John Edmiston was a blacksmith, and he worked hard and did well in his shop.
The following was written of John's brother, David S. Edminston. David was two years older than John.
"Mr. Edminston is a Republican. His family attended the Luthern Church, but he is of the Presbyterian denomination. He is a good and respected citizen. David was a blacksmith noted from at least 1860-1870. To the lot of David S. Edminston fell the sort of training that makes sturdy and efficient workers, undaunted by labors or hardships. His education, so far as books are concerned, was acquired in subscription schools, and in the old-fashioned log public school which he attended in the winter season, warming himself in the afternoons and evenings at the forge where he helped his father regularly, from the time when he was so small that he had to stand on a block to blow the bellows. By the time he was twenty-two years old, he was quite ready to carry on the business form himself, which he began to do at the age, at Barree Forge, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania..."
Although this is written about John's brother David, it is likely that John had a similar experience as he too became a blacksmith.
He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Morley’s Settlement, Illinois, October 6, 1842.
Sally and Gardner were happy to have a daughter to bless their home in St. Johnsbury, on September 3, 1827. She was their first daughter to live and grow to maturity. Brothers Jonathan, James, Warren and George, took a special interest in their younger sister throughout her life. Martha Jane was the lovely name chosen for her.
Martha was about five when the young Mormon missionaries,
‘Tis five o’clock, the school is done,
The girls and boys are off for home.
The children want their supper quick,
Come Betty, get the pudding stick!
The cows are coming from the vale,
Molly, bring the milking pail
And milk as quick as e’er you can
And strain it in the largest pan;
Now take the bowls and dip it out
And drop the pudding all about.
Now children, you may come and eat,
The pudding’s new, the milk is sweet.
And then undress and go upstairs;
And when you all have said your prayers
Then you may lay you down to sleep
And rest till morning light doth peep.
Girls’ daily chores were feeding the chickens, geese, pigs and sheep, gathering eggs, milking cows and making butter and cheese. Feathers from the barnyard geese were gathered to make pillows and quilts. Under Sally’s guidance, she learned to spin yarn from the sheep sheared in the spring, and to weave a shawl on the loom. Like all young girls, she learned to knit and make mittens and socks, piece quilts and braid hats and rugs.
They settled in Adam-ondi-Ahman.
"The Morley Settlement was situated in Lima Township, Adams County, just over the south line of Hancock County, and about 25 miles due south of Nauvoo. It is a neighborhood where quite a number of the saints resided in 1839 to 1846. Most of those in Morley Settlement however located southeast of Lima in the extreme south end of Hancock County." Church History, Vol. 2, Pg. 474.
This was the site of Morley's Settlement, 1839-1846. The log homes and cabins, fenced farms and corrals of 400-500 Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) spread out for more than a mile northeast, north, and west of here. The people had come as religious refugees, forced from Missouri.
The settlement was named after founder and president Isaac Morley (and was sometimes called "Yelrome" - Morley spelled backwards). LDS prophet Joseph Smith often preached here. LDS poet Eliza R. Snow lived here in 1843-44. Morley's barrel shop sold barrels in Quincy. Frederick Cox operated a chair making shop. The settlement had four stores. Cordella Morley taught school here. "Morley Town," the settlement's heart, had north-south and east-west streets running for three blocks east and three blocks north of this marker.
Not quite three miles southwest of here, other Mormons settled in an existing town, Lima (Adams County). Mormons in both settlements together formed the Lima Branch (or Stake) of the LDS Church. Branch records for 1842 list families (living in both settlements) named Morley, Hancock, Durfee, Miner, Curtis, Carter, Cox, Whiting, King, Call, Brown, Winn, Garner, Gardner, Tidwell, Thornton, Casper, Benner, Clawson, Worheese, Snow, Dudley, Scott, Blair, Wimmer, Critchlow, Hickenlooper, Rose, and many others.
In September 1845, when Mormons and non-Mormons clashed in Hancock County, the latter torched scores (some reports say 125) of Morley's Settlement houses and outbuildings. Suddenly homeless, the residents fled to Nauvoo for safety. Morley's Settlement, mostly reduced to ashes, disappeared.Her younger sister, Elizabeth Coolidge, was born in the next year, January 20, 1840.
THEIR LIFE TOGETHER
John and Martha Jane were married about 1842, probably at Morley’s Settlement, Illinois. John was ab0ut 21 years old and Martha Jane was only 15 or 16 years old. Their first child was born November 19, 1843, and named Gardner, after his grandfather.
When the Female Relief Society was organized in 1843 in Lima, Lucy Morley, and her counselors, Sarah H. Snow and Sister Whiting, were called to preside. Martha Jane, and her sister-in-law, Eliza Ann were also members. This group of ladies spent many hours sewing items of clothing, making quilts, knitting sweaters and sox, and helping in many ways to relieve the suffering of sick and needy men, women and children. Through their own trials and persecutions in Missouri, they had tender sympathies for those in need, and did all they could to alleviate their suffering.
In 1844 the "Penny Fund" was instituted by Hyrum Smith, of the Temple Committee, and promoted by his wife. He appealed to the women asking them to each contribute one cent a week to purchase materials for the Temple. Martha J. Edmiston’s signature is on the paper of those subscribing from Lima, to give "some few cents in money to assist in procuring glass and nails for the Temple." With her signature is the amount of 25 cents. This small amount was quite a sacrifice for the sisters when their families needed so many necessities. However, they each felt a great anxiety to pay a year’s subscription in advance if at all possible.
The peaceful situation in Hancock County was not to continue. Feelings of jealousy and revenge, then hate, led to fury, and mobs gathered in the outlying communities from Nauvoo and began persecuting the Mormons. On June 18, 1844, the Mormons were given to understand the mobs were going to make a total destruction of the Morley Settlement, that 2,000 volunteers from Missouri would meet them next day at Carthage, and then go against Joseph Smith and demolish the City of Nauvoo. They were determined to get the Prophet at any cost. On the 20th, an affidavit made by Isaac Morley, Gardner Snow, John Edmiston and Edmund Durfee, all of Hancock County, certified to the truth in a warning letter to the Prophet that the mobs were upon them. They must comply with one of three propositions: take up arms, join with, and go along with them to Nauvoo to arrest one Joseph Smith and others; remove their effects to Nauvoo; or give up their arms to them and remain neutral. In consequence of these threats, the residents were compelled to leave their homes on a very stormy night, cross a dangerous stream swollen by the rain, causing great suffering and flee to Nauvoo for protection or the mobs would utterly exterminate them. The next afternoon, June 21st, these affidavits were read before the Prophet and the City Council. Dr. J. M. Bernhisel, John Taylor and Dr. Willard Richards were appointed by the Council to go by express with the story of these outrages to Governor Ford at Carthage.
John Edmiston appears as a witness, along with his father-in-law Gardner Snow and others, at Isaac Morley's deposition regarding the mob leaders who threatened him at Nauvoo in June 1844. [History of the Church, vol. 6, ch. 25, pp. 510, 518, 522].
The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered six days later in the Carthage jail. The outcast families of Gardner Snow and John Edmiston may have been in Nauvoo when the shot-torn bodies of the martyred Prophet and Patriarch were borne in sad procession. Following the martyrdom, the families were able to return to their homes in Morley’s Settlement.
When the 20th quorum of Seventy was organized in March 1845, Warren S. Snow was ordained one of the seven presidents. Included as members were: Warren Snow, residing in Nauvoo, John Edmiston, residing in Lima, George Snow, residing in Nauvoo. In September 1845, the mob again came to the Settlement in their fury, and for eight days and nights fired upon the settlers, and burned 70 to 80 homes, their stacks of grain, shops, and other buildings. The inhabitants were forced out into the cold night, suffering, homeless and destitute. Reports from the "Nauvoo Neighbor" mentioned "John Edmondson’s house and blacksmith shop burnt," along with "Father Whiting’s house and chair factory; Edmund Durphy’s torn down; Father Morley’s cooper shop burnt; Thomas King’s house burnt." "13 September 1845 - Mob at Morley Settlement set fire to house of John Edminston." The mobs went from house to house driving the Mormons out of Morley Settlement, turned their sick ones out, to live or die. John’s tools and iron were taken by the mobsters before they burned his shop. This was a great loss to him in his business of blacksmithing. Men from Nauvoo got their teams and started for the settlements and traveled all night and day to get the families that had been turned outdoors to bring them to Nauvoo. The Saints knew they would have to leave for a place where they would be free from persecution. The men worked hard all winter repairing and building wagons, knowing they would have to leave Nauvoo for a place where they would be free from persecution. Teams and men were sent to all parts of the country for iron. In spite of losing his shop and tools because of the mobs, John must have helped get the wagon wheels ironed and on the wagons, shoed the horses and oxen, made nails and did all kinds of repair work, for the departure of the Saints westward.
Sarah Elizabeth, Martha’s second child was born 20 December 1845 at Nauvoo. Grandmother Sarah (Sally) was pleased with the decision to name this little one after her. Six weeks after the birth of their baby, John and Martha Jane were endowed 6 February 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple. This was the same day as George and Mary Snow were endowed. John was a Seventy in the Priesthood at that time. This great blessing to them just preceded many of the Saints being driven from Nauvoo early in 1846. Their endowments helped them to have the faith and courage they needed to move to a wilderness toward the Rocky Mountains.
As the company proceeded westward, John and Martha felt the heartbreak of losing their first child, Gardner, who was named after his grandfather. The sisters washed and laid out the little three-year old, trying to comfort the grief stricken parents and grandparents. He was laid down tenderly under the willows, as the warm brown earth was dampened with tears. Then they turned their faces to the prairie, to push toward the goal again. The name of Gardner Edmison is listed on the north side of the monument, under "Names On Monument At Mt. Pisgah, Iowa."
Monument Erected to Those Who Died at Mt. Pisgah
Parents Grieve Over Death of Little Son Martha gave birth on the Iowa plains on October 23, 1848, to a baby boy, who was named Jonathan H., after Martha’s eldest brother who had died in Ohio. He was called "Jock." Two more babies were born in Carterville, Pottawattamie County, Iowa: Martha Ann, July 30, 1849; and John Jr., October 23, 1850.
On January 20, 1848, John Edminsten signed a petition for a post office, along with a number of other residents, including Gardner, Warren and George Snow, and Isaac Morley. It was addressed to the Postmaster General, and was to be located near the Log Tabernacle in Kanesville, Iowa. This post office established in March 1848 provided postal service to the people in the Great Salt Lake valley for several years. The 1850 Census of Iowa lists John Edinson, as living in the Pottawattamie District, along with George, James C, Warren and Gardner Snow. The crops they raised helped feed the Saints traveling west for several years. John was kept busy at his blacksmith trade, preparing the horses and wagons for the trek to the Salt Lake valley. John and Martha, and probably George and Mary Snow, came on to Utah by ox team in 1851, the year following the arrival of Gardner and Sally.
One exciting experience with the Indians was written by a granddaughter, Anna Blanch Anderson Johnstun in 1853:
"John Edmiston and one companion were appointed to go ahead of the wagon train. Their assignment was Pathfinders or Trail Blazers. Martha Jane drove the team with five small children in the wagon.
"John and companion were miles and a few days ahead of the wagon train when they sighted Indians on watch for the wagons that were to travel that way. The men hurriedly rode their horses down a steep ravine and were in a daze to know what to do to save all these pioneers traveling in that wagon train in company with their wives and children. Only God could save them from an Indian massacre. With heads bowed and on their knees, the men appealed to our heavenly Father for help. Rising to their feet they crept slowly over the ridge of the ravine and could see the Indians milling around trying to find places to hide in order to ambush the oncoming train which, through their cunning and skillful methods, detected the distance, which was not far off.
"In a twinkling, as though a voice had spoken, John and his companion gathered a clump of large brush and broken limbs, tied them with their lariats, and after reaching the open level spaces, whipped up their horses to a brisk speed. The object was to stir up such a dust off into the distance and opposite direction. And with their hollering and commotion, they hoped to deceive the Indians into believing a buffalo herd was in the distance.
"The Indians at once left their watch on the wagon trail to follow the buffalo herd. As they, in their hideous war paint and scantily clad bodies gained distance, they were convinced they had been tricked. The men realized their lives were not worth much if they were caught, but they continued to lead the Indians in a wild chase farther and farther away from the direction of the wagon train.
"Suddenly a miracle did happen! From another direction came the thundering sound of a buffalo stampede which gave the men an opportunity to escape from certain death had not the Indians taken off toward the stampeding buffalo which was certain to have trampled some of the savages under their speeding hooves.
"The men reached the wagon train by night. The caravan had traveled faster than usual while crossing this certain area. That night the entire camp knelt and gave thanks to their God that through a miracle, their lives and those of the Pathfinders had been spared from a hostile Indian massacre. Thanks to the prayer and faith of those Pathfinders, John Edmiston and his companion!"
Probably soon after their arrival in Utah, a son, Samuel Card Edmiston was born October 9, 1851, in Springville. A daughter, Algenora was born in Manti, June 22, 1853. The next four babies were born in Ephraim: William, September 25, 1854; Eliza, February 1, 1856; Warren John, September 23, 1858; and George Washington, January 27, 1860. David’s birth October 29, 1862, and Mary Margaret’s, May 14, 1864, were both in Manti. Their last and 14th child, Charles Henry, was born in Springville, July 1, 1866.
John married a second wife, Emma Hart about 1856 in Utah as a plural marriage. Emma was born March 14, 1835 in Ohio and traveled to Utah in 1850 with her mother and five siblings. Nothing more is known of her.
The list of Seventies of Sanpete July 17, 1853 included: George Snow, 20th quorum, John Edmiston, 20th Quorum, (J.H, p.2); for April 20, 1856 – 20th Quorum, with Wm. F. Carter, Provo, 1st Pres. John Edmonson and George Snow, both of Sanpete (J.H. p.4); on January 1, 1857, John Edmonson, res. Manti; George Snow, res. Manti. On May 5, 1857 John Edmiston, Ft. Ephraim; George Snow, Manti; Reorganized March 17. 1857.
John Edmiston and others signed a protest from Manti against the government sending troops to Utah, February 9, 1858 (J.H. p.1). The Probate Records for Sanpete June 6, 1860 mention John Edmondson, Constable for Fort Ephraim of Sanpete County "and delivers over one affidavit and bonds of a certain John L. Ivie…"
The Black Hawk War was a catastrophe for a number of residents in the loss of lives and property. On June 24, 1866, Black Hawk with about 100 warriors attacked the post at Thistle Valley. General Warren S. Snow led one of the relief parties. The combined forces began a pursuit of the retreating savages. At Soldiers Summit the Indians separated and scattered in all directions. On the 26th a raid on the Spanish Fork pasture was made before daylight, in which 30 Indians stampeded 45 head of horses and cattle. Major William Creer with 15 men started in pursuit. They overtook them and fought them for an hour and a half, when a party from Springville came up and the Indians fled. But – John (Jock) Edmiston of Manti was killed and Albert Dimmick of Spanish Fork received a wound from which he died two days later!
About 3 a.m. June 27 an express arrived at Provo with the tidings, and that the Indians would probably attack Spanish Fork.
"An alarm was sounded, the old bell rung, men from all quarters of the town answered the summons, and 50 men from the Provo infantry, in wagons for the occasion, were speedily taken over to Springville, arriving there in the morn’s early dawn, just as the detachment arrived who had been sent to bring in John Edmiston. I shall ever remember it; he had laid in the hot sun the afternoon of his killing, and his body had changed to a very dark color; he was scalped and his right hand was cut off at the wrist by the Indians, showing their revenge for his determined and gallant fight for his life. The reader can imagine our love for the Indian was not very strong after witnessing such a sight." (M.F. Farnsworth, History of Manti, p.55)
Services were held in the meeting house, and many friends and comrades filled the room.
BOYHOOD MEMORIES OF SPRINGVILLE
By S. C. Richardson, Thatcher, Arizona
And the Indians came to Springville,
A raid for horses in the night –
A signal called the minute men
And filled the families with fright.
Next day the trail led up the canyon
Till Dark – then out around a hill –
The trailers were not far behind –
So kept together, watchful, still –
But two behind them took a cross cut –
And from a ridge they saw a light –
Jonathan (Jock) Edmiston said to his companion –
"See there’s our boys – They’ve camped for the night."
That springy turf gave scarce a
Murmer of the horses lively tramp.
And looking far ahead for Indians
They rode into the Indians’ camp.
The Indians surprised as they were,
Almost let both get away,
But Jock – went down – was scalped;
Then they brought him home next day.
In the meeting house they laid him,
Friends, and comrades, filled the room;
Held services – Then as our flag waved above him,
They marched by drum beats to the Tomb!
(Taken from an "Improvement Era" and copied first by Albert Anderson, Gardena, Calif. Then copied by Blanch Johnstun in 1953.)
Stricken with shock and grief, Martha gave birth to her 14th child Charles Henry, the next week, July 1, 1866, at Springville!
John Edmiston’s niece Sarah Jane Snow (daughter of his wife’s brother James Chauncy Snow and Eliza Ann Carter) was turning 13 (about 1853) and lived in Manti. She had come to Provo as she wanted to visit her grandmother and grandfather, Sarah and Gardner Snow. So her mother and father had let her go. While nooning before reaching Manti, Uncle John said, "Get in the buckboard." And he hitched up the horses and away they went. It was said that she never went so fast to Ephraim. The next morning Black Hawk came in the blacksmith shop. "Me see your white papoose, me could steal her. But me could not catch." Uncle John jumped up with the sledge hammer, threw it, striking Black Hawk, and knocked out his front teeth.
John Edmiston, Sr. is mentioned as one of the pioneers who should be remembered for special contributions toward the growth and accomplishment of Manti. John Patten, superintended the construction of a threshing machine which separated the wheat from the chaff. Amasa E. Merriam drew the plans and John Edmiston did the blacksmith work. It was called the Valley Tan. Hinges for doors were made by John Edmundson and others.
John is listed in the Survey record of Manti as owning 20 acres, lot 3, block 27, in the "Biggfield." John Edmunson was among the first settlers of Ephraim. In 1870 John and Martha Edmiston were living in Springville, Utah County, with children: Sarah 24; John, 19; Eliza, 15; William, 16; Warren, 10; George, 8; David, 7; Mary, 5; Charles, 4. Their daughter, Martha, age 21, and her husband, Lauren Roundy, were living close by.
One of John and Martha’s sons, Warren, as a young man, had a yoke of oxen that he used to haul stone to be used in the building of the Manti Temple.
The 1880 Census shows the Edmistons as living in Petty Precinct, Sanpete County.
Records show an Abarintha Snow sealed to John Edmiston 4 July 1888, in the Manti Temple. Nothing further has been found about her.
John, Sr., died October 13, 1890 at Castle Dale, Utah. His obituary stated he was the father of 14 children, nine of whom were still living; had 42 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. "The deceased also shared in many privations of the early settlers of this western region and died in faith of a glorious resurrection." (Deseret News, November 8, 1890, p.4.)
Martha Jane Snow Edmiston died 5 March 1892 at Castle Dale, Emery County. They had sacrificed much for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shared in many privations of the early settlers, and died in faith of a glorious resurrection.
Top row left to right: Dominicus Carter Snow, Sarah Jane Snow, John Carter Snow 2nd row left to right: Don Carlos Snow, Eliza Ann Snow, Richard Carter Snow, Arletta Collister Snow, James Erastus Snow Front: Elizabeth Ann Carter, James Chauncy Snow Source: Arthur D. Coleman: Carter Pioneers of Utah, (Provo UT: J. Grant Stevenson, 1966), p.424a carterville.com (James Chauncy Snow was Martha Jane Snow's brother.)
Children of John Edmiston and Martha Jane Snow:
1. Gardner born 19 November 1843 Morley Settlement, Hancock, Illinois; died age 3, Mt. Pisgah, Iowa
2. Sarah Elizabeth born 20 December 1845 Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois; died 1876 unmarried.
3. Jonathan H. (Jock) born 22 February 1848 Carterville, Pottawattamie, Iowa; died 26 June 1866 Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah (killed by Indians); unmarried.
4. Martha Ann born 30 July 1849 Carterville, Pottawattamie, Iowa; died 5 November 1888 Springville, Utah, Utah; married 9 April 1868 Lauren Hotchkiss Roundy.
Cemetery nameEvergreen Cemetery, Springville, Utah, UT
Name on headstoneMartha Edmiston
5. John, Jr. born 23 October 1850 Carterville, Pottawattamie, Iowa; married Elizabeth Maria Rilly.
6. Samuel Card born 9 October 1851 Springville, Utah, Utah. Samuel Edmiston
Four generations, Granddaddy Sam, Pappy Millard Edmiston, Lafayette Dawson, James Edmiston Dawson
7. Algenora born 22 June 1853 Manti, Sanpete, Utah; died 20 June 1919; married Squire Stewart.
8. William born 25 September 1854 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah; died 22 April 1930 Gannett, Blaine, Idaho; married 15 August 1880 Sarah Forbush.
9. Eliza born 1 February 1856 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah; died 23 Sep. 1904 Mammoth, Juab, Utah; married 16 August 1875 Joseph Benton Harriman
10. Warren born 5 September 1857 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah; died 31 March 1923 Wilson, Teton, Wyoming; married 31 March 1878 Lucy Ann Woolf. Warren John Edmiston
Headstone - Warren John Edmiston and Lucy Ann Woolf, Elliot Cemetery, Teton County Wyoming
11. George Washington born 27 Jan. 1860 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah died 19 May 1925 Fountain Green, Sanpete, Utah; married Mary Larsen; married 2 October 1889 Caroline Otteson.
12. David born 29 October 1862 Manti, Sanpete, Utah; died 18 February 1892.
13. Mary Margaret born 14 May 1864 Manti, Sanpete, Utah; died 13 August 1909 Price, Carbon, Utah; married 28 May 1881 Soren Erastus Anderson.
14. Charles Henry born 1 July 1866 Springville, Utah, Utah; died 8 September 1925 Hill Spring, Alberta, Canada; married Hannah Delilah Jackson.
Ancestral Link: Arnold Arthur Miller, son of Marguerite Anderson (Miller), daughter of Hannah Anderson (Anderson), daughter of Mary Margaret Edmiston (Anderson), daughter of John Edmiston.
SourcesSutton, History of Sanpete and Emery Counties.
Ephraim’s First One Hundred Years, p.8.
1880 Census Petty Precinct, (F 218673, p.428).
Valiant in the Faith – Gardner and Sarah Snow and Their Family, 1990, by Archibald F. and Ella M. Bennett, and Barbara Bennett Roach, pp. 577-602.
Daughters of Utah Pioneers: Submitted by:
Loretta Anderson Preston
660 Aaron Avenue
Springville, UT 84663
Barbara B. Roach
6276 Oakcrest Circle
Salt Lake City, UT 84121.
Deseret News, November. 8, 1890, p.4.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868 http://lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneerdetails/1,15791,4018-1-50562,00.html
History of the Church, vol. 6, ch. 25, pp. 510, 518, 522.
M.F. Farnsworth, History of Manti, p.55
By S. C. Richardson, Thatcher, Arizona
Deseret News, November 8, 1890, p.4.
Circumstantial evidence from census records, church records, newspaper records and genealogical information proves the Edmiston family traveled to Utah in 1851. In the 1850 Iowa census the surname is spelled Edinson; in the 1852 "Registry of names of Persons Residing in the Various Wards as to Bishop's Reports, Great Salt Lake City," the surname is spelled Edminister.
The Scroll Petition Mormon Redress Petitions, p.565
To the honorable the Senate and house of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled
The Memorial of the undersigned Inhabitants of Hancock County in the State of Illinois respectfully sheweth:
That they belong to the Society of Latter Day Saints, commonly called Mormons, that a portion of our people commenced settling in Jackson County Missouri, in the Summer of 1831, where they purchased Lands and settled upon them with the intention and expectation of becoming permanent Citizens in Common with others.
From a very early period after the Settlement began, a very unfriendly feeling was manifested by the neighboring people; and as the Society increased, this unfriendly Spirit also increased, until it degenerated into a cruel and unrelenting persecution and the Society was at last compelled to leave the County. An Account of these unprovoked persecutions has been published to the world; yet we deem it not improper to embody a few of the most prominent items in this memorial and lay them before your honorable body.
On the 20th of July 1833 a mob collected at Independence, a deputation or Committee from which, called upon a few members of our Church there, and stated to them that the Store, Printing Office, and all Mechanic Shops belonging to our people must be closed forthwith, and the Society leave the County immediately. These Conditions were so unexpected and so hard, that a short time was asked for consider on the subject Before an Answer could be given, which was refused, and when some of our men answered that they could not consent to comply with such propositions, the work of destruction commenced. The Printing Office, a valuable two story brick building, was destroyed by the Mob, and with it much valuable property; they next went to the Store for the same purpose, but one of the Owners thereof, agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design. A series of outrages was then commenced by the mob upon individual members of our Society; Bishop Patridge was dragged from his house and family, where he was first partially stripped of his clothes and then tarred and feathered from head to foot. A man by the name of Allan was also tarred [p.566] at the same time. Three days afterwards the Mob assembled in great numbers, bearing a red flag, and proclaiming that, unless the Society would leave "en masse," every man of them should be killed. Being in a defenceless situation, to avoid a general massacre, a treaty was entered into and ratified, by which it was agreed that one half of the Society should leave the County by the first of January, and the remainder by the first of April following. In October, while our people were gathering their crops and otherwise preparing to fulfil their part of the treaty, the mob again collected without any provocation, shot at some of our people, whipped others, threw down their houses, and committed many other depredations; the Members of the Society were for some time harassed, both day and night, their houses assailed and broken open, and their Women and Children insulted and abused. The Store house of A. S. Gilbert & Co. was broken open, ransacked, and some of the goods strewed in the Streets. These repeated assaults so aroused the indignant feelings of our people that a small party thereof on one occasion, when wantonly abused, resisted the mob, a conflict ensued, in which one of our people and some two or three of their assailants were killed. This unfortunate affair raised the whole County in guns, and we were required forthwith to Surrender our arms and leave the County. Fifty one Guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day. Parties of the Mob from 30 to 70 in number [——] the Country in evry direction, threatning and abusing Women and Children, until they were forced; first to take shelter in the woods and prairies at a very inclement Season of the year, and finally to make their escape to Clay County, where the people permitted them to take refuge for a time.
After the Society had left Jackson County, their buildings amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise destroyed, with a great portion of their Crops, as well as furniture, stock &c for which they have not as yet received any renumeration. The Society remained in Clay County; nearly three years, when in compliance with the demands of the Citizens there, it was determined to remove to that Section of Country, known afterwards as Caldwell County. In order to secure our people from molestation, the members of the Society bought out most of the former Inhabitants of what is now Caldwell County. and also entered much of the wild land, then belonging to the United States in that Section of Country, fondly hoping that as we were American Citizens, obeying the laws, and assisting to support the government, we would be protected in the use of homes which we had honestly purchased from the general government and fully paid for. Here we were permitted to enjoy peace for a Season, but as our Society increased in numbers, and settlements were made in Davies and Carrol Counties, unfounded jealousies sprung up anong our neighbors, [p.567] and the spirit of the Mob was soon manifested again. The people of our Church who had located themselves at DeWit, were compelled by the Mob to leave the place, notwithstanding the Militia were called out for their protection. From DeWit the mob went to Davies County, and while on their way took some of our people prisoners and greatly abused and mistreated them. Our people had been driven by force from Jackson County; they had been compelled to leave Clay County and sell their lands there, for which they have never been paid; they had finally settled in Caldwell County where they had purchased and paid for nearly all the Government land within its limits, in order to secure homes where they could live and worship in peace, but even here they were soon followed by the mob. The Society remained in Caldwell from 1836 until the fall of 1838, and during that time had acquired, by purchase from the Government, the Settlers, and preemptions, almost all the lands in the County of Caldwell, and a portion of those in Davies and Carrol Counties. Those Counties when our people first commenced their Settlements were for the most part wild and uncultivated, and they had converted them into large and well improved farms. well stocked. Lands had risen in value from ten to 25 dollars per acre, and those Counties were rapidly advancing in Cultivation and wealth. In August 1838 a riot commenced growing out of the attempt of a member of the Society to vote, which resulted in creating great excitement and many scenes of lawless outrage. A large mob under the conduct of Cornelius Gilliam came into the vicinity of Far West, drove off our Stock and abused our people, another party came into Caldwell County took away our horses and cattle, burnt our houses, and ordered the inhabitants to leave their homes immediately. By orders of Brigadier General Donnovan and Colonel Hinkle a company of about 60 men went to disperse this mob under the command of David W. Patten. A conflict ensued in which Captain Patten and two of his men were killed and others wounded. A mob party from two to three hundred in number, many of whom are supposed to have come from Chariton, fell on our people and notwithstanding they begged for quarters shot down and killed Eighteen, as they would so many Wild Beasts.
They were finally compelled to fly from those Counties; and on the 11th of October 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, leaving many of their effects behind that they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of Missouri for protection but in vain. The Society were pursued by the Mob, Conflicts ensued, deaths occurred on each side, and finally a force was organized under the authority of the Governor of the State of Missouri, with orders to drive us from the State, or exterminate us. Abandoned and attacked by those to whom we had looked for protection, we determined to make no further resistance but [p.568] submit to the authorities of the State, and yield to our fate however hard it might be. Several members of the Society were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the State; and the rest amounting to above 14,000 Souls, fled into the other states, principally into Illinois, where they now reside.
Your Memorialists would further state, that they have heretofore petitioned your Honorable Body praying redress for the injuries set forth in this memorial but the Committee to whom our petition was referred, reported, in substance, that the general government had no power in the case; and that we must look for relief to the Courts and the Legislature of Missouri. In reply, your Memorialists would beg leave to state that they have repeatedly applied to the authorities of Missouri in vain. that though they are American Citizens, at all times ready to obey the laws and support the institutions of the Country, none of us would dare enter Missouri for any such purpose, or for any purpose whatever. Our property was seized by the Mob, or lawlessly confiscated by the State, and we were forced at the point of the Bayonet to sign Deeds of Trust relinquishing our property but the exterminating order of the Governor of Missouri is still in force and we dare not return to claim our just rights—the Widows and Orphans of those slain, who could legally sign no deeds of Trust, dare not return to claim the Inheritance left them by their Murdered Parents.
It is true the Constitution of the United States gives to us in Common with all other Native or adopted Citizens, the right to enter and settle in Missouri, but an executive order has been issued to exterminate us if we enter the State, and that part of the Constitution becomes a nullity so far as we are concerned.
Had any foreign State or power committed a similar ourtrage upon us, we cannot for a moment doubt that the strong arm of the general government would have been stretched out to redress [——] our wrongs, and we flatter ourselves that the same power will either redress our grievances or shield us from harm in our efforts to regain our lost property, which we fairly purchased from the general government.
Finally your Memorialists, pray your Honorable Body to take their wrongs into consideration, receive testimony in the case, and grant such relief as by the Constitution and Laws you may have power to give.
And your Memorialists will every pray &c. Nauvoo, Illinois, November 28th 1843.
Joseph Smith Mayor, Hyrum Smith Counsellor, Daniel H. Wells, Brigham Young Counsellor
Also signed by
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