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Vol. V. No. 10.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. MAY, 15 1844 [Whole No. 94.
GEN. SMITH'S VIEWS ON THE GOVERNMENT AND POLICY OF THE U. S.
Born in a land of Liberty, and breathing an air uncorrupted with the sirocco of barbarous climes, I ever feel a double anxiety for the happiness of all men, both in time and in eternity. My cogitations like Daniel's, have for a long time troubled me, when I viewed the condition of men throughout the world, and more especially in this boasted realm, where the Declaration of Independence "holds these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," but at the same time, some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours: and hundreds of our own kindred for an infraction, or supposed infraction of some overwise statute, have to be incarcerated in dungeon glooms, or suffer the more moral penitentiary gravitation of mercy in a nut-shell, while the duelist, the debauchee, and the defaulter for millions, and other criminals, take the uppermost rooms at feasts, or, like the bird of passage find a more congenial clime by flight.
The wisdom, which ought to characterize the freest, wisest, and most noble nation of the nineteenth century, should, like the sun in his meridian splendor, warm every object beneath its rays: and the main efforts of her officers, who are nothing more or less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all: black or white, bond or free; for the best of books says, "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth."
Our common country presents to all men the same advantages; the same facilities; the same prospects; the same honors; and the same rewards: and without hypocrisy, the constitution when it says, "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure tranquility [tranquillity], provide for the common defence [defense], promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America," meant just what it said, without reference to color or condition: ad infinitam [infinitum]. The aspirations and expectations of a virtuous people, environed with so wise, so liberal, so deep, so broad, and so high a character of equal rights, as appears in said constitution, ought to be treated by those to whom the administration of the laws are intrusted [entrusted], with as much sanctity, as the prayers of the saints are treated in heaven, that love, confidence and union, like the sun, moon and stars should ever bear witness,
(For ever singing as they shine,)
"The hand that made us is divine!"
Unity is power, and when I reflect on the importance of it to the stability of all governments, I am astounded at the silly moves of persons and parties, to foment discord in order to ride into power on the current of popular excitement; nor am I less surprised at the stretches of power, or restrictions of right, which too often appear as acts of legislators, to pave the way to some favorite political schemes, as destitute of intrinsic merit, as a wolf's heart is of the milk of human kindness: a Frenchman would say "prosque tout aimer richesses et pouvior," (almost all men like wealth and power.)
I must dwell on this subject longer than others, for nearly one hundred years ago that golden patriot, Benjamin Franklin drew up a plan of union for the then colonies of Great Britain that now are such an independent nation, which among many wise provisions for obedient children under their father's more rugged hand,-thus: "they have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imports, or taxes, as to them shall appear most equal and just,-(considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies,) and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people; rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary burthens [burdens]." Great Britain surely lacked the laudable humanity and fostering clemency to grant such a just plan of union-but the sentiment remains like the land that honored its birth as a pattern for wise men to study the convenience of the people more than the comfort of the cabinet.
And one of the most noble fathers of our freedom and country's glory: great in war, great in peace, great in the estimation of the world, and great in the hearts of his countrymen, the illustrious Washington, said in his first inaugural address to congress: "I hold the surest pledges that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views or party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interest, so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of
free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world." Verily, here shines the virtue and the wisdom of a statesman in such lucid rays that had every succeeding Congress followed the rich instruction, in all their deliberations and enactments, for the benefits and convenience of the whole community and the communities of which it is composed, no sound of a rebellion in South Carolina; no rupture in Rhode Island; no mob in Missouri, expelling her citizens by executive authority; corruption in the ballot boxes; a border warfare between Ohio and Michigan: hard times and distress: outbreak upon outbreak in the principle cities: murder, robbery, and defalcations, scarcity of money, and a thousand other difficulties, would have torn asunder the bonds of the union; destroyed the confidence of man; and left the great body of the people to mourn over misfortunes in poverty, brought on by corrupt legislation in an hour of proud vanity, for self aggrandizement. The great Washington, soon after the foregoing faithful admonition for the common welfare of his nation, further advised Congress that "among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defence [defense] will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving the peace." As the Italian would say: Bouno aviso, (good advice.)
The elder Adams in his inaugural address, gives national pride such a grand turn of justification, that every honest citizen must look back upon the infancy of the United States with an approving smile and rejoice, that patriotism in the rulers, virtue in the people, and prosperity in the union, once crowned the expectations of hope; unveiled the sophistry of the hypocrite and silenced the folly of foes: Mr. Adams said "If a national pride is ever justifiable, or excusable, it is when it springs not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information and benevolence." There is no doubt such was actually the case with our young realm at the close of the last century; peace, prosperity and union, filled the country with religious toleration, temporal enjoyment and virtuous enterprize; [enterprise] and gradually, too, when the deadly winter of the "Stamp Act," the "Tea Act," and other close communion acts of royalty had choked the growth of freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and liberty of conscience, did light, liberty and loyalty flourish like the cedars of God.
The respected and venerable Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address made more than forty years ago, shows what a beautiful prospect an innocent, virtuous nation presents to the sage's eye, where there is space for enterprize [enterprise]: hands for industry, heads for heroes, and hearts for moral greatness. He said, "A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye; when I contemplate these transcendant [transcendent] objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking." Such a prospect was truly soul stirring to a good man, but "since the fathers have fallen asleep," wicked and designing, men have unrobed the government of its glory, and the people, if not in dust and ashes, or in sackcloth, have to lament in poverty, her departed greatness: while demagogues build fires in the north and the south, east and west, to keep up their spirits till it is better times: but year after year has left the people to hope till the very name of Congress or State legislature, is as horrible to the sensitive friend of his country, as the house of "Blue Beard" is to children; or "Crockett's" Hell of London, to meek men. When the people are secure and their rights properly respected, then the four main pillars of prosperity, viz: agriculture, manufactures, navigation, and commerce, need the fostering care of government: and in so goodly a country as ours, where the soil, the climate, the rivers, the lakes, and the sea coast; the productions, the timber, the minerals; and the inhabitants are so diversified, that a pleasing variety accommodates all tastes, trades and calculations, it certainly is the highest point of subversion to protect the whole northern and southern, eastern and western, centre [center] and circumference of the realm, by a judicious tariff. It is an old saying and a true one, "if you wish to be respected, respect yourselves."
I will adopt in part the language of Mr. Madison's inaugural address, "To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries, and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender their own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the constitution, which is the cement of the union, as in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect
the rights and authorities reserved to the states and to the people, as equally incorporated with, and essential to the success, of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights of conscience, or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy, the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press," as far as intention aids in the fulfilment [fulfillment] of duty, are consummations too big with benefits not to captivate the energies of all honest men to achieve them, when they can be brought to pass by reciprocation, friendly alliances, wise legislation, and honorable treaties.
The government has once flourished under the guidance of trusty servants; and the Hon. Mr. Monroe in his day, while speaking of the Constitution; says, "Our commerce has been wisely regulated with foreign nations, and between the states; new states have been admitted into our union; our territory has been enlarged by fair and honorable treaty, and with great advantages to the original states; the states respectively protected by the national government, under a mild paternal system against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise patrition [partition?] of power, a just proportion of the sovereignty, have improved their police, extended their settlements, and attained a strength and maturity which are the best proofs of wholesome law well administered. And if we look to the condition of individuals, what a proud spectacle does it exhibit? who has been deprived of any right and property? who restrained from offering his vows in the mode he prefers, to the divine author of his being? It is well known that all these blessings have been enjoyed to the fullest extent: and I add, with peculiar satisfaction, that there has been no example of a capital punishment being inflicted on any one for the crime of high treason." What a delightful picture of power, policy and prosperity! Truly the wise proverb is just: "Sedaukauh teromain goy, veh-ka-sade le-u-meem khahmaut." Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
But this is not all. The same honorable statesman, after having had about forty years experience in the government, under the full tide of successful experiment, gives the following commendatory assurance of the efficiency of the magna charta to answer its great end and aim: To protect the people in their rights. "Such then, is the happy government under which we live; a government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed; a government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may, by his merit, obtain the highest trust recognized by the constitution; which contains within it no cause for discord; none to put at variance one portion of the community with another; a government which protects every citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, and is able to protect the nation against injustice from foreign powers."
Again the younger Adams in the silver age of our country's advancement to fame, in his inaugural address, (1825) thus candidly declares the majesty of the youthful republic, in its increasing greatness; "The year of jubilee since the first formation of our union has just elapsed-that of the declaration of Independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this constitution. Since that period a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve. A territory, bounded by the Mississippi, has been extended from sea to sea. New states have been admitted to the union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation. Treaties of peace, amity and commerce, have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, the inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and blessings. The forest has fallen by the axe [ax] of our woodsmen; the soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers: our commerce has whitened every ocean. The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have walked hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditure of other nations in a single year."
In continuation of such sentiments, General Jackson, upon his ascension to the great chair of the chief magistracy: said, "As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable ægis."
General Jackson's administration may be denominated the acme of American glory, liberty and prosperity, for the national debt, which in 1815, on account of the late war, was $125,000 000, and lessened gradually, was paid up in his golden day; and preparations were made to distribute the surplus revenue among the several states: and that august patriot, to use his
own words in his farewell address, retired leaving "a great people prosperous and happy, in the full enjoyment of liberty and peace, honored and respected by every nation of the world."
At the age, then, of sixty years, our blooming republic began to decline under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren! Disappointed ambition; thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage; perquisites, fame tangling alliances; priest-craft and spiritual wickedness in high places, struck hands, and revelled [reveled] in midnight splendor. Trouble, vexation, perplexity and contention, mingled with hope, fear and murmuring, rumbled, through the union and agitated the whole nation as would an earthquake at the centre [center] of the earth the world, heaving the sea beyond its bounds, and shaking the everlasting hills: So, in hopes of better times, while jealousy, hypocritical pretentions [pretensions], and pompous ambition, were luxuriating on the ill-gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty like a tornado, and swept through the land, till General Harrison appeared, as a star among the storm clouds, for better weather.
The calm came; and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address, while descanting upon the merits of the constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself. "There were in it, features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative democracy or republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the government would terminate in virtual monarchy. It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men's opinions, for some years past, has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given, of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency if it really exists, and restore the government to its pristine health and vigor." This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning country, and I am willing the nation should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth or not: with acting president Tyler's three years of perplexity and pseudo whig democrat reign, to heal the breaches, or show the wounds, secundum artum, (according to art.) Subsequent events, all things considered, Van Buren's downfall, Harrison's exit, and Tyler's self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to shew [show], as a Chaldean might exclaim: Beram etai elauh beshmayauh gauhah rauzeen: (certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets;)
No honest man can doubt for a moment, but the glory of American liberty, is on the wane; and that calamity and confusion will sooner of later destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling pseudo priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings, and "human rights," into congress and into every other place, where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity.-Democracy, Whiggery, and Cliquery, will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statutes of men, to save life, and mend the breach in prison glooms.
A still higher grade, of what the "nobility of the nations" call "great men," will dally with all rights in order to smuggle a fortune at "one fell swoop;" mortgage Texas, possess Oregon, and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping: and should a humble honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyers fingers with finger rings, to have the judgment of his peers, and the honor of his lords, as a pattern of honesty, virtue and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation's escutcheon: "every man has his price!"
Now, oh! people! turn unto the Lord and live; and reform this nation. Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at least one half. Two Senators from a state and two members to a million of population, will do more business than the army that now occupy the halls of the National Legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem; (except Sundays,) that is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Curtail the offices of government in pay, number and power, for the Philistine lords have shorn our nation of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.
Petition your state legislature to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries: blessing them as they go, and saying to them in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more. Advise your legislators when they make laws for larceny, burglary or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon the roads, public works, or any place where the culprit be taught more wisdom and more virtue; and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of man, as reason and friendship. Murder only
can claim confinement or death. let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism: Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates with all his ferocity; "Amor vincit amnia." Love conquers all.
Petition also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress. Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire them to labor like other human beings; for "an hour of virtuous liberty on earth, is worth a whole eternity of bondage!" Abolish the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court martial for desertion; if a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with this instruction, that his country will never trust him again, he has forfeited his honor. Make HONOR the standard with all men: be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases: and the whole nation, like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up with righteousness: and be respected as wise and worthy on earth: and as just and holy for heaven; by Jehovah the author of perfection. More economy in the national and state governments; would make less taxes among the people: more equality through the cities, towns & country, would make less distinction among the people; and more honesty and familiarity in societies, would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of community; and open, frank, candid, decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union and love; and the neighbor from any state, or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim: the very name of "American," is fraught with friendship! Oh! then create confidence! restore freedom!-break down slavery! banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law: the law was made for transgressors: wherefore a Dutchman might exclaim: Ein ehrlicher name ist besser als Reichthum, (a good name is better than riches.)
For the accommodation of the people in every state and territory, let Congress shew [show] their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each state and territory, where the stock shall be held by the nation for the mother bank: and by the states and territories, for the branches: and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people with wages at the rate of two dollars per day for services: which several banks shall never issue any more bills than the amount of capital stock in her vaults and the interest. The nett [net] gain of the mother bank shall be applied to the national revenue, and that of the branches to the states and territories' revenues. And the bills shall be par throughout the nation, which will mercifully cure that fatal disorder known in cities, as brokerage; and leave the people's money in their own pockets.
Give every man his constitutional freedom, and the president full power to send an army to suppress mobs; and the states authority to repeal and impugn that relic of folly, which makes it necessary for the governor of a state to make the demand of the president for troops, in cases of invasion or rebellion. The governor himself may be a mobber and, instead of being punished, as he should be for murder and treason, he may destroy the very lives, rights, and property he should protect. Like the good Samaritan, send every lawyer as soon as he repents and obeys the ordinances of heaven, to preach the gospel to the destitute, without purse or scrip, pouring in the oil and the wine: a learned priesthood is certainly more honorable than a "hireling clergy".
As to the contiguous territories to the United States, wisdom would direct no tangling alliance: Oregon belongs to the government honorably and when we have the red man's consent, let the union spread from the east to the west sea; and if Texas petitions Congress to be adopted among the sons of liberty, give her the right hand of fellowship; and refuse not the same friendly grip to Canada and Mexico; and when the right arm of freemen is stretched out in the character of a navy, for the protection of rights, commerce and honor, let the iron eyes of power, watch from Maine to Mexico, and from California to Columbia; thus may union be strengthened, and foreign speculation prevented from opposing broadside to broadside.
Seventy years have done much for this goodly land; they have burst the chains of oppression and monarchy; and multiplied its inhabitants from two to twenty millions: with a proportionate share of knowledge: keen enough to circumnavigate the globe; draw the lightning from the clouds: and cope with all the crowned heads of the world.
Then why? Oh! why! will a once flourishing people not arise, phœnix like, over the cinders of Martin Van Buren's power; and over the sinking fragments and smoking ruins of other catamount politicians; and over the windfalls of Benton, Calhoon, Clay, Wright, and a caravan of other equally unfortunate law doctors,
and cheerfully to spread a plaster and bind up the burnt, bleeding wounds of a sore but blessed country? The southern people are hospitable and noble: they will help to rid so free a country of every vestige of slavery, when ever they are assured of an equivalent for their property. The country will be full of money and confidence, when a national bank of twenty millions, and a state bank in every state, with a million or more, gives a tone to monetary matters, and make a circulating medium as valuable in the purses of a whole community, as in the coffers of a speculating banker or broker.
The people may have faults but they never should be trifled with. I think Mr. Pitts quotation in the British Parliament of Mr. Prior's couplet for the husband and wife, to apply to the course which the king and ministry of England should pursue to the then colonies, of the now United States, might be a genuine rule of action for some of the breath made men in high places, to use towards the posterity of that noble daring people:
"Be to her faults a little blind;
Be to her virtues very kind."
We have had democratic presidents; whig presidents, a pseudo democratic whig president; and now it is time to have a president of the United States; and let the people of the whole union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate, that is not practiced as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field, with a beast's heart among the cattle.
Mr. Van Buren said in his inaugural address, that he went "into the presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt, on the part of Congress, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, against the wishes of the slave holding states; and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the states where it exists." Poor little Matty made his rhapsodical sweep with the fact before his eyes, that the state of New-York, his native state, had abolished slavery, without a struggle or a groan. Great God, how independent! From henceforth slavery is tolerated where it exists: constitution or no constitution; people or no people; right or wrong; vox Matti; vox Diaboli: "the voice of Matty"-the voice of the devil;" and peradventure, his great "Sub-Treasury" scheme was a piece of the same mind: but the man and his measures have such a striking resemblance to the anecdote of the Welchman and his cart-tongue, that, when the constitution was so long that it allowed slavery at the capitol of a free people, it could not be cut off; but when it was short that it needed a sub-treasury, to save the funds of the nation, it could be spliced! Oh, granny what a long tail our puss has got! As a Greek might say, hysteron proteron: the cart before the horse: but his mighty whisk through the great national fire, for the presidential chesnuts [chestnuts], burnt the locks of his glory with the blaze of his folly!
In the United States the people are the government; and their united voice is the only sovereign that should rule; the only power that should be obeyed; and the only gentlemen that should be honored; at home and abroad; on the land and on the sea: wherefore, were I the president of the United States, by the voice of a virtuous people, I would honor the old paths of the venerated fathers of freedom: I would walk in the tracks of the illustrious patriots, who carried the ark of the government upon their shoulders with an eye single to the glory of the people and when that people petitioned to abolish slavery in the slave states, I would use all honorable means to have their prayers granted: and give liberty to the captive; by giving the southern gentleman a reasonable equivalent for his property, that the whole nation might be free indeed! When the people petitioned for a national bank, I would use my best endeavors to have their prayers answered, and establish one on national principles to save taxes, and make them the controllers of its ways and means; and when the people petitioned to possess the territory of Oregon or any other contiguous territory; I would lend the influence of a chief magistrate to grant so reasonable a request, that they might extend the mighty efforts and enterprise of a free people from the east to the west sea; and make the wilderness to blossom as the rose; and when a neighboring realm petitioned to join the union of the sons of liberty, my voice would be, come: yea come Texas; come Mexico; come Canada; and come all the world-let us be brethren: let us be one great family; and let there be universal peace. Abolish the cruel customs of prisons, (except certain cases,) penitentiaries, and court-martials for desertion: and let reason and friendship reign over the ruins of ignorance and barbarity; yea I would, as the universal friend of man, open the prisons; open the eyes; open the ears and open the hearts of all people, to behold and enjoy freedom, unadulterated freedom: and God, who once cleansed the violence of the earth with a flood; whose son laid down his life for the salvation of all the father gave him out of the world; and who has promised that he will come and purify the world again with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the good of all people.
With the highest esteem,
I am a friend of virtue
and of the people,
Nauvoo, Illinois, February 7, 1844.
For the Neighbor.
To the friends and voters of Hancock County.
Elder William Smith, (late representative) wishes to say to the friends and voters of Hancock County, that, in consequence of the sickness of his family, now in the hands of a doctor in the City of Philadelphia, he relinquishes the idea of offering himself as a candidate for a seat in the next Legislature of Illinois; but, as a matter of the highest consideration, would recommend his brother Hyrum Smith, as a suitable and capable person to fill that office, and worthy of the people's confidence and votes.
O sustain ye democracy throughout the land
And ever go forth at Jehovah's command:
And while the old farmer yet swingeth the flail;
Or follows the plough [plow]:
Good democrats tread, O tread the tail
of that Old Coon Now.
We are sorry that our late representative the Hon. Wm. Smith is about to withdraw, for the present time from the political arena. His talents are known and appreciated, his conduct in the last session of the Legislature proved him to be a man of talent and of genius, a patriot and a statesman, and a man every way qualified to maintain the interests of the people he represented.
We know of no person that would be more qualified to fill his station than Gen. Hyrum Smith (his brother.) We are not informed whether the general will accept of the office or not, if he will, we don't know of any gentleman in Hancock Co. who would be more competent. Gen. Smith is a man of sterling integrity, deep penetration and brilliant talents. He is well versed in politics and as unchangeable as the everlasting hills. He is a man of probity and virtue, and an unwavering patriot.
If Gen. Hyrum Smith will allow his name to be brought forth we go it for him, and we know from the confidence and respect that is entertained of him as a gentleman and a patriot he will be elected. What say you General?
For the Neighbor.
Before taking my farewell of your beautiful and growing city, I avail myself of a few leisure moments in expressing some of my views and conclusions of the prophet Joe and the Mormons. In the first place allow me to say that the Mormons as a people have been most woefully misrepresented and abused, and in ninety-nine instances out of a hundred by persons who know nothing of their principles and doctrines. Before visiting this place my mind was very much prejudiced against the Mormons, from reports which I had listened to in travelling [traveling] through the different states, and I presume if I had never taken occasion to inform myself of their religion and views my mind would have still remained in the same condition. There is not a city within my knowledge that can boast of a more enterprising and industrious people than can Nauvoo, her citizens are enlightened and possess many advantages in the arts and sciences of the day which, other cities (of longer standing) cannot boast, in a word Nauvoo bids fair to soon outrival any city in the West.
General Smith is a man who understands the political history of his country, as well as the religious history of the world, as perfect as any politician or religionist I have ever met with.
He advances ideas which, if could be carried into effect would greatly benefit the nation in point of commerce and finance, and while he maintains, and philosophically shows that our country is approaching a fearful crisis which if not arrested, will end in disgrace to the country, and cause our national banner to hug its mast in disgrace and shame, clearly points out the remedy.
Shall the liberty which our fathers purchased at so dear a price be wrenched from the hands of their children? Shall our national banner which floated so proudly in the breeze at the declaration of independence be disgraced and refuse to show its motto? Shall we, as American citizens fold our arms and look quietly on while the shackles of slavery are being fastened upon our hands, and while men only seek office for the purpose of exalting themselves into power; I say, shall we still rush blindly on and hasten our own destruction by placing men in power who neither regard the interests of the people, nor the prayers of the oppressed? Every American citizen will shout at the top of his voice, NO.
Mr. Smith's "views of the power and policy of the government" manifest a republican spirit, and if carried out, would soon place the nation in a prosperous condition and brighten the prospects of those who now have to toil so incessantly to support the profligate expenditures and luxurious equipage of the present rulers and representatives of our nation.
Joseph Smith is a man who is in every way calculated to make a free people happy, he is liberal in his sentiments and allows every man the free expression of his feeling on all subjects; he is sociable and easy in his manners; is conversant and familiar on all exciting topics, expresses himself freely and plainly, on the different methods of administering the government, while he is not ashamed to let the world know his views, and criticise [criticize] upon his opinions.
I am in no way connected with the Mormon Church, but am disposed to listen to reason in all cases. I have heretofore been a warm advocate of the measures of the whig party, but considering General Smith's views and sentiments to be worthy the applause of every citizen of the United States, and especially the yeomanry of the country, I in every instance advocate his principles, and use my utmost influence in his favor.
I am, Sir Yours, in haste.
Nauvoo Mansion, May 1.2, 1844
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MONDAY, MAY 15, 1844
GEN. JOSEPH SMITH,
We are obliged to defer the continuation of the conference minutes until our next publication, as we deem it of the highest importance to give Gen. Smith's "views" as extensive a circulation as possible, and on account of other important matter which has overrun our columns.
We take pleasure in announcing to the saints abroad that Nauvoo continues to flourish, and the little one has become a thousand. Quite a number of splendid houses are being erected, and the Temple is rapidly progressing; insomuch [inasmuch] that there is one expectation, that before next winter closes in upon us, the topstone will have been raised, and the building inclosed [enclosed].
The saints continue to flock together from all parts of this wide spread continent, and from the islands of the sea. Three ships' company have arrived this spring from England, and are now rejoicing in the truths of the everlasting gospel. The prophet is in good health and spirits, and unwearied in his anxiety and labors to instruct the saints in the things of God and the mysteries of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we may truly say that those who come to scoff, remain to pray. Many have come here filled with prejudice and strange anticipations, but have been convinced that report is false with her thousand tongues, and have almost invariably left a testimony behind them. Instead of finding Mr. Smith the cunning, crafty and illiterate character that he had been represented to be, they have found in him the gentleman and scholar; frank, open, generous, and brave. But it is his immediate connexions [connections] and associates alone, that can appreciate his virtues and his talents. While his face is set as a flint against iniquity from every quarter, while the cries of the oppressed ever reaches his heart, and his hand is ever ready to alleviate the suffering of the needy.
A few artless villians [villains] can always be found who are watching for his downfall or death, but the Lord has generally caused them to fall into their own pit, and no weapon formed against him has prospered. One or two disaffected individuals have made an attempt to spread dissension, but it is like a tale that is nearly told, and will soon be forgotten. It was first represented as a monster calculated to scatter desolation around, but we are credibly informed by a person who attended their first meeting that there was much difficulty in raising a committee of seven, for there was some objection to Father--, but as none could be found to fill the vacuum, he constituted one of the seven stars!!
It will be unnecessary for us to say much about those luminaries of the last days, as they shine forth in their true colors in our columns this week, in the trial of President Smith. But to say anything by way of warning to the brethren abroad, would resemble the "ocean into tempest tossed to waft a feather or to drown a fly. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?
The glad tidings of salvation and the fulness [fullness] of the gospel are fast spreading from city to city, and from nation to nation. The little stone will still increase till the knowledge of God covers the earth, and righteousness and truth extend from pole to pole.
We are authorised [authorized] to state that the difficulty heretofore existing between Elder William Smith, one of the "Twelve," and Elder John Horner has been settled. Elder Horner has therefore had his license restored to him again, and is satisfied that opposition to the constituted authorities of the church is bad policy; it being the bounden duty of the laboring elders abroad to sustain, strengthen, and confirm those who have been placed in authority by the new and everlasting covenant.
The above is agreeable to my feelings.
JOHN M. HORNER.
Nauvoo, May 10, 1844.
There will be a conference held at the branch of the church in Westfield, Stokes county, N. C., on the 10th and 11th days of August, also
one at Burks Garden, Tazwell county Va., 17th and 18th days of August next.
City of Nauvoo, Illinois,}
Third day, Regular Term, May 8, 1844}
Before Alderman N. K. Whitney, acting chief justice; and Aldermen Daniel H. Wells, William Marks, Orson Spencer, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, George A. Smith and Samuel Bennet, associate justices, presiding.
Ex-Parte, }Messrs. Siles & Rigdon,
Joseph Smith, Sen. }
On Habeas Corpus. } Counsel for Smith.
This case came before the court upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, which was issued by this court on the 6th of May, instant, upon petition of Joseph Smith, Sen. as follows:
STATE OF ILLINOIS,}
City of Nauvoo. }Sct
To the Honorable Municipul [municipal] Court in and for the city of Nauvoo:-
The undersigned, your petitioner, most respectfully represents that he is an inhabitant of the said city; your petitioner further represents that he is under arrest in said city, and is now in the custody of one John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of the county of Hancock, and the state of Illinois; that the said Parker holds your petitioner by virtue of a writ of "capias ad respondendom," issued by the clerk of the circuit court, of the county of Hancock, and the state of Illinois, at the instance of one Francis M. Higbee, of said county, requiring your petitioner to answer the said Francis M. Higbee, "of a plea of the case," damage five thousand dollars; your petitioner further represents that the proceedings against him are illegal; that the said warrant of arrest is unformal, and not of that character which the law recognises [recognizes] as valid, that the said writ is wanting and deficient in the plea therein contained; that the charge or complaint which your petitioner is therein required to answer, is not known to the law.
Your petitioner further avers that the said writ does not disclose in any way or manner whatever, any cause of action, which matter your petitioner most respectfully submits for your consideration; together with a copy of the said warrant of arrest which is hereunto attached.
Your petitioner further states that this proceeding has been instituted against him without any just or legal cause; and further that the said Francis M. Higbee, is actuated by no other motive than a desire to persecute and harass your petitioner, for the base purpose of gratifying feelings of revenge, which, without any cause, the said Francis M. Higbee has for a long time been fostering and cherishing.
Your petitioner further states that he is not guilty of the charge preferred against him, or of any act against him, by which the said Francis M. Higbee could have any charge, claim or demand, whatever against your petitioner.
Your petitioner further states, that he verily believes that another object the said F. M. Higbee had in instituting the proceeding, was, and is, to throw your petitioner into the hands of his enemies, that he might the better carry out a conspiracy which has for some time been brewing against the life of your petitioner.
Your petitioner further states that the suit which has been instituted against him has been instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption.
Your petitioner would therefore most respectfully ask your honorable body, to grant him the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus, that the whole matter may be thoroughly investigated, and such order made, as the law and justice demands in the same premises, and your petitioner will ever pray.
JOSEPH SMITH, Sen.
Nauvoo May, 6, 1844.
State of Illinois, }
City of Nauvoo }Sct'
The people of the state of Illinois:
To the Marshal of said city:...... GREETING.
Whereas, application has been made before the Municipal court of said city, that the body of one Joseph Smith, Senior, of the said city of Nauvoo, is in the custody of John D. Barker, Deputy sheriff of Hancock county, state aforesaid:
These are therefore to command the said John D. Parker, of the county aforesaid, to safely have the body of said Joseph Smith, Senior, of the city aforesaid, in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention, by whatsoever name the said Joseph Smith, Senior may be known or called before the Municipal court, of said city forthwith, to abide such order as the said court shall make in this behalf, and further, if the said John D. Parker, or other person or persons, having said Joseph Smith, Senior, of said city of Nauvoo, in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you the marshall of said city, or other person, authorized to serve the same, are hereby required to arrest the person or persons refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid, and bring him or them together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal court, aforesaid, to be dealt with according to law; and herein fail not and bring this writ with you.
Witness, Willard Richards, Clerk of the municipal
court at Nauvoo, this 6th day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
Clerk, M. C., C. N.
I hold the within named Joseph Smith, Senior, under arrest, by virtue of a capias ad respondendum.
Hancock Circuit Court,
To May Term, A. D.. 1844.
Francis M. Higbee,}
Vs. }in case.
Joseph Smith. }
The day of his caption, May 6th, 1844.
To damage, five thousand dollars.
WM. BACKENSTOS, S. H. C.
By J. D. Parker, D. S.
State of Illinois, }
Hancock County. } ss
The people of the state of Illinois: To the sheriff of said county:.....GREETING.
We command you that you take Joseph Smith, if he be found within your county, and him safely keep, so that you have his body before the circuit court of said county of Hancock, on the first day of the next term thereof, to be holden at the court house in Carthage on the third Monday in the month of May, instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, of a plea of the case; damage, the sum of five thousand dollars as he says; and you have then there this writ, and make due return thereon, in what manner you execute the same.
Witness, J. B. Backenstos, Clerk of said circuit court, at Carthage Seal.] this first day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
J. B. BACKENSTOS, Clerk,
By D. E. Head, Deputy.
The sheriff is directed to hold the within named defendant to bail in the sum of five thousand dollars.
J. B. BAKENSTOS [Backenstos], Clerk,
By D. E. Head, Deputy.
This is a true copy of the original, now in the possession of William
B. Backenstos, sheriff of Hancock county.
By J. D. PARKER, DEPUTY.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, }
Hancock county } Sct.
City of Nauvoo. }
To Mr. Francis M. Higbee:-
Sir, You will please take notice that Joseph Smith, Senior, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, from the Municipal Court of said city, praying that he may be liberated from the custody of John D. Parker, Deputy sheriff of Hancock county, by whom he is held in custody on a capias ad respondendum, issued by the circuit court of Hancock county, on the first day of May, instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, on a plea of the case, &c.; which writ is granted, and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Municipal court, at 10 o'clock, A. M., on the 7th of May, instant, at the Mayor's Council Chamber, in said city, and show cause why said Joseph Smith, Senior, should not be liberated on said habeas corpus.
Witness my hand and seal of
[Seal] Court, this 6th day of May, 1844.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Clerk, M. C., C. N.
The above trial is deferred until Wednesday, the 8th instant, 10 o'clock, A. M.
W. RICHARDS. Clerk.
I have served the within, by reading to the named Francis M. Higbee.
John D. Parker, Constable.
Mr. Higbee did not appear either by himself or counsel.
Mr. J. P. Stiles then said that the petition and papers have been read in your hearing; it is a petition for an habeas corpus on the grounds-lst; the insufficiency of the writ, and other causes assigned. The insufficiency of the writ is sufficient to discharge the prisoner, it is the privilege and option of this court, if the writ is invalid. It is the privilege of the prisoner to have all the matters investigated, in order to prove that the prosecutor is joined with other persons in a conspiracy to take away Mr. Smith's life. Although it is competent for the court to discharge on account of the insufficiency of the writ, yet we want an examination into the matters, in order that all may be understood. All warrants should disclose the crimes known to the court, so that the prisoner might know what answer to make; the prisoner might have had to lay in jail six months, because he knows nothing what he is charged with in the writ; it might be that he is charged with debt; that he had to pay Francis M. Higbee the sum of five thousand dollars, or any thing: there is no action specified; is it meant for trespass, for mal-treating, beating, or slander, or what other crime, so that the damage of five thousand dollars might be known for what it is. The, writ is void for want of substance and form, all who are familiar with law; common sense, or justice, must know that it is indefinite; no charge defined. If we are not released here, we shall be released in circuit court, on account of the insufficiency, but we are now willing to investigate the merits of the case. We know nothing but from information from other sources, and we want this court to determine whether we are
held to any charge to Francis M. Higbee; we have given him notice to attend here; if he has any cause to keep him here, I propose to bring in the testimony of the prisoner, he has averred certain facts; he is ready to make oath of it if your honor require it; there is no ordinance against the prisoner taking his oath; it is within the province of the court to do so, it is the privilege of the court in any case to hear the plaintiff in any cause; law is founded on justice; there can no iniquity arise from any thing in this matter.
Sidney Rigdon said, it has been truly stated that this court has nothing before it on which it can act, there is a prisoner brought into court who was in custody within the province of your honor; those papers have been read but they disclose no crime, no guilt; there are no merits to try, they present no meritorious cause of action, they do not present the prisoner's guilt in any form whatever; what are the merits? Shall we try him for horse stealing, burglary, arson or what? You shall hear the merits if you can find them out, then the court has power to try; is it burglary, arson or something else? What is the point to try? Those papers know no crime, there is no merits, no existence of anything, it is an ignus fatuus, a will-o'wisp; to arrest somebody for doing nothing; to have the privilege of trying a law suit about nothing; the court never says Francis M. Higbee ever preferred any thing, if there can any merits be hatched up, we will try it.
J. Smith was satisfied that this thing can be brought to trial it appears I am a prisoner, and by the authority of the circuit court. I petitioned this court for a hearing I am a prisoner, and aver that it is a malicious prosecution, and a wicked conspiracy, got up by men for the purpose of harassing me, and decoying me into their hands. I want to show that this man has joined a set of men, who have entered into a conspiracy to take away my life. After hearing the case, you have power to punish, imprison, or fine, or anything you please, you have the right to punish the offender, if I am a criminal you have a right to punish me, and send me to the circuit court, but if I am as innocent as the angels of heaven, you have power to send the prosecutor to trial if crime is proved against him. They have no merit in their cause, I want to show up their conspiracy, that these men are working their basest corruption, they have lifted up their hands against innocence; you have power to hear the petitioner on his oath. I will show you a precedent. Look at the federal court of this district; the case was made out by affidavit, which I swore to before the court.
The habeas corpus is granted on the testimony of the petitioner, it is the law in Blackstone, that where no other matter is in existence, and the prisoner swears he is innocent, and his character for truth is supported by good testimony he must be discharged, and then goes away as free as the proud eagle. If I have the privilege of testimony under oath, to the facts that they make slander of, then they cannot do anything with it. Suppose that I am an eye witness to the crime of adultry [adultery], or any other crime, and know verily for myself, that the man is guilty of adultry [adultery], or other crime, and I speak of it, the man may sue me for damages although I know the man to be guilty, but if I swear in a court, he cannot hurt me. If I have the privilege of giving testimony under oath, they can never do any thing with me, but if you discharge me on the insufficiency of the writ; they can prosecute me again and again, but if you give me a fair hearing they cannot prosecute me again; I want the oath to go to the world; I must make statements of facts in order to defend myself. I must tell the story in its true light, under oath; then I can be forever set free; may I not have the privilege of being protected by the law? The peace of myself, my family, my happiness, and the happiness of this city depend upon it.
The court allowed him to proceed with the case.
Mr. Stiles said, This is a malicious prosecution, and we have averred that it is malicious, and have a right to prove it. There is an insufficiency in the writ, the writ did not show that any crime had been committed, and we can show that we are not guilty of any plea in the case; there is no charge or case against us; the whole matter is corrupt, and malicious and wicked.
Joseph Smith sworn-Said, I must commence when Francis M. Higbee was foaming against me, and the Municipal Court, in my house.-Francis M. Higbee said he was grieved at me, and I was grieved at him. I was willing on my part to settle all difficulties, and he promised if I would go before the City Council and tell them he would drop every thing against me forever. I have never mentioned the name of Francis M. Higbee disrespectfully from that time to this; but have been entirely silent about him; If any one has said that I have spoken disrespectfully since then, they have lied: and he cannot have any cause whatever. I want to testify to this court of what occurred a long time before John C. Bennet left this city. I was called on to visit Francis M. Higbee; I went and found him on a bed on the floor.
[Here follows testimony which is too indelicate
for the public eye or ear; and we would here remark, that so revolting, corrupt, and disgusting has been the conduct of most of this clique, that we feel to dread having any thing to do with the publication of their trials; we will not however offend the public eye or ear with a repetition of the foulness of their crimes any more.]
Bennet said Higbee pointed out the spot where he had seduced a girl, and that he had seduced another. I did not believe it, I felt hurt, and labored with Higbee about it; he swore with uplifted hands, that he had lied about the matter. I went and told the girl's parents, when Higbee and Bennet made affidavits and both perjured themselves, they swore false about me so as to blind the family. I brought Francis M. Higbee before Brigham Young, Hyrum Smith and others; Bennet was present, when they both acknowledged that they had done these things, and asked us to forgive them. I got vexed, my feelings had been hurt; Higbee has been guilty of adulterous communication, perjury, &c.; which I am able to prove by men who heard them confess it. I also preferred charges against Bennet, the same charges which I am now telling; and he got up and told them it was the truth, when he pleaded for his life, and begged to be forgiven; this was his own statement before sixty or seventy men; he said the charges were true against him and Higbee. I have been endeavoring to throw out shafts to defend myself, because they were corrupt, and I knew they were determined to ruin me; he has told the public that he was determined to ruin me; he has told the public that he was determined to prosecute me, because I slandered him, although I tell nothing but the truth. Since the settlement of our difficulties, I have not mentioned his name disrespectfully; he wants to bind up my hands in the circuit court, and make me pay heavy damages for telling the truth. In relation to the conspiracy, I have not heard Francis M. Higbee say he would take away my life; but Chauncy Higbee, Charles A. Foster and Dr. Foster said they would shoot me; and the only offence [offense] against me is telling the truth. I did say that Dr. Foster did steal a raw hide, I have seen him steal a number of times; these are the things that they now want to ruin me for; for telling the truth. When riding in the stage, I have seen him put his hand in a woman's bosom, and he also lifted up her clothes. I know that they are wicked, malicious, adulterous, bad characters; I say it under oath; I can tell all the particulars from first to last.
Brigham Young, sworn, With regard to Francis M. Higbee, at the time that is spoken of, I stopped opposite Mr. Laws' store, we had been conversing with Dr. Bennet when I came into the room, Francis Higbee rather recoiled and wished to withdraw; he went out and sat upon a pile of wood. He said it is all true, I am sorry for it, I wish it had never happened. I understood Bennet who related some of the circumstances, he cried and begged of us to forgive him, and said if he could be permitted to stay in the city as a private individual he should be happy; that was about what he said; its true, I am sorry for it I wish it had never been so; as we came up, Dr. Bennet, Mr. Higbee, and Mr. Smith, had been talking about it, I have not mentioned it before, I knew of the whole affair, it was on the 4th of July, or a few days after-it was shortly after I came from England. I was in the City Council when Mr. Higbee said all was settled.
Cross-examined:-I have heard Dr. Bennet say all these things were facts; he acknowledged that Higbee has the--- and that he had doctored him, he acknowledged that, and a great deal more.
I will make one statement in our conversation with Dr. Bennet. I told Dr. Bennet that one charge was seducing young women, and leading young men into difficulty-he admitted it-if he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him.
Sidney Rigdon, sworn, In relation to the matters before the court I am unacquainted with I was sick at the time but I have heard it talked of back and fro.
Cross-examined:-I recollect Joseph Smith came to me with a complaint against Higbee and Bennet, and made affidavit that it was true; I have the affidavit in my house. I went to see Higbee on last Saturday, I found him at Mr. Morrisons-he was waiting for a steam boat-I endeavored to prevail on him to relinquish his undertaking; he said I have no character in Nauvoo, for I have none to lose, I tried to convince him that he had character and might be looked upon with respect, but he flatly contradicted me, and said he had none, and that was the reason why he persecuted Joseph Smith-as he had no character, he did not care what he did-he had nothing to loose by it-that is the substance of our conversation.
Hyrum Smith sworn,-I recollect a settlement of difficulties between Francis M. Higbee and my brother Joseph, about which some of the court may recollect. I recollect Dr. Bennet asking forgiveness of the lodge when there was about sixty present-Francis M. Higbee acknowledged that it was the truth, that he was sorry, and had been a thousand times; he acknowledged his connection with the woman
on the hill; I did think he was with Dr. Bennet at the time, the statement of Bennet was, that he was guilty, he was sorry and asked forgiveness, he said he had seduced six or seven, he acknowledged it, and said if he was forgiven, he would not be guilty any more. Francis said he knew it was true, he was sorry and had been a hundred times; the very things we had challenged him with, he acknowledged. I told Francis that it had better be settled he said, Joseph had accused him-if his character was gone all was gone, he said he would settle it and they went into the room, he did not deny any charge, he said he was sorry, that he wanted it buried, and it was agreed to do so. Francis did not say any thing about his sickness, but Dr. Bennet made those observations to him that he had doctored him in the time of his sickness.
Cross-examined-I asked Francis if he did not tell Dr. Bennet that he had seduced a girl, he replied, I told Dr. Bennet that I did seduce her, but I tell you that I never did it; I told him so for my own notion of things; I do not recollect of him saying [that he had got a bad disorder with the French Girl] he said he should not have been seduced, if it had not been by Dr. Bennet, when charged with them, Francis said they were true; that they were alledged [alleged] a hundred times; he said "I will alter, I will save my character." I have never heard from brother Joseph any thing about his character, Joseph did not accuse him of any thing before the police; he said Francis had better take care, Francis was a little dissatisfied, but that difference was settled; I was present; he said he would not receive any thing again from abroad; he would not take any steps by hearsay, he would come to him and tell him, there were several present when this took place.
Porter Rockwell sworn-he recollected the conversation but not very distinctly, but he did recollect that Francis M. Higbee acknowledged to Joseph Smith that he was guilty of the charges preferred against him.
Court adjourned for one hour and a half. Court met.
Mr. Wheelock, sworn:-with regard to this case I know nothing, but through a circumstance occurring at Nashvill [Nashville]. Elder Blakesly came to my house to preach, he preached and was upholding the authorities of the Church very much, he came over here and apostatized the same day; I then came over and went to see him, I asked him why he had changed his mind so quick? he said he had seen affidavits of the guilt of Mr. Smith, he told me Mr. Higbee was going about to the different conferences. I told him I thought he had better send some one else, his conduct was not the best and I know of circumstances that were not right. Once I was a mate on a Steam Boat, and Higbee was clerk, we had not much cabin; we had some females on board; I and another had given up our room to some ladies for the night; it was my watch, and I went into the cabin for my Buffalo Robe, about one o'clock in the night, when I saw him leaning over the berth where one of the ladies slept; this was in the night-and he had no business there, no gentleman had any right there; I gave up my berth to the ladies; I felt indignant at such conduct, his conduct towards the lady passengers was unbecoming, and particularly in one who professes so much virtue as he now does.
Joel S. Miles, sworn:-I have seen Francis M. Higbee go into rooms with females, but what their intentions were I did not know, I might have seen him two or three times; I think he has done that which is not right, I should judge from conversations with him, that was the case: I might recollect twenty times, he has frequently told me things of that kind, it is a private case to be sure-he has told me, that he had commenced an action against Joseph Smith for slander; I met Francis today, I asked him about the fuss, when he said that he had got Mr. Smith up for slander; he said he should not come here-but did not say why, I recollect the time that he was sick, when Dr. Bennet attended him, I went to see him nearly every day, I understood Mr. Higbee to say that he was prosecuting Mr. Smith for slander; that he was up before the Municipal Court, he told me he supposed I was wanted to prove that he was a thief, whoremaster, and every thing else.
H. J. Sherwood, sworn;-I have several times had conversations with Higbee; I recollect that near two years ago there was a fuss about John C. Bennets spiritual wife system before the High Council. I recollect a French woman coming up from Warsaw, and that Francis M. Higbee had medical assistance* * * * * Dr. Bennet attended him, Joseph Smith administered unto him but it was irksome; Higbee assented that it was so, he did not contradict it, he promised to reform-he would do better, he would do so no more.
Heber C. Kimball, sworn-I think it is near two years: I had some conversation with Francis M. Higbee, he expressed himself indignant at some things; he expressed himself that he was sorry, he would live a new life, he never would say a word against President Joseph Smith; he had an inclination to write that what he published was false. I exhorted him to go and recall what he had said. I afterwards
saw him in Cincinnatti [Cincinnati], when he promised by every thing sacred that he would come home, reform, and then go and publish this doctrine, for it was true; he said he had taken a course that was wrong towards President Smith, and was sorry for it. He said he would study at Cincinnatti [Cincinnati], for his character was ruined here. When we were in Quincy, we went over to Missouri, and exhorted him to alter his conduct. The last time I conversed with him, he said, "if I had taken your council, I should now have been a man looked on with respect; he said he was not connected with the people that opposed President Smith and never would"-he much regretted the course he had taken.
After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said petition, it is considered and ordained by the court; lst, That the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment, complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ, upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the case, and that he go hence without day. Secondly, Francis M. Higbee's character having been so fully shown, as infamous, the court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique and corruption; and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the court that said Francis M. Higbee pay the costs.
In testimony whereof, I hereunto set my hand and
[Seal] affixed the seal of said court, at the city of Nauvoo,
this 8th day of May, 1844.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Clerk.
Two of Mr. Smith's most important witnesses being out of the city on the day of the trial, we subjoin their affidavits which are as follows:
State of Illinois, }
Hancock County } ss.
Personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, acting Justice of the Peace, in and for said county, Abiathar B. Williams, who being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith; that on or about the 15th day of March, A. D. 1844, Joseph J. Jackson came to my house and requested me to walk with him,-which I did. During the time we were walking, said Joseph J. Jackson said that he was then coming from Mr. Law's; that there was going to be a secret meeting in the city of Nauvoo, probably to-morrow evening; but as it was not decided he could not say positively as to the time, but he would inform me in season. The said Joseph H. Jackson said that doctor Foster, Chauncy Higbee and the Laws were red-hot for a conspiracy, and he should not be surprised if in two weeks there should be not one of the Smith family left in Nauvoo. After we arrived at Mr. Loomis' the Masonic Hall, in the city of Nauvoo, he related some thing which he stated Doctor Foster had said relative to his family. This he did in the presence of Mr. Eaton and myself, and strongly solicited myself and Mr. Eaton to attend the secret meeting, and join them in their intentions. The said Joseph J. Jackson further said that Chauncy Higbee had said that he the said Chauncy Higbee had seen men tied hand and foot and run through the heart with a sword, and their heads taken off, and then buried;-and he durst not say a word. This the said Jackson and in Mr. Loomis' room, and further the deponent saith not.
A. B. WILLIAMS.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of March, A. D. 1844.
DANIEL H. WELLS, J. P. [L. S.]
State of Illinois }
Hancock County }
Personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said county, M. G. Eaton, who being duly sworn according to law and saith that on or about the 15th day of March, A. D. 1844, Joseph H. Jackson came to me several times and requested me to go on the hill with him. I finally consented and went with him to the Key Stone Store, in the city of Nauvoo. Doctor Foster and one of the Higbees, I think Chauncy Higbee, were in the store. The said Joseph H. Jackson, together with the said R. D. Foster, and said Higbee, went into the back room of the store. They appeared to enter into private council. Soon after they went into the said room the said Joseph H. Jackson invited me into the room where they were now sitting, I immediately complied. Soon after I went in the said Higbee commenced talking about the spiritual wife system. He said he had no doubt but some of the Elders had ten or twelve wives apiece. He said they married them whether the females were willing or not; and they did it by recording the marriage in a large book; which book was sealed up after the record was made, and was not to be opened for a long time, probably not until many of the husbands of those who were thus married were dead. They would then open the book and break the seals in the presence of those females, and when they saw their names recorded in that book they would believe that the doctrine was true and they must submit. He said this book was kept at Mr. Hyrum Smith's. I asked the said Chauncy Higbee * * * *
[Here follows some expressions too indecorous for insertion.]
The aforesaid R. D. Foster, then asked me what I would think if during my absence from home a carriage should drive up to my house, a person alight, and the carriage than drive off again, this person should then go into my house and begin to tell my wife a great many things against me to prejudice her mind against me and use every possible means to do this, and finally would introduce and preach the spiritual wife doctrine to her and make an attempt to seduce her, and further this person should sit down and dine with my wife, bless the victuals &c, and while they were thus engaged, I should come home and find them thus associated; this person should rise up and say how do you do, and bless me in a very polite manner &c., and also, if upon these appearances, I should feel jealous that something was wrong and when the person was gone, I would ask my wife what had been the conversation between her and this person, but she would refuse to tell me. then draw a pistol and present it to her and threaten to shoot her if she did not tell me all, but she would still refuse. I then would give her a double barrelled [barreled] pistol, and say to her defend yourself, for if you don't tell me, either you or I would shoot. She would then faint away through fear and excitement, and when she came to again she would begin and tell you how this person had been trying to poison your wife's mind against you, and by preaching the spiritual wife system to her had endeavoured [endeavored] to seduce her. I replied I should think he was a rascal; but who has had such a trial as that? The said R. D. Foster answered that he was the man who had had that trial, and who had been thus abused.
The said Dr. Foster, Higbee and Joseph H. Jackson then remarked that they were about to hold a secret meeting to oppose and try to put a stop to such things. The said Joseph H. Jackson also said that if any person undertook to arrest him he should begin to cut them.
The said R. D. further said he was afraid of his life and dare not be out at nights.
The said Higbee said he had not a doubt but there had been men killed in Missouri who had had secrets that they were afraid to divulge.
He said he was afraid of his life.
The said Jackson further said that he should not be surprised if there should be a real muss and insurrection in the city in less than two months, and that if a disturbance should take place the Carthagenians [Carthaginians] and others would come and help them.
He mentioned some name of persons who would come from Carthage which names I do not remember. The same day when in Mr. Loomis' room. I heard the said Jackson say that the Laws were ready to enter into a secret conspiracy tooth and nail.
The said Higbee also said that while at the Key stone that if ever he was brought before the Mayor's Court again, and the Mayor told him again to hold his tongue, that he should get up and tell him he had a right to speak and should do so, and then if any man attempted to put him out of the court he would shoot them through and further this deponent saith not.
M. G. EATON.
Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of A. D. 1844.
DANIEL H. WELLS, J. P. [L. S.
A TRUE PHILOSOPHER.
I cannot part with these good people (the Dutch Beers,) without mentioning that the only real philosopher I ever met with in my life was one of them. He was, indeed, pre-eminent among his neighbors, who gave him the name of "the philosopher;" and I cannot resist relating the method in which they put his pretensions to that title, to the proof. Having safely housed in his "stores," the produce of the year, he paid a visit to Cape Town on some business, and while there was attacked with a dangerous illness, which detained him some time. As soon as his health permitted, he set out on his return home. On the very day before, a fire reduced to ashes his barns, his crops, his wine stores, and their contents; all were destroyed-he was ruined. Knowing him to be on his road home, a group of friends waited his arrival at the entrance of the village, some to communicate the sad news, but many professedly "to see what the philosopher would do or say."-He heard-his serenity was undisturbed, his countenance altered not: not a complaint escaped him; but, on the contrary, a thanksgiving to Almighty God for the preservation of the lives of his family! "I wish," said I to him one day when we were talking over this misfortuue [misfortune], "you would give me your receipt for preserving equanimity, under such circumstances." "It is a very simple one," he replied:-"when I heard what was gone, I ran over in my mind the many things great and good God had left me, and so I thanked him for them."-Baynes Ramble in the East, &c.
An excellent rule for living happy in society, is never to concern one's self with the affairs of others, unless they desire it. Under pretence [pretense] of being useful, people often show more curiosity than kindness.
At a meeting of the High Council, in the city of Nauvoo, this 18th day of May, 1844.
Resolved, That James Blakesley, Francis M. Higbee, Charles Ivans, and Austin Cowles, be cut off from this church for apostacy [apostasy].
George W. Harris, Prest. pro. tem.
Joseph M. Cole, Clk. pro. tem.
A MOTHER'S LOVE.
There is so divine a holiness in the love of a mother, that no matter how the tie that binds her to the child was formed, she becomes as it were, consecrated and sacred, and the past is forgotten, and the world and its harsh verdicts swept away when that love alone is visible and the God who watches over the little one, sheds his smile over the human deputy, in whose tenderness there breathes his own!-Bulwer.
P O E T R Y.
For the Times and Seasons.
Reflections at the funeral of Joel F. Scovil son of Lucius and Lury Scovil; who died on the tenth of May, 1844. Aged 14 years and twelve days.
BY MISS ELIZA R. SNOW.
The spirit had departed and had left But then the spirit of the living God
The mortal tenement a lifeless form! Waked with its light the vision of my mind,
I sat beside his coffin, but for him And I exclaim'd within myself, all, all
I had no tears to shed. How could I weep? Is well. He's gone to do a work for them
His years, indeed, had been but few, but then Of everlasting consequence; and they,
He was a saint, and he has gone to join Ere long shall understand the purposes
The spirits of the just. There was to him no Of him who holds the destinies of man;
Bitterness in death. The pow'r of faith In this their present loss, and then their joy
Imparted through the glorious gospel of Will be unspeakable.
The Son of God had shorn the monster of
His terrors and his sting. It rent in twain Soon, very soon
The parting vail [veil] that hides from mortal view The resurrection morn will dawn and bring
Eternal things: and Kindred spirits came An everlasting triumph o'er the grave.
To greet the dying one and waft him home.
Be faithful then ye parents! Keep the faith-
Freed from Mortality and all its ills; Be steadfast in the cause of Zion, till
To die as he has died, is endless gain. Your course is finished, and your work is done;
Such were my feelings: then I look'd upon And you shall soon embrace your child, array'd
His mourning parents, and I thought of their In robes of royalty-with glory crown'd
Bereavement! 'Tis their only son-he is In your own mansion of celestial light.
Their first-born, and to him with fond delight
Their expectations clung; and here he lies! There, fond affection, everlasting bond
Corruption preys already on the face Of kindred spirits and of kindred flesh,
They dearly lov'd! And now where is their hope? In strength perfecting, will entwine around
My heart was moved with tenderness; and grief The glorious objects of an endless claim.
For one short moment weigh'd my feelings down. Nauvoo May 11th, 1844
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