In the original document, the questions and answers appear together in paragraphs. The testimony is presented here split into questions and answers so it that it is easier to follow. All spelling, grammar, and spelling inconsistencies are in the original text. The document is said to contian the verbatim record of the witnesses’ testimony in the 1845 trial of those accused in the murder of Joseph Smith.
Monday Morning May 26th, 1845
Mr. John Willson of Carthage sworn.
Mr. Lamburn: Mr. Wilson where was you on the day Smith was killed?
I was in Town till after dinner and was sent out on the prariary [sic, prairie].
On the road to Nauvoo.
What was you object in going on the nauvoo road?
To look to out for the Mormons. Cap. Barns called upon me. After dinner was over. I went up to Armon Willsons Store, and lay upon the counter for one hour, I set out of the store into the street and Morrison called upon me by my name and told me to get upon his horse and go in his place, I asked him where to, said he Cap. Barns will tell you; I said to him, I don’t care where I went nor what I done; I went and got on his horse, and we started Docter John W. Morrison and Docter Thomas L. Barnes went with us.
You called him Cap. what company is he cap. of?
He is Cap. of the ranging company.
Where is Cap. Barns now?
There he is (pointing to A man in the Court)
How far did you go out on the prariary [sic, prairie]?
What did you see when you went out 4 miles?
We did not see any persons.
In what direction was you from the Nauvoo road?
We was North of the nauvoo road.
Did you see any thing of A company that came here to kill Jo Smith?
We did not.
Did any of the company with you leave you to go to another place?
No I went with them all the way and came back with them.
How long was you gone?
We was gone from three to four hours.
Did you get back before the Smiths was killed?
Did you see any of the men that killed the Smiths?
I saw men coming from Warsaw when I was upon the mound.
Tell us about seeing these men from Warsaw?
I saw men on the direct rout from Warsaw to this place. (Carthage)
How meny where there?
I cannot tell I was three or four miles from them.
Was there 50 or 100 men?
I cannot tell.
Was there any thing said among any of you upon the subject of going out there?
They said it was to see if there was any suspecious carracters round, as A rumer was in existence that the Mormons was driving away stock.
Did you see them pass up towards this place?
It was in the direction of this place when I saw them.
Was there any on horseback?
I saw some on horse back, and probably one carriag.
Did Barns and Morrison know any thing about what that ment?
They thought it was A company to exterminate the Mormons.
Did you want the Mormons exterminated?
I did Sir for they are Hell hounds.
Was there any said in your company about the Death of the Smiths?
Where did you stand?
Not far from the Nauvoo road.
You was standing as sentinals to watch the Town I supose?
You did not know what you was doing at all; how fare from Town was you?
Did the Mormons come up to the edge of the town to drive off stock?
I don’t know.
You three went out to see if the Mormons where off cattle to Nauvoo?
I understood that was the object of Barnses company.
Did you know any thing of A conspiracy exsisting to kill these Mormons?
Have you heard any body say any thing about it since?
No and if any man had told me any thing I would not have heard it.
On the morning the Smiths was killed you was in town till dinner?
What was going on in town in the morning?
I did not see any thing more than usual.
And you staid on the mound 3 or 4 miles from here till the killing of the Smiths took place?
I did not know that was in the wind.
What time did you start back?
Imeadiatly after we saw those men.
Did you meet any one on the road?
Yes we met A man going towards Nauvoo.
Did you stop him?
What took place then?
Docter Morrison and Barns road close up to him.
Did you hear them convers about any thing?
I was a little piece ahead and did not hear there [illegible] conversation very little of it till he commenced trieing to get Docter Morrison to go with him to Nauvoo because he was frightened to go alone I then spoke to him and said he was A young man and the I had no disposition to supose anything would happened him as the Govenor was there.
Have you seen that man since?
I have not seen him either before or after the killing of Jo Smith.
Did you ever hear Olridg say any thing about A conspiracy to kill Smith?
I never had A word with him in my life.
Did you ever have any talk with Williams?
I did not.
I did not.
I did not.
Might you not have had conversation with some of these individuals, and you might have forgot it?
Did you see that company returning when they went back?
I think I saw some men before I got home.
I don’t know.
Was there as meny as 20?
I think there was.
And you thought it was no new thing at all?
I paid not atention to it. I did not know but they was coming to pay us A visit.
And in A short time you saw them go back and it was nothing to arouse your attention?
It was not any thing new for 50 men to come and take dinner here?
No for I had been at Scot County and I made a speach at every hollow and I had been and I expect to go again.
What do you expect to go again for?
It is none of your biusness
I should like to know if there is going to be any more mobs here?
I am determined to stick with the people and not be united with robers.
Did it astonish you when you heard that old Jo Smith was killed?
I was astonished at the time but it did not last long.
Did you see any of these men after the Smiths where killed the same evening?
I don’t know that I did.
Was there thing said the day before about killing the smiths?
I did not hear any thing to my knowledge I heard it said among the croud that they would kill them.
And they where headed and orgonized by these men did you not know that fact?
I did not know it.
You think the credit of killing the Smiths belongs to Warsaw and not to the other Countys?
I did not say so.
Well these men where [sic, were] not of any county from the other counties?
No for they are not much better than the Mormons themselves no good neither to king nor country.
Did you know any of the gaurd that was round the jail?
Had they there guns loaded with blank cathrages [sic, cartridges]?
I don’t know.
You are shure the only object you had in going out these was what you say it was?
That is all I know about it.
I suppose you will do any thing these person will tell you?
I should just as well as go one place as another, and I am willing to go blend.