Willard Richards, Apostle, 1840–1854
an eyewitness of the assassination of the Smith
brothers, wrote these words the same day: "A shower of
musket balls were thrown up the stairway against the
door of the prison in the second story, followed by
many rapid footsteps. . . .
"A ball was sent
through the door which hit Hyrum on the side of his
nose, when he fell backwards, extended at length, without
moving his feet. . . .
attempted, as the last resort, to leap the . . . window, . .
. when two balls pierced him from the door, and one entered
his right breast from without, and he feel outward,
exclaiming, 'Oh Lord, my God!' As his feet went out of
the window my head went in, the balls whistling all
around. He fell on his left side a dead man."
Jane Elizabeth Manning James, Early Member of the Church, 1813–1908
Jane James, a young black woman who had been employed at the Smith home, described that day this way: "I [knew] the Prophet Joseph. That lovely hand! He used to put it out to me. Never passed me without shaking hands with me wherever he was. Oh, he was the finest man I ever saw on earth. . . . When he was killed . . . I could have died, just laid down and died."