Testimony of William P. Peniston and Adam Black

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Testimony of William P. Peniston and Adam Black  (1838) 
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Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, William P. Peniston, and makes oath that he has good reason to believe, and that he verily does believe, that there is now collected and embodied in the County of Daviess, a large body of armed men, whose movements and conduct are of a highly insurrectionary and unlawful character; that they consist of about five hundred men, and that they, or a part of them, to the number of one hundred and twenty, have committed violence against Adam Black, by surrounding his house, and taking him in a violent manner, and subjecting him to great indignities, by forcing him, under threats of immediate death, to sign a paper writing of a very disgraceful character, and by threatening to do the same to all the old settlers and citizens of Daviess county; and that they have, as a collected and armed body, threatened to put to instant death this affiant on sight; and that he verily believes they will accomplish that act without they are prevented; and also that they have threatened the same to Wm. Bowman and others; and this affiant states that he verily believes all the above facts to be true, and that the body of men now assembled do intend to commit great violence to many of the citizens of Daviess county, and that they have already done so to Adam Black; and this affiant verily believes, from information of others, that Joseph Smith, Jun., and Lyman Wight are the leaders of this body of armed men, and the names of others thus combined are not certainly known to this affiant; and he further states the fact to be that it is his opinion, and he verily believes, that it is the object of this body of armed men, to take vengeance for some injuries, or imaginary injuries, done to some of their friends, and to intimidate and drive from the county all the old citizens, and possess themselves of their lands, or to force such as do not leave, to come into their measures and submit to their dictation. William P. Peniston.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the undersigned judge, as aforesaid, this 10th day of August, 1838. Austin A. King.

State of Missouri . County of Daviess . S.S. Before me William Dryden, one of the Justices of the peace of said County, personally came Adam Black, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that on or about the 8th day of August, 1838, in the County of Daviess, there came an armed force of men, said to be 154, to the best of my information, and surrounded his house & family, & threatened him with instant death, if he did not sign a certain instrument of writing, binding his self, as a Justice of the peace for said County of Daviess , not to molest the people called Mormons, and threatened the lives of myself & other individuals, and did say they intended to make every citizen of said County sign such obligation, and further saith they intended to have satisfaction for abuse they received on monday previous, & they would not submit to the laws, & further saith that from the best information & his own personal knowledge that Andrew Ripley, George Smith, Ephraim Owens, Harvey Umstead, Hiram Nelson, A. Brown, John L. [Butler], Cornelius Lott, John Woods, H. Redfield, Riley [Stewart] James Whitacre, [Andw] [Thon], [Amos] Tubbs, Dr. [Gourge], Abram Nelson was guilty of aiding & abeting in committing in perpeturating in the above offence.

Sworn to & subscribed this 28 August 1838 Adam Black