History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 897
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<​March 15 Petition of Joseph Smith for Habeas Corpus​> that the commitment was <​an​> illegal commitment for the law requires, that a copy of the testimony should be put in the hands of the jailor, which was not done. Your Petitioners allege that the prisoner has been denied the privilege of the law in a writ of Habeas Corpus, by the judges of this . Whether they have prejudged the case of the Prisoner, or whether they are not willing to administer law and justice to the Prisoner, or that they are intimidated by the high office of , who only acted in the case of the Prisoners as a committing magistrate, a conservator of the peace, or by the threats of a lawless mob, your petitioners are not able to say, but that it is a fact that they do not come forward boldly and administer the law to the relief of the prisoner; and farther, your petitioners allege that immediately after the prisoner was taken, his family were frightened and driven out of their house and that, too, by the Witnesses on the part of the , and plundered of their goods; that the prisoner was robbed of a very fine horse, saddle, and bridle and other property of considerable amount; [HC 3:279] that they (the witnesses) in connection with the mob, have finally succeeded, by vile threatening and foul abuse, in driving the family of the prisoner out of the , with little or no means, and without a protector, and their very subsistence depends upon the liberty of the prisoner. And your petitioners allege that he is not guilty of any crime whereby he should be restrained of his liberty, from a personal knowledge, having been with him, and being personally acquainted with the whole of the difficulties between the Mormons and their persecutors; and, that he has never acted, at any time, only in his own defence, and that too, on his own ground, property and possessions; that the prisoner has never commanded any military company, nor held any military authority, neither any other office, real or pretended, in the State of , except that of a religious instructor: that he never has bore arms in the military rank— and in all such cases has acted as a private character and as an individual. How, then, your Petitioners would ask, can it be possible, that the prisoner has committed treason. The prisoner has had nothing to do in , only on his own business as an individual. The testimony of concerning a Council held at ’s, was false, Your petitioners do solemnly declare, that there was no such Council; that your petitioners were with the prisoner, and there was no such vote nor conversation as swore to; that also swore false concerning a constitution, as he said, was introduced among the Danites; that the prisoner had nothing to do with burning in ; that the Prisoner made public proclamation against such things; that the prisoner did oppose and against vile measures with the mob, but was threatened by them if he did not let them alone; that the prisoner did not have any thing to do with what is called ’s Battle, for he knew nothing of it until it was over— that he was at home, in the bosom of his own family during the time of that whole transaction; and in fine, your petitioners allege that he is held in confinement without cause, and under an unlawful and tyrannical oppression, and that his health, and constitution and life, depends on being liberated from his confinement. Your petitioners [p. 897]
March 15 Petition of Joseph Smith for Habeas Corpus that the commitment was an illegal commitment for the law requires, that a copy of the testimony should be put in the hands of the jailor, which was not done. Your Petitioners allege that the prisoner has been denied the privilege of the law in a writ of Habeas Corpus, by the judges of this . Whether they have prejudged the case of the Prisoner, or whether they are not willing to administer law and justice to the Prisoner, or that they are intimidated by the high office of , who only acted in the case of the Prisoners as a committing magistrate, a conservator of the peace, or by the threats of a lawless mob, your petitioners are not able to say, but that it is a fact that they do not come forward boldly and administer the law to the relief of the prisoner; and farther, your petitioners allege that immediately after the prisoner was taken, his family were frightened and driven out of their house and that, too, by the Witnesses on the part of the , and plundered of their goods; that the prisoner was robbed of a very fine horse, saddle, and bridle and other property of considerable amount; [HC 3:279] that they (the witnesses) in connection with the mob, have finally succeeded, by vile threatening and foul abuse, in driving the family of the prisoner out of the , with little or no means, and without a protector, and their very subsistence depends upon the liberty of the prisoner. And your petitioners allege that he is not guilty of any crime whereby he should be restrained of his liberty, from a personal knowledge, having been with him, and being personally acquainted with the whole of the difficulties between the Mormons and their persecutors; and, that he has never acted, at any time, only in his own defence, and that too, on his own ground, property and possessions; that the prisoner has never commanded any military company, nor held any military authority, neither any other office, real or pretended, in the State of , except that of a religious instructor: that he never has bore arms in the military rank— and in all such cases has acted as a private character and as an individual. How, then, your Petitioners would ask, can it be possible, that the prisoner has committed treason. The prisoner has had nothing to do in , only on his own business as an individual. The testimony of concerning a Council held at ’s, was false, Your petitioners do solemnly declare, that there was no such Council; that your petitioners were with the prisoner, and there was no such vote nor conversation as swore to; that also swore false concerning a constitution, as he said, was introduced among the Danites; that the prisoner had nothing to do with burning in ; that the Prisoner made public proclamation against such things; that the prisoner did oppose and against vile measures with the mob, but was threatened by them if he did not let them alone; that the prisoner did not have any thing to do with what is called ’s Battle, for he knew nothing of it until it was over— that he was at home, in the bosom of his own family during the time of that whole transaction; and in fine, your petitioners allege that he is held in confinement without cause, and under an unlawful and tyrannical oppression, and that his health, and constitution and life, depends on being liberated from his confinement. Your petitioners [p. 897]
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