Bishop Hunter states that during the 1850’s what was lacking in the Church?
b. Meeting attendance
(D) That the prisoners were fed human flesh
When interviewed by Andrew Jenson and Joseph S. Black in September 1888 during a visit to church history sites in Missouri, James H. Ford, the Clay County deputy sheriff in charge at the jail when the Mormon prisoners were there, said he had “on many occasions,” taken the men out one at a time for walks around the town, in order to give them an opportunity “to enjoy the fresh air and get better meals than the jail fare allowed.” He said he never looked upon Joseph Smith and his friends as “real criminals” but ascribed their incarceration mainly to “the excitement and bigotry of the times.” Ford added that he took the best care of the prisoners he could, and “it was a lie that they had been fed on human flesh.”
Andrew Jenson, Autobiography, 163-65; Diary of Joseph Smith Black, 18 September 1888, p. 40. Ms. BYU Archives