Parley P. Pratt, History of the Late Persecution, 1839

The following Narrative professes to be a plain,  unvarnished statement of facts, penned by one who  was a personal sufferer in the scenes which it unfolds  to the world. It makes few pretentions to literary  merit, being written in a cold, dark, and dreary pri son, and amid the chat, noise and confusion of several  prisoners; and in the midst of the howling, laughing,  contention, song-singing, gambling and blasphemy of  a gang of demons in human shape, who were placed  as guards over us. It was written by one who was  held in bondage, to be tried for his life, in a state  where all law and justice were at an end; the highest  authorities of the state having banished his wife and  three little infant children from their homes, robbed  of their all, to wander in a land of stangers, together  with all his friends and witnesses. It was written by  one who was daily in danger of being assassinated  while prisoner, and who, to all human appearance,  had no prospect of ever living to publish his work.  And even the writings themselves were providentially  and very narrowly preserved from destruction, and  sent out of prison by stratagem, when eagerly sought  for by those who dreaded to have truth come to light.  The fact is, a goose-quill in our fingers was more ter ror to the guilty authorities of Missouri, than the sling stone of the stripling son of Jesse, or the jaw bone in [p. [iii]]
Parley P. Pratt, History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons, in Which Ten Thousand American Citizens were Robbed, Plundered, and Driven from the State, and Many Others Imprisoned, Martyred, &c. for Their Religion, and All This By Military Force, By Order of the Executive; i–vi, 7–84 pp.; Detroit, MI: Dawson & Bates, 1839. The copy used for this transcription is held at CHL.