1: Colonel, now long habe you resided in this state of Missouri?
Well sir, I was born in this state about fifty four years ago.
2: Have you resided here most of the time since?
Well I have been out of the state a good deal during that time, – twelve or fifteen years perhaps. There has been about twelve years or fifteen years of my life that I have not been a resident of the state of Missouri, but aside from that my life has been spent in the state. I was born down there in Cass County, the county adjoining Jackson on the south fifty four years ago this month, so the records show.
3: Where do you reside now, Colonel?
Here in Independence.
4: How long is it since you took up your residence here permanently?
Well since the last real genuine war we had here. In 1865 I may say I began to live here in this county, – in 1866 I may say I came to this town to live.
5: Did you take part in the war?
I have, – well yes sir, I did.
6: Well with the exception of the time that you were in the army where did you live outside of the state of Missouri?
Well, I lived in San Francisco, California, – I lived there a while, and then I had a kind of a precarious portable existence during the four years of the war. I lived in Arkansas and Texas and Louisiana, – did you by your question mean out of the state?
7: No sir, not out of the state?
Well I was in the University a while in my youth, and at St. Louis.
8: Well what information, if any, have you, Colonel, regarding the feeling against the Mormon people, or the Latter Day Saints in this part of the country, during the time of your knowledge of it? If you have any knowledge in reference to the feeling that exists in reference to their returning to this part of the country?
—Well I do not exactly get the drift of that question. It seems to me that you have four or five questions involved in one, and that too in such a manner that I don’t believe I will be able to extricate them and put them in order.
9: —Well in the first place I want to know, —well I will repeat the question. What information, if any, have you regarding the feeling against the Mormon people, or the Latter Day Saints, in this part of the country during the time of your knowledge of it, —if any, with reference to their returning to this part of the country?
—Well you will understand very well that this country has divided up in the last thirty or forty years in very emphatic periods. It was a period of rapid and emphatic development, and the periods of their entree into this part of the country was one of the most pronounced in its culmination. Of course the disturbances here occurred before my time, and stil I recollect hearing a great deal about it in my childhood, but as a matter of course all that I know about that is merely what I have been told, and what I heard, and not something that I know of my own personal knowledge. It is what I heard and saw in the papers probably, and it would be difficult for me to decide the precise means or method by which I obtained what I do know. I have talked with a great many elderly people who lived here, and did live here at that time, but as I came on the scene in ’36 it follows that it was all before my day that the scene of activity was at its stage of greatest development. I remember that when I first heard of it, it was then talked about as an event of the past. Now if you are not very particular about the way I frame my answers I would like to answer that question, as I understand it, in my own way. 1O
9: —Well proceed and do so?
—Well I was a little boy at the time I first heard of this, —quite young in years and very small when I first heard this Mormon question discussed. This man Governor Boggs and my people were related, —that is, his son married a cousin of mine, and the families, —the old Hicklin family and my family were very intimately connected. That family furnished the first governor of Missouri, and in—as— much as he was connected with the family at that time it was more discussed in my family circle than it would otherwise have been. I remember that I talked with Governor Boggs about it in California in the Napa Valley when he was quite an old man. It was at his son’s house, the one who married a cousin of mine a Miss Hicklin. Now I heard I suppose what everybody in this country at that time heard about the troubles with the Mormons in this section of country, and there can be no doubt that there was a great, —a very great and strong prejudice almost universally throughout this country against the Mormons, as they were called, but it gradually died away until the time of the war, and of course during that time I was so busily engaged I heard nothing about it during the war, and had lost all interest in it perhaps, —if I ever had any, —and I don’t think I ever had any particular interest in it.
11: —You were thinking about other things during the war?
—Yes sir, I was kept quite busy getting out of the way during the war, —and the other matters absorbed all my attention, —I was getting away from my own monuments, and after the war I remember very distinctly as every other gentheman does, when in this little town it was said that the Mormons were coming back to occupy their land again that there was a good deal of excitement over the report and a good deal of talk about it going on, and some people expressed themselves pretty freely as being opposed to it. Now I do not remember whom I heard make these statements or that I heard much of the conversation that when on over it, for I was not much of a resident here at that time, I loved here and my children were born here, but I was in St. Louis most of the time, and here in Jackson County where I had some real estate, I was attending to a good many things, but I remember that I heard it said here that they were returning. I heard a good many things said about that, but I don’t recollect particularly what they were. Now that is what I heard, but I suppose I did not hear any more nor any less than any body else heard at the same time.
12: Well, can you state further what that sentiment was you speak of, what the sentiment of the people generally in this vicinity was with reference to that sentiment?
With reference to what?
13: With reference to that sentiment?
Since the war, since their return?
14: Yes sir.
Well I suppose I have heard almost everything. I don’t believe I would be able to state what I have heard a good many people say about it for I have heard so much. They said for one thing that I remember that they were a very persistent people and evidently believed in their doctrines. That was the belief of some people as it found expression, and there were people who said they were glad they had come, and they hoped they would not effect the price of real estate, and others, amongst whom I was one, expressed the desire that they would all come and get here quick, for we considered that whatever their character might be it was impossible to damage society in their locality any, and that was my opinion at that time, for this was a pretty bad society here right after the war, and we considered that about any class of people that would come in, whatever their prior reputation or character might have been, would have been an improvement on the state of society then existing. We practically had no interest in the community then, as about all my people, including myself, were right after the war disenfranchised.
15: To use a common expression we “were not in it.”
No sir we weren’t in it to any alarming extent, they thought we were not of good enough character and our past records were such as to make us dangerous members of society, as if anything could have damaged the character of the people generally that lived around here at that time. Of course my remarks are not intended to be taken down, you know, I am just making this statement on the side. We were not in it and were not very particular who came here. Now that is the fact, we did not care very much whether the Mormons came here and took charge of it or not. Now I would like for one things to be distinctly understood and it can go on the record too if desirable, that I did not think that any class of citizens that came here, whatever their reputation might be, that I ever heard of, could have damaged the society that existed here right after the war, and that was about the time that I believe that I first heard rumors that the Mormons were returning here. Now I do not say that every man that was here was of that character, but I do say that a very great many of the men that were here at that time were of that shameless at that time, men whom I resect and honor, but on the other hand there was a great many, the worst you could say about them would be too good.
16: Well suppose Colonel that just before, or just immediately after the close of the war, these people who are not called the Latter Day Saints, had returned here in any considerable number, and had undertaken to stay here as they did at an early date, and claimed their lands, what would have been the result?
Well now I do not mean to answer any such a question as that in its entirety. You ask me if they had undertaken to have returned here, and have claimed their lands as they did at an early date. Now that is a question that I cannot answer in its entirety, for the reason that I was not here when they first came to this county, or at the time they were expelled. All that I know about that is what I derive from conversations with people who lived here at the time and from history generally. From my means of information though, I gather that their first settlement is this section produced an intense feeling of hostility towards these people called Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, and when they returned here the second time we had just passed through a war at that time, and there was no disposition on the part of the communiti generally to kill anybody, – they had seen enough of it in the few years that preceded this epoch. There was no disposition to kill any body at that time, I said, – I should have said there was no disposition to kill them publicly, but all over this country men were killed privately, and the whole country you might say were arranged in sides, – each party taking sides as in the olden days in the time of the border feuds and men were killed every day all over this country. There were people killed down here at Lexington, and the general moral tone of society was at a very low ebb and things were in a very bad condition here for a few years after the war, and the people had so much of these matters that more directly interested them to look after, that they did not pay much attention to the return of these people. Were you here after the war, – if you were you must have known something about how matters were here for the three or four years after the war?
17: I came here in 1865?
Well you must know something about it. There was suppose to be a good deal of bad feeling here at that time in regard to a good many things. Now you have asked me two questions as to the reletive danger that these people would have undergone in this country if they had attempted to return before the war, as compared with the danger if they returned after the war. I don’t see how you would do that. Before the war was the time that I heard what had been done here in the thirties sometime, and I know that up to the time of the war my understanding was that there was a very deep-seated and almost universal feeling of hostility against these people, which afterwards was in a degree swallowed up in the war. Now as I have stated, after the war I think the people were in a condition, – especially that portion of them to which I belonged, – the southern people were in a condition to not have much to do with resistance and rebellion. We might have a great many opinions on one thing and another but we were very chary about expressing them, and when I did undertake to express any thing I took care not to express my real convictions in regard to any thing, for I became quite an adept in regard to that.
18: Do you remember, Colonel, when they began to return in later years here?
Yes sir, I think I do.
In any numders?
20: Yes sir, when they began to return in numbers that excited comment?
Well that must have been about fifteen years ago, or so.
21: What was the feeling at that time if you know?
Well it depended entirely on whom you met, and whom you conversed with. That depended very largely on circumstances and whom you were talking with. As a matter of fact, the religious question or side of the case was not discussed very much at that time. Religion was something that did not interest the body of the people in that day any more than it does at the present time, – and then as now, political questions were the absorbing topics of conversation. Political questions monopolized the day, and people were only too glad to find a man with any kind of a religion who believed in it and who lived up to it, and it is a fact that a great many people who professed religion at that time left the country for that reason, – they would not live here, and so they left and went to a section were people could live in peace, – they would get away to take care of it. I heard a great deal that it would be improper perhaps, and certainly uninteresting for me to relate. No I do not wish to be understood as saying or intimating that religion was looked down upon, for such is not the fact. All religions were popular enough here at that time, but in connection with the return of the Mormons I heard a great deal, for some people would say that they were really a branch of the Mormon church in Utah, polygamists, and that they were in fact practising polygamy. I have heard that stated, but if you were to ask me by whom that statement was made I could not tell you, but nevertheless I have heard it stated that they were practising polygamy just as much as they did in Utah, and others said they were a pious, sincere, Christian people, very industrious and moral in every respect law abiding and prided themselves upon paying their debts, and were as good citizens as anybody. Now that was the conflict of opinion as to the matter, and I suppose if you would approach and ask one hundred different men about these people you would get one hundred different opilions about them, varying between these two extremes that I have given.
22: Have you ever heard since the way, anything said by any private parties about resisting their coming here again?
Do you mean to stand out and forbid their coming?
23: Well no not exactly in that way, – but to the effect that they ought to be kept from coming here?
That they ought to be kept out of here?
24: Yes sir?
25: You have heard that stated?
26: How often have you heard it?
Well I suppose I have heard it a thousand times. I have heard it frequently, very frequebtly said, – that they ought not to be permitted to come here, but I can’t say by whom that was said.
27: Was it not much more frequent at the time they began to return here than it is now?
28: I am talking about the time they commenced to come here the second time?
That is a very peculiar line of inquiry, and I don’t hardly know how to answer that question, for I could answer it many different ways. I am under oath here and consequently particular about what I say. I have heard so much from my earliest days down to the past few years, – right down I might say to the present time, that it is difficult to say what I have heard except in a general way, and it would be impossible for me to specify the date and person from whim I hear these things, particularly as I never expected to be called upon to give any evidence in the matter.
Now of course when they first came up the second time, all of their supposed to be characteristics were more emphatically discussed, and the causes which led to their expulsion in the first place, then at any time afterwards; and after they had lived here a while and people began to mix with them, they began to grow more in favor with my of the residents here and they began to think they were not quite as bad and black as they had been represented. I have heard men say they were just like other human beings, with many virtues, weaknesses and faults, – to say nothing of vices, – they had their objections to them, but they said that you would sometimes find some very good ones, as well as some bad ones. I have heard men express surprise here that they should take any interest in political matters and be democrats and republicans, and I have heard other men say that they went to a body and voted by themselves as a unit. I have heard everything I suppose that could be urged for or against a people. I would state further, however, that I do not know the object of this inquiry, and I would also state in my own defence as a witness giving testimony I would state that whatever the prejudice against the Mormons may have been here, I do not now understand that it is a great as it has been, and I know of a great many little instances that would indicate it, – for instance, I heard once of the southern Methodist minister going down there and he heard some of their preachers preach, and he expressed surprise and pleasure at the doctrines he had heard taught, – he said it was a surprise to him. I went with him and listened very attentivyly to it, and did he, and I asked him afterwards what he though of it, and he said they preached a good sound doctrine. That was when Mr. Palmer was here three or four years ago. I do not remember what time it was, but I remember that particular instance.
29: Did you at any time have any discussion with the citizens here, or with any of them, with reference to their coming back here, and if they came back here, they would be converted by the ministers that are here?
Well, I suppose I know what that refers to. I was talking on one occasion with some people who said they thought the country was going to be deluged with them, as some counties had been by locusts and other devouring insects, and I suggested since my attention has been called to that little incident, – well I have some delicacy in repeating that, I told them that our town was well provided here, – not only with churches but with representative ministers, and if they came in we would have them surrounded by the different organizations here, and before they knew anything about it we would have them all converted. That is what I said when somebody expressed the opinion that they were coming back to repeat at this time what they had undertaken before, – according to the history and rumor, take possession of the country and monopolize it for the about what I saw. I have heard so much from my earliest days down to the past few years, – right down I might say to the present time, that it is difficult to say that I have heard except in a general way, and it would be impossible for me to specify the day and person from whim I heard these things, particularly as I never expected to be called upon to give any evidence in the matter.
Now of course when they first came here the second time, all of their supposed to be characteristics were more emphatically discussed, and the causes which led to their expulsion in the first place, than at any time afterwards; and after they had lived here a while and people began to mix with them, they began to grow more in favor with many of the residents here, and they began to think they were not quite as bad and black as they had been represented. I have heard men say they they were just like other human beings, with many virtues, weaknesses and faults, – to say nothing of vices, – they had their objections to them, but they said that you would sometimes find some very good ones, as well as some bad one. I have heard men express surprise there that they should take any interest in political matters and be democrats and republicans, and I have heard other men say that they went in a body and voted by themselves as a unit. I have heard everything I suppose that could be urged for or against a people. I would state further, however, that I do not know the object of this inquiry, and I would also state in my own defence as a witness giving testimony I would state that whatever the prejudice against the Mormons may have been here, I do not now understand that it is as great as it has been, and I know of a great many little instances that would indicate it, – for instance, I heard once of the southern Methodist minister going down there and he heard some of their preachers preach, and he expressed surprise and pleasure at the doctrines he had heard taught, – he said it was a surprise to him. I went with him and listened very attentivyly to it, as did he, and I asked him afterward what he though of it, and he said they preached a good sound doctrine. That was when Mr. Palmer was here three or four years ago. I do not remember what time it was, but I remember that particular instance.
29: Did you at any time have any discussion with the citizens here, or with any of them, with reference to their coming back here, and if they came back here, they would be converted by the ministers that are here?
Well, I suppose I know what that refers to. I was talking on one occasion with some people who said they though the country was going to be deluged with them, as some counties had been by locusts and other devouring insects, and I suggested since my attention has been called to that little incident, well I have some delicacy in repeating that, – I told them that our town was well provided here, – not only with churches but with representative ministers, and if they came in we would have them surrounded by the difference organizations here, and before they knew anything about it we would have them all converted. That is what I said when somebody expressed the opinion that they were coming back to repeat at this time what they had undertaken before, according to the history and rumor, – take possession of the country and monopolize it for the monopolize it for themselves. I thought the idea was ridiculous, and when it was suggested I thought I would answer it as I did. It was a ridiculous idea and I thought was deserving of a ridiculous answer.
30: Then is it not a fact, Colonel, that you have considered from the very first after the war, – from that time, – that in the beliefs or opinions that you have heard expressed by these people that have talked upon the subject, as ridiculous?
Wel, Colonel Southern, you have heard and I have heard, and you know as well as I do, – we both know very well, that there was a great deal of bad blood in this community after the war, and you know that was a period of profound dissimilation, if I may so express myself, – and you could not always place much reliance upon what man’s belief or opinion was from what he said. It was a time when it was the opinion of almost every man who had a grain of prudence in his composition that it would possibly be better for him if h kept his real sentiments concealed and did not express them. I felt that way I know, and probably you did also, for we both had the same reason to do so. Now the fact is that I thought I discovered with some people, – well I unquestionably owe it to myself and a proper respect for the oath I have taken to tell the whole truth, to say that I discovered a great many people in proportion to the number in the community who entertained opinions and animosity and prejudices against these people, which under ciscumstances dissimilar from those which followed the war, would have rendered it impossible for these people to have come into this community and have lived in peace and safety. Now that is my candid opinion, and these facts must be as well known to you as to myself. I did not participate in any such feeling as that, and there was a great many people here who did not, but still there was a very large element in society here, who if it had not been for the experiences they had just passed through in the war, would not have permitted these people to return here. I do not say either that the majority of the people entertained any such sentiment but I do say that it is my belief that the class that are allowed to, and do generally dominate society, and dog it into doing things which in its sober and thoughtful moments it would not do, I cannot say. We all know how these movements progress, – they are generally in the heads of a minority of the more restless and turbulent element of society, and they very often dog society into doing these things whether it is because of the popularity of the movement or not I cannot say, but in this case I found a great deal of prejudice against them in some quarters.
31: have you at any time since the war seen anything in the actions or conduct of Jackson County, including Kansas City that would authorize an apprehension of violence as against the Mormons?
No sir, I have not. All that I know in that direction has been in the form of expression and not in overt acts, for I have seen nothing.
32: now Colonel I want to enquire on that line particularly about another period? Not the war period, because that is understood to be within our line of inquiry? You were born you say in 1838?
33: And at that time, as you know by history, there was no Mormons here?
34: The Mormon movement had been in ’31, ’32 and ’33.
35: And they were not here in ’38?
36: They had been here and were gone at that time?
Yes sir, it was before that they were here. I came here about that time, and I know their sojourn in this county at that time was talked of as a reminiscense of the past,- that is, as soon as I began to know and observe things I found that out.
37: Then about 1850 you were about twelve years old, and had begun to observe matters,- public movements, etc, and along about that period I believe you testified that you began to hear Mormon matters discussed in your family with reference to the Mormons,- is that a fact or is it not a fact?
Well that is the fact, and that is what I tried to state in my statement, for the fact is I heard a great deal said about the Mormons and their position. I do not recollect my age, but I was quite young when I heard these matters discussed first. I remember things very distinctly that occurrred when I was five years old, but I don’t think,- I am surprised at my age, that is how young I was when I look back and remember that I heard some things, for I must have been very young at the time. I remember, for instance, the emigration to Oregon and California in 1846 when I was eight years old, and I remember when one of my brothers was born and named after James K. Polk, when I was only six years old.
38: You remember the Califronia gold excitement, do you not?
Well Yes sie, the California gold excitement was in 1848 and 1849 and I remember that. I remember events that occurred before that quite distinctly also.
39: Now are you able to state the condition of the public mind here in the period between 1840 and 1850 in such a way that your opinion would amount to anything to yourself, as to whether the public mind was in such a hostile condition that the Mormons could not have come in here as quiet citizens, and lived here?
No sir, I do not think they could. I want my statements here to be accurate and something that can go down in history as being a correct statement, for I am under oath, gentlemen, and I want to keep as near the line as I can. I remember that the public mind was considerably wrought up over these matters, for the United States Government was having a good deal of supposed or real trouble, for that was the period that they sent out a very large expedition to Utah under Albert Sidney Johnson.
40: Yes sir, but that is not in the period I speak of?
I understand, but that condition was in my mind, and the excitement over it was of a kind of intermittent character that came and went, so to speak; and it was supposed also that the condition that existed in Utah was supposed to exist here also at Independence at the time they were here and was the primary or direct cause of their expulsion from this locality. I know that was the opinion that was universally held in this community. I have heard one or two persons say,- and I recollect one man in particular,- yes I remember of another man who had the courage to say that these were an outraged people, and that they were a respectable, moral people that belonged to this church at the time they were here first. They said that they were a very pious, industrious people, but if you were to ask me the question if I thought it would be safe for them to have returned here at any time between their expulsion,
41: Now recollect the question is between ’40 and 1850?
No I must say that I do not think it would have been safe for them to have been here, or to have come back here between 1840 and fifty, or between 1850 and sixty either, I do not think it would have been safe for them to have returned during that period. Now that is my candid opinion.
42: Now is not this practice or peculiarity that you refer to the practice of polygamy?
Yes sir, that is what I heard they were practicing in Utah, and that is what they said was practiced here at the time they were here, and was the direct or indirect cause of their expulsion.
43: Your reference is to Mormon polygamysts is it not when you say they could not with safety have returned here during the period of which you spoke?
Yes sir, but all Mormons were suppose to be polygamists then if I recollect it right. I never heard of this thing of anti-polygamy until I came here after the war.
44: And is not that charge you speak of really the foundation of the hostility you speak of that was exhibited against them?
No sir, I don’t know that I could really say that.
45: Well now since you speak of the hostility I would be glad for you to give your information with reference to the cause of the hostility?
Why, my understanding is that it is the name, – that it was the name, and the hostility as you express it was exhibited against all who bore the name of “Mormon” as they were called, without any particular reference to minor details as to the cause. It seemed to be simply a deep seated and very general hostility founded on deep seated principles, and what the causes were in detail I could not state, neither could I say or repeat word that I heard-for my recollection is a recollection of general details and not a recollection of specific details. This was a very sparsely settled county at that time, and there was not very many people living here at the time in comparison with the number that there is now. There was no Kansas City at that time, and the Government had a fort down here on the Osage, and they sold the land around here in a quarter and twelve and a half cents an acre. We had no Kansas City at the time, and I can remember when I rode up from Lone Jack, where my father lived and not pass more than three or four houses on my road. Now I have stated very fully and completely what I know about this matter, and I remember very distinctly that there was an almost universal dislike for these people called Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, – thee was a very universal dislike against them, from every cause imaginable., – they were a very unpopular people. They were believed to be teaching a strange doctrine, a doctrine that was pernicious and had a tendency to uproot the other churches, and they were heretics and not a desirable people to have settled in any civilized community, – so much so that it was believed the people were justified in expelling them, – so much so that it was believe that the action of the Jackson County people was justifiable in driving them out.
46: Between fifty and sixty was the time that you remember more particularly?
Yes sir, I had grown up then, and of course I remember more particularly what occurred and what I heard between 1850 and 1860 than I do what occurred before that time. We had a college down in the southern part of this county at that time, and I attended it, and I saw and talked with a great many people, – a great many men who had participated in the Mormon wars, and we talked with them, and I had better opportunities for forming an opinion than now.
47: I believe you stated you were in California at one time?
48: When were you in California?
I was there from 1856 to nearly 1860. I was there when Johnson’s expedition went to Uwah.
49: Then you were not here between 1850 and 1860?
Yes sir, I was until 1856. Of course I was not here at the time, – all the time, fir I went to school at chapel Hill for a while, and then to the university of Missouri, but up to 1856 I was here most of the time, – I was in the state, and then I went to California.
50: You were only familiar with any sentiment that might be here around Independence and Kansas City, which was only a small place then, – you were familiar only by reason of your immediate surroundings, and family connections in another county?
What is that?
51: I saw your knowledge of the feeling that existed in this vicinity, – that is the vicinity of Independence, was gained only from your contact with the people during that period during occasional visits to this section, and from contact with your family and neighbors in another county?
51: Well sir, incidents and events were discussed when I was a little boy. I remember that and I remember that at that time the settlement was unfavorable, – indeed intensely hostile to the Mormons as they were called, and of course there was a decade when it died out, – that is, this intense feeling of hostility against them died out so to speak, or become modified in the great measure, – it passed away and became ancient history, and a man would no t pay any attention to it unless he had some reason to be specially interested in it. I remember more about these people for the reason that as my father was one of the largest dealers in live stock in this country, and they used to come through here purchasing live stock, and they bought a good deal from my father. After the California emigration movement had begun, and they were on wheir way west, they would come to my father’s and buy cows, cattle and horses, and take them on to Utah with them, and of course in that way I met a great many of their distinguished people, and I remember that they were a very intelligent people, for I remember talking with them at my father’s house.
52: Well, locate that time?
Well that was between fifty and fifty six. I remember this very well, for my father liked to deal with them. He liked to trade with them and I remember that they had plenty of money, and when they wanted anything they bought it and paid for it. I remember once that my father had about a hundred cows and calves, and my father bought a, – I should say they bought from my father a large majority of them, and they left the calves and a little boy tried to raise them, and so do as old Gabriel did. We tried to raise those calves, and would try to raise four or five calves to a single cow, – and I remember it also because sometimes when a cow would be away four or five days she would return to her calf. I remember of my mother and I talking this thing over and the other night.
53: Their road led along by your house and out along by Westport?
Well the main road through this country was down about Warrensburg, and down through the country about where Sedalia is now. That was the dirt road and was called the Shawnee road, – the direct road, or Mormon trail. Russell’s place, – they had a place down there they called that, down about Lone Jack they had a place, a kind of head-quarters. I hadn’t though of that until I began thinking about this matter the other night since this testimony was begun.
54: Well that is all right. I am calling your attention to these matters as we go along?
Well I remember it now.
55: Of course wanting live stock they would find your father?
Yes sir, they would find him. He was the largest stock dealer in this country at that time, and they knew it.
56: Would they purchase cattle in large numbers from him at a time?
Yes sir, five hundred or six hundred head at a time, and maybe more, and they would pay for them too, – for they had plenty of money.
57: They would get the cattle and take them west with them?
Yes sir, in buying cattle I think they would just pick up what they could along the road, for I don’t think they would go more than a mile or two from the road to get them, – they would just pick up what they could along the line of travel conveniently and as my father’s place was close to the road they called on him frequently, and they were people that he liked to deal with too. They just wanted cows more than they did beef cattle, for they seemed to be a pastoral people, and wanted cattle for the purpose of establishing farms in Utah.
58: When was that?
I remember that was between fifty and fifty-six. I remember this well and I remember also that after I had opportunities of getting to talk with them for four or five years that my opinion of them was different from what it had before been from the accounts that I had heard discussed relating to them, and I came to the conclusion that they were wronged and maligned people, and all they wanted was to be left in peace and quiet. I remember that there was a man that I heard a great deal of when I was a boy, and his character was described as not being of the best, and I found this man and afterwards became personally acquainted with him, and found out that he was quite a different man from the man that had been described to me. In fact I found out that these “polygamists” as they were called were a very fine, intelligent, bright people, – I found out that they were a bright and smart people of a few words, and a great deal of action. I remember also that in talking with them, – and in their conversations and dealings with my father they were very polite, – in fact all the men he dealt with were a very polite and intelligent people, and I remember hearing my father say there was a great deal of sin committed in this world on account of prejudice. I remember also when the news came of the Mountain Meadow massacre there was great excitement over it, and somebody had to be killed, and Buchanan’s Administration got into trouble and people were down on it because he did not send an expedition out there to Utah and kill them all. That was just the way it was, – we would have one wave of friendship, and then another would follow it and swallow that feeling in one of indignation. I ought to have stated in advance of this that I never heard any of these statements from Mormons as to what their intentions were in regard to this country, but I have heard other people state and indeed it seemed to be the general impression and belief that the Mormons intended to come back to this country, and take it. They had established their church and head-quarters temporarily in Utah it was said and from that point they sent out their missionaries and made their converts and recruits, and sent them to Utah and other places, and in time they were to return here and possess this country, it did not make any difference as to what it cost to take it, – they were to have it.
59: Were you, did you hear from where they were to come?
They were to come from all and every direction.
60: Were you acquainted with the places east from whence they were to come?
They were to come from all and every direction as I have stated, I do not know that I heard any special place, but they were to come from “all over”. That was the general belief that they had their headquarters in Utah, and were recruiting armies to come back and take this country again. I never have tried in my life to locate a Mormon, not even those here in town, that is with reference to where they came from. I supposed they came spontaneously from over the earth, and from different places. I have heard that gentleman (E.L. Kelley) say that he came from Iowa, and that was the first one I know anything about where he came from, yes, I have also heard Mr. Smith, one of their ministers say that he came from Iowa.
61: Then so far as you know anything about it they spring up from the earth?
Yes sir. Well, no sir, not that either, for I do not mean that in a literal sense. My understanding is that their missionaries are everywhere, and in a like manner they came from everywhere. Now that is what I meant, and that is the way I meant to be understood, for I do not want the gentlemen to think I fancied they sprang up spontaneously from the earth, without an adequate primary cause.
62: Is there anything more you desire to say about this matter?
Nothing further, only that when I was in Utah I talked with a great many men, and I never asked anybody where they came from, but some of them told me voluntarily, and they said they were from England and other foreign countries, and everywhere. I aw one from Spain, and a great many of them told me they were from the southern states, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. I believe I did ask them that question, for I wanted to know if there was any from the south, and whether I was of kin to them or not.
63: Now you say, if I understand you correctly, that the sentiment of the people, the ideal of the people in regard to the Mormons at the time you designate prior to the war, was not the ideal of the people whom you see here now about Independence, and what you have seen since the war about Independence?
I do not understand your question.
64: I say if you were locating a Mormon and describing him now, would you describe him according to the ideal you had of what a Mormon was prior to the way, or what you understand him to be now about Independence, did you conceptions take in the sort of men or people prior to the war, as these people are since the war?
Well before the way I did not know much about any people. My conceptions were of Missourians before I went to California, I never had any idea of people before I went to California, except Missourians and other Southern people. Yankees were not allowed to come into this country before the war, immediately before the war, by anyone who knew anything about it, nor these people either, hence all these people that were here and were northern people, and supposed to be abolitionists they didn’t come into this country. There was not many people from the north here prior to the war, and if by any chance there was any here they kept that matter a secret, and did not tell many people about it. They kept it a profound secret, for northern people at that time were not in much better favor than the Mormons were.
65: You do not undertake to say that any body was disturbed or would be disturbed here, simply because he was from the northern states?
Yes sir, I undertake to say that prior to the war the prejudice against the northern people was extreme. Of course I do not understand that this is going in as testimony. The first thing a northern man did on coming to this country was to buy himself some negroes to identity himself with the country and its people. You remember Nelson, the father of this man Nelson, he came from Illinois, and I remember hearing it said that he was an abolitionist in disguise, and he bought some negroes to combat or disprove this suspicion. I don’t think that any northern man could live peaceably in this community before that time without he identified himself with the people in their habits, and especially is this true on the slavery question. There was a man named Washburne in this town, a lawyer there from Indiana, his brother came here and stopped at my father’s house below Lone Jack, and these three men, Nelson and the Washburnes were the only three northern man in the country at that time. I remember Washburne had to leave here, but he left because he did not feel comfortable here.
66: Is it not a fact that there are a number of northern men here now who were here before the war?
I do not know of any, but there may be. I never remember of seeing a northern man here, that was called a northern man but Washburne. There may have been but I think if so they were careful to keep their identity as northern men concealed. I remember that his brother lived here, and he married into a very prominent southern family, and was supposed to be very sound upon the question before the war, but when the war came up he went to Kansas and joined the army, and the other also joined it in Indiana. I know that when a steamboat was passing up the river they were required to land and they were boarded, and guns were taken off them and Bibles, and Yankees, they were not allowed to go up the river at all.
67: You did not find any Mormons?
No sir, for they were all supposed to have gone west before that. My understanding was derived from what I read and heard from people who were present at the time and knew all about it, or professed to know all about it, is that they were driven off and some of them were killed, at any rate they left.