A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
During the excitement Governor Ford arrived at Carthage, a town about eighteen miles
from Nauvoo, and the county seat of Hancock county. The governor sent word to Nauvoo
that he wanted some explanation of the trouble, so Joseph sent some of the brethren to
him. The governor treated his callers rudely. Carthage was full of mobs, and the governor
seemed to believe all they told him about the "Mormons." He organized the mobs into
troops. Joseph asked the governor to come to Nauvoo and investigate the whole matter;
but no: Joseph must go to Carthage. The governor said he would protect him if he would
It was on the evening of June 22nd. Joseph and Hyrum had called some brethren
together: "All they want is Hyrum and myself," said the Prophet. Joseph and Hyrum both
seemed certain that if their enemies got them in their power again they would be killed.
Joseph then proposed that he and Hyrum should escape to the Rocky Mountains.
Preparations for this trip were made and they were rowed over the river to Iowa, when
Joseph's wife sent some of the brethren to plead with him to return. Some brethren also
found fault with him in running away to "leave the flock to the wolves."
Joseph replied, "If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself." So they
went back, Joseph saying, "We shall be butchered."
On the morning of June 24th Joseph and eighteen brethren set out for Carthage to be tried
again on the old charge. As he rode out the Prophet made many expressions of goodby to
his friends. Four miles from Carthage they met a company of militia going to Nauvoo
with an order from the governor that the Nauvoo Legion give up its arms. Joseph rode
back with them to see that this was done. Twice he bade his family farewell. His face was
pale, and he was suffering.
"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter," he said, "but I am calm as a summer morning."
At Carthage they were received with oaths and threats by the troops. Apostates and
soldiers swore that the brethren would never leave Carthage alive.
The next day the governor paraded the prisoners before the troops, who insulted them as
they passed along. Then they were placed in the jail awaiting their trial.
The day following, the prisoners were marched to the court house, guarded by the troops;
but the trial was postponed until the next day, and the brethren were taken back to jail.
This was the 26th of June. That night Joseph was lying on the floor with some of the
brethren. Brother Dan Jones was on one side and Brother John S. Fullmer on the other.
"Lay your head on my arm for a pillow, Brother John," said Joseph, and then he talked
with him in a low tone. Joseph expressed a desire to see his family again and preach to
the Saints once more.
To Brother Jones he whispered, "Are you afraid to die?" When Brother Jones said he was
not, Joseph replied, "You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you,
before you die." (Dan Jones did a wonderful missionary work in Wales.)
The next morning the guards frequently told some of the brethren that if they did not wish
to be killed they had better get away from Joseph. This was told to Governor Ford, but he
paid no attention to it.