining
the wishes and condition of the Saints, and suggested that the
principal leaders of the Jackson county mob be bought out, as he
thought it would help to bring about peace and give the Saints
re-possession of their lands, house, and property, without the
intervention of an armed force.

The governor answered this communication in a very gentlemanly manner,
and also gave his views in regard to the best method to pursue under
the unpleasant circumstances. In accordance with his instructions
Judge Ryland proceeded to hold court in Jackson county, and as it was
imprudent to call the witnesses, or proceed with the investigation,
without a sufficient guard, Captain Atchinson was called on for his
company, the "Liberty Blues," to do duty. The brethren who were
subpoenaed were met on the banks of the Missouri by this company and
guarded to about a mile from Independence where they camped for the
night. So great was the excitement in Jackson county, that it was
thought necessary to have more men, and an order, or requisition, was
made on Col. Allen for two hundred more. The mob made a bold stand,
and began to collect in bodies, pledging themselves to the death, that
no arrests should be made, but that they would defend each other to
the last. On the 24th of February, the brethren, and their military
escort went into Independence and were quartered in the old store of
S. Flomuoy, where they were visited by the attorney general and the
district attorney, and told that all hope of a criminal prosecution was
at an end. Thus were the officers of the civil law, even when supported
by the military, awed by a mob, and the great promises of the governor
and Judge Ryland fell to the ground, and the strong arm of justice
became weak and fell powerless to her side.

Our witnesses were cautioned not to go before the grand jury, it
being intimated that they might be in danger. Thus did these two men,
with the circuit judge acknowledge that mob violence was superior, in
Missouri, to both the civil and the military powers; for it was not
long before Captain Atchinson received word from Judge Ryland that
neither he nor his men were wanted any longer in Independence, and the
witnesses were marched off to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," to carry to
their brethren the news that justice had taken her flight before the
fury of the rabble, and her ministers had not power to maintain her
rights. They must now look to a higher power for redress, or bear their
wrongs as best they can.

The mob continued their depredations wherever they could find an
opportunity, not sparing the aged nor the weak, but abusing all alike.
Father Lindsay is mentioned as being driven from his home, and then his
house pulled down, and its contents destroyed or stolen.

Having seen that through the imbecility of the law, or the secret
connivance of its administrators, there was no possible chance of
obtaining redress, and being protected in our rights, it was next
decided upon to petition the president of the United States, in
accordance with the revelation given to that effect. An able document
was drawn up and sent to that officer, but it availed us nothing. We
also wrote to the governor, asking him to issue an order to have our
weapons, of which we had been deprived in November last, restored to
us. But, notwithstanding the orders of the governor to Colonels Lucas
and Pitcher, we never received our arms, but they were taken and
distributed among the mob.

Our brethren in Kirtland, on hearing of our sufferings, did all in
their power to help us; and immediately on receiving the revelation
concerning the redemption of Zion, began to gather together young men
and middle aged men to come to our relief.

We received the news of the coming of these brethren with much joy and

When the news got abroad of the movement, the mob once more became
infuriated. They got together in large bodies, armed and provided
themselves with cannon. Hundreds from the surrounding counties
volunteered to help them in case Governor Dunklin should attempt to
restore us to our homes, which he had said he would do as soon as
enough of our brethren came together to enable us to protect ourselves
in them.

In the midst of this intense excitement, Judge Ryland called a meeting
of the brethren, citizens, and the Jackson county mob, with a view of
an amicable adjustment, as he said, of our difficulties.

On Monday, June 16th, about one thousand citizens of Clay county, and
a few from Jackson county, assembled in the court-house, in Liberty,
according to appointment. Judge Turnham was appointed moderator, or

Judge Ryland used his best endeavors to allay the angry feelings of the
mob, and to effect an adjustment of our difficulties in his own way,
but not to our satisfaction.

A document from our opponents was introduced by war speeches by S.
C. Owens and Rev. M. Riley, who, even in this meeting, advocated the
idea of driving us from Clay Co. But Gen. Doniphan and Judge Turnham
defended the cause of right, begging that the people of that county
would not disgrace themselves in the manner. Jackson county had done;
but let the "Mormons" remain in their midst and enjoy equal rights with
them, "for," he said, "they are good citizens, and even better than
many of the old settlers."

Gen. Doniphan said: "The Mormons have armed themselves, and if they
don't fight they are cowards. I love to hear that they have brethren
coming to their assistance, greater love can no man show, than he, who
lays down his life for his brethren."

But such was the excitement caused by this discussion that a row and
fight appeared certain, and many seemed to be preparing for it all over
the room. The confusion was increasing, when somebody called into the
room, "A man stabbed!"

There was a sudden rush to the spot, when it was found that a quarrel
between two Missourians had ended in one of them being severely
wounded. This broke up the meeting and gave the brethren a chance to
state in writing why they could not accept the propositions offered.

At the meeting a report was circulated that an army of our brethren was
coming to help us, and to go into Jackson county by force. All kinds
of strange stories were set afloat, and a small party, with Owens and
Campbell at their head, went directly to Independence to collect an
army to go and prevent their entering Clay county. Campbell swore,
while adjusting his pistols in the holsters, "The eagles and turkey
buzzards shall eat my flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army, so
that their skins will not hold shucks, before two days are past."

They sent word to Richmond, Ray county, and had their agents working
in Clay county, intending to raise force sufficient to annihilate our
brethren. About two hundred volunteered in Jackson, seventy in Clay,
and fifty in Ray counties, and were to form a junction near Fishing
river ford. Their plans were all laid, as they thought, to enable them
to accomplish their purpose, but the Lord interposed His strong arm,
for the preservation of our brethren, and while the mob were crossing
the river to the north side, a squall met them on their return so that
they were delayed; some attempted to cross the river after dusk, so
great was their anxiety to be at their hellish work, but when near the
middle of the river the boat sunk, and seven out of twelve men were
drowned; among them was James Campbell, who had made use of such a
terrible oath in the day. He floated down the river, and, lodging on
some drift wood, his flesh was eaten by the eagles and turkey buzzards;
thereby fulfilling his oath, and feeling the vengeance of an offended
God. S. C. Owens came near being drowned, and was glad enough the next
morning to make his way to Independence. Those who had crossed the
river the day before, returned to join their companions in the morning,
and felt glad that they had escaped with their lives. Immediately
around our brethren was the protecting hand of the Almighty, and at
the approach of the mob from Ray county, a tremendous hail and thunder
storm raged, pelting them severely even to the cutting of holes in
their hats; their ammunition was perfectly soaked, and they were glad
enough to get back home. During this time scarcely any hail fell in
the camp of the brethren, but all around them could be seen the work
of destruction--limbs of trees were cut off by the storm, and trees
themselves were twisted like withes.

In the morning Big Fishing river had raised forty feet, and our enemies
said that Little Fishing river raised thirty feet in thirty minutes.
Thus were our brethren preserved from their enemies.

On the night of the 28th the cholera, of which the brethren had been
warned by the servant of God, broke out in Zion's camp. About twelve
o'clock cries and groans were heard from those who had been taken sick,
and they fell before the destroyer. So violent were the attacks that in
some instances those who were on guard, fell with their guns in their
hands; and it was only by great exertion that we were able to take care
of the sick and dying. In the morning the camp was divided into small
bands and dispersed among the brethren.

Out of sixty-eight taken by the disease, thirteen died, among whom
was A. S. Gilbert. The rest recovered, for an effectual remedy was
discovered, namely, to dip the patient in cold water, or pour it
copiously upon him. This stopped the cramp, purging and vomiting.
Whenever this remedy was adopted in season it did not fail to cure. We
were indeed sorry to see our brethren who had come so far--one thousand
miles--to our relief thus fall before the hand of the destroyer.

The Summer passed without anything special transpiring. The inhabitants
generally manifested a kind feeling towards the Saints; yet, owing to
the exposure of the previous winter and the hunger and privation, which
the brethren had suffered, many of them were afflicted with fever and

I began to make preparation to go on my appointed mission to Kirtland;
but it seemed as if a struggle had commenced. Both my wife and myself
took the fever and ague, also my aunt, Esther Culver; she was an aged
woman, whose husband had died previous to our exile from Jackson
county, and whom I had taken into my family as she had no child to care
for her.

On the 15th of September, Sally, my wife, died; truly she died a martyr
to the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was of a frail
constitution, and the hardships and privations she had to endure were
more than she could survive. A short time previously she had given
birth to a son, which had also died.

My health continued poor, so that I could do but little work until the
time had arrived for the Elders, who had been called to go to Kirtland,
to start. I made the best arrangements I could for the care of my
little son Samuel and aged aunt; and in company with a number of my
brethren, got on board some canoes, which we had got for the purpose,
and floated down the Missouri river. We traveled on the river by day,
and at night camped on its shore. I was hardly able to walk when I
started on this journey but my strength gradually increased. When we
had got far enough from those who were so bitterly prejudiced against
the gospel, that we could get a hearing, we left our canoes and parted,
traveling two by two preaching the gospel to those who would listen to

I arrived in safety in Kirtland, in the Spring of 1835, and commenced
labor on the temple, where I continued to work until it was finished,
and ready for the endowments.

On the 24th of November I was united in the holy bonds matrimony with
Lydia Goldthwait by the Prophet Joseph, this being the first marriage
ceremony that he ever performed.

I remained in Kirtland until the temple was finished and dedicated.
I then received my anointings, and was also a witness to the great
manifestations of God's power in that sacred edifice.

On Thursday, April 7th, 1836, all things being ready, Lydia and I
started for Clay county. Brother Hyrum Smith let me have his horses to
go to Liverpool, on the Ohio river, where we were intending to take
passage on a steamer for our destination; the roads were very muddy. On
the 9th in the afternoon it rained very hard, and we stopped, before
night, at a sectarian priest's, who treated us with great politeness
until in the evening while we were sitting with the family in the
parlor, in the course of conversation it was mentioned that we were
"Mormons." The family immediately left the room, and the reverend
gentleman politely informed us, that if it had not been raining so very
heavily, he would have at once put us out of the house. As it was we
were introduced into the kitchen, where we spent the night, and early
the next morning I got my horses in readiness, paid my bill, and bade
this sectarian host adieu. We traveled several miles, when we came to
a house, were we got breakfast, and were kindly treated. Soon after
resuming our journey we found ourselves in deep water, for the road was
flooded for a long distance, and it was with difficulty that I could
pick out the way; as I attempted to cross a bridge the logs rolled from
under the horses, and I was barely able to rescue them by detaching
them from the wagon. I then got Lydia on one of the horses and took her
across to dry land, but had to leave the wagon for the night.

The water had abated by the 11th, and we continued our journey to
Liverpool, Ohio, where we were compelled to remain a few days. We
finally arrived in Clay Co. on the 6th of May.



When the Saints were driven from Jackson county, the people of Clay
county kindly permitted us an asylum in their midst and many individual
acts of kindness might be recorded in their favor; but the more
turbulent spirits among them began to stir up anger against us, and the
smouldering embers of persecution began to show signs of blazing forth
again. However, there were many gentlemen who were desirous of peace,
and who tried to sooth and quell the spirit of mobocracy.

During June and July, 1836, meetings were held by our people as well
as by those who desired our removal to some other locality, and it
was finally decided, after due deliberation, that the Saints should
again move. This time the place of refuge chosen was Caldwell Co., and
immediately the exodus began.

My personal affairs were such that I could not move with the majority
of the Saints but was compelled to remain until February, 1838, when
I was able to leave Clay Co. entirely free of debt, and with a little
means on hand. I felt much gratified, however, at being able to greet
the Prophet Joseph, and several other brethren, who arrived in Far West
with their families on the 14th of March following my arrival.

These brethren had come from Kirtland to shelter themselves from the
heavy storm of persecution that had set in upon them there, and which
was started by apostates. The mob had followed them on the road, armed,
and with murder in their hearts. Frequently the brethren had to hide
themselves in their wagons, their pursuers were so close upon them;
and on two or three occasions they were together in the same house.
Once they remained all night in the same building with only a partition
between them, and the oaths and threats of their enemies could be
distinctly heard. Late in the evening these fiends went into the room
where the brethren were and examined them, but although they were very
well acquainted with the brethren, they decided it was not them.

The Saints were not, however, destined to remain long in peace in
Caldwell county. Their enemies who lived in the adjoining counties
could not bear the idea of the "Mormons" becoming prosperous and they
therefore began to arouse public indignation against them. Every unjust
act of which wicked men could conceive was perpetrated against us in
the vain hope that we would retaliate on our opposers, and thereby
afford an excuse for extermination. But we calmly submitted to the
numerous indignities heaped upon us, feeling that it was better to
suffer wrong than to do wrong. Our people made many concessions to the
mob in the hope of pacifying them, but it was useless.

In this instance, as in the Jackson county mobbings, the principal
instigators were priests of various denominations. On the 24th of
October, Captain Bogart, a Methodist priest, marched a company of men
towards Far West with the avowed intention, to use his language, of
giving our city "thunder and lightning" before noon of the next day. On
receipt of this information from Brother Parson, who had watched the
movements of Bogart, and seen him camp on Crooked river, a company of
seventy-five volunteers went out to disperse the mob, and retake three
prisoners, whom the mob had kidnapped from their homes, and to prevent
the descent upon Far West.

On the following morning about daylight sixty of the brethren reached
the ford on the Crooked river, and dismounting their horses left them
in charge of a few brethren, and then went to look for the encampment.
The enemy watched the approach of the brethren, and greeted them with
a round of musketry. As soon as the brethren saw the position of the
enemy Captain David W. Patten ordered a charge, and the two parties
engaged in a hand to hand fight, when the enemy retreated, and while
pursuing them Captain Patten was mortally wounded, two or three of the
brethren were killed, and Bogart must have lost quite a number although
he only reported one.

The report of this battle spread through the country and created
quite an excitement. Rumors were afloat that Bogart's company had
been massacred, and the whole country was in commotion. This was
followed on the 27th by the infamous exterminating order of Governor
Boggs. Before sufficient force could be collected to carry out Gov.
Bogg's instructions, a party of men who had collected from Daviess,
Ray, Livingston, Carroll, and Chariton counties, led by some of the
principal men of those places, made a descent upon Hawn's Mill, where
a company of our brethren and sisters were camped. The enemy numbered
two hundred and forty mounted men. Immediately on riding up they poured
a volley from a hundred guns into our little band who had principally
taken refuge in the blacksmith shop. The massacre became general, and
but few escaped the fury of those inhuman wretches. Boys, eight, nine,
and twelve years old were murdered even while begging for mercy, and a
young lady, while fleeing from the mob, was shot through the hand, and
fell, fainting over a log, into which her would-be murderers lodged
about twenty balls.

The mob now grew bolder and bolder, and committed depredations upon the
settlements in Caldwell and Daviess counties, so that our people had to
flee into Far West from all quarters to save themselves. Many could not
get into houses, and had to take shelter in wagons, tents, and under
bed-clothes, and while in this situation we had a severe snow storm,
which rendered their sufferings intense.

On the 29th, the news reached the city that a large number of troops
had advanced into our county, and committed great depredations. It was
thought advisable to send out a company of about one hundred and fifty
men to ascertain the situation of affairs. On the 30th, these troops
showed themselves before the city, and immediately the brethren flew
to arms, with the determination to defend their wives and children to
the last extremity. The troops withdrew to about a mile from the town
and camped, Those who had been sent out were on the other side of the
troops but came into the city about sundown, in two parties. These
brethren without going to their homes joined the ranks of the brethren,
and assisted to barricade and fortify the town.

A white flag was sent by each party, but judge our surprise, when on
enquiring their designs, our flag-bearer was informed that they wanted
three men out of our city, and then they designed to massacre the rest.

The day following a flag was sent by the enemy, and some of our
brethren went and learned that they were commissioned by the chief
executive, and that their commission authorized them to exterminate the
Mormons _en masse_, and they had three thousand troops to carry these
orders into effect.

Col. Hinkle went out to meet a flag of truce and secretly made
arrangements to deliver up the Church leaders to be tried and punished;
to have the property of the Saints delivered over to pay the expenses
of the expedition and the damage done to them, and arranged that the
Saints should leave the state, and their arms should be delivered up to
the enemy.

In the evening the first step in this base treachery was taken. Col.
Hinkle represented to Brother Joseph and others that the officers of
the militia desired an interview in the hope that the matter might be
settled without carrying out the exterminating order. They complied
with the request, and were delivered up to the mob by Hinkle, and
claimed as prisoners of war. They were put into a small hollow square,
and strongly guarded; and the enemy set up a most horrid yell, and
continued it for hours; the noise was past description, and had there
been ten thousand wolves yelling for their prey it would not have been

On the morning of November 1st, Hinkle took another step to carry out
his nefarious designs. The bugle sounded for the brethren to assemble,
armed and equipped. Every man went out well armed and was paraded and
delivered over to the enemy. The brethren were surrounded and required
to surrender their arms, and were then guarded all day while the
rapacious soldiery went from house to house, plundering, pillaging,
and destroying, and even driving many helpless women and children
from their homes, and committing deeds even worse than these in some

A court martial was held by the officers and priests, and without being
heard in their own defense, the brethren were sentenced to be shot on
Friday morning on the public square in Far West, in the presence of
their wives and families. At this imprecedented action General Doniphan
objected, saying he would have nothing to do with such cold-blooded
actions, and he would draw off his brigade from the army. This probably
saved the lives of the prisoners, as the sentence was changed and the
prisoners were taken to Independence, Jackson county.

The designs of the enemy were, without doubt, to destroy the brethren
when they arrived there, but the Lord did not suffer it, for their work
was not yet finished. They were thrust into prison and held until a
demand was made by General Clark to have them forwarded to Richmond,
where they underwent a mock trial and were remanded to Liberty jail to
await a further investigation.

On November 6th, General Clark paraded the brethren at Far West and
delivered a most insulting speech, requiring the fulfillment of Col.
Hinkle's stipulations in full, and telling us to get out of the state
as quickly as possible; also that we need not look to see our prophet
or his brethren any more who were in the hands of the militia, "for,"
said he, "their fate is fixed, their die is cast, their doom is sealed."

Although our arms had been taken from us and treaties made that we
should remain in peace until the Spring, yet small parties of armed
men, were continually making incursions into Caldwell county, insulting
our women, driving off our stock, and plundering wherever they could
get a chance. Even life was not held sacred, and Brothers Tanner and
Carey were grossly misused while prisoners, the latter having his
brains dashed out with a gun.

Our persecutions did not abate in the least and it seemed as though all
hell was aroused to do us injury. The brethren confined in Liberty jail
after being subjected to the most terrible indignities during their six
month's imprisonment, finally succeeded in making their escape and soon
joined the body of the Saints.



Again I prepared to leave my home and with my family gather to
Commerce, which was the place that had been chosen for the future
location of the Saints. Some few families had already gone there and a
nucleus of a "Mormon" town had been formed.

I soon selected a piece of ground and commenced to build a home for
myself, but before many days had passed I was advised by Brother Joseph
to assist in the erection of a flouring mill, so that the Saints might
thereby be benefited. I therefore ceased my own operations and began
the new labor to which I had been assigned. From that time until I left
Nauvoo with the Saints to find a home in the barren wilds of Western
America, I was engaged more or less in the building and working of
grist and saw mills for the benefit of the Saints. Sometimes I was
without the necessaries of life, being bereft of the food and clothing
which my family needed; sometimes I was surrounded by not only the
necessaries but also the comforts of life; sometimes I rejoiced in the
society of my friends, and sometimes enemies surrounded me, seeking my
destruction because of my religion. But in the midst of these varied
circumstances I never felt to doubt the truth of the gospel or the
divinity of Joseph Smith's mission.

The persecutions of the Saints in Missouri soon began to be re-enacted
in Illinois, where large numbers of our people had settled and built
up the beautiful city of Nauvoo. Our enemies of the former place would
not allow us to enjoy peace in the latter, but did everything in their
power to arouse public indignation against us. Men who professed to be
members of the Church also turned away from the truth and sought to
injure the work. Notable among this latter class was John C. Bennett.
He came to Nauvoo and joined the Church; with considerable ostentation
he brought himself before the people, and seemed to enter into the
work with a whole-heartedness which was quite commendable. He was
instrumental in obtaining the charter for Nauvoo, the legion and the
university; was elected mayor of the city, major general of the legion,
and chancelor of the university. He defended the Prophet Joseph by
writing over the _non de plume_ of "Joab, general in Israel," and was
altogether a popular man, and run a rapid race. But he was only an
adventurer, and his deeds of evil were eventually brought to light; for
no sooner had he attained to these responsible positions than he sought
to use the influence they gave him to accomplish his evil designs,
and gave himself up to practices, not only diabolical in themselves
but ruinous to the souls of those he entrapped. Thus he brought great
scandal upon the Church, by seeking to destroy the innocent and
virtuous; and when his acts were questioned by his intended victims
he asserted that Joseph taught and sanctioned such doings. If his own
assertions were not sufficient then he called on some of his tools--men
he had in league with him--to bear testimony to his base lies. In this
manner his deeds were brought to light, and then he used all his power
to injure those whom he had before defended, and sought to bring about
a renewal of the persecutions.

Through the instrumentality of persons of this class, the sufferings
of the Saints were renewed. Many of the brethren were kidnapped from
their homes and were abused in a most shameful manner, while others
suffered imprisonment on trumped up charges that could not be sustained
in court. One day the arrest of an apostate--Augustine Spencer--for
an assault on his brother, Orson, was attempted in the neighborhood
of Brother Joseph's home. Some trouble ensued and in the same Charles
Foster attempted to shoot the prophet, who was near at hand. Both he
and Higbee said they would consider themselves the favored of God if
they could but kill "Joe Smith." Thus was our leader in constant danger
for the sake of his religion, and from this time until his death, the
horrors of which are known to all, on the 27th of June, 1844, his
life was one continued scene of trial, hardship and persecution. His
followers found no rest from their oppressors; they had no rights,
according to popular judgment, that should be respected, and after we
had agreed to leave Nauvoo and go to the Rocky Mountains, the mob would
not leave us unmolested so that we could arrange our business. One man
by the name of Bostwick came to the city to warn Amos Davis and others
living there, but who did not belong to us, to move their stores out
of the place if they wanted to save them, "for," said he, "this city
shall be laid in ashes; and Brigham Young shall be taken if I have to
go to hell to raise troops enough to take him." In this affair the Lord
overruled in behalf of His people, for as this wicked man was returning
to Madison he fell through the ice and was drowned; and as he was the
leading man among our enemies around Madison it put an end to their

The troops of Carthage, with the United States marshall at their head,
were almost constantly in our city, with warrants for the apprehension
of the twelve and others of the brethren. These warrants had been
sworn out under false pretention, being nothing else but malicious and
vexatious proceedings. But in vain did they search, for the Lord was
our shield and our protector.

At one time these men attempted to search the temple, but the glory of
God was there, and came upon them insomuch that they were glad to get
out again.

Surrounded by such circumstances the Saints were glad to flee from
their homes, feeling that it was much better to be at the mercy of the
elements than that of a ruthless mob. Those therefore, who were able
soon fitted themselves out and started to traverse the barren prairies
in the west. I was blessed of the Lord insomuch that I was among the
first to leave Illinois in search of another home.

We had, however, scarcely got beyond the reach of our enemies before
an improper spirit began to manifest itself among the Saints caused
by the actions of Wm. Miller who was a bishop in the Church. His
conduct finally became so improper that he was called up before the
high council and was censured for his unrighteous deeds, but this had
scarcely any effect upon him, and he did not heed the counsels of his
brethren at all. He finally returned to the companies that were behind
us. He shortly afterwards apostatized.

We were, at this time, in a country which was claimed by the Indians,
and where law and restraints were unknown. It was therefore necessary
for us to use the utmost caution, so as not to enrage the owners of
the soil. The Pawnees, Poneas, Sioux and other Indian tribes permitted
us to pass through the country almost unmolested. We sought their
friendship and they gave it, and many friendly meetings were held with
our Lamanite brethren.

Brother Knight's journal ends here, his wife, Lydia, adding the

"On Monday morning, January 4th, 1847, Brother Knight, whose health had
been failing for some time, did not arise as usual, and, on my going to
him, he said, 'Lydia, I believe I shall go to rest this winter.' The
next night he awoke with a severe pain in his right side, a fever had
also set in, and he expressed himself to me that he did not expect to
recover. From this time until the 10th of the month, the Elders came
frequently and prayed for my husband. After each administration he
would rally and be at case for a short time and then relapse again into
suffering. I felt at last as if I could not endure his sufferings any
longer, and that I ought not to hold him here. I knelt by his bed side,
and with my hand upon his pale forehead asked my Heavenly Father to
forgive my sins, and that the sufferings of my companion might cease,
and if he was appointed unto death, and could not remain with us, that
he might be quickly eased from pain and fall asleep in peace. Almost
immediately all pain left him, and in a short time he sweetly fell
asleep in death, without a struggle or a groan, at half past six on
the morning of the 11th of January, 1847. His remains were interred at
sun-set on the evening of the day he died.

"It was the 3rd of October, 1850, before I had the privilege of
entering the valley, but my joy in arriving here has been unbounded."

Transcriber's Note

Some apparent errors in punctuation (e.g. missing quotation marks) have
been corrected as seemed appropriate.

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