Parley P. Pratt, Testimony, 1 July 1843 [Extradition of JS for Treason]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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detained by the civil law: and as ministers of the gospel in time of peace who never bear arms we cannot be considered prisoners of war, especially as there has been no war. And from present appearances we can hardly be considered prisoners of hope. Why then these bonds? Said he you were taken to be tried, Tried by what authority, said I? By Court Martial replied he. By Court Martial! said I! Yes said he. How says I. Can Men who are not Military Men, but ministers of the Gospel be tried by Court Martial, in this where every man has a right to be tried by a Jury? He replied it was according to the Treaty with on the part of the State of , & on the commanding Officer of the Fortress of , on the part of the Mormons— and in accordance with the ’s orders. And said he, I approve of all that has done & am determined to see it fulfilled. Said I, was but a Colonel of the Militia & commissioned by the . And the Mormons had no Fortress; but were in common with others, Citizens of and therefore we recognise no authority in , to sell our liberties or make treaties for us.
Several days afterwards again entered our prison and said, he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities. accordingly we were soon brought before , judge of the fifth circuit. Where an examination was commenced & witnesses sworn at the point of the bayonet & threatened on pain of death, if they did not swear to that which would suit the Court. During this examination I heard [p. 7]
detained by the civil law: and as ministers of the gospel in time of peace who never bear arms we cannot be considered prisoners of war, especially as there has been no war. And from present appearances we can hardly be considered prisoners of hope. Why then these bonds? Said he you were taken to be tried, Tried by what authority, said I? By Court Martial replied he. By Court Martial! said I! Yes said he. How says I. Can Men who are not Military Men, but ministers of the Gospel be tried by Court Martial, in this where every man has a right to be tried by a Jury? He replied it was according to the Treaty with on the part of the State of , & the commanding Officer of the Fortress of , on the part of the Mormons— and in accordance with the ’s orders. And said he, I approve of all that has done & am determined to see it fulfilled. Said I, was but a Colonel of the Militia & commissioned by the . And the Mormons had no Fortress; but were in common with others, Citizens of — and therefore we recognise no authority in , to sell our liberties or make treaties for us.
Several days afterwards again entered our prison and said, he had concluded to deliver us over to the civil authorities. accordingly we were soon brought before , judge of the fifth circuit. Where an examination was commenced & witnesses sworn at the point of the bayonet & threatened on pain of death, if they did not swear to that which would suit the Court. During this examination I heard [p. 7]
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