Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Witness Sampson Avard, Leader of Danites ]
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Copies of Part of the Evidence taken in the

                        Examination of the Mormon

                        Prisoners before Judge King.

                        Not to be opened


Copy of the testimoney given before Honle

Austin A. King Judge of 5 Judicial circuit

in the State of Missouri at the Court house in

Richmond.  before a criminal court of  inquiry

begun Nov 12th. 1838.  State vs. Joseph

Smith Jr, Hiram Smith, Sidney Rigdon,

Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, Amazy Lyman,

Geo. W. Robinson, Caleb Baldwin, Alanson Ripley,

Washington Voris, Sidney Turner, John Buck

hannon, Jacob Gates, Chandler Haldbrook,

George W. Harris, Jesse D. Hunter Andw  Whitlock,

Martin C. Alred, Wm Alred, Geo. Grant, Darwin

Chase, Elijah Newman, Alvin G. Tippetts,

Zedekiah Owens, Isaac Morley, Tho Beck

Moses Clawson, John J. Tanner, Dan’l Shearer,

Dan’l I Thomas, Alexander McRay, Elisha Edwards,

John S. Higby, Ebenezer Page, Benjm Covey,

Ebenzer Robinson, Lyman Gibbs, Jas M. Henderson,

David Pettigrew, Edward Partridge, Francis

Higby, David Frampton, George Kimble, Joseph

W. Younger, Henry Zabriskey, Allen J. Stout,

Sheffield Daniels, Silas Manard, Anthony Head,

Benj Jones, Dan’l Carn, John T. Earl and

Norman Shearer, who were charged with and

several crimes of high treason against the State,

murder, burglary, arson, robbery, and larceny.

Sampson Avard, a witness, produced, sworn, &

examined, on behalf of the state, deposeth &

saith: That about 4 months ago, a band called

the Daughters of Zion, since called the Danite

band, was formed of the members of the Mormon

church, the original object of which was to drive

from the county of Caldwell, all those who

dissented from the Mormon church; in which

they succeeded admirably, and to the satisfaction

of all concerned.  I consider Joseph Smith, Jr

as the prime mover and organizer of this Danite

band_ The officers of the band, according to

their grades, were bought before him, at a

school house together with Hiram Smith &

Sidney Rigdon, the three composing the first

presidency of the whole church.  Joseph Smith

then blessed them xc then he prophesied over them, declaring


that they should be the means in the hands of God

of bringing forth the millenial kingdom    It

was stated by Jos Smith Jr. that it was necessary

this band should be bound together by a cove-

-nant.  That those who revealed the secrets of

this society should be put death.  The cove

nant taken by all the Danite band was as

follows, to wit:  They declared, holding up their

right hands, “In the name of Jesus Christ, the

Son of God I do solemnly obligate myself “ever

to conceal and never to reveal the secret purposes

of this society, called the Daughters of Zion,

Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as

the forfeiture.” The prophet Joseph Smith Jr,

together with two his counsellors, Hiram Smith

& Sidney Rigdon were considered as the supreme

head of the church and the Daniete band feel

themselves as much bound to obey them as to

obey the Supreme God.  Instruction was given

by Joseph Smith Jr that if any of them should get

into difficulty, the rest should help him out, and

that they should stand by each other, right or

wrong,  This instruction was given at a danite

meeting, in a publick address.  As for Joseph

Smith Jr and  his two counsellors, the witness does

not know they ever took the Danite oath

He knows that all the rest of the defendants are

danites, except Sidney Tanner, Andw Whitlock

Zedah Owens, Thos Rich, John I. Tanner, Dan’l S

Thomas, David Pettigrew, Geo. Kimble, Anthony

Head, Benj. Jones, and Norman Shearer

At the election last August, a report came to Far 

West that some of the brethren in Daviess cty were

killed.  I called for 20 volunteers to accompany

 me to [“Adam ondi Ahmon Mr Joseph Smith

in company” crossed out]  Davis to see into this matter.

 I went, and about 120 Mormons accompanied me

to Adam ondi Ahmon  Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr in com

pany. When we arrived there, I found the re

port exagerated. None were killed.  We visited

Mr. Adam Black—about 150 or 200 men of us

armed.  Jos Smith was commander, and if Black

 had not signed the paper he did, it was the common 


understanding & belief that he would have shared

the fate of the dissenters.  Sidney Rigdon and

Lyman Wight were at Adam when we went

to Blacks & advised the movement.

As regards the affair at DeWit, I know little

personally, but I heard Mr. S. Rigdon say they

had gone down to DeWitt, where it was said

a mob had collected to wage war upon the

Mormons residing in [“Caldwell” crossed out] Carroll county, and that

Joseph smith, Jr, with his friends went down

to De Witt to give aid & help to his brethren.

The company, as I presume, were armed, they re

-turned armed.  Hiram Smith & Geo. W. Robert

son were in the company. Amazi Lyman

went to see what was gong on.  I  hearded these

persons say they were in Hinckle’s camp at

De Wit several days -When the Mormons

returned from De Wit, it was rumoured that

a mob was collecting in Davis cty. Jos

Smith Jr, the Sunday before the late disturban

-ces in Davis, at a church meeting, gave no

-tice that he wished the whole county collected

on the next day (Monday) at Far West. He

declared, on Sunday or Monday, I don’t recol

lect which), that all who did not take up

arms in defense of the Mormons of Davis

should be considered as tories, and should

take their exit [“out” crossed out] from the county.

At the meeting on Monday, when person

met from all parts of the county of Cald-

well, Jos Smith Jr took the pulpit, &

delivered an address, in which he said that we had

been an injured people, driven violently from

Jackson cty, that we had appealed to the Govern

-or, magistrates, judges & even to the Prest. of

the U. States, & there had been no redress for

us, and that now a mob was about to destroy

the rights of  our brethren of Davis cty and

that it was high time that we should

take measures to defend our own rights.

In the address he related an anecdote

about a captain who applied to a Dutch

-man to purchase potatoes, who refused to

                                                           sell


sell.  The captain then charged his com_

pany, several different times, not to

touch the Dutchmans potatoes, In the morn

-ing the Dutchman had not a potatoe left in

his patch.  This was in reference to touching

no property in our expedition to Davis

Cty, that did not belong to us, but he told

us that the [“people” crossed out] children of God did not go to war

at their own expense.  A vote was taken

whether the brethren should embody and go

down to Davis to attack the mob, this ques

-tion was put by the prophet Jos Smith Jr

and passed unanimously, with  a few exceptions

Captains Patten and Brunson were appoint

-ed commanders of the Mormons by Jos Smith Jr

to go to Davis, he frequently called these men

generals.  I once had a command as an

officer but Jos Smith Jr removed me from it

& I asked him the reason & he assigned that he

had another office for me; afterwards Mr.

Rigdon told me I was to fill the office of

Surgeon to attend to the sick & wounded

After we arrived at Diahmon in Davis a

council was held, at night composed of Jos

Smith Jr., Geo W. Robertson, Hiram Smith

Captains Patton & Brunson, Lyman Wight

Prest R Cahoon, P.P. Pratt and myself &

perhaps Mr. Hinckle- Prest. Rigdon was

not present, he remained at Far West: a

correspondence was kept up between him &

Jos Smith Jr.  I heard Mr Rigdon read one of

the letters from Smith which as I remember

was about as follows  That he knew from

prophesy & from the revelation of Jesus

Christ that the enemies of the Kingdom were

in their hands, & that they (the mormon church)

should succeed-Rigdon on reading the

letter said it gave him great (“satisfaction” crossed out) consolation

[“that” crossed out) to have such authority that the kingdom

of God was rolling on.   In the above

refered to council Mr Smith spoke of the

grievances we had suffered in Jackson, Clay,

Kirtland & other places, declared that we must


in future stand up for our rights as citizens

of the U. States. & as Saints of the most high

God. & that it was the will of God we

should do so.  That we should be free and

independent, and that as the State of Miss

-ouri and the U.. States would not protect us

it was high time that we should [ ] up as the

saints of the most high God & protect ourselves

& take the kingdom   Lyman Wight observed

that before the winter was over he thought we

would be in St. Louis & take it.  Smith charged

them that they should be united in supporting

each other.  Smith said on some occasion

that one should chase a thousand and two put

ten thousand to flight.  That he considers the

U. States rotten, he compared the mormon

church to the little stone spoken of by the prophet

Daniel & that the Dissenters first & the State next

was part of the image that should be destroyed

by this little stone     The Council was

called on to vote the measures of Smith, which

they did unanimously.  On the next day

Capt Patton who was called by the prophet

Capt Fear naught, took command of about

100 armed men & told them that he had a job

for them to do & that the work of the Lord was

rolling on, & they must be united.  He then led

his troops to Galatin, saying he was agoing to attack

the mob there.  He made a rush into Gal-

-atin, dispersed the few men there and took

the goods out of Stollings’ store. & carried them

to De ahmion. & I afterwards saw the store house

on fire.  When we returned to Diahmon the

goods were deposited in the Lords storehouse

under the care of the bishops Vincent Knight

Orders were strictly given that all the goods

should be deposited in the Lords store house

no individuals were to appropriate anything

to themselves until a general distribution

should be made-  Jos. Smith Jr was at

Adam ondi Ahmon giving directions about

things in general connected with the war

when Patten returned from Galaten to Adam

ondi Ahmon, the goods were divided or appor


-tioned out amongst those engaged, and these

affairs were conducted under the superin

tendency of the first presidency.  A part

of the goods were brought to Far West, on

their arrival under the care of Capt Fear

naught. prest Rigdon and others shouted three

hozannahs to the victors-  On the day

Patten went to Galatin. Col. Wight went

to Mill Port, & I understood. I saw a great

many cattle, beds, furniture &c brought into

our camps by the mormons.  After we re

-turned to Far West, the troops were con

-stantly kept in motion: and there was

 a council held at the house of Prest Rigdon

to determine who should be chiefs.  It was

determined that Col Wight should be commander

in chief at Adam ondi ahmon.  Brunson

Capt of the flying horse of Davis, Col Hinck

le should be commander in chief in chief of the Far

West troops.  Capt Patton Capt of the flying

horse or cavalry, and that the prophet

Jos smith Jr should be commander in

Chief of the whole Kingdom. the Council

was composed of Jos Smith Jr Capt

Fear naught alias Patton col. Hinckle,

Col Wight & Prest Rigdon- the object of the

council was in furtherance of the scheme

proposed in council in Davis Cty refered to

above__ after this council Fear naught dis

-puted as to the chief commander of the far west troops

& had a smart altercation about it with Hinkel

but Smith proposed that they agree to disagree

and go on for the good of the Kingdom.  The troops

were kept together until the militia came out

lately: there was from 500 to 800 men as I should sup

-pose under arms.  It was about this time that

the militia came, out lately to Far West under Genl Lucas

that our prophet, assembled the troops together at

Far West into a hollow square and addressed them

and stated to them that the Kingdom of God should

be set up & should never fall, and for every one that

we lacked in numbers, of those who came against

us the Lord would send angles, who would fight for


us & that we should be victorious--   After

the militia had been near Far West awhile, in an

address Smith said that those troops were militia, & that

we were militia too, and both sides clever fellows, &

that he advised them to know nothing of what had

happened, to say nothing & to keep dark:- that he Smith

had forgotten more than he had ever known_

After it was ascertained that the militia had ar

-rived, inteligence was immediately sent to Diahmon

to Col Wight_ next morning Col Wight arrived in

Far West with about 100 mounted [“and” crossed out] armed men

The troops were constantly Kept prepared, and in a

situation to repel attack- The evening the militia

arrived near Far West, it was the general understand

-ing in the mormon camps that they were militia

legally called out, [“previous” crossed out] and indeed previous to

their arrival it was ascertained that there were mi

-litia on their way to Far West.__   Some months

ago I received orders to destroy the paper concerning

the Danite Society, which order was issued by the

first presidency, and which paper being the consti

-tution for the government of the daniete Society, was

in my custody, but which I did not destroy__It is

now in Genl Clark’s possession__ I gave the paper up

to Genl Clark after I was taken prisoner__  I found it

in my house, where I had previously deposited it, and

believe it had never been in any person’s posession after

I first reced it_  This paper was taken into prest Rigdons

 house and read to the prophet & his counsellors, and

was unanimously adopted by them as their rule and

guide in future_ After it was thus adopted I was

instructed by the council to destroy it, as, if it should

be discovered, it would be considered treasonable_

This constitution, after it was approved of by the first

presidency was read, article by article to the Dan

-ite band and unanimously adopted by them_  This

paper was drawn up about the time that the Danite

band was formed_  Since the drawing up of the

paper against the dissenters, it was, that this consti

-tution of the Danite band was drafted- but I have

no minutes of the time, as we were directed not to keep

[“no” crossed out] written minutes_ which constitution above

refered to is as follows_


“Where as in all bodies laws are necessary, for the per

manancy, safety, and well being of society, We the

members of the society of the daughters of Zion, do agree

 to regulate ourselves under such causes as in righteous

ness shall be deemed necessary for the preservation of

our holy religion, and of our most sacred rights, and the

rights of our wives and children,  But to be explicit

on the subject, it is especially our object, to support

and defend the rights confered on us by our venera

-able sires, who purchased them with the pledges of their

lives, their fortunes, & their sacred honours -  And

now to prove ourselves worthy of the liberty con

fered on us by them, in the providence of God, we

do agree to be governed by such laws, as shall perpet

-uate these high privileges, of which we know

ourselves to be the rightful possessors, and of which

priviledges wicked and designing men have tried

to deprive us, by all manner of evil, and that purely

in consequence of the tenacity we have manifested

in the discharge of our duty towards, our God, who

had given us those rights and privileges, and a

right in common with others to dwell on this

Land- But we not having the priviledges of

others allowed unto us. have determined, like unto

our fathers to resist tyranny whether it be in

Kings, or in people It is all alike unto us our

rights we must have, and our rights we shall

have in the name of Israels God.

                Article 1st

All power belongs originally, and legitimately to the people,

and they have a right to dispose of it as they shall deem

fit_  But as it is inconvenient, and impossible to con

vene the people in all cases. the legislative powers have

 been given by them from time to time into the hands of

a representation, composed of delegates from the people

themselves_This is and has been the law, both in

civil and religious bodies, and is the true principle

                  Article 2nd

The executive power shall be vested in the president

of the whole church and his councellors__

                        Article 3rd

The legislative powers shall reside in the president

and his cousellors, together and with the generals and


                                    Article 3rd

The legislative powers shall reside in the President

and his counsellors, togeather and with the Generals

and Colonels of the society  By them all laws

Shall be made regulating the Society

                                    Article 4th

All officers shall be during life and good behavior

or to be regulated by the law of God

                                    Article 5th

The Society reserves the power of electing all its officers

with the exception of the Aides and Clerks which

the officers may needs in the various stations.  The

nominations to go from the Presidency to his second

and from the Second to the third in rank and so

down thru all the various grades each branch or de

=partment retains the power of electing its own partic

=ular officers

                                    Article 6th

Punishment Shall be (“inflicted” crossed out) administered to the

guilty in accordance to the offence and no mem

ber shall be punished without law or by any

others than those appointed by law for that pur

=pose  The Legislature Shall have power to make

laws regulating punishments as in their judge

ments Shall be wisdom and righteousness

                                    Article 7th

There shall be a secretary whose business it shall

be to Keep all the Legislative records of the Society

and also to Keep a Register of the names of any

member of the Society also the rank of the officers

He shall also communicate the laws to the Generals

as directed by laws made by the regulation of

such business by the Legislature

                                    Article 8th

All officers shall be subject to the Commands of

the Captains General given (“to the” crossed out) through the

Secretary of War And so all officers shall be subject

to their superiors in rank according to laws made

for that purpose.


“Where as in all bodies laws are necessary, for the

permanent, safety and well being of society, We the

members of the society of the Daughters of Zion do agree

to regulate ourselves under such laws as in rightious

ness shall be deemed necessary for the preservation

of our holy religion, and of our most sacred rights,

and the rights of our wives and children,  But to be

explicit on the subject, it is especially our object to

support and defend the rights confered on us by our

venerable sires, who purchased them with the pledges

of their lives, their fortunes, & their sacred honours.  And

now to prove ourselves worthy of the liberty confered

on us by them, in the providence of God, we do agree

to be governed by such laws, as shall perpetuate these

high priveleges, of which we know ourselves to be the

rightful possessors, and of which priveleges wicked and

designing men have tried to deprive us, by all manner

of evil, and that purely in consequence of the tenacity

we have manifested in the discharge of our duty towards,

our God, who had given us these rights and priveleges,

and a right in common with others to dwell on this

land But we not having the priveleges of others

allowed unto us. have determined, like unto our fathers

to resist Tyranny whether it be in Kings, or in people

 it is all alike unto us our rights we must have, and our

 rightst we shall have in the name of Israels God.

                                        Article 1st

All power belongs originally and legitimately to the

people, and they have a right to dispose of it as they

shall deem fit  But as it is inconveniant, and impossi

ble to convince the people in all cases. the legislative

powers have  been given by them from time to time

into the hands of a representation, composed of delegates

from the people themselves This is and has been the law,

both in civil and religious bodies, and is the true

principle

                                          Article 2nd

The Executive power shall be vested in the President

of the whole church and his counsellors.


Colonels of the society  By them all laws shall

be made regulating the society.

                                    Article 4th

[“The society reserves the power of electing all its officers with

the exception” crossed out]   All offices shall be during life, and

good behavior, or to be regulated by the law of God.

                                    Article 5th

The society reserves the power of electing all its officers,

with the exception of the aids and clerks which the of

-ficers may need in the various stations.  The

nominations to go from the presidency to his second &

from the second to the third in rank, and so down through

all the various grades each branch or department re-

-tains the power of electing its own particular officers

                                    Article 6th

Punishment shall be administered to the guilty in ac

-cordance to the offence,  and no members shall be pun

-ished without law. or by any other than those ap

pointed by law for that purpose _ The Legislature

shall have power to make laws regulating punish

ments, as in their judgments shall be wisdom and

righteousness

                                    Article 7th

There shall be a secretary whose business it shall be

to Keep all the legislative records of the society, and also

to Keep a register of the names of every member of the

society, also the rank of the officers.  He shall also

communicate the laws to the generals, as directed by

laws made by the regulations of such business by

the legislature

                                    Article 8th

All officers shall be subject to the Commands of the

Captain General, given through the Secretary of War 

And so all officers shall be subject to their superiors

in rank according to laws made for that purpose”  

 

In connection with the grand scheme of the prophet

his preachers and apostles were instructed to preach to

and to instruct their followers, (who are estimated in

Europe & America at about 40,000) that it was

their duty to come up to the Stake called Far West

and to possess the Kingdom, that it was the will of

God that they should do so, & that the Lord would

                                                       give


give them power to possess the Kingdom_  There

was another writing drawn up in June last, which

had for its object to get rid of the dissenters, and which

had the desired effect. (this is the paper drawn up against

the dissenters refered to above by the witness)_ Since

that time, and since the introduction of the scheme

of the prophet made known in the above constitu

tion, I have the prophet say that it was a fortu

nate  thing that we got rid of the dissenters, as

they would have endangered the rolling on of the

Kingdom of God, as introduced and to be carried

into effect by the danite band,  That they the

dissenters were great obstacles in the way, and

that unless they were removed, the aforesaid King

-dom could not roll on__  This paper against the

dissenters was drafted by Sidney Rigdon and

is as follows:

                  Far West June           1838

“To Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer

William. W. Phelps, and Lyman E. Johnson, greet

-ing  Whereas the citizens of Caldwell county have born

with the abuse received from you at different times and

on different occasions, until it is no longer to be en

-dured, neither will they endure it any longer, having

exhausted all the patience they have and conceive

that to bear any longer is a vice instead of a virtue

We have bourn long and suffered incredibly, but

we will neither bear nor suffer any longer, and

the decree has gone forth from our hearts, and shall

not return to us void_  Neither think gentlemen

that in so saying we are trifling with either you

or ourselves for we are not.  There are no threats

from you, no fear of loosing our lives by you, or

by anything you can say or do will restrain us,

for out of the county you shall go, and no power

shall save you_  And you shall have three days

after you receive this communication to you, in-

-cluding twenty four hours in each day for you to de-

-part, with your families peaceably, which you may

do undisturbed by any person, but in that time

if you do not depart we will use the means in

our power to cause you to depart, for go you

shall_  We will have no more promises to reform


as you have already done, and in every instance vio

-lated your promise, and regarded not the covenant which

you had made, but put both it and us at defiance

We have solemnly warned you, and that in the most

determined manner, that if you did not cease that

course of wanton abuse of the citizens of this county,

that vengeance would overtake you sooner or

later, and that when it did come, it would be as

furious as the mountain torrent, and as terrible as

the beating tempest, but you have affected to des

-pise our warnings, and pass them off with a sneer,

or a grin, or a threat, and pursed your former course,

and vengeance sleepeth not, neither does it slumber,

and unless you heed us this time, and attend to our re-

-quest it will overtake you, at an hour when you do

not expect, and at a day when you do not look for

it.  and for you there shall be no escape, for there

is but one decree for you, which is depart—depart,

or a more fatal calamity shall befall you-

  After Oliver Cowdrey had been taken by a States War

-rant for Stealing and the Stolen property found concealed

 in the house of William W Phelps in which nefarious

transaction John Whittmer had also participated, Oliver

Cowdrey stole the property conveyed it to John Whitmer

and John Whitmer to William W Phelps and there the officer

of the law found it.  While in the hands of the officers

and under an arrest for this vile transactions, and

if possible to hide your shame from the world like

criminals which indeed you were, you appealed to

our beloved brethren President Joseph Smith Jr, Sid=

=ney Rigdon men whose characters you had endeavour

-ed to destroy by every artifice you could you could invent, not

even the basest lying excepted, and did you find them

Revengeful?-- no but not withstanding all your scanda

lous attacks still such was the nobleness of their character

that even vile enemies could not appeal to them in vain,

  They enlisted as you well know their influence to save

 you from your just fate, and they by their influence deli=

=vered you out of the hand of the officer, while you were

pleading with them you promised reformation, you

bound yourselves by the most solemn promises that you

would never be employed again in abusing any of the

citizens of Caldwell, and by such condescensions did you

attempt to escape, the work house.  But now for the


Sequel . ?Did you practice the promised reformation?  you

Know you did not, but by secret efforts, continued to prac-

-tise your iniquity, and secretly to injure their character

notwithstanding their Kindness to you.!  are such

things to be borne, you yourself would answer that

they are insufferable If you were to answer according

to the feelings of your own hearts.  As we design this

paper to be published to the world we will give an

epitome of your scandalous conduct and treachery for

the last two years.  We wish to remind you that Oliver Cowdery

and David Whitmer were among the principal of those who

were the means of gathering us to this place by their testimony

which they gave concerning the plates of the book of Mormon;

That they were Shown to them by an Angel which testimony

we believe now as much as before you had so scandalous

=ly disgraced it;  You commenced your wickedness by heading

a party to disturb the worship of the Saints in the first

day of the week and made the house of the Lord in Kirtland

to be a scene of abuse and slander, to destroy the reputation

of those whom the church has appointed to be their teachers

and for no other cause only that you were not the persons.

   The Saints in Kirtland having elected Oliver Cowdery to

be a justice of the peace, he used the power of that office to take

their most sacred rights from them and that contrary to law

  He supported a parcel of Blacklegs and in disturbing

the worship of the saints, and when the men whom (“you” crossed out) the church

had chosen to preside over their meetings endeavoured to put

the house to order, he helped (and by the authority of his Justices

office too) these wretches to continue their confusion and threat

=ened the church with a prosecution for trying to put them

out of the house, and issued wits against the Saints for endea

=vouring to sustain their rights, and bound themselves under

heavy bonds to appear before his honor, and required bonds

which were both inhuman and unlawful, and one of these

was the venerable father who has been appointed by the

church to preside,  a man of upwards of seventy years

of age, and notorious for his peaceable habits,  Oliver Cow

dery David Whitmer and Lyman E Johnson united with a

gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the

deepest dye to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of

their property, by every act and stratagem which wicked

-ness could invent, using the influence of the vilest


persecutors to bring vexatious lawsuits, villainous

prosecutions, and even stealing not excepted, In the midst

of this career, for fear of the saints would seek redress

at their hands, they breathed out threatenings of mobs

and actually made attempts with their gang to bring mobs

 upon them.  Oliver Cowdery and his gang, such of them

 as belonged to the church, were called to an account by the

church for their iniquity. they confessed repentence, and

 were again restored to the church,  But the very first oppor

=tunity they were again practising their former course,

while this wickedness was going on in Kirtland, Cowdery

and his company were writing letters to Far West in order to

destroy the character of every person that they thought were

standing in their way, and John Whitmer and William W. Phelps

were assisting to prepare the way to throw confusion among

the saints of far West.  During the full career of Oliver Cow

=dery & David Whitmer’s Bogus money business got abroad in

to the world that they were engaged in it, and several Gentlemen

were preparing to commence a prosecution against Cowdery

he finding it out, took with him Lyman E Johnson, and fled

to far West with their families,  Cowdery stealing property, &

bringing it with him, which has been, within a few weeks

past obtained by the owner, by means of a search warrant and

he was saved from the penitentiary by the influence of two influential

men of the place.  He also brought notes with him upon which

he has received pay and made an attempt to sell them to Mr.

Arthur of Clay County.  And Lyman E Johnson on his arrival

reported the he has a note of one thousand dollars against a prin

=cipal man of this church, when it was a palpable falsehood,

and he had no such thing, and he did it for the purpose of in

=juring his character. Shortly, after Cowdery and Johnson left

Kirtland for far West they were followed by David Whitmer, on

whose arrival a general system of slander (“ing” crossed out) and abuse

was commenced by you all, for the purpose of destroying

the characters of certain individuals whose influence & their

regard for righteousness you dreaded, and not only yourselves

but your wives and children, led by Yourselves were busily en

=gaged in it. neither were you contented with slandering

and vilifying here but you Kept up continual correspondence

with your gangs of marauders in Kirtland, encouraging

them to go on with their iniquity which they did to perfection by

swearing false to injure the characters and property of innocent men

stealing cheating, lying, instituting vexatious lawsuits selling Bogus

money and also Stones and Sand for bogus in which nefarious


business Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Lyman E Johnson were

engaged while you were there.  Since your arrival here you

have commenced a general system of the same Kind of

conduct in this place, You set up a nasty, dirty, pettifoggers office

pretending to be Judges of the law, when it is a notorious

fact that you are profoundly ignorant of it, and of

any other thing which is calculated to do mankind

good, or if you know it you take good care never to prac

=tise it.  And in order to bring yourselves into notice you

began to interfere with all the business of the place try=

=ing to destroy the character of our merchants and bring=

=ing their creditors upon them and break them up,  In ad

=dition to this you stirred up men of weak minds to

prosecute one another for the vile purpose of getting a fee

for pettifoging for one of them.  You have also been threat=

=ning continually to enter into a general system of prose

=cuting, determined as you said to pick a flaw in the

titles of those who have bought city lots and built upon them

not that you can do any thing but cause vexatious lawsuits

  And amongst the most monstrous of all your abomina

=tions we have evidence, which when called upon we can pro

=duce that letters sent to the post office in this place have been

opened, read, and destroyed, and the persons to whom they

were sent never obtained them thus ruining the business

of the place.  We have evidence of a very strong character

that You are at this very time engaged with a gang of

counterfeiters coiners and blacklegs, as some of those characters

have lately visited our city from Kirtland and told what they had

come for, and we Know assuredly, that if we Suffer you to continue

we may expect and that speedily to find a general system of

stealing counterfeiting cheating and burning property, as in

Kirtland, for so are your associates carrying on there at this time

and that encouraged by You by means of letters you send continu

=ally to them, and to crown the whole you have had the auda

-city to threaten us, that if we offered to disturb you you 

would get up a mob from Clay and Ray Counties for

this insult if nothing else and your threatnings to shoot

us if we offered to molest you we will put from  the

county of Caldwell so help us God!  the above was sign

ed by some 84 Mormons


                                                            Far west June                      1838

To Oliver Cowdrey  David Whitmer  John

Whitmier  William W Phelps  and  Lyman E.

Johnson  Greetings  Whereas the Citizens of Cald-

well County have borne with the abuses received

from you at different times and on different oc-

cassions until it is no longer to be endured, neither

will they endure it any longer, having exhausted

all the patience they have.  We have borne long

and suffered incredibly, but we will bear nor

suffer any longer and the decree has gone forth

from our hearts and shall not return unto us

void.  Neither think gentlemen in so doing we

are trifling with either you or ourselves for we

are not.  There are no threats from you, no fear

of lossing our lives by you or any thing you can

say or do will restrain us for out of the County

you shall go and no power shall save you, and

you shall have three days after you receive this our

Communication to you including twenty four

hours in each day for you to depart with your

families peaceably which you may do un-

disturbed by any person  But in that time if

you do not depart we will use the means in

our power to Cause you to depart for go you shall.

We will have no more promises to reform as you

have already made and in every instance vio-

lated your promises and regarded not the Covenant

which you had made, but put both it and us at

defiance  We have Solemnly warned you and

that in the most determined manner, that if

you did not Cease that course of wanton abuse

of the Citizens of this County  that vengence would

overtake you sooner or later, and that when it did


Come it would be as furious as the Mountains

torrent and as terible as the beating tempest

But you have affected to despise our warnings

and pass them off with a sneer or a grin or a threat

and still persued your former course.  Vengince sleeps

not neither does it slumber; and unless you heed us

this time, and attend to our request, it will overtake

you at an hour where you do not expect it and at a

day when you do not look for it_  and for you there

shall be no escape; for their is but one decree for you

which is depart depart or else a more fatal calamity

Shall befall you   After Oliver Cowdrey had been

taken by a States warrent for stealing and the stolen

property found Concealed in the house of William

W Phelps; in which nefarious transaction John

Whitmier had also participated.  Oliver Cowdry

stole the property  Conveyed it to John Whitmier

and John Whitmier to William W Phelps and

there the officers of the law found it.  While in the

hands of the officers and under an arrest for this

vile transaction and if possible to hide your shame

from the world like criminals which in deed you

were, you appealed to our beloved breathren

President [“Rigdon” crossed out] Joseph Smith and Sidney

Rigden Men whose characters you had endeav=

=oured to destroy, by every artifact you could

invent not even the basest lying excepted

Notwithstanding all your scandolous attacks,

still such was the nobleness of their Characters

that even vile enemies could not appeal to them

in vain  They enlisted as you well know other

influance to save you from your just fate and

they by their influance delivered you out of the

hands of the officer  While you were pleading


with them you promised reformations  You bound

yourselves by the most solemn promises that you

would never be employed again in abusing any

of the Citizens of Caldwell and by Such conde

=scentions did you attempt to escape the workhouse.

but Now for the sequel  did you practice the

promise reformation.  You Know that you did not

but by Secret efforts Continued to practice your in-

equity and clandestinely to injure their Character

notwithstanding there Kindness to you.  Are such

things to be borne?  You yourselves would answer that

they are unsufferable if you were to answer accor-

ding to the feelings of your own hearts.  As we design

this paper to be published to the world we will

give an epitome of your scandalous conduct and

treachery for the last two years.  We wish to remind

you that Oliver Cowdrey and David Whitmier

were among the principal of those who were the

means of geathering us to this place by their testi

=mony which they gave concerning the plates of

the book of Mormon, that they were shown

to them by an Angel which testimony we believe

now as much as before you so scandalously dis-

=graced it.  You commenced your wickedness by

heading a party to disturb the worship of the

saints of the first day of the week, and made

the house of the Lord in Kirtland to be a

scene of abuse and slander to destroy the reputation

of those whom the Church had appointed to be

their teachers and for no other cause only that

you were not the persons.  The saints in Kirtland

having elected Oliver Cowdry to be a justice of the

peace, he used the power of that office, to take

their most sacred rights from them, and that


Contrary to law.  He supported a parcel of Blacklegs

in disturbing the worship of the Saints-and when

the Men whom the Church had chosen to preside

over their Meetings endeavored to put the house to

order- Oliver Cowdry by the Authority of his office

assisted those wretches in continuing their confusion

and threatened the Church with a prosecution

for trying to put them out of the house.  And

issued writs against the Saints for endeavoring

to Sustain rights and bound them under heavy

bonds to appear before his honour - and required

bonds which were both inhuman and unlawful

One of those injured men was a man upwards

of Seventy years of age the venerable Father who

had been approved by the Church to preside_ a

man notorious for his peaceable habits

Oliver Cowdry David Whitmier and Lyman

E Johnson united with a gang of Counterfeiters

thieves, liars, and Blacklegs of the deepest die

to deceive, cheat and defraud the Saints out of

their property by every act and stratagem which

McKnip could invent using the influance of the

vilest persecutors to bring vexatious lawsuits [“upon” crossed out]

vilanous persecutions and even steeling not ex_

cepted.   In the midst of the career for fear

the saints would Seek redress at their hands

they breathed out threatening of Mobs and

actually made attempts to with their gang to

bring mobs upon them.  Oliver Cowdry  and

his gang such of them as belonged to the Church

were called to an account by the Church

for their inequity_ they confessed repentance

and were again  restored to the Church.

  But the very first opportunity they were


again practicing their former course.  while this

wickedness was going on in Kirtland  Oliver

 Cowdry and his gang were writing letters to Far

West in order to destroy the Character of every

person they thought were standing in their way

And John Whitmier and William W Phelps were

assisting to prepare the way to throw confusion

among the Saints of Far West.  During the full

Career of Oliver Cowdry and David Whitmiers

Bogus money business it got abroad into the wold

that they were engaged in it, and several gentlemen

were preparing to commence a prosecution against

Cowdry  He finding it out took with him Lyman

E Johnson and fled to Far West with their fam

=ilys: Cowdry Stealing a property and bringing

it with him; which has within  a few weeks past

been obtained by the owners by means of a search

warrent and he was saved from the Peneten-

tiary by the influance of two influntial men of

this place. He also brought notes with him upon which

he had received pay and had promised  to destroy them

Since here he made an attempt to Sell them to

Mr Arthur of Clay County.  And Lyman E.

Johnson on his arrival reported that he had a note

of One thousand dollars against a principal man

in this Church when it is a fact that it was a

palpable falsehood and had no such thing and

he did it for the purpose of injureing his character.

Shortly after Cowdry and Johnson left Kirtland

for Far West they were followed by David

Whitmor on whose arrival a general system

of slander and abuse was commenced by you all

for the purpose of destroying the Character of

certain individuals whose influance and strict


regard for righteousness you dreded  and not only

you but your wives and children led by yourselves

were busily engaged in it.  Neither were you con

tented with slandering and vilifying here: but you

kept up continual correspondance with your

gang of Marauders in Kirtland encouraging

them to go on with their inequity which they did

to perfection by smearing falsely to injure the

Character and property of innocent men-cheating

stealing, lying, and instituting vexateous Law

Suits, Selling bogus money, and also Stones and

Sand for bogus (word crossed out, money), in which nefarious business

You Oliver Cowdry David Whitmer and Lyman

E Johnson were engaged while at Kirtland- Since

your arrival here you have commenced a general

System of the same kind of conduct in this place

you got up a nasty dirty pettifoggers office pre

tending to be judges of the law  When it is a no-

trious fact that you are profoundly ignorant

of it.  and of every other thing calculated to do

mankind good or if you know it you take good

care never to practice it.  And in order to bring

yourselves into Notice you began to interfere with

all the business of the place trying to destroy

the Character of our Merchants and bring

their credetors upon them and break them up.

In addition to this you steared up men of weak

minds to prosecute on another for the vile pur-

pose of geting a fee for a pettifogger from them

You have (“been” crossed out) also been threatening Continually to

enter into a general System of prosecuting--determined

as you said to peck a flaw in the titles of those who

have purchased City lots and built upon them

not that you can do anything but cause vexatious


lawsuits.  And among the most monstrous of all

your abominations we have evidence which when

Called upon we can produce; that letters sent

to the Post Office in this place have been opened

and read and destroyed, and the persons to

whom them were Sent never obtained them-

thus ruining the business of the place.  We have

evidence of a very Strong Character that you

are this very time engaged with a gang of

Counterfeiters and coiners and blacklegs as Some

of those Characters have lately visited our city from

Kirtland and told what they had come for, and

we know assuredly that if we suffer you to

continue we may expect and that speedely to

find a general System of Stealings, Cheating, coun-

terfeiting, and burning property as in Kirtland

for so are your associates carrying on there at this

time and that encouraged by you by means of

letters you send continually to them.

And to crown to whole you have had the au-

dacity to threaten us that if we offered to dis

=turb you-you would get up a mob from Clay

and Ray Counties-for this insult of nothing

else and your threatenings to Shoot us if we

offered to molest you We will put you from

the County of Caldwell So help us God

Sampson Avard Geo W Pitkin Mile Andrews

Ralp Cox Philo Dibble D B Huntington

Geo M Robinson Daniel Carn Ebenezer Robin

son  Truman Brace  Amasa Lyman Dani’l

Carter D Hunter Erastus Bingham

Alexander McRea  Samuel Bent Israel

Barlow Elisha Evertt Silas Maynarde


 

Andrew Rockwell  Elijah Averett Joseph Clark Jr

Lorenzo Barnes  Joseph Corlay  Levi M Hancock

Stephen Winchester  John T Higbee  Isaac

Higbee  Chandler Holbrook  Tad Yale  Huntington

Johnson  John Somy  George P Dykes  William

C. Gallagher  Anthony Head  Richard Howard

George Washington Vorheese  John W Clunk

Hamron H Hills Cyrus Daniels Jothan

Maynard  Benjamin Burson  Squire Bozanth

Timothy B Foset  Daniel Sheaver  Sylvester

Hulet  Solomon Daniel  William Stringham

Andrew Moore  Avrell Knight  James B Isee

Dwight Hadding  Ezekial Billington John

Fawsett  John Crush  Rufus Allen  Norvil

M. Head  Alfred Has  Joseph Rose  William

Hewatt  Lewis Allen  Herman Clark  Jared

Carter  Harvery Greene  Seymour  Bronson

James Hendrix  James S Allen  Ethan

Barrows  Charles C Rich  John Smith

Harloe Redfield  Joseph Cooledge  Edward

Seaky  Jackson Smith  Jacob Gates

Sydney Tanner James Brashear  Joseph

Holbrook  Mathaw Tanner  Wensiers Carter

Hirarm Smith  Nelson Maynard  Phil Allen


About the time the dissenters fled, President Rigdon

preached a sermon from the text “ye are the salt of

the earth; but if the salt have lost its savor, where

-with (“it” crossed out) shall it be slated? it is thewillforth good for

nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden und

-er foot of men.”  commonly called the salt ser

mon, in which the dissenters were (“compared to” crossed out) called the

salt that had lost its savor, and that they should

be trampled upon, and driven out by the saints, which

was well understood by the danites to be a part

of their duty to do.--   When Genl; Lucas’ men

marched up to Far West. Smith told me, as I un

-derstood him, that he had said to one of the mili

-tia captains, not to come any further as he might

get into danger- Smith after erecting his bul

-works, (the night after genl Lucas arrived) asked

me if I did not think him pretty much of a general

and I answered in the affirmative-We were

advised all the time to fight valiantly, and that

the angles of the Lord would appear in our defense

and fight our battles-   In refferences to

Bogarts battle, I know but little personally as

to the start of the troops to fight Bogart- I was called

upon to go along with the company (which was

commanded by Patten) as surgeon this was about

midnight, but as I thought a little sleep would

do me more good than fighting I remained at

home.--In the morning of the fight, about 6

o’clock I was called on by a Mr Emmet who in

-formed me that Capt Fearnaught was wounded

mortally--I went to Patton about 3 miles from

the battle ground where I found Jos Smith Jr present

laying hands on the wounded & blessing them to heal

them-- Abraham OBanion was also mortally wound

-ded.  I heard the following of the prisoners say

he was present in the fight to wit Norman Shearer