Joseph Smith Black (1836-1910) Nauvoo, Illinois


Nauvoo Recollections:

A short time before I was eight years old, I had a desire to be baptized. The president of the branch was consulted, and in June 1844 I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by George Q. Adams, who added the name of Smith to my name, after I was in the water, We soon moved to Nauvoo and shortly after that I moved to Warsaw to assist William Wallmark to move to Nauvoo. While I was walking in the streets of Warsaw. boys and old men hooted and yelled at me and some of them threatened to kill me because I was a Mormon.

We remained in Nauvoo until after the last battle, which was fought in front of our residence. During the fight I assisted in getting water to the brethren while they were fighting the mob. Saw Norris fall. cut in two by a cannon hall. Saw Captain Anderson lying in a brick house on the comer corner of the square where he had been shot and where he died. Captain Pickett came into the house, a scene I never forgot. While tears were rolling down his checks he said. “Oh, if I were God Almighty. I would avenge your blood. The city was soon afterward surrendered to the mob. We put what goods we could into our wagon. which had been in the Nauvoo Wagon Shop, and a brother drove us to the river and we were there when the mob took possession of the city. They seized all firearms that could be found and they made the night hideous with their yelling and oaths. Soon after. we ferried over the river on the Montrose side. when: many of the Saints were camped in a destitute and suffering condition. By the timely assistance of some kind hearted persons from Quincy. Illinois. much was done to alleviate their condition. We then moved back about four miles to the Bluffs where we lived in a tent all winter: Father came in the spring and brought us money wherewith we bought a team to take us to the Missouri River. We located twenty miles below Kanesville on Silver Creek where we remained until the spring of 1850. In the winter of 1848 – 1849 there was very deep snow on the prairie which prevented all travel in the then sparsely settled country. For many weeks we had to live on buckwheat ground in a coffee mill.