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

While two hundred houses to ashes were burned;—
Our flourishing fields to a desart were turned.
I remembered these crimes still unpunished remained,
And the like oft repeated—again, and again,
From counties adjoining, compelled to remove,
We purchased in Caldwell, Prairie and Grove.
And there ’mid the wild flowers, that bloomed o’er the plain,
Our rights and our freedom, we thought to maintain;
Nor dreamed that oppression would drive us from thence,
The laws of our country we claimed for defence.
But soon as kind autumn rewarded our toil,
And plenty around us began for to smile,
Our foes were assembled—being tempted with gain;
To ravage and plunder, and drive us again.
When many were driven, and plundered, and rob’d;
And some had been murdered by this dreadful mob,—
When cries for redress and protection were vain,
We arose in our strength, our own rights to maintain.
The mob soon dispersed, to the Rulers appealed,
Saying, lend us your aid, and the Mormons will yield,
For surely they never were known to resist
A mob when commissioned by Rulers and Priests.
This soon was considered by far the best plan;
And orders were issued for ten thousand men,
Including the Willson’s and Gillum’s of course,
And all the mob forces, for better, for worse.
These soon were forthcoming, in dreadful array!
Some painted like Indians, all armed for the fray!
The Mormons soon yielded without the first fire,
And the mob[b]ers accomplished their utmost desire.
Some females were ravished—and cattle and grain
Became a free booty—and one pris’ner slain.
Some twenty or thirty were murdered outright,
And ten thousand others were Banished the State!
By what law of the Statute to me is unknown;
But it must be by law all these great things were done;
For the next Legislature the expense to defray,
Voted two hundred thousand, the soldiers to pay.
To resist this oppression—These excellent laws,
Was murder! and treason!! (in technical clause,)
So while women and children were driven away,
Their husbands and fathers in prison must stay.
So now to the Jury and Judge I submit;
I’m not learned in such laws,—they may hang or acquit—
But though they should hang me, or keep me in jail,
The spirit of Freedom and Truth will prevail. [p. 84]
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.