History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1489
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<​March 4​> In debate [blank], said imprisonment was better than hanging.
I replied, I was opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I would shoot him or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God, and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so.
In reply to some of the Councillors, who thought it impolitic to stop circulating Bank Notes as currency, at once; I replied I would use a figure, and talk like some foolish fathers do to their children, if you want to kill a serpent don’t cut off his head, for fear he will bite you, [HC 5:296] but cut off his tail piece by piece, and perhaps you won’t get bit; it is the same with this bill: I say if paper currency is an evil, out it down at once. When Councillors get up here, I want to hear them speak sense; Great God where is common sense and reason? Is there none on the earth? Why have the canker remaining any longer to sap our life? If you get hold of a $5. bill, you can get nothing with it; there is no one dare touch it fearing it to be a counterfeit, or the note of a broken bank; I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels, I say it is expedient when you strike at an enemy, to strike the most deadly blow possible.
asked me what an Editor should do, I told him, advertize in your next paper to your agents, to send you gold and silver, as paper will be no longer taken as pay.
The Ordinance regulating currency in the , passed by a unanimous vote, as follows.
“Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , That from and after the passage of this bill, gold and silver coin only, can be received as lawful tender in payment of city taxes and debts, and also of fines imposed under the ordinances of the
Sec. 2. That city scrip shall not hereafter be emitted as moneyed currency; provided however that nothing in this bill shall be so construed as to prevent the redemption of previous emissions.
Sec. 3. That any person passing counterfeit gold, or silver, or copper coin, or counterfeit or spurious paper currency, or aiding or abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it, knowing it to be such; shall be liable to a fine not exceeding <​five thousand dollars, or to imprisonment or hard labor <​in the ​> for a term, not exceeding​> fourteen years, or all these penalties at the discretion of the court.
Sec. 4. That any person passing a paper currency, or aiding and abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it within the bounds of this city corporation, shall be liable to a fine of one dollar for every dollar thus offered or passed, to be recovered as in action of debt; one half of said fine to be paid to the complainant, the other half to said corporation.
Joseph Smith, Mayor.”
I was reelected Registrar of Deeds for the ,
Dr. was chosen Alderman, and , and firewardens in the . [HC 5:297]
By my suggestion, the Committee on Public works were instructed to prepare an <​Ordinance to provide​> for the erection of a City Prison.
On returning to my after dinner, I spoke the following proverb, For a man to be great, he must not dwell on small things, though he may enjoy them; showing [p. 1489]
March 4 In debate [blank], said imprisonment was better than hanging.
I replied, I was opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I would shoot him or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God, and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so.
In reply to some of the Councillors, who thought it impolitic to stop circulating Bank Notes as currency, at once; I replied I would use a figure, and talk like some foolish fathers do to their children, if you want to kill a serpent don’t cut off his head, for fear he will bite you, [HC 5:296] but cut off his tail piece by piece, and perhaps you won’t get bit; it is the same with this bill: I say if paper currency is an evil, out it down at once. When Councillors get up here, I want to hear them speak sense; Great God where is common sense and reason? Is there none on the earth? Why have the canker remaining any longer to sap our life? If you get hold of a $5. bill, you can get nothing with it; there is no one dare touch it fearing it to be a counterfeit, or the note of a broken bank; I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels, I say it is expedient when you strike at an enemy, to strike the most deadly blow possible.
asked me what an Editor should do, I told him, advertize in your next paper to your agents, to send you gold and silver, as paper will be no longer taken as pay.
The Ordinance regulating currency in the , passed by a unanimous vote, as follows.
“Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , That from and after the passage of this bill, gold and silver coin only, can be received as lawful tender in payment of city taxes and debts, and also of fines imposed under the ordinances of the
Sec. 2. That city scrip shall not hereafter be emitted as moneyed currency; provided however that nothing in this bill shall be so construed as to prevent the redemption of previous emissions.
Sec. 3. That any person passing counterfeit gold, or silver, or copper coin, or counterfeit or spurious paper currency, or aiding or abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it, knowing it to be such; shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or to imprisonment or hard labor in the for a term, not exceeding fourteen years, or all these penalties at the discretion of the court.
Sec. 4. That any person passing a paper currency, or aiding and abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it within the bounds of this city corporation, shall be liable to a fine of one dollar for every dollar thus offered or passed, to be recovered as in action of debt; one half of said fine to be paid to the complainant, the other half to said corporation.
Joseph Smith, Mayor.”
I was reelected Registrar of Deeds for the ,
Dr. was chosen Alderman, and , and firewardens in the . [HC 5:297]
By my suggestion, the Committee on Public works were instructed to prepare an Ordinance to provide for the erection of a City Prison.
On returning to my after dinner, I spoke the following proverb, For a man to be great, he must not dwell on small things, though he may enjoy them; showing [p. 1489]
Page 1489