On the 4th of July , Sidney Rigdon delivered his declaration of independence, which enraged the mob worse than ever, so that by fall the whole country was under arms. Benjamin Jones took a job of building a warehouse for Mr. Pomeroy, and I went and cooked for his hands one month, but the excitement got so high that some of the inhabitants of Richmond came down to where we were at work to whip us. There came eight men down to whip three of us, and when they came, I was off from our camp on business, and old man Knapp got drunk as soon as they came, so Brother Jones was all alone, and as soon as they made their business known, Jones pulled up a stake out of the ground and bid them come on, but none of them dared to touch him. As soon as I came, Jones told me what had happened. Now, we had our wagon loaded up ready to go home, but we stayed until near night just to let them see that we were not afraid of them. In the afternoon, as we went home, one of them waylaid us to shoot us, but the sheriff found it out and made him come away before we came on.
We went into Richmond and I went to a store to get a wedding dress for my sister Lydia, and the mob was there threatening me on every side, but I did not notice them. We then went on two miles and stayed all night. The next morning we set out for home and got there about three o'clock p.m. and that night there was a call made for men to go and retake some prisoners from Captain Bogart, so Jones and Hosea went, but I had no arms nor saddle, so I could not go, but next morning I heard that the brethren had had a fight with Bogart and retook the prisoners, but David W. Patten, Gideon Carter, and Patterson [Patrick ?] O'Banion were slain in the fight. I helped to tend on Patten while he was dying.
The Church in that settlement all went into Far West that day because Sampson Avard told them that the mob would be upon them by night and kill them, but the mob fled as fast the other way, and one John Estes, went to Richmond and swore that the Mormons had fallen on Captain Bogart and killed all of his men, but him, and that they were ravaging the country, upon which testimony the governor issued his extermination orders. Soon after this, General Lucas came and surrounded Far West, and the Saints surrendered their arms to him because he was sent by the governor, and soon General Clark came with an army of 1500 men and took charge of the city and got the names of as many as the apostates would give him. These apostates would hand in the names of such as they had malice against. Now these dissenters had sold the leaders of the Church into the hands of General Lucas when he first surrounded the city. And Lucas had a court martial held composed of officers, priests and privates, and the prisoners were all tried in a lump and all sentenced to be shot the next day on the temple foundation. This was all done without the knowledge of the prisoners, or any testimony on their part. And when they were notified of their doom, Lyman Wight said he would believe it when he saw it. And Joseph Smith said, "Be of good cheer, for not a hair of our heads will be hurt." But it happened that General Doniphan revolted from Lucas and told him that neither he nor his men should have nothing to do in such cold-blooded murder, and that put a stop to the matter for the present, and the prisoners were taken up to Jackson County.
[Surrender at Far West] Now, it so happened, that I was one who was reported to General Clark, and when he had gotten all the names he could get, he called the Saints out on the temple block and had Colonel Hinkle to form them in a hollow square with his main arms around them and he and his field officers in the center, so he began to call the names of those the apostates had given in. And when he (General Clark) had caused them all to advance two paces forward and form a separate line, he informed the rest of the Saints that they could have the privilege of going to their families, but those whom he had selected should be made an example of. He also made a speech to the Saints which is recorded in the Times & Seasons printed in Nauvoo. There were about 60 of us who were to be made an example of, so we were marched to Hinkle's store house and kept under guard all night, and the next day we were started for Richmond in Ray County. We got as far as Long Creek and were stopped for the night. The encampment was made by Clark's main army forming a circle of about ten acres and the special guards another circle made, and the prisoners in the center. We had some corn which was ground on a horse mill and so coarse that a man could not get one bite without a whole grain and nothing but dirty shingles to spread it on to take it before the fire, and a piece of beef to roast was our support. Then we scraped away the snow and lay down to rest until morning. We then had the same kind of a breakfast and then were marched on our way to the place of our destination.
This day I was so afflicted with the rheumatism in my hips that I could scarcely walk, but we were taken within two miles of Richmond and camped as before, and had the same kind of fare at night. But the next morning we had nothing for breakfast, and were taken to Richmond and put in the court house and were promised a good warm meal at the tavern, but it was not given. So about ten o'clock at night they brought some of the chopped corn and a small skillet but the prisoners were nearly all asleep, so I went to work and baked bread all night. So I had one-fourth of a pone for each of us by day, but I did not taste of any until the rest awoke and got theirs. Also, now we were provided with a sieve after this so that our bread was much more agreeable, and soon we had a large pot given to us to cook our beef in when we had any.
Now, I was kept here in this prison for three weeks during which time the mob was ransacking all the country over to get witnesses to swear against the prisoners. Among the worst of the apostates who swore falsely against the prisoners were John Corrill, Reed Peck, John Clemenson, W. W. Phelps, Sampson Avard, and George M. Hinkle. Their most dire antipathy was aimed against Joseph and the rest of the heads of the Church, but they implicated many of the prisoners swearing they were guilty of treason, and almost every other name known to the law.
After three weeks of examination, the testimony was all received and read over and those of the prisoners who were not implicated in any way were set at liberty. The only crime that was proved against me was that of being a Danite which was sworn to by Sampson Avard, but as they could find no law on the case, I was set at liberty and returned home. During my imprisonment, my fever sores were not attended to and my leg was nearly rotten so as to render me almost helpless. I got my leg hurt again and got home to my sister Anna's home about ten o'clock at night, but Brother Jones, her husband, was yet in prison and did not get out for a week longer. I then began to try to raise means to send my brother Hosea's wife to him, for he had escaped the mob by going up north through a wilderness country and got to Illinois with about 40 others. I sold our crop of corn for 75 cents per barrel and got $20 which enabled Sumantha to get to Quincy, Illinois where she found Hosea.
I then began to try to get father and myself away for we were all forced to leave the state by the next spring. I was on my return from Richmond, landing with a span of mares and wagon, belonging to B. Jones and on the wide prairie I saw a man walking behind me. I reined in the team to let him overtake me, and who should it be but Orson Hyde, who had apostatized in the fuss, but had seen a vision in which it was made known to him that if he did not make immediate restitution to the Quorum of the Twelve, he would be cut off and all his posterity, and that the curse of Cain would be upon him. I invited him to ride with me, which he was very thankful for as he was very much fatigued. I also divided my morsel of bread with him, but I was not much in love with apostates so soon after my exit from prison. But I saw that Brother Hyde was on the stool of repentance, and he did repent good and got back to his place in the Twelve. Then I took Jones' team and joined with Brother Judd who had a yoke of oxen and a wagon, and took part of Judd's family and my father, and went to Quincy, Illinois. I found my brother living near that city, and I left father there and took a team that belonged to the committee who was helping the poor out of Missouri and returned back to Far West. I there gave the team up to the committee and went on foot to Clay County to see if I could help old Father Knight out.
Now it had gotten to be spring and there were exceeding heavy rains, and the Saints were forced out by the mob, and women and children were dragging through the mud and water, which was the cause of many lives being lost. I found Father Joseph Knight tending East Mill. I went to work to try to find a man who would buy his land. After two weeks' hunt I found one who gave $30 for 40 acres of good land so the old man took his family consisting of a wife and two children and three step-children, and we took a boat at Independence landing and went to St. Louis, and from thence to Quincy. Then I went out 14 miles to a little town called Rayson and worked with my brother at carpentry and other work until the 5th of July, 1839, when Hosea, Thomas Rich and myself started for Commerce, afterwards called Nauvoo, and came here and stayed a few days and then went over the Mississippi River into Iowa, and then began to improve a place. And Hosea and Thomas returned to Rayson while I stayed and worked on the house, but my health was so poor that I could do but little now.
Father and sister Sarah who had lately come from Ohio, left and went towards Missouri, but Sarah died 25 miles below Quincy of consumption and father went on to Uncle Jacob Stout's in Missouri and died there, also of consumption. He was about 73 years of age, and of 12 children, only four were left alive.
During the remainder of the summer, I worked at building a house for us to live in. I also made some rails to get me some clothing. I attended the general conference on the 6th day of October, 1839, in Nauvoo at which time I was ordained an elder under the hands of Alpheus Cutler. On the 29th of November, Sumantha, my brother's wife died. I then went back to Caldwell County, Missouri and made a visit to see my sister Lydia and then returned to Iowa and spent the winter at work, sometimes making rails and some of the time building houses.
In the spring of 1840 we all moved over to Nauvoo, and I got my license as an elder, bearing the date of April 20, 1840, which I now have in Hyrum Smith's own handwriting, which I intend to always try and preserve. Soon after this, I set out on foot towards the south with the intent to try to preach the gospel, young and unlearned as I was, but I had never spoken in public in my life. When I got to Louisiana [Missouri], 40 miles below Quincy, I went to the captain of a steamboat, and told him I wanted to get a passage on his boat but had no money. I also told him my business. He said I was very young to be on such an important mission but he granted my request so I rode on his boat to Herculaneum, 25 or 30 miles below St. Louis, and then went on foot to Washington County, Missouri, where Uncle Jacob Stout and family lived. I there gave out an appointment to preach in Mr. Buford's school house. At the appointed hour, I arose and opened by prayer and then spoke on the first principles of the gospel for about three-quarters of an hour. I was somewhat embarrassed not being used to speaking in public, but I did call on the Lord for strength and wisdom to enable me to perform my duty with an eye single to his glory. I then gave leave for remarks, but none was made, so I gave out an appointment ten miles up the river at the widow McNeil's house and on the next Sabbath I attended to that and after I was through with my discourse, Benjamin McNiel, whose wife was my cousin, made some remarks. He was a Methodist class leader.
I then went 50 miles further south to John Rounds, who also married my cousin, and there preached five times in Randolph and Lawrence Counties. I then went on to Batesville, where I was threatened to be hanged and burned by an old doctor, but the landlord of the tavern made him stop his noise. So I went on to White County and held a meeting at Thomas Royas' then went ten miles to Gabriel Baker's, whose wife was a Stout. I there preached once and then went on to the city of Little Rock and gave out an appointment to preach in the city hall, at early candlelight, but as soon as I arose about 40 or 50 men arose on their feet and began to ask impertinent questions, and then began to stamp on the floor and swear. I tried to call the house to order three times and this only made them worse. So I started down stairs and one man said to me, "If you are not out of this city by sunrise, you will ride out on a rail." I told him that I had never yet rode in that manner, nor I was not afraid of having to do it. I then returned to the hotel where I had stopped, and several of the citizens came to me and asked me if I would preach if they would call out the police and keep order. I said I would. So they deliberated on the matter, but finally said that they would have to kill some of those ruffians to keep order. So they gave it up, but they were anxious to hear a Mormon preach. I then returned to White county to Baker's and he gave me a chance to go to school free of cost. So I stopped awhile and still preached in that and adjoining settlements until fall, but the school did not get underway, so I returned to Nauvoo to the fall conference on the 6th of October, 1840.
I stayed in Nauvoo until about the 20th of November  and then set out on foot through the swamps towards Little Rock. The first day I traveled 14 miles and stayed all night and in the morning, the man of the house would not let me go until he had searched me and my valise for money, though I told him I had none in the evening before. I then went on and had to wade through mud and water and some ice until I came to Gabriel Baker's in White County, Arkansas. I there found a trail on hand before Baker and another esquire. They were trying Henry Stacey for the crime of murder, which was not uncommon in that country. I stayed there through the winter and went to school some of the time, worked some and preached the gospel in several of the adjoining settlements. I baptized Lewis Kirkpatrick while I was there. . . .