Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Witness James C. Owens, a Mormon dissenter who was present at Far West, October 30, 1838 ]
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James G Owens, a witness produced Sworn and exam

-ined on behalf of the State, doposeth and saith

In this morning of the day that the militia arri

-ved at Far West. I heard Joseph Smith Jr. in

a speach to the Mormons troops say, that he did

not care any thing about the coming of the troops

nor about the laws, that he had tried to please

them_ If they lived together it wouldn’t please

them if they scattered it wouldn’t please them

& that he did not intend to try to keep the [ ]

to please then any longer. that they were so

damned set, and God should damn them, so

help him Jesus Christ.—That he meant to

go on them as he had begun, and take his own

course, and kill & destroy-and told the men

to fight like angles that heretofore he had

told them to fight like devils, but now told them

to fight like angles. that angles could whip de

-vils_ I think in this speach  it was that he

said that what they lacked in numbers the Lord

would makeup by sending angles and send

two angles where they lacked one man.  He

swore considerably and observed that they

might think that he was swearing, but that

God Almighty would not take notice of him

in cursing such a dammed set as they were. He

further stated that they pretended to come out as

militia, but that they were all a damned set of

mobs.- He stated at that or some other time that

as they had commenced consecrating in Daviess

county that he intended to have the surroun

-ding counties consecrated to him, that the time

had come when the riches of the Gentiles should

be consecrated to the saints-(“after prisoners” crossed out)

while the last of expedition was in progress in Da

-viess county_a portion of the troops returned to

 Far west to whom & to the people assembled

I understood Sidney Rigdon had read a letter

from Jos Smith Jr_ I asked him to read it

to me which he did and it was as near as I

can recollect as follows  That the enemy was

delivered into their hands, and that they need not


not fear, that this had been given to him by

the spirit of prophecy in the name of Jesus

Christ. Sidney Rigdon appeared to rejoice at

the information, and gaive unto the thing-

A few days before the Militia got to Far

west Jos Smith Jr observed that he did not in

-tend to obey the laws any longer, that he had

had a great may (“law suits” crossed out) writs served

on him, & that he was of age, and did not intend

to have another served on him- And further

this deponent saith not-

                                   James C. Owens

Nathaniel Carr. a witness produced, sworn

and examined in behalf of the State deposeth

and saith- While the last expedition was

going on in Daviess county a portion of the

troops returned to Far West, and was para

-ded before Mr Rigdons door- A letter was

produced by him. Recd as he said from Jos

Smith Jr & Lyman Wight, and perhaps Hiram

Smith, and I think Elias Higby- The letter

was read, which stated something like this

that all things were going on well in Daviess

that they had nothing to fear, and that the enemy was

in their hands,- I understood from what was

said in the letter that they knew this from

revelation.  The letter was read to about 200

men most of them under arm- The town

appeared under military rule, picket guards

were sent out morning & evening_ this state

of things was continued for three or four weeks

& until the mormons surrendered their

arms.  When the forces that went out to

attack Bogart were collecting about midnight

I heard them say that a mob was collecting near

Fields who had taken some of the brethran prison

-ers, and that they were collecting a company

to release them- and further this deponent

saith not,  Nathaniel Carr