I was the third son of Boswell Lyman and Martha Mason. The names of my grandparents, on my father’s side, were Elias Lyman and Ruth Griswold. My mother’s parents were Perez Mason and Martha Barney.
I was born on a small homestead belonging to my mother’s parents, so my infancy knew not the blessing of a paternal home.
In something less than two years subsequent to my birth, my father left on a journey with one of my mother’s brothers, for the purpose of mending their fortunes in the west; my uncle’s name was . He died at Utica in the state of New York, leaving my father to pursue his doubtful way alone.
Years flew by and our hearth was still sad, nor was our domestic circle again cheered by the presence of the husband and father; some six years thus passed, in which time my eldest brother, Mason Boswell, was indentured to a farmer in the town of Lebanon, county of Gratton [Grafton?], state of New Hampshire. My elder brother, Elijah, died in infancy, thus myself, my younger brother, Elias, and my sister, Ruth Elias, remained with my mother, who resided with her father, until her second marriage, which was with a Mr. Isaiah Emerson, subsequent to my father’s death, which, from the best information we have, transpired near New Orleans, some six years after he left us.
My mother left me with my grandfather, with whom I remained until I was eleven years of age, at which time my grandfather retired from his farm to reside with his eldest son, Perley Mason, with whom, according to the wishes of my mother, I remained, without being indentured, for seven years.
During the year 1831, I became somewhat thoughtful on the subject of religion, and found peace with God and my soul in striving to break off my sins by righteousness, and my iniquities by turning unto the Lord, (this was, however, in my ignorance much like the blind groping for the wall at noon).
I remained in this condition (not united with any of the churches of the times) until the spring of 1832, when our place was visited by Elders Lyman E. Johnson and Orson Pratt, from whom I first heard the gospel. I was baptized on the 27th of April 1832, by Elder Lyman E. Johnson, and was confirmed on the day following by Elder Orson Pratt.
On account of the ill feelings that arose in my uncle’s family because of my baptism, I resolved to go to the west, and accordingly, on the 7th of May (having bid adieu to my uncle’s family), I started on a journey of some 700 miles.
My earthly wealth was composed of some sixteen pounds of half worn clothing, and eleven dollars and thirty-seven cents in cash. These were some of the circumstances under which I left the land of my birth, a stranger to everything to be encountered on my journey.
The weariness consequent upon the first day’s walking I had ever performed, admonished me that I had better ride, which I did, by stage and canal, until I reached Lyons in Wayne County, New York. Here finding my funds minus, I walked to Palmyra where I sought for employment, which I found with Mr. Thomas Lacky, who bought Martin Harris’ farm when he sold it to raise the money to print the Book of Mormon.
I here labored one half month, for which I received four dollars and a half, with which I continued my journey as far as Buffalo, where I shipped on board the steamer Henry Clay, had a quick but rough passage to Cleveland, from this point I travelled on foot forty-five miles, to the residence of Brother John Johnson, in the town of Hiram, Portage County, state of Ohio, where I arrived on the 5th of June. Father Johnson was the father of Brother Lyman E. Johnson who had baptized me; he received me kindly and ministered to my wants, in which he was heartily joined by mother and daughters.
It was at this place that Brother Joseph Smith resided when he was brutally mobbed, tarred and feathered on the night of the 25th of March previous.
He was now absent on a visit to Missouri, from which he returned in July following.
After resting and refreshing myself for one week, I engaged to labor for Father Johnson at ten dollars per month; under this engagement I labored until the 1st of July, about which time the Prophet returned to Father Johnson’s to reside, this afforded me an opportunity to see the Man of God.
Of the impressions produced I will here say, although there was nothing strange or different from other men in his personal appearance, yet, when he grasped my hand in that cordial way (known to those who have met him in the honest simplicity of truth), I felt as one of old in the presence of the Lord, my strength seemed to be gone, so that it required an effort on my part to stand on my feet; but in all this there was no fear, but the serenity and peace of heaven pervaded my soul, and the still small voice of the spirit whispered its living testimony in the depths of my soul, where it has ever remained, that he was the Man of God.
I continued laboring for Father Johnson until sometime in the month of August, when one Sabbath evening after a social prayer meeting with the few members in our place, the Prophet, in his own familiar way, said to me, “Brother Amasa, the Lord requires your labors in the vineyard.” I without thought replied, I will go, and on the 23rd of August 1832, myself and Brother Zerubabel Snow were ordained to the office of elders in the Church, under the hands of Joseph Smith and Frederick Williams; and on the following day started on our first mission to proclaim the gospel of salvation. I had heard five sermons preached, three by Brother Orson Pratt, one by Brother Joseph Smith, one by Brother Rathbone; but strong in the Lord and in the conviction of our own honesty we started.
About the time of our starting there was an application came to President Joseph Smith to visit an old gentleman who was afflicted with a severe pain in his head. From a press of business, Brother Joseph could not go, but instructed Brother Snow and myself to call upon the old man, which we did, and as we came near his house, before we entered, we heard his groans extorted from him by pain, which seemed intolerable.
We entered and introduced ourselves, being strangers; we prayed for and laid our hands upon him, in the name of Jesus, and rebuked his pain which was instantly removed, and the sufferer rejoiced and praised God, who had so signally blessed himself and us as his ministers: the old gentleman’s name was Harrington.
From Brother Harrington’s we continued our journey, and as the close of the week drew near we found ourselves in the township of Chipeway, where we found a few members of the Church; we stopped with Brother Baldwin Welton, a Brother Bosinger lived near. Here we made our first appointment for meeting on the Sabbath, the day came and the hour, but the people did not, a dull prospect this for converting the world. The day passed, but we concluded that we would have a prayer meeting at night, the hour came and Brother Welton’s family and some of Brother Bosinger’s family who did not belong to the Church came in, and, with a Miss Smith, were seated, the latter reclining on a bed in the corner of the room; we sang and prayed, and Brother Snow proceeded to make some remarks, but in an instant a chilling sensation pervaded my entire body, and a cry of alarm from the bed attracted the attention of all. On stepping to the bedside we discovered that Miss Smith’s face and her entire form were distorted in the most shocking manner, her eyes were glaring wildly, but apparently sightless, her respiration was very difficult and her limbs were rigid as iron; the common restoratives were used without effect, we laid our hands upon her and rebuked the devil when she was instantly relieved, but in another moment she was bound as before, we kneeled down by her bed and prayed, when she was again released, and asked for baptism, stating that she had been acting against her convictions of right in some conversations we had held with her during the day; we repaired to the water, and there under the mantle of night introduced the first souls into the Church as the fruits of our labors.
Thus the Lord in the days of our weakness strengthened and comforted us, with the assurance that His power could sustain us while we trusted in Him.
We blessed our friends and proceeded on our way, as our destination was the southern part of the state of Ohio, where Elders Seymour Brunson and Luke Johnson had been laboring, and had built up a small branch of the Church.
We at length reached our field of labor sometime in September, having preached by the way.
We continued here and in Cabell County, Virginia, until the following spring, during which time there were some forty souls added to the Church.
We then started for Kirtland, where we arrived early in the spring, here we met with the Prophet and many of the elders, with whom we had a good and instructive time. Here I parted with Brother Snow, he being appointed a mission to the eastern states, and had for his partner Horace Cowen.
I was appointed on a mission to the east, and had for my partner William F. Cahoon, with whom I started from Kirtland, on my second mission, about the 21st of March 1833. I continued my labors for about eight months, during which time I travelled as far east as Chautauque and Cattaraugus counties, New York, during this time I held one hundred and fifty-two meetings, and saw one hundred souls added to the Church. About the first of December (Brother Cahoon having previously returned to Kirtland) I made my arrangements to return to Ohio, and while on the way I met with Brothers Lyman E. Johnson, Orson Pratt and John Murdock, in the Girard Branch of the Church in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Here we held a conference on the 11th of December 1833, at which time I was ordained to the high priesthood, under the hands of Lyman E. Johnson and Orson Pratt.
From this place I accompanied Brothers Pratt, Murdock and others to Livingston County, New York, where we labored for a length of time in settling difficulties in a branch of the Church in the town of Geneseo, under the presidency of Elder Landon, who with some twenty-five others were cut off from the Church (perhaps in some instances rather prematurely).
The above labor, with considerable other preaching in the country, occupied the time until near spring, when I parted with the elders, with whom I so pleasantly spent a portion of the winter, and in company with Brother Alva L. Tippetts started for the land of my nativity.
We journeyed eastward, preaching by the way as opportunity offered, until we reached Lake George in Warren County, New York. On the shore of this lake I found a small branch of the Church, connected with which was Elder John Tanner. To effect the adjustment of some differences existing between some members of this branch, I went to New Hampshire to secure the cooperation of some high priests.
While making this journey, the call to go to Zion reached eastern New York, through Lyman E. Johnson; responding to this call changed my plan of operation, and after filling my engagements in this region, I went directly to Kirtland, taking in charge as a contribution some money and teams and the two sons of John Tanner, John J. and Nathan.
I here received on my own account between nine and ten dollars in money, to provide myself for the journey, the above money I received from Sister Polly Beswick, it was all she had.
We journeyed westward as far as Kirtland, where we arrived about the first of May, but did not join the camp until the day previous to their leaving New Portage, which was on the 7th of May, 1835, at this point we identified ourselves with the camp by enrollment, and paying over our money to the credit of Father Tanner.
From this place I travelled with the camp, participating in all the vicissitudes it encountered, and sharing in its toils and labors, as well as the varied and rich instruction that we received from time to time from the Prophet.
Thus we pursued our anomalous and strange journey, the vicissitudes of which afforded us ample opportunity to evince our faith by the offering of our lives for the truth, thus proving by the patient endurance of our toils and our untiring perseverance in the accomplishment of our purposes, that the interests of the Kingdom, when they should be committed to our keeping, would be faithfully cared for, thus laying the foundation for the effectual redemption of Zion, in the development of a faithful and energetic ministry.
On the 17th of June, on Grand River, I met for the first time with Bishop Edward Partridge, I travelled and conversed with him the most of the day.
June the 19th, we arrived in the vicinity of Fishing River, and encamped near a Baptist meeting- house; during the night we were visited by a severe storm of rain and high wind, accompanied by thunder and lightning, which prostrated the most of our tents. Some of the fugitives from the fury of the storm, found shelter in the church (the most salvation it probably ever ministered).
The morning found me minus my tent, and a depression in the ground, in which my bed had been inadvertently made, was full of water, in which myself and bed were submerged.
June 20th. On moving from our camp this morning, four miles, to Brother John Cooper’s, we found the country around us was visited during the night previous with a terrific storm of hail, which in its destructive course demolished fields of grain and made liberal pruning of the forest over which it passed. And what more directly affected our safety, it held in check, so they could not move, a large mob force that were assembled to question our presence in, or dispute our passage through the country.
We remained near Brother Cooper’s until the 24th, during our stay here we were visited by some gentlemen from Clay and Ray counties, among them were General Atchison, Colonel Sconce, and a Mr. Cameron.
With them the Prophet had an interchange of feeling and sentiment of a conciliatory character, which the Lord blest to our good, thus adding another to the evidences already given, that it was no part of his purpose to expose his servants to the chances of destruction at the hands of their enemies. It was here the Lord signified to the Prophet, to our joy and comfort, that our offering was accepted. While here Brother Ezra Thayre was attacked with the cholera, from which he recovered.
June 24th. Moved camp twenty miles, and camped at Brother Burket’s, two and a half miles from Liberty, the county seat of Clay. Here on the morning of the 25th, several of the brethren were attacked by the cholera; among the first was Elder John Carter, who had a protracted struggle with the fell destroyer. The following night there were some half dozen of the brethren stricken down, and all lying on the floor in a small apartment. This was a scene that can be more easily imagined than described, to see men stricken down in a moment, and in a short hour the ruddy glow of health displaced by the pallor of death.
To see the human form divine, that at the dawn of morning was stately and erect, in all the perfections of manly beauty, to see its perfections and beauty of form melt away in the death struggle of a few short hours. And to think, the sufferers, who are they? the question reaches to and stirs the fountain of feeling within us, for they are no strangers that are writhing at our feet, these are the forms of the loved, the faithful and the brave; with them we had labored–with them we had rejoiced together in the truth; they were endeared to us by the tenderest ties that bind heart to heart, and soul to soul. These are the sufferers for whom there seems to be no rest but in the grave.
I passed the night with the sufferers, in the morning, the company with which I was connected was disbanded. Ere I left, I gave a parting look, breathed a hasty prayer, and tore myself away from the scene of death.
June 26. From this place I went to the residence of Brother King Follet. From this until the organization of the high council, I passed my time with the brethren who had been expelled from Jackson County, by whom I was kindly entertained.
I then engaged to work for Brother Jabez Durfee, who was building a mill for Esquire Arthur. While thus engaged, I was called upon to assist in numbering the people of the Church in Clay County. This led me to form an acquaintance with the Saints generally who had been driven from Jackson County.
In this labor I was engaged until the 11th of August, when I was attacked by the ague and fever, with which I was confined to the house and bed until the 2nd of November. I was, during my sickness, at the house of Brother Elias Higbee, whose wife was most kind and unremitting in her attentions to my comfort, as were the Saints generally.
After a partial recovery from my sickness, I received a discharge from the camp under the hand of Lyman Wight. I then procured through the aid of the brethren a half worn coat that belonged to Brother Sidney Gilbert, and on the 23rd of December 1834, I started from Clay County in company with Brother Heman Tilton Hyde. We travelled and preached by the way, sharing the fate common to those who called upon the wicked to turn from their sins.
We continued eastward as far as Ohio, where we arrived in Kirtland on the 26th of May, 1835. On our way we held sixty-seven meetings and three conferences, and in company with Brother Elisha H. Groves we built up a branch of the Church in Madison County, Illinois, and baptized others in St. Clair County.
During my present stay in Kirtland, of about three weeks, I was ordained a member of the 1st Quorum of Seventies under the hands of Joseph [Smith], Oliver [Cowdery] and Sidney [Rigdon]. The records of my ordination and blessing made by Silvester Smith are lost.
During the short respite from preaching I married Miss Louisa Maria Tanner, the daughter of Elder John Tanner, our marriage was solemnized, by Elder Seymour Brunson, on Wednesday of the week; and the following Monday I was again in the field.
My present course was eastward, mostly in the state of New York, where my labors were rewarded by liberal additions to the Church. My present mission occupied six months of time and extended over 2,000 miles of travel, and the preaching of nearly 200 sermons.
From the time of my return to Kirtland in December 1835, I resided with my father-in-law and attended school through the winter. And in the spring of 1836, I participated in the endowments then given, and in consequence of my ordination to the high priesthood, previous to my ordination as a seventy, I was at this time connected with the quorum of high priests.
The spring of 1836 found me again on my way to the East, in company with Elder Nathan Tanner; we passed through the field of my previous year’s labors in Allegheny County, New York, where we were blest in adding several to the Church. While here we witnessed the signal manifestation of the power of God in the healing of the sick.
From this place we continued our travels eastward until we arrived in the town of Bolton, the former residence of Brother Tanner, here we preached through the country, in which we secured the attention of the people, but not their obedience to the truth.
While here we met with Father John Tanner, who had been on a mission to the state of Vermont. While here I married Elder Nathan Tanner and Miss Rachel Smith. Brother Nathan remained with his father-in-law, while myself and Father Tanner returned to Kirtland; where I remained the most of the time engaged in work to support my family and in preaching in the country around, once going east as far as Erie County, Pennsylvania.
In this way my time was mostly occupied until the autumn of 1837, when myself and Brother Nathan Tanner engaged Mr. Jared Randel to remove us to Missouri, where we joined the Saints in the new county of Caldwell. In consequence of my limited means I went to Fort Leavenworth, where I labored during the winter. In the spring I returned and engaged in a job of work on the courthouse, in the county of Chaton.
On my return home I engaged in labor for George Walters, from which I was relieved by sickness, which was induced by too severe labor in hot weather. From this indisposition I had mostly recovered, when the difficulties, that eventuated in our expulsion from the state, commenced with an affray at an election in Daviess County, in the month of August. On the first alarm I took the field, which I did not leave, until I left the state, the following spring.
The trouble thickened around us until, on my return from a week’s excursion to the north of Far West (in company with Brother Justus Morse, with whom my family resided), I learned, that the brethren at DeWitt were surrounded by mobs in such a way as to preclude any approach to them by the usual ways, in consequence of which we were left in ignorance of their prospects of danger or safety.
On this account the brethren in Far West committed to me the task of finding a way to the brethren that were in the midst of the enemy. To accompany me I selected Brother James Dunn, I then dressed myself in some old soldier pants, and an old and somewhat tattered coat made of a buffalo robe, and overtopped all with a red worsted cap closely fitting my head. One pocket of my coat was furnished with a pint flask for the spirits we might use, or the effect its possession might have on those with whom we would be likely to come in contact.
Thus attired in our grotesque and uncouth garb, we started across the country to the Missouri River, at a point somewhere above the ferry crossing the Lexington, we reached the river, and when the mantle of night was over us we commenced our search for a canoe, in which to pass down the river; in this, however, we did not succeed, and when the signs of the coming day were discoverable in the east, we found shelter under the edge of a stack of hay by the way, and catched [caught] an hour’s sleep, and then were up and away; and travelling down the river we found a Brother Benjamin Jones, who gave us some breakfast, after which we passed over the ferry, replenished our bottle and passed on through the town, passing several parties who were engaged in discussing the common topic of the day–the Mormons and their enemies.
From this place we passed down the river some twelve miles, where, near the close of the day, we secured a canoe, in which we passed down the river, until the darkness of night rendered our navigation rather unsafe, we landed, kept ourselves warm with a fire, which we supplied during the night. In the morning we resumed our way and landed at DeWitt about noon; but the Saints had all gone, save a few who had been prevented by the loss of stock. Of these were Zenos H. Gurly and Brother Simons.
We took dinner with some of the mob residents of the place, and were told by them that being strangers we might be suspected of being Mormons, and consequently unsafe in the place. Acting upon the suggestion we left the town, on the road leading to Carleton, and found lodging with Mr. Thomas, in the morning we were early on the way, got breakfast with a citizen who lived near the point where the trail made by the brethren when they left DeWitt diverged from the old road to the right. This trail we were travelling as fast as we could walk, when on turning abruptly around the point of a low ridge, we found ourselves in close proximity to two men on horseback, with arms. They were questioning a Brother Clark, as we subsequently learned, who was a stranger in the country, and was on the hunt for stock, a short distance ahead were some twenty men who were armed and mounted, the two dismissed Brother Clark and rode to the company, and returned to us with an addition to their number of some half a dozen, and made prisoners of us, asking who we were. We found in the company some men we had seen before in Daviess.
They had, in a wagon, a six pounder, which they were transporting to the north, at a cost of ten dollars per day. On this cannon, in the wagon, they allowed us to ride, at night we helped take the cannon from the wagon and secrete it in the hazel thicket, to prevent a surprise from the “Mormons,” and then they placed a guard of four men with us, and in this way they kept us four days.
On the morning of the fifth, they told us we could go, but not to our friends, who were within seven miles of where we were. They forced us back on the road we came. We travelled some forty miles, in a light snow, and waded through Grand River. About nine o’clock at night we reached Brother York’s on Shoal Creek. They fed and refreshed us, and in the morning we started for Far West, where we arrived the next day.
I went directly to Daviess County, where I found the cannon, on which Brother Dunn and myself had rode [ridden] during our captivity, the brethren having captured it soon after our release. While here, we heard that the mob were gathering on the southern borders of our county. On the receipt of the news I repaired to Far West, where I borrowed a horse of some brother whose name I have forgotten.
A company of spies were raised, composed of ten men, and I was appointed to take charge of them. We repaired to Crooked River, and quartered with Brother Pinkham.
From this point I went, taking with me Brother John Scott, to reconnoitre the country, leaving the residue of the company to keep a watch in the vicinity of their quarters.
We extended our search as far as the mouth of Crooked River, where we found Father Cutler and family, we gave to him and the brethren in that region the best instruction we could in the then existing emergency.
After spending a few days here, the night preceding the battle on Crooked River, I slept at Father Cutler’s, about the dawning of day, I awoke Brother Scott and told him that the brethren had had a battle, for I had seen it. We arose and saddled our horses and rode ten miles, and stopped with Brother Ewing to get some breakfast. While here, the news of the battle was brought by two of the mob residents, who came to advise Brother Ewing to give up his arms, but the presence there of myself and Brother Scott rendered the difference in our number rather against them. Our breakfast over, we secured the services of a guide, and we travelled directly across the country to Far West.
When the light of day was gone, we were furnished with light from the burning prairie.
We arrived in Far West early on the morning of the 29th of October. I called at Brother Rigdon’s where I saw Brother O’Banion who was dying of his wound, received at Crooked River. Some hours later, in the morning of the same day, the corpse of Brother David W. Patten was brought into town.
On this morning a company of men, under the command of Colonel Hinkle, of which I was one, started out into the country, hearing that there was a large force in the vicinity of Crooked River. When some five or six miles on the way, we learned that there was an army making their way to Far West. On the receipt of this intelligence we commenced our retreat, in a circuitous route, to Far West, passing the rear of the enemy while they passed in, on the south of the city, within one mile of which they encamped, while we entered it from the east near night, and joined our brethren, already formed in line of defence on the south of the city.
While the mob were making their way towards the city, they made a prisoner of Father John Tanner, whom they brutally treated, by striking him on the head with a rifle. From the bleeding of his wounds he was besmeared from head to foot. He was kept one night, and then turned out to carry to his friends the corpse of the murdered Carey.
On the night of the 30th of October, we were engaged in preparing for defence, in, and about the city, by throwing up a barricade made of cabin logs, fence rails, wagons, which were around the city.
October 31st. Today an invitation was sent for Brothers Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt, and George W. Robinson, to hold a conference with the officers of the army, which, however, eventuated in their betrayal into the hands of their enemies, who celebrated their success, by a succession of demoniac yells, that might have led one to conclude that hell with all its legions had joined in the triumph. Thus passed the night.
When we supposed that we might have been attacked by our enemies, we were ordered out by Colonel Hinkle to lay down our arms by way of surrender to our foes. This ungrateful requirement complied with, we were marched into the city and kept under guard for a time, when our guard was extended to the limits of the city, and we were released from our closer confinement. After our partial release, I made a call on Bishop Partridge, and passing from his residence, in the north, to the southern part of the town, in passing the store of Colonel Hinkle, I was pointed out to a party of the mob, who followed me a short distance, and arrested me, stating they had orders from General Lucas to bring me to camp.
On my arrival in the camp I found myself associated with the prisoners, so treacherously taken the day previous, and also Brother Hyrum Smith, and Alexander McRae. The night was rather an unpleasant one, from the inclemency of the weather, from which we had no protection. During the night was held the far famed court-martial, by which we were all sentenced to be shot in the morning. From the execution of this merciless sentence we were saved by the opposition, to the same, of General Doniphan, and long may he live to enjoy the reward of the soul ennobling qualities that exalted him incomparably above the priest-ridden, bloody rabble around him.
On the morning of November 2nd, we were ordered to take our seats in a wagon, driven by Brother Stephen Markham, who had been pressed into their service. As we seated ourselves, William Beauman rushed up to the wagon, with his rifle cocked, swearing that Lyman Wight, who sat by my side, should not leave the ground alive. He was instantly disarmed by the Captain of the guard, whose name was Jackson, a guard placed, some twenty-five feet from us, with orders to shoot the first who should show a disposition to crowd on us.
From the camp we moved, under a strong guard, into the city of Far West, where the most of the prisoners were allowed to go and say their adieus to their heart stricken and sorrowing families. While we halted here, the father and mother of Brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith came to the wagon, in which we were seated, to see their sons, as they thought for the last time, but the wagon was closely covered, and they were brutally refused the privilege of looking upon their children.
At length we left the scene of our sorrowing friends, and started on our way to Independence. When about two miles from the city, we passed the place where my family resided, I was allowed some five minutes to see my wife and get a change of clothing. I left my weeping wife and prattling babe, to encounter my fate, in the land of my enemies. We camped one night before crossing the Missouri River.
November 3rd. We crossed the river. We arrived in Independence in the midst of a heavy rain. We were taken through all the principal streets of the town, and exhibited as the trophies of the victories of mob violence over innocence and truth. From the time of our arrival here, the rigors of our confinement were considerably relaxed.
We were at length taken to Richmond, by the orders of General Clark, where we were closely confined, being all bound together in one chain, and under a strong guard. In this way I remained, undergoing with my fellow prisoners an ex parte examination, until the 24th of November, when I was discharged; and about 9 o’clock on Saturday I started for Far West. About 10 o’clock at night I met my wife at Brother Morse’s.
On Sunday, in company with my wife, I went to town, and several times in the course of the day, I met with several parties of the mob, whom I learned, about sundown, were searching for me, to take me back to prison. On the receipt of this information, I took measures to keep out of their way.
On Sabbath, after my release, I met with Colonel Hinkle, who discovered to me his heartiless [heartless] treachery, by proposing that we should join and go to the south, and build up a church for ourselves, as the Prophet was in trouble, from which he would not escape.
About this time I was elected justice of the peace; and about the time of the committal of the brethren to prison, I was taken sick with a swelling on my left arm. My sickness soon reduced me to a state of utter helplessness, when I was carried to the house of Brother Solomon Daniels, where by the kindness of my friends, and the blessing of the Lord, I slowly recovered. During my illness, I was closely watched by Captain Bogard and his emissaries.
Before I had recovered, Brother Daniels and family removed to Illinois, and took with them my family, leaving me to aid the brethren in the matter of conveying their land, which the most of them were forced to do by the oppression of the mob.
I boarded with Brother Theodore Turley’s family, Sister Turley was most kind and unremitting in her attention to my comfort, under her treatment I regained my health. I remained until March, 1839, when I went to Quincy, Illinois, where I found my family still with Brother Daniels’ family, with whom they continued a few months.
During the spring I went (in company with Brothers Charles C. Rich, Seymour Brunson, and John Killyon) to Missouri to see Brother P. [Parley] P. Pratt, who was being carried on change of venue from Richmond, in Ray County, to Columbia in Boone County. We were frustrated in our intentions to assist Brother Pratt and others, by the misrepresentation of matters between us and them, by Watson Barlow, who came from Quincy to see the prisoners, and was known as a Mormon, while we were travelling incognito.
On the strength of Barlow’s representation I went to Quincy, and returned again to Columbia, but was again defeated as before, and returned leaving our friends to their fate. Brother Pratt told me after, that they were ready to have acted upon our first proposition for their rescue. Our plan was the same as that on which they came out on the fourth of July subsequently.
The above with a dangerous trip to the western part of Missouri, to attend to some unsettled business, occupied the most of the summer. In the fall I went, with my family, to spend the winter with my old friend Justus Morse, in McDonough County. I remained there until spring.
Early in the spring of 1840, I went to Iowa, on the half breed tract, in Lee County, where I built a cabin, to which I moved my family. A portion of this summer I spent on the Mississippi, boating wood to St. Louis. From this work I returned in the fall sick. Travelled from Quincy to Nauvoo, on the steamer of that name. Captain George Miller and my wife met me at Keokuk.
In the spring of 1841, I moved my family to Nauvoo, and occupied a part of a house belonging to Brother Osmyn M. Duel, and worked with Brother Theodore Turley in his shop at repairing guns, and other work. I had not been thus engaged, but a short time, when Brother Charles Shumway, from northern Illinois, called on Brother Joseph for elders to go home with him to preach in that country. The Prophet sent him to me, with directions that I should go.
The steamer on which we were to go up the river, was in sight when I received the word in the shop. I went to my home, one mile, and said adieu to my family, and was at the landing as the boat rounded to. We went on board of the boat, which I left at Galena. I preached in this region, and in Wisconsin, until October, when I returned to Nauvoo, where I arrived on the last day of the conference, in the afternoon.
During the conference I was appointed a mission to the city of New York, this was countermanded by the Prophet; and during the winter I went, in company with Peter Haws, on a mission to secure means to build the temple and Nauvoo House, we went as far east as Indiana.
In the spring of 1842, I went on a mission to the state of Tennessee, H. K. Whitney and Adam Lightner accompanied me, and also Williams Camp, from whom we had the promise of some help on the public buildings, in this we were disappointed. I was joined in the mission by Elder Lyman Wight, one of the Twelve Apostles.
After our failure to accomplish what we expected to with Brother Camp, we returned to Nauvoo. While on this mission I held one public discussion with Thomas Smith, a Methodist presiding elder, and baptized some of his church.
Subsequent to my return to Nauvoo, I was ordained to the apostleship on the 20th of August, 1842, and on the 10th of September I started on a mission to the south of Illinois, in company with George A. Smith. Some portion of our time, on this mission, we were in the company of Presidents Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. From this mission we returned on the 4th of October.
The following winter I was engaged by the Prophet to move my family to Shockequon, in Henderson County, where he had bought some property, I repaired to the place where I superintended the surveying of the town site and commenced building.
I remained here until the following summer, of 1843, when the Prophet was kidnapped, when I participated in the efforts that resulted in his rescue.
On my return from which, I was taken ill, and became helpless, in which condition I was taken to Nauvoo, where, when I had partially recovered from my sickness, I was sent on a mission to the state of Indiana, taking with me my family. I went to the small inland town of Alquina, Fayette County, where my family resided, while I travelled through the country around preaching as opportunity offered. In this manner I passed the time until the spring of 1844, when I repaired to Nauvoo, to attend the conference in April, at which it was determined that I should go to the city of Boston, and in this I should be joined by Elder G. J. Adams at Cincinnati, in the June following.
A few days subsequent to the conference, I had an interview with the Prophet, in which he taught me some principles, not yet published, on celestial marriage, and on the day of my parting with him, he said as he warmly grasped my hand for the last time, Brother Amasa, go and practice on the principles I have taught you, and God bless you.
This parting occurred a few days subsequent to the conference, in the month of April.
I returned to Alquina, and prosecuted my labor of preaching in the country, until the first of June, when I repaired to Cincinnati where I remained until July, when I received the news of the murder of the Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Subsequent to the receipt of the above news, a few days, Brother Adams arrived, and confirmed what we had heard of the murder, and also was the bearer of a call to myself, to return immediately to Nauvoo, in response to this call I repaired to Nauvoo, where I arrived on the 31st of July. Brother Samuel H. Smith, died the day previous.
On the 6th of August following, Brothers Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Lyman Wight, of the Twelve, arrived.