Edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson
Don Carlos Smith and Eliza R. Snow Additions
[p.752]Note: Don Carlos’s reminiscence and letters to his wife were written in the fall and winter of 1838 during a desperate effort to obtain funds from eastern [p.753]Saints, just before the exile from Missouri in the winter of 1838-39. This material and three poems by Eliza R. Snow have, for the most part, no counterpart in Lucy’s manuscript although they are neatly written out in the Coray manuscript; substantive changes among versions appear in the notes. The original of this missionary account, a reminiscence rather than a journal, though possibly based on a journal, is not listed among the holdings of the LDS Historical Department Archives. Part of this account, considerably edited, was later published in History of the Church 4:394-98. Some portions of the early reminiscence appear in rough note form in Martha Jane Coray’s notebook. I have paired them where applicable. Nibley includes no portion of the appendix material. The Improvement Era includes Don Carlos Smith’s letters and Eliza R. Snow’s poems but not Don Carlos’s mission account.
Martha Jane Coray Notebook
(“Copy of an Old Notebook,” 47-52)
This version is apparently taken from George A. Smith’s journal.
(closely follows Coray, 1845)
A JOURNAL KEPT BY DON C. SMITH WHILE ON A MISSION WITH GEORGE A. SMITH , HIS COUSIN
|the following journey was commenced September 25 1838 returned Dec 24 1838 from the Relation of George Smith Carlos was appointed with my self Lorenzo Barns Harrison Sagers to endeavor to raise means to purchase Davies county from the mde (?)||At a meeting of the High Council held in Adam-ondi-Ahman, I was appointed, in company with my cousin, George A. Smith, Lorenzo D. Barnes, and Harrison Sagers, to take a mission to the east and south, for the purpose of raising means to buy out the mobbers in Davies County, Missouri; also to effect an exchange of farms between the brethren in the east, and the mobbers in our immediate neighbourhood.130|
|[p.754]brother Earl from Canada to his in his wagon to Richmond landing. Carlos left his family 3 miles from Diahman in a grove of timber on a place purchased of one of the old settlers our we road to Richmond led through Far West— where we stopped and Joseph and Hyreum [sic] sanctioned our Mission||[p.754]On the twenty-sixth of September, 1838, we took leave of our friends, and started on our mission, in company with brother Earl, who proposed taking us in his waggon as far as Richmond, a distance of seventy miles. We stopped at Far West to see brother Joseph. He sanctioned our mission, and bid us God speed.131|
|left stiad [sic] at Far west over night next day went to Alpheus Culters staid over nightnext morning called on John Goodson treated us very coldly did not ask us to eat although he had staid with us several days and I laid on the floor for his accommodation and he had his horse and self keept God gratis||On our way to Richmond we stayed over night with Captain Alpheus Cutler, formerly of the United States’ army. He and his family treated us with much kindness. We also called on John Goodson, who a few days previous had shared freely in the hospitality of my uncle’s house, yet he had not the politeness to ask either cousin George or myself to take breakfast with him.|
|we waited at the landing 9 (?) days for steamer Kansas the river being very low while there we had an interview with David Whitmer— helped him load a load of goods then helped him out of a sand mire although he could not look us in the face when we parted he said success to you boys—||When we got to the landing, we found the river very low, and but one boat up, which was the Kansas. Whilst waiting for this boat, we had an interview with David Whitmer. He had not confidence to look us in the face, for he had become our enemy; yet, when we parted, he shook hands with us quite cordially, and wished us success.132|
|[p.755]we boarded with a family of brethren while there I went to a watermleon [sic] patch feasted on melons that weighed from 40 to 50 lbs. from there we took passage on board the Kansas one wheel was broken to pieces and She was otherwise in a a terribly shattered condition met Maj Gen Samul [sic] Lucas and Brigadier gen Moses Wilson of jackson Co principle actors in the mob of 1833 Maj Gen Atchison [sic] of Clay Co and several other Militia officers—who were on their way to Boonville to attend a court Martial—||[p.755]On the thirtieth of September, we went on board the Kansas;133 this was a very slow conveyance, for one of the wheels was broken; besides the river being very low, and full of snags and sand bars, we got along but slowly on our journey. Here we travelled in company with General Wilson, and Samuel Lucas, besides many others who had taken an active part in the expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County, in 1833. General Atchison was also on board.134|
|on the next day we arrived at De Witt—where we found Elder J. E. Page Gorge M. Hinkle with a few Saints surrounded by a mob of 200 who threatened them with extermination Gen Atchison at told them to make a vigorous defence if they were attacked by the mob give them a decent fight said he— he <we> held a consultation on the propriety of stopping with the brethren—but as our our Mission was urgeant and we destitute of arms we concluded to go ahead and when the boat had taken in her necessary suplies of fuel we did so||On arriving at De Witt, we found about seventy of the brethren with their families, surrounded by a mob of two hundred men.135 When the boat landed, the women and children were much frightened, supposing that we also were mob.136 We would have stopped, and assisted them what we could, but we were unarmed, and, upon consulting together, it was thought advisable for us to fulfil our mission; so we returned to the boat, and proceeded on our journey.|
|[p.756]the con the conversation immediately turned upon the Mormons Gen Wilson proceeded to relate an account of his heroic deeds during in driving the saints reference Page 6 of Gorge [sic] Smiths journal fell — — — See george Smiths Record fell in with Carlos at my father in Laws about the 21 of March 1838 were together about 3 weeks [The next three pages, 53-55, are blank.]||From this onward, the “Mormons” were the only subject of conversation, and nothing was heard but the most bitter imprecations against them. Gen. Wilson related many of his deeds of noble daring in the Jackson mob, one of which was the following:137|
Letters of Don C. Smith to His Wife, Agnes.
COHOCTON , YATES CO.,168 JUNE 25, 1836
DEAR COMPANION : I received your letter bearing date June 15, which I perused with eagerness, being the first I had received from you during my absence. I was rejoiced to hear that you were as well as you expressed, but grieved that your rest should be disturbed by the nervous affection of which you speak. You say that you are willing to submit to the will of the Lord in all things; this also is a source of great consolation to me; for, if these be your feelings, even when deprived of my society, in order to [word omitted?] the prosperity of the kingdom of God (as nothing else would tear me from you), I feel that the Lord will bless, keep, preserve, and uphold you; so let your faith fail not, and your prayers cease not, and you shall be healed of your nervous complaint, and all other afflictions. For God is willing, and abundantly able, to raise you up and give you all the righteous desires of your heart, for he has said, “Ask and ye shall receive,” and he has never lied, and I can truly say that he has been my help in every time of need.
When I left home I set my face, like a flint, towards Boston, until I found that it was my duty to return home. On arriving at Seneca Falls, I laid the matter before Samuel and Wilber,169 and we united our hearts in prayer before the Lord, who signified, by the voice of his Spirit, to Samuel, that he should continue his journey, but that we should return, af-[p.763]ter a short time, to our families; so tell Mary170 that we have not forsaken him; no, nor ever will, for he is as faithful as the sun—the Lord will not forsake him, and angels will bear him up, and bring him off triumphant and victorious. I heard of the death of grandmother, while at Aven, I could not help weeping, for her, although she has gone to rest. When I left Kirtland,171 I called at uncle John’s—grandmother was asleep—I laid my hand on her head, and asked the Lord to spare her, that I might see her again in the flesh. But when I left, I felt as though she would be taken before I returned, which caused me to feel sorrowful; but I do not desire to call her back to this world of trouble. I must close by saying, that I expect to labour in the vineyard until I start for home. And, if the Lord will, I shall see you as soon as the last of July, then172 I shall finish this letter.
Yours, till death,
DON. C. SMITH.173
[to] AGNES M. SMITH.
[Wilson:] “I went, in company with forty others, to the house of one Hiram Page, who was a Mormon, in Jackson county. We got logs and broke in every door and window at the same instant; and, pointing our rifles at the family, we told them, we would be God d—d if we did’nt shoot every one of them, if Page did not come out. At that, a tall woman made her appearance, with a child in her arms. I told the boys, she was too d—d tall. In a moment the boys stripped her, and found it was Page. I told them to give him a d—d good one. We gave him sixty or seventy lashes with hickory withes which we had prepared. Then, after pulling the roof off this house, we went to the next d—d Mormon’s house, and whipped him in like manner. We continued until we whipped ten or fifteen of the God d—d Mormons, and demolished their houses that night. If the Carroll boys would do that way, they might conquer; but it is no use to think of driving them without about four to one.138 I wish I could stay, I would help drive the d—d Mormons to hell, old Joe, and all the rest.”
At this I looked the General sternly in the face, and told him, that he was neither a republican nor a gentleman, but a savage, without a single principle of honour.139 “If,” said I, “the ‘Mormons’ have broken the law, let it be strictly [p.757]executed against them; but such anti-republican, and unconstitutional acts as these related by you, are below the brutes.”140 We were upon the hurricane deck, and a large company present were listening to the conversation. When I ceased speaking, the General placed his hand upon his pistol, but I felt safe, for cousin George stood by his side, watching every move the General made, and would have knocked him into the river instantly, had he attempted to draw a deadly weapon.141 But General Atchison saved him the trouble, by saying, “I’ll be God d—d,142 if Smith aint right.” At this, Wilson left the company, rather crest-fallen. In the course of the conversation Wilson said, that the best plan was, to rush into the “Mormon” Settlement,143 murder the men, make slaves of the children, take possession of the property, and use the women as they pleased.
There was a gentleman present from Baltimore, Maryland; he said, he never was among such a pack of d—d savages before; that he had passed through Far West, and saw nothing among the “Mormons” but good order. Then, drawing his pistols, he discharged them; and re-loading, he said, “If God spares my life till I get out of Upper Missouri, I will never be found associating with such devils again.”
Shortly after this we were invited to preach on board. Elder Barnes gave them a good lecture, and I bore testimony.144 The rest of the way we were [p.758]treated more civilly, but, being deck passengers, and having very little money, we suffered much for food. On one occasion we paid twelve and a half cents for one dozen ears of [Indian] corn; and after grating it, we paid a woman twelve and a half cents more for baking it into bread, although it was badly done, being neither sifted, nor the whole kernels taken out; but we were so hungry that we were glad to get it.145
We continued our journey together through every species of hardship and fatigue, until the eleventh of October, when Elder Barnes and H. Sagers left us,146 after our giving them all the money we had; they starting for Cincinnati, and we, to visit the Churches in West Tennessee.147 Soon after this, Julian Moses, who had fallen148 in company with us on the way, gave us a five franc piece, and bade us farewell.149 This left cousin George and myself alone, and in a strange land; and we soon found that the mob spirit was here, as well as in Missouri, for it was not long before we were mobbed by near twenty men, who surrounded the house in the night, and terrified the family very much; however, we succeeded in driving them away.150
After which we continued our journey until we arrived at brother Utley’s, in Benton county, a neighbourhood151 where brothers Patten and Woodruff were mobbed some years ago. We soon made our business known to all the Saints, who said they would use every effort to be on hand with their money and means—some in the fall, others in the spring. We received from brother [p.759]West twenty-eight dollars to bear our expenses; and also from others, acts of kindness which will never be forgotten.152
About this time our minds were seized with an awful foreboding—horror seemed to have laid his grasp upon us—we lay awake night after night, for we could not sleep. Our forebodings increased, and we felt sure that all was not right; yet we continued preaching, until the Lord showed us that the Saints would be driven from Missouri. We then started home, and, on arriving at Wyatt’s Mills, which was on our return, we were told that, if we preached there it should cost us our lives. We gave out an appointment at the house of sister Foster, a wealthy widow. She advised us to give it up; but, as she had no fears for herself, her property, or family, we concluded to fulfil our appointment. The hour of meeting came, and many attended. Cousin George preached about an hour; during which time, a man named Fitch, came in at the head of twelve other mobbers, who had large hickory clubs, and they sat down with their hats on. When cousin George took his seat, I arose and addressed them for an hour and a half, during which time, I told them that I was a patriot—that I was free—that I loved my country—that I loved liberty153—that I despised both mobs and mobbers—that no gentleman, or Christian at heart, would ever be guilty of such things, or countenance them. At last the mob pulled off their hats, laid down their clubs, and listened with almost breathless attention.
After meeting, Mr. Fitch came to us and said that he was ashamed of his conduct, and would never do the like again, that he had been misinformed about us by some religious bigots.154
We continued our journey until we reached the town of Columbus, Hickman county, Kentucky. Here we put up with Captain Robinson, formerly an officer in the army, who treated us very kindly, assuring us that we were welcome to stay at his house until a boat should come, if it were three months. While here, a company of thirteen hundred Cherokee Indians encamped on the bank of the river to wait for ferry privileges. They felt deeply wounded at leaving their native country for the west. They said they were leaving a fine country, rich in minerals, but the whites knew very little of its value. This excited our sympathies very much; little did I think that my own wife and help-[p.760]less babes were objects of greater sympathy than these.155
At length a boat came along, and we went on board. We had to pay all our money (five dollars) for fare, and eat and lie among negroes, as we took a deck passage.156 About ninety miles from St. Louis our boat got aground, where it lay for three days. During this time we had nothing to eat but a little parched corn. They finally gave up the boat and left her. We went to the clerk and got two dollars of our money back, after which we went on board of a little boat157 that landed us in St. Louis the next morning. Here we found Elder Orson Pratt; he told us that Joseph was a prisoner with many others, and that David Patten was killed, giving us a long and sorrowful account of the sufferings of the Saints, which filled our hearts with sorrow.
The next morning, we started again on our journey. When we arrived at Huntsville, we stopped158 at the house of George Lyman to rest, he being uncle to cousin George, whose feet had now become very sore with travelling.159 Here we heard dreadful tales concerning our friends in Davies county, that they were all murdered, and that my brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, were shot with a hundred balls.160
We had not been long in Huntsville till the mob made a rally to use us up with the rest of the Smiths, and, at the earnest request of our friends, we thought best to push on.161 The wind was in our faces, the ground was slippery, it was night, and very dark, nevertheless we proceeded on our journey. Travelling twenty-two miles, we came to the Chariton river, which we found frozen over, but the ice too weak to bear us, and the boat on the west side of the river. We went to the next ferry. Finding that there was no boat there, and that in the next neighbourhood a man’s brains were beat out for being a “Mormon,” we returned to the first ferry, and tried by hallooing to raise the ferryman on the opposite side of the river, but were not able to awake him. [p.761]We were almost benumbed with the cold, and to warm ourselves we commenced scuffling and jumping; we then beat our feet upon the logs and stumps, in order to start a circulation of blood; but at last cousin George became so cold and sleepy that he said he could not stand it any longer, and lay down. I told him he was freezing to death; I rolled him on the ground, pounded and thumped him; I then cut a stick and said I would thrash him. At this he got up and undertook to thrash me, this stirred his blood a little, but he soon lay down again; however, the ferryman in a short time came over, and set us on our own side of the river.162 We then travelled on until about breakfast time, when we stopped at the house of a man, who, we afterwards learned, was Senator Ashby, that commanded the mob at Haun’s Mill. That night we stayed at one of the bitterest of mobocrats, by the name of Fox, and started the next morning without breakfast.163 Our route lay through a wild prairie, where there was but very little track, and only one house in forty miles. The north-west wind blew fiercely in our faces, and the ground was so slippery that we could scarcely keep our feet, and when the night came on, to add to our perplexity, we lost our way. Soon after which, I became so cold that it was with great difficulty I could keep from freezing. We also became extremely thirsty; however, we found a remedy for this by cutting through ice three inches thick.164 While we were drinking we heard a cow bell, this caused our hearts to leap for joy, and we arose and steered our course towards the sound. We soon entered a grove, which sheltered us from the wind, and we felt more comfortable. In a short time we came to a house, where George was well acquainted, here we were made welcome165 and kindly entertained. [p.762]We laid down to rest about two o’clock in the morning, after having travelled one hundred and ten miles in two days and two nights. After breakfast I set out for Far West, leaving George sick with our hospitable friend. When I arrived166 I was fortunate enough to find my family alive, and in tolerable health, which was more than I could have expected, considering the scenes of persecution through which they had passed.167
|Lucy: 1844-45174oft Previous to this during the summer and while who in the commencement of the sickness Don carlos came from leaving <Mc Donough county> to make preparations to establish a printing press on the the Press and type had been buried during the Misouri troubles to keep them out of the hands of our enemies and they had gathered so much dampness that the type were considerably injured and it was necessary to set to get them into use as soon as possible||Coray/Pratt: 1853In the month of June, 1839, Don Carlos came from Mc Donough county to Commerce, for the purpose of making preparations to establish a printing press. As the press and type had been buried during the Missouri troubles, and were considerably injured by the dampness which they had gathered, it was necessary to get them into use as soon as possible;|
|[p.764]he found but <one> room at liberty but and that was th an underground room through which a spring was constantly flowing and it needed a great deal of cleaning out before it could be made to answer his purpose atall he worked alone in this cellar sometime and the dampness of the place and his labor together caused him to take a severe cold with which he was sick some time when he had||[p.764]and in order to this,175 Carlos was under the necessity of cleaning out a cellar, through which a spring was constantly flowing, for there was no other place at liberty where he could put up the press. The dampness of the place, together with his labour, caused him to take a severe cold, with which he was sick some time;|
|but he continued his work until he had got his press into started and a few numbers of the paper printed when he went to Mc Donough to see his family after this he returned to commerce but found the distress so great that no buisness could be done—||nevertheless, he continued his labour, until he got the press into operation, and issued one number of the paper. He then went to McDonough, and visited his family; after which, he returned to Commerce, but found the distress so great that no business could be done.|
|after his arrival in commerce he wrote the following letter to his wife which shows pretty clearly the situation of the church at that time as well as his affectionate disposition which was always breathed in every word he spoke to his family and stamped on every line he wrote to them when absent from them which has also been manifested in other letters which I have before transcribedJuly 25||Upon his arrival in Commerce, he wrote to his wife the following letter, which shows the situation of the Church at that time, as well as his affectionate disposition, which was breathed in every word he spoke to his family, and stamped upon every line he wrote to them when absent.|
|[p.765]Commerce July 25, 1839Beloved companionI am in tolerable health and have just risen from my knees imploring the throne of Grace in your behalf and that of our family—That God would preserve your health and give you every blessing and protect you by day and by night.||[p.765]Commerce, July 25, 1839.BELOVED :I am in tolerable health, and have just risen from imploring the Throne of Grace, in behalf of you and our children, that God would preserve you all in health, and give you every needed blessing, and protect you by day and by night.|
|When I arrived here there had been nothing done in the office as Brother Robinson has been sick every day since I left and is sick yet I have done but little labor since I returned for I have been striving against the destroyer and attending upon the sick continually There is not well ones enough to take care of the sick. There has been but one death however since I returned and that was of a child but one week old McLery and Sophronia are both sick— Clarinn Brother Robinson’s wife has been nigh unto death father is better.||When I arrived here, nothing had been done in the office, as brother Robinson had been sick every day, since I left. And I have done but little labour since I returned, except struggling against the destroyer, and attending upon the sick—there are not well ones enough to take care of the sick—there has been but one death, however, since my return. McLerry,176 Sophronia, and Clarinda, are very sick. Sister E. Robinson has been nigh unto death.|
|Last tuesday I administered to 16 souls and have since administered to a great many in company with George A. Smith and some notable miracles were wrought under our hands I never had so great power over disease as I have had this week and For this let God be Glorified. The devil is determined to destroy [p.766]the saints here th there is now between 90 men and a hundred that are sick but they are generally on the gain and I do not know of more than 12 or 13 what are dangerously sick—||Last Tuesday, I, in company with George A. Smith, administered to sixteen souls; some notable miracles were wrought under our hands. I never had so great power over disease, as I have had177 this week; for this let God be glorified. There is now178 between fifty and one hundred sick, but they are gener-[p.766]ally on the gain; I do not know of more than two or three who are considered dangerous.|
|I send you $5 so that you may not be out of money <destitute> in case you should be sick or in need of money My Dear you shall be made comfortable happy by me the Lord being my helper hereafter you shall not want Elijah’s God you will bless you and I will bless you||I send you some money that you may not be destitute, in case you should be sick, and need anything which you have not in the house. Agnes, the Lord being my helper,179 you shall not want. Elijah’s God will bless you, and I will bless you,|
|are entwined around my heart with ties that are stronger than death and time cannot sever them yes deprived of your society and that of my prattling babes life would be irksome to me Oh that you might live till the coming of the son of man, and I also for the your sakes that I might comfort you and you me and we Together might instill into the minds of our dear children principles of might comfort me and we might comfort our babes and instill into their tender and noble minds principles of virtue that God may bless us all that we may be happy.||for you are entwined around my heart, with ties that are stronger than death, and time can not sever them. Deprived of your society, and that of my prattling babes, life would be irksome. Oh! that we may all live, and enjoy health and prosperity, until the coming of the Son of Man, that we may be a comfort to each other, and instil into the tender and noble minds of our children, principles of truth and virtue, which shall abide with them for ever, is my constant prayer.|
|I shall come home as soon as we can get through with our present hurry—I am as ever your most <true and> faithful earthly friend <both> in time and in Eternity.Don C SmithAgnes M Smith||From your husband, who will ever remain, devoted and affectionate, both in time and in eternity,
|[p.767]here Mulhollands death R. B. T. <succeeds him in office> In [blank] Don C moved his family into commerce which had then changed its name for Nauvoo here he with Printer Ebenezer Robinson engaged in the publication of the Times and seasons and to facilitate the same they erected small frame house for the <a> printing office180||[p.767]While Don Carlos was at work in the before mentioned cellar, he took a severe pain in his side, which was never altogether removed. About a fortnight prior to his death, his family were very sick; and in taking care of them, he caught a violent cold—a fever set in, and the pain in his side increased, and with all our exertions, we were unable to arrest the disease, which I have no doubt was consumption, brought on by working181 in a damp room, in which he printed his paper.|
Coray/ Pratt: 1853
ON THE DEATH OF THE DEARLY BELOVED AND MUCH LAMENTED FATHER IN ISRAEL, JOSEPH SMITH, SENIOR, A PATRIARCH IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WHO DIED AT NAUVOO, SEPTEMBER 4 [SIC], 1840.182
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
Zion’s noblest sons are weeping;
See her daughters bathed in tears,
[p.768]Where the Patriarch is sleeping,
Nature’s sleep—the sleep of years.
Hushed is every note of gladness—
Every minstrel bows full low—
Every heart is tuned to sadness—
Every bosom feels the blow.
Zion’s children loved him dearly;
Zion was his daily care:
That his loss is felt sincerely,
Thousand weeping Saints declare;
Thousands, who have shared his blessing,
Thousands whom his service blessed,
By his faith and prayers suppressing
Evils which their lives opprest.
Faith and works, most sweetly blended,183
Proved his steadfast heart sincere;
And the power of God attended
His official labours here;
Long he stemmed the powers of darkness,
Like an anchor in the flood:
Like an oak amid the tempest,
Bold and fearlessly he stood.
Years have witnessed his devotions,
By the love of God inspired,
When his spirit’s pure emotions,
Were with holy ardour fired.
Oft he wept for suffering Zion—
All her sorrows were his own:
When she passed through grievous trials,
Her oppressions weighed him down.
Now he’s gone, we’d not recall him
From a paradise of bliss,
Where no evil can befal184 him,
[p.769]To a changing world like this.
His loved name will never perish,
Nor his mem’ry crown the dust;
For the Saints of God will cherish
The remembrance of the JUST.
Faith’s sweet voice of consolation,
Soothes our grief: His spirit’s flown,
Upward to a holier station,
Nearer the celestial throne;
There to plead the cause of Zion,
In the council185 of the JUST—
In the court, the Saints rely on,
Pending causes to ADJUST.
Though his earthly part is sleeping,
Lowly ’neath the prairie sod;
Soon the grave will yield its keeping—
Yield to life186 the man of God.
When the heav’ns and earth are shaken,
When all things shall be restored—
When the trump of God shall waken
Those that sleep in Christ the Lord.
LINES WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF GEN. DON CARLOS SMITH.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.187
“Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain.”
The insatiate archer death, once more188
Has bathed his shaft in human gore;
The pale-faced monarch’s crimsoned bow,
[p.770]Once more has laid a good man low.
If tears of love could ever save
A noble victim from the grave;
If strong affection e’er had power
To rescue in the dying hour;
If kindred sympathy could hold
A jewel in its sacred fold;
If friendship could produce a charm,
The heartless tyrant to disarm;
If wide acknowledged worth could be
A screen from mortal destiny;
If pure integrity of heart
Could baffle death’s malignant dart;
If usefulness and noble zeal,
Devotedness to Zion’s weal,
A conduct graced with purposed aim,
A reputation free from blame,
Could save a mortal from the tomb,
And stamp with an eternal bloom;
He never would189 have bowed to death,
Or yielded up his mortal breath.
Ours is the sorrow, ours the loss,
For, through the triumphs of the Cross,
His noble part, by death set free,
On wings of immortality,
Tracing the steps the Saviour trod,
Has reached the paradise of God.190
There he rejoins the ransomed choir,
There, there he hails his noble sire,
A Patriarch of these latter-days,
Whose goodness memory loves to trace
With reverence, gratitude, and love;
He left us for the courts above.
There with the spirits of the just,191
[p.771]Where Zion’s welfare is discussed,
Once more their efforts to combine
In Zion’s cause.—And shall we mourn
For those who have been upwards192 borne?
And shall the Legion’s sorrow flow,
As if193 a Chieftain were laid low,
Who threw his frail escutcheon by,
To join the Legion formed on high?
Yes, mourn.—The loss is great to earth,
A loss of high exalted worth.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JOSEPH AND HYRUM SMITH, FIRST PRESIDENTS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WHO WERE MASSACRED BY A MOB IN CARTHAGE, HANCOCK COUNTY, ILL., ON JUNE 27, 1844.194
BY MISS E. R. SNOW
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,195
For never, since the Son of God was slain,
Has blood so noble flowed from human vein,
As that which now, on God, for vengeance calls
From “Freedom’s ground”—from Carthage prison walls!
[p.772]Oh! Illinois! thy soil has drank196 the blood
Of Prophets, martyred for the truth of God.
Once loved 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 graced thy surface, O degraded earth!
Oh! 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 patriotic197 fathers! Can it be?
Beneath your blood-stained flag of liberty!
The firm supporters of our country’s cause,
Are butchered, while submissive to her laws!
Yes, blameless men, defamed by hellish lies,
Have thus been offer’d as 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 faith198
Has proved an instrument of cruel death!199
Where are thy far-famed 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 pretence,
When they’re exerted in the Saints’ defence.
Great men have fallen, and mighty200 men have died;
[p.773]Nations have mourned their fav’rites and their pride;
But Two, so wise, so virtuous, great, and good,201
Before on earth, at once, have never stood
Since the creation. Men whom God ordained
To publish truth where error long had reigned,
Of whom the world, itself unworthy proved.
It knew them not, but men with hatred moved,
And with infernal spirits have combined
Against the best, the noblest, of mankind.
Oh! persecution! shall thy purple hand
Spread utter destruction through 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 flowed
The words of life thy Spirit has bestowed;
A depth of thought no human art could reach,
From time to time rolled in sublimest speech,
From the celestial fountain, through his mind,
To purify and elevate mankind.
The rich intelligence by him brought forth,
Is like the sun-beam spreading o’er the earth.
Now Zion mourns, she mourns an earthly head;
The Prophet and the Patriarch202 are dead!
The blackest deed that men or devils203 know
Since Calvary’s scene, has laid the brothers low.
One in their life, and one in death—they proved
How strong their friendship—how they truly loved;
True to their mission, until death they stood,
[p.774]Then sealed their testimony with their blood.204
All hearts with sorrow bleed, and every eye
Is bathed in tears—each bosom heaves a sigh—
Heart-broken widows’ agonising groans
Are mingled with the helpless orphans’ 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.205
Included with the microfilm of Lucy’s rough draft are a number of non-biographical items. The first three items are holographs of revelations in the current Doctrine and Covenants. All three contain some differences in wording from the current authorized text; while doubtless interesting and possibly significant in showing doctrinal development, they lie outside the scope of this study. They are:
1. A holograph copy of what is now Doctrine and Covenants 105:12-41 (LDS 1981 edition), beginning on p. 7 in the middle of v. 12: “faithful and continue in humility before me …” The next six pages are written in an apparently different hand and contain no corrections, suggesting that they are a printer’s copy. The six pages are double-numbered, with “7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12” at top center, and “32, 33, 30 [sic], 31 [sic], 34, 35” at the margins, left margin for versos, right margins for rectos.
2. A holograph copy of what is now Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-8 (“… concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina …”), paginated “10” centered at top margin and “31” at the left top margin. This item ends with a verse that does not appear in the current edition: “The keys of the priesthood have to be brought from Heaven whenever the Gospel is preached or Sent. When they are revealed from Heaven its is by Adams Authority Amen.”
3. A holograph copy of a revelation now corresponding to Doctrine and [p.775]Covenants 77:2-12 (“A Key to the revelations of John”), paginated with “11, 12” centered at the top margin and “34, 35” at the top right margin.
4. A fragment of paper, apparently the side leaf and part of the main panel of a sheet used as an envelope, with a few lines of writing, largely illegible. One side has a record of the births of Joseph’s and Emma’s children: “[and …] […] so [four numerals, not legible] Ju… Smith was born april 31 [sic] 1830 We […ouch to Re… Joseph … Smith No… 1823? assat and returned to Kirtland Frederick G. … was born June 20 1836 Sept. 12 1832 … so Alexander … June 2, 1834? Missouri in …sh County Don Carlos … June 13, 1840? … 18… David H. … Nov. 10, 1844.”
5. The second side is the obverse. A few letters are visible on the main panel: “Joseph [damaged] F. G. […]” Across the first fold, the main panel has been written on upside down if the paper is unfolded, but right side up if it is folded lengthwise. Here appear only the very ends of two visible lines. The first one has been marked out. The second line has two letters, “ey”. The complete side panel has one partial line: “to […et] had two children a son and a daughter.” Three words, written roughly one above the other, are on the left hand panel (the center one is “Boston,” but the other two look like “Ghetton” and “TSelton”) while perpendicular to the margin is written “Joseph’s Children”. An apparent division problem is worked on the left-hand panel. 3/51 = 17
Written on the topmost of three folds or panels: “A Memorandum what is necessary to finish the record of […] Lucy Smith.” The middle panel is blank. Written on the third panel is: “We the undersigned certify that the foregoing record which is given by Lucy Smith our Mother is correct according to the best of our knowledge in testimony whereof we Have hereunto have set our hand and seal subscribed our names”. The second side contains a list headed “Dates” of events for which the dates are apparently missing: “Sophronia’s Marriage, Hyrum’s 2nd Marrige, Williams Marriage, Carrolines Death, Dates of the birth of Sophronia’s children also, Kathrines also Willian’s [sic] also Lucy’s, The name of Jason Mack’s daughter, The signature of the living children, Lucy and Arthur’s […g], Preface, concluding remarks”.
6. The next fragment bears notes on what seems to be a rough draft of a blessing on each side. The first could apply to William, but only after the deaths of his father and four brothers. The second is less specific: (Side 1) “… sick and afflicted but [damaged] life long He has [tosted? and] […at…] much for the gospel sake and may god reward him but […] for […] has been his days of greatest sorrow for he has followed his father and all his brothers to the grave and his brothers too have died and been murd [end of fragment]”. (Side 2:) “[damaged] s over his [c…sn…es] and […y] the children <sons> of his brethren slain for the truth sake rise up and stand by […] His side and fill the places of [p.776]their fathers and may his last days be his best days and may God be merciful unto him from hence forth and forever”.
7. This item consists of the recto and verso of a sheet from a pocket notebook with stitch marks visible on the left margin of the recto sheet and with the upper right corner broken smoothly off. The hand looks different from either Coray’s or the scribe of the revelations. (Side 1:) “the Seed of 12 […] [damaged] are scattered it [damaged] wake up the […] [damaged] ns— The nations will [damaged] r with each other [damaged] while the Saints are building the 12 I had [damaged] vision on the other side of the river that armies were about […am] I am from brethern … who were shooting at me swam the river and found safety on this side Go tell all my servants who are the Strength of my house (This June this nation will be humbling [blank] then shall foreign Saints come and all the Saints shall come.” (Side 2:) “where the Saints [damaged] of Zion which en [damaged] [.teores] will build with [damaged] a place of safety for ther [damaged] hildren and those who [damaged] not come in one season [damaged] shall scarce escape [damaged] with those <their lives> that [ecase?] [damaged] to <be> saviours of men They shall be troden under the feet of their enemies for there transgression instance [Seek?] the redemption of Zion is the salvation […] this country which is north and south America come [asunder? under?] olive trees to be jackson Co but one is not […] some have a temple begun 12 olive trees [damaged] re 12 stakes”.
8. This final sheet has been written from both the top and the bottom. In an obvious experiment with different styles of lettering, in block printing, centered on the page appear these words:
CHAAP. XI VX CHAP C CH
Approximately sixteen lines of text, reversed as in a mirror, follow. This sheet was perhaps used as a blotter. Then the page has been turned upside down and the following seven lines were written in a curlicue circle, followed by the last four lines in a second curlicue circle:
My feet were on the threshold of Eternity
But lingering there I begged that I might be
My soul just trembling betwixt life and death
Was almost yielding up its latest breath
Though lothe to leave this transitory scene
Just then the boon of life was handed back
I stood aghast before the vale of dark and dreadful night
That lay between myself and christ (where all was boundless …)
[p.777]I dared not enter with out power to threat to <to cross this [clo…ing …ase]
And asked of God another hour that I might learn his way.
This line follows below the poem: “He was the son of [E..? Cass?] H. Mack his Father was a man”.
“In the year 1838 abou the time that the mob commenced opperations in Misouri I <was sent> was sent in company with George smith Lorenzo D. Barnes and Harrison Sagers some was
“In the month of September 1838 The High Councill of Adam Ondiahmon apointed a number on or about the 20 of September 1838
“Att a Meeting of the High council held on f or about the 20th september 1838
“I was appointed in company with My cousin George Smith and several other Elders to take a Mission to the East and South for the purpose of raising means to buy out the Mobbers of Davis County.”
George A. Smith’s memoirs (not available to researchers), as extracted and edited in the account of Zora Smith Jarvis, give the purpose of this mission as: “to raise men and means to complete the arrangement with the mob” (60).
132. George A. Smith/Zora Jarvis adds more details: “We encountered David Whitmer, who had lately apostatized and had come to Pomeroy’s warehouse for a load of goods, which were heavy. We helped him load. When he started, his wheels stuck fast in the sand and we helped him out. He thanked us and said: ‘Success to you boys’” (60).
133. See HC 4:394: “On the 30th of September, 1838, in company with George A. Smith, Lorenzo D. Barnes, and Harrison Sagers, I went on board the Kansas (which had one wheel broken); the Missouri river was very low.”
134. George A. Smith/Zora Jarvis: “… taking a deck passage at four dollars and helped to ‘wood.’” HC 4:394: “On the 30th of September, 1838, in company with George A. Smith, Lorenzo D. Barnes, and Harrison Sagers, I went on board the Kansas (which had one wheel broken); the Missouri River was very low.
136. RLDS: “we also were a mob.” George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “Colonel George H. Hinckle was evidently very much alarmed at our arrival, supposed we were a detachment of the mob, but he bristled up courage to make a speech to the military officers, in which he declared his intention, in a trembling tone, to defend De Witt to the last.”
137. George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “General Moses Wilson entertained them by a narration of the cruelties he had inflicted upon the Mormons in Jackson County. He swore the d——- Mormons would [not] fight, except when out-numbered five to one. He was in favor of killing the men, seizing the property, and sporting with the women.” George A. does not include the beating of Hiram Page, told below, although it appears in the HC account.
141. HC 4:395: “While I was speaking, Wilson placed his hand upon his pistol, which was belted under the skirt of his coat; but Cousin George stood by his side, watching every move of his hand, and would have knocked him into the river instantly, had he attempted to draw a deadly weapon.”
144. HC 4:395: “Elder Barnes and I preached.” From Tennessee on 23 October 1838, Don Carlos wrote his wife Agnes (“Respected companion”) an abbreviated account of this encounter aboard the Kansas with Atchison and a half dozen or so of the “Jackson Co mob (leaders).” Don Carlos says he tolerated, to the limit of his endurance, a conversation consisting of “Mormons and God Dam Jo Smith and the Mormons &c&c.” Then he announced his identity and declared that “I was a republican & held my rights as sacred as any man that ever trod the soil and all mobs were unconstitutional.” His skill in the debate was so impressive that “they gave us an invitation to preach” and Lorenzo D. Barnes “gave them a lecture that none could gain say.” Tenderly he urges Agnes: “Be careful of your health & be sure and make known your wants to the Bishop see that the Cow has a sufficient to eat &c to charge you to be careful of the children is useless knowing you never neglected them.” He concludes his letter with an eight-stanza semi-romantic, semi-religious poem. The fifth and sixth stanzas read:
I turn I gaze beyond the stream
From whence I came propelled by steam
There I behold by my fireside
The choice of youth Agnes my bride
Her soft and tender voice I hear
Which sounds delightful to my ear
With her I find the pearl of prize price
By some abused by some despised …”
Don Carlos Smith (1816-41), Letter to Agnes Smith, 23 October 1838, from Benton County, Tennessee, ms/d 1024, fd. 1, LDS Church Archives.
149. In a letter to Don Carlos dated 11 December 1839 and published in the Times and Seasons 1, no. 4 (February 1840), 60, Moses reports that he continued travelling eastward through Tennessee where he and various companions baptized forty, a number he apologizes for, attributing its smallness to “fabulous stories concerning our difficulties in Missouri.”
150. HC 4:395-96: “We soon found that the mob spirit was in Kentucky, as well as in Missouri; we preached in a small branch of the Church in Calloway county, and stayed at the house of Sister Selah Parker, which was surrounded in the night by about twenty armed men, led by John McCartney, a Campbellite priest, who had sworn to kill the first ‘Mormon’ Elder who should dare to preach in that place. The family were very much terrified. After trying the doors, the mobbers finally went away.”
152. HC 4:396: “We visited a number of small branches in Tennessee; the brethren generally arranged to be on hand with their money, or lands for exchange in the spring. Brother Samuel West gave us twenty-eight dollars to help defray our traveling expenses. We also received acts of kindness from others, which will never be forgotten.”
161. George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “We had only remained there one day when a mob was raised for the purpose of using up Don Carlos, brother of the Prophet, and myself. Our friends, being alarmed for our safety, urged us to leave immediately. We took some beef and biscuits, and started for Far West about ten o’clock at night” (61).
162. George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “I was sleepy and lay down. He told me I was freezing, and by his efforts kept me awake until about daylight, when the ferryman came and took us over … I have no doubt that the energy and the prudence of Don Carlos saved me from freezing to death” (61); HC 4:397: “lay down again. By this time the ferryman came over, and set us across the river, where we warmed ourselves a little …”
163. George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “That night we stopped with a man named Fox, who lived near De Witt. He was very bloodthirsty toward the Mormons … [ellipses Zora’s] We didn’t make our identity known to him. We started out at daylight without breakfast, and traveled ten miles and got some refreshments” (61); HC 4:397: “until about breakfast time, when we stopped at the house of a man, who we afterwards learned was a leader of the mob at Haun’s Mill massacre. The next morning we started without breakfast.”
165. RLDS: “where we were made welcome”; George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “We continued traveling until two o’clock next morning, when we arrived at Whitford G. Wilson’s, in Tunney’s [sic] Grove. It being 25 of December, Christmas night, (1838). We had traveled one hundred ten miles since ten o’clock p.m. on the night of December 22nd. Don Carlos came near perishing of cold during the last night” (61); HC 4:397: “We soon entered Tenny’s Grove, which sheltered us from the wind, and we felt more comfortable. In a short time we came to the house of Whitford G. Wilson, where we were made welcome and kindly entertained.”
167. George A. Smith/Zora Smith Jarvis: “When Don Carlos reached there, he found his house, a few miles from Adam-ondi-Ahman, had been burned by the mob, and that his wife, Agnes, and two children had to flee for safety. She traveled nearly three miles over the roughest of ground, carrying her two helpless babes. The older baby clinging to her with legs around her neck, and with hugging the smaller one to her breast, she waded the waist deep water of the Grand River” (61).
176. RLDS: “McCleary.” The context in which Don Carlos mentions “Clarinda” sounds as if she is McLeary’s and Sophronia’s daughter, but they are not known to have had any children, nor were either of Sophronia’s two daughters by her first husband, Calvin Stoddard, only one of whom was alive at this point, named anything similar. Ebenezer Robinson’s wife was Angeline Eliza.
182. This date is apparently a typographical error in Pratt or (less probably) a scribal error in the manuscript from which the type was set. Joseph Sr. died on 14 September. Coray gives the date correctly as: “Joseph Smith Sen. a Patriarch in the Church of Latter Day Saints, who died at Nauvoo September 14, 1840.” So does GAS on Pratt. The Times and Seasons, which first printed the poem (1, no. 2 [October 1840]: 190), seems to be the source of the error, since it gives the death date as 4 September. Snow corrected the date to 14 September when the poem was republished in her Poems, Religious, Historical, and Political (Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1856). IE gives the date correctly as 14 September.
There are considerable differences in punctuation between the Times and Seasons, Coray, and Snow 1856 versions of these poems (dashes rather than Coray’s commas, more frequent use of exclamation points) and elisions for scansion (“ev’ry,” “lov’d,” etc.), while the Pratt version, in addition to adding further punctuation changes, also uses British spelling, in keeping with the rest of the volume. The lack of repetition in the changes among the four versions, however, does not suggest simple chronological copying.
194. This poem was first published in the Times and Seasons 5, no. 12 (1 July 1844): 575, the issue reporting the assassinations at Carthage. It differs very slightly in punctuation and capitalization from either the Coray 1845 or Pratt 1853 versions (e.g., “hart” for “heart” and “mourn’d” for “mourned). The title has two minor variations: “THE ASSASSINATION OF GEN’LS JOSEPH … ON THE 27TH JUNE …” The 1856 edition of Snow’s poems includes Revelation 6:9-11 as an epigraph: “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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
195. From the rhyme scheme, it is obvious that a line was dropped here in the Times and Seasons version, but it was not restored in either the Coray or the 1853 Pratt version. The 1856 edition of Poems adds it: “At the recital of so foul a deed;”