Governor Boggs from the commencement of the troubles which arose in upper Missouri between the Latter-day Saints and the "old settlers" had taken wholly the representations of the latter, as to the cause and origin of those troubles. By those representations alone was he guided in all his official actions. It was in vain that the militia officers of his own appointing reported the fact--after arriving on the scene of action that the Latter-day Saints were acting on the defensive; that they were willing to disband and surrender up every "Mormon" charged with violation of law if the armed forces which had come against them were also disbanded.1 It was in vain that General David R. Atchison reported again that the "Mormons" appeared "to be acting on the defensive:" that they gave up those charged with breaking the law "with a good deal of promptness;" that the arms and the prisoners they had taken were also given up on demand "with seeming cheerfulness." In vain General Parks reported to Atchison and he to the governor, that the Mormons since his arrival on the scene of conflict had shown no disposition to resist the law or of hostile intentions: that there had been so much prejudice and exaggeration respecting the upper Missouri troubles that he found things entirely different from what he had been prepared to expect; that he had found a large body of men from the surrounding counties, armed and in the field to assist the people of Daviess county against the "Mormons" without being called out by the proper authorities;2 that in the event of the conjoint committee of saints and "old settlers" appointed to consider the question of buying out the latter, it was the declared intention of the "old settlers" of Daviess county "to drive the Mormons with powder and ball." In vain General Atchison supplemented his former reports by saying that things were "not so bad as represented by rumor:" "that his excellency had been deceived by the exaggerated statements of designing or half crazy men;" that there was "no cause of alarm on account of the Mormons." In vain the committee of citizens of Chariton county reported to Governor Boggs that the only accusation brought against the saints at DeWitt was that they were "Mormons," and that they the mob "were not willing for them to remain in DeWitt on that account, and hence were waging a war upon them to remove them from the county." Also the committee represented that they found the "Mormons" of DeWitt "in the act of defense, begging for peace, and wishing for the civil authorities to repair there and as early as possible to settle the difficulties between the parties." In vain did General Parks report to General Atchison and he to Governor Boggs that the troops ordered into the field "partake in great degree of the mob spirit, so that no reliance can be placed upon them." In vain did General Atchison report to Governor Boggs, after the "Mormon" capitulation at DeWitt, that the men who had driven the "Mormons" from DeWitt were then marching into Daviess county with one piece of artillery; "where," he continued, "it is thought the same lawless game is to be played over, and the Mormons to be driven from that county and probably from Caldwell county." In vain did General Atchison say that "nothing," in his opinion, "but the strongest measures within the power of the executive, will put down this spirit of mobocracy." In vain did General Atchison say: "This state of things which has existed in the counties of Daviess and Carroll for the last two months, has been, in high degree, ruinous to the public, and disgraceful to the state." In vain did General Atchison suggest "strong measures to put down this spirit of mob and misrule, or permit them [saints arid mob] to fight it out." In vain did General Atchison say in sarcasm that if his excellency should "conclude the latter expedient best calculated to produce quiet and order," then to "issue an order to the major general, 3rd division [himself] to discharge the troops now engaged in that service."
In vain did General Atchison report that nothing short of driving the "Mormons" from Daviess county would satisfy the parties opposed to them, and this he had no power to do, as he conceived, legally; that there were no troops in Daviess county, nor did he deem it expedient to send any since that would make matters worse; "for, sir," said he--
I do not feel disposed to disgrace myself, or permit the troops under my command to disgrace the state and themselves by acting the part of a mob. If the Mormons are to be driven from their homes, let it be done with-out any color of law, and in open defiance thereof; let it be done by volunteers acting upon their own responsibilities!
All these reports and representations, I say, had no effect upon Governor Boggs he gave heed to it not at all. But when Adam Black and other citizens of Daviess and of Livingston counties made the most extravagant and wild charges as to what "the Mormon banditti" were doing or contemplating, these received most cordial attention, and upon them the promptest action was taken; and apparent belief in them continued notwithstanding reports to the contrary by Atchison, Parks and Doniphan, as seen in the foregoing.
When General Samuel D. Lucas, passing DeWitt en route for Booneville heard rumors of a battle at the former place, he reported on the 4th of October to Governor Boggs as follows:
If a fight has actually taken place, of which I have no doubt, it will create excitement in the whole upper Missouri, and those base and degraded beings will be exterminated from the face of the earth. If one of the citizens from Carroll should be killed, before five days I believe that there will be from four to five thousand volunteers in the field against the Mormons, and nothing but their blood will satisfy them. It is an unpleasant state of affairs. The remedy I do not pretend to suggest to your excellency. My troops, of the 4th division, were only dismissed subject to further orders, and can be called into the field at an hour's warning.
Lucas was commander of the fourth division of the state militia, a resident of Jackson county and a participant in the mob violence which drove the saints from that county five years before. His report of the troubles at DeWitt, his forecast of the unfavorable result to the saints, and his willingness to be called back into military service to achieve that result, was doubtless as music to the ears of Governor Boggs, who was also a resident of Jackson county and at least a mediate participant with Lucas in the disgraceful proceedings of five years before in that county. May it not be that these men were of the opinion that the expulsion of the "Mormons" from the entire state of Missouri would in some way be a vindication of the previous unwarranted and shameful expulsion of them from Jackson county?
Statements and reports of like spirit to this from Lucas came to the governor from General John B. Clark, inclosing appeals from the mob forces investing DeWitt to the people of Howard county; also similar statements from Captain Bogart, whose troops with himself were in insubordination, according to General Parks' reports; from Wm. P. Peniston; Samuel Venable; Johnathon J. Dryden; James Stone; fourteen citizens of Ray county; Thomas C. Burch; Judge Austin A. King, Adam Black and others. In all these reports, statements and affidavits the movements of the militia under Colonels Hinkle and Lyman Wight upon Gallatin and Millport--the two militia officers acting under orders of General Parks, be it remembered were made the basis of their misrepresentations.
In addition to the exaggerations and misrepresentations of the "old settlers" in Daviess, Ray and other counties, must be added also the misrepresentations of false brethren, who, alarmed at the threatening portents gathering about the saints were not equal to the task of standing unmoved in the presence of the approaching storm. On the night of the 18th of October, Thomas B. Marsh, president of the quorum of twelve apostles, with Orson Hyde, also one of the twelve, left Far West and fled to Richmond; where, on the 24th of the month, they made affidavits that went far towards sustaining the false reports of the "old settlers" as to the purposes and actions of the leading elders and brethren of the church. The chief items in the affidavit of Marsh were as follows:
They have among them a company, considered true Mormons. called the "Danites," who have taken an oath to support the heads of the church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong. Many, however, of this band are much dissatisfied with the oath, as being against moral and religious principles. On Saturday last, I am informed by the Mormons, that they had a meeting at Far West, at which they appointed a company of twelve, by the name of the "Destruction Company," for the purpose of burning and destroying, and that if the people of Buncombe came to do mischief upon the people of Caldwell, and committed depredations upon the Mormons, they were to burn Buncombe; and if the people of Clay and Ray made any movement against them, this destroying company were to burn Liberty and Richmond....The Prophet inculcated the notion, and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith's prophecies are superior to the laws of the land. I have heard the Prophet say that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their dead bodies; and if he was not let alone, he would be a second Mohammed to this generation, and that he would make it one gore of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean; that like Mohammed whose motto in treating for peace was, "the Alcoran or the Sword," so would it be eventually with us, "Joseph Smith or the Sword." These last statements were made during the last summer. The number of armed men at Adam-ondi-Ahman was between three and four hundred.
The affidavit of Orson Hyde was to the effect that most of the statements "in the foregoing disclosure" he knew to be true, the remainder he believed to be true.3 This false testimony greatly strengthened the "old settlers" in their misrepresentations, and made the saints feel the bitterness of betrayal by false brethren.
Meantime the saints in the main, had gathered into the two settlements of "Di-Ahman" and Far West and were preparing to defend themselves as best they could.
On the evening of the 24th of October word was brought into Far West of the operations of Captain Bogart's "command"4 in the south part of Caldwell county. The "command," about forty in number, called at the home of a brother Parsons, living on the east branch of Log Creek, and ordered him to leave by ten o'clock the next morning; Bogart saying that he expected to "give Far West hell," before noon of the following day, provided he joined forces with Niel Gilliam, who had raised men from Platte and Clinton counties--west of Clay and Caldwell respectively to march against the "Mormons;" and who would camp within six miles of Far West that night, while Bogart himself would go into camp on Crooked river. The same day a detachment of Bogart's men entered the house of a brother Pinkham, took three men prisoners, also took four horses, some firearms and food, and warned Pinkham to leave the state at once or they "would have his d----d old scalp." These reports were brought into Far West about midnight; and Judge Elias Higbee-the first judge in Caldwell county, and the highest civil authority therein, and the officer in whom the state law vested the right to call upon the militia to enforce the law immediately called upon Colonel George M. Hinkle to raise a company of militia to disperse the mob and rescue the prisoners. This was done and the command given to Captain David W. Patten, who at once marched upon Bogart's encampment on Crooked river, where he arrived at break of day on the 25th. Dismounting his company some distance from the river Patten formed them into three divisions, and advanced. They encountered one of Bogart's picketmen who fired upon them, mortally wounding young Patrick O'Banion. Patten ordered a charge upon the enemy and the conflict was hand to hand. Bogart's forces broke and fled, leaving their horses and camp equipment. In the charge Captain Patten was mortally wounded, Gideon Carter instantly killed, and nine others were wounded. Of the casualties in Bogart's forces the most reliable account fixes the number as one killed Moses Rowland and six wounded.
The results of this engagement between the company of Caldwell militia and Bogart's patrol was greatly exaggerated at the time.
"The news of the fight on Crooked river spread rapidly," says one account, "all the Gentiles in the northern part of the county abandoned their homes and fled southward near Richmond and elsewhere for safety, believing that a general raid upon them by the Mormons was imminent. The Mormons had fired the first gun, and were to be considered the aggressors, and wherever the news was received there was a general and vehement demand that they be at once 'put down,' severely punished for what they had done, and effectually disposed of."
Wiley C. Williams and Amos Reese reporting the Crooked river encounter to General John B. Clark, who had been appointed to the chief command of the forces against the "Mormons," declared that Bogart's command of fifty had been attacked by "three hundred Mormons;" ten had been killed; many others wounded, most of the remainder had been taken prisoners, and these informants had but little hope but "these wretched desperadoes--will kill all those prisoners!" Also they reported that the "Mormons" had determined to attack and burn Richmond that night, and they had but little doubt but that they would attempt it; the women and children had all left Richmond and were fleeing for protection into surrounding counties. Of course the report was closed with a strong plea for something to be done and that speedily to stop these alleged proceedings of the "Mormons."
Messrs. Williams and Reese were already en route to the governor with the reports of the Gallatin-Millport affair (having been appointed to that mission by a mass meeting of the citizens of Richmond, held on the 24th day of October) when E. M. Ryland sent after them rumors that reached Richmond of the Crooked river encounter. These were substantially the same as those already in the possession of Williams and Reese. They were urged by Ryland to hasten their journey to Jefferson City "spreading the reports of Mormon outrages as they went, calling upon volunteers to flock the scene of conflict as fast as possible." Such volunteers were to be instructed to rendezvous with the full determination to exterminate the "Mormons," or expel them from the state en mass. "the Mormons must leave the state," said the communication, "or we will, one and all. And to this complexion it must come at last."
Sashiel Woods and Joseph Dickson reported to Governor Boggs from Carrolton (Carrolton county, east of Ray), that by express from Ray county, they had learned that "Captain Bogart and all his company, amounting to between fifty and sixty men were massacred by the Mormons at Buncombe, twelve miles north of Richmond, except three. This statement you may rely on as being true and last night they expected Richmond to be laid in ashes this morning....We know not the hour or the minute we will be laid in ashes--our country is ruined for God's sake give us assistance, as quick as possible."
Meantime, the Caldwell militia having executed the order of the judge of the county, having dispersed Bogart's command and rescued the three prisoners, so far from meditating an attack upon Richmond, were mournfully returning to Far West with their own killed and wounded, where they arrived on the 26th, and the day following David W. Patten5 was buried with military honors.
Before arrival of Messrs. Williams and Reese in Jefferson city, Governor Boggs, acting upon the false reports that reached him concerning affairs at Gallatin and Millport, ordered into the field a large force of the state militia. Under date of 26th of October he ordered out four hundred men from each of the following divisions: the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 12th; making a body of 2,000 troops. At the same time General Willock of the 14th division was ordered to raise 500 men. Generals Doniphan and Parks were ordered to raise each five hundred men; but no steps were taken by them to carry out this order, doubtless for the reason that the rapid development of events gave them no opportunity to do so, and they were already in the field each in command of a large force, about eighteen hundred men in the two commands. The above military orders were issued by Governor Boggs in response to an application of the citizens of Daviess county to the governor "for protection, and to be restored to their homes and property." The orders were given because the governor claimed to have received "intelligence that the Mormons, with an armed force," had "expelled the inhabitants of that county from their homes," had "pillaged and burnt their dwellings, driven off their stock, and were destroying their crops. That they [the Mormons]" had "burnt to ashes the towns of Gallatin and Millport in said county; the former being the county seat of said county," and that there was "not now a civil officer within said county."6
Shortly after the above order was issued Messrs. Williams and Reese arrived at Jefferson City with their reports of the Crooked river encounter, the supposed determination of the "Mormons" to burn Richmond, added to their false reports of Gallatin-Millport affairs. Upon this showing Governor Boggs issued a second order to General Clark, under date of the 27th of October, known as his "Order of Extermination;" which, on account of its great importance in our history, is given in extenso:
GOVERNOR BOGGS' ORDER OF EXTERMINATION
"Headquarters of the Militia,"
City of Jefferson, Oct. 27, 1838.
"General John B. Clark:
"Sir Since the order of this morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Reese, Esq., of Ray county, and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which entirely changes the face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operation with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace--their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may consider necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock, of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express, you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead therefore of proceeding as at first directed to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond and then operate against the Mormons. Brig. Gen. Parks of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.
I am very respectfully,
your ob't serv't,
"L. W. Boggs,
Thus truth was eclipsed by falsehood; and Governor Boggs, no longer acting as the executive of a great commonwealth anxious to enforce the law and restore peace, changed his order to restore the "old settlers" of Daviess county to their homes, to a declaration of war upon the "Mormons," a war of extermination, the only alternative to which was banishment from the state. Nor did time for reflection change the determination of Governor Boggs; for writing to General Clark under date of November 1st, he, in effect, renewed the order for extermination: "It was considered by me," he writes to the general, "that full and ample powers were vested in you to carry into effect my former orders. The case is now a very plain one the Mormons must be subdued and peace restored to the community. You will therefore proceed without delay to execute the former orders. * * * The ringleaders of this rebellion should be made an example of; and, if it should become necessary for the public peace, the Mormons should be exterminated or expelled from the state."
The Exterminating Order was forwarded by General Clark to General Atchison and Lucas on the 30th, with instructions to "act for the best until he could arrive."7 The effect of the arrival of this order to the officers in command of the militia forces we have already seen: Atchison either considered himself "dismounted," or else "withdrew" from the military force, "declaring that he would be no party to the enforcement of such inhuman commands." This left General Lucas in command of the militia in the field and he at once began the movement upon Far West.
On the day that the militia under Lucas were seen approaching Far West, came the report to its citizens of the massacre at Haun's Mill. Haun's Mill was situated on Shoal Creek, some ten or twelve miles due east of Far West. Here about thirty families of the saints had located, several of which had but recently arrived from the eastern states, and were camped in their wagons and tents. Two days before the massacre these people had entered into a treaty of peace with Colonel William O. Jennings of Livingston county. Each party to the treaty was to act with forebearance and exert itself to prevent hostilities. Two days later, several companies of state militia, numbering two hundred and forty in all, led by Colonel Wm. O. Jennings,8 Nehemiah Comstock, Thomas R. Ryan and William Mann rushed upon their encampment and began firing upon them; and though the saints offered but slight resistance and cried for peace, no quarter was granted. The utmost confusion existed, women and children fled in every direction, mainly to the woods; while the men, especially such as had arms, fled to the old blacksmith shop near the mill as a place of rendezvous from which they could make such defense as was possible against such overwhelming odds. The blacksmith shop was quickly surrounded and volley after volley fired into it; and such was the crowded condition of the shop and so numerous the crevices through which the assailants could fire that it proved to be a death trap rather than a place of safety. It was soon abandoned, and in the attempt to escape from it a number were shot down. In all seventeen were killed outright and twelve severely wounded.9
Some of the murders in this massacre were wantonly barbarous. The History of Caldwell County, published at St. Louis by the National Historical Co., 1886, and frequently quoted in these pages, recited some of these atrocities in the following paragraph:
Esq. Thos. McBride was an old soldier of the Revolution.10 He was lying wounded and helpless, his gun by his side. A militiaman named Rogers came up to him and demanded it. 'Take it,' said McBride. Rogers picked up the weapon, and finding that it was loaded, deliberately discharged it into the old man's breast. He then cut and hacked the old veteran's body with a rude sword, or 'corn knife' until it was frightfully mangled Wm. Reynolds, a Livingston man, killed the little boy Sardius Smith, 10 years of age. the lad had run into the blacksmith shop and crawled under the bellows for safety. Upon entering the shop the cruel militiamen discovered the cowering trembling little fellow, and without even demanding his surrender fired upon and killed him, and afterwards boasted of the atrocious deed to Chas. R. Ross and others. He described, with fiendish glee, trow the poor boy struggled in his dying agony, and justified his savage and inhuman conduct in killing a mere child by saying, "Nits will make lice, and if he had lived he would have become a Mormon."11
As soon as all in sight were killed or wounded the militia proceeded to loot the houses, wagons and tents of their victims, taking everything of value, and even in some cases stripped the dead.12 They drove off the horses and wagons, loaded with plunder, and left the widows and orphans of the slain destitute of the means of subsistence.13
When night settled down over the scene those who had fled to the woods returned to learn the fate of their relatives and friends, and to care for the wounded. The next day, for want of time to provide a more decent burial for they knew not what moment they might be again assailed the survivors of the massacre gathered up the dead and threw their bodies into an unfinished well, which was afterwards filled up, and no one knows the exact spot of interment of these victims of misplaced hate.
This butchery was doubtless the first fruits of Governor Boggs' Exterminating Order. True, the History of Caldwell County says that Colonel Jennings "made the attack upon his own responsibility, without orders from Governor Boggs, or any superior authority;" but the historian makes the startling assertion that "the governor afterwards approved what was done!" But what was this massacre at Haun's Mill but carrying into effect the governor's Exterminating Order of the 27th of October? And why did Jennings change his pacific policy bound by special treaty, to one of assault and massacre towards these people at Haun's Mill? The only answer is that learning of the governor's Exterminating Order he forthwith proceeded to execute it. That he knew of that order admits of no doubt, since it was issued on the 27th of October; on the 28th it was received by General Clark and forwarded to Generals Atchison and Lucas on the 30th, by which time it was doubtless known to all the commands gathering about Far West, to Jennings' and Comstocks' with the rest, only they acted with more promptness than the other commanders of militia companies. In history the Haun's Mill massacre will stand as an incident in direct sequence of the issuance of Governor Boggs' Order of Extermination.14
Naturally it was with grave alarm that the citizens of Far West saw the large forces of militia approaching their town on the afternoon of October 30th. They were ignorant of the several orders issued by Governor Boggs against them, and hence were not certain if the forces approaching were coming to protect them, or were a mob to destroy them.
There is some confusion as to the order of events for the next two or
three days, owing to the annals on both sides being apparently defective
by the omission or the confusion of some events that took place; but as
nearly as the accounts may be harmonized the following is the order of
events: On the approach of the several commands of militia under General
Lucas on the evening of the 30th of October--the sun about one hour high--the
militia of Caldwell county in Far West was drawn up in line just south
of the city, the number estimated was between six and eight hundred, to
oppose the advance of the formidable enemy. Both parties sent out a flag
of truce, under which the representatives of the respective sides met.
In answer to the inquiry of the citizens of Far West as to whom these hostile
forces were and what their intentions, the answer was that they were state
militia ordered out by the governor to stop the further depredations of
the "Mormons;" that they wanted three persons out of the city before they
assaulted it. The three persons named one of them, Adam Lightner, not a
"Mormon"--refused to leave the city.15 After this there
is reported an interview between Charles C. Rich16 and
General Doniphan--Rich was also the first flag-of-truce-man in which Rich
begged that hostilities might be deferred until morning. Doniphan pledged
himself that it should be so, except that he would not be responsible for
the actions of Neil Gilliam's forces which had just joined the main army
and were going into camp. Gilliam's forces were from the west, painted
and decorated as Indians, and frankly more mob than militia; hence the
exception made by Doniphan. Rich also desired to see General Atchison,
but Doniphan informed him that Atchison had been "dismounted" by order
of Governor Boggs for being too friendly to the "Mormons," and he had retired
to his home in Clay county. This ended the negotiations for the day. During
the night the citizens in Far West were reinforced by the arrival of Colonel
Lyman Wight and a small company of men from "Di-Ahman."
*Brigham H. Roberts (1857-1933) was one of the seven presidents of the First Council of the Seventy. A voluminous writer, he is perhaps best known for his outstanding A Comprehensive History of the Church, a major landmark in LDS historical writing from which this selection has been gleaned. Born in England, he was baptized in Utah in 1867, following his emigration. He graduated from the University of Deseret in 1878, taught school, and gradually drifted into journalism. He filled missions in Tennessee (1880-82), in the southern states (1883-86), and in England (1886-88). In 1888 he was called to the First Council of the Seventy; in 1889 he spent four mouths in prison for "unlawful cohabitation." Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Roberts was denied his seat because of his polygamist beliefs. His histories and biographies and treatises remain among the important works of Mormon literature.
1. The reader is referred to Roberts' original source for copious footnoting and scholarship. Most of Roberts' notes have been eliminated from this text.
2. Hence a mob (Roberts' note 3, p. 468).
3. (Roberts' note 19, p. 473.) the justest comment made upon the action of these two brethren, and perhaps the most just and intelligent comment that can be made upon their conduct, is that of the late president John Taylor the apostle who subsequently was present with Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum in their martyrdom at Carthage, who was at Far West when Marsh and Hyde defaulted, and cognizant of all matters then taking place, and who at the time of his comment was president of the church--the third who had held that office. President Taylor said:
Testimonies from these sources are not always reliable, and it is to be hoped, for the sake of the two brethren, that some things were added by our enemies that they did not assert; but enough was said to make this default and apostasy very terrible. I will here state that I was in Far West at the time these affidavits were made, and was mixed up with all prominent church affairs. I was there when Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde left there; and there are others present who were there at the same time. And I know that these things, referred to in the affidavits, are not true. I have heard a good deal about Danites but 1 never heard of them among the Latter-day Saints. If there was such an organization, I never was made acquainted with it....Thomas B. Marsh was unquestionably instigated by the devil when he made this statement, which has been read in your hearing [the foregoing affidavit]. The consequence was, he was cut off from the church....It would be here proper to state, however, that Orson Hyde had been sick with a violent fever for some time, and had not yet fully recovered therefrom, which, with the circumstances with which we were surrounded, and the influence of Thomas B. Marsh, may be offered as a slight palliation for his default....Suffice it to say, in addition to what has previously been stated, he was cut off from the church, and of course lost his apostleship; and when he subsequently returned, and made all the satisfaction that was within his power, he was forgiven by the authorities and the people and was again re-instated in the quorum. (Address on Succession in Priesthood, 1881, [John] Taylor, pp. 8-18.)
Schuyler Colfax, vice-president of the United States, in his discussion with the late President John Taylor on "The Mormon Question" in 1869, quoted these Marsh-Hyde affidavits, and Elder Taylor in reply said:
I am sorry to say that Thomas B. Marsh did make that affidavit, and that Orson Hyde stated that he knew part of it to be true and believed the other; and it would be disingenuous in me to deny it; but it is not true that these things existed, for I was there and knew to the contrary; and so did the people of Missouri, and so did the governor of Missouri. How do you account for their acts? Only on the score of the weakness of our common humanity. We were living in troublous times, and all men's nerves are not proof against such shocks as we then had to endure. I cannot defend the acts of Thomas B. Marsh or Orson Hyde, no more than I could defend the acts of Peter when he cursed and swore and denied Jesus; nor the acts of Judas who betrayed him. (The Mormon Question, the Taylor-Colfax debate, 1869, p. 19.)
Elder Hyde in his Autobiography, in referring to this incident in his life, says:
This summer  I removed with my family to Far West, in Missouri, where I was taken sick, soon after my arrival, with billious fever, and did not fully recover until the spring of 1839. Few men pass through life without leaving some traces which they would gladly obliterate. Happy is he whose life is free from stain and blemish. In the month of October, 1838, with me it was a day of affliction and darkness. I sinned against God and my brethren; I acted foolishly. I will not allude to any causes for so doing save one, which was, that 1 did not possess the light of the Holy Ghost. 1 lost not my standing in the church, however; yet not because I was worthy to retain it, but because God and his servants were merciful. Everlasting thanks to God, and may his servants ever find mercy. Brothers Hyrum Smith and H. C. Kimball, then of noted kindness of heart, spake to me words of encouragement and comfort in the hour of my greatest sorrow. But Hyrum is gone! Peace to his ashes and blessings upon his posterity. Heber lives, and may he and his posterity live to tread upon the necks of the enemies of God...in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Millennial Star, vol. 24, p. 792.)
4. (Roberts' note 20, p. 474.) This "command" while consisting supposedly of state militia, made up of the mutinously inclined troops commanded by Bogart before DeWitt, were called out at first upon the authority of Bogart alone, ostensibly to patrol the line of Caldwell and Ray county to "prevent, if possible, any outrage on the county of Ray." In the same communication from which I quote, Bogart reports to General Atchison, that "the people of Ray are going to take the law into their own hands and put an end to the Mormon War." On reception of Bogart's report of the 23rd, General Atchison under the same date ordered Bogart to "range the line between Caldwell and Ray counties" with his "company of volunteers, and prevent, if possible, any invasion of Ray county by any persons in arms whatever." This "order" of Atchison's of course gave Bogart's command a legal standing which before it did not possess; the Caldwell county officials were ignorant of Atchison's order, and their proceedings on the 25th of October were against Bogart's command as a mob.
5. (Roberts' note 27, p. 477.) David W. Patten was a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles and the son of Beneino Patten and Abigail Cole. He was born about the year 1800 at Theresa, near Indian River Falls, New York. In boyhood he left home and went to Michigan, where in 1828 he married Phoebe Ann Babcock. He first heard of the Book of Mormon in 1830, but did not join the Church until June, 1832. He was ordained an elder and became one of the most active Missionaries of the New Dispensation. In all his labors he manifested a most intrepid spirit, and when he was appointed a captain in the Caldwell county militia, he was given the sobriquet of "Captain Fearnaught." Remarking upon his character, Joseph the Prophet said: "Brother Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the twelve apostles, and died as he had lived, a man of God, and strong in faith of a glorious resurrection, in a world where mobs will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife was--'Whatever you do else, O! do not deny the faith.'" (History of the Church, Period I, vol. iii, p. 171.)
6. (Roberts' note 28, p. 478.) Governor Boggs' Order to General John B. Clark, October 26, 1838, Documents, etc., pp. 62, 63. One cannot help pausing a moment to notice the difference in the action of the state authorities in two cases that would have been alike, provided the report of those parties who fled from Daviess county, by the light of their burning homes, (fired by their own hands) had been true. In 1833 the saints were driven by brute force and under circumstances the most distressing, from their possessions in Jackson county; and not only was their property destroyed, but one was killed and a number of others wounded, while the number that was exiled amounted to twelve hundred. The state authorities had the fullest evidence of these outrages--in fact the very man who at the time of the Daviess county troubles was governor of the state--Boggs--was on the ground and knew all the circumstances of cruelty and outrage. But when those things came before the state authorities, it took more than two whole years of correspondence to come to an understanding of what could and should be done, and then the decision was that the exiles would do well to move still further on, get entirely away from that section of the country where they had made their homes, as the prejudices of the people were set against them, and the popular sentiment in this country was vox Dei! But now, when a mere rumor comes that the "Mormons" have been guilty of inflicting upon the Missourians the outrages which aforetime had been perpetuated against them, there is no halting on the part of the authorities, but on the contrary the most vigorous efforts are put forth to punish the alleged offenders, and more than three thousand troops are called into the field--besides the eighteen hundred already there to reinstate the supposed exiles!
7. (Roberts' note 31, p. 480.) Governor Boggs, however, informed Clark rather curtly in the above quoted letter that neither Atchison nor Lucas had been "called into service under the late order," except that Lucas had been ordered to raise four hundred men in his own division; and the "privilege" was offered him of commanding the troops from his own division, though subject to Clark's orders. For some reason Governor Boggs preferred that Clark should carry out the Order of Extermination.
8. (Roberts' note 33, p. 481.) "Whatever of merit there was in the attack on Haun's Mill, and whatever of glory attaches to the famous history, must be given to Col. Wm. O. Jennings mainly....True Jennings' subordinates must be given their share in proportion to the part they bore, but Col. Jennings stands among them all as Saul among his fellows, the Ajax Telemon of the conflict, the Hector of the fight!" (History of Caldwell County, National Historical Co., 1886, p. 151.)
9. (Roberts' note 34, p. 481.) The names of the killed and wounded are given both in the History of Caldwell County, pp. 149, 150, and also in the Affidavit of Joseph Young who witnessed the massacre, History of the Church, Period I, vol. iii, pp. 183, 186.
10. (Editor's note.) Thomas McBride has often been referred to as a "Revolutionary War soldier." However, genealogies of the McBride family indicate that Thomas White McBride was born March 12, 1776, in Londoun County, Virginia, which would have precluded his participation in that conflict except as a child. See Maurice H. McBride, Thomas McBride of the Haun's Mill Massacre." (Term paper submitted to Dr. Eugene Campbell, Brigham Young University, May 21, 1968.)
11. (Roberts' note 36, p. 482.) History of Caldwell County, p. 149.
12. (Roberts' note 37, p. 482.) Affidavit of Joseph Young, History of the Church, Period I, vol. iii, pp. 183-186.
13. (Roberts' note 38, p. 482.) The charge of "looting" the settlement at Haun's Mill was denied by some of the militia and their friends. In the History of Caldwell County the matter is discussed pro-et-con as follows:
After the engagement was over, and all the able-bodied male Mormons had been killed, wounded or driven away, some of the militiamen began to "loot" the houses and stables at the mill. A great deal of property was taken, much of it consisting of household articles and personal effects, but just how much can not now be stated. The Mormons claim there was a general pillage, and that in two or three instances the bodies of the slain were robbed. Some of the militia or their friends say only two or three wagons were taken, one to haul off the three wounded, [of the mob] and sufficient bedding to make their ride comfortable; but on the other hand two of those who were in a position to know say that the Mormon hamlet was pretty thoroughly rifled. One man carried away an empty 10 gallon keg, which he carried before him on his saddle and beat as a drum. Another had a woman's bonnet, which he said was for his sweetheart. Perhaps a dozen horses were taken (p. 148.)
The "keg" and "bonnet" incident will indicate the spirit in which this "campaign" was waged against the saints.
14. (Roberts' note 41, p. 483.)
A blot that will remain a blot, in spite
Of all that grave apologists can write;
And though a Bishop try to cleanse the stain,
He'll rub and scour the crimson spot in vain.
15. (Roberts' note 43, p. 484.) The parties named were Adam Lightner, John Cleminson and wife. (Affidavit of Hyrum Smith, History of the Church, Period 1, vol. iii, p. 410).
16. (Roberts' note 44, p. 484.) Charles Coulson Rich, mentioned in the text above, was son of Joseph Rich and Nancy O. Neal. He was born Aug. 21st, 1809, in Campbell county, Kentucky. He became a member of the church while residing in Tazewell county, Illinois, April, 1832, and shortly afterward was ordained an elder in the church. He moved with his father's family to Missouri in 1836, where he married Sarah D. Pea, Feb. 11th, 1837. He was second in command at the Crooked river fight, and when David W. Patten, fell mortally wounded, and while bullets were flying about him thick and fast, he laid down his sword and administered the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick to his dying comrade; then arose and led the charge upon the enemy. When going out with a flag of truce on the occasion mentioned in the text above he was fired upon by Captain Bogart of the Missouri militia, the flag of truce he carried apparently being no protection to him from assault. Subsequently, namely in 1849, he was ordained one of the twelve apostles by Brigham Young, and we shall see in the progress of this History that Charles C. Rich was a prominent figure in all the subsequent affairs of the church. He was a man of high character, of sound judgment, which made him invaluable as a counselor; of indomitable courage, he was a natural leader of men. He was one of the statesman-pioneers which The Church of the Latter-day Saints has given to the Intermountain West of the United States. His family is numbered among the most prominent and honorable in the church. He died at Paris, Idaho, November 17th, 1883.
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