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Parley P. Pratt-Richmond Jail

Chapter 26

I must not forget to state that when we arrived in Richmond as prisoners there were some fifty others, mostly heads of families, who had been marched from Caldwell on foot (distance 30 miles), and were now penned up in a cold, open, unfinished court house, in which situation they remained for some weeks, while their families were suffering severe privations.

The next morning after our dialogue with General Clark he again entered our prison and informed us that he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities for an examining trial. He was then asked why he did not do away with the unlawful decree of banishment, which was first ordered by General Lucas, in compliance with the Governor's order, and which compelled thousands of citizens to leave the State. Or upon what principle the military power aided the civil law against us, while at the same time it caused our families and friends to be murdered, plundered and driven, contrary to all law?

He replied that he approved of all the proceedings of General Lucas, and should not alter them. I make this statement because some writers have commended Clark for his heroic, merciful, and prudent conduct towards our society, and have endeavored to make it appear that Clark was not to be blamed for any of the measures of Lucas.

The Court of Inquiry now commenced, before Judge Austin A. King. This continued from the 11th to 28th of November, and our brethren, some fifty in number, were penned up in the cold, dreary court house. It was a very severe time of snow and winter weather, and we suffered much. During this time Elder Rigdon was taken very sick, from hardship and exposure, and finally lost his reason; but still he was kept in a miserable, noisy and cold room, and compelled to sleep on the floor with a chain and padlock round his ankle, and fastened to six others. Here he endured the constant noise and confusion of an unruly guard, the officer of which was Colonel Sterling Price, since Governor of the State.

These guards were composed generally of the most noisy, foulmouthed, vulgar, disgraceful rabble that ever defiled the earth. While he lay in this situation his son-in-law, George W. Robinson, the only male member of his family, was chained by his side. Thus Mrs. Rigdon and her daughters were left entirely destitute and unprotected. One of his daughters, Mrs. Robinson, a young and delicate female, with her little infant, came down to see her husband, and to comfort and take care of her father in his sickness. When she first entered the room, amid the clank of chains and the rattle of weapons, and cast her eyes on her sick and dejected parent and sorrow worn husband, she was speechless, and only gave vent to her feelings in a flood of tears. This faithful lady, with her little infant, continued by the side of her father till he recovered from his sickness, and till his fevered and disordered mind resumed its wonted powers.

In one of those tedious nights we had lain as if in sleep till the hour of midnight had passed, and our ears and hearts had been pained, while we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our guards, Colonel Price at their head, as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the "Mormons" while at Far West and vicinity. They even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters and virgins, and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children.

I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

"SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and bear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!"

He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.

I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the Courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri.

In this mock Court of Inquiry the Judge could not be prevailed on to examine the conduct of murderers and robbers who had desolated our society, nor would he receive testimony except against us. By the dissenters and apostates who wished to save their own lives and secure their property at the expense of others, and by those who had murdered and plundered us from time to time, he obtained abundance of testimony, much of which was entirely false. Our Church organization was converted by such testimony into a temporal kingdom, which was to fill the whole earth and subdue all other kingdoms.

This Court of Inquisition inquired diligently into our belief of the seventh chapter of Daniel concerning the kingdom of God, which should subdue all other kingdoms and stand forever. And when told that we believed in that prophecy, the Court turned to the clerk and said: "Write that down; it is a strong point for treason." Our lawyer observed as follows: "Judge, you had better make the Bible treason." The Court made no reply.

These texts and many others were inquired into with all the eagerness and apparent alarm which characterized a Herod of old in relation to the babe of Bethlehem, the King of the Jews.

The ancient Herod, fearing a rival in the person of Jesus, issued his exterminating order for the murder of all the children of Bethlehem from two years old and under, with a view to hinder the fulfilment of a prophecy which he himself believed to be true.

The modern Herod (Boggs), fearing a rival kingdom in "the people of the Saints of the Most High," issued his exterminating order for the murder of the young children of an entire people, and of their mothers as well as fathers, while this Court of Inquisition inquired as diligently into the one prophecy as his predecessor did into the other. These parallel actions go to show a strong belief in the prophecies on the part of the actors in both cases. Both believed, and feared, and trembled; both hardened their hearts against that which their better judgment told them was true. Both were instigated by the devil to cause innocent blood to be shed. And marvellously striking is the parallel in the final result of the actions of each.

The one slew many young children, but failed to destroy the infant King of the Jews.

The other slew many men, women and children, but failed to destroy the Kingdom of God.

The one found a timely refuge in Egypt.

The other in Illinois.

Jesus Christ fulfilled his destiny, and will reign over the Jews, and sit on the throne of his father, David, forever.

The Saints are growing into power amid the strongholds of the mountains of Deseret, and will surely take the Kingdom, and the greatness of the Kingdom, under the whole Heaven.

Who can withstand the Almighty, or frustrate his purposes? Herod died of a loathsome disease, and transmitted to posterity his fame as a tyrant and murderer. And Lilburn W. Boggs is dragging out a remnant of existence in California, with the mark of Cain upon his brow, and the fear of Cain within his heart, lest he that findeth him shall slay him. He is a living stink, and will go down to posterity with the credit of a wholesale murderer.

The Court also inquired diligently into our missionary operations. It was found, on investigation, that the Church had sent missionaries into England and other foreign countries. This, together with our belief in the Bible, was construed into treason against the State of Missouri, while every act of defence was set down as murder, etc. The Judge, in open court, while addressing a witness, proclaimed, that if the members of the Church remained on their lands to put in another crop they should be destroyed indiscriminately, and their bones be left to bleach on the plains without a burial. Yes, reader, the cultivation of lands held by patents issued by the United States land office, and signed by the President of the Republic, was, by Judge Austin A. King, in open court, pronounced a capital offence, for which a whole community were prejudged and sentenced to death. While those who should be the instruments to execute this sentence were called by the dignified name of citizens, and these good citizens afterwards elected that same Judge for Governor of the State.

The Judge inquired of the prisoners if they wished to introduce any witnesses for the defence. A list of names was supplied by the prisoners, when, who should be selected to go to Far West to obtain and bring them before the Court, but the identical bandit, Bogart, and his gang, who were defeated by us in the battle of Crooked River, after they had become famous for kidnapping, plundering and murdering!

Of course, every man in Caldwell would flee from such a gang if they could; but he succeeded in capturing a few of our friends, whose names were on the list, and bringing them before the Court, when, instead of being sworn, they were immediately ordered to prison to take their trial. Others were sent for, and, as far as found, shared the same fate. This manoeuvre occupied several days, during which the Court was still in session, and the fate of the prisoners suspended.

At length the Judge exclaimed to the prisoners: "If you have any witnesses bring them forward; the Court cannot delay forever—it has waited several days already." A member of the Church, named Allen, was just then seen to pass the window. The prisoners requested that he might be introduced and sworn. He was immediately called in and sworn. He began to give his testimony, which went to establish the innocence of the prisoners, and to show the murders, robberies, etc., committed by their accusers. But he was suddenly interrupted and cut short by cries of "Put him out;" "Kick him out;" "G—d d—n him, shoot him;" "Kill him, d—n him, kill him;" "He's a d—d Mormon."

The Court then ordered the guard to put him out, which was done amid the yells, threats, insults and violence of the mob who thronged in and around the court house. He barely escaped with his life. Mr. Doniphan, attorney for the defence, and since famed as a general in the Mexican war, finally advised the prisoners to offer no defence; "for," said he, "though a legion of angels from the opening heavens should declare your innocence, the Court and populace have decreed your destruction." Our attorney offered no defence, and thus the matter of our trials was finally submitted.

By the decision of this mock Court some twenty or thirty of the accused were dismissed, among whom was Amasa Luman Gibbs, Darwin Chase, Norman Shearer and myself and themselves and bail both forced to leave the State, thus forfeiting the bail bonds, while Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin and Alexander McRay (all heads of families) were committed to the jail of Clay County on the charge of treason; and Morris Phelps, Luman Gibbs, Darwin Chase, Norman Shearer and myself were committed to the jail of Richmond, Ray County, for the alleged crime of murder, said to be committed in the act of dispersing the bandit, Bogart, and his gang.

This done, the civil and military authorities dispersed, and the troubled waters became a little more tranquil.

As our people were compelled by the memorable "Treaty of Far West" to leave the State by the following spring, they now commenced moving by hundreds and by thousands to the State of Illinois, where they were received in the most humane and friendly manner by the authorities, and by the citizens in general. In the meantime bands of murderers, thieves and robbers were roaming unrestrained among the unarmed and defenceless citizens, committing all manner of plunder, and driving off cattle, sheep and horses, abusing and insulting women.

My wife and children soon came to me in prison, and spent a portion of the winter in the cold, dark dungeon, where myself and fellow prisoners were frequently insulted and abused by our dastardly guards, who often threatened to shoot us on the spot, and who made murder, robbery and whoredoms with negro slaves their daily boast.

Chapter 27

The State legislature were soon in session; and from this body, so high in responsibility, we had hoped for some redress and protection. Memorials and petitions from those aggrieved, and others, were addressed to the legislature, praying for an investigation of the whole matter, and for redress and protection against the criminal proceedings of the Governor and his troops, in seizing our property, murdering our citizens, kidnapping our leaders and others, and driving us from the State.

Yes, in fact, American citizens petitioned a republican legislature for the privilege of occupying and cultivating their own lands, purchased of the Government of the United States, and for the privilege of dwelling in the houses built by their own hands, on their own real estate. How strange! How incredible, in the nineteenth century! Who can realize it? And yet it must stand on record, and go down to posterity as a fact, a stubborn, undeniable public fact.

The following extract of a petition addressed to the legislature of Missouri, dated Dec. 10, 1838, Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri, and signed by a committee appointed by the citizens, will show for itself the foregoing to be true. It was signed by






It read as follows:

"The last order of Governor Boggs, to drive us from the State or exterminate us, is a thing so novel, unlawful, tyrannical and oppressive that we have been induced to draw up this memorial and present this statement of our case to your honorable body, praying that a law may bepassed rescinding the order of the Governor to drive us from the State; and also, giving us the sanction of the Legislature to inherit our lands in peace. * * * In laying our case before your honorable body we say that we are willing, and ever have been, to conform to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State.

"We ask, in common with others, the protection of the laws. We ask for the privilege guaranteed to all free citizens of the United States and of this State to be extended to us, that we may be permitted to settle and live where we please, and worship God according to the dictates of our conscience without molestation. And while we ask for ourselves this privilege, we are willing all others should enjoy the same."

If the necessity for such a petition seems strange, how much more strange appears the fact, that sduch petition was denied by the Legislature of a State? And to crown the whole, all investigation was utterly refused; nay more, the Legislature itself became accessory to these crimes, by appropriating two hundred thousand dollars to pay the murderers and robbers for committing these crimes.

This last act of outrage sealed with eternal infamy the character of the State of Missouri. She fell to rise no more. She should be looked upon by her sister States as a star fallen from the American constellation; a ruined and degraded outcast from the family of States. The whole civilized world will detest and abhor her as the most infamous of tyrants. Nay, tyranny itself will blush to hear her deeds mentioned in the annals of history.

The most cruel persecutors of the Christians or Reformers in pagan or papal Rome will start with astonishment from their long slumbers, and, with a mixture of envy and admiration, yield to her the palm. As a State she has acted the part of a pirate, a wholesale murderer and robber. Every department—civil, military, executive and legislative—tramples all law under foot, and plunges into crime and blood.

Many of the State journals have tried to hide the iniquity of the State by throwing a covering of lies over her atrocious deeds. But, can they hide the Governor's cruel order for extermination or banishment? Can they conceal the fact of the disgraceful treaty of the generals with a portion of their own officers and men at Far West? Can they conceal the fact that ten or twelve thousand citizens, of all ages and of both sexes, have been banished from the State without trial or condemnation? Can they conceal the fact that the State Legislature appropriated two hundred thousand dollars to pay the criminals for committing these crimes; and this while the petitions of the sufferers lay on the table before them, praying for investigation, redress and protection? Can they conceal the fact that citizens have been kidnapped and imprisoned for many months, while their families, friends and witnesses have been driven from the State?

Can they conceal the blood of the murdered husbands and fathers, or stifle the cries of widows and orphans?

Nay, the rocks and the mountains may cover them in unknown depths; the awful abyss of the fathomless deep may swallow them up, and still their horrid deeds will stand forth in the broad light of day, for the wondering gaze of angels and of men—they cannot be hid.

Chapter 28

This chapter is an extract from the statement of Hyrum Smith, one of the prisoners, given under oath, before the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, in the summer of 1843.

"The next morning after the close of this mock court (held at Richmond, Judge Austin A. King presiding), a large wagon drove up to the door of our prison house, and a blacksmith entered with some chains and handcuffs. He said his orders from the Judge were to handcuff and chain us together. He informed us that the Judge made out a mittimus and sentenced us to jail for treason; he also said that the Judge had stated his intention to keep us in jail until all the Mormons were driven from the State; and that the Judge had further stated that if he let us out before the Mormons had left the State there would be another d—d fuss kicked up. I also heard the Judge say myself, while he was sitting in his pretended court, 'that there was no law for us, or any of the Mormons in the State of Missouri; that he had sworn to see then exterminated, and to see the Governor's order executed to the very letter, and he would do so.

"However, the blacksmith proceeded to put the irons upon us. We were then ordered into the wagon and drove off for Clay County. As we journeyed along the road, we were exhibited to the inhabitants. This public exhibition lasted until we arrived at the town of Liberty, Clay County. There we were thrust into prison again, and locked up; and were held there in confinement for the space of six months.

"Our place of lodging was the square side of hewed white oak logs, and our food was anything but good and decent. Poison was administered to us three or four times. The effect it had upon our systems was, that it vomited us almost to death, and then we would lay some two or three days in a torpid, stupid state, not even caring or wishing for life.

"The poison would inevitably have proved fatal had not the power of Jehovah interposed in our behalf, to save us from their wicked purpose. We were also subjected to the necessity of eating human flesh! for the space of five days, or go without food, except a little coffee or a little corn bread. I chose the latter alternative. None of us partook of the flesh except Lyman Wight. We also heard the guard which was placed over us, making sport of us, saying that 'they had fed us upon Mormon beef.'

"I have described the appearance of this flesh to several experienced physicians, and they have decided that is was human flesh. We learned afterwards through one of the guards that it was supposed that such acts of cannibalism as feeding us with human flesh would be considered a popular deed. But those concerned, on learning that it would not take, tried to keep it secret; but the fact was noised abroad before they took that precaution.

"While we were incarcerated in prison we petitioned the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri for habeas corpus twice, but we were as often refused by Judge Reynolds, who is now Governor of that State.

"We also petitioned one of the county judges for a writ of habeas corpus. This was granted in about three weeks afterwards; but we were not permitted to have any trial. We were only taken out of jail, and kept out for a few hours, and then remanded back again. In the course of three or four days after that time Judge Turnham came into the jail in the evening, and said he had permitted Mr. Rigdon to get bail; but said he had to do it in the night, and had also to get away in the night, and unknown to any of the citizens, or they would kill him; for they had sworn to kill him if they could find him. And, as to the rest of us, he dare not let us go for fear of his own life, as well as ours.

"He said it was hard to be confined under such circumstances, for he knew we were innocent men, and the people also knew it; and that it was only persecution and treachery, and the scenes of Jackson County acted over again, for fear we would become too numerous in that upper country. He said, 'the plan was concocted from the Governor down to the lowest judge, and that that wicked Baptist priest, Riley, was riding into town every day to watch the people—stirring up the minds of the people against us all he could—exciting them, and stirring up their religious prejudices against us, for fear they would let us go.'

"Mr. Rigdon, however, got bail and made his escape to Illinois. The jailor, Samuel Tillory, told us also 'that the whole plan was concocted from the Governor down to the lowest judge in that upper country early the previous spring; and that the plan was more fully matured at the time General Atchison went down to Jefferson County with Generals Wilson, Lucas and Gillum.' This was sometime in September, when the mob was collected at De Witt. He also said that the Governor was now ashamed enough of the whole transaction, and would be glad to set us at liberty if he dared to do it; 'but,' said he, 'you need not be concerned, for the Governor has laid a plan for your release.' He also said that Mr. Birch, the State's Attorney, was appointed to be Circuit Judge in the district including Davies County, and that he (Birch) was instructed to fix the papers so that we would be clear from any encumbrance in a very short time.

"Sometime in April we were taken to Davies County, as they said, to have a trial; but when we arrived at that place, instead of finding a court or a jury, we found another Inquisition; and Birch, who was the District Attorney, the same man who was one of the 'court martial' when we were sentenced to death, was now the Circuit Judge of that pretended court, and the Grand Jury that were impanelled were at the massacre at Haun's Mill, and lively actors in that awful, solemn, disgraceful, cold-blooded murder. All the pretence they made of excuse was 'they had done it because the Governor ordered it done.'

"The same jury sat as a jury in the day time, and were over us as a guard by night. They tantalized and boasted over us of their great achievements at Haun's Mill and at other places; telling us how many houses they had burned, and how many sheep, cattle and hogs they had driven off belonging to 'Mormons,' and how many rapes they had committed, etc.

"These fiends of the lower region boasted of these acts of barbarity and tantalized our feelings with them for ten days. We had heard of these acts of cruelty previous to this time; but we were slow to believe that such acts had been perpetrated.

"This Grand Jury constantly celebrated their achievements with grog and glass in hand, like the Indian warriors at the war dances, singing and telling each of their exploits in murdering the 'Mormons,' in plundering their houses, and carrying off their property. All this was done in . . . presence of Judge Birch, who had previously said in our hearing: 'That there was no law for the Mormons in the State of Missouri.'

"After all these ten days of drunkenness we were informed that we were indicted for 'treason! murder! arson! larceny! theft and stealing!!' We asked for a change of venue from that county to Marion County; but they would not grant it. But they gave us a change of venue from Davies to Boone County, and a mittimus was made out by the pretended Judge Birch, without date, name or place. They fitted us out with a two horse wagon and horses, and four men, besides the Sheriff, to be our guard—there were five of us.

"We started from Gallatin, the sun about two hours high, p.m., and went as far as Diahman that evening, and stayed till morning. There we bought two horses of the guard, and paid for one of them in clothing which we had with us, and for the other we gave our note.

"We went down that day as far as Judge Morin's—a distance of some four or five miles. There we stayed until morning, when we started on our journey to Boone County, and travelled about twenty miles. There was bought a jug of whiskey, of which the guard drank freely. While there the Sheriff showed us the mittimus, before referred to, without date or signature, and said that Judge Birch told him never to carry us to Boone County, and to show the mittimus; and, said he, I shall take a good drink of grog and go to bed, and you may do as you have a mind to. Three others of the guard drank pretty freely of whiskey sweetened with honey; they also went to bed and were soon asleep. The other guard went with us and helped us to saddle our horses. Two of us mounted the horses and the other three started on foot, and thus we took our change of venue for the State of Illinois.

"In the course of nine or ten days we arrived safely in Quincy, Adams County, where we found our families in a state of poverty, although in good health—they having been driven out of the State previously by the murderous militia under the exterminating order of the Executive of Missouri. And now the people of that State, or a portion of them, would be glad to make the people of this State believe that my brother Joseph has committed treason, and this they seek to do for the purpose of keeping up their murderous and hellish persecution. They seem to be unrelenting in thirsting for the blood of innocence, for I do know most positively that my brother Joseph has committed no treason, nor violated one solitary item of law or rule in the State of Missouri.

"But I do know that the Mormon people, en masse, were driven out of that State, after being robbed of all they had, and that he barely escaped with his life. And all this in consequence of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs; the same being confirmed by the Legislature of that State.

"And I do know, so does this Court and every rational man who is acquainted with the circumstances, and every man who shall hereafter become acquainted with the particulars thereof, will know that Governor Boggs and Generals Clark, Lucas, Wilson and Gillum, also Austin A. King, have committed treasonable acts against the citizens of Missouri, and did violate the Constitution of the United States, and also the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, and did exile and expel, at the point of the bayonet, some twelve or fourteen thousand inhabitants of the State, and did murder some three or four hundred of men, women and children in cold blood in the most horrid and cruel manner possible. And the whole of it was caused by religious bigotry and persecution, and because the Mormons dared to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience and agreeably to His Divine Will, as revealed in the Scriptures of eternal truth; and had turned away from following the vain traditions of their fathers and would not worship according to the dogmas and commandments of those men who preach for hire and divine for money, and teach for doctrines the commandments of men, expecting that the Constitution of the United States would have protected them therein.

"But, notwithstanding the Mormon people, had purchased upwards of two hundred thousand dollars' worth of land, most of which was entered and paid for at the Land Office of the United States, in the State of Missouri, and although the President of the United States has been made acquainted with these facts and the particulars of our persecutions and oppressions by petitions to him and to Congress, yet they have not even attempted to restore the Saints to their rights, or given any assurance that we may hereafter expect redress from them.

"And I do also know, most positively and assuredly, that my brother, Joseph Smith, Junior, has not been in the State of Missouri since the spring of the year 1839. And further this deponent saith not.


Chapter 29

On the 17th of March, 1839, my wife took leave of the prison with her little children, and, with a broken heart returned to Far West, in order to get passage with some of the brethren for Illinois. She tarried in Far West a month. All the Society had gone from the State, but a few of the poor and widows, and the Committee who tarried behind to assist them in removing. About the middle of April a gang of robbers entered Far West armed, and ordered my wife, and the Committee, and the others to be gone by such a time, or they would murder them. This gang destroyed much furniture and other property.

Thus my wife was driven away according to the Governor's previous order, while I was still detained in a filthy dungeon. My family were conveyed to Quincy, Illinois, distance two hundred and eighty miles, by David W. Rogers, of New York, who is a descendant of the celebrated martyr, John Rogers, of Smithfield celebrity, England.

On the 20th of April, 1839, the last of the Society departed from Far West. Thus had a whole people, variously estimated at from ten to fifteen thousand souls, been driven from houses and lands and reduced to poverty, and had removed to another State during one short winter and part of a spring. The sacrifice of property was immense—including houses, lands, cattle, sheep, hogs, agricultural implements, furniture, household utensils, clothing, money and grain. One of the most flourishing counties in the State and part of several others were reduced to desolation, or inhabited only by marauding gangs of murderers and robbers.

On the 24th of April our cases came before the Grand Jury of the county of Ray; which Grand Jury, the reader is aware, would be naturally composed of our persecutors and their accessories; and at whose head was the same Judge King who had presided in the former mock trial and Inquisition which committed us to prison.

Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer were dismissed, after being imprisoned near six months. This release happened just as Mr. Shearer came to visit his son for the last time before he left the country. He came into the prison and took an affectionate leave of his son, who wept as if his heart would break; but while he yet lingered in town his son was called before the Court, and, together with Mr. Chase, was told that he might go at liberty. The father and son then embraced each other, almost overcome with joy, and departed.

At the same time my brother, Orson Pratt, whom I had not seen for a year, came from Illinois to see me, but was only permitted to visit me for a few moments, and then was ordered to depart.

Mrs. Phelps, who had waited in prison for some days, in hopes that the Court would release her husband, now parted with him, overwhelmed with sorrow and tears, and, with her infant, went away to remove to Illinois.

Thus our families wander in a strange land, without our protection, being robbed of house and home. O Lord! how long?

Our number in prison were now reduced to four—one having been added about the middle of April. His name was King Follett; he was dragged from his distressed family just as they were leaving the State, being charged with robbery, which meant that he was one of a posse who took a keg of powder from a gang of ruffians who were out against the Mormons. Thus, of all the Mormon prisoners first kidnapped, only two remained in the State—Mr. Gibbs having denied the faith to try and regain his liberty—these were Morris Phelps and myself.

All who were liberated on bail were forced to leave the State, together with those who bailed them, thus forfeiting many thousands of dollars to the coffers of the State.

Is it possible! Have I been recording the history of realities as the scenes transpired in the broad light of the nineteenth century—in the boasted land of liberty—and in the most renowned republic now existing on the globe? Alas! it is too true; would to God it were a dream—a novel, a romance that had no existence save in the wild regions of fancy. But the prison door yet grating on its hinges,—the absence of my wife and little ones,—the gloom of the dungeon where I yet repose,—these and ten thousand other things cause me to think that my almost incredible narrative is no fiction, but an awful reality—a fact more truly distressing than my feeble tongue or pen can find words to set forth.

How often in my sleeping visions I see my beloved wife, or my playful children surrounded with the pleasures of home in my sweet little cottage, or walk with them in some pleasant grove or flowery field, as in years past. How often I see myself surrounded with listening thousands, as in bygone years, and join with them in the sacred song and prayer, or address them with the sound of the everlasting gospel. But, alas! I soon awake, and, to my inexpressible grief and sorrow, find myself still in my lonely dungeon.

O Liberty!

O sound once delightful to every American ear!

O sacred privilege of American citizenship!

Once sacred; now trampled under foot.

When shall I and my injured family and friends again enjoy thy sweets? When shall we repose beneath thy bower, or bask in thy boundless ocean of felicity? When shall we sit again under our vine and under our fruit trees, and worship our God, with none to molest or make us afraid?

Awake, O Americans!

Arise, O sons and daughters of freedom!

Restore a persecuted and injured people to their rights, as citizens of a free republic. Down with tyranny and oppression, and rescue your liberties from the brink of ruin. Redeem your much injured country from the awful stain upon its honor; and let the cries of helpless orphans and the tears of the sorrowing widow cease to ascend up before the Lord for vengeance upon the heads of those who have slain, plundered, imprisoned and driven the Saints. And let the news go forth to the wondering nations that Columbia still is free.

O tell it not in Britain; nor let the sound be heard in Europe that Liberty is fallen; that the free institutions of our once happy country are now destroyed, lest the sons and daughters of Britannia rejoice and laugh us to scorn; lest the children of monarchy triumph and have us in derision.

O freedom must thy spirit now withdraw

From earth, returning to its native heaven,

There to dwell, till, armed with sevenfold vengeance,

It comes again to earth with King Messiah,

And all His marshaled hosts, in glory bright,

To tread the winepress of Almighty God,

And none escape? Ye powers of Heaven, forbid;

Let freedom linger still on shores of time,

And in the breasts of thine afflicted saints,

Let it find a peaceful retirement—

A place of rest, till o'er the troubled earth,

Mercy, justice and eternal truth,

While journeying hand in hand to exalt the humble

And debase the proud; shall find some nation,

Poor, oppressed, afflicted and despised;

Cast out and trodden under foot of tyrants

Proud; the hiss, the byeword, and the scorn of knaves—

And there let freedom's spirit wide prevail,

And grow and flourish 'mid the humble poor—

Exalted and enriched by virtue,

Knowledge, temperance and love; till o'er the earth

Messiah comes to reign; the proud consumed,

No more oppress the poor,

Let freedom's eagle then (forthcoming, like

The dove from Noah's ark) on lofty pinions soar,

And spread its wide domain from end to end,

O'er all the vast expanse of this wide earth;

While freedom's temple rears its lofty spires

Amid the skies, and on its bosom rests

A cloud by day and flaming fire by night!

But stay my spirit, though thou fain would'st soar

On high, 'mid scenes of glory, peace and joy;

From bondage free, and bid thy jail farewell.

Stop! —wait awhile! —let patience have her perfect work.

Return again to suffering scenes, through which

The way to glory lies, and speak of things

Around thee—Thou'rt in prison still!

But spring has now returned; the wintry blasts

Have ceased to howl through prison crevices—

The soft and gentle breezes of the South

Are whistling gaily past, and incense sweet,

On zephyr's wing, with fragrance fills the air,

Wafted from blooming flowerets of the spring;

While round my lonely dungeon oft is heard

Melodious strains, as if the birds of spring,

In anthems sweet, conspired to pity and

Console the drooping spirits there confined.

All things around me show that days, and weeks,

And months have fled, although to me not mark'd

By Sabbaths, and but faintly marked by dim

And sombre rays of light, altemate 'mid

The gloom of overhanging night, which still

Pervades my drear and solitary cell.

Where now those helpless ones I left to mourn?

Have they perished? No. What then! Has some

Elijah call'd and found them in the last

Extreme, and multiplied their meal and oil?

Yes, verily; the Lord has filled the hearts

Of his poor saints with everlasting love,

Which, in proportion to their poverty,

Increased with each increasing want, till all

Reduced unto the widow's mite, and then,

Like her, their living they put in; and thus

O'erflowed the treasury of the Lord with more

Abundant stores than all the wealth of kings.

And thus supported, fed and clothed, and moved

From scenes of sorrow to a land of peace,

They live! and living still, they do rejoice

In tribulation deep—

Well knowing their redemption draweth nigh.

Chapter 30

"RICHMOND PRISON, May 13th, 1839.

"Hon. Sir—Having been confined in prison near seven months, and the time having arrived when a change of venue can be taken in order for the further prosecution of our trials, and the time when I can speak my mind freely, without endangering the lives or liberties of any but myself, I now take the liberty of seriously objecting to a trial anywhere within the bounds of this State, and of earnestly praying to your honor and to all the authorities, civil and military, that my case may come within the law of BANISHMENT! enacted by Governor Boggs, and so vigorously enforced upon from ten to fifteen thousand of our Society, including my wife and little ones, together with all my witnesses and friends.

"My reasons are obvious, and founded upon notorious facts which are known to you, sir, and to the people in general of this republic, and, therefore, need no proof; some of them are as follows:

"First: I have never received any protection by law, either of my person, property or family, while residing in this State, to which I first emigrated in 1831.

"Secondly: I was driven by force of arms from Jackson County, wounded and bleeding, in 1833, while my house was burned, my crops and provisions robbed from me or destroyed, and my land and improvements kept from me until now, while my family was driven out, without shelter, at the approach of winter.

"Thirdly: These crimes still go unpunished, notwithstanding I made oath before the Hon. Judge Ryland, then acting District Judge, to the foregoing outrages, and afterwards applied in person to his excellency, Daniel Dunklin, then Governor of the State, for redress and protection of myself and friends, and the restoration of more than a thousand of our fellow citizens to our homes.

"Fourthly: My wife and children have now been driven from our house and improvements in Caldwell County, and banished the State on pain of death, together with about ten thousand of our Society, including all my friends and witnesses, and this by the express orders of his excellency, Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of the State of Missouri, and by the vigorous execution of this order by Generals Lucas and Clark, and followed up by murders, rapes, plunderings, thefts and robberies of the most inhuman character, by a lawless mob who had, from time to time, for more than five years past, trampled upon all law and authority, and upon all the rights of man.

"Fifthly: All these inhuman outrages and crimes go unpunished, and are unnoticed by you, sir, and by all the authorities of the State. Nay, rather, you are one of the very actors. You, yourself, threatened in open court the extermination of the 'Mormons' if they should ever be again guilty of cultivating their lands.

"Sixthly: The Legislature of the State has approved of and sanctioned this act of banishment, with all the crimes connected therewith, by voting an appropriation of two hundred thousand dollars for the payment of troops engaged in this unlawful, unconstitutional and treasonable enterprise.

"In monarchial governments the banishment of criminals after their legal trial and condemnation has been frequently resorted to, but the banishment of innocent women and children from house, and home, and country, to wander in a strange land, unprotected and unprovided for, while their husbands and fathers are retained in dungeons, is an act unknown in the annals of history, except in this single instance, in the nineteenth century, when it has actually transpired in a republican State, where the Constitution guarantees to every man the protection of life, liberty and property, and the right of trial by jury.

"These, sir, are outrages which would put monarchy to the blush, and from which the most despotic tyrants of the dark ages would turn away with shame and disgust. In these proceedings, sir, Missouri has enrolled her name on the list of immortal fame. Her transactions will be handed down the stream of time to the latest posterity, who will read with wonder and astonishment the history of proceedings which are without a parallel in the annals of time.

"Why should the authorities of the State strain at a gnat and swallow a camel?

"Why be so strictly legal as to compel me to pass through all the forms of a slow and pretended legal prosecution (previous to my enlargement), out of a presence of respect to the laws of the State, which have been openly trampled upon and disregarded towards us from first to last?

"Why not include me in the general wholesale banishment of our Society, that I may support my family, which are now reduced to beggary in a land of strangers?

"But, sir, when the authorities of the State shall redress all these wrongs, shall punish the guilty according to law, and shall restore my family and friends to all our rights, and shall pay all the damages which we, as a people, have sustained, then I shall believe them sincere in their professed zeal for law and justice; then shall I be convinced that I can have a fair trial in the State.

"But until then I hereby solemnly protest against being tried in this State, with the full and conscientious conviction that I have no just grounds to expect a fair and impartial trial.

"I, therefore, most sincerely pray your honor, and all the authorities in the State, to either banish me without further persecution, or I freely consent to a trial before the Judiciary of the United States.

"With sentiments of consideration and due respect, I have the honor to subscribe myself,

"Your prisoner,

"P. P. PRATT."

Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt pp. 171-199