The attempted Murder of Boggs.
To the Editors of the St. Louis Bulletin.
In accordance with your request I now proceed to give you some account of the attempt on the life of Ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri.
Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, in a public congregation in Nauvoo, last season, (1841,) proph-ecied that Lilburn W. Boggs, Ex-Governor of Mis-souri, should die by violent hands within a year.—Mr. C. S. Hamilton, of Carthage, III., stated in my presence, and in the presence of several oth-er gentlemen, at the tavern house of Mr. Robin-son, in Warsaw, Illinois, on Sunday, the 10th inst. that he was present and heard this prophecy: I was likewise present, as were many thousand peo-ple, and heard the prediction. The faithful, how-ever, will deny this, in order to save "THE LORD'S ANOINTED," as Joe Smith is called, from merited punishment.
In the spring of 1842, Smith offered a reward of five hundred dollars to any man that would kill Boggs. I heard the offer made to some of the Danites, and told Smith that if he persisted in such a course it would result in his ruin. Mr. Jonathan Clark, of Hancock county, Illinois, stated in Car-thage on the 6th inst. in the presence of Dr. Thom-as L. Barnes, Jonas Hobart, myself and others, that Mr. Taylor, an English emigrant, told him that he heard Smith make the same offer, and that he (Taylor) had, in consequence thereof aposta-tized, and written home to his friends in Europe detailing the horrible facts.
Mr. O. P. Rockwell left Nauvoo from one to two months prior to the attempted assassination of Gov. Boggs, told Orson Pratt and wife that he [Rockwell] had been in Boggs' neighborhood, in Missouri, and had had the honor of standing on the corner or Temple lot in Independence—and re-turned to Nauvoo the day before the report of the attempted assassination reached there—said he came down the Missouri river to the Mississippi, then down to St. Louis, then up to Nauvoo, etc. etc. At the time the "Nauvoo Wasp" declared "It re-mains to be known who did the NOBLE DEED."—The Wasp was, and is yet, edited by Wm. Smith, brother to the Prophet.
Some weeks after Rockwell left Nauvoo I asked Smith where he had gone. "Gone," said he, "Gone to fulfil PROPHECY," with a significant nod, giving me to understand that he had gone to fulfil his prediction in relation to the violent death of Boggs.
On the evening of the 29th ultimo, twelve of the Danites, dressed in female apparel, approached my boarding house [Gen. Robinson's,] in Nauvoo, with their carriage wheels wrapped with blankets, and their horses feet covered with cloths, to pre-vent noise, about 10 o'clock, for the purpose of conveying me off and assassinating me, and thus prevent disclosures—but I was so admirably pre- pared with arms, as were also my friends, that after prowling around the house for some time, they re-tired.
On Friday, the 1st, I went to Carthage; and on the 5th I had a call from Mr. O. P. Rockwell the result of which is detailed in the following affida-vits, to wit:
State of Illinois, Hancock County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, Samuel Mar-shal, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county, John C. Bennett, who being duly sworn accor-ding to law deposeth and saith, that on the 5th of July, 1842, at the house of Mr. Hamilton in Car-thage, Mr. O. P. Rockwell came to him and de-sired a private interview, to which deponent re-plied that if he [Rockwell] had any thing to say, he could speak it out before the gentlemen present. Rockwell said, “Doctor do know your friends,—l am not your enemy—and I do not wish you to make use of my name in your publications;" de-ponent replied that he recognized Joe Smith and all his friends, as his personal enemies; to which Rockwell replied, "I have been informed by War-ner and Davis that you said Smith gave me fifty dollars and a wagon for shooting Boggs, and I can and will whip any man that will tell such a cur-sed lie—did you say so or not?" After looking at him a moment deponent said, "I never said so, sir, but I did say, and I now say it to your face, that you left Nauvoo about two months before the at-tempted assassination of Ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri, and returned the day before the report of his assassination reached there; and that two per-sons in Nauvoo told me that you told them that you had been over the upper part of Missouri, and in Boggs' neighborhood;"—to which Rockwell re-plied, "Well I was there; and if I shot Boggs they have got to prove it—I never done an act in my life that I was ashamed of, and I do not fear to go any where that I have ever been, for I have done nothing criminal." Deponent replied; "Certain-ly they have got to prove it on you if you did shoot him, I know nothing of what you did, as I was not there, I only know the circumstances, and from them I draw my own inferences, and the public will their's—and now, sir, if either you or Joe Smith, think you can intimidate me by your threats, you are mistaken in your man, and I wish you to un-derstand distinctly that I am opposed to Joe and his holy host—I shall tell the truth fearlessly and re-gardless of consequences." Rockwell replied, "If you say that Joe Smith gave me fifty dollars and a wagon to shoot Boggs, I can whip you, and will do it a crowd." Deponent then said—"Why are you harping on what I have not said, I have told you what I have said to your face and in the pres-ence of these gentlemen, and you have acknowl-edged the truth of all I have said, and I shall say it again, and if you wish to fight l am ready for you." The conversation then ceased on that subject.—Rockwell told deponent that he had been accused wrongfully of wishing to assassinate him, or of be-ing ordered by Smith to do so: but deponent said, "I believe that Joe ordered you to do it—I know that orders were sent from him to the Danites for that purpose." Rockwell said that Smith had nev-er given him any such orders, neither was it his in-tention; and further the deponent saith not.
JOHN C. BENNETT
Sworn to, and subscribed, this 7th day of July, 1842, before me, at my office in Carthage.
[ seal.] SAMUEL MARSHALL, J. P.
State of Illinois, Hancock County.—ss.
Personally appeared before me, Samuel Mar-shall, a justice of the peace in and for said county, Clayton Tweed, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, That on the 5th day of July, 1842, at the house of Mr. Hamilton, in Car-thage, Mr. O. P. Rockwell came up to Gen. John C. Bennett, and said to him, "I wish to have some private conversation with you, will you come out of doors with me?" To which Bennett replied, "No, sir, if you have any thing to say to me, speak it out before these gentlemen." Rockwell then observed, "It is a matter which interests you and myself alone, and I should like much to see you a few minutes by ourselves." They then went out, and were some time in conversation, when loud words ensued, and deponent came up much agita-ted, fearing there would be a fight, and heard Ben-nett say, "I now say to your face what I said be-hind your back, that you left Nauvoo about two months before the attempted assassination of Ex-Gov. Boggs, of Missouri, and returned the day be-fore the report of his assassination reached there, and that two persons in Nauvoo told me that you told them that you had been over to the upper part of Missouri, and in Boggs’ neighborhood," to which Rockwell replied, "if I shot Boggs they have got to prove it. Bennett said "certainly they have got to prove it on you, if you did shoot him. I know nothing of what you did, as I was not there. I only know the circumstances, and from them I draw my inferences, and the public witl theirs. And now, sir, if either you or Joe Smith think you can intimidate me by your threats, you are mista-ken in your man; and I wish you to understand distinctly, that I am opposed to Joe and his holy host—I shall tell the truth fearlessly and regard-less of consequences." Bennett further remarked, “why are you harping about what I have not said? I have told you what I have said, to your face, and you have acknowledged the truth of it, and I will say it again; and if you wish to fight I am now ready for you—you will never have a better time." The conversation then ceased, and the parties sep-erated—and further this deponent saith not.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 7th day of July, 1842, at my office in Carthage.
[ seal] SAM'L. MARSHALL, J. P.
State of Illinois, Hancock County, ss.
Personally appeared before me, Samuel Mar-shall, Justice of the Peace in and for said county, John H. Lawton, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that on the 5th day of July 1842, he came up to where Gen. John C. Bennett and O. P. Rockwell were in conversa-tion, at the house of Mr. Hamilton, in Carthage, and heard Rockwell say that he had been in Boggs' neighborhood, in Missouri, and that if they had shot Boggs they had to prove it; and then began to talk of whipping Bennett, whereupon Bennett replied, "I have said nothing behind your back but what I now say to your face, and if you wish to fight now I am now ready for you:" the conversation then ceased and the parties separated; and further this deponent saith not.
JOHN H. LAWTON,
Sworn to, and subscribed, this 6th day of July, 1842, before me, at my office, in Carthage.
[ seal,] SAMUEL MARSHALL J. P.
State of Illinois; Hancock County—ss.
Personally appeared before me, Samuel Mar-shall, a justice of the peace in and for said county Jonas Hobart, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, That on the 5th day of July, 1842, at the tavern house of Mr. Hamilton, in Carthage, he came up to where Gen. John C. Bennett and Mr. O. P. Rockwell were in angry conversation, when he heard Rockwell say, that if any man said that Joe Smith hired him to shoot Boggs, he stated what was false. There was then some warm talk about fighting, and Bennett said, "I tell you, sir, to your face what I have said be-hind your back, and if you are for fight now is as good time as you will have." Rockwell said he had been up into Boggs' neighborhood, in Missou-ri; and said he "if I shot Boggs they have got to prove it." Bennett said “Certainly they have. I do not know what you did, I only know the cir-cumstances—I have told them, and I have now told them to your face, and you have acknowledged them—and I shall tell them again fearless of conse-quences,"—and further deponent saith not.
Sworn to, and subscribed, this 9th day of July, 1842, before me, at my office in Carthage.
[ seal] SAMUEL MARSHALL, J. P.
I would say further, that, before Rockwell left Nauvoo, he was abjectly poor. Since his return, he has left his family in the lower part of the city—taken up his residence at the tavern of Captain Amos Davis—has an elegant carriage at his dispo-sal, and his pockets filled with gold. Capt. Davis can, and will, if called upon, tell more about his former poverty and present apparent affluence, at all events so far as GOLD is concerned. This is said to be the same carriage and horses that were muffled on the evening of the 29th of June.
If Smith is demanded, I will show by Col. F. M. Higbee and others, that he murdered a certain pris-oner in Missouri.
These are some of the facts of this outrage upon civilized society. Now let the demand be made and the truth shall appear. As Smith was an ac-cessory before the fact in this case, he should be de-manded on the old indictments for murder, treason, burglary, and arson and secured—then the facts shall appear in this case. Rockwell can be demanded on affidavit. I expect Higbee on Tuesday next, if Smith does not have him murdered to prevent his developments.
I am aware that Smith now seeks my life, and is fortifying his Mormon witnesses by revelation; but if the demand is made as I have suggested no earth-ly force can save him.
JOHN C. BENNETT.
St. Louis, July 13th 1842.
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