Appendix: Report of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 4 March 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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ment and the perpetration of many scenes of lawless outrage, which are set forth in the petition: that they were finally compelled to fly from those counties; and on the 11th October, 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, leaving many of their effects behind: that they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of for protection, but in vain. They allege that they were pursued by the mob; that conflicts ensued; deaths occurred on each side; and, finally, a force was organized, under the authority of the of the State of , with orders to drive the Mormons from the State, or exterminate them. The Mormons thereupon determined to make no further resistance, but to submit themselves to the authorities of the . Several of the Mormons were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the ; and the rest, amounting to about 15,000 souls, fled into other States, principally in , where they now reside.
The petition is drawn up at great length, and sets forth, with feeling and eloquence, the wrongs of which they complain; justifies their own conduct, and aggravate that of those whom they call their persecutors, and concludes by saying that they see no redress, unless it be obtained of the Congress of the , to whom they make their solemn last appeal as American citizens, as Christians, and as men. To which decision they say they will submit.
The committee have examined the case presented by the petition, and heard the views urged by their , with care and attention; and, after full examination and consideration, unanimously concur in the opinion that the case presented for their investigation is not such a one as will justify or authorize any interposition by this Government. The wrongs complained of are not alleged to be committed by any of the officers of the , or under the authority of its Government in any manner whatever. The allegations in the petition relate to the acts of the citizens, and inhabitants, and authorities of the State of , of which State the petitioners were at the time citizens or inhabitants. The grievances complained of in the petition are alleged to have been done within the territory of the State of . The committee, under these circumstances, have not considered themselves justified in inquiring into the truth or falsehood of the facts charged in the petition. If they are true, the petitioners must seek relief in the courts of judicature of the State of , or of the , which has the appropriate jurisdiction to administer full and adequate redress for the wrongs complained of, and doubtless will do so fairly and impartially; or, the petitioners may, if they see proper, apply to the justice and magnanimity of the State of —an appeal which the committee feel justified in believing will never be made in vain by the injured or oppressed. It can never be presumed that a State either wants the power, or lacks the disposition, to redress the wrongs of its own citizens committed within her own territory, whether they proceed from the lawless acts of her officers, or any other persons.
The committee therefore report that they recommend the passage of the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from the further consideration of the memorial in this case; and that the memorialists have leave to withdraw the papers which accompany their memorial. [p. 2]
ment and the perpetration of many scenes of lawless outrage, which are set forth in the petition: that they were finally compelled to fly from those counties; and on the 11th October, 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, leaving many of their effects behind: that they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of for protection, but in vain. They allege that they were pursued by the mob; that conflicts ensued; deaths occurred on each side; and, finally, a force was organized, under the authority of the of the State of , with orders to drive the Mormons from the State, or exterminate them. The Mormons thereupon determined to make no further resistance, but to submit themselves to the authorities of the . Several of the Mormons were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the ; and the rest, amounting to about 15,000 souls, fled into other States, principally in , where they now reside.
The petition is drawn up at great length, and sets forth, with feeling and eloquence, the wrongs of which they complain; justifies their own conduct, and aggravate that of those whom they call their persecutors, and concludes by saying that they see no redress, unless it be obtained of the Congress of the , to whom they make their solemn last appeal as American citizens, as Christians, and as men. To which decision they say they will submit.
The committee have examined the case presented by the petition, and heard the views urged by their , with care and attention; and, after full examination and consideration, unanimously concur in the opinion that the case presented for their investigation is not such a one as will justify or authorize any interposition by this Government. The wrongs complained of are not alleged to be committed by any of the officers of the , or under the authority of its Government in any manner whatever. The allegations in the petition relate to the acts of the citizens, and inhabitants, and authorities of the State of , of which State the petitioners were at the time citizens or inhabitants. The grievances complained of in the petition are alleged to have been done within the territory of the State of . The committee, under these circumstances, have not considered themselves justified in inquiring into the truth or falsehood of the facts charged in the petition. If they are true, the petitioners must seek relief in the courts of judicature of the State of , or of the , which has the appropriate jurisdiction to administer full and adequate redress for the wrongs complained of, and doubtless will do so fairly and impartially; or, the petitioners may, if they see proper, apply to the justice and magnanimity of the State of —an appeal which the committee feel justified in believing will never be made in vain by the injured or oppressed. It can never be presumed that a State either wants the power, or lacks the disposition, to redress the wrongs of its own citizens committed within her own territory, whether they proceed from the lawless acts of her officers, or any other persons.
The committee therefore report that they recommend the passage of the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from the further consideration of the memorial in this case; and that the memorialists have leave to withdraw the papers which accompany their memorial. [p. 2]
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