1838

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Amanda Smith Affidavit

SMITH, Alma

I hereby certify that my father stoped at Haun's mill and was living in a tent at the time the massacre took place there. I was in the tent when the company rode up. some of our people hallored to the women and children to leave the tents I run into a blacksmith shop where my father was. I crept under the bellows as also did my brother and an other boy by the name of Charles Merrick I was wounded on the hip, my brother had his brains blown out, and the other boy received three wounds and has since died of them. My mother tells me that I was eight years old last month. I saw some of our enemies pull off my father's boots before he was dead

Alma X Smith

[Sworn to before D. H. Wells, J.P., Hancock Co., IL, 3 Jan 1840.]

SMITH, Amanda

To whom this may come, I do hereby certify, That my husband Warren Smith, in company with several other families, was moving from Ohio to Missouri, late last fall, We came to Caldwell County [——] Whilst we were traveling, And minding our own business we were stopt by a Mob. they told us that if we went another step they would kill us all. They then took our guns from us. (As we were traveling into a new country we took guns along with us.) They took us back five miles, placed a guard around us, And there kept us three day, then let us go. I thought to myself is this our boasted land of liberty. For Some Said that we must deny our faith or they would kill us, others said we should die at any rate. The names of the Heads of this mob were Thomas O Brion, County Clerk, Jefferson Brion, William [——] Esqr. And James Austin all of Livingston County Mo. After they let us go, we travelled ten miles when we came to a small town, Composed of one grist Mill And One Saw Mill, And eight or ten houses belonging to our Brethren. Here we stopped for the night, when a little before Sunset, a mob of three hundred persons Came upon us. The men hollored for the women and Children to run for the woods, And they ran into an old blacksmith's Shop, for they feared that if we all run together they would rush upon us, And kill the women and Children. The mob fired before we had time to run from our Camp, Our men then took off their hats And swung them round, and Cried, quarter, quarter untill they were Shot down. The mob paid no attention to their cries nor entreaties but fired alternately, I took my little girls (my boys I Could not find) And started for the woods. The mob encir[cled] all sides except towards the brook, I ran down the bank, across the millp[ond] and plank, up the hill into the bushes. The bullets whistled around us all the way like hail, and Cut down the bushes on all sides of us. One girl was wounded by my side and fell over a log, her clothes hung across the logs [and] they Shot at them expecting that they were hitting her, and our people af[ter] wards Cut out of that log twenty bullets. I sat down to witness the dre[d]ful scene. When they had done firing, they began to howl and one woul[d] have thought that all the infernals had came from the infernal lower regi[on] They plundered the principal part of our goods, took our horses and waggon and then ran off howling like Demons. I then Came back to witness [the] awful scene. Oh Horrible! What a sight! My Husband murdered and stript naked before life had entirely gone out of him, And one of my Sons of fourteen ten years old lying lifeless on the ground, And anoth[er] Son badly wounded Seven years old; the ground Covered with the dead. These little boys had Crept under the bellows in the Shop. Another boy ten years old had three wounds in him, he lived five weeks and then died. Realize for a moment the Scene. It was sunset, nothi[ng] but horror and distress. The dogs filled with rage, howling of over their dea[d] masters, whilst the Cattle Caught the Scent of innocent blood and bellowed most awfully: A dozen helpless widows, thirty or forty fatherless Children Screaming and groaning for the loss of their husbands and fathers, the groans of the wounded and dying was enough to melt the heart of anything but a Missouri Mob. Fifteen were dead, And ten wounded, or more, two of whom died next day. The women were not able to bury the dead, So they were thrown into a dry well And Covered with dirt. The next day the Mob Came back. They told us, we must leave the State forthwith or leave the State or be killed. It was Cold weather, And they had our teams and Clothes our men all dead or wounded. I told them that they might kill me And My Children in welcome; They Sent to us from time to time, that if we did not leave the State they would come and kill us. We had little prayer meetings, they Said, if we did not stop them they would kill every one of us, man, women and Child. we had Spelling Schools for our little Children. And they Said we must also Stop them. We did our own milling, And got our own wood, no man to help us. I started on the first of Feburary for Illinois, without Money, (mob all the way) drove my own team, Slept out of doors; I had four Small Children, we Suffered hunger, fatigue and cold. And for what? for our religion, Where? In a boasted land of liberty. Deny your faith or die, was the Cry. I will mention Some of the names of the heads of the Mob. Two brothers by the name of Cumstock, William and Benjamin Ashby, Robert White, And one by the name of Rogers who took an old Scythe and Cut an old white headed man all to pieces. I wish further also to State that when the Mob Came there (as I was told by one of them afterwards) their intention was to kill every thing belonging to us that had life, And that after our men were Shot down by them, they went around and Shot all the dead men over again to make sure of their lives. I now leave it with this Honorable Government to Say what my damages may be; or what they would be willing to see their wives and Children Slaughtered for, as I have seen my husband, son & others. I lost in property by the Mob, To goods stolen fifty Dollars, one pocket book and fifty Dollars Cash, notes damage of horses and time, one hundred Dollars one gun ten dollars, In Short my all whole damages are more than the State of Missouri is worth. Written by my own hand in truth and soberness, This eighteenth day of April 1839.

Amanda Smith

[Sworn to before C. M. Woods, C.C.C., Adams Co., IL 7 May 1839.]