A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
The Prophet Joseph believed in being kind to all animals, and he instructed his brethren
in Zion's camp to kill none except for food. Man must first become peaceful, before
animals will lose their fierceness. Not long after this instruction had been given, a brother
became very tired by traveling and lay down on the ground to sleep. When he awoke,
what should he see but a rattlesnake coiled up not more than a foot away from his head.
Just then some of the brethren came up and wanted to kill the snake; but the brother said,
"No, I'll protect him, for he and I have had a good nap together." He remembered what
Joseph had said.
On June 7th the company having crossed the Mississippi river, camped on Salt river in
Missouri. More of the brethren had joined the company on the way, and now it numbered
two hundred and five men. From this point Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde were sent to
Governor Dunklin at Jefferson city, asking him to use his power as the highest officer in
the state to have the Saints brought back to their homes in Jackson county. The governor
said he thought it right that the Saints should get back their lands, yet he was afraid if
they tried to go back or if he called out soldiers to help them get their homes, there would
be a terrible war and many people killed. So the governor would do nothing to help them.
While Zion's camp was making its way to the Saints in Clay county, a meeting was held
in Liberty where some mobbers from Jackson county tried to arouse the people against
the Saints. Nothing being done at this meeting, a party of fifteen men started for
Independence to raise an army large enough to destroy Joseph and the camp.
One of the leaders of this band was James Campbell. As he pushed his pistols into the
holsters before starting, he said with an oath: "The eagles and turkey buzzards shall eat
my flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins will not hold shucks
before two days are passed!" As he and his companions were crossing the Missouri river
their boat sank. Seven of them were drowned and among them was Campbell. What was
left of his body was found three weeks after lodged on a pile of drift wood. The "eagles
and turkey buzzards" had eaten the flesh from his bones.
On the 19th the camp passed through Richmond. They expected to reach Clay county that
night, but were so greatly hindered by accidents that they camped for the night between
two forks of Fishing river. A large mob had gathered, bent on destroying the camp. A
boat containing forty mobbers had been sent over the river, when a storm arose. The rain
fell in torrents, the lightning flashed, the thunder shook the earth. Great hail stones
destroyed the corn in the fields and stripped the trees of leaves. The mob scattered in
confusion. The river rose nearly forty feet, which made it impossible for anyone to cross.
The brethren took shelter in a schoolhouse and escaped the storm. Thus again the Lord
preserved his people from their enemies.
The next day the camp moved five miles out on the prairie. While here, some of the
leading men of Ray county called on the brethren to learn what their intentions were.
Joseph told them how the Saints had been persecuted in Jackson county; and that they
had come one thousand miles with clothing and provisions for their brethren; that they
had no intentions of harming any one, but their mission was to do good, and if possible
help their brethren to get their lands back again. At the close of their talk, the visitors
promised to do what they could to prevent the mobs from disturbing them, which promise