Lu B. Cake
Old Manuscript Found:
Peepstone Joe Exposed...
(NYC: self-published, 1899)
[ 5 ]
Elder Orson Pratt, the ablest thinker, writer and champion of the Mormons, published to the world the following appalling dilemma:
"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that, if true, none can be saved and reject it; and, if false, none can be saved and receive it."
This challenges investigation. It necessitates finding the truth, or falsity of Mormonism. They force the issue with this awful alternative. Let us put it to the proof. Abuse of the ism is not argument. Tirades against this people of marvellous industry, do not settle the case. I admire the energy, devotion, self-sacrifice that have made "the desert blossom as the rose." I have Mormon friends who are very excellent people. The hosts of good Mormons have my fraternal regard. Not Mormons but Mormonism, is put on trial. It publishes and flouts in my face a challenge of salvation, or damnation, to my soul. The Latter Day Saints are mistaken, or I and other Gentiles are damned. Who is wrong? They claim Joseph Smith is a later Prophet with a new, better Bible, and from God; I believe that Joe is from the Devil and his
book a flimsy fake. Who is right? The Truth without bias, or prejudice, is just as important to my Mormon brethren as it is to me. Mormons are all "lost if the book is false;" the rest of the world "lost if that book is true" This is Mormonism's affirmative proposition and the burden of proof is on them to sustain it. Let us examine the evidence they offer. Let us cross-examine the only witness they produce -- Joseph Smith. Mark it well -- the only witness Mormonism has to prove its case is the witness, Joseph Smith! Let us see if their witness gives testimony good enough to change the theology of the world. Let us see if their one witness gives the credible proof that the Mormon Bible is a later, better revelation from God. The world had a Bible centuries old when the Book of Mormon was published. The Mormon evidence must prove a better Bible, in order to displace the old Bible, loved and revered by the world.
Who is this extraordinary witness by whose mouth God will save or damn us all? Joe Smith! Whose revelation is this that is better than that of Moses and the Prophets? Joe Smith's! Who is this whose utterance outweighs the voice of the Twelve Apostles? Joe Smith! Whose word is offered as better than the Word made flesh that dwelt among us? Joe Smith's!
The whole case stands or falls with Joe Smith. The so-called inspired utterances of Brigham Young, and all the Mormon Prophets and Apostles from Joe Smith until now, depend upon whether
the Book of Mormon is a fact or a fake. If the book is a fake, the divine claim of Brigham and his Apostles are fakes! If the book is a fake the whole system falls to the ground, Prophets and pretended up-to-date revelations. These have nothing to do with the case. The Book is the whole case, and Joe Smith the one and only witness to the book.
That Mormonism has deluded people for three score years counts for nothing. The whole thing is of such recent birth that people are now living who saw Joe Smith, and can testify to his character, and to his reputation for truth and veracity. Yea, and we have the depositions of his family, friends, and neighbors, taken at the time that he was foisting himself and his book upon the world. The number of the deluded, nor the years of their delusion have anything to do with the case.
That so the many sin!
No vice becomes a virtue,
Because it long hath been!
To call Hades religion,
Then preach it, practice well,
A Harem for a Heaven,
Don't make it less a Hell!
Peck, who witnessed and recorded at the time the secrets of Mormonism, the treasonable utterances, the criminal conduct, the crimes committed, by Joe Smith himself, and his band of deluded followers. Yes, Reed Peck, who was an officer of the Danite band, who delivered Joe Smith over to the State troops just in time to avert a bloody battle! Reed Peck, whom Joe called the "Mormon Judas." Would not a history written by our Judas, written at the time when he was with the man of Galilee, be interesting? Well, in this book I give you the history so written by the Mormon Judas, but the facts show that this man saved instead of betrayed his master.
Now let us, Mormons and "Gentiles," see if Mormonism proves its case by a preponderance of evidence; if not, it is that anti-Christ the Gospel of Galilee foretold should be in the last age of the world.
Then let us read what Joe Smith's contemporaries say, and the Manuscript Found, and thank God that we are all safe so far as the Book of Mormon is concerned; for it is a fraud so clumsily perpetrated that it stands self-convicted, and "the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein."
[ 9 ]
Joseph Smith, Jun. (Mormon Prophet to be), was born at Sharon, Vermont, December 23d, 1805. Ten years after, April, 1815, his father and the family moved to Palmyra, N. Y. Seventy reputable men who knew, stated under oath that this Smith family was ignorant; that the males were drunkards, blasphemers, liars, thieves; who put in their time digging for hidden treasures of the Captain Kidd kind, and defrauding their neighbors. Reputable citizens aver under oath that these Smiths were a low, wicked household and Joe the worst of the lot. These facts are so conclusively proven that Mormonism has to admit them and claim that Joe repented, was converted. In the foregoing pages I said that Joe was of the Devil, and here is the proof -- Joe was the worst of the lot. Mormonism must prove Joe's reformation, regeneration; but "by their fruits ye shall know them," and Joe's subsequent career makes such proof impossible. His life from Peepstone to Polygamy is confirmation that if you train up a child in the way he should not go, when he is old he will not depart from it.
As a New York school boy in his "teens" history and sworn testimony show us Joe with what he
called "peep stones," which he held in his hat, his hat over his face, pretending to see things in the stones, tell fortunes, discover hidden treasure, etc. This is important, for it proves the superstitious, tricky character of the boy who is soon claiming to see Heavenly things, and to be able to make divine revelations.
Religious revivals broke out over that part of New York. When the excitement was intense, men and women "had the power," fell in a trance, and under the influence of the spell told of Heavenly visions, made revelations, etc, etc. From "Peepstone" revealing of hidden treasure, to Heavenly revelations by "having the power" was right in Joe's line. He saw how he could improve his specialty - - he would do his "peepstone" tricks on a grander scale, under the cloak of religion, instead of in his hat.
Accordingly, in April, 1820, when Joe was fifteen years old, he had a vision, and said God the Father and Jesus Christ came to him, told him his sins were forgiven, that all the denominations were wrong and that he was chosen to re-introduce Gospel and Kingdom.
But September 21, 1823, Joe got drunk, swore, lied and swindled, contrary to revelation. Train up a child in the way he should not go and when he is eighteen years old like Joe Smith, he will not depart from it. Yet Joe claims that while in bed drunk, this September 21st, an angel came to him, told him the history of the ancient inhabitants
of America was engraven on gold plates and hidden in a hill between Manchester and Palmyra, in Western New York. Whether it was angel, or alcohol, that gave Joe inspiration, is the question; for although drunk on September 21st, yet on September 22d he claims that he found the plates in the place to which he was directed. Devils and angels strove there, but we are not told which side Joe took; however, the Devil beat a retreat.
Yet Joe Smith is the only witness, as I stated in foregoing pages.
January 18, 1827, Joseph Smith married Emma Hale. Mrs. Martha Carpenter, who saw the wedding party go by, is now living at Addison, N. Y. The house in which he was married now stands on the Fair Grounds at Afton, N. Y. And here is a strange providence! In this rural neighborhood where Joe went to school some, where he graduated in peepstone imposture, where he dug for, but did not find his plates, where he was tried for crime, where he was married, where he baptised the first Mormon convert, where he tried to imitate Christ by walking on the water and got ducked in the trick -- here lived and died Reed Peck, and here was the Peck "Manuscript Found." The fake revelations of Peepstone Joe, and the unmasking revelations of honest Reed Peck, God places here side by side! "The first shall be last and the last shall be first."
September 22, 1827, eight months after his wedding, Joe pretends he received the plates from the
Angel Maroni. The responsibilities of wedded life made business urgent, so the plates Joe pretends to have left in the hill for four years after discovery (1823 to 1827) Joe claims to dig up eight months after marriage.
Why leave them there four years? Peepstone Joe, the impecunious; Joe the juggler and digger for gold; this Joe claims he found gold, gold plates 7x8 inches, and, altogether, six inches thick; yet this "dead broke" Joe left them in the hill near the public highway! Left them for some one else to get drunk and discover! Joe four years in poverty and a fortune in the hill!
Yes, but Mormonism claims that Joe was obeying revelation!
Well, Joe got drunk after revelation and discovered the plates before he had hardly time to get sober; if gold plates were really there Joe would have had another drink that would have snatched them up before anyone else got a chance at them.
It was in this vicinity that Joe declared no one could lay impious hands on his divine person. Joe strode into the yard of James Aplington; the family looked out and saw their son, Nathan, a bold lover of truth, wallowing His Holiness in the dirt! They pulled off the gigantic and courageous Nathan, and asked the trouble. He answered, "This Prophet has said no one dare lay hands on him! I have proved that he lies."
Here I copy from the history and records of this same town of Afton, N. Y., Joe's water-walking
trick, and his trial for a criminal offense. It is Joe's history, not controversial statement --just cold, solemn facts -- that is, if the "yellow dog" devil is a solemnity. Afton people can tell you about it; John Chamberlain, the son of the magistrate that tried Joe lives there now. The river is there Joe tried to walk; the river that hid from Joe the fact that the board he placed under the water to walk on was misplaced; the river that swallowed Joe as the sea overwhelmed Pharaoh, and prevented the spectators swallowing the blasphemous trick. The river is one of God's honest creations, and Joe could not bribe it to act dishonestly to aid him, as he did Martin Harris, Whitmer and Cowdery in the Gold Bible trick. The river is rippling and chuckling with laughter over Joe's spectacular ducking, and so are the people, unto this day.
[From History of Chenango County, N. Y.]
"Joe Smith, the founder of Mormonism, operated quite extensively in this town [Afton, N. Y.] and vicinity during the early years of his career as a prophet. The reputation of the family was very bad and Joe was considered the worst of the whole. Somewhere about 1828 or 1829 Smith made his appearance in Afton and attended school in District No. 9. Here his supernatural powers manifested themselves by telling fortunes or "foretelling futurity." This was done by placing a stone in his hat and then looking into it drawn over his face so as to exclude the light. He first organized a society at
the house of Joe Knight, on the south side of the river, near the Lobdell House, in Broome County. Excavations were made in various places for treasures, and rocks containing iron pyrites were drilled for gold. Previous to digging in any place a sheep was killed and the blood sprinkled upon the spot. Lot 62 was the seat of one of these mining operations.
a Justice of the Peace. Two pettifoggers, by the name of John S. Reed and James Davidson, volunteered to defend him. Three witnesses were examined on the occasion, all of whom testified that they had seen him cast out devils. They saw 'a devil as large as a woodchuck leave the man and run across the floor;' one of them saw a devil leave the man and 'run off like a yellow dog.' These witnesses were Mr. Knight and son, and Mr. Stowell, all of whom subsequently went west with Smith.
explained the miracle of the Bible and informed the Mormons that they must keep away from his house as he would no longer listen to their impositions. About 1831 most of them went west where the saints had been commanded to assemble."Photograph these scenes in memory for they are the cradle pictures of Mormonism. The lying blaspheming, swindling, etc., of the Smiths are the lullabies of Mormonism. The drunken debauches, the peepstone tricks, the criminal trials, the unhallowed mockeries and blasphemous impostures, are nursery tales of Mormonism! This is how it was born and cradled! They are the birth records and birth-marks of Mormonism! Did it ever outgrow them?
You see the Devil making the Mormon Prophet, Joe Smith, and what he was made of! Did he ever outgrow it?
Here is the Satanic stuff he was created from, and here stands Joe Smith, resurrected by his neighbors and his own family, all sworn to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Is this debauched trickster a prophet of God? Yet this is the one, the sole and only one who made the book by which God will save, or damn the world!
But these are only the nursery tales; wait till you hear the monstrous "realism" of this Satanic romance when it reaches the adult climax
[ 17 ]
September 21, 1823, Joe is drunk. He claims God sent an angel to him that day, while he was in bed, and the angel makes revelations about the plates.
Next morning, September 22d, he goes to the hill of Cumorah, finds the stone box, looks at the gold plates, sees the angel, has a struggle with imps of the air, gets more revelation, covers up the box and lets the salvation of the world take a four-year vacation.
After the vacation, in 1827, when Joe was twenty-two, he goes, on the morning of September 22, alone, too, and he again tackles the stone box and the powers of darkness he fought before. Joe is not afraid -- of his own story. What did Joe find?
The Book of Mormon, third European edition, mentions the following as the find: Plates of Laban; brass plates of Lehi; brass plates of Lehi abridged by Nephi; brass plates of Nephi historical; brass plates of Nephi ministerial; ore plates of Nephi; plates of Zarahemla; plates of Mormon; plates with records of Jacob-Benjamin; plates with record of Zeniff; plates of Ether; plates of Alma; plates of Jared's voyage; copies of Sons of Mosiah's studies; records kept by the North emigrants;
twelve epistles of prophets; the "Compass of Lehi;" the sword of Laban; stone of Coriantumr; sixteen stones "God touched with his finger;" two stone interpreters of Mosiah; two stone interpreters of Jared's brother; white stone of Gazelem; a brass breast-plate; Mormon's abridgement of the whole history; and Maroni's plates, which (Maroni's) Joe pretended to translate to make the Book of Mormon.
But remember that no one went to the box but Joe, no one saw it but Joe; that the whole find, and whole list, is only Joe's liar developing as he grows from peepstones to plates. Joe has played the part of fakir so long that he knows how. He could have filled the hill as easily as he did the box, since the list was created by his truthless imagination.
Let others state his sleight-of-hand performances with facts.
November 3, 1833, eleven citizens of Manchester, N. Y., made the following affidavit: "We, the undersigned, being personally acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, Sen., with whom the Gold Bible, so-called, originated, state, that they are not only a lazy, indolent set of men, but also intemperate, and their word not to be depended on."
December 4, 1833, fifty-one other respectable neighbors of Joe's signed and swore to the following:
"We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family for a number of years while they resided near this place, and have no hesitation in saying that we consider them destitute of that moral character which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community. They were particularly famous for visionary projects; spent much of their time in digging for money which they pretended was hid in the earth. Joseph Smith, Sen., and his son Joseph in particular, were considered entirely destitute of moral character and addicted to vicious habits.
Levi Lewis: "Know Smith to be a liar. Saw him intoxicated at three different times while pretending to translate the Book of Mormon."
[ 28 ]
Now comes Mormonism with another voucher signed by eight witnesses. Here it is:
Here is the suicidal act of Mormonism -- it commits hari-kari with its own pen. The making of
this voucher amounts to a written confession of the failure of the voucher with three witnesses. Joe writes the Book of Mormon and makes it say, "there shall be three witnesses," so Joe fixes three, and they sign. Joe gets afraid of the three dupes, and fixes eight more -- easily understood from a human standpoint. But if, as pretended, this book that said "there shall be three witnesses" is the word of the unchangeable God, there is no place, no use for eight more after the three divinely appointed are found. It is imposture suiciding with its own pen!
Yet, to strengthen the Book of Mormon on this point, Smith gets a revelation March, 1829 (see Doc. and Cov., page 172), making God say this: "I will give unto these three witnesses power that they may behold these things as they are, and to none else will I give this power to receive this same testimony among this generation." Now, in flat contradiction of this Divine revelation, Joe has eight more witnesses in 1830, when in 1829 Divinity commanded, "none else in this generation" -- thirty-three years! Is this "God who cannot lie" or Joe Smith who does? This burns in the brand of imposture. The making of this second voucher is Joe's written denial of Divine authority in the Book of Mormon; for he gets eleven witnesses when the book says "There shall be three witnesses;" and it is a written confession that the pretended revelation of March, 1829, is imposture, for he gets eight more witnesses the next year, when the revelation commanded only the three and the three only in this
generation. These are the plates so sacred God buried them 1,427 years, Joe claims. So sacred he must take no one with him when he goes for them (very convenient arrangement); so sacred he must out-fight and out-run two ruffians without uncovering them; so sacred that he must translate them behind a blanket, his eyes covered with two stones and the plates nowhere seen, but hid; so sacred only an angel may show them to Joe, and an angel must come from Heaven to show them to the three witnesses; so sacred that all persons in that generation except the three witnesses were forbidden by God to see them -- yet here is Joe showing them to eight men that freely handled and "hefted" them! What an insult to common sense! What an outrage on decency! What Satanic juggling with things holy! Why should we believe a book the man that made it openly disregards and disobeys? Why should we accept revelations the man that made them flagrantly ignores?
Pretending that the plates were "hefted" by, and getting the signatures of the eight witnesses, was the suicidal act of Mormonism.
But look at the affidavit itself! Collusion is shown in the very names -- four Whitmers, three Smiths! Smiths! Joe's father, Joe's brothers, impeached by scores of reputable persons mentioned in foregoing pages. No need to waste time on the Whitmers and Page; the fact that they are found intimate and colluding with the Smiths settles all questions as to their character. The paper
is without date, place, oath and official seal, and is worthless as evidence.
Compare it with the other paper and you see that Joe wrote both. Each has the same beginnings, each introduces the phrase "of which hath been spoken." In each case Joe wrote what he wanted signed, and these fellow- and family-accomplices, without conscience, obligingly signed.
Prior to this, Joe said: "When the plates were translated they were given back to the angel." The fifth and sixth lines of the paper signed by the eight read: "as many of the leaves as said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands." How could they handle what had been given back to the angel?
How did they know plates were translated except Joe's word for it? In this, as in all the rest, Joe is the fakir and the eight his jumping-jacks.
Now mark it, five of these eight witnesses apostatized; only three, counting impeached Smith family as witnesses, could die with this fraud on the conscience -- if they had consciences. Of eleven witnesses, eight apostatize! Hiram Smith shot too soon to apostatize, he does not count, and Samuel L. Smith did apostatize. Call it o.
What motive had these eleven witnesses for signing the two papers? Such conscienceless scamps didn't need any motive; but there was the chance to do wrong, all-sufficient motive for them.
Furthermore, Joe had a revelation commanding them, that he could club their superstition with.
Page 189, Doc and Cov., Joe makes God say: "You shall testify you have seen them even as my servant Joseph saw them."
This very instructive revelation everlastingly clinches what I have shown all along, that Joe is the one, the only witness for the Mormon case. All witnesses must testify they "have seen even as my servant Joseph has seen," no other way. This is the one Mormon revelation literally and willingly obeyed. None of the witnesses ever saw any plates; they merely testified to seeing as Joseph saw. To show them the plates would be superfluous, for what Joseph had seen was to be their testimony. To show them plates and let them state the way they saw things was impossible, because, first, there were no plates; second, it jeopardized the imposture with chance of contradiction; third, the plates had been given back to the angel and were far beyond the reach of such rogues. Hence, this convenient revelation, after which Joe wrote what purported to be "as my servant Joseph has seen them"; this they signed, thus testifying they saw as Joseph saw them. There is nothing like spontaneous revelation as a tool for rascality. Do you really want the motive of these conspirators for the damnation of souls? Well, money! Joe had been peepstoning and digging for it from boyhood; indeed, the whole Smith family, so their neighbors swear in foregoing pages. Now read the following.
November 28, 1833, Abigail Harris, sister of witness Martin Harris, testified:
"In the early part of the winter in 1828 I made a visit to Martin Harris, and was joined in company by Joseph Smith, Sen., and his wife. The Gold Bible business, so-called, was the topic of conversation, to which I paid particular attention, that I might learn the truth of the whole matter. They told me that the report that Joseph Smith, Jun., had found the Golden Plates was true, and that he was in Harmony, Pa., translating them. The old lady said, also, that after the Book was translated, the plates were to be publicly exhibited -- admittance, twenty-five cents. She calculated it would bring in annually an enormous sum of money -- that money would then be very plenty, and the Book would sell for a great price, as it was something entirely new; that they had been commanded to obtain all the money they could borrow, and repay with gold. The remainder was to be kept in store for the benefit of their family and children. The old lady took me into another room, and, after closing the door, she said, 'Have you four or five dollars in money that you can lend until our business is brought to a close? The Spirit says you shall receive four-fold!' I told her when I gave I did not expect to receive it again, and as for money, I had none to lend. In the second month following, Martin Harris and Lucy Harris, his wife, were at my house. In conversation about the Mormonites, she observed that she wished her husband would quit them, as she believed it all false and a delusion. To which I heard Mr. Harris reply: 'What if it is a lie; if you
will let me alone I will make money out of it!" I was both an eye- and ear-witness of what has been above stated, which is now fresh in my memory, and I speak the truth and lie not, God being my witness." Abigail Harris was a member of the Society of Friends, and universally respected.
Joseph Capron testified:
In the affidavit of Lucy Harris, the wife of witness Martin Harris, find this:
of the Smiths, as their religion was false. To this he replied, 'If you would let me alone, I could make money out of it.' It is in vain for the Mormons to deny these facts, as they are well known to most of his former neighbors.There you have it in language too plain to need comment. The motive of all concerned was "making money." Joe Smith did make money. He was in peepstone poverty in 1827, and a banker in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1831. He made thousands of dollars selling to his Saints the town lots of the tract of land Dr. Isaac Galland gave him to found the Mormon city of Nauvoo. The lowly Saints were deluded, but imposture Joe and the leaders were in it for business. The people wanted heaven; Joe wanted cash and a harem.
[ 36 ]
Mormonism tries to save itself with the point that Martin Harris took a copy of some of the characters of the plates to Professor Anthon. They have boldly published that Professor Authon decided the characters shown were Reformed Egyptian, same as Joe claimed for his plates. (The Book of Mormon, page 530, contradicts Joe on this point -- not Egyptian, but Confounded.)
Now we have only Joe's word that he copied the paper sent Anthon, from plates, and Joe's word is presumptive evidence that he did not, if he said he did. He could have copied them from a book or books.
But the following letter from Professor Anthon exposes the Mormon deception. Mormonism was using the Authon falsehood to make converts in Ohio in 1834. E. D. Howe of Painesville, O., wrote Professor Anthon and the following is the answer received:
The Anthon Letter.
false. Some years ago a plain, apparently simplehearted, farmer came to me with a note from Dr. Mitchell of our city, now dead, requesting of me to decipher, if possible, a paper which the farmer would hand me. Upon examining the paper in question I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. When I asked the person who brought it how he obtained the writing, he gave me the following account: A 'gold book' consisting of a number of plates fastened together by wires of the same material had been dug up in the northern part of the State of New York, and along with it an enormous pair of 'spectacles!' These spectacles were so large that if any person attempted to look through them his two eyes would look through one glass only; the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the human face. 'Whoever,' he said, 'examined the plates through the glasses was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning.' All this knowledge, however, was confined to a young man [Joe] who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain in a garret, in a farm house, and being thus concealed from view, he put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather looked through one of the glasses, deciphered the characters in the book, and having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain to those outside. Not a word was said about their having been deciphered by the gift of God, Everything in this way was effected by
the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added that he had been asked to contribute a sum of money toward the publication of the 'golden book,' the contents of which would, as he was told, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. * * * No translation had at that time been made by the man with the spectacles. * * * He requested an opinion of me in writing, which of course I declined to give.
Mormonism has deceived many with the Anthon argument, by concealing the above denial. The letter is interesting, not only for the squelching of the Mormon deception, but also for a disinterested, early view of Mormonism. The farmer was Martin Harris, afterward one the three witnesses. It shows Joe behind a curtain in a garret working his improved peepstone trick, handing out samples of imposture to gaping ignoramuses outside. Joe the sole and only witness first, last and all the time. At this early stage of the hoax Joe was deciphering, not by the gift of God, but "everything in this way was effected by the large pair of spectacles," Harris told Anthon -- (the old, peepstone Joe). Another good line of the letter is "contents of which would, as he was told," etc. Harris knew nothing, no one knew anything about the plates, except "as he was told" and told by Joe. From that garret to his grave, Joe Smith carried on his imposture in this way. Joe is the sole and only witness; others know what they are told by Joe. "All this knowledge, however, was confined to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession," Harris told Anthon. So it began, so continues.
[ 40 ]
Joe Smith's father-in-law, Isaac Hale, makes this affidavit:
This affidavit contains two important facts; first, that in 1825 Joe was with a regular gang of humbuggers, "his occupation seeing and pretending to see," when he claims to have been visited by God,
forgiven, converted, and to have seen the plates in 1823! Joe practicing imposture two years after regeneration! The second fact disclosed by Hale is how Joe translated his plates; for some of the translating was done at Isaac Hale's house, till, satisfied it was all a swindle, Hale drove them off. I stated in the outset of this investigation, that from "peepstone to plates" was right in Joe's line, a natural transition. Hale's affidavit proves it conclusively -- peepstone in his hat when a boy at school; peepstone in his hat and hat over his face, when a man, over his fake plates. Picture Joe in the farmhouse garret as described by Professor Anthon; or behind the blanket in other sanctum sanctorums, as told by Hale, his consecrated person hidden, his inspired countenance buried in his hat, which, a holely [sic] halo, is a tag-mark of a Prophet; or occasionally peepstoneing through the giant goggles, the sacred plates he pretends to be translating nowhere to be seen; Martin Harris, the Aaron of this Moses, squatting in superstitious awe outside the horse blanket that is hung as temple veil to this garret holy of holies; the weird silence of imposture, and money-digger mystery enshrouding all; nothing but the squeak of an irreverent garret mouse breaking and intensifying the divine solemnity; the garret clothes-line on either side spreading the washing like the wings of the Cherubim; the odor of onions and garret-dried herbs for incense; the peepstone priest dreaming the nightmare on which the world is to ride to
glory, or to the torrid summer resort of the Gentiles; Martin Harris, with sanctified ears and divinely-appointed hands, hearing and writing down the nightmare like a recording angel, and mentally figuring on the money there is in it; then a tableau of "driving the money changers out of the temple, "as Hale righteously throws them both outdoors; tableau of "Rebuilding the Temple," as they tack up the horse blanket in a new loft; one year, two years, the nightmare of eternal life is strained through the horse-blanket, the world going to Purgatory for want of a faster filter. This is the origin of Mormonism.
Suppose we admit the enactment of these farcical translation scenes; do they strengthen the Mormon case? Nay, they destroy it. As the horoscope of time throws the moving panorama of translation before the world, the pretended divine revelation becomes a country farce with Joe and his understudies star buffoons. No rational person can take them seriously, for the ridiculous antics of knaves and dupes are too grotesque for anything but laughter -- till one considers that it is done in the name of religion, blushes that the actors were men and grieves to think of the sin it has wrought!
Strengthen the Mormon case? They should hush the words plates and translation in their traditions, and erase them from their history!
Here is one incident of the translation farce all-sufficient for sample: Professor Anthon told Martin Harris the whole thing was a hoax, so when
Harris returned he demanded to see the plates for himself. Joe has a spontaneous revelation to meet the case, and makes God say (Doc. and Cov., page 171): "Behold, if they will not believe my words [as Joe reveals] they would not believe you, even though it were possible for you to show them all these things I have committed unto you [Joe]. Oh, this unbelieving generation, mine anger is kindled against them!"
See this impostor base enough to lie in the name of Deity to carry on his fraud! Harris wilts, but makes a cunning test. He steals 118 pages of the manuscript translation to compel Joe to re-translate the plates while Harris records again; then by comparing the new 118 pages with his stolen 118 pages, Harris could tell whether just the same, as divine revelations must be: or, if they varied, proving the work Joe's. Did Harris catch the foxey Joe? No, sir; for Joe had a sudden paroxysm of spontaneous revelation commanding him not to translate the 118 pages again, but to wait for a fuller translation next book! Then Joe got rid of Harris and made Cowdery scribe, dodging the exposure. The 118 pages of what Orson Pratt calls sure salvation, or damnation, for the world, were never reproduced, so the pretended divine machinery jumped a cog; the Mormon salvation dragnet has a hole in it big enough to lose Gentiles and Saints. How Gentiles can be damned, as Pratt says, or fairly judged, when there are 118 pages of the book of instructions gone, is
the perplexing question. We have never refused to believe the Book of Mormon, for the book has never been given to the world, but merely a part of it; a mutilated something that lacks 118 pages! "The law of God is perfect, converting the soul." This is not God's law when lacking 118 pages, for it is not perfect, hence does not convert.
It did not convert Joe, as his life shows, and his dying words, "If there is any God?" The world has a right to conclude that if the 118 pages were not worth re-producing, the remainder of the book was not worth producing. Joe lets 118 pages crash into oblivion as if divine revelations were as plentiful as peanuts; and less valuable. Why should we reverence these pages left of the Book of Mormon when Joe treated those with contempt? Joe promised a fuller translation, but never fulfilled it, for he could not. The book is a serial of history in consecutive order, so that 118 pages of 800 B.C. would not fit in as 118 pages of 100 B.C. Joe both dodged and prevaricated. He couldn't give a fuller translation afterwards -- unless in this way: Levi Lewis testifies that he saw Joe drunk three times when translating the Book of Mormon. Now, at one of these times, Joe might have made a "fuller" translation.
The truth is, Joe never had any plates, never made any translation, as the foregoing disclosures conclusively prove, and yet the burden of proof is on Mormonism. I prove the negative out of sympathy for Mormonism; for there were no plates,
so Mormonism had to overcome that kind of a negative in order to prove there were plates. Their negative of no plates was so much harder than my negative that I proved mine to make it enjoyable for them. No one with Joe in 1823, when he discovered the plates; alone when, in 1827, he got the plates; alone behind the blanket in translating the plates, and the plates concealed; alone with the plates till he "gave them back to the angel" -- Joe alone, and only Joe! Joe is the whole case, and Joe holocausts in the fire of impeachment, circumstantial conviction, Mormon hari-kari, and the wrath of offended Heaven. I say offended Heaven, for he faked in the name of religion and pretended to give revelations from God that he might delude men. Yea, when asked to show the plates, he dodged behind a pretended commandment of God forbidding it! God hiding the Mormon plates!
Who believes that the God who gave Moses tables of stone to break before all Israel, would hide Mormon plates? Who believes that He who gave His only begotten Son, would withhold the Mormon plates? Who believes that He who revealed Himself openly to the world would hide the plates? Who believes that He who gave the Holy Ghost descending in the form of a dove that all might see and believe, would conceal the plates that many might doubt and be damned? Who believes that He who made The Word flesh that was revealed openly to the world for thirty-three
years, and translated The Word into the Gospel, would hide the Mormon plates and give us the pretended translation of Joe Smith? Who believes that He who rent the Veil of the Temple in twain from the top to the bottom, revealing the Holy of Holies, to show us that the veil was forever taken away, would hang up a blanket in a garret to make a new holy of holies, with vagrant, criminal Joe Smith for High Priest? Joe high priest, not once a year and that "not without sacrificial blood," but Joe day after day for two years, while wife-beater Harris and the unutterable Cowdery record the secrets of Heaven?
No wonder Ohio tarred and feathered Joe Smith for talking such blasphemous idiocy!
It is doubtful if one could succeed with such a humbug today, in the searchlight of the greatest newspapers of the world. But this was seventy years ago, when the omnipresent daily paper, and the ubiquitous reporter were unknown. Instead of being led by brainy newspaper specialists with their fingers on the pulse of the world, as we are led to-day, the people of seventy years ago were led by forceful, self-assertive leaders of local influence. Joe Smith was one of the good wrestlers of his day -- six feet tall, weight 200 pounds. Look at his pictures, read the descriptions of the man -- force, cunning, tact, bluff, rascality, all there. He centered the whole system of fraud in himself, and stood alone at every turning point where the religious flim-flam could be exposed by accomplices.
At these points Joe trusted no one, but forced the fraud upon his dupes with his mere word; his word was sometimes in the form of revelation it is true, but the revelation was a fraud atod rested solely upon Joe's word. When Harris doubted, Joe hushed him with a revelation; yet Harris never took the second thought that the revelation was only Joe's word! The plates were the first step, translation the second step, revelation the third step, and it never occurred to Joe's followers to take the three steps right back to the hill of Cumorah and say: "Joe, we have only your word instead of the word of God." Yet it is a plain and solemn fact, Mormonism then, Mormonism to-day has in the Book of Mormon, only the word of Joe Smith, instead of The Word of God!
The whole Mormon case stands or falls with Joe Smith, and Joe Smith falls.
Mormonism is an inverted pyramid resting on the apex and the apex in Joe's mouth. Here you have it.
[graphic - not copied]Now, knock out Joe, and what becomes of the pyramid?
It falls, but Joe still supports it, illustrating Joe and Mormonism rightly adjusted to each other, and the world!
[graphic - not copied]Defeated, disgruntled, Mormonism tries to hide the situation by kicking up a dust and diverting attention to questions that have nothing to do with the case. Keep your eye right on Joe, and hold Mormonism to the only point there is in the case -- Joe Smith.
One of these fool questions is: "How could ignorant Joe Smith, scarcely able to read and write, how could he produce the Book of Mormon?"
That is your side of the case, Mister Mormonism! On you is the burden of proof, and it is for you to prove how he got it. You have the affirmative, that Joe got the Book of Mormon from God. You fail to make a prima facie case that he did, and I conclusively show that he didn't! You show where he got it, for that is your business, not mine. You trickily try to throw up your job by giving me one to do. Then you want to bedevil me all the time I am doing it so that I will never get the job done and get back to Joe. That is the way you fooled the dupes who were the Mormon pioneers -- prominently ears.
[ 49 ]
Now I turn to the great "Gentile" world. With you I have no case on hand. With you I would just as soon assume the burden of proof, and show to a certainty where Joe got his Book of Mormon.
The Spalding Manuscript.In A. D. 1761, Solomon Spalding was born in Ashford, Conn., graduated a Dartmouth College, was ordained, preached; then tried merchandising. He had a life-long book ambition, and from 1810 to 1812, inclusive, he wrote a romance to prove that the American Indians were the lost Tribes of Israel. He called it "Manuscript Found," and it gave the journey of the Israelites from Jerusalem to America under the command of Nephi and Lehi, just as the Book of Mormon does. The historical matter of the Spalding manuscript and that of the Book of Mormon were identical; so say many persons who heard Solomon Spalding read his manuscript, and they afterwards read the Book of Mormon. Indeed, the plagiarism was so flagrant that, when the Book of Mormon was published, those who heard the historical names repeated, recalled the Spalding manuscript at once, if they had ever heard the Spalding names. These persons got the Book of Mormon, read it, declared it
was stolen from the Spalding manuscript, and many made affidavits to convince the deluded people. Spalding died in 1816 at Amity, Pa. From 1818 to 1832 his widow lived at Hartwick, Otsego Co., N. Y., and Widow Spalding averred that she kept her husband's manuscript there in a trunk in 1820. When the Book of Mormon came out, they looked for the manuscript but it had been stolen. Joe Smith's history shows that he was digging at Mr. Stowell's, near Hartwick, in 1825, employed by Stowell. The trunk containing the Spalding manuscript was in a barn at the widow's home. The Book of Mormon appeared -- the Spalding manuscript had disappeared! Now, knowing the character of Joe Smith, as proven in the foregoing pages, do you believe that God and Joe Smith got together to produce the Book of Mormon, or that Joe Smith and that trunk got together? In one case Joe is alone and says he found plates; in the other the trunk is alone and the manuscript says Joe found it -- says this emphatically in the pages of the Book of Mormon. Joe was alone when he claimed to find plates, alone on every other occasion when solitude was a necessity; out of sheer force of habit Joe took no one with him when he found the Spalding manuscript. Hence no eye witness can be produced in either case; but the circumstantial evidence is all against Joe in both cases. Remember that Joe had a pretended revelation in 1823, claiming to find gold plates. The world has long wondered why Joe covered up the plates and left
them four years! I asked that question myself, foregoing pages. I accounted for it by saying that Joe found no plates, had only a drunken dream. I hit it. Joe had no plates, no way to finish his deception. In 1825 he found that lone trunk in the barn and carried off all the contents. Widow Spalding says the trunk was full, and all went except an unfinished story. Joe waited a little to see if the things were missed, sorted his plunder, discovered the Spalding manuscript and yelled "Eureka!" "He was scarcely able to read and write; how could he produce the historical learning of the Book of Mormon," Mormonism asks. You now see that he had the manuscript of a graduate of Dartmouth College! But the Mormon admission that he could "scarcely read and write" is important, for it shows what occupied the time from 1825, when he found the manuscript, to 1827, when he began translation. Not "Reformed Egyptian," but English was enough for ignorant Joe, and it took him two years, or nearly so, to decipher the names he never heard before, familiarize himself with the ancient history of which he knew nothing, and formulate his plan. Besides, he got married and spent some of the two years in honeymoon. The lapse of time is just about right; two years from the trunk-in-the- barn-stealing to the trunk-in-the-garret-translating! "Young man -- trunk -- garret, behind curtain -- translating," says the Anthon letter in this book. With this manuscript Joe is equipped to go on with his fraud. The very thing he could not
do alone, hence would trust no one to do, for fear of exposure, Joe finds already done. If Joe had not found what enabled him to go ahead according to his policy of being alone in the act where an accomplice could betray him, he would have waited not only four years, but forever.
So effectually did this dilemma block his game that Joe gave up, and intended to treat what he had pretended God came to tell him, as a joke. For Peter Ingersoll, Joe's friend, says this in an affidavit: "Smith told me the whole affair was a hoax; that he had no such book and did not believe there was such a book in existence; 'But.' said he, 'as I have got the damned fools fixed, I shall carry out the fun.'" (Observe that Joe was not equal to reformed English, let alone Reformed Egyptian.) Joe's classification of his first disciples is a little stronger than I should express it, but he knew them better.
But with the Spalding manuscript hope revives. Now read what Willard Chase testifies:
"Smith came to me, wanting me to make him a chest to put his Gold Bible in, and promised me a share in the book to do so. He told me he was commanded to keep it two years without letting it come to the eyes of anyone but himself."Aha! Stole it 1825; "commanded to keep it two years;" that makes 1827!
Here is the connecting link between Joe in Widow Spalding's trunk and Joe pretending to take home the gold plates in 1827. We have just.
been figuring out why he waited the two years from 1825 to 1827. Bless you, he was commanded of God to wait two years! Spontaneous revelation till the steal blew over! The circumstances, viz.: lone trunk, Joe near, Joe's habit of taking things, disappearance of manuscript, Joe telling Ingersoll "no such book," telling Chase had book, sequence of these filling time right -- all connect Joe with the manuscript; Joe's automatic moral coupling worked, completed the connection and he had the Spalding manuscript, which filled Joe's "long-felt want" -- a writing he could claim as a translation of ancient plates. Then Spalding's friends recalled his manuscript soon as they heard names in Book of Mormon; they read the book, and made the following affidavits:
John Spalding, brother of Solomon Spalding, testified:
"Solomon Spalding was born in Ashford, Conn., in 1761, and in early life contracted a taste for literary pursuits. After he left school he entered Plainville Academy, where he made great proficiency in study, and excelled most of his classmates. He soon after entered Dartmouth College, with the intention of qualifying himself for the ministry, where he obtained the degree of A.M., and was afterward regularly ordained. After preaching three or four years he gave it up, removed to Cherry Valley, New York, and commenced the mercantile business with his brother, Josiah. I made him a visit in about three years
after, and found that he had failed, and was considerably involved in debt. He then told me he had been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the 'Manuscript Found,' of which he read to me many passages. It was a historical romance of the first settlers of America -- endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi. They afterward had quarrels and contentions and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds, so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilizations, were brought into view in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North and South America.
brother wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jun., I am unable to determine."Same as my brother's except the religious matter," says this witness, and the religious matter Joe put in to make a fake Bible, hide plagiarism, and fool people.
Martha Spalding, wife of the John Spalding who made foregoing affidavit, and sister-in-law to Samuel, made this:
"I was personally acquainted with Solomon Spalding, about twenty years ago. I was at his house a short time before he left Conneaut; he was then writing a historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of America. He represented them as an enlightened and warlike people. He had for many years contended that the aborigines of America were the descendants of some of the lost tribes of Israel, and this idea he carried out in the book in question. The lapse of time which has intervened prevents me recollecting but few of the leading incidents of his writing, but the names of Lehi and Nephi are yet fresh in my memory, as being the principal heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their journey by sea and land, till they arrived in America, after which disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them to separate into different
bands, one of which was called Lamanites, and the other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous battles, which frequently covered the ground with slain, and their "being buried in large heaps was the cause of the numerous mounds in this country. Some of the people he represented as being very large.This woman read both books, and declares the historical part identical. Why Joe filled in the religious matter, etc., has been shown.
Henry Lake, a partner of Solomon Spalding, spent hours hearing the manuscript read; was familiar with it. His evidence is conclusive:
Found,' and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with their contents. * * * This book represented the American Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes -- gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great.
"Artemas Cunningham, of Perry, Geauga Co., states as follows:
* * * Before showing me his manuscripts, he went into a verbal relation of their outlines, saying it was a fabulous or romantic history of the first settlement of this country, and
as it purported to be a record found buried in the earth, or in a cave, he had adopted the ancient or Scripture style of writing. * * * The Mormon Bible I have partially examined, and am fully of the opinion that Solomon Spalding had written its outlines before he left Conneaut."Observe how well the Spalding manuscript fitted Joe's case: "Buried in the earth" -- "Ancient, or Scripture style of writing!" Spalding was a retired preacher, so naturally wrote Scripture style, made a plot for a religio-historical story out of habit of thought; his story pretended to be from ancient records buried in the earth which compelled ancient style, it was to prove that Indians of America were descendants of lost tribes of Israel, hence consisted of Hebrew history, scriptures, and imagined additions, just what Joe wanted! No wonder witness swears, "whole passages verbatim!"
Many others made like affidavits, but these end all doubt.
Now Joe started a fraud about plates; could go no further for he had no plates; was too ignorant to forge a translation of ancient plates; would trust no one to forge it; hence at the end of his rope. Then the Spalding manuscript and Joe are proximate; the manuscript a romance of ancient history Joe could palm off as translation of ancient plates; he can perfect his fraud with it; can't go further without it; Joe and manuscript disappear; Book of Mormon appears; Spalding's brother and others
identify lost manuscript in the Book of Mormon; the religious and other matter added by Joe are so plainly and awkwardly Joe's, so conclusively prove the plagiarism, that this adds the corroboration which convinces and convicts; I have shown where Joe did get the Book of Mormon.
Now we see why Joe did not reproduce the 118 pages Harris stole. First, to hide plagiarism Joe mixed in things he made by imitating Bible incidents, etc., and he could not mix it in the same way and with the same words, and he saw Harris would catch him. Second, the 118 were only a mixture of Spalding and Smith, not revelation, not worth preserving. Third, eleven men swear Joe was lazy -- too lazy to reproduce 118 pages with giant goggles and filter them through a blanket to Harris who was waiting to catch him and ruin his imposture. Fourth, to remove all evidence of his theft, and to prevent being caught in faking from the manuscript, Joe was burning the manuscript as fast as he used it (Joe says he gave it to the angel); so it was utterly impossible for him to reproduce the 118 pages! There are others, but these reasons are enough -- as the Judge said to the boy: A boy told the Judge he could give seventeen reasons why his father failed to appear in court; first, his father was dead -- The Judge told him to omit the other sixteen.
You see that Joe was fast in Harris' trap, but fooled Harris with a spontaneous revelation. It don't fool Gentiles. We brush off the dust of
time; bring out the tracings of the finger of Divine Retribution, and lo! a picture of the imposter fast in the trap!
Corroboration Found in the Book of Mormon.To make the Book of Mormon, Joe had to convert the historical romance of Spalding into a Bible -- add some religious matter. Hence you find a variation of Daniel reading the writing on the wall,
Some Apocalypse and Church of Rome, pages ..23, 28
Variation of Paul's conversion,...................... page 201
Variation of Peter's escape from prison, pages 232, 251
Variation lying of Ananias (didn't scare Joe),... page 241
Variation fiery furnace ................................... page 401
Variation Elijah's rain and drought,..................page 417
Variation Daniel in lion's den,................ pages 489, 495
Then Shakespeare is translated from plates buried 1,200 years before the poet was born: "The cold and silent grave, whence no traveller returns." And this sounds unlike the ancients: "from nature up to nature's God." But Joe thought they sounded well and worked them in rather out of date.
These are only samples of many, but these enough to prove a literary cobbler like Joe Smith pegging away to hide plagiarism of Spalding by plagiarizing something everybody knew.
Now Joe pretended to find a list of articles in that hill, enough to start a Museum of Antiquities; yet only what he could carry and outrun two robbers
were worth getting. When he sacked Widow Spalding's trunk he left only a fragment of a story; but when he loots a hill full of gold antiquities of priceless value, he leaves enough to start forty more polygamous religions! Perhaps that is the cause of intemperance. People are getting drunk like Joe did, in order to find the gold that Joe left in the hill. Seriously, why did Joe leave all that gold in the hill? He didn't -- there were no plates, nothing but a hill which he could not carry away! The absolute proof is, that if Joe had left the rest of the find in the hill, he would have gotten it afterwards to silence the cry of "fraud!" Scores of affidavits were made saying that he was an imposter, and everybody said he lied about the plates. Why did not Joe open his Museum of Antiquities in the hill at twenty-five cents admission, as his mother suggested, make a fortune, and gag the mouths of a world that was calling him a liar? Instead, he gets up the miserable sham of three witnesses! then eight witnesses! papers of such rot as would not make decent gun wadding! Yet a few pionears swallowed it!
Joe not only finds modern poetry on his ancient plates, but also translates contradictory Scripture. To instance: in the reign of Josiah, King of Judah, "the book of the Law was lost," not a copy to be had. Now, Joe translates it from these plates. These plates were Laban's, who had them in Jerusalem at the very time the book of the law was lost! Lost, and yet engraven on plates where all Jerusalem
could see it! Joe, the prophet, did not know Bible history. Joe overreached himself. But he is blasphemous enough to claim that God guided him in translation! He calls such stuff "inspiration!" If so, it is the kind that put Joe to bed September 21, 1823, and out of the same bottle.
Page eleven of the Book of Mormon, Lehi prophesies: "These plates shall go forth to all nations, never grow dim, nor perish." Mormonism holds to literal interpretation. Yet these plates never went to but Joe and eleven witnesses, even admitting that lie of three witnesses and eight witnesses! And the plates got "dim" so quickly Joe could not reproduce 118 pages Martin Harris stole! and perished so utterly that Mormonism could never produce one to prove its case.
Again Joe's book says: "We found upon the land of promise [Central America] that there were beasts in the forests, of every kind; the cow, and ox, and the ass, and the horse." Truth says: "The first horses brought to America were imported by Columbus on his second voyage, 1493" -- (Report of Supt. Census of U. S. A., 1852). All authorities agree that the cow, ox, ass and horse were not in Central America when Joe's pretended plates says they were there. It is Joe's ignorance of natural history. It is remarkable that Joe was so ignorant in that branch of animalology his associations made him familiar with that he did not know George Washington introduced the ass to America.
Page 3 of Joe's book makes Lehi leave Jerusalem
because, "God directed him in a dream." Page 411, Lehi: "driven out by the people." Flat contradiction of inspiration!
Joe did not know that the Hebrews were anciently, are now, divided into Israelites and Jews -- divided before these plates; so, on page 109, Nephi tells his brethren, "We are descendants of the Jews;" but on page 235 Amalek says, "Nephi and his brethren were of the tribe of Manasseh;" hence, Israelites. The tribe of Manasseh were not Jews, for Jews are of the tribe of Judah. So Nephi, and Amalek, telescope each other, or Joe has had more bottled inspiration.
Pages 517 to 526 of Joe's book gives Jared's voyage; a load equal to what was in Noah's ark, yet crossing the ocean in eight canoes, "the length of a tree." This ark story was not caused by forty days' and forty nights' water, but "40-rod whiskey."
Page 65: the Nephites build a temple in America "like unto Solomon's." Only eighteen came over; the Nephites, eight persons, only three women, go off into the wilderness, separate from the other ten -- family fuss. Yet within thirty years they build a temple like Solomon's! It took Solomon with 153,000 men seven years to build the temple. Allow triplet increase for the three women, and it would have taken the Nephites 100 years to build a temple like Solomon's, with the force they could census in thirty years. Joe jams 100 years into thirty years -- I don't mean Joe jams, but jim-jams.
Page 234 of Joe's book gives the coming of the
Holy Ghost then, three centuries before Christ came -- Jesus, who said, "If I go not away the Comforter will not come." What an ignorant inspired prophet is Joe! But he makes wholesale contradictions of the New Testament. He takes the New Testament in his hand, then pretends to translate from the plates the events of our Gospels of Matthew, Mark. Luke and John, etc., and calls them translations of the plates, to show the plates were divinely written; but his ignorance betrays him in the worst plagiarism the world ever saw -- it is a medley of contradictions.
From page 2 to page 428, are nearly 300 direct quotations from the New Testament, claimed to be found on ancient plates made centuries before. And "King James English!" when the plates were "Reformed Egyptian," Joe says, and a "confounded" language the book says. Whole chapters of both the Old and the New Testament are literally copied with brazen affrontery.
No wonder Joe anticipates the exposure of his translation and whines in his book, "Condemn me not because of my imperfections, neither my father because of his imperfections, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections [verily, we do, Joseph!] that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."
Here is a pretended divine prophet so conscious of his ignorance, incompetency, blundering and contradiction that he makes a plea of guilty and
tries to dodge the penalty with a whine! A plea of "confession and avoidance."
Finally, Joe claims his plates were written in Reformed Egyptian when the authors were Hebrews. Imagine a Hebrew putting the Word of God in any language save that he believes God gave him in Eden! Joe's own book, page 530, contradicts him. Then the plates are gold, and the Hebrews wrote only on papyrus and parchment, and their Scriptures were all in rolls. These are only a few of the many things that can be pointed out in the Book of Mormon to condemn it as a self-evident fraud and convict Joe, the maker of it, of the worst case of literary jim-jams known in all history. Then, to call this mouthing of "Reformed Egyptian," King James vocabulary, modern poetry, and modern prose, prickling with contradictions like a barbwire fence; to call this mummery inspiration and charge it to Him who says, "as far as the East is from the West, so far are my ways from men's ways" -- oh! it is blasphemy so unutterable, no wonder the author was shot exclaiming, "If there is any God!"
[ 67 ]
Joe's brother, Samuel H. Smith, Elder of the Mormon Church, one of the eight witnesses, apostatized. He knew Joe, too, well. Four more cancel their signatures, deny the contents of the paper, and confirm what I claimed in foregoing pages, that the paper was the suicidal act of Mormonism. The fate of these signatures betrays the character of the three other signatures.
The three witnesses to the first voucher all apostatized and five of the eight witnesses to second voucher, ditto. Enough of itself to wreck the fraud!
Thomas B. Marsh, President of the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church, office next to Joe's; Marsh, too, apostatized -- Marsh the head and (according to Joe) Harris the tail: head and tail both cut off, clean gone! What a pitiable monstrosity was Mormonism! Jno. C. Bennett, who was next to Joe in honor and authority, apostatized and exposed Joe's licentiousness, etc.
Dr. Avard, a leader of the awful Danite band, apostatized and exposed what was enough to show that Joe was of Satan. Hundreds left in disgust. But want of time and space makes the full list impossible. This is only a beginning. Look at the books written by apostate Mormon leaders! See in this book the revelations of Reed Peck's account, written when with the Mormons, standing by its cradle, seeing and recording the beginnings of the imposture! Reed Peck was an officer in the Danite Band. This band was a Military, not a musical organization, and a Mormon factor that needs only to be added to Joe Smith, Sidney Rigdon, the Three Witnesses, the Eight Witnesses, fake plates, blasphemous translation, Polygamy, and Apostasy, to end Mormonism, when you think that "the whole is equal to the sum of its parts" -- Mormonism these, and nothing more. Do you wonder that its christening was tar and feathers in Ohio; its first pants the treasonable Danite uniform in Missouri; its first "full dress," drunken debaucheries in Illinois, and its adult birthday party a mob at Carthage that shot the impostor of this imposture?
[ 69 ]
At the outset of this inquiry, I stated that the Book of Mormon was the whole case and Joe the only witness to the book.
Joe fell, impeached, proven "entirely destitute of moral character," his oath before a jury not believed.
He is conclusively proven an impostor.
He is proven a defrauder, tarred and feathered in Ohio.
He is shown an insurrectionist, an inciter of murder and treason in Missouri.
Here is the record charge: Richmond, Mo., November 12, 1838, Fifth Judicial Circuit, State of Missouri: "State of Missouri vs. Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum Smith and others; who were charged with the several crimes of High Treason against the State, Murder, Burglary, Arson, Robbery and Larceny."
The Peck manuscript, this book, covers this case.
The records of Hancock County, Ill., books "R" and "I," show Joe's transfers of property to wife and child and bankrupt application in 1841.
For Joe's licentious conduct in 1842, disclosures so abhorrent I leave them out this book (see Chicago American of July 28, and August 1, 1842; the Cincinnati Gazette of July 27, 1842).
"If you see it in the Sun it's so," and I copy from the New York Sun of August 5, 1842: "He stands before us a swindler of his community, an
impious dictator over free will, and now in his most glaring, and even hideous aspect -- a libertine unequalled in civilized life -- a Giovanni of some dozen of mistresses, and these acquired under the garb of prophetic zeal." This is Joe Smith in 1842.
The New York Semi-Weekly Tribune, Sept. 14, 1869, gives account of a trial in Salt Lake City in which Jos. F. Smith proves his father, Hyrum and Prophet Joe, polygamists in theory and practice. Joe is obliterated, wiped off the record, as the only witness to the Book of Mormon, and becomes a boomerang that annihilates the book. Then --
The book is proven a fake.
This proof that the Book of Mormon is a fraud is confirmed by the apostacy of the very witnesses the book claims divinely appointed to prove it from God.
The book is proven worthless because it lacks n& pages one of its divine witnesses stole. The Book of Mormon is proven to be the "Manuscript Found" of Solomon Spalding, fixed up by Joe, made the worst medley of contradictions, rankest plagiarism, most blasphemous assumption, most devilish theology and damnable fraud, the world has ever known!
Misguided Mormons should renounce it; flee from it; accept the Bible from which Joe plagiarized the only good things in their Book, or the awful alternative put by Orson Pratt overtakes them -- "IF FALSE, NONE CAN BE SAVED AND RECEIVE IT." It is proven false.
Mormon Wife No. 1 on the Arrival of Wife No. 21.Our husband has taken another wife,
'Twas lonesome with twenty 'round,
An' so the Church sealed number twenty-one,
An' now, a new favorite's found!
She'll set at the head of the table, too;
Be foremost in ev'rything:
Her whim will be law, an' she'll have the first --
New bonnet that's bought next Spring!
I married Joe Smith thirty years ago.
My Mormon belief wuz firm;
But when he brought home jest a second wife more,
My conscience begin to squirm.
Fer, though the Smith family wuz allus famed,
As bein' a numerous breed,
The thought of his havin' a single wife more,
Wuz fur from my Mormon creed
I thought when we married, us two wuz one,
One flesh should the twain e'er be!
Us wives now make twenty odd kinds of flesh,
As bad as town hash can be!
Instead of my bein' his "better half,"
The queen of his home and heart,
He's brought me to one-twenty-first of one-half,
Or worse than a forty-tooth part
I, once a whole woman, have dwindled down
To a forty-tooth part of man!
An' what will I be if he still goes on
Pursuin' this Mormon plan?
My children 's mixed up with his other wives' brats,
Till, now when a young one falls,
Us twenty-odd mothers of ninety-three kids
Can't tell whose it is that squalls!
He's married to sisters of wives he's got,
Till children can't tell if ma
Is mother, or aunt; or whether their pap
Is father, or uncle-in-law!
An' I who wuz first in his heart am last!
Each year crowded farther back --
His love growin' colder; I shall die with -- without
Gettin' a Sealskin Sacqtie!
Last week I jest asked him fer twenty cents,
He looked at me, cold an' blank,
Then pintin' to us twenty wives he whined,
"Do you think I'm a Rothschild bank!
An' now here 's one more to divide with us --
An' she'll get the "lion's share!" --
Except, when she grabs fer his old bald head
She'll not get her part of hair!
An' here I am, now, with my wrinkled face,
An' she with her dimpled cheek!
Kin I with my old withered charms hold part
Of love that is scattered an' weak?
An' yit I must love her that 's crowdin' me out,
Be slave to my husband's wife!
An' nineteen more women all jammed in his heart!
But sich is the Mormon life!
But, some day, the Angel of Death will come,
And then the dear man must go!
How mournful his funeral rites will be
With twenty-one widows in woe!
Our forty-two eyes all sheddin' tears,
His ninety-three children 'round --
How stylishly grand the procession will be,
Stretched out to the buryin' ground!
At last, when we're all layin' side by side,
Smith's graveyard will be immense!
The children's white headstones all in a row
Will look like a picket fence!
An' when the last trump that awakes the dead,
Shall echo through heaven's dome,
Smith's fam'ly will mount up the "golden stairs"
Like Camp Meetin' goin' home!
Lu B. Cake.
Charles Dickens on Mormonites. *"Our age, among other curious phenomena, has produced a new religion, designated Mormonism, and a new prophet, named Joe Smith. Within the last twenty-five years the sect founded by this man has risen into a State and swelled into the number of three hundred thousand. It exhibits fanaticism in its newest garb -- homely, wild, vulgar, fanaticism -- singing hymns to nigger tunes and seeing visions in the age of railroads. * * * His [Joe's] religion presents, accordingly, two marked phenomena: immense practical industry, and pitiable superstitious delusion! What the Mormons do seems to be excellent; what they say is mostly nonsense.
"It appears from all the evidence, in fact, that this Book of Mormon was founded on an historical romance, written by an American author some years before prophet Smith's time.
"He had occasional revelations to suit each new phase in his career. He professed to work miracles and to cast devils out of the bodies of brother Tompkins and brother Gibbs whenever they were troubled with them.
"His revelations are the oddest compositions -- Scriptural phrase and sturdy business blended. 'Verily I say unto you, let my servant Sidney Gilbert plant himself in this place and establish a store.'
* Household Words (a monthly journal conducted by Charles Dickens) Saturday, July 19, 1851.
This is an odd weaving together of velvet and fustian: like using 'Raphael's Madonna' for a public house sign.
"Unhappily, Joseph was ludicrously persecuted. Prophets are persecuted in all ages. Joe is ferociously anointed with pitch; the thick, dark fluid sticks all over him, and causes the plumage mercilessly coated over his sacred person to adhere as tightly as if he had really been blessed with wings. A saint tarred and feathered is, indeed, a new chapter in the Book of Martyrs. It took the whole night for the friends of the prophet to cleanse his reverend and canonised skin! Yet seared and bleared as he was -- even as some goose plucked alive -- Joe preached the next day to his own egregious multitude.
"One does not like to speak with levity of a prophet, but, perhaps, the exact adjective for Joe's religion is -- jolly! It is a jovial heresy; a heresy that 'don't go home till morning?' So very social in his tastes that he had a tendency to make Nauvoo into a kind of New World Oriental Paradise. One of his apostles, Sidney Rigdon, broached a doctrine concerning 'Spiritual wives' which excited great scandal."
To Whom it May Concern:
"Afton, Chenango Co., N. Y., Feb., 1899.
"We, the undersigned citizens of Afton, Chenango County and State of New York, hereby certify that we were acquainted with Reed Peck of this same place, now deceased; that we know that he was with the Mormons; that we are well acquainted with his neighbors and know his reputation among them, and with us, to be good in every respect; he was loved and respected by all that knew him.
"D. A. Carpenter,
H. R. Caswell,
Senior Warden of P. E. Church.
M. G. Hill,
President Bank at Afton.
A. T. England,
P. A. Hayes, M.D.
Chas. L. Seely,
Vestryman St. Ann's P. E. Church.
C S. Landers,
Farmer and Neighbor.
H. G. Carr,
Delos Van Woert,
Ex-Postmaster, Justice of the Peace."
State of New York, }
Onondaga County, } ss.
"We, the undersigned, state that we are members of the Reed Peck family by marriage; that to our family was given the Reed Peck sketch of Mormon history, written by said Peck while with the Mormons. That it is dated Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1839. That we received it as written by said Reed Peck, now deceased, and that we delivered it to Lu B. Cake of New York City, in its original form as received by us.
"Robt. E. Greene,
Amy Kate Greene."
"Severally subscribed and sworn to before me this 22d day of February, A.D. 1899.
"John C. M. Laughlin,
[ 79 ]
Quincy, Adams Co., Ill., Sept. 18, 1839.
Dear Friends -- Having an opportunity to send by private conveyance, I set down to give you a sketch of Mormon history. Respecting their troubles in Mo. you have doubtless read many articles in the papers; but through that channel you cannot become acquainted even with the features of their story. The record of the court is perhaps the only source in Mo. from which the particulars of the transaction in Caldwell Co., previous to the war, could be obtained, and they are purposely kept from the public to favor the sale of a book that is now being published upon the subject of Mormonism in Mo. To furnish you with a regular chain of events I send you the account entitled "Mormons So Called, "which you may rely upon as
a correct statement of the difficulties of that people in Jackson Co. That they were there persecuted for their belief I can never pretend to deny, as they were not guilty of crimes or misdemeanors that could render them obnoxious to the people of that county, and if it had been the forces of that county only that they would have had to contend with, then arms would not have been surrendered through demand by Lieut. Col. Pitcher at the head of the Militia. They apprehended that other counties, with the countenance of high authority, would oppose them if they persisted in maintaining their rights, and their fears were not groundless, it being subsequently ascertained by confession of Lilburn W. Boggs, then Lieut-Gov., and residing at Independence, Jackson Co., that it was by his direction that Col. Pitcher acted in disarming the Mormons. This confession was made at the close of a protracted and tedious military trial, ordered by Gov. Dunklin to break Pitcher•, and it was started as the only alternative to save time. On the flight of the Mormons from Jackson the humane citizens of Clay Co. granted them a home on condition that when respectably and respectfully notified that the community wished their removal they should comply without resistance.
In the winter following, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wright and David Whitmer traveled to Kirtland to devise means with the leaders there for the redemption of Zion (Jackson Co.). A revelation was received which says in continuation after complaining
of the "Jarrings and contentions and strifes and lustful and covetous desires among the Church in Zion." "And now I will show unto you a parable that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion: A certain nobleman had a spot of land very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye into my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land and plant twelve olive trees and set watchmen round about them and build a tower that one may overlook the land round about to be a watchman upon the tower; that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take unto themselves the fruit of my vineyard. Now the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them."
But it seems by the parable that the servants after a while began to murmur and were slothful and "hearkened not unto the commandment of the lord, and the enemy came by night and broke down the hedge and the servants of the nobleman arose and were afrightened and fled, and the enemy destroyed their works and broke down the olive trees." After upbraiding his servants for their disobedience, "The lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants, 'Go and gather together the residue of my servants who are the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men and they that are of middle age also, among all my servants who are the strength of mine house save those only whom I have appointed to tarry, and go ye straightway into the land of my vineyard, for it is mine, I have
bought it with money, therefore get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their towers, and scatter their watchmen, and inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of my enemies that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.'"
The lord of the vineyard also says: "And this shall be my blessing upon you, a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my Kingdom. And his servant went straightway and done all things whatsoever his lord commanded him and after many days all things were fulfilled."
In accordance with the interpretation of this parable Joseph Smith called for volunteers, collected about 210 "warriors" and marched to Clay Co. under arms; but the cholera on the second day after their arrival dispersed them, and all hopes were destroyed of "redeeming Zion" for the present; but to console the Mormons under this disappointment Jos. Smith, before he returned from the campaign, prophesied publicly to them that "within three years they should march to Jackson Co., and there should not be a dog to open his mouth against them."
In July, 1836, the citizens of Clay Co. becoming dissatisfied with the Mormons for causes too numerous to mention, though nothing of a criminal nature could be justly urged, appointed a committee to inform the church that they wished their removal, and named Wisconsin Terr. as the most suitable place for them to locate themselves; but
the Mormons did not wish to leave Mo. To remove from Clay Co. was in accordance with their feelings, having for some time contemplated a settlement in some new and uninhabited place that they could enjoy their constitutional privileges as other societies; but they had feared opposition to their collecting in a body.
The excitement in Clay and adjacent counties favored their design and through the intercession of Jno. Corrill, with the concurrence and active influence of lawyers -- D. R. Atchinson, A. W. Doniphan, Amos Rees, and a few other gentlemen, leave was granted the Mormons by common consent of the surrounding counties, to settle in a body a tract of land north of Ray Co., 24 miles long and 18 miles wide, which was at the next session of the Legislature incorporated a county, and named "Caldwell." In the course of the fall of 1836 and succeeding winter nearly all the Mormons in the State had collected in Caldwell Co., and by persevering industry soon opened extensive farms, and it seemed by magic that the wild prairies over a large tract were converted into cultivated fields. Persons visiting the county remarked "that no other people of the same number could build a town like Far West and accomplish as much in the agricultural line in five years as the Mormons had in one." Confidence was established (to a certain degree) among all parties. Merchants did not hesitate to furnish individuals of the society with large stocks of goods on credit, so that in 1837
there were six Mormon stores in Far West and all doing very good business. The good conduct of the Mormons under the auspices of W. W. Phelps, Jno. Whitmer, Edward Partridge and Jno. Corrill, as leaders, had gained them an honorable character among their immediate neighbors, which with their industry and economy bade fair to make Caldwell one of the most respectable and thriving counties in upper Mo. Land was entered at $1.25 an acre and nearly every family was in possession of a farm, and the summer of 1837 found them actively engaged in cultivating the same /when we will leave them and glance at some of the movements of the Mormons in Ohio.
[ 85 ]
Passing over many shameful transactions connected with the building of the "Lord's House" in Kirtland, and the "endowment of the elders," I shall briefly notice such as particularly affected the church, both in Ohio and Mo. While the society was making arrangements to move from Clay County, Joseph Smith, H. Smith and O. Cowdery borrowed some thousands of dollars of the Church in Ohio, giving the lenders orders on their agents in Mo. for land in payment, a part of which money was sent to Caldwell Co. and invested in land which was immediately sold at a small advance to those holding the orders spoken of, but it was soon made apparent that the money sent to Missouri fell far short of the amount of orders presented, consequently many persons arriving in Caldwell Co. destitute of means were unable to purchase the homes they anticipated finding, having, as they supposed, sent their money in advance to secure them one. These men likewise engaged in heavy speculations in banking, merchandising and other branches of business. Having the entire confidence of the Mormons, they procured from them by loans, in Canada and the States, enormous sums of specie, established a bank without a charter, issued a large quantity of their paper in payment of debts and purchases of
property; bought on credit heavy stocks of goods in Cleveland, Buffalo and New York, and being the most unskillful persons in the world in managing to pay debts, were finally compelled to flee to Missouri', leaving the creditors minus about $30,000.00 (independent of what they owed to the brethren), and thousands of the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank Bills" not redeemed.
A bitter quarrel originated in these transactions, the Smiths and S. Rigdon on one, part, and the Cowderies, Johnson and David Whitmer on the other; and each party having their particular friends the church in Kirtland became partially divided and their animosities carried many of them to great extremes, produced confusion and cruel oppression when either party could wield the balance of power. Very many creditable persons in the Society have asserted that while the "money fever" raged in Kirtland the leaders of the Church and others were more or less engaged in purchasing and circulating "bogus" money, or counterfeit coin, and a good evidence that the report is not without foundation is that each of these contending parties accused the other of this crime. In the latter part of March, 1838, the Smith families, S. Rigdon and many of their favorites, arrived in Far West one of the "Stakes of Zion" and found the church in prosperous circumstances. D. Cowdery, D. Whitmer and Lyman Johnson had preceded them which placed in Caldwell Co. all the material for an explosion. The Presidency, viz., Jos. Smith, H. Smith and S. Rigdon, believing that Caldwell Co. was too limited for
the reception of the multitude of converts that would be flocking to Mo., directed their attention to Daviess Co., lying immediately north of Caldwell, in which they, with others of the Soc., made numerous claims on Congress land, selected a site and laid out a city, the third "Stake of Zion" and named it Adam-ondi-Ahman, informing their followers that it was the place to which Adam fled when driven from the garden of Eden in Jackson Co., and that Far West was the spot where Cain killed Abel. Daviess Co. then contained say" 400 families. Many of the Mormons left Caldwell and went to Daviess Co., and an arrangement was made for all emigrants from the East to settle in that place, which in a short time made the Mormons there equal in strength with the former citizens. About the first of June part of the platte of the small town of Dewitt in Carroll Co. was bargained for, and two families by direction of the presidency moved to it, intending to make it the fourth "Stake of Zion."
Being settled in a new country with the privilege of other citizens the Mormons were elated with the expectation of soon becoming a rich community, and under the sole direction of the Prophet they believed that success would crown every effort they should make to build themselves up. Nearly every person was ready to act, in compliance with his will, believing that the favor of heaven depended on strict obedience to and implicit faith in the instructions of the Prophet. The people of the surrounding country
were still friendly and harmony prevailed among the Mormons till the middle of June, when the enmity of the two parties from Kirtland manifested itself to an alarming degree. At this period measures were concerted, no doubt by instigation of the presidency, to free the community of the Cowderies, Whitmers, Lyman Johnson and some others, to effect which a secret meeting was called at Far West by Jared Carter and Dominic B. Huntington, two of Smith's greatest courtiers, where a proposition was made, and supported by some, as being the best policy to kill these men, that they would not be able to injure the church. All their measures were strenuously opposed by Jno. Corrill and T. B. Marsh, one of the twelve apostles of the church, and in consequence nothing could be effected until the matter was taken up publicly by the Presidency the Sunday following (June 17) in the presence of a large congregation.
S. Rigdon took his text from the 5th Chapter of Matthew: "Ye are the salt of the earth," etc., "trodden under foot of men." From this scripture he undertook to prove that when men embrace the gospel and afterward lost their faith, it is the duty of the saints to trample them under their feet. He informed the people that they had a set of men among them that had dissented from the church and were doing all in their power to destroy the Presidency, laying plans to take their lives, etc.; accused them of counterfeiting, lying, cheating, and numerous other crimes, and called on the people to rise en masse
and rid the country of such a nuisance. He said, "it is the duty of this people to trample them into the earth, and if the county cannot be freed from them any other way, I will assist to trample them down, or to erect a gallows on the Square of Far West and hang them up as they did the gamblers at Vicksburgh, and it would be an act at which the angels would smile with approbation."
Jos. Smith, in a short speech, sanctioned what had been said by Rigdon, "though" said he, "I don't want the brethren to act unlawfully; but I will tell them one thing, Judas was a traitor, and instead of hanging himself was hung by Peter." And with this hint the subject was dropped for the day, having created a great excitement, and prepared the people to execute anything that should be proposed.
On the next Tuesday these dissenters as they were termed, were informed that preparations were being made to hang them up, and if they did not escape their lives would be taken before night; and perceiving the rage of their enemies they fled to Ray Co., leaving their families and property in the hands of the Mormons. The wrath of the Presidency and the threats of hanging, etc., were undoubtedly a farce acted to frighten these men from the county that they could not be spies upon their conduct; or that they might deprive them of their property, and, indeed, the proceedings of the Presidency and others engaged in this affair fully justify the latter conclusion; for knowing the probable result Geo. W. Robinson, son-in-law of S. Rigdon, had prior to their flight
sworn out writs of attachment against these men, by which he took possession of all their personal property, clothing and furniture, much of which was valuable and no doubt very desirable, leaving their families to follow to Ray Co. almost destitute. That the claims by which this property was taken from these men were unjust and perhaps without foundation cannot be doubted by any unprejudiced persons acquainted with all parties and circumstances; and no testimony has ever been adduced to show that the men were ever guilty of a crime in Caldwell Co. These unlawful and tyrannical measures met with the censure of Jno. Corrill, W. W. Phelps, Jno. Clemenson, myself and a few others; but we were soon made sensible that we had excited suspicion and perhaps endangered ourselves by venturing to speak unfavorably of these transactions.
We found that the events of a few days had placed Caldwell Co. under a despotic government where even liberty of speech was denied to those not willing to unite in support of the New Order. Confidential subjects were appointed to converse with all suspected members and by pretending to be displeased with the anti- Republican measures enforced against the dissenters, were able to learn the feelings of many and by reporting to the Presidency draw down thundering anathemas upon those so unwary as to speak their sentiments where long tried friendship was swallowed up in bigotry and fanaticism. A friend of long standing asked me if I did not think the dissenters were dealt harshly by and that the Presidency
was wrong in exciting the people against them, saying at the same time that he "blamed Joseph," etc. I answered that the dissenters deserved punishment if they were guilty as represented. Thinking from my answer that I had become satisfied with what had been done, he acknowledged that he was only endeavoring to learn the true state of my feelings; and then to give me an idea of his attachment to the cause, said that if Jos. Smith should tell him TO CUT MY THROAT, HE WOULD DO IT WITHOUT HESITATION. I heard expressions of this nature from several, and shuddered at the thought of living in a community where the nod of one man, if displeased, would deprive an individual of every privilege, and even life, if the consequences had not been feared more by him than his followers.
On the Sunday succeeding the flight of the dissenters, S. Rigdon, in a public discourse explained, satisfactorily no doubt, to the people, the principles of Republicanism. "Some certain characters in the place had been crying, you have broken the law, you have acted contrary to the principles of republicanism." He said that "when a country, or body of people have individuals among them with whom they do not wish to associate, and a public expression is taken against their remaining among them, and such individuals do not remove, it is the principle of Republicanism itself that gives that community a right to expel them forcibly, arid no law will prevent it" He also said it was not against the principles of Republicanism to hang the gamblers at Vicksburgh, as it was a matter in which they unanimously acted,
Soon after the delivery of this speech, he informed the church in an address, that they soon would be called upon to consecrate their property, and those who would not comply with the law of consecration, should be delivered over to the brother of Gideon, whom he represented as being a terrible fellow.
"We are," said he, "soon to commence building the Lord's house in Far West, which will enhance the value of property tenfold in its vicinity, and such proprietors as will not consecrate the whole amount of that increase of value for the building of the house and other church uses, shall be delivered over to the brother of Gideon and be sent bounding over the prairies as the dissenters were a few days ago."
In short, we found that all matters comprising anything not completely subject to the will of the Presidency, were to be managed by the terrible brother of Gideon. All the requirements of the Presidency must be complied with, peaceably if you will, forcibly if we must, always making the brother of Gideon the terror of all that would not heartily join in the support of their government and views. A few individuals of us were ever after this opposed to the rule of the Presidency, perceiving that all spiritual and temporal affairs were under their control, and no monarch on earth ever had supreme power over his subjects more than they over the inhabitants of Caldwell Co., only they did not exercise it to so great a degree. Their word was law in civil, religious and military matters; but the secret springs OF THEIR POWER AND INFLUENCE WE DID NOT YET UNDERSTAND.
In the latter part of June, a young man from Ohio, having reported something about Jos. Smith and S. Rigdon, was taken by constable D. B. Huntington, Geo. W. Robinson and a few others, compelled to SIGN A LIBEL, TO KNEEL BEFORE S. RIGDON AND ASK PARDON AS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO ESCAPE A CANING FROM THE CONSTABLE, WHO HELD HIS STAFF OVER HIM IN AN ATTITUDE FOR STRIKING, UNTIL HE BENT THE KNEE.
For these offences, application was made for writs against Jos. Smith, S. Rigdon, D. B. Huntington, Sampson Avard and others; but they would not permit the clerk of the court to issue them, declaring that they would never suffer vexatious law suits to be instituted against them in Caldwell Co.
Sometime previous to this, secret meetings had been held in Far West that excited much curiosity among those that had not been permitted to attend, as it was easily discovered that something more than ordinary was in progress among the male members of the church.
Ignorant of the nature of these meetings, I attended one about the last of June, and received a full disclosure of its object: Jared Carter, Geo. W. Robinson, and Sampson Avard, under the instructions of the presidency, had formed a secret military SOCIETY CALLED THE "DAUGHTER OF ZION," and Were holding meetings to initiate members. The principles taught by Sampson Avard as spokesman were that, "As the Lord had raised up a prophet in these last days like unto Moses, it shall be the duty of this
band to obey him in all things, and whatever he requires you shall perform, being ready to give up life and property for the advancement of the cause. When anything is to be performed, no member shall have the privilege of judging whether it would be right or wrong, but shall engage in the accomplishment and trust god for THE RESULT. IT IS NOT OUR BUSINESS OR PLACE TO know what is required by god, but he will inform us by means of the prophet, and we must perform. If any one of you see a member of the band in difficulty in the surrounding country, contending for instance with an enemy, you shall extricate him, even if in the wrong, if you have to do with his adversary as moses did with the egyptian, put him under the sand, and both pack off to Far West and we will take care of the matter ourselves. No person shall be suffered to speak evil or disrespectfully of the Presidency. The secret signs and purposes of the Society are not to be revealed on pain of death," etc., etc.
About fifty persons were initiated into the Society at the time I was introduced, and to save time the oath was administered to all the novices at once, of which I took advantage by remaining silent and accordingly avoided taking it.
I was appointed adjutant of the band in consequence, I suppose, of my holding that office in the 59th Mo. militia. I did not think it policy to reject the appointment, though I declared to my trusty friends that I would never act in the office. All the
principles of the Society tended to give the Presidency unlimited power over the property and persons, and I might say with propriety, lives of the members OF THE CHURCH, AS PHYSICAL FORCE WAS TO BE RESORTED TO IF NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE designs. The blood of my best friend must flow by my own hands if I would be a faithful Danite, * should the Prophet command it. Said A. McRae, in my hearing, "If Joseph should tell me to kill Van Buren in his presidential chair, I would immediately START AND DO MY BEST TO ASSASSINATE HIM, LET THE CONSEQUENCES BE AS THEY WOULD."
* The members of the "Daughter of Zion" called themselves Danites.
[ 96 ]
Having been taught to believe themselves invincible in the defence of their cause, though the combined power of the world were in array against them, and that the purposes of God were to be accomplished, through their instrumentality, the wicked destroyed, by force of arms, the "Nations subdued," and the kingdom of Christ established on the earth, they considered themselves accountable only at the bar of God for their conduct, and consequently acknowledged no law superior to the "Word of the Lord through the Prophet."
"Do you suppose," said a zealous Danite at the time when the Sheriff of Daviess Co. held a State's warrant against Jos. Smith, "that the Prophet will condescend to be tried before a judge?"
I answered that Smith would in all probability submit, knowing that in case resistance was made the officers would call in the strength of other counties to enforce the law, "What," said he, "do we care for other counties, or for the state, or whole United States?"
The independence of the church was to be supported, its laws and the behests of the Presidency enforced by means of this legal band of Danites, under command of Jared Carter, the terrible brother
of Gideon,* bearing the additional title of Captain General of the Lord's Hosts."
His subalterns were Maj. Genl. Sampson Avard, Brig. Genl. C. P. Lott, Col. Geo. W. Robinson; also a Lieut. Col., Major, Sec. of War, an Adjt., Captains of 50 and Captains of tens, and all these officers with the privates were to be under the administration of the Presidency of the Church, and wholly subject to their control. At a meeting for the organization of the Danites, Sampson Avard presented the Society to the Presidency, who blessed them and accepted their services as though they were soon to be employed in executing some great design. They also made speeches to the Society in which great military glory and conquest were represented as awaiting them; victories in which one should chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, were portrayed in the most lively manner, the assistance of angels promised, and, in fine, everything was said to inspire them with zeal and courage, and to make them believe God was soon to "bring to pass his act, his strange act;" or by them as instruments to perform a marvellous work on the earth.
In the fore part of July the "brother of Gideon," or Jared Carter, Capt. Genl. of the Danites, having complained to Jos. Smith of some observations made by Sidney Rigdon in a sermon, was tried for finding fault with one of the Presidency, and deprived of his station, and Elias Higbee was appointed in his stead. Carter's punishment, according to the principles of
* Jared Carter had a brother named Gideon Carter.
the Danites, should have been death. In the evening after the trial, I was in company with Maj. Genl. Sampson Avard, D. B. Huntington, Capt. of the Guard, Elias Higbee the new Capt. Genl., and David W. Patton, one of the twelve apostles and member of the high counsel of the Church, all of whom had sat with the Presidency on the trial. D. B. Huntington STATED THAT JOSEPH DECLARED DURING THE EXAMINATION THAT HE SHOULD HAVE CUT CARTER'S THROAT ON THE SPOT IF HE HAD BEEN ALONE (being alone was Joe's plate method) when he made the complaint. Huntington also said that on his trial Carter came within a finger's point of losing his head.
Sampson Avard related at the same time the arrangement that had been made by the Presidency and officers present at the trial, respecting the dissenters -- said he, "All the head officers are to be punished by the Presidency, both in Ohio and Mo., and if, for example, I meet with one of them who is damning and cursing the presidency, I can curse them too, and if he will drink I can get him a bowl of brandy, and after a while take him by the arm and get him one side in the brush, when I will [be] into his guts in a minute and put him under the sod. When an officer has disposed of a dissenter IN THIS WAY HE SHALL INFORM THE PRESIDENCY, AND THEM ONLY, WITH WHOM IT SHALL REMAIN AN INVIOLABLE SECRET.
In July, the law of consecration took effect, which required every person to give up to the Bishop all surplus property of every description not necessary
for their present support. Sampson Avard, the most busy actor and sharpest tool of the Presidency, informed John Corrill and myself that "all persons who attempted to deceive, and retain property that should be given up, would meet with the fate of Ananias and Saphira, who were killed by Peter."
Many of the Church consecrated land in Jackson, Clay and Caldwell counties, others brought forward furniture, horses, etc., etc., but it all added little to the Church fund, and I conclude fell far short of satisfying- the Presidency, for the business of consecration was immediately followed by the formation if four large firms, and it was required by the "Word of the Lord" that every member of the Church should become a partner in some one of them. All the land and personal property of each individual were to become property of some one of these firms, and subject to an individual head. The head of each firm was to transact all business and no individual could make a bargain for himself, or control any part of his property after becoming a member of the firm. All branches of business were to be carried on by these companies, mercantile, mechanical and agricultural, and all laborers were bound to work according to the special direction of their Superintendent. Very many were violently opposed to this new church order, but after much argument, preaching, teaching and explaining by S. Avard, the excitement was allayed and all but a few consented
to give up their property, and, we may say, subject themselves to a driver. Jno. Corrill observed to a person in Far West, that he did not, "think it his duty to unite with the firm and that he had no confidence in the revelations that required it. Jos. Smith and S. Rigdon learning that he had made this observation, chid him severely in the presence of several. Smith said to him, "If YOU TELL ABOUT THE STREETS AGAIN THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THIS OR THAT REVELATION, I WILL WALK ON YOUR NECK, SIR;" AT THE SAME TIME SMITING HIS FISTS TO EVINCE HIS GREAT RAGE.
He talked of dissenters and cited us to the case of Judas, saying that Peter told him in a conversation a few days ago that he himself hung Judas for betraying Christ. He also said, "If you do not act. differently and show yourself approved, you shall never be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. I WILL STAND AT THE ENTRANCE AND OPPOSE YOU MYSELF, AND WILL KEEP YOU OUT IF I HAVE TO TAKE A FISTY CUFF IN DOING IT."
Corrill replied: "I may possibly get there first." It seems that Joseph wished the church to believe that not only all things pertaining to the society should be subject to his dictation, but in eternity salvation should depend on his ascendant power with God; as though his prejudice against individuals could be carried into the Court of Heaven as a plea against them at the last day. Under this rule the Church generally was passive if not pleased, believing it to be the order of God. And surrounded as the Presidency
were with a soldiery bound by oath to obey them under all circumstances, it was dangerous for a few of us who would gladly have freed ourselves from a yoke, to speak even our sentiments, if opposed to the views of the Presidency.
We see them at the head of all the forces of Caldwell Co., and sole dictators in all religious matters, and a single example will show that civil, or political affairs, were no less under their control.
[ 102 ]
On Saturday, 9th of August, two days previous to the general election a meeting was called in the afternoon and Sampson Avard informed those present of a neglect of duty they had been guilty of in not inquiring of the Lord what persons should be supported as candidates at the coming election. "You may," said he, "elect the identical persons God would choose, but even if you do they will prove a curse to the county because you did not inquire as you ought." A committee was forthwith appointed to wait on the Presidency and the result was an order for printed tickets to be sent about the county to each precinct that all may know for whom to vote. Saturday the tickets were struck off, and on the next day Sampson Avard distributed them among a large collection of Danites from all parts of the county, with the accompanying word that they were according to the will of God which was sufficient to make nearly every person vote that ticket and no other. It is a matter BEYOND DOUBT THAT SOME CANDIDATES WOULD HAVE GOT THE VOTES OF THREE-FOURTHS OF THE PEOPLE THAT BY THIS MEASURE LOST THEIR ELECTION, and when the polls closed had not more than 15 or 20 votes in their favor. The Presidency would not
have interfered in this matter had there not been candidates in the lists who had the confidence of the people, but were not sufficiently ductile to suit their purposes; consequently they determined that their election should be defeated. They spoke and it was done. But the prettiest part of this affair remains yet to be told. I was in the printing office ON SATURDAY TWO HOURS BEFORE THE MEETING WAS CALLED, AND NEARLY A HALF DAY BEFORE THE COMMITTEE WENT TO INQUIRE WHO SHOULD BE CANDIDATES, AND SAW THE SELF-SAME TICKET IN THE HANDS OF THE COMPOSITOR THAT WAS AFTERWARD REPORTED; IT WAS PROBABLY IN TYPE BEFORE THE COMMITTEE HAD THEIR INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENCY.
The ticket was previously made out by Jos. Smith, S. Rigdon and G. W. Robinson and sent to the office to be printed early on Saturday and the transactions in the afternoon were, no doubt, to take off a little of the glare by making it appear that I the people consulted them respecting the ticket to be voted and not have it understood that they interfered voluntarily. In Daviess Co. the Mormons also unanimously took one side of the question, which occasioned a disturbance between them and the opposite party at the election which ended in a skirmish in which clubs, stones and dirks were used; but no person was mortally wounded. In this, the first fight, the Mormons claimed the victory, but retired from the polls to avoid a further contest. An exaggerated account of a bloody massacre of some of the Mormons was rapidly circulated
through Caldwell Co. early next morning; the Warriors marshalled, and by 12 o'clock 150 Danites with Jos. Smith and S. Rigdon at their head were marching for Daviess Co., breathing vengeance against "the mob" for the attack made the previous day on their brethren. At their approach the inhabitants, not being sufficiently strong to oppose the Mormons of Caldwell and Daviess counties, then in array against them, fled from their houses to make the woods their covert until the storm should pass or assistance be procured to expel what they termed a band of invaders. The forces from Caldwell Co. remained in Daviess two days and in the time compelled one individual to sign an article binding him to keep the peace with the Mormons and attempted to frighten a Justice of the Peace to sign the same, but he drew one himself and signed it which was satisfactory. Warrants were issued against Jos. Smith, L. Wright and many others engaged in this affair and cause found sufficient to put them under bonds for their appearance at court.
Representatives of these hostile movements of the Mormons were sent by express to the neighboring counties, which created considerable excitement, and but a short time elapsed before it was rumored that the inhabitants of Daviess Co. were determined that the Mormons should be expelled from that county, as it would be impossible to live in peace with them. The citizens of Daviess were reinforced in the fore part of September by small
parties from some of the adjoining counties, and their threat alarming the Mormons, the war cry was again heard in Caldwell and volunteers speedily marched to resist "the mob" in case they commenced hostilities.
At the same time petitions were sent by the Presidency to the honorable Judge of the Circuit Court, a citizen of Ray Co., praying his interposition in behalf of the Mormons, who were threatened with expulsion from Daviess Co., upon which Maj.-Gen'l. D. R. Atchinson was instructed, or ordered, to raise an armed force, proceed to that place and restore order and preserve the peace between the two parties. Gen'l Atchinson raised 500 mounted volunteers in Clay and Ray counties and with this force arrived in Daviess Co. on or about the 13th of September, in time to prevent any acts of hostility by either of the belligerent parties. A part of the company under the command of Maj.-Gen'l. Doniphan paraded through Far West on their way to Daviess Co., with orders to cause all parties found under arms to disband immediately. All the inhabitants of Caldwell were there under arms, a part in Far West and the remainder in Daviess Co.; but obedient to the order they dispersed and repaired to their homes, many of them hoping it would be the last time they should be called from their respective avocations to support their cause by force of arms. But how VAIN THEIR HOPES WHEN EVERY SUCCEEDING STEP TAKEN BY THE LEADERS AT THE HEAD OF THEIR BAND
was of a nature to fire the spark of opposition in Daviess Co., till it was kindled to a flame which eventually spread far and wide and involved the society in one general ruin.
While the Mormons were embodied in Daviess Co. from the 10th to the 13th of September they subsisted principally on cattle, hogs, etc., taken from "the Range" and from plantations belonging to the citizens of the county, which could not fail to inflame the people as far as they became acquainted with the fact. Individuals of the band INFORMED ME OF THIS, FURTHER STATING THAT ON RETURNING SOME OF THEM CARTED INTO CALDWELL CO., FOR THEIR BENEFIT AT HOME, PORK, HONEY AND WHEAT SURREPTITIOUSLY TAKEN ON THE CAMPAIGN. They were furnished with a hint of this cheap mode of living by Jos. Smith in a letter written from Far West, though it is quite likely that some genius among their leaders had invented and adopted the plan before the receipt of the letter. The citizens of Daviess are accused by the Mormons of taking property from them in the same manner, from which it would seem that each party was supporting itself by reprisals. The Mormons had no more than taken breath after their return from Daviess Co., before an express arrived from DeWitt calling for volunteers to succor the few Mormons that had collected in that place. You will recollect that two families from Far West settled in DeWitt about the 1st of June. The citizens of Carroll Co. soon after met and the expression of public feeling was
that no Mormons should be admitted into the county as citizens. Resolutions were passed and published setting forth the impossibility of living in amity with a community of Mormons, and a committee appointed to inform the two Mormon families in DeWitt of these transactions and request their departure from the county. This notice being disregarded, in a subsequent meeting it was resolved by the citizens to employ force to effect what mild measures had not accomplished; but they attempted nothing till a company of Mormons from Canada took up their abode in DeWitt when, acting on the principles of Republicanism, as defined by S. Rigdon, they determined to eject them from the county, and the Mormons were soon made sensible that decisive steps must be taken in order to sustain themselves in opposition to the forces daily collecting, and the increasing prejudice of the community at large. The express from DeWitt informed that the mob had burned one Mormon house, had shot at several individuals, and were increasing their numbers constantly from other counties. The Mormons had possession of the town and had ranged their wagons for breastworks. The Presidency, with a large company of volunteers, hastened to DeWitt, and were permitted to enter the town without opposition, though they passed in view of the mob, and so, with all that followed from Caldwell Co., they had free ingress to, but not even an express could return from the town to Far West. The mob knew that people of
other counties would render them all necessary assistance to accomplish their object, therefore they did not fear the strength of Caldwell Co., and drawing the Mormons from home under arms was perhaps a part of their object in letting all pass, thinking it would be considered a breach of the laws. A company of militia that was stationed in Daviess Co. to keep the peace and one other company were called to DeWitt, but being overawed by the mob, could do nothing to effect a reconciliation. An express was dispatched to the Governor and they reported that His Excellency sent word that as they had got themselves into a scrape they might fight their own battles. The Mormons, after being hemmed in DeWitt a few days, made a treaty and agreed to leave the county forthwith and were to be remunerated for the damage they sustained in consequence. It had been the boast of the Danites that if an attack was made upon the Mormons in DeWitt they would come down upon the mob from Caldwell Co. like a thunderbolt, and being compelled to evacuate the place after all their bravados, they returned in no enviable humor, bringing intelligence that a company of the DeWitt mob with a cannon were on a line of march for Daviess Co. threatening to rout the Mormons from that place also.
[ 109 ]
On Sunday, October 14th, the day after the Mormons returned from DeWitt, a company of militia passed through Far West to take their stand in Daviess Co. to oppose the mobites that were marching from DeWitt. On Monday, 15th, nearly all the male inhabitants of Caldwell Co. were congregated in Far West by order of the Presidency, armed for war and burning to execute vengeance on their enemies. Jos. Smith addressed them, and after recapitulating the vexations to which the Church had been subjected and the persecutions they had endured in Missouri, informed them of the answer of the Governor to their petition, and in continuation said: "The law we have tried long enough! Who is so big a fool as to cry, the law! the law! when it is always administered against us and NEVER IN OUR FAVOR. I DO NOT INTEND TO REGARD THE LAW HEREAFTER, AS WE ARE MADE A SET OF OUTLAWS BY HAVING NO PROTECTION FROM IT. WE WILL TAKE OUR AFFAIRS INTO OUR OWN HANDS AND MANAGE for ourselves. We have applied to the Governor and he will do nothing for us; the militia of the county we have tried and they will do nothing. All are mob; the Governor's mob, the militia mob, and the whole State is mob. We have yielded to the mob in DeWitt, and now they are preparing to
strike a blow in Daviess Co.; but I am determined, that we will not give another foot, and I care not how many come against us, 10 or 10,000; God will send us angels to our deliverance and we can conquer 10,000 as easily as ten!" The manner of supplying the army in the expedition to be undertaken was not so artfully handled in the address as to supersede the necessity of observing, to clear himself from unjust imputations: "Some may go FROM HERE AND REPORT THAT I TAUGHT YOU TO STEAL; BUT I DISTINCTLY TELL YOU ALL NOT TO STEAL WHEN YOU CAN GET PLENTY WITHOUT;" and closed by relating on anecdote of a Dutchman and his potatoes which I will repeat. "A Colonel quartered near an old Dutchman's, the owner of a patch of fine potatoes, proffered to purchase some for his men, but was refused. At night, when relating the circumstance to the regiment the Colonel said, 'Now, don't let a man of you be caught stealing that old Dutchman's potatoes.' In the morning there was not a potato in the old man's field." He was followed in his address by S. Rigdon, who spoke in a strain of violence not describable against a certain few in the county that, said he, "had remained at home crying, 'Oh, don't! oh, don't! You are breaking the law; you are bringing ruin on the society,' etc., while others are out on expeditions to other counties doing all they can to support the cause. While we are away, that class is at home finding fault with our movements and thereby creating divisions and disturbances as
among the brethren, when a perfect union is requisite in order to stand against the enemy." That all might become one he proposed to the meeting that blood should first run in the streets of far west; that those traitors among them who had always opposed their doings should be slain and then the remainder could act in union. No answer being made to this, he next proposed that those persons should be forced ta take their arms and march with the band on the morrow to Daviess Co., and if they refused, they SHOULD BE PITCHED ON THEIR HORSES WITH BAYONETS AND PLACED IN FRONT OF THE BATTLE." The latter proposition was answered with a hearty amen from the congregation. "Should those traitors attempt to leave the county their lives should be the forfeit AND THEIR PROPERTY CONFISCATED FOR THE USE OF THE ARMY."
Monday evening a company of horse and two companies of footmen were organized consisting of about 300 men, and before morning the company of horse reached Adam-ondi-Ahman. Tuesday morning the two companies of footmen were early wending their way across the prairies, and arrived in 'Diahman at sunset. John Corrill, W. W. Phelps, Jno. Clemenson, Reed Peck (author of diary), and several other anti-Danites, had the honor of being enrolled in one of these companies and under the bayonet resolutions marched to Daviess Co., where we saw the character of principles of the Danites fully exemplified.
On Wednesday, 17th of October, in consequence of a heavy snow fall, an unusual occurrence at that season of the year, most of the Mormons remained inactive in camp; only a sufficient number were out to procure the necessary supply of hogs, cattle, honey, etc., for the use of the army, which they took, as on former occasions, from the Range and plantations of the citizens (Missourians). In camp, pork, beef and honey, were denominated Buffalo, Bear and Sweet Oil. On Thursday (18th), pursuant to an arrangement made the evening before by Jos. and H. Smith and Lyman Wight, D. W. Patton, at the head of forty men made a descent on Gallatin, the County Seat of Daviess Co., burned the only store in the place and brought the goods to Dickman and consecrated them to the Bishop, Joseph having taught that the ancient ORDER OF THINGS HAD RETURNED, AND THE TIME HAD ARRIVED FOR THE RICHES OF THE GENTILES TO BE CONSECRATED TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL (MORMONS). There were about twenty men in Gallatin who fled at the approach of Capt. Patton and his company and those were all that the Mormons saw during the campaign except an occasional straggler more venturesome than his fellows. The citizens had universally fled, leaving their all at the mercy of a merciless foe. On the same day a company of fifty men, called the Far West company, commanded by Capt. Dunham (in camp, Capt. Black Haw) made their triumphal entry into Dickman laden with feather beds, quilts, clothes, clocks and all varieties
of light furniture taken from the deserted dwellings, making the most uncouth appearance I ever beheld, and were greeted as they passed with three deafening hurrahs from the whole camp. On the same day Seymour Brunson, Alexander McRae, and about twenty others rode fifteen or twenty miles to one of the branches of Grand River and called on an old gentleman whom they found at home with his family, and after the customary salutation McRae observed that it was "a damned cold day," and introduced the company as a party of mobites come from Carroll Co. to drive out the Mormons. The unsuspecting old man invited them to come in and warm, and ordered dinner, as he could not furnish them with whiskey, which they pretended to be most anxious for. After receiving their dinner and a treat of excellent honey, they departed, slyly taking the old gentleman's great coat and silk handkerchief, some woolen sheets, woolen yarn, a powder horn, gun lock, some knives and forks, and many other articles, as a means, I suppose, of informing their host whom he had entertained. The next night A. McRae and a small party went to Gallatin and stripped the best furnished house of all its valuable furniture which they drew to Dickman, and burned the dwelling to the ground.
All the property taken from the store in Gallatin and from the private habitations was deposited with the Bishop of 'Diahman and afterward distributed among the society. THE FAR WEST COMPANY
AND OTHER PARTIES WERE CONSTANTLY BRINGING IN PLUNDER AND REDUCING THE DWELLINGS TO ashes; and for ten days the Mormons were employed in this way without opposition, pillaging houses and harvesting the corn, and collecting the horses and cattle and hogs of the frightened citizens, making 'Diahman their place of rendezvous and depository of their ill-gotten riches, foolishly flattering themselves that no notice would be taken of these transactions, while a few sane heads among them were wondering that men from other counties were not flocking in by hundreds to stop their mad career in the beginning. The militia that passed through Far West for the protection of the peace, had returned home, having been informed by the Mormons that their presence was not necessary. The citizens of Daviess, men, women and children, fled through the snow in wagons, on horseback and on foot after the plundering and burning commenced, as precipitately as though they had been invaded by a hostile band of Indians: but with this flood of testimony their calamitous report was not generally credited until men especially appointed for the purpose had visited Daviess Co. and returned with a confirmation of their story. The pacific disposition manifested by the Mormons on former occasions, their ready acceptance of dishonorable terms of peace in Jackson Co., their willing compliance with the requisition of the people in removing from Clay Co., their recent troubles in DeWitt, where on the demand
of a hostile mob they again sacrificed their constitutional rights to obtain a peace, all combined to IMPRESS THE COMMUNITY WITH THE BELIEF THAT THE Mormons would never act only on the principle of self-defence. The citizens of Daviess had complained of the Mormons before, but unluckily for themselves could not establish anything against them more than was known to the public; so when they fled in distress their cry was heard at first with as much indifference as the boy's who cried, "the wolf, the wolf!"
By express the Governor was informed of the depredations of the Mormons and flight of the inhabitants of Daviess Co., and it seems he issued an order to Maj.-Gen'l Clark to raise 400 mounted men and reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes.
Previous to the 25th of October a great part of the Mormons residing in Caldwell Co. had returned home with their dividend of plunder. The Mormons continued their system of spoliation till their returning senses hinted to them the probable consequences, when they commenced the erection of small fort, or block house, in 'Diahman in preparation for a siege. They had captured the cannon brought from DeWitt which they found buried in Livingston Co. The people of Richmond in Ray Co., hearing that the Mormons were preparing to attack Richmond, removed their women and children across the river and kept vigilant guard on the roads to Caldwell Co. A company of
fifty or sixty men was raised and received orders from Maj.-Gen'l Atchinson to range the north line of the county to prevent a surprise if an attack was meditated by the Mormons.
On the night of the 24th of October the company under command of Capt. Bogart was encamped on Crooked River twelve miles south of Far West and two miles south of the line of Caldwell Co. Information was received in Far West about midnight that this company had taken some prisoners and burned some Mormon houses.
David Patton was immediately placed at the head of 75 or 100 volunteers and proceeded within two miles of the militia, or "mob," as the Mormons called them, when they left their horses with a small guard and marched silently on foot till hailed by the sentinel with, "Who comes there?"
Capt. Patton answered, "Friends!"
Sentinel: "Are you armed?"
Patton: "We are!"
Sentinel: "Then lay down your arms!"
Patton, to his men: "Fire!"
Some of the foremost men attempted to shoot, but the pieces "snapped." The sentinel shot one of the friends through the hip and ran into camp closely followed by the Mormons. Day had just began to dawn when they rushed upon their enemies, echoing their war cry, "God and Liberty!" A few minutes decided the contest in favor of the Mormons. The militia soon fled, leaving their horses and baggage in camp. One of their
number was killed on the ground, several wounded and one taken prisoner by the Mormons. Gideon Carter, brother of Jared Carter, was killed in the battle, and David W. Patton and one other of eight that were wounded of the Mormons, died the following day.
Early in the morning intelligence of the battle was received in Far West, and the Presidency and Lyman Wight rode out to meet the victorious Mormons and marched at their head back to town. The prisoner taken by the Mormons was released on their march back with direction to follow a certain path which was pointed out to him; but being suspicious of treachery, he traveled in it but a short distance and left it for a safe way in the woods. Certain movements convinced him that an ambush had been placed to cut off his return, and he no sooner left the path than he discovered a man in the act OF SHOOTING. TO SAVE HIMSELF HE "BENT FORWARD, RAN CROOKED AND DODGED BEHIND TREES," BUT THE COLD-HEARTED VILLAIN (I KNOW HIM WELL) DELIBERATELY SENT A BALL THROUGH HIS HIP AND LEFT HIM, THINKING PERHAPS HE HAD GIVEN HIM HIS DEATH WOUND.
The horses taken in the battle were distributed among the Mormons and receipted for to Col. Hinkle.
In Richmond the first information received of this battle was that the whole company of fifty or sixty men was massacred, and before the report
was corrected Amos Rees and Wiley C. Williams were far on their way to the Governor with this intelligence. Immediately after the battle of Crooked River nearly all Caldwell Co. were astir, removing their families and effects to Far West as a place of safety.
[ 119 ]
On the 29th of October Gen'l Doniphan was encamped on Crooked River with 1,300 men and waiting for reinforcements in order to march into Caldwell Co. The Mormon forces had been ordered out by Col. Hinkle, consequently the armed force of Caldwell Co. was concentrated and prepared to act.
On Monday (29th) a party of 150 Mormons, or more, were stationed three or four miles south of Far West to intercept any forces that might attempt to march in. The Mormons believed that the army on Crooked River was a mob collected to attack them without the authority of any public officer; but being satisfied myself that they came as the militia of the State, and fearing that serious consequences would result from the rashness of the Mormons if the two parties should meet, I volunteered to ride out and ascertain, if possible, what might be expected from the visit of so large an army.
I found it impossible to get into the camp unless I went as a prisoner, but I learned from one of the soldiers that they were under command of Gen'l Doniphan, which gave the Mormons some satisfaction. On the day following, Jno. Corrill and myself were dispatched by the Presidency to see
Gen'l Doniphan, with instructions "to beg like a dog for peace." But the army by a circuitous route marched to Far West while we were hunting their encampment and when we rode in at sunset we beheld them drawn up a half mile from the line of the town. A great part of the Mormons formed in the edge of the town fronting the militia, but others of them were going about with blank faces inquiring what should be done. As soon as I alighted from my horse which I had rode hard, I ran down to the Mormon lines and told Jos. Smith if he had any message to Gen'l Doniphan I would carry it. He expressed a wish for a compromise and got down from his horse to let me ride. I mounted, but not till I had asked him if it was consecrated property, as I did not think it safe to ride a borrowed horse where I might possibly meet the owner. By the time I left the Mormons the Militia had retired from lines and were building camp fires, and when I rode up to their outposts I was informed that the General would receive no communication that night. I observed to the person addressing me that I particularly wished to see Gen'l Doniphan and if he would take my name in he would confer a special favor, which he did, reluctantly, but soon returned and conducted me to the General's tent. After delivering the message intrusted by Jos. Smith I informed the General that there were many individuals among the Mormons who were warmly opposed to the wicked TRANSACTIONS IN DAVIESS Co. AND THE OPPRESSIVE
INFLUENCES BY WHICH THE CHURCH IS LED, as any man in his army could be, and that those men were now compelled to stand in the Mormon ranks where in the event of a battle their blood would flow in defense of measures to which they had ever been averse. Gen'l Doniphan was apprised of this fact and swore that nothing should be done to endanger the persons or property of that class. He also said that he was determined to have a complete reorganization of society in the county before he returned and by the suffrages of the people it should be determined whether Caldwell should still be governed by priestcraft; and if the party in favor of good order prove too weak he would protect them from the county, if they desired it. I found that the innocent had no cause to fear, unless the Mormons in their blind enthusiasm should provoke the army to an attack which would have undoubtedly ended in an indiscriminate slaughter, as there were then 10,000 men under arms against them and 3,000 in the confines of Caldwell Co.,. which, without a reinforcement, would have been sufficient to subdue 700 Mormons. On leaving, Gen'l Doniphan, directed that some of the principal men of Far West should meet him the next morning at a certain point between the army and Mormons to see what could be done. Jno. Corrill, W. W. Phelps, Jno. Clemmens and myself were named by Gen'l Doniphan and Seymour Brunson and Geo. M. Hinkle were added to the number by Jos. Smith. The next morning we were informed that.
no steps could be taken toward a compromise until the arrival of the order from the Governor which was hourly expected. We faithfully reported to the Presidency all that passed between us and Gen'l Doniphan. Jos. Smith said that a compromise MUST BE MADE ON SOME TERMS HONORABLE OR DISHONORABLE. The order did not arrive till late in the afternoon. An hour or so before sunset Maj.-Gen'l Lucas, of Jackson Co., Commander-in-Chief of all the forces then in Caldwell with four or five Brigadier Generals rode up and delivered us a copy of the order and spoke in favor of a treaty, not deeming it expedient to act with the rigor prescribed by His Excellency, the Governor.
The first thing required by General Lucas was that Jos. Smith, S. Rigdon, Geo. W. Robinson, P. P. Pratt and Lyman White, the latter being then in Far West, though a resident of Daviess Co., should give themselves up as hostages until the following morning, when, if a treaty could not be made, they should be delivered again to the Mormons and not a hair of their heads injured, for the performance of which the officers pledged their honor and the honor of the State. If these men would not come forward the army, 3,500 strong, was to march into Far West and take them.
One hour only being given for these men to decide and surrender themselves, we expeditiously got them together and firstly read them the order of the Governor, which is here transcribed for your perusal:
"Headquarters of the Militia, "City of Jefferson, Oct. 27, 1838.
"Sir -- Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause 400 mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., of Ray Co. and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes entirely the face of things and places the Mormons in the attitude of an open and defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State. Your orders are therefore to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond in Ray Co. with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State, if necessary for the public peace. Their outrages are beyond all description.
"If you can increase your force you are authorized to do so to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued order to Maj.- Gen'l Wallock of Marion Co., to raise 500 men and to march them to the northern part of Daviess and there unite with Gen'l Doniphan of Clay, who has been ordered with 500 men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express. You can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore, of proceeding as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of Daviess, you will proceed immediately
to Richmond, and there and then operate against the Mormons. Brig.-Gen'l Parks of Ray has been ordered to have 400 of his Brigadiers in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed tinder your command."
After reading the order and reporting the proposition of the officers, John Corrill observed that perhaps the first term of the treaty would be for the Mormons to leave the State. Joseph Smith answered that he did not care, he would be glad to get out of the damnable States.
[This is the language of an inspired prophet. One who promised that "One should chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight." The language shows that he was a coarse, profane coward, who had no faith in his prophecy, none in his cause, no love or regard for his Church, save to use it to delude people to further his vile purposes. How sane men could be deceived by such a bungling braggart, blasphemous impostor, when he was continually showing the Devil's hoof and horns, is the strangest part of the whole colossal Mormon fraud. His prophecies were profanations and never fulfilled. His promises were made only to be broken. His life was a libel on manhood, his leadership a snare, the Church a trap, and the poor deluded victims the prey of a trickster so awkward, so reckless in cowardice, so devilish where he had the power, he was ever unmasking a caricature of a third-rate impostor. Yet this is the fountain of Mormon faith. -- Cake.]
Joseph decided that they must give themselves up; that it would not do to resist the militia of the State, acting under the orders of the Governor He also said that the Church must comply with whatever the officers required.
[Verily, this is a Prophet who believes that Baal is God when he has the guns. -- Cake.]
Except these five men, the Mormons were entirely ignorant of what was passing, hourly expecting an attack from the mob militia, as they called them; and when the stated time for these men to surrender, they not having arrived on the ground, the army was put in motion, the alarm was raised among the Mormons, who rushed to their breastworks and bound up their heads in handkerchiefs in preparation for a coming fight, the drums beat, horns blew, men shouted, and it seemed nothing could prevent the effusion of blood, should the Militia come within reach of the Mormon rifles. To prevent serious confusion, Jno. Corrill and myself hastened forward and informed the officers of the advancing army that the men were close at hand. Jos. Smith first arrived and pleaded with Gen'l Lucas for permission to remain over night with his family, promising to comply with any terms he should name, even if it were for the whole Church to leave the State forthwith. [Joseph was first for war, first to surrender, first to leave the parts with his countrymen. -- Cake.] Gen'l Lucas told them they must go to camp with him and bade them forward. As they closed their
heavy columns around these men, the army made the welkin ring with the most terrific shouts that ever startled the ears of mortals. The savage war cry of the Indians could not compare with their yells of triumph, as they marched back to camp with five individuals under their guardianship, and they only in the character of hostages. On the same night about 80 or 100 Mormons who were engaged in the Crooked River battle being suspicious, or learning that they would, in case of a surrender, be called to answer for their conduct, took horses and fled across a part of the Indian country into the State of Illinois. ["The wicked flee when no man pursueth," etc. -- Cake.]
Sampson Avard, the instrument in the hand of the Presidency for carrying into effect every OPPRESSIVE MEASURE OF THE CHURCH [this is the language of one who knew an honest Mormon, whose eyes had seen, whose ears had heard, whose hands had handled; one the chief actors in all that was lawful -- yet this expresses an honest Mormon's opinion of the Mormon Church and its founders. -- Cake.]; the main actor in the organization of the Danites, and, while there was peace, their Thunderbolt of War, the scourge of every man that would not passively yield, but dared to oppose the principles of the new church government, also fled, leaving the people to extricate themselves from the difficulties into which they had plunged by following promiscuous counsel, and his examples of obedience to the will of the Presidency.
[This honest man draws a picture of the Mormon Church and its founders so plainly true, so truly plain, that the distance from 1897 back to the gigantic fraud of 1839 enables any honest man to see the unholy monstrosity and fly from it today. -- Cake.]
[ 128 ]
On Thursday morning the terms of treaty were handed to Col. Hinkel, which were in substance as follows:
The Mormons should deliver up their leaders to be tried and punished.
Those who had taken up arms should make an appropriation of their property to pay debts and damages.
The arms should be surrendered and receipted for.
And, lastly, the Mormons should remove from the State.
Whether Col. Hinkel read these propositions to the Mormons, I am not prepared to say, but having heard them converse upon the subject previous to the surrender, I can but be confident that they understood the terms. About nine in the morning the Mormons marched out and formed a hollow square with the militia drawn up on three sides, and grounded their arms, consisting of about 600 stand.
[Joseph's idea of forming a church was "600 stand of arms" for the corner stone. How different from that of the Nazarene who rebuked even the use of a sword, healed the wound and said, "They that take the sword shall perish by the sword."
And they did, as you will see by following the history of Joseph. -- Cake.]
They next marched back into Far West and were placed under a close guard for several hours. The militia marched through the village, some of them shouting as they passed the disarmed Mormons, "Charge, Danites, charge!"
The men who surrendered themselves as hostages were detained as State prisoners under the first articles of the treaty and taken under guard of the Jackson troops to Independence. The remainder of the Mormons were confined to Far West by a strong guard around the town until the arrival of Maj.-Gen'l Clark with his forces a few days after the surrender.
[Here is a spectacle for gods and men! The United States making a treaty of peace with a Church within the jurisdiction of the Government! "If these things be done in the green tree what will they do in the dry?" Gen'l Eaton says in the Christian Herald articles now being published (1897), that Mormon leaders declare the Church will return to first principles. They claim 300,000 members now, and already breathe the old spirit. What the old spirit, or first principles of the Church was, this spectacle shows. -- Cake.]
Sampson Avard had been intercepted in his flight in some place in the Platte Country and was brought to Far West about the same time; and he, the greatest villain in the band [Mark, this is a Mormon describing the "Daughter of Zion" of the
early Mormon Church -- "villain" is the word -- "greatest villain in the band" of villains, to complete his meaning. -- Cake.] furnished a list of such as he considered most culpable, and a few of his enemies, for which he was set at liberty after testifying before the Court. [Who does not pity the truly brave, honest Mormons who had been deluded by this wretch! -- Cake.] From this list about 50 men were selected and taken to Richmond in Ray Co., for examination, and the remaining Mormons in Far West were set at liberty.
Having been an enemy to Avard in consequence of his conduct in the society, he placed my name in his catalogue, and I was called as a prisoner, but the influence of friends procured my release in two minutes. All the time before, and after this, I had my freedom and could go to the camp of the army, to Far West, and to my house when I pleased. [Here is the proof that we have in this witness "the noblest Roman of them all," the Presidency making Reed Peck the chosen peacemaker when the crisis came; the Mormons trusting all to him, and the State officers and militia paying a like tribute to him. He is the only one in Joseph's church who could "chase a thousand," and the thousand are ghosts of Mormon delusions. These he chases away like mist, with his sunbeams of truth. -- Cake.]
Gen'l Clark caused Smith and his fellow prisoners to be brought from Jackson Co. to Richmond for examination, also. Before the Mormons were
set at liberty in Far West they were compelled to sign a deed of trust which would, if it had been lawful, taken from them all their property to pay the debts and damages.
The Mormons in 'Diahman were instructed by an express from their brethren in Far West, to surrender, which they did when the State troops appeared before the place.
The citizens of Daviess found, after the surrender, many of their horses and much of their household furniture in 'Diahman and Far West. [Thus the foundations of the Mormon Church were laid; created in fraud, and continued in crime. -- Cake.]
Bureaus, clocks, etc., were found secreted in the brush near Far West, having been placed there by persons not willing to have them found in their houses. By permission from Gen'l Clark, the agents for the Whitmers, Cowdery and Johnson, searched and recovered most of the property taken from them by Geo. W. Robinson and others the June before.
Some horses, wagons, and much other property were stolen from the Mormons by some of the militia who were villains enough to plunder.
[This witness tells the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, no matter whom it hits. All unconsciously he sets the eternal seal of verity to his testimony. To read is to believe; to believe is to detest the Mormon fraud. -- Cake.]
One Mormon was killed, though not instantly, by a blow received on the head after being taken
prisoner by a scouting party near Far West, and many of the Mormons were abused in various ways before they left the State.
But the most tragical story of the war is yet untold.
Soon after the last expedition to Daviess, the Mormons in a small settlement on the eastern line of Caldwell Co., collected at Hawn's Mills and formed something like an alliance with a small neighboring settlement of Missourians in which each party promised to inform the other when any danger threatened them; as the Mormons there would know the destinations of their brethren, and the other party would very likely be apprised of the movements of the mob. Under this arrangement the Mormons at Hawn's Mills, numbering 30 or 40, hoped to be secure, but while the troops were encamped before Far West they were surprised by a body of men, 200 strong from Livingston and Daviess counties, calling themselves militia, but were acting without orders. On discovering the hostile approach of this party one of the Mormons swung his hand and cried for peace, but his cry was answered by a discharge of rifles, which deprived him only of a finger. The Mormons immediately took shelter in a blacksmith shop and tried to defend themselves. Their bloodthirsty assailants would grant no quarter. They rushed up and poured in a deadly fire through the crevices, windows and door of the log building, and a total extermination would have been the fate of the
Mormons had they not in desperation broke from the shop and fled through a shower of bullets. After the firing had ceased, some of the party entered the shop and despatched the wounded and searched the dead. A boy between 10 and 15 years of who had sheltered himself under the bellows and remained unhurt throughout the action, came forward begging them to spare his life, but deaf to pleading innocence, they deliberately and literally blew out his brains, the rifle being discharged so close to his head. An old gentleman by the name of McBride finding himself pursued in his flight, and on the point of being overtaken, turned and gave up his gun and surrendered himself a prisoner, and then, without the power to resist, was cut to pieces with a part of a scythe placed in a handle for a corn cutter. In this horrid affray 17 Mormons were killed, several were wounded, and among them one or two women.
Seven of the mob were wounded, but none mortally. Of this massacre no notice has been taken by the authorities, though many of the principal actors are known to the public.
[Our honest witness tells it all. It hits "the authorities" hard this time. Though the perpetrators were "without orders," a band that took the law in their own hands, as the Mormon Church had done, it did not prevent punishment. The lesson of it all is this, Why does the Government now tolerate a system born and bred this way, that may make "history repeat itself?" What honest
Mormon wants to longer identify himself with a society that once took up arms against the State and was the cause of innocent blood shed by treasonable uprising? -- Cake.]
At the close of the examination in Richmond, between twenty and thirty of the Mormons were committed for bailable offences, and procuring bail they all absconded, not thinking it safe to stand their trial. [These were then called "Latter Day Saints." Their acts were inspired by the so-called prophet, Jos. Smith. "The tree is known by its fruits." This is fruit of the Mormon sapling. Can the tree change its fruit? When the tree is strong enough to bear fruit and is shaken by another storm, what will be gathered? "Do men gather figs of thistles?" -- Cake.]
The prisoner taken by the Mormons in the battle on Crooked River testified in court that Lyman Wight called out five men, and after talking with them a few moments they (Wight's five Mormons) took the direction which he (the prisoner) was afterwards directed to follow. All but one returned and this circumstance awakened his (the prisoner's) suspicions. There is no doubt respecting this matter, the Mormons present understood it, and I heard it talked of in Far West after they returned from the battle. [This was the prisoner who, when dodging from tree to tree was shot through the hips and left for dead, as related in foregoing pages. His appearance in court shows he crawled off and survived the bushwhacking attempt
on his life. It may be that the 200 who massacred the 17 Mormons at Hawn's Mills were the friends of this man taking awful vengeance. They were "not militia, but without orders," Peck says, and the relentless way they took "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," indicates that they were avengers. -- Cake.]
Jos. Smith, H. Smith, S. Rigdon, Lyman Wight, A. McRae and C. Baldwin were committed to jail in Liberty, Clay Co., for treason, murder, and other crimes.
[Paul and Silas and other Apostles of Truth were once confined in prisons, but not for treason and murder and other crimes. The best Mormon of the early Church tells why, how, and for what Jos. Smith, the Prophet, and other founders of the Mormon Church were in prison -- "Treason, murder, and other crimes." What more do the thousands of honest, deceived Mormons of to-day want to convince them of the fraud practiced upon them? If they will not be undeceived by such unimpeachable revelations of the fraudulent and criminal formation of the great Mormon Church Fraud, "they would not believe though one rose from the dead." -- Cake.]
P. P. Pratt and four others were confined in Richmond jail for murder committed in Bogart's battle.
The prisoners in Liberty made great exertions during the winter to effect their enlargement under the Habeus Corpus Act, in which S. Rigdon was
successful by giving heavy bail bond for his appearance at court; but he has not been seen in Missouri since.
[There is the record of the court, supplying the incontrovertible evidence of the truth of Reed Peck's story. Also the confession by S. Rigdon in "jumping his bail bond," and flying from justice, that the charges of murder, etc., were true. This makes one pillar of the Mormon Church a confession of murder. -- Cake.]
They also made several attempts to break jail, but were detected. [Once true Christians of a true Church were in jail; an earthquake broke the jail for them, but they did not break. "We are all here," said the true apostle of the true Church, disdaining to fly (Acts xvi. 28). Compare them with the guilty framers of a fraudulent Church, jumping bail bonds and trying to break jail! Mormon friends, will you not see the truth? -- Cake.]
As soon as the weather would admit after the surrender, the Mormons commenced removing from the State, generously aiding each other and contributing profusely for the assistance of the poor. [What a pity such noble men should be led astray by false guides. -- Cake.]
Being compelled as a people to leave their country and their homes within a stated time, great quantities of property were thrown onto the market simultaneously, opening a field for speculators who now reap the advantage of labor done by the banished Mormons.
In April the prisoners confined in Liberty were taken before the Grand Jury of Daviess Co. and indicted, but choosing to be tried at a distance from Daviess Co., Columbia, in Boone Co., was selected by them as the place of trial. William Bowman, a very conspicuous character among the Mobites, and four others of kindred spirit, were appointed to guard the prisoners to Columbia. On the way the prisoners bribed their guards and safely found their way to Illinois. [Here is more self-confession to crime by early Mormons. -- Cake.]
The public would have trusted Bowman with the prisoners as quickly, perhaps, as any other, he being a bitter enemy of the Mormons and the leader of a party that had only six days previous ranged through Caldwell Co., threatening the Mormons with destruction if they were not off in a week. Two of the prisoners confined in Richmond were liberated for want of testimony. P. P. Pratt and two others were taken to Columbia, from whence P. P. Pratt and one of the two made their escape on the 4th of July last. The other is still in jail.
[The tense here shows this narrative was written at the time of the events described, not from memory long after. It is accurately true. -- Cake.]
Of all that were taken of the Mormons two only remain prisoners in Missouri, and I am safe in saying that they are the least guilty. [Note the words -- "least guilty," says our faithful witness. -- Cake.]
One of these is guilty of standing guard over the Mormon horses while the company marched to attack Bogart on Crooked River. The other is guilty of executing plans laid by S. Rigdon to make the traitors, as he termed them, serviceable in defending the cause in Far West.
[ 139 ]
You may here ask, in conclusion, how Joseph Smith retains the confidence of his followers, and even binds them more closely to the cause when THE ULTIMATE OF ALL HIS PLANS HAS BEEN A TOTAL FAILURE. HE TELLS THEM AS AN EXCUSE FOR BEING IN THE HANDS OF HIS ENEMIES AFTER THE DELIVERY OF SO MANY BRAVE SPEECHES, "THAT HE WAS BETRAYED." THE VERY MEN WHO RISKED THEIR LIVES AT HIS REQUEST TO OPEN COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE ARMY, ARE NOW BRANDED AS TRAITORS. WHEN NO OTHERS WOULD VENTURE, WE STEPPED FORWARD AND WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN saving the lives of hundreds, perhaps, by bringing about a peace.
Propositions were made to us and we faithfully reported the same to the Presidency, and they understood the whole matter, still Joseph pretends to the Church that he was betrayed by us as Christ was betrayed by Judas.
[Picture to your mind this Prophet of Fraud who? our faithful witness states, wrecked a bank and purloined thousands in Kirtland, Ohio; who fled to Missouri to plot treason and insurrection and incite and help commit murder; picture such an one comparing himself with the Holy One betrayed by
Judas! The Devil at the temptation of Christ, the devils he cast out, never showed such audacity- Nothing but the licentious sensuality of the system could have held sane men in it after the total failure and criminal collapse, especially when such a blasphemous, incredible plea was made by the Prophet to explain his shameful abortion. -- Cake.]
You may ask how he can support his character as a man of God when facts are exhibited to the world in their true light You may ask how the Church can proclaim their innocence to the world with the hope of being believed after having been engaged in the devastation of a part of Daviess Co., and numerous acts of oppression in Caldwell. If the character of a few among the Mormons who were opposed to these acts of violence and their general course:in Caldwell can be blackened, they may assert the title to the character of Christ with no fear of contradiction. The five whom I have frequently mentioned as being opposed in principle to their conduct, were the chief witnesses summoned in the examination and the Mormons are exerting themselves to make the great public believe their testimony is false. To cast a shade over our character in the eyes of the world, for the purpose, perhaps, of making our testimony which in time will be made public, they accuse us of treachery, perjury and cowardice.
In behalf of the innocent part of the community I informed Gen'l Doniphan that there were many individuals among the Mormons who were as
warmly opposed to the wicked transactions in Daviess and the oppressive influence by which the- Church is led, as any men in his army could be.
If the order of the Governor had been in hand and an immediate attack intended (by the militia) would not this have averted the blow? [That is, instead of treachery, Reed Peck's plea for the innocent members of the Church was the only thing to prevent the attack.] If it would have been believed, the Mormons certainly would have been pleased if I had told him that they were all opposed to robbing and plundering. I intended to take a course that would save the greatest number from misery, whether guilty or innocent, knowing that the guilty had been made so by placing too much confidence in the divine authority of their leaders, believing that God would shield them from harm and prevent the consequences that would naturally flow from their conduct. I did them a service, but still the sacrifice of my character is NECESSARY TO SUPPORT ONE OF MORE IMPORTANCE [Jos. Smith's]. I have been informed that the army were generally acquainted with the course pursued by Jno. Corrill, myself and some others for six months preceding the war, therefore no one can accuse us of cowardice, for we knew that our innocence among men would secure our safety. We were anxious for a compromise, not that we feared for ourselves, but other men would have suffered death who had been as we were, women and children would suffer and we all had relations whose lives
would have been in jeopardy if the Mormons resisted the authorities.
Though the order of the Governor and terms of the treaty were unconstitutional and oppressive, yet can it be asked why we were unwilling to step into the Mormon ranks and fight when it would have been in support of measures to which we had ever been averse, and life would have been the forfeit.
There are many circumstances connected with what is here related but wishing to confine myself TO SUCH AS I WAS PARTICULARLY ACQUAINTED WITH, or have the most undoubted testimony of their being facts, I have omitted them; and before this passes from my hands I believe it just to present you with the testimony I have for believing all that is here stated to be truth:
"A secret meeting was called in Far West." I was informed of the transactions of this meeting the next morning by Jno. Corrill and T. B. Marsh.
"Sidney Rigdon took his text." I was present and heard his speech and, indeed, I heard all the SPEECHES FROM WHICH I HAVE MADE QUOTATIONS in this sketch delivered by Joseph, Sidney (Rigdon) or Avard.
"A young man was compelled to sign a libel." I saw him in custody and heard the particulars of the transaction from Geo. W. Robinson and D. B. Huntington.
"'They would not permit the clerk," etc. The clerk, John Clemenson, informed the Judge of this fact in open court.
"Secret society under the instructions of the Presidency." I was so informed by Geo. W. Robinson.
"I will walk on your neck, sir!" [Classical language of Joseph called prophetic inspiration. -- Cake.]
I was present and heard all.
"Peter told him that himself killed Judas," etc. I did not hear Peter say it.
"The ticket was made out by," etc. I was informed so by the printer. If it is not so it is "a mistake of the printer."
"They were furnished with a hint by Joseph," etc. I read the letter before it was sent.
"Pursuant to an arrangement," etc. W. W. Phelps heard them make the arrangement and swore to it in court. I also heard Wight speak of it the day before.
"Made their triumphal entry," etc. I saw them come in.
"McRae observed, 'Damn cold day,'" etc. I heard the particulars of the expedition from McRae and Brunson.
"The next night McRae went to G.," etc. One of the company with him related the particulars to me next morning. I also saw the furniture McRae missed with me in 'Diahman, or in the same company. He is now out preaching to enlighten the benighted world.
"Reducing many dwellings to ashes." An acquaintance informed me that in one day's ride through Daviess Co. he counted thirty houses that had been burned. Some of the Mormons engaged in this affair said it was a revelation from Joseph that every house in the county should be burned excepting those in 'Diahman. [Here is holy prophetic inspiration for you. -- Cake.] D. B. Huntington informed me that Brunson and McRae were burning Mormon houses and laying it to the mob. I was in 'Diahman from Tuesday till Saturday morning and saw and heard much that is not here written.
The battle on Crooked River. I have the particulars from men present in the engagement. The battle at Hawn's Mill. I have seen several Mormons that were engaged. One man finding escape from the shop impossible fell upon his face pretending to be dead, and another falling across his shoulders after being shot through the large vein of the neck, so covered him with blood that he was passed as a dead man. He relates it.