Trial Report, 12–15 May 1844, as published in Times and Seasons [F. M. Higbee v. JS–A on Habeas Corpus]
Trial Report, , Hancock Co., IL, [12–15] May 1844, F. M. Higbee v. JS–A on Habeas Corpus (Nauvoo, IL, Municipal Court 1844). Published [ca. 18 May 1844] in “Municipal Court,” Times and Seasons, 15 May 1844, 5:536–541.
man on the hill; I did think he was with at the time, the statement of was, that he was guilty, he was sorry and asked forgiveness, he said he had seduced six or seven, he acknowledged it, and said if he was forgiven, he would not be guilty any more. said he knew it was true, he was sorry and had been a hundred times; the very things that we had challenged him with, he acknowledged. I told that it had better be settled he said, Joseph had accused him— if his character was gone all was gone, he said he would settle it and they went into the room, he did not deny any charge, he said he was sorry, that he wanted it buried, and it was agreed to do so. did not say any thing about his sickness, but made those observations to him that he had doctored him in the time of his sickness.
Cross examined.— I asked if he did not tell that he had seduced a girl, he replied, I told that I did seduce her, but I tell you I never did it; I told him so for my own notion of things; I do not recollect of him saying -[[that he had got a bad disorder with the French Girl]- he said he should not have been seduced, if it had not been by , when charged with them, said they were true; that they were alledged a hundred times; he said “I will alter, I will save my character.” I have never heard from brother Joseph any thing about his character, Joseph did not accuse him of any thing before the police; he said had better take care, was a little dissatisfied, but that difference was settled; I was present; he said he would not receive any thing again from abroad; he would not take any steps by hearsay, he would come to him and tell him, there wereseveral present when this took place.
sworn— he recollected the conversation but not very distinctly, but he did recollect that acknowledged to Joseph Smith that he was guilty of the charges preferred against him.
Court adjourned for one hour and a half.
, sworn:— With regard to this case I know nothing, but through a circumstance occurring at . came to my house to preach, he preached and was upholding the authorities of the Church very much, he came over here and apostatized the same day; I then came over and went to see him, I asked him why he had changed his mind so quick? he said he had seen affidavits of the guilt of Mr. Smith, he told me was going about to the different conferences. I told him I thought he had better send some one else, his conduct was not the best and I know of circumstances that were not right. Once I was a mate on a Steam Boat, and was clerk, we had not much cabin; we had some females on board; I and another had given up our room to some ladies for the night; it was my watch, and I went into the cabin for my Buffalo Robe, about one o’clock in the night, when I saw him leaning over the berth where one of the ladies slept; this was in the night— and he had no business there, no gentleman had any right there; I gave up my berth to the ladies; I felt indignant at such conduct, his conduct towards the lady passengers was unbecoming, and particularly in one who professes so much virtue as he now does.
, sworn:— I have seen go into rooms with females, but what their intentions were I did not know, I might have seen him two or three times; I think he has done that which is not right, I should judge from conversations with him, that was the case: I presume he has a good many times; I might recollect twenty times, he has frequently told me things of that kind, it is a private case to be sure— he has told me, that he had commenced an action against Joseph Smith for slander; I met to day, I asked him about the fuss, when he said he had got Mr. Smith up for slander; he said he should not come here— but did not say why, I recollect the time that he was sick, when attended him, I went to see him nearly every day, I understood to say that he was prosecuting Mr. Smith for slander; that he was up before the Municipal Court, he told me he supposed I was wanted to prove that he was a thief, whoremaster, and every thing else.
, sworn;— I have several times had conversations with ; I recollect that near two years ago there was a fuss about s spiritual wife system before the High Council. I recollect a French woman coming up from , and that had medical assistance * * * * * * attended him, Joseph Smith administered unto him but it was irksome; assented that it was so, he did not contradict it, he promised to reform— he would do better, he would do so no more.
, sworn— I think it is near two years: I had some conversation with , he expressed himself indignant at some things; he expressed himself that he was sorry, he would live a new life, he never would say a word against President Joseph Smith; he had an inclination to write that what he published was false. I exhorted him to go and recall what he had said. I after [p. 540]