Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from S. M. Smith, Kirtland, Ohio to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, Mo. ]
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Smith mormon

Kirtland Ohio

Kirtland Mills, O

Ma 23

His Excellency

L. W. Boggs

                        Jefferson City , MO.

They have to present to your excellency a petition praying

your assistance in a matter of vital importance to me and to

my friends. I have received by letter from the widow &

others the following facts respecting the murder of a

brother in your state by the name of Warren Smith. He was

a mormon (the only one of the connection) He set out for Far

West Mo. last summer because he believed it as he said

to do his duty to go. This was a misfortune to be pitied

not a crime to be punished.  [ Warren began a journey with]

3 or 4 other families had arrived to within a short distance

of the end of their toilsome journey they were informed

that the roads were strictly guarded & to proceede farther was to

be disastrous, they consequently halted at shoal creek and encamp=

=ed in the edge of a prairie, when they were attacked on

the 6th Nov. by an armed force of 2 or 300. The women &

children fled to the woods, the men & boys to a log block

Smith shop. The ruffians instantly surrounded the latter

& in a few minutes massacred about 20. After the

roar of death had ceased & the inhuman banditti

retired, the women crept silently from their hiding

places & selected each her own husband from among the

mingled & mangled slain, wiped the warm flowing life

blood from their [__] cheeks, snatched a hasty kiss &

buried their lifeless [many] in a deep narrow tomb

together ([niz a null]) & fled again to the thick [cirkling]

shade of the gloomy forest to escape a like, or a

worse fate, & now wander friendless & pitiless without

money or means in a strange land, a land of enemies

They perished my brother & a little son of his of

about 10 years, who begged hard for life, but was shot

through the head in cold blood after the excitement

of battle was over, If there is philanthropy in Mo.

let it be exercised in relieving the suffering of

these widows and orphans, if there is power in the law

or energy in the executives of Mo. let them be put in

requisition to bring to [_andign] punishment the perpetra

=tors of this barbarous deed, This is my petition!

will it be heard? Will the Governor of Missouri

see that the laws of his state are executed, & the suffer

ing of innocent widows and orphans assuaged.

I have not sought to procure the signatures for any
but I to present my petition singly in the

name of the suffering, I appeal to your humanity as a man, & to

your authority as Gov. of Mo. hoping that it

will not be in vain, It is said and believed by many

that your Proclamation authorized the extermination

of the mormons, I can hardly believe this possible

I think it would go to legalize murder & robers & be

incompatible with your constitutional processes

            In your [ ] address W. M. Smith Williams

[Mills _____Ohio].

            I have the honor to subscribe myself

your obedient, humble servant

His Excellency

L. W. Boggs                                        SM Smith

            Kirtland, March 31. 1839