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Mormon Account of the Murder of JOE SMITH.
[From the Nauvoo Neighbor, June]
On Monday the 21th inst., after Gov. Ford had sent word, that those eighteen persons demanded on a warrant, among whom were Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, should be protected, by the mi-litia of the State, they in company with some ten or twelve others, started for Carthage. Four miles from that place, they were met by Capt. Dunn, with a company of cavalry, who had an order from the governor for the "state arms" Gen Smith endorsed his acceptance of the same, and both parties returned to Nauvoo to obtain said arms. After the arms were obtained both parties took up the line of march for Carthage, where they arrived about five minutes before twelve o'clock at night. Capt. Dunn nobly acquiting himself, landed us safely at Hamilton's Hotel. In the morning we saw the governor and he pledged the faith of the State, that we should be protected. General Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested by a warrant founded upon the oaths of H. O. Norton and Augustine Spencer, tor trea-son. Knowing the threats from several persons, that the two Smiths should never leave Carthage alive, we all began to be alarmed for their safety. The Gov and Gen. Demming conducted them be-fore the McDonnough troops and introduced them as. Gen. Joseph Smith and Gen. Hyrum Smith. This manoeuvre came near raising a mutiny among the "Carriage Greys," but the Governor quelled it. In the afternoon, after great exertions on the part of our counsel, we dispensed with an investigation, voluntarily gave bail for our appearances to the Cir-cuit Court, to answer in the case of abating the Nauvoo Expositor, as a nuisance. At evening the Justice made out a mitimus without an inves-tigation and committed the two General Sm.ths to prison until discharged by due course of law, and they were safely guarded to jail.—In the morning the Governor went to the jail and had an interview with these men and to every appearance all things were explained on both sides. The constable then went to take these men from the jail, before the Justice for examination, but the jailer refused to let them go, as they were under his direction "till discharg-ed by due course of law;" but the Governor's troops, to the amount of one or two hundred, took them to the Court House, when the hearing was continued till Saturday the 29th, and they were re-manded to jail. Several of our citizens had per-mits from the Governor to lodge with them, and visit them in jail. It now began to be rumored by several men, whose names will be forthcoming in time, that there was nothing against these men, the law could not reach them, but powder and ball would! The Governor was made acquainted with these facts, but on the morning of the 27th, he disbanded the McDonough Troops, and sent them home: took Captain Dunn's compa of cavalry and proceeded to Nauvoo, leaving these two men and three or four friends, to be guarded by eight men at the jail; and a com-pany in town of 60 men, 80 or 100 rods from the jail, as a corps in reserve. About six o'clock in the afternoon the guard was surprised by an armed mob of from 150 to 250, painted red and black and yel-low, which surrounded the jail and forced in—poured a shower of bullets into the room whew these unfortunate men were held, "in durance vile" to answer to the laws of Illinois; under the solemn pledge of the faith of the State, by Gov. Ford, that they should be protected, but the mob ruled!! They fell as martyrs amid this tor-nado of lead, each receiving four bullets! John Taylor was wounded by four bullets in his limbs but not seriously. Thus perishes the hope of law; thus vanishes the plighted faith of the State; thus the blood of innocence stains the constitutor authorities of the United States, and thus have two among the most noble martyrs since the slaughter of Abel, sealed the truth of their divine mission, by being shot by a mob for their religion! Messengers were despatched to Nauvoo, but did not reach there till morning. The following was one of the letters:—
12 o'clock at night, June 27th, }
CARTHAGE, HAMILTON'S TAVERN. }
To MRS. EMMA SMITH,
AND MAJ. GEN. DUNHAM, &c.—
The Governor has just arrived; says all things shall be inquired into, and all right measures taken. I say to all the citizens of Nauvoo, my brethren, be st 11, and know hat God reigns. Don’t rush out of the city—don’t rush to Carthage; stay at home, and be prepared for an at-tack from Missouri mobbers. The Governor will Ren-der every assistance possible—has sent out orders for troops-Joseph and Hiram are dead, but not by the Certhage people-the guards were there as I believe. We will prepare to move the bodies as soon as possible. The people of the county are greatly excited, and fear the Mormons will come out and take vengeance--I have pledged my word the Mormons will slay at home as soon as they can be informed, and no violence will be on theirf part, and say to my brethren in Nauvoo, in the name o the Lord—be still—be patient—only let such friendship choose come here to see the bodies—Mr. Taylor's wounds are dressed and not serious—I am sound.
SAMUEL H. SMITH.
Defend yourselves until protection can be furnished necessary. June 27th, 1844.
THOMAS FORD, Governor and Commander-in-Chief
MR. ORSON SPENCER,
Dear Sir—Please deliberate on this matter; pruden may obviate material destruction. I was at my residen when this horrible crime was committed. It will be demned by three-fourths of the citizens of the county—quiet or you will be attacked from Missouri.
M. R. DEMI
The Governor, as well as the citizens of Carthage was thunderstruck and fled. The Legion in Nau-voo was called out at 10 A. M. and addressed by Judge Phelps, Col. Buckmaster, of Alton, the Go-vernor's aid, and others, and all excitement and fury allayed, and preparations were made to receive the bodies of the noble martyrs. About 3 o'clock they were met by a great assemblage of people, east of the temple on Mulholland street, under the direction of the city marshal, followed by Samuel H. Smith, the brother of the deceased, Dr. Rich-ards and Mr. Hamilton, of Carthage. The wagons were guarded by eight men. The procession that followed in Nauvoo was the city council, the Lieut. Gens. Staff, the Major General and staff, the briga-dier and staff, commanders and officers of the Legion and citizens generally, which numbered several thousands, amid the most solemn lamenta-tions and wailings that ever ascended into the ears of the Lord of Hosts to be avenged of our ene-mies!
When the procession arrived, the bodies were both taken into the "Nauvoo Mansion"; the scene at the Mansion cannot be described; the audience addressed by Dr. Richards, Judge Phelps, Woods and Reed, Esqs., of Iowa, and Col. Markham. It was a vast assemblage of some 8 or 10,000 persons and with one united voice resolved to trust to the law for a remedy of such a high handed assassination, and when that failed, to call upon God to avenge us of our wrongs! Oh widows and or-phans! Oh Americans weep, for the glory of free-dom has departed!
At the request of the friends of Joseph and Hy-rum Smith, I have consented to give a statement of such matters as I had a knowledge of in relation to their murder at Cartilage, and what occur-red under my observation. I arrived in Nauvoo from Burlington, Iowa, on Friday, June 21st inst. about 9 o'clock, P M., found all things quiet, had an interview on Saturday morning the 22nd, with Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who was in consulta-tion with some of their friends in relation to a communication from Gov. Ford, during interview heard Gen. Joseph Smith give orders to disband the Legion, and withdraw the guards and senti-nels, who were co operating with the police to pre-serve the peace of the city, as he said by order at Governor Ford; that I went from Nauvoo to Car-thage, on the evening of the 22d, when I had an interview with Governor Ford; assuring him as to the quiet of Nauvoo, and that Smith and his friends were ready to obey the laws. I was told that the Constable with a posse had that evening gone to Nauvoo with a writ for Smith and others, and that nothing short of an unconditional surrender to the laws would allay the excitement. I was then informed by Gov. Ford he was pledged to protect all such persons as might be arrested and that they should have an imp rtial examination, and that if Smith and the rest against whom war-rants had been issued, would come to Carthage by Monday the 24th instant, it would be a compliance on their part, and on Sunday morning the 23rd, Gov. Ford pledged his word that if General Smith would come to Cartilage, he should by him be protected, with such of his friends as might accom-pany him, and that I as his counsel should have protection in defending Smith; that I returned to Nauvoo on Sunday evening the twenty-third, and I found General J. Smith and Hyrum Smith, mak-ing preparation to go to Carthage on Monday, and on Monday morning the 24th I left the city of Nauvoo in company with Jos. and Hyrum Smith, and some fifteen other persons, parties and witness-es for Carthage, that about four miles west from Carthage, we were met by a company of about 60 men under Capt. Dunn; that at the request of Gen. Joseph Smith, I advanced and communicated with the Commander of the company and was informed he was on his way to Nauvoo, with an order from Gov. Ford, for the State Arms at that place; that was agreed by myself on behalf of Gen Smith, that the order for the arms should be endorsed by Gen. Smith, and that he should place himself un-der the protection of Captain Dunn, to return to Nauvoo and see the Governor's order promptly obeyed and return with Captain Dunn to Car-thage; Captain Dunn pledging his word as a mili-tary man, that Smith and his friends should be protected; that the order was endorsed by Gen. Smith, which was communicated by Captain Dunn, to Gov. Ford, with a letter from Gen. Smith informing the Gov., that he would accompany Captain Dunn to Carthage. I left the company and proceeddd to Carthage; that about 12 o'clock at night of the 24th, Captain Dunn returned with the State arms from Nauvoo, accompanied by Joseph and Hyrum Smith with some thirteen others, who were charged with a riot in destroying the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor; that on the morning of the 25th, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, with the others charged, surrendered themselves to the Con-stable, and at the same time Joseph and Hyrum Smith were arrested on a charge of treason against the State of Illinois; that about 3 o'clock, P. M. on the 25th, the Justice pr ceeded to the ex-amination in relation to the riot, and after a good deal of resistance on the part of the pro-secution, we were permuted to enter into a recognizance, to answer at the next term of the Circuit court; that we were engaged, until dark, in making out and giving our recognizances; that in consequence of the rumors as to the excitement in Warsaw and other points, and to allay the fears of the citizens of Nauvoo, I requested Governor Ford to detail a company to Nauvoo, to protect the city, which request was promptly complied with, and that night Capt. Singleton, with a company of men from McDonnough county, marched to Nauvoo, and took possession of the city, and remained until the evening of the 27th, when they took up their line of march for Carthage
After the matter of the riot was disposed of, the justice left, without saying any thing in relation to the examination for treason, and in about one hour the consable returned with a mit-imus, a copy of which accompanies the state-ment of my colleague, H. T. Read, a copy of which was demanded and refused; that I request-ed the officer to wait until I could see Gov. Ford, and was told he would wait five minutes, and as I of committal, that the prisoners were not personal-ly safe at the hotel.
I then requested the Governor to have a company detailed to guard the jail, which was done, and they arriyed at the jail about the same time as the prisoners. On the morning of the 26th, the Gover-nor visited the jail in company with a friend, at which interview the Governor again pledged bim-self for their personal safety, and said it the troops went to Nauvoo, as was then con-templated, that they should go along to ensure their pro ection; that after the in-terview at the jail, the counsel for the prosecution wanted the prisoners brought before the justice for an examination, to which the coun-sel for the prisoners replied, that they were com-mitted until discharged by due course of law, and that we could nothing until the prisoners were le-went to the door I met Capt. Dunn, with some twenty men to guard the prisoners to jail; that I accompanied Gov. Ford to the Justice, R. F. Smith, who gave as a cause for issuing the warrant gally before the court, where we would appear and defend ; that the Justice, R. F. Smith, gave the constable an order (a copy of which accompanies the statement of H. T. Reid. Esq ,) for the jailer to deliver up the prisoners, which the jailer refused to do—that the constable then repaired to the jail with a company called Cartharge Greys, of whom the Justice, R. F. Smith, was the captain, but not then in command ; and by intimidation and threats, forced the jailor to give up the prisoners to the constable, who look them before the justice, R. F. Smith, at the Court House, that on the motion of the counsel for the prisoners, the examina-tion was postponed until the 27th, 12 o'clock, and subpoenas issued for witnesses on the detence. The two Smiths were then remanded to jail, and orders were issued for a consultation of the offi-cers, with the commander-in-chief, and it was de-termined that the troops should take up a line of march at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 27th, for Nauvoo, and after the consultation, the justice, who was one of the officers in command, altered the return of the subpoenas until the 29th, and con-tinued the hearing until that time, without con-sulting either their prisoners or the counsel; that on the morning of the 27th, the order for march-ing to Nauvoo was countermanded, and all the troops disbanded but the company under Captain Singleton at Nauvoo, Captain Dunn's company of horse, and the Carthage Greys, that the Gov-ernor determined to visit Nauvoo, escorted by Capt. Dunn's company; and the Carthage Greys were left as a guard for the prisoners at the jail; that after the troops were disbanded, I requested Governor Ford to detail some men to guard the rout to War-saw, as I apprehended much danger from that place. but I do not know whether it was done or not, as I left Carthage about 11 o'clock, A.M., and came to Nauvoo, that Governor Ford and his aid, Colonel Buckmaster, escorted by Captain Dunn's company, arrived in Nauvoo about 5 o'clock P.M. where he addressed the citizens and promised them pro-tection, and a just execution of the laws, and im-mediately left the city for Carthage.
James W. WOODS,
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