for their sustenance, were bewailing their condition in the open prairie
without a morsel to comfort, or a blanket to cover them.
incredible it may appear to a civilized people, it is a fact, that there
were at one time, one hundred and ninety women and children, who crossed a
prairie of nine miles, aided by three men only; the rest having been
driven away by the violence of the mob. The saints being unarmed and the
mob armed, they fell an easy prey to them.
The women and
children, after crossing the prairie, travelled a num ber of miles, in all
probability from twelve to fifteen, and then stopped and waited until
their husbands and fathers found where they were, and got to them. They
there built houses to winter in; but before they had continued long, the
mob found where they were, and went and drove them away, and burned their
company consisting of about two hundred, nearly all of them women and
children, got to the
, late in the afternoon, and could not get across that night.
It commenced raining and freez ing most violently; in this deplorable
condition, some of them took shelter under some rocks, and the remainder
of them, both small and great, had to lie out in the open prairie, with
nothing but the heavens to cover them, while the storm beat upon them with
great fury. Among the number, was a Mrs. Higbee, wife
of John S. Higbee, from
, who was very sick with
a fever, and also had an infant at the breast. She was under the necessity
of spending this night of storm, exposed to all its violence, having
nothing but the earth to sleep on. After spending the night in this
distressed situa tion, early in the morning, another Mrs.
Higbee, the wife of
Higbee, was delivered of a babe, without any bed but the earth, or
covering but the heavens.
There were many
sick, who were thus inhumanly driven from their houses and had to endure
all this abuse and suffering and seek homes where they could be found. The
result was, that a number being deprived of the comforts of life, and the
necessary attendance, died; many children were left orphans; wives,
widows; and husbands widowers.
The mob, after
thus abusing the people, the hundreth part of which is not told here, took
possession of the farms of those whom they had thus driven from their
homes, and all their cattle, horses, sheep and hogs, which amounted to
many thousands; together with all their household stuff of every kind,
amounting to many thousand dollars worth; and have forbid, under pain of
death, any of them re turning to get any of their property; and if any of
them did attempt it and were discovered, they were whipped and otherwise
abused: one or two who did attempt it, were nearly killed—they
escaped with their lives, and no more!
in addition to the flocks and the herds which the mob took from the
saints, large fields of corn, to the amount of many hun dred acres; I might
say thousands, all ready to harvest; which they took as their own. There
were also many hundred acres of wheat, which had been sown, that they also
took possession of; for which they have made no compensation to this day.
After they had plun [p. 11]