A Young Folks' History of the Church
In Missouri Prisons
From Far West Joseph and his brethren who had been taken prisoners were marched
towards Jackson county. At first General Wilson who had them in charge treated the
brethren badly, but as they proceeded on their journey he became quite friendly, and told
the prisoners that he was just going to show the people of Independence what a "set of
fine fellows you are."
While on the march the Lord comforted Joseph, and he spoke to the other prisoners as
follows: "Be of good cheer, brethren; the word of the Lord came to me last night that our
lives should be given us, and that whatever we may suffer during this captivity, not one
of our lives shall be taken."
After they had crossed the Missouri river into Jackson county, many people came to see
these wonders, the "Mormons." One lady came up and asked the guards which of the
prisoners the "Mormons" worshiped. Joseph was pointed out to her. She then asked the
Prophet if he professed to be the Lord and Savior. Joseph said he was only a man sent by
Jesus Christ to preach the gospel. Quite a crowd had gathered around, and Joseph went
on explaining the principles of faith, repentance, etc. Thus Joseph preached a sermon in
Jackson county in fulfillment of a prediction he had made some months before.
At Independence their treatment was not bad. The people seemed curious to see them,
and the brethren spent their time in talking with people who came to them.
General Clark, who also wanted some of the "honor" of having these noted prisoners,
now ordered them to Richmond, in Ray county, where the general had a talk with them.
Shortly after this, some guards came into the jail house and fastened the seven prisoners
together by means of a chain and pad-locks. In this way they lived in a room without
chairs or beds, sleeping on the hard, cold floor at nights. Guards with loaded guns stood
watch over them, and talked to each other of the wicked deeds they had done at Far West
and other places near by. About these horrible acts they boasted in glee while the
prisoners had to lie and hear it all.
One night, says P.P. Pratt, he lay next to Joseph, listening to all this vile talk, when
suddenly Joseph arose to his feet and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion,
"'Silence! ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and
command you to be still. I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease
your talk, or you or I die this minute'
"He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty, chained and without a weapon;
calm, unruffled, and dignified as an angel, he looked down upon the quailing guards,
whose weapons dropped to the ground, whose knees smote together." The ruffians
instantly became still, and were very glad when a change of guard came so that they
could get away.
General Clark tried hard to find some law by which he could have Joseph tried by an
army court, but he failed in this and therefore he handed the prisoners over to the civil