Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Witness John Carrill, a Mormon dissenter and State Representative from Caldwell County ]
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application of it by him & further this deponent saith

not                                       Morris  Phelps

            John Corrill a witness produced sworn &

examined in behalf the State deposeth & saith that about last

June I was invited to a private meeting in which an ef

=fort was made to adopt some plan to get rid of the dis

=Senters. there were some things I did not like and opposed

it with others & it failed. after that I met Prest Rigdon.

& he told me I ought not to have any thing to do with it

that they would do as they pleased. I took his advise. I learned

afterwards that they had Secret meetings. but I was never

invited none of the 1st  Presidency was present at the meet

=ing above refered to , we have a rule in the church au

-thorizing any member to consecrate or give voluntarily

his suiplies property to the church for charitable purpo

=ses. Prest. Rigdon last Summer preached a Sermon

commonly called the Salt Sermon, which Seemed to have

for it’s object to produce a feeling among the people to

get rid of the dissenters for crimes alleged & because they

disagreed with them, in a few days there seemed considerable

excitement among the people. & the dissenters left. as I

adresed them, they were in danger. I was afterwards, invited

to one of those meetings where an oath in substance the

same as testified to by Dr Avard was administered. The

Society was ultimately organized into companies and

captains of tens & 50’s were appointed. I took exceptions

only (“so” crossed out) to the teachings as to the duties’ of that society where-

=in it was said if one brother got into any Kind of a dif

=ficulty it was the duty of the rest to help him out right or

wrong, at the Second or at least the last meeting I attended

the presidency to wit Jos. Smith Jr Hiram Smith & Sidney

Rigdon & also Geo W. Robertson was there, there was at this

meeting a ceremony of introducing the officers of the Socieity

to the presidency, who pronounced blessings on each of them

As introduced according to faithfulness in their Calling &

they should have blessings, after this Prest Smith got up &

made general remarks about in Substance as follows.  rela

-ting the oppussions the society had Suffered and they wanted to

be prepared for further events but said he wished to do nothing

unlawful & if the people would let him alone they would

preach the gospel & live in peace, towards the close he

observed to the people that they should obey the presi=

 


=dency & If the Presidency led them astray they might destroy

them. In the last or in some public meeting Jos Smith Jr

said if the people would let us alone we would preach

the Gospel to them in peace but if they came on us to molest

us we would establish our religion by the Sword & that he

would become to this generation a Second Mohamet

  About April last I heard Joseph Smith Jr & Prest Rigdon

(who appeared to be vexed on account of troubles  & lawsuits

they had had) say that they would suffer vexatious law

=suits no longer & that they would resist even an officer

in the discharge of his duty, Smith Said he has been be

-fore court, some 20,000 times they had never found any

thing against him & that made him of age & he would

submit to it no longer. I heard S. Rigdon  4th July Speech

I heard him say he would not suffer people to come unto

their Streets & abuse them, nor would they suffer vexa

-tious lawsuits. In sutstance he further remarked that

“neither will we permit any man or set of men to insti

-tute vexatious lawsuits against us to cheat us out of

our just rights If they do so wo be unto them”  this mor

mon church has been represented as being the little stone spoken

 of by Daniel which should roll on and crush all oppo

-sition to it and ultimately should be established as a

temporal as well as a spiritual Kingdom.  These things

were to be carried on through the instrumentality of the

Danite band as far as force was necessary  If necessary they

being organized into bands of tens. 50’s & ready for

war the teachings of that society led them to prohibit

the taking of any person’s against the presidency

so much so that it was dangerous for any man to

set up opposition to any thing that might be set

on foot & I became afraid to speak my own mind. I

objected to the course of Dr Avard in defiance to this

Daniete band  I rather thought Jos Smith Jr. up held

him I would not allow any objections to him.  After

the return of the Mormons from deciet I heard

Jos. Smith Jr in presence of Hiram Smith in a con

-versation say that application had been made to

the Gov. and that they understood that he would give

them no assistance & they were determined to withstand

the mob, they were greatly incensed against certain

persons in Caldwell& Daviss & said they intended to

rid the counties of them & of the mob in the course of


that week, this was on Sunday morning  and in the

course of that day instructions were given to meet

the next day (monday) on Monday Jos Smith Jr made

a speech and some resolutions were passed purporting

that those persons who would not engage in thies un

-dertaking this property should be consecrated to the

use of [“the church” crossed out] those who did engage in thees undertaking

On Sunday Jos. Smith Jr in his discourse spoke of

persons taking at sometimes, what at other times it

would be wrong to take, and gave as an example the

case of David eating the shewbread & also of the [Saviour]

& his apostles plucking the ears of corn and eating as they

passed through the cornfield he supposed the prejudices

of the Jews and Pharisees were so great against the Sa

viour that they would give them nothing to eat & they

took that method to get it. On the Monday when the re

solutions above refered to were introduced President Rigdon

in a speech said that those who were unwilling to go into the

war ought to be put upon their horses with guns & bayonets and

forced into the front of the war having reference to those who

heretofore had been backwards in defending themselves, & families

No persons were suffered to leave the County in this extreme time

and I met with Phelps to consult as to what all ought to do

  After the troops got to Diahmon in all about 4 or 500 men

I heard Lyman wight addressing a portion of the men who

were then (perhaps 8 or 10)” that the earth was the Lord’s and the

“fullness thereof with the Cattle upon a 1000 hills, & if I was

“an hungry I would not tell you” that the Saints of the

Lord had the Same privilege or rights, after that perhaps,

the next day I saw a drove of some 4 or 5 Cattle pass along

& asked what cattle these were & was answered that they

were a drove of buffalo, Others, observed they were Cattle a

methodist priest had consecrated Jos Smith Jr Hiram

Smith Parley P Pratt Lyman Wight Geo W Robinson

Caleb Baldwin Alanson Ripley Geo W Harris Geo Grant

Darwin Chase Aliza McRay Edwd Partridge Jos W. Younger

probably Jas W Rawlin’s were in the expedition that

went to Daviss, Cony, at the time Gallatin was burnt

on the same day that the Company went to Gallatin Lyman

Wight went with a Company to Mill port as I understand

he returned & made a report as I understood it to be to

Jos Smith Jr in which he said he found nothing to fight


 

but fences & empty houses I understood him to say the

people had not taken away all their property  Smith

the Prophet here asked him if they had taken the negroes

he said yes some one then laughed observed Smith you

have lost Your negro to which I think, he made no reply

  Jos Smith Jr asked Wight if he had done any thing

with the property remaining in Millport Wight said not

they would leave that matter for a private council.

  Suman Gibbs told me he went down with the expedition

that fought Bogart and he remained behind ¾ of

a mile from the battle ground [“to” crossed out] holding horses I feel con

fident that Isaac Morley was not in the fight with

Bogart, I think the original object of the Danite

band was to operate on the dissenters, but afterwards

it grew into System to carry out the designs of the

Presidency and if necessary to use physical force to

upbuild the Kingdom of God it was to be done by them

this is my Opinion as to their object and I learned it from

various Sources connected with that band.  It was

my understanding that Dr Avard, teachings in

the danite Society proceeded from the Presidency.  I never

heard that Constitution spoken of by Dr. Avard in the So

ciety when I was present nor did I ever hear of

it until lately  & further this deponent saith not

                                               John Corrill


                  

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