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David King Udall Prison Journal, Prescott, Arizona

3-27 Aug 1885

Understanding of some sections is enhanced by detail added in reconstructed version of 1932.  In such cases, I have excerpted that later version, putting it in italics.  Unclear words and guesses are identified by question marks.



1932 Reconstructed Journal Introduction

The following was written while I was in the Yavapai jail in Prescott and the Detroit House of Correction in Michigan, August to December 1885.  The Prescott journal was written in a small diary 3x15 inches.


Prison rules in Detroit were rigid.  All mail was censored both coming in and out.  It was contrary to prison rules to keep a journal, but I presumed to open up the envelopes of mail received and wrote some of the happenings and thoughts of those trying days on the inside of them.  These I brought out with my own letters.



Original Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona



Undated Pages

morning of Aug. 3rd.  It took all that day to empanel the jury.  Mr. Zabriskie and Mr. Sanford prosecuting, and John A. Rush, J. C. Herndon and Harris Baldwin for the defense.  James Porter, S. Flour (?), John Evans, John Nicolson, H. F. Banta were the witnesses for the prosecution.  Porter was very vindictive.  My witnesses were Samuel B. Tenney, James Ramsey, Frederick Frerer, Wm. Platt, Richard Gibbons, and my own testimony was introduced in my defense, be___ others who we__ character.  My case was very ably represented by my attorney.  It took the 3, 4, 5, and 6th to conclude the trial.  The jury went out about 4 PM on the 6th and remained out only one half hour, and then brought in a verdict of guilty to the utter surprise of everyone that we have heard speak.  The following are the names of the jury,



1932 Reconstructed Journal:

Prescott, Aug 1885

My trial for perjury began on the morning of 3 Aug.  It took all that day to empanel the jury.  The witnesses for the prosecution were James Porter, X. S. Staver, John Evans, John Nicholson, S. P. Scots (?), with Mr. Zabriskie as prosecuting attorney.  Mr. Porter was very vindictive.  My witnesses were Samuel B. Tenney, James Massey, Fredrick Frerer, William Platt, Richard Gibbons, and my own testimony was introduced in my defense.  My lawyers were John A. Rush, J. C. E. Herndon and Harris Baldwin.  My witnesses testified to my universal good character.  My case was very ably presented by my attorneys.  It took the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th to conclude the trial.  The jury went out about 4 PM on the 6th and remained out for only one half hour.  And then brought in the verdict of guilty, to the utter surprise of everyone when we heard speak of it.



On Aug 6 about 5 o’clock PM I was put in prison.  The room is about 40 x 30, mostly underground.  It has 10 iron cells in the middle of the room, the windows and doors have very heavy iron grating, stout doors and stone walls 3 feet thick.  When I went in there were four Chinamen for smoking opium, one Chinaman for selling whiskey to the Indians, one American for counterfeiting, an Irishman for assault on an officer, a Mexican boy for burglary, and a man for some minor offense, making in all 10 of us.


Instead of putting me in a cell, the jailer allowed me to sleep in the corridor.  God only knows the misery of soul I endured in coming in here.  My trial and Bro. Crosby’s have been almost more than I could endure.


The history of the proceedings prior to this date is kept in the defense journal.  A great many citizens of this town the verdict a put rage.  And I here record calling God to witness that I am not guilty of perjury.  I was honest in my intentions; I did not have it in my heart to defraud the government by being one of M. P. Romney’s witnesses in making final proof of his land.  If Alfred Ruiz, clerk of the court before whom I made my deposition had said that what I said was not continuous residence I would not have signed the paper.  Ruiz, Crosby, nor my testimony would not be admitted in court on the question of what transpired in the clerk’s office, therefore it looked very dark to me in going on with my trial.  Sentence will be passed next Monday at 10 AM.


About 5 o’clock on 6 Aug I was put in prison.  The room is 40 feet by 30 feet, mostly underground.  It had 10 iron cells in the middle of the room.  The windows and doors have heavy iron gratings and the walls are stout and about 3 feet thick.  When I went there was a Chinaman in jail for smoking opium, and a Chinaman for selling whiskey to Indians.  One American for counterfeiting, an Irishman for insulting an officer, and a Mexican boy for burglary, and another man for some minor offense.  Making in all 10 of us.  Instead of putting me in a cell, the jailer allowed me to sleep in the corridor.  God only knows the misery of soul I endured in coming in here.  My trial and Bro. Crosby’s have been almost more than I can endure.  The history of the proceedings have been kept in the Defense Journal.  A great many citizens of this town consider the verdict an outrage, and I here record calling God to witness that I am not guilty of perjury.  I was honest in my intentions and did not have it in my heart to defraud the government by being one of Miles P. Romney’s witnesses in making final proof on his land.  If Alfred Ruiz, clerk of the court under whom I made my deposition had said that what I said in my testimony was continuous residence I would not have signed the paper.  The testimony of Ruiz, Crosby, nor myself would not be admitted in court on question of what transpired in the clerk’s office.  Therefore it looked very dark to me in going on with my trial. The sentence will be passed next Monday at 10 AM.

Friday, 7 Aug 1885

I could not sleep all night for the thought of my condition and the way my character has been assailed, and I have not been permitted to defend it.  Then the condition of my family, scattered as they are, and without a home and the necessities of life.  It nearly worries the life out of me.  The Boys called and saw me several times today.  The lawyers are working hard to have a light sentence.


My fellow prisoners are four Chinamen, three of whom are in for smoking opium, one for selling whiskey to the Indians, one Mexican boy for burglary, one Irishman for assault on an officer, one white man for collecting money without authority, a Mr. Sterling for counterfeiting, and a Mr. Cook was put in today for an assault and drunkenness.  The day is terribly long, cannot be contended.



Saturday, 8 Aug 1885

Another hard day.  I cannot contain my self.  The prisoners all very civil to me.  I can eat the prison fare, it is such a scrappy dirty hash, I feel like I will starve.  Bro. Crosby is working hard for me, Hon. J. G. Campbell, Mr. Kelly for agent of the land office, Mr. E. Wells for District Attorney (in fact was attorney when the indictment was found), and others have been to see the judge to have him pass a light sentence and declare I am not guilty of perjury, which I solemnly assert.  Mr. Harris Baldwin, attorney of St. Johns is doing all he can for me, he is working hard.


The Boys called again today to see me, also my attorney.  About all my fellow prisoners can do and say is play cards, smoke, talk about women, etc.  Oh!  God deliver me from hell, and give me my liberty.  If I am to suffer imprisonment, let it be for my religion and not for the heinous crime that I am charged with, which will be a disgrace to me and my family through life.  Save my character and thy servant from disgrace, to thee I come, for aid for help in this my hour of great trouble and distress, thou alone can deliver me.



Sunday, 9 Aug 1885

I have suffered with the heat very badly.  Since being here it seems so close, and then the other prisoners smoke so much that it is almost unbearable.  My head aches all the time and I can sleep but little.


Attorney Baldwin called today.  He thinks I will be reprieved in a few months.  Brother Crosby talked with Judge Howard and District Attorney Zabriskie about my case and they were much pleased with it, it threw new light on the case.  District Attorney Zabriskie by my request called to see me in the jailer’s room.  I was pleased to meet him.  I told him of my innocence and the nature of my side of the case.  He told me he would sign a petition for my release, and would be satisfied with any sentence the judge may pass, and was pleased with my explanation of the case..


This has been the most unhappy Sunday I ever spent.  I think of the peaceable assemblies of the Saints, of their Sunday School, etc.  I labor hard to control my thoughts and feelings, but it takes a mighty effort, and then I can’t make much headway.  The room we are confined in is about 35 x 30 feet with 10 iron cells.  They are about 7 x 5 feet.  The prison is under the Yavapai County Court House, half underground.  I am feeling very weak today.



Monday, 10 Aug 1885

Agreeable to the order of the court I went in to court at 10 AM to have sentence passed on me.  I felt very much humiliated as there was a large company present.  Of all crimes, perjury is one of the most detestable ones to me, and then to be convicted and sentenced for it is terrible.  I have this consoling fact, however: I am not guilty.  This helped to nerve me up so that I did not break down while in court.  Judge Rush made a feeling speech on my behalf, declaring that a mistake had been made, that I was innocent.  Then by the permission of the court Mr. J. C. Herndon read a written statement of mine, in which I declare my innocence before God and man, also giving a short account of my life, my loves and the reasons why I signed and made the deposition in Bro. Romney’s land proof.  The explanation made me by Alfred Ruiz, Clerk of the land department etc. will be found in my written statement.  At the conclusion Judge Howard said I had a fair trial and was found guilty of the crime of perjury, and a man of my intelligence was more culpable then were others would be, and if a mistake had been made it could be remedied in another way.  The sentence he passed was 3 years imprisonment in the House of Correction, Detroit, Michigan.  He said he was going to fine me $500, but on hearing my statement he scratched that off.  Then I was remanded to the custody of the Marshall and taken to prison again.  At the same time I was sentenced, Charles Sterling, aged 35 years, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment at the same place for the crime of counterfeiting.  He has also been convicted of grand larceny.


Attorney Baldwin assured me that the judge, District Attorney, and many of the leading citizens of this place will sign a petition for my pardon, also Rush and Herndon encouraged me the same way.


The boys left for home shortly after sentencing; they have been true to me.  Times look dark ahead to me, the Lord is my strength and will deliver in his own appointed way.  I will try and nerve up and bear the trial.  I have been permitted to keep my valise and enough of my clothing for my comfort.  I cannot sleep well of nights, my bed is hard and uncomfortable.



Tuesday, 11 Aug 1885, Prescott, Arizona

Bro. J. Crosby and Mr. Baldwin left this morning for St. Johns.  I wrote a letter to father, giving him account of my trial etc.  I have had a headache ever since being here, or nearly all the time.  Last night I was locked up in an iron cell 7 x 5 feet and about 6 ½ feet high, the same as a murderer or the worst kind of a criminal.  The good spirit was with me, I did not seem to mind it much.  I had a good night’s rest, the best I have had, I think.


The day has passed by very tediously, my fellow prisoners are vulgar, profane, low men – no company for me.  The lawyers have not been in to see me today.  The daily papers here go for me heavy, rejoicing in my calamity and imprisonment.



Wednesday, 12 Aug 1885

Slept in the iron cell again last night.  Been reading and writing all day, wrote to Wm. H. Gibbons and E. N. Freeman (my councilors), my wife Ella, and John T. Luesuer and William Farr.  The day passed off a little quicker today.  I have some hopes of a presidential pardon.  Jailers are quite uncivil.


I feel much concerned about not hearing from home.  I fear some of my family are sick.



Thursday, 13 Aug 1885

Slept in the iron cell last night.  The body can be put in iron cells, but the soul never, by the help of God I have had sweet communing with my God, and I felt that holy angels are with me.  My thoughts are pleasant, my blessings and endowments are a great satisfaction and comfort to me.


I wrote a letter to my Ida today.  Poor girl has had a hard time during the last year.


The prisoners have all been in the jail yard this evening prior to being locked up in the evening.  We are locked in at 7 PM and let out of our cells (unlocked) at 6 AM.  The nights are more pleasant than the days.  The prisoners are very profane and vulgar.  I am studying geography and reading papers etc. to pass the time away.  My clothes are very dirty, been waiting all week to have some washed.



Friday, 14 Aug 1885

I wrote a letter to my bro. Joseph in regard to our business matters, been reading Shakespeare and newspapers, also studying geography.  Locked in the iron cell last night, spent an hour in the jail yard playing quoits.  No news from home yet.  I feel much concerned about my family’s health.  The victuals brought in for the prisoners are very filthy – flies, maggots etc. in it.



Saturday, 15 Aug 1885

Was out in the jail yard twice today, one hour each time.  My meals come in very late every day.  When a man is behind bars, he is the last one to be waited on.  Mr. M. Hickey the jailer talks of going with whores like he would of eating his breakfast.  The prisoners are very low in their talk yet.


Time passes away slowly.  I will be glad when I can have a change.



Sunday, 16 Aug 1885

Was in the yard this morning.


I had a barber come in the jail and cut my hair and shave my beard, all but my mustache – the first time I have shaved since June 1875, 10 years and more.  I would not shave now, but I feel like I had been shaved of about all I have got – that is my name and honor is cast into the world with disdain.  If I could feel that my brethren would look at me differently I would feel much better, although I have every reason to feel that they will be just with me.


I had a good cold water bath this morning, and changed clothes.  It makes me feel much more comfortable.  I began to feel like I might be getting lousy, but I could not find any when I stripped.  I have received no word from home yet.


May God bless the congregations of the Saints this day.  Their progress and prosperity is all to me.  If I had a companion I could feel much more at home.  As it is I feel lonesome.  Although I feel that the prayers of the Saints, my family and myself are being heard in my behalf.  I know I have received strength from the Lord, which I gratefully acknowledge, and hope I will continue to receive and appreciate.  If I could hear from my family and know their good health I would feel much better.


Was in the yard again this evening.  The judge spoke to me from the sheriff’s window, seemed quite courteous.  We were put in iron cells at 6 PM.  I wrote a letter to Alof Larsen of Snowflake.



Monday, 17 Aug 1885

Twelve hours in the cell last night.  The night was very long to me; did not sleep good.  Judge Rush called and saw me a few minutes this morning.  No news for me, said he would call tomorrow.  I feel quite poorly today.  The restaurant keeper brings my meals very irregularly, that puts my stomach out of order.  Out in the yard twice.  No word from my folks yet.  I wrote to my wife Ella today.



Tuesday, 18 Aug 1885

John Chinaman got his sentence at 9 AM – 3 months in Yuma.  Poor fellow felt bad the last few days.  I reread letters from my folks this morning.  They are very encouraging.  Locked in cell at 6 PM last night, unlocked 6 AM today.  Long long night, it is very monotonous.  I miss the Deseret News and our church works very much.


I wrote to President Oscar Mann   [1932 Reconstruction: Councilor to Pres. Jesse N. Smith, who was away in Mexico], requesting him if the spirit so dictated to release me from any and all official positions I now hold.  I do not desire to stand in the way of anyone doing the work for the Lord that I am now prevented from doing in consequence of my imprisonment.  The progress of the Lord’s people is everything to me, in it I take the greatest of joy.  My all is for the building up of the kingdom of God in the earth.



Wednesday, 19 Aug 1885

The photographer came to the jail this morning and took my photograph, by my request.  I desire to send them home to my family, that they may be some little comfort to them.  I feel quite poorly today.  I thought my heart would break last night, as upon many other occasions, over my present lonely and confined condition.  Surely the Lord will make good come out of this my present suffering, but how and when I cannot tell.  It seems to me if my imprisonment was for any of the principles of the gospel I could bear it so much easier.  Yet it is admitted that if I was not a bishop in the Mormon Church, this case never would have been tried, which I firmly believe.  In this I have some comfort.  The Lord knows and will deliver in his own due time.


Con (Lon?) Daley had his trial today and was acquitted, that makes one prisoner less here.  He was tried for an assault with intent to kill an officer.


Been studying geography.  The prisoners smoke and profane very bad, which makes it very disagreeable for me.  No word from home yet, I wonder what is the matter.



Thursday, 20 Aug 1885

Al Cook, prisoner here for assault with a deadly weapon, was bailed out today.  Judge Rush called on me today for a few minutes, will come in in the morning.  Been very uneasy today.  Paid the restaurant man $5.50 for my board for 11 days, and told him to bring no more, he has been so irregular that I have been half starved some days.  I will now try and take prison life and fare as it comes, but the victuals are hard to swallow.  It looks like it was the rubbish from a restaurant table.  Chinamen, Indian and all grab at once.


Photographer brought a sample copy of my photo.  It is done well.  Jailer is getting quite gruff and sharp with me.





Friday, 21 Aug 1885

I changed cells this morning to #1.  I have had #5 until now; it is dark in that I could not read of nights.  The one I have now has good light from the corridor lamp.  Judge Russ called and saw me at 10 AM, coming into the jail.  He said Joseph Crosby settled with them satisfactorily.  Just how I did not have time to learn.  He said every necessary step was being taken on my appeal, also that they were doing all they could to have a strong petition sent to the president for my pardon.  He also told me that Bro. Romney’s bonds were forfeited, which is $2000.  He also informed me that Bro. H. B. Clawson was in town from Salt Lake City.  Judge Rush seemed very uneasy, said he never was refused to come here to see a prisoner etc. I infer that there is a strict watch being kept of me.  I have no liberties whatever more than the worst criminal would have.


Bro. H. B. Clawson called and saw me at 2 PM, accompanied by Marshall Mead.  Marshall and jailer watched exceedingly closely, therefore our meeting was very reserved, but it made me rejoice to see the face of a brother and friend.  He did not say so, but I infer he was sent here by the brethren.  I feel thankful that I am not one of those who, when in trouble, are forgotten by their friends.  I know that I have thousands.  Bro. Clawson remained about one half hour, seems that they put him on time.  We met and conversed in the jailer’s room adjoining the jail under the Courthouse.  Our talk was general and in a very worldly manner, although assuring to me.  Charles Jones of Peach Spring A & P.Railroad was put in jail for selling whiskey to the Indians.



Saturday, 22 Aug 1885

My stomach is terribly out of sorts, makes me feel very poorly.  Received letter from my father this morning.  He shows a true father’s affection for me, says my family will be looked after and not allowed to suffer.  This is the first letter I have received since being in jail, my folks think I have gone to Detroit.


I sweep the west side of the jail floor every morning.  Wrote to my father, sent him my photograph.  Judge Rush called in this evening, to say goodbye, as he starts in the morning for Apache County.  He gives me all the encouragement he can; he says he will do all he can to have me released.  He says public influence is in my favor, but I am a Mormon.  I am thankful for it.  He says H. B. Clawson has seen the Governor.



Sunday, 23 Aug 1885

Sunday again, thank the Lord.  I have had a good bath and put on a clean shirt.  It makes me feel more comfortable.  I am thankful for this privilege.  I wrote a letter to Ella, and sent a copy of my written speech made in court prior to my sentence being passed.  I desire to keep this for future reference.  Also I sent three of my photographs.  I also sent a letter to the Superintendent of the House of Corrections, to keep mail there until I come.  This afternoon I wrote to Ida, who is in Richfield.  It is now over one year since she left home, to protect her (“her” crossed out) me from the hand of the persecutors.



Monday, 24 Aug 1885

Rested poorly last night.  I bloat badly nearly every night, something is not agreeable with me.  I received a note from father this AM – wrote a letter to Bro. A. M. Tenney, telling him of my trial and conviction.  I have been very restless all day, time seems to move on slowly.



Tuesday, 25 Aug 1885

I rested better last night.  Received an encouraging and sympathetic letter from my wife Ella, also it bore the sad news of my little Mary’s serious illness.  She has been at the point of death, but better now.  I could not refrain from shedding tears in reading the letter.  I thank the Lord for my family and their preservation.  Received letters from Bishop John Hunt and Alof Larson in Snowflake.  They express words of sympathy and encouragement for me.  Been reading newspapers, geography, etc. most of the day.  Bro. H. B. Clawson called to see me at 4 PM.  I am thankful to see him.  He gave me encouragement that I would be pardoned, as well as other encouraging words.  He gave me $10 in money and will buy me a shirt, toothbrush, and a few little trinkets.  He stayed about a half hour.



Wednesday, 26 Aug 1885

I received a good cheering letter from my stepmother Aunt Rebecca.


My attorney J. C. Herndon called on me this AM, he read me a letter addressed to myself, from District Attorney Zabriskie, to be sent to the President of the United States.  He has done fairly by me, which the copy of the letter will show.  Herndon told me that I have every reason to hope for a pardon within 3 months.  He will get letters from J. G. Campbell and E. Well to send along.


Helped the boys to carry three dozen chairs from the front of the Courthouse, upstairs into the jury room.  When I got through I trembled like a leaf.  This shows what confinement will do.  The day has seemed dreadfully long.



Thursday, 27 Aug 1885

Received letters from Ida under the name of Louis Pratt my sister.  She wrote from Richfield, Utah.  Poor girl has had a hard time.  Her letter is a comfort, and is encouraging.  Her cousin Celia Bean wrote me a sisterly encouraging letter which was endorsed with Ida’s.


I have felt weak and faint all day.  I wrote to Ella, desiring to comfort and cheer her.  This evening received a newsy encouraging letter from my 2nd Counselor, E. N. Freeman.


I am locked in my cell 12 hours out of every 24, from half past 6 PM to half past 6 AM.  I am getting to sleep much better of nights.












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