D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.98
Nevertheless, there is evidence that Smith and leaders like Brigham Young disapproved of Sampson Avard's instructions to Danites that plundering all non-Mormons should be standard procedure and to kill any Danite who faltered in that obligation. Danite Lorenzo D. Young later wrote of his opposition to those teachings and of his brother Brigham's warning to beware of Avard. Lorenzo's autobiography implied this meant he also rejected Danite affiliation. To the contrary, he later described taking orders from Seymour Brunson (a Danite officer) for Lorenzo and Albert P. Rockwood (another Danite) to "patrol the country every night" and to demand the "countersign" (which Shurtliff described as
Danite). [footnote: Little, "Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young," 52-53; compare with previous discussion and sources concerning the Danite sign and countersign.]
Avard also testified in court that "I once had a command as an officer, but Joseph Smith removed me from
it." [footnote: Sampson Avard testimony, in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 27; Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Atchison's Letters and the Causes of Mormon Expulsion from Missouri," Brigham Young University Studies 26 (Summer 1986): 26-27.
] Since that happened before Mormon forces surrendered and [p.99] before Avard turned state's evidence, there is good reason to believe that he promoted an extreme interpretation of Sidney Rigdon's sermons of June-July 1838, which were radical enough in themselves.
Nevertheless, Mormon marauding against non-Mormon Missourians in 1838 was mild by comparison with the brutality of the anti-Mormon militias. Three days after Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued a military order that the Mormons "must be exterminated, or driven from the State," a Missouri militia unit attacked the LDS settlement at Haun's Mill on 30 October 1838. They shot at and wounded thirteen fleeing women and children, then [p.100] methodically killed eighteen males, including two boys (ages nine and ten). When one of the Missouri militiamen found ten-year-old Sardius Smith's hiding place, he put "his rifle near the boy's head, and literally blowed off the upper part of it," testified survivor and general authority Joseph Young shortly thereafter. Other Missourians used a "corn-cutter" to mutilate the still-living Thomas McBride. When the survivors found the elderly man, his corpse was "literally mangled from head to foot." Aside from Young's status as a near-victim along with his wife and children, Haun's Mill struck at the heart of other general authorities: Sardius was a nephew of former Seventy's president Sylvester M. Smith whose brother also died in the massacre, and recently appointed apostle Willard Richards lost a nephew
D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.485
BCR:Battle of Crooked River participant. JDL claimed that all Mormon participants were Danites, which is supported by other sources for Danire affiliation. Participants can be identified by cross-referencing Joseph Holbrook autobiography, Special Collections and Manuscripts Department, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Elias Smith diary, 26 Oct. 1838, microfilm, in Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and in Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City; History of the Church, 3:169-71, 4:411, 7:219; Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances [p.486] With the Mormons, 108, 109-10, 127, 132, 133-34, 135, 144, 147; Hosea Stout autobiography, 1845, in Reed A. Stout, ed., "Autobiography of Hosea Stout, 1810-1844," Utah Historical Quarterly 30 (Fall 1962): 335-37; Deseret Evening News, 18 July 1870; Lycurgus A. Wilson, Life of David W. Patten: The First Apostolic Martyr (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1900), 64-68; B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church….6 vols. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1930), 1:531n27; James Amasa Little, "Biography of Lorenzo Dow Young," Utah Historical Quarterly 14 (Jan.-Oct. 1946): 54-60; Nancy Clement Williams, Meet Dr. Frederick G. Williams… (Independence, MO: Zion's Printing and Publishing Co., 1951), 121; Pauline Udall Smith and Alison Comish Thorne, Captain Jefferson Hunt of the Mormon Battalion (Salt Lake City: Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., Foundation, 1958), 31; George S. Tanner, John Tanner and His Family (Salt Lake City: John Tanner Family Association/Publishers Press, 1974), 91, 386, 393-96; Davis Bitton, The Redoubtable John Pack: Pioneer, Proselyter, Patriarch (Midvale: UT: Eden Hill, 1982), 25. Also Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), esp. 708 in which Charles C. Rich testified that Brigham Young "said I must flee north into the wilderness and take all that I could find of the Brethren that was in the Crooked river battle," and Rich's letter, 21 Dec. 1838, in John Henry Evans, Charles C. Rich: Pioneer Builder of the West (New York: Macmillan Co., 1936), 61, and Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1972), 246 reels, Micro-forms, Marriott Library, 1 Nov. 1838, 3.
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