Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Affidavit of Thomas B. March, Richmond, Ray County, MO ]
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Evidence of



Oct 24th 1838

  At the request of a committee of the Citizenz of

Ray county I make the following statement

in relation to the recent movements, plans & intentionz

of the mormonz in the Countiez of Caldwell & Daviesz –

  Shortly after the settlement of the difficultiez

at Dewitt in Carroll County , a call was made

by the Mormons at Far West, in Caldwell County for

volunteers to go to Daviesz County , to disperse the mob,

as they said. on the day before this Joseph Smith

the prophet, had preached in which he said, that

all the Mormonz, who refused to take up armz, if

necessary, in difficulties with the citizenz, should be

shot, or otherwise put to death; and as I was there

with my family, I thought it most prudent

to go, and did go with my wagon, and as the driver-

  We marched to Adamondeomon, and

found no troops or mob in Daviesz County-

Scouting parties frequently went out & brought

in intelligence that they had seen from three

to five men- We got to Diamon on tuesday even:

:ing, & on the next day a company of about

eighty of the mormons, commanded by a

man, fictitiously name Captain Fearnot,

marched to Gallatin -They returned and said they

had run off from Gallatin twenty or thirty men

and had taken Gallatin - had taken on prisoner

and another had joined the company.  I afterwardz

learned from the mormonz, that they had

burned Gallatin, and that it was done by the

aforesaid company that marched there.  The

mormonz informed me that they had hauled

away all the goods from the store in Gallatin ;

and deposited them at the Bishop’s store houses.

at Adam on diahmon- On the same day Lyman

Wight marched about eighty horsemen for Mills-

-Port- He returned before night and called for

Joseph Smith & Hiram Smith, to report to them (said

Hiram being counsellorof said Joseph the prophet)

and Said Wight reported that he had been in sight

of Millport- saw no one to fight, but that the

people generally had gone & left their housez

and property-  The prophet on hearing the prop:

:erty was left, commenced a reply & said “We

had better see to it”,  When Wyght stopped him

by saying never mind, we will have a private

counsel, and Smith replied very well.  The pri:

:vate counsel.  I did not hear-  The men were

dismissed to go to their campz- The same even:

:ing a number of footmen came up from the

direction of Millport, laden with property,

which, I was informed, consisted of beds, clockz,

& other household furniture- The same night,

I think, about three wagons were despatched

for about forty bee gumz, & the next day saw several

gumz, where they were splitting them up & taking the

honey & burning the gumz, in which businesz

of taking out the honey, but few were engaged,

for fear, as they said, they would be called on as witnesz

against them.  When Wyght returned from Millport

& informed Smith that the people were gone & the

property left, Smith asked him if they had left any

of the negroes for them & Wyght replied no.  Upon which

some one laughed and said to Smith, you have lost your

negroe [ ]- During the same time a company, called

the fur company, were sent out to bring in fat hogz

& cattle-calling the hogz, bears & the cattle, buffaloe.

They brought in at one time seven cattle, & at another

time four or five belonging to the people of Daviesz-

2 hogs were brought in dead, but I know not how many,

I saw only two-

                        They have among them a company consist:

:ing of all that and considered true mormonz, called the

Danites, who have taken an oath to support the leader

of the Church in all thingz, that they say or do, whether

right or wrong, many however of this band are much

dissatisfied with this oath, as being against moral and

religious principlez.  On Saturday last I am informed

by the mormons, that they had a meeting at Far West

at which they appointed a company of twelve by

the name of the destruction company, for the pur:

:pose of burning & destroying & that if the people of Bun:

:combe came to do mischief upon the people of Cald:

:well. &  committed depredationz on the mormonz.

they were to burn Buncombe & if the people of Clay

& Ray made any movements against them, this

destroying company were to burn Liberty & Richmond .

This burning was to be done secretly by going as incendiariz.

At the same meeting I was informed they passed a decree

that no mormon dissenter should leave Caldwell county

alive & that such as attempted to do it should be shot down

& sent to tell their tale in eternity.  In a conversation between

Doct. Avard & other mormonz, said Avard proposed to start

a pestilence among the gentiles as he called them by poison:

:ing their corns, fruit &c. and saying it was the work

of the Lord- and said Avard advocated lying for the

support of their religion, & said it was no harm to

lie for the Lord.  The plan of said Smith, the prophet,

is to take this State, & he professez to his people to intend

taking the U.S. & ultimately the whole world-  This is

the belief of the Church & my own opinion of the proph:

:et’s plan & intentions-

                        It is my opinion that neither said Joseph

Smith the prophet nor any one of the principal men

who is firm in the faith, could be indicted for any offence

in the County of Caldwell .  The prophet inculcates the

notion, & it is believed by every true mormon, that Smithz

propheciez are superior to the law of the land.

  I have heard the prophet say that he should yet

tread down his enemiez & walk over their dead bodiez-

That if he was not let alone he would be a Ma:

:hamet to this generation, & that he would make it

                        (see page 5)

it one gore of blood, from the Rocky

mountains to the Atlantic ocean .  That like

Mahamet, whose motto, in treating for peace was

the Alcoran, or the sword.  So should it be eventually

with uz.  Jo Smith or the sword-

                                    These last statements were

made during the last summer.  The number of armed

men at Adamondiamon, was between three & four


                                        Thomas B. Marsh

Richmond mo.

October the 24th 1838          Sworn to & subscribed before me

                                            the day herein written

                                                  Henry Jacobs. J. P. Ray County Mo.

The most of the Statements in the foregoing des:

:closures of Thomas B. March, I know to be true-

the remainder I believe to be true.

Richmond . Oct: 24th. 1838                Orson Hyde

sworn to and subscribed before

me on the day above written

                        Henry Jacobs J. P.

  The undersigned committee on the part of the

Citizensz of Ray County have no doubt, but that

Thomas B. Marsh & Orson Hide, whose names are

signed to the foregoing certificates have been memberz

of the Mormon church, in full fellowship until very

recently, when they voluntarily abandoned the mormon