Saturday 28th This morning Prests Smith & & , were invited into attend the ; and accordingly attended, the buisness before the high council, was the trial of an case appealed, from the of the , near ; Whereas [blank] Jackson was plantiff, and defendant. Council called to order. &. , Presiding, It appeared in calling the council to order, that some of the seats were vacated; the council then proceeded to fill those seats: &c. And as there appeared to be no persons to fill Said Seats, Eligible to that office; Presidents Smith & , were strongly solisited to act as councilors, or to Preside, and let the then presiding officers sit on the council; &c. They accepted of the former proposal, and accordingly Prest. Smith was choosen to act on the part of the defence, and to speak upon the case, togeth[er] with . and , was chosen to act on the part of the prossecution, and to speak upon the case together with , after the council was organized, and op[e]ned by prayer; the notorious case of , was called in question; after some arbitrarious speeches, to know whether witnesses should be admitted, to testify against , or whether he should have the privilege of confessing his own Sins, It was desided; that witnesses Should be admited, and also the writen testimo [p. 34]
Noah Webster’s dictionary of early American English lists one definition of arbitrary as “not governed by any fixed rules.” (“Arbitrary,” in American Dictionary.)
An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.