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Expulsion from Nauvoo  

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The Assassination



The Prophet and the Patriarch




(OF UTAH, U. S. A.)

Pastor of the Manchester, Liverpool, and Preston Conferences







An Explanatory Note

"The Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith"  was published in the same pamphlet as  "The Expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo".   John S. published these two writings as a single pamphlet or tract while a missionary in England. The two documents have been separated here for web publication.   John Solomon Fullmer was in a unique position to write about both Assassination and the Expulsion.  This pamphlet has been described in Bancroft's History of Utah as “the best narrative, and indeed the only one that enters circumstantially into all the details of the expulsion from Nauvoo. The work is written from a Mormon standpoint, but including as it does copies of the dispatches of Illinois officers and officials, of the stipulations between the belligerents, and of some comments made by the Quincy Whig, appears in the main reliable.“  

John Solomon Fullmer was a friend of both Joseph and Hyrum Smith.  Because of his great friendship with the two brothers, he was one of those who accompanied Joseph and Hyrum Smith to Carthage Jail.  He spent the day and night before the martyrdom with them in the prison.  On the morning of the day they were assassinated, June 26th, when he was sent on several legal errands by the Prophet.  He was only a couple of hours on this last errand when the local militia , "the Carthage Grays" attacked the jail, killed Joseph and his brothers and left other companions in the jail seriously wounded.  John S. was much effected by this event.  He wrote a strident account of these events a few months later to his uncle.  This account was seems to have been developed from that original writing.  John S. published this tract while a missionary in England.  This and many other writings of John S. Fullmer are found in " John Solomon Fullmer, The Man and His Writings complied by Jerry D. Wells and published by Brigham Young University.  For more information about this book please e-mail me at I will put you in touch with the compiler or you may order it here.



Nauvoo City Charter ~ Expulsion of the Laws, Fosters, and Higbees from the Church ~ Establishment and Destruction of the "Nauvoo Expositor" ~ Apprehension of the Mayor, Marshall, and others of Nauvoo ~ The Prisoners examined at Nauvoo by Habeas Corpus and discharged  ~ A mob raised and assembled at Carthage and Warsaw, demanding Joseph Smith ~ Governor Ford applied to ~ The Nauvoo Legion called out ~ The Governor takes command of the mob and musters them into Service ~ Orders the Legion to be disbanded ~ Joseph and Hyrum Smith go to deliver themselves up at Carthage ~ The Governor meets them, and demands the State Arms of the Legion ~ Joseph returns, and the demand is complied with ~ Sets out again for Carthage ~ The Governor introduces Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith to the Mob ~ Mutiny of the Carthage Grays ~ Joseph and Hyrum examined, and bailed out to appear at Circuit Court ~ Mittimus served on them ~ They are charged with Treason, confined in Jail, and forced to an illegal Examination ~ They send for Witnesses, and are remanded to Prison ~ Interview between the Governor and Joseph ~ The Governor pledges Protection, disbands the Mob, goes to Nauvoo, and addresses the Citizens ~ Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum.

Nauvoo, Illinois, October 30, 1844.

James Gordon Bennett, Esq., Editor of the New York Herald.

 Dear Sir, Presuming somewhat upon your love of liberty, and freedom from all sectarian prejudices and superstition, I have the confidence to believe that you will give place in the Herald to the following narrative, which is a more particular relation of facts, as they occurred from time to time, relative to the imprisonment and murder of GENERAL JOSEPH SMITH, and GENERAL HYRUM SMITH his brother, as well as the immediate and also more remote causes of that murder, than has as yet been offered to the public. One reason why I deferred this communication to the present time was, the intense and deep feeling their death gave me, being a member of the same faith and order as they.

Many have been the versions of, and many the speculations upon, this unprecedented tragedy; and these are based upon unconnected documents and ex parte editorial remarks founded in ignorance. I grant that the press has pretty generally condemned the murder, yet it has as generally condemned the Smiths, and considered them highly criminal, and worthy to be visited with the severest penalty of the law. Now it is to correct the public mind with regard to the criminality of those men, and to rebut, with facts, the unjust aspersions heaped upon them, that I write.

I may, perhaps, be rather tedious in detail, but, if I am, you may depend upon what I say as true. I have had an opportunity of understanding some of the more remote causes of this catastrophe, as they developed themselves from time to time; and also of those which immediately preceded and led to it.

In order to give a correct understanding of the whole subject, it is necessary, in the first place, to notice, that the State of Illinois granted Nauvoo a charter and incorporated it a city. This charter is, in the main, what all other city charters are, and grants a regular municipality- a city council, which is the Legislative Department; a mayor and board of aldermen, which are the judicial department; and also a marshal, constables, and policemen, who are the ministerial department. These all hold their offices by virtue of provisions in the charter, and, consequently, have as much right to act in their sphere, as have the legislative assembly which granted the charter in theirs, or as the President of the United States has in his.

In the charter it was expressly granted, that the City Council might enact any laws for the convenience of the city, provided they did not come in contact with the Constitution of the State, or of the United States. It was also as expressly granted, that the said Council might determine what were nuisances, and have power to abate the same, and for this purpose they should have power to command the Legion, if necessary, to accomplish it. It was also expressly provided, that the writ of Habeas Corpus might be granted in all cases arising under any ordinance of the city. It was likewise granted that all the male citizens, subject to military duty, throughout the county, might form themselves into military companies, and compose what should be called the "Nauvoo Legion," with the privilege of electing their own officers, who should be commissioned by the State. The Legion was to be subject to the orders of the Governor in case of invasion, or when actual service was required.

Now by keeping in mind these several granted privileges, one will be fully prepared to understand all the illegal proceedings instituted against the prisoners, as I shall relate them. I say illegal proceedings, because I do know that the prisoners were illegally arrested, illegally imprisoned, and were undergoing an illegal examination, during which time they were illegally shot, by a lawless and infuriated mob. Yes, I say it emphatically, and the facts will bear me out in it, that they were murdered, and that too while they were defenseless prisoners-prisoners voluntarily, relying upon the plighted faith and honour of the State for their safety and protection, because there could be no legal conviction obtained against them. The sun, in his meridian splendour, is not more strikingly manifest than the certainty, that if the charge preferred against them could have been sustained, they would not have been murdered, nor their lives would have been forfeited, and consequently the strong arm of the law would have removed them, and this would have saved their enemies from the sin of imbruing their hands in innocent blood. Who will stretch forth his hand to shed the blood of a fellow man to avenge some wrong, when the State has him in custody, and will herself avenge that wrong in a legal way? This, therefore, aside from any other evidence, most clearly proves their innocence.

But I will return from my seeming digression, to my narrative, and in doing so, I shall refer next, to the apostasy of some of the members of the Church during the early part of this year. I will correct myself by saying expulsion, instead of apostasy, for they were expelled from the Church before they openly apostatized from the faith. These were the Laws, the Fosters, and the Higbees. But of these, William Law was the most prominent; and he, as has since been brought to light, endeavoured, two years ago, to betray Joseph Smith into the hands of a band of Missourians, who were ready for the service, and awaited his movements; but in this, Law was foiled. At length he came to an open rupture, and was promptly disfellowshipped, with the rest above named.

Finding that he had hitherto failed in accomplishing his wicked design of destroying the leader of the Church, he now determined upon another course, and that was, to establish a weekly journal, in which he was associated with six or seven others of the party already mentioned. This filthy sheet they called the Nauvoo Expositor. From its very title you have its object and design. One of their principal objects, unreservedly expressed in their prospectus, was the repeal of the City Charter. This would have been not only an illegal and unjust proceeding by the legislature, but would have materially retarded the growth of, if not have destroyed, the place. This journal teemed with the foulest libelous attacks, in the form of affidavits, upon Joseph Smith and others, touching private character.

These attacks, coming in the shape that they did, if continued, would have foiled any attempt that might have been made in defense, unless a negative could have been proved in all cases, and an oath discredited. This would have required time and means, and of course could have created no speedy reaction in the public mind; and in the mean time there would have continued a constant stream of filth, falsehood, and misrepresentation from that vile print. This was well understood here, as well as were those wicked men; but not so abroad.

The City Council, therefore, at once determined that the establishment was a nuisance, and that it should be forthwith abated. It devolved consequently upon the mayor-Joseph Smith, to see the order of the City Council promptly executed. He accordingly ordered the City Marshal and the policemen, as he was in duty bound to do, to abate that declared nuisance. This they did in a quiet and peaceable manner, without opposition.

For this act, the proprietors of said office, alias nuisance, had the mayor, the marshal, and all the policemen apprehended on a warrant for a riot. This warrant was put into the hands of a hostile constable in Carthage, some twenty miles distant from Nauvoo. And he, to subserve (sic) the wishes of the mobbers, positively refused to return the prisoners to any other magistrate than one in Carthage. And there is the hotbed of mobocracy, as the world by this time is aware, and as the sequel will show. The prisoners did not refuse to go before a magistrate for examination, as has been reported of them, but solicited the constable to return them anywhere else but in Carthage and they would cheerfully comply, but without avail. To Carthage they must go.

It was at this crisis that the Municipal Court sued out the writ of Habeus Corpus, and had the prisoners brought before them for an investigation. This court promptly decided that there had been no riot committed, inasmuch as they were acting in the discharge of their duty, imposed upon them by the City Council through a solemn ordinance. The prisoners were of course discharged.

Now who, that has common sense, and is not a mobocrat, does not see that here this prosecution ought to have ended? Aye, who, that is not a fool, does not see that it should not have been begun? The only question that could have been fairly started, was not whether a riot had been committed, seeing the act was in obedience of some compulsory power (but when this question was raised, and prosecuted, and these facts were ascertained, there could be no further legal action on the case), but the question should have been, at first, or at any rate immediately after the proceedings above, whether the City Council had any legal right to pass such an ordinance, or whether the Mayor's Court had any authority to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus. Either of these last questions would have involved the existence of the charter itself. And before a proper tribunal, it would most unquestionably have been decided, that we not only had a charter nominally but an indefeasible right to exercise all the powers therein specified. But in this way there would have been a quietus put upon the whole matter, in a civil and peaceable way, and a legal one too. This was therefore the objection. These leading apostates did not wish to have a civil and amicable adjustment of whatever might seem to be wrong. They thirsted, like the beast of prey, for blood, and nothing short of that would satisfy them, And therefore, instead of taking the peaceable and quiet course suggested above, the cry was raised far and near, that Smith refused to subject himself to the law, in not going with the constable to Carthage. The writ of Habeus Corpus and the action of the Municipal Court, they refused to recognize; and they sent runners, making flaming speeches, throughout Hancock and the neighbouring (sic) counties, to excite the people. In this way they succeeded in procuring several thousand volunteers, regularly officered in martial order, to put themselves under the direction of said constable as his posse, to again arrest Joseph Smith, in defiance of his liberation, or to exterminate, literally and utterly, the "Mormon" people, man, woman, and child, and then to lay Nauvoo in ashes. Such was their language in the Warsaw Signal, and in all their numerous meetings, until their forces had collected together. The idea of making the arrest spoken of, seemed gradually to wear away as their forces increased, and utter extermination seemed now uppermost in their thoughts, and expressed in all their movements. Volunteers from abroad were constantly invited, even from Missouri, by their corresponding committee, and by the Warsaw Signal. Neither were these calls in vain-they were promptly responded to, and a constant increase of the mob forces was the result.

But before I proceed further, I will mention one circumstance which I had like to have forgotten, and that is this-as soon as the Expositor was destroyed, some of the lawyers gave it as their opinion, that a press or public journal, whatever might be its character, could not be constitutionally destroyed as a nuisance; and that the City Council had become liable to damages. The mayor, therefore, immediately addressed the Governor a letter, informing him of what had transpired, with the reasons that led to it, and stated emphatically that if it should be ascertained that the City Council had transcended any legal bounds, they were ready and willing to make all the satisfaction that the law required. And lest this letter

should not reach his Excellency, there was another written containing the same things, with the additional information that large forces were preparing to make a descent upon Nauvoo, to avenge the destruction of the Expositor. This last was borne by an express, dispatched for that purpose. The Governor, however, missed both, being from home. Under these circumstances, critical in the extreme, it was thought advisable to call out the Nauvoo Legion, and put them under arms for our defense, until the Governor should have time to do something, in this trying emergency, in his official capacity. We knew it was his duty to take prompt measures to put down such uncalled-for and mobocratic movements, and we believed that he would do it.

The Legion soon swelled to between three and four thousand men, ready to defend their possessions and their city; but more especially, that which they held most dear of all earthly possessions-their wives and children, to say nothing about their religion, the peculiarity of which was the primary cause of this invasion, as it had been of all others, up to that time. It was thought advisable that all passes to and from the city should be guarded, and policemen stationed at suitable distances upon the highways leading to the city, for the purpose of giving the alarm in case the enemy should suddenly appear. Suspicious looking persons prowling through the streets, were also made to give an account of themselves and comply with the ordinances of the city. Our enemies called this martial law. In consequence of our numbers and preparation, the mob took the precaution to remain in Carthage and Warsaw for still further reinforcements, determined not to desist until they had destroyed the "Mormons."

This was the condition of both parties when the Governor appeared in Carthage. His Excellency expressed a settled determination to have every matter legally investigated, and every wrong corrected. He made several addresses to the people, and stated to them that the law must have its course. These were his professions, and so far so good. But how far he carried them out, the sequel will show. One would naturally be led to inquire, what he did with this mighty army of men or mobbers, who had gathered from different counties, all armed and equipped for a regular campaign, with BRIGADIER GENERAL DEMING at their head; also what they wanted, and by what authority they came there. In the palmy days of our boasted republic, it would not have been difficult to divine the course of the Executive of a State under such circumstances. The leaders of such a band would have been forthwith arrested for heading unlawful assemblies, whose declared determination it was to utterly exterminate a portion of their fellow citizens. And the multitude would have been very severely rebuked, and sent home, well satisfied that no worse thing had come upon them.

But was this the course of his Excellency? Verily no! But he absolutely took command of the mob in person, mustered them into service, and established his head-quarters in the insignificant little town of Carthage- that is, he placed himself at the head of a mob, and became their commander-in-chief. A thousand groans for Illinois! How hast thou fallen from thy proud eminence! Henceforth Missouri may retire from the gaze and scorn of the pure eyes of the goddess of liberty, that she may fix them upon thee. The perfidy, treachery, murder and bloodshed of that State, have found a covering in thee, for thy dark deeds have totally eclipsed hers. Thy Executive, instead of giving dignity to thee and to his station, by being at thy head, is seen marshaling an army of lawless mobocrats; and then, the more easily to secure thy prey, thou didst not hesitate to solemnly plight thy sacred honour; and then didst trample it under thy feet as a thing of naught, to shed innocent blood. Will I ever forgive thee? Never, no NEVER.

But to return from this digression, I will just ask you, kind reader, what you think this stickler for the supremacy of the law, this never-to-be-forgotten peace-making Governor, did, after placing himself at the head of this professedly exterminating band or army of mobbers. Why, inasmuch as peace was his object he ordered the Nauvoo Legion, who stood in the defense of their own lives and the lives of their wives and children, and the rights, both civil and religious, guaranteed to them by the constitution and laws of the land, to be disbanded and this, while they remained upon their own ground and within the limits of the city corporation, while at the same time the belligerent army under his command were = suffered to remain in a hostile attitude, and prowling all around our borders with impunity. Under these ex parte and suspicious movements, especially when it is remembered that self-defence is the first law of nature, who could have expected us not to stand in our own defence, Governor or no Governor, order or no order; for it is as unlawful for a Governor to crush a people to death, as for a mob to do it. Such a move was, in my opinion, evidently intended to make us disobey orders that the charge of treason might be sustained against us. This was well understood by us. We knew it would only give new occasion to destroy us, we therefore determined to obey orders, and wrest the weapons from our enemy by obedience, and so we disbanded. This order (so far was the Governor from being satisfied with our unparalleled submission) was now immediately followed by an order that the marshal and the policemen, who had abated the nuisance, together with the mayor, Joseph Smith, should appear before a magistrate in Carthage, according to the previous notice of said constable. Thus you see that even his Excellency was trampling under foot the privileges of the City Charter, the legislative power of the City Council, the Judiciary, Habeas Corpus, and all powers and privileges granted by the General Assembly, and ratified by his predecessor. It was at this stage of the game, that he was heard to say (as it was told us by good authority), that " he would have Joe, or lay the city in ashes."

It was now reduced to a demonstration that our enemies were determined that the law should not benefit us, and that nothing could be hoped for from the Governor. They had for a long time sought the life of the Prophet, and now it seemed as if they were determined to have it. There was but one alternative left, and that was to make his escape. He meditated doing so for a time and had crossed over the river that he might deliberate on the course to pursue, whether to go away for a season or offer himself for his people. When. he thought of going away, the certainty of the destruction of the city, together with the people whom he loved, and whom he had been the means of collecting from the four winds, would rise in his imagination before him, and reproach him with the calamity that his absence would bring upon them. Thus he mused within himself and with his brother Hyrum, and at length they both determined to return, and stand between the brethren and the rage of the mob. They now prepared to go to Carthage, and, on leaving, Joseph returned the second and third time, and at each time took an affectionate leave of his family. On his way out, he said, to the few of his friends who accompanied him, these remarkable words-

"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning: I have a conscience void of offense towards God and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me, He was murdered in cold blood."

 Immediately after this, and while these voluntary martyrs were on their way, an order from the governor, who knew of their approach, met them, demanding all the State arms belonging to the Nauvoo Legion. It appears his Excellency feared that the Legion, although disbanded, might avenge any outrage that might be committed on the persons of their leaders, and so thought he had better disarm them, as he had already disbanded them This order was also promptly obeyed, although the mob were suffered to retain their arms, even when within a half day's march of us, and in a threatening and hostile attitude; while the Legion had not evinced any disposition whatever, except to defend their city in case it should be invaded, and had not set a foot without the limits of the corporation. This last demand was so manifestly void of all good feeling, and so unjust withal, that it was thought advisable, by these devoted heroes, for Joseph Smith to return in person to Nauvoo, lest the officers and men, in their great indignation, should treat such an arbitrary demand with contempt, and, perhaps, disobey it. He accordingly returned, and having accomplished the delivery of the public arms, he again set out, accompanied by his brother Hyrum, who never forsook him, for the head quarters of mobocracy--Carthage, where they arrived late the same night, having travailed nearly the whole distance from Nauvoo to Carthage three times that day.

On the following morning the Governor's mobocratic troops were all paraded and formed in line for review. This done, his Excellency passed along their front, accompanied by Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith, whom he introduced to the troops as military officers, calling them General Joseph and General Hyrum Smith. Whether he did this out of respect to his distinguished prisoners, or whether he did it to gratify the mob with a sight of their intended victims, can be pretty correctly inferred from the proceedings already related. But some of the troops doubtless misconstrued his Excellency's object, and thought he was doing these men, whom they regarded as criminals, too much honour, and therefore mutinied, and became exceedingly boisterous, and for a time it was feared that nothing could stay their hands from violence and bloodshed. The Governor, however, succeeded in pacifying them by making to them a speech, in which he promised them full satisfaction. But as this was made in public, he of course had to promise it through a lawful channel. These mutineers, I wish it distinctly remembered, were the "Carthage Greys. " The prisoners, for so they were considered, delivered themselves into the hands of the constable, and they were brought before the magistrate for examination on the charge of riot. And after every effort was made on the part of the prosecution to prevent it, they, with some of the City Council and a number of policemen, who had also obeyed the warrant, succeeded in giving the required bail to answer to the charges preferred, before the next Circuit Court. It is worthy here to notice, that in case the charges could have been sustained at court, the prisoners could have been fined only at most in the sum of two hundred dollars; yet this military esquire absolutely demanded the sum of five hundred dollars for each man's recognizance, which was two-and-a-half times as much as the penalty of actual guilt. The prisoners being fifteen in number, the court hoped that the required sum could not be vouched for by those present, and that they must consequently be committed to jail. But there was strength enough at hand, and a sufficiency of unquestionable bail, notwithstanding the unparalleled amount, was instantly forthcoming, and the prisoners were once more free men. But liberty was not for them, for in less than half-an-hour, there was a Mittimus served on Joseph and Hyrum Smith, against whom the spite of the mob was always directed. In this Mittimus, the constable was ordered to confine them in jail.

But I am a little before my story. I should have said that on the morning of the arrival of the Smiths in Carthage, to answer for a charge of riot, they were both apprehended on the charge of Treason. But the case on the charge of riot came on first, and terminated as stated above; and the prisoners had not, as yet, been brought before the justice, in the case of treason, for examination. He could not, therefore, legally imprison them; but he was captain of the mutinous "Carthage Greys, " as well as justice of the peace, and of course things had to go according to his liking. So notwithstanding the protests of Mr. Smith's counsel, of illegality, he had them dragged to jail by a company of armed men, detailed for the purpose; and although the Governor had previously pledged his honour, and the honour of the State, in case the Smiths should drive themselves up; that they should be protected from illegal violence, and that the law only was sought to be enforced. This pledge he frequently repeated; yet when they had confided in the strong assurances of his Excellency, and had submitted to, and were willing to abide, the law of the land, and while being illegally ordered to be imprisoned by this military magistrate, they appealed in vain, again and again, to the Governor himself, reminding him of his pledges, to arrest that order from being executed. His Excellency pleaded that he had no authority to stay civil process, or the due course of law; that the prisoners were in the hands of the civil authorities, and that he could not interrupt a civil officer in the discharge of his duty. But what are the facts? A justice of the peace, acting as a military officer also, by virtue of his commission as such, orders his command to appear under arms and to safely incarcerate the prisoners, whom he had just before ordered the constable to commit to jail by Mittimus ere they had been brought before him for examination; and the Governor, having been himself, at one time, a judge upon the bench, knew and well understood the illegality of the above proceedings; he also well knew that military power and authority were used; and yet he, acting at that time as Commander-in-Chief, in a military point of view, which gave him all the supervision over all his officers, and, in fact, made him responsible for all their acts and movements, refused to interfere, or to countermand the order-the illegal, oppressive, and unofficer-like order, of one of his captains. But again, having taken the oath of office, he was, by virtue of that oath, bound to see the laws faithfully executed, and not violated and trodden under foot, and that right in his presence, and at a time too, when he had the bone and sinew of the State, over which he then presided, collected together for the express purpose, professedly, at least, of enforcing the law, magnifying it, and making it honourable. I would here stop to inquire, whether his Excellency did not render himself liable to be court-martialed and cashiered for unofficer-like conduct; and also to impeachment, for a neglect and violation of his oath of office, as the chief magistrate of a great State? I give the affirmative as my deliberate opinion in both specifications.

But the prisoners being committed, and as the Mittimus recited, " until discharged by due course of law," the magistrate had no further jurisdiction over them. They ought, therefore, to have remained there until the session of the next Court, or have been brought out by Habeas Corpus. On the next day, however, the esquire ordered the constable to bring them before him into the Courthouse for examination. The legal objections were now made by them and their counsel, and they refused to go; but there was a way to make them. He had a curious and convenient coat or badge of office, which, by a sudden transition, assumed the military or civil form at will-now civil, now military, and in this last, he ordered his " b'hoys," the " Greys," to assist the constable and bring them This done, the prisoners required time to procure the necessary witnesses, and prepare for the examination. This was with great difficulty obtained. The day was already far spent, say five o'clock, p.m., and time was only given till twelve the next day, in which to write out some thirty or more subpoenas, and then to send them, say twenty miles, to Nauvoo and other places, and serve them on that number of scattered witnesses, and have them in court. And now the defendants were remanded to prison. (This is only one instance of a constant scene of oppression to which these men have ever been exposed.)

It was not until during this imprisonment that the Governor redeemed his oft-repeated promise to give General Smith a personal interview. He accordingly made his appearance with a friend of his on the first day of their incarceration, when the General, like Paul, had the privilege of answering for himself. He adverted to all the leading causes which gave rise to the difficulties under consideration, in a brief, but lucid, energetic, and impressive manner. The Governor felt that what was said was true. General Smith read copies of all the orders and proceedings of the City Council of Nauvoo concerning the destruction of the Expositor, and of the correspondence forwarded to his Excellency in relation thereto; and also informed him concerning the call of the Legion, and the position they occupied of absolute necessity-not to make war upon or invade the rights of any portion of the State, but as the last resort, and only defence, in the absence of executive protection, against a large organized military and mobocratic foe. The General reminded his Excellency that the question in dispute was a civil matter, and to settle which, needed no resort to arms; and that he was ready at any time, and had always been to answer to any charge in the premises, that might be preferred against him, either as Mayor of the city, or as a private individual, in any court of justice, unintimidated by a mob or military array; and make all the satisfaction that the law required, if any, etc. The Governor said he had not called out this force, but found it assembled in military order, on his arrival at that place; and that the law must be enforced, but that the prisoners must and should be protected; and that he again Pledged his word, and the faith and honour of the State, that they should be. He also stated that he intended to march his troops (that is, those who had assembled for mobocratic purposes, and whom he had mustered into service) into Nauvoo, to gratify them, and that the prisoners should accompany them, and then return again to attend the trial before the said magistrate, which he said had been postponed for the purpose of making this visit.

Afterwards, however, his Excellency called a council, of war, I suppose, where it was determined to change the order of the day. The troops were now all to be disbanded, excepting two companies. At the head of the one which was from M'Donnough County, he marched into Nauvoo; while he had detailed the other, the mutinous "Carthage Greys, " to guard and protect the prisoners whom he left in the jail, in direct violation of the pledges he had made to them on the previous day. All the other troops were disbanded and ordered home, while there yet retained also a body of several hundred men, eight or ten miles out, apparently under the control of no one, except Col. Williams, a sworn enemy, who, it is well known, had on more occasions than one, not only threatened Nauvoo with destruction, but the Prophet with death. This was the condition of things on the morning of the 27th June, the day on which was acted the most unheard of and unprecedented tragedy that, in my opinion, can be found on record. JOSEPH and HYRUM, the Prophet and Patriarch, were that day slain by wicked hands, WHILE IMMURED, IN PRISON. And thus was shed, on that memorable day, the best blood, and the noblest too, of the nineteenth century.

Great God! what a sudden stroke in thy Providence was that? Was there no way in thine Omnipotence to avert it? Or was it requisite for these thy faithful servants, who loved their brethren as they did themselves, even unto death, to lay down their lives and seal their testimony with their blood? Victims they indeed were to rage, but wo to the man who participated therein.

In reviewing the proceedings and movements of this chieftain, his Excellency Governor Thomas Ford, as impartially as the nature of the case will admit of, it is difficult to conjecture how he could have played a card better to suit the mob than he did. He said he had received an expression of all the troops and a promise that they would stand by him to see the laws faithfully executed. But what of all that? They were still a mob, and now without a head resolved into its very worst form-that of disorganization.

It cannot be pleaded, in extenuation, that his Excellency ordered the troops to return to their homes, because the only way to have accomplished this was to have marched them home, under the command of their respective officers, before they were disbanded. And this he did not do; on the contrary, he disbanded companies of men from various counties, all at the same time and in the same place, over whom, from that very circumstance, he could have no further control, even if he had desired it, for they had, by his act become free men, and, as citizens of Illinois, had a right to remain or go home at pleasure, his wishes or orders to the contrary notwithstanding. But not only so, for if he had found it necessary, in case of some emergency, to call a posse to his aid, he could not have commanded their services without first making call upon some of their colonels or other officers in their respective military districts.

 But again, instead of remaining upon the ground to see that his orders were complied with, he forthwith put himself at the head of a company, I suppose as a body guard, and took up a line of march for Nauvoo, where he took occasion, after calling the multitude together, to insult them in a speech of some twenty minutes, in a most gross and ignominious manner, unbecoming any public functionary, charging them with movements, acts, and inconsistencies, which were utterly untrue, and never existed, only in the foul throats of our most inveterate traducers, who had the adroitness to ingratiate themselves into his good graces, and prejudice him against us. While these things were going on, much to his satisfaction, the prisoners in jail were left to be guarded ostensibly, by the before mentioned "Carthage Greys," who, only two days before, came near committing murder, as well as mutiny, right in his presence; and of those, only eight men were detailed to stand guard at a time, at the jail, while the rest remained in camp on the public square, one quarter of a mile off. Thus were these intended victims, instead of being protected, left at that momentous crisis, with but two of their friends with them, to wit: Elders Willard Richards and John Taylor, of the Quorum of the Twelve. The writer of this was permitted to enter the prison with them as a friend, and remained with them until he was sent to Nauvoo, only several hours previous to the fatal catastrophe, to aid in forwarding witnesses. And Colonel Markham, who had also remained with them, was run out of town the same day, before the bayonets of a promiscuous crowd, who threatened his life, while making a few little purchases for the prisoners. And, as might have been expected, a little after five o'clock in the evening, at the very time that his Excellency was insulting the peaceable citizens of Nauvoo, a body of about one hundred and fifty armed men, with painted faces, appeared before the jail, unobserved by the inmates, and without opposition from any quarter. The guard at the door, it is said, elevated their firelocks at the approach of these men in disguise, and, boisterously threatening them, discharged them over their heads. The crowd by this time had encircled the building: some shoved the guard from their post; rushed up the flight of stairs to the prisoners' apartment, which for that day was in an upper open room; broke open the door, and began the work of death, while others fired in through the open windows. Dr. Richards, with Colonel Markham's heavy walking stick, defended the door, knocking down, and to one side, the muzzles of the assailants' guns, as they fired into the room; and, strange to say, notwithstanding his exposed condition, he remained entirely unhurt. The first shot, however, that was made, was through the door, before it was opened, at their first approach; this was the fatal ball that killed Hyrum. It pierced his face a little below the eye. As he fell he exclaimed, "I am a dead man, " These were his only and last words. He was afterwards, while down, pierced with a number of other balls in various parts of his body. Joseph had taken position on one side of the door, and, with his left hand, discharged three rounds from a revolving six-shooting pocket pistol (which had been handed him by Elder C. H. Wheelock, but who was also sent away on business by them), and at each fire wounded his man; the other three caps did not go off. Elder Taylor was by this time also thought to have been killed, as he lay bleeding from many wounds. The Prophet, now finding himself without any means of defence, his brother being dead, and himself the only survivor whose life was sought for, attempted to make his escape through the nearest window. A number of balls penetrated his body, however, while making this attempt; and in his last moments he did not forget Him whose servant he was, and for whose cause he was about to lay down his life. How very like were his last words to the dying words of the Saviour- "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" Joseph had only time to exclaim, " O Lord, my God!" and fell out of the building into the hands of his MURDERERS.

As an appropriate conclusion, I quote from the Times and Seasons, Vol. v., No. 12, p. 575, the following



" And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

" And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

" And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."-Rev. vi. 9, 10,11.


Ye heavens, attend, let all the earth give ear!

Let Gods and seraphs, men and angels hear!

The worlds on high-the universe shall know

What awful scenes are acted here below!

Had Nature's self a heart, her heart would bleed,

For never, since the Son of God was slain,

Has blood so noble flow'd from human vein,

As that which now on God for vengeance calls

From " Freedom's ground"-from Carthage prison walls!


O! Illinois! thy soil has drunk the blood

Of Prophets, martyr'd for the truth of God!

Once lov'd America! what can atone

For the pure blood of innocence thou'st sown?

Were all thy streams in teary torrents shed,

To mourn the fate of those illustrious dead,

How vain the tribute for the noblest worth

That grac'd thy surface, 0 degraded earth!


O, wretched murd'rers ! fierce for human blood!

You've slain the Prophets of the living God;

Who `ve borne oppression from their early youth

To plant on earth the principles of Truth.

Shades of our patriotic fathers!

Can it be, Beneath your blood-stain'd flag of liberty

The firm supporters of our country's cause,

Are butcher'd while submissive to her laws?


Yes, blameless men, defam'd by hellish lies

Have thus been offer'd for a sacrifice,

T'appease the ragings of a brutish clan,

That has defied the laws of God and man!

'Twas not for crime or guilt of theirs, they fell

?Against the laws they never did rebel.

True to their country, yet her plighted faith

Has prov'd an instrument of cruel death!


Where are thy far-fam'd laws,

Columbia! where Thy boasted freedom, thy protecting care ?

Is this a land of rights ? Stern FACTS shall say,

If legal justice here maintains its sway

The official powers of State are sheer pretense,

When they're exerted in the Saints' defence.


Great men have fal'n and mighty men have died,

Nations have mourn'd their fav'rites and their pride;

But TWO, so wise, so virtuous, great, and good,

Before on earth, at once, have never stood

Since the Creation-men whom God ordain'd

To publish truth where error long had reign'd;

Of whom the world, itself unworthy prov'd:

IT KNEW THEM NOT; but men with hatred mov'd

And with infernal spirits have combin'd

Against the best, the noblest of mankind!


O, persecution, shall thy purple hand

Spread utter destruction throughout all the land?

Shall freedom's banner be no more unfurled?

Has peace indeed, been taken from the world?

Thou God of Jacob, in this trying hour.

Help us to trust in thy Almighty power;

Support thy Saints beneath this awful stroke?

Make bare thine arm to break oppression's yoke.

We mourn thy Prophet, from whose lips have flow'd

The words of life, thy spirit has bestow'd?

A depth of thought no human heart could reach

From thee to time roll'd, in sublimest speech,

a From the Celestial fountain, through his mind,

To purify and elevate mankind:

The rich intelligence by him brought forth,

Is like the sunbeam, spreading o'er the earth.


Now Zion mourns-she mourns an earthly head!

THE PROPHET and the PATRIARCH are dead!

The blackest deed that men or devils know,

Since Calv'ry's scene, has laid the brothers low!

One in their life, and one in death, they prov'd

How strong their friendship-how they truly lov'd.

True to their mission, until death they stood

Then sealed their testimony with their blood.

All hearts with sorrow bleed, and ev'ry eye

Is bath'd in tears-each bosom heaves a sigh?

Heart broken widows' agonizing groans

Are mingled with the helpless orphan's moans!

Ye Saints, be still, and know that God is just?

With steadfast purpose in His promise trust Girded with sackcloth, own His mighty hand, And wait

His judgments on this guilty land!

The noble martyrs now have gone to move

The cause of Zion in the courts above.


I am, Sir,

Yours respectfully,