Charges against President Smith before the Circuit Court—His Voluntary Appearances at Court—Treatment—Return to Nauvoo.
Saturday, May 18, 1844.—At 9 A.M., I went with Heber C. Kimball to visit President Brigham Young, and afterwards went out to the regimental training, and also in the afternoon riding on my horse, “Joe Duncan.”
At 5 P.M., two cannons were fired opposite my old house, and the regiments were dismissed.
The high Council cut off from the Church James Blakesley, Francis M. Higbee, Charles Ivins, and Austin Cowles, for apostasy.
Sunday, 19.—Cloudy morning; rain about noon. I remained at home. Elder Lyman Wight preached at the stand in the morning. The usual prayer meeting at 2 P.M. was dispensed with on account of the mud and rain.
In the evening I talked to the brethren at my house, Esquire Reid, my old lawyer, being present, W. W. Phelps read my last letter to Henry Clay to the company.
Monday, 20.—Emma continued very sick, and I was with her most of the time.
At 10 A.M., there was a meeting at the stand for the purpose of collecting means to enable Elder Lyman Wight to go to Washington.
Court Session at Carthage.
The Circuit Court commenced its sitting at Carthage, Judge Thomas presiding. Brother Phelps and many of the brethren went to Carthage. Phelps returned in the evening with the intelligence that a summons was supposed to be issued for me to appear on the same case on which I was set free by habeas corpus on the 8th inst. 1 The lawyers agreed to move an abatement. A good influence in favor of the Saints appears to have prevailed.
A general court-martial of the Legion was held, Brevet Major General Hyrum Smith presiding. It was adjourned to the 10th of June next.
Tuesday, 21.—A very pleasant morning. I rode out on horseback to the prairie, with Porter Rockwell and Mr. Reid. At 7 A.M., Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Lyman Wight, and about a hundred Elders, left this city on the steamer Osprey (Captain Anderson) for St. Louis.
The Maid of Iowa arrived at 8 A.M., with sixty-two Saints from the Eastern States on board, all in good health and spirits. The clerk, Thomas Bullock, reported the fields on each side of the river covered with water to the depth of upwards of sixteen feet, and all the farms on the flats of the Mississippi river were submerged, and the river was still rising eight inches per day. The Maid of Iowa started up the river for Wapello on the Iowa river at 3 P.M.
I was at home towards night with Emma, who is somewhat better. I shoveled dirt out of the ditch, while Wasson stood on the corner of the fence to watch. An officer arrived having a summons and an attachment to take me to Carthage, but he could not find me. I rode out in the evening to see David Yearsley’s child, who was sick, and returned home at 9 P.M.
I copy from the Times and Seasons:—
Letter: George A. Smith to “Times and Seasons”—Conference at Newark, Illinois.
Newark, Kendall County, Ill., May 21, 1844.
Editor of the Times and Seasons:—
Dear Sir,—We arrived at Ottawa on the 17th inst., after driving four days through the constant rains, and over roads almost impassable for man or beast. We were soon informed that the conference was removed twenty miles up Fox River, at the Newark Branch.
Notice had been given for a political address to be delivered in the Court House in the evening by one of the Twelve; several hundred citizens assembled, and were addressed by Elder G. A. Smith. The speaker considered General Smith the smartest man in the United States, and best calculated to fill the presidential chair, which was applauded by the assembly. His political views as presented on that occasion seemed to please most of the people. At the close of the speech the congregation quietly dispersed. Elder Woodruff continued his journey ten miles, and held a meeting with the LaSalle Branch of 46 members, mostly emigrants from Norway. On the 18th we arrived at Newark, and attended the Conference according to appointment.
The following is a copy of the minutes, which we forward for publication:—
Newark, Kendall County, Ill., May 18, 1844.
Conference convened pursuant to notice.
There were present two of the quorum of the Twelve, one High Priest, two Seventies, nine Elders, one Priest, and one Teacher.
Conference called to order by Elder Woodruff.
Elder George A. Smith called to the chair.
Conference opened by singing, and prayer by the president.
Representation of the several branches was called for, when the following branches were represented as follows:
Newark Branch, 35 members, 1 Elder, 1 Teacher; Lasalle Branch, 46 members, 2 Elders: Ottawa Branch, 16 members, 2 Elders; Bureau Branch, 15 members, 3 Elders; Pleasant Grove, McHenry County, 19 members, 2 Elders; Indian Creek Branch, 5 members; Big Vermillion Branch, 4 members; French Creek Grove Branch, 2 members. Total 133 members, 10 Elders, and 1 Teacher,
Canute Petersen, Severt Olson, Zimri H. Baxter, Levi Lightfoot, S. D. Huffaker, Mades Madison, Vance Jacobs, and Oder Jacobson, were ordained Priests; Ole Johnson and Peter Maclin ordained Teachers, under the hands of Elders Wilford Woodruff, Geo. A. Smith, and Ezra Thayer.
Appropriate remarks were then made by Elders Woodruff and Smith by way of counsel and instruction to those who had been ordained; followed by Elder David Savage.
Adjourned until Sunday morning, 10 o’clock.
Met according to adjournment.
Opened by singing and prayer by Elder A.M. Wilsey.
A discourse was then delivered by Elder Wilford Woodruff, in which he instructed the Elders to be careful to preach the first principles of the Gospel and doctrines of Christ, and not to spend their time in warring with the opinions of other men; showed the importance of revelation, and the necessity of a Prophet of God, as the head of the Church on earth, being as necessary in order to exist and advance in knowledge as for a natural body to possess a head in order to live. He considered we were enjoying the society of as good a Prophet in this day as any people ever enjoyed in any age of the world, and believed all good men would think so, if they were fully acquainted with him and his principles.
He was followed by Elder Geo. A. Smith, who bore testimony to the truth of the fullness of the Gospel, counseled the Elders to be humble, and not get head and shoulders above their brethren, lest they fall, like the tallest trees of the forest, that are first swept down by the raging storm.
Two o’clock, met according to adjournment, when the sacrament was administered, and many testimonies given from the Elders and members present concerning the truth of the work they had received.
Conference was dismissed amid the best of feelings, which were manifested not only by all the Saints, but by the whole congregation of citizens that attended. Good order prevailed through the whole conference. Attention, kindness, and civility, were manifested by all.
Geo. A. Smith, President.
Asa Manchester, Clerk.
At the close of the Conference, Elders C. C. Rich, David Fullmer, Norton Jacobs, and Moses Smith arrived direct from Nauvoo, on their way to Michigan.
20th—We have appointed a political meeting in Newark, this evening, and one at Joliet tomorrow evening, where we expect to present to the citizens General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government, and discuss the subject of politics.
Geo. A. Smith.
Wednesday, 22.—At home, watching, as the officers from Carthage were after me.
Visit of Sac and Fox Indians to Nauvoo.
At 10 A.M., about 40 Indians of the Sacs and Foxes came up in front of the Mansion, four or five of them being mounted, among whom was Black Hawk’s brother, Kis-kish-kee, &c. I was obliged to send word I could not see them at present. They encamped in the Council Chamber afternoon and night. I was with the police on duty, and saw several individuals lurking around.
Very pleasant day.
President Brigham Young preached to the brethren in St. Louis this evening.
Thursday, 23.—Emma rather better. Read Hebrew with Neibaur, and counseled with various friends.
At 10 A.M., the Municipal Court met, Newel K. Whitney presiding; but there not being a quorum present, adjourned for one week.
Address of the Prophet to the Indians.
At one P.M., had a talk with the Sac and Fox Indians in my back kitchen. They said—”When our fathers first came here, this land was inhabited by the Spanish; when the Spaniards were driven off, the French came, and then the English and Americans; and our fathers talked a great deal with the Big Spirit.” They complained that they had been robbed of their lands by the whites, and cruelly treated.
I told them I knew they had been wronged, but that we had bought this land and paid our money for it. I advised them not to sell any more land, but to cultivate peace with the different tribes and with all men, as the Great Spirit wanted them to be united and to live in peace. “The Great Spirit has enabled me to find a book [showing them the Book of Mormon], which told me about your fathers, and Great Spirit told me, ‘You must send to all the tribes that you can, and tell them to live in peace;’ and when any of our people come to see you, I want you to treat them as we treat you.”
At 3 P.M., the Indians commenced a war dance in front of my old house. Our people commenced with music and firing cannon. After the dance, which lasted about two hours, the firing of cannon closed the exercise, and with our music marched back to the office. Before they commenced dancing, the Saints took up a collection to get the Indians food.
A. A. Lathrop came to my clerk, Dr. Richards, and told him an officer was on his way with an attachment for him, and that the grand jury had found a bill against me for adultery, on the testimony of William Law; he had come from Carthage in two hours and thirty minutes to bring the news. Dr. Richards came to my house and stayed all night.
Aaron Johnson came from Carthage, and said that Foster had been swearing that I swore to the complaint on which Simpson was arrested. I instructed Johnson and Rockwell to go to Carthage in the morning, and have him indicted for perjury, as I never did swear to the complaint. The officer was after John D. Parker also, and report says Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and W. Clayton.
Past nine P.M., I walked a little way with Dr. Richards for exercise.
Hyrum’s Caution to the Prophet on the Freedom of Speaking.
My brother Hyrum called in the evening, and cautioned me against speaking so freely about my enemies, &c., in such a manner as to make it actionable. I told him that six months would not roll over his head before they would swear twelve as palpable lies about him as they had about me.
President Brigham Young left St. Louis at noon in the steamboat Louis Philippe.
Friday, 24.—With my family all day.
Aaron Johnson and Orrin P. Rockwell went to Carthage to get Robert D. Foster indicted; but they returned again as the grand jury had risen. Joseph H. Jackson was at Carthage, and had sworn falsely against me.
At 6 P.M., went to Dr. Bernhise ‘s room, and had counsel with Brothers Richards and Phelps. I ordered a meeting of the City Council for tomorrow, and returned to my family after being absent about one hour.
The Central Committee wrote a letter to Hugh Clark Esq.:—
Letter: Central Campaign Committee to Hugh Clark, Esq.,—Presidential Election Matters.
Nauvoo, Illinois, May 24, 1844.
Sir.—Having received your address through our mutual friend, Mr. Edward Doughty, we forward with this per next mail the Nauvoo Neighbor of the 22nd inst., through which you will learn the doings of a State Convention held in this place on the 17th; and this communication has been drawn forth, in a great degree, through our sympathies for a people who are now being mobbed in the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia) as we have been for many years in Missouri; and for what? For our religion, although called by another name.
The Mormons and the Catholics are the most obnoxious to the sectarian world of any people, and are the only two who have not persecuted each other and others in these the United States, and the only two who have suffered from the cruel hand of mobocracy for their religion under the name of foreigners; and to stay this growing evil, and establish Jeffersonian democracy, free trade and sailor’s rights, and protection of person and property,” we have nominated General Joseph Smith for the next president of the nation—a man with whom we are thoroughly acquainted, and have no fear in pledging our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor, that, if elected, he will give and secure these inestimable blessings to every individual and society of men, no matter what their religious faith. Help us to elect this man, and we will help you to secure these privileges which belong to you, and break every yoke.
You will please to consider yourself a member of the corresponding committee with us, agreeable to the resolution of the State Convention, and lay this subject before your people, giving us your views on receipt hereof, and open such correspondence as wisdom shall dictate.
General Smith’s prospects are brightening every day. With sentiments of the highest consideration, we are your obedient servants,
John M. Bernhisel,
W. W. Phelps,
Lucian R. Foster,
Central Committee of Correspondence for the Election of General Joseph Smith to the Presidency.
Hugh Clark, Esq. Alderman.
Corner of Fourth and Masters Street, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia.
A conference was held at Chicago, Alfred Cordon, president, and James Burgess, clerk. Eleven Elders were present, and a very favorable impression was made upon the minds of the people.
Reported Indictments of the Prophet.
Saturday, 25.—At home, keeping out of the way of the expected writs from Carthage. Towards evening, Edward Hunter and William Marks, of the grand jury returned from Carthage; also Marshal John P. Greene and Almon W. Babbitt, who informed me there were two indictments found against me, one charging me with false swearing on the testimony of Joseph H. Jackson and Robert D. Foster, and one charging me with polygamy, or something else, on the testimony of William Law, that I had told him so! The particulars of which I shall learn hereafter. There was much false swearing before the grand jury. Francis M. Higbee swore so hard that I had received stolen property, &c., that his testimony was rejected. I heard that Joseph H. Jackson had come into the city. I therefore instructed the officers to arrest him for threatening to take life, &c.
I had a long talk with Edward Hunter, my brother Hyrum, Dr. Richards, William Marks, Almon W. Babbitt, Shadrach Roundy, Edward Romney and others, and concluded not to keep out of the way of the officers any longer.
At 2 P.M. I was in council in my north room, and heard the letters from Elder O. Hyde read, and instructed Dr. Richards to write an answer, which he did as follows:
Letter:—Willard Richards to Orson Hyde—Answering Hyde’s Letter on Western Movement.
Nauvoo, May 26, 1844.
Orson Hyde, Esq.:
Sir.—Yours of April 30th is received. The council convened this afternoon, and, after investigation, directed an answer, which must be brief to correspond with the press of business.
All the items you refer to had previously received the deliberation of the council.
Messrs. Lyman Wight and Heber C. Kimball will doubtless be in Washington before you receive this, from whom you will learn all things relative to Texas, &c. Our great success at present depends upon our faith in the doctrine of election; and our faith must be made manifest by our works and every honorable exertion made to elect Gen. Smith.
Agricultural pursuits will take care of themselves, regulating their own operations and the rich also; but the poor we must gather and take care of, for they are to inherit the kingdom.
Nauvoo will be a “corner stake of Zion” forever, we most assuredly expect. Here are the house and the ordinance, extend where else we may.
Press the bills through the two houses, if possible. If Congress will not pass them, let them do as they have a mind with them. If they will not pass our bills, but will give us “something,” they will give what they please, and it will be at our option to accept or reject.
Men who are afraid of “hazarding their influence” in the councilor political arena are good for nothing. ‘Tis the fearless, undaunted and persevering who will gain the conquest of the forum.
Sidney Rigdon, Esq., is about to resign the postoffice at Nauvoo, in favor of Gen. Joseph Smith, the founder of the city. He has the oldest petitions now on file in the general postoffice for that station, and has an undoubted claim over every other petitioner, by being the founder and supporter of the city, and by the voice of nineteen-twentieths of the people; and every sacred consideration; and it is the wish of the council that you engage the Illinois delegation to use their influence to secure the office to General Smith without fail, and have them ready to act on the arrival of Mr. Rigdon’s resignation, and before too, if expedient.
We are also writing to Justin Butterfield, Esq., U. S. Attorney for the district of Illinois, who has kindly offered his services to secure the post office to the General, he having been here and seen for himself the situation; and probably his letter to the department will arrive nearly as soon as this.
The election on the principle of Jeffersonian democracy, free trade, and protection of person and property, is gaining ground in every quarter. All is well in Nauvoo, although some of the Anties are trying to do us injury; but their efforts are palsied, and they make very little headway. You remember the Preston motto, “Truth will prevail! 2 Therefore we go ahead.
You have the best wishes of the council and friends here. I am, sir, most respectfully yours,
W. Richards, Recorder.
By order of the council.
N. B. Your families and friends were well last information.
Sidney Rigdon resigned the office of postmaster of Nauvoo, and recommended me as his successor.
The Maid of Iowa arrived at five P.M.
The High Council have directed the following testimony to be published in the Neighbor, I copy it with the editor’s remarks, to show the character of the men who are now seeking to destroy my life and usefulness, and overthrow the work of the Lord which He has commenced through my instrumentality:[Here follow the affidavits of Margaret J. Nyman, Matilda J. Nyman, Sarah Miller, and an extract from the testimony of Catherine Warren before the High Council of the Church to the effect that Chauncey L. Higbee had brought about their ruin by deceit in representing that Joseph Smith taught that promiscuous sexual relations were not sinful when kept secret, and by this misrepresentation he, the said Chauncey L. Higbee, accomplished his wicked purposes].
We have abundance of like testimony on hand which may be forthcoming if we are compelled; at present the foregoing may suffice.
“Why have you not published this before?” We answer—on account of the humility and entreaties of Higbee at the time; and on account of the feelings of his parents, who are highly respectable, we have forborne until now. The character of Chauncey L. Higbee is so infamous, and his exertions such as to destroy every principle of righteousness, that forbearance is no longer a virtue.
After all that this Chauncey L. Higbee has done in wickedly and maliciously using the name of Joseph Smith to persuade innocent females to submit to gratify his hellish lusts, and then blast the character of the most chaste, pure, virtuous and philanthropic man on earth, he, to screen himself from the law of the land and the just indignation of an insulted people, and save himself from the penitentiary, or whatever punishment his unparalleled crimes merit, has entered into a conspiracy with the Laws and others against the lives of those who are knowing to his abandoned conduct, thus hoping to save himself from the disgrace which must follow an exposure, and wreak his vengeance and gratify his revenge for his awful disappointment.
Conference in Jefferson Co., N.Y.
A two days’ conference was held in Jefferson county, New York, at 10 A.M. Present 300 Saints, 150 of whom had embraced the Gospel since last autumn. Nine branches were represented, containing 289 members, 16 Elders, 8 Priests and 1 Teacher. An immense concourse of people assembled to hear the Elders preach. Elder Benjamin Brown was President, and J. W. Crosby, Clerk.
Conference, Dresden, Tenn.
A three days’ conference was held at Dresden, Weakly county, Tennessee. Elder A. O. Smoot was chosen president, and D. P. Raney, secretary. A large congregation assembled, but the proceedings were interrupted by a mob headed by some of the leading men of the county; yet a candidate for elector was appointed by my friends.
Sunday, 26.—At 10 A.M. I preached at the Stand. The following synopsis was reported by Mr. Thos. Bullock, clerk of the steamer, Maid of Iowa.
Address of the Prophet—His Testimony Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo.
President Joseph Smith read the 11th Chap. 2 Corinthians. My object is to let you know that I am right here on the spot where I intend to stay. I, like Paul, have been in perils, and oftener than anyone in this generation. As Paul boasted, I have suffered more than Paul did. I should be like a fish out of water, if I were out of persecutions. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble. The Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution. I am not nearly so humble as if I were not persecuted. If oppression will make a wise man mad, much more a fool. If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of a mountain and crow like a rooster; I shall always beat them. When facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at last. My enemies are no philosophers: they think that when they have my spoke under, they will keep me down—but for the fools, I will hold on and fly over them.
God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil—all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go. For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. They have got wonderful things in the land of Ham. I think the grand jury have strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel.
A man named Simpson says I made an affidavit against him, &c. Mr. Simpson says I arrested him. I never arrested Mr. Simpson in my life. He says I made an affidavit against him, I never made an affidavit against him in my life. I will prove it in court. I will tell you how it was: Last winter I got ready with my children to go to the farm to kill hogs. Orrin P. Rockwell was going to drive. An Englishman came in and wanted a private conversation with me. I told him I did not want any private conversations. “I demand one of you!” Such a one I am bound to obey anyhow. Said he—”I want a warrant against the man who stabbed Brother Badham. He said it was a man who boarded at Davis’. He said it was Mr. Simpson—it answered his description. I said I had no jurisdiction out of the city. He said—”The man must be arrested, or else he will go away.” I told him—”You must go to Squire Wells, Johnson, or Foster.” Mr. Lytle stepped up and said—”I am a policeman.” I jumped into my carriage, and away I went.
When I came back I met Mr. Jackson. He said—”You did wrong in arresting Mr. Simpson.” I told him I did not do it. I went over and sat down, and related the circumstances. He turned round and said—”Mr. Smith, I have nothing against you; I am satisfied.” He went and supped with me. He declared in the presence of witnesses, that he had nothing against me. I then said—I will go over to Esquire Johnson, and testify what the Englishman told me.” I told him not to make out that I believe he is the man, but that I believe he is innocent. I don’t want to swear that he is the man. Messrs. Coolidge, Rockwell, Hatfield, and Hawes were present.
Mr. Johnson made one [a complaint] out in due form: and as I sat down in a bustle the same as I do when one of the clerks brings a deed for me to sign. Johnson read it. I said—”I can’t swear to that affidavit; I don’t believe it, tear up that paper.” Mr. Simpson agreed to come before Badham and make it up. I did not swear to it [i. e. to the complaint.]
After a while, Dr. Foster and others came in. They called me up to testify. I told it all the same as I do here. Mr. Simpson rose up, and asked—”Do you believe now that I am the man who stabbed Mr. Badham?” I replied—”No sir, I do not now, nor ever did: the magistrate says I did not swear to it.” He considered, and made a public declaration that he was satisfied with me.
Aaron Johnson went before the grand jury and swore I did not swear to it. when Dr. Foster goes and swears that I swore to it, and that he was in the room when he was not in. Chauncey wanted me to stay and have a conversation. Dr. Foster asked Aaron Johnson for the writ and affidavit. He handed them to Dr. Foster, who read them, and then threw them into the fire. I said—”Doctor, you ought not to have burned it; it was my paper.” Dr. Foster goes to the grand jury and swears he did not burn only one; but I say he burnt both. This is a fair sample of the swearing that is going on against me.
The last discharge was the 40th; now the 41st, 42nd, 43rd; all through falsehood. Matters of fact are as profitable as the Gospel, and which I can prove. You will then know who are liars, and who speak the truth I want to retain your friendship on holy grounds.
Another indictment has been got up against me. It appears a holy prophet has arisen up, and he has testified against me; the reason is, he is so holy. The Lord knows I do not care how many churches are in the world. As many as believe me, may. If the doctrine that I preach is true, the tree must be good. I have prophesied things that have come to pass, and can still.
Inasmuch as there is a new church, this must be old, and of course we ought to be set down as orthodox. From henceforth let all the churches now no longer persecute orthodoxy. I never built upon any other man’s ground. I never told the old Catholic that he was a fallen true prophet God knows, then, that the charges against me are false.
I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives. I mean to live and proclaim the truth as long as I can.
This new holy prophet [William Law] has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man dares not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this.
William Law testified before forty policemen, and the assembly room full of witnesses, that he testified under oath that he never had heard or seen or knew anything immoral or criminal against me. He testified under oath that he was my friend, and not the “Brutus.” There was a cogitation who was the “Brutus.” I had not prophesied against William Law. He swore under oath that he was satisfied that he was ready to lay down his life for me, and he swears that I have committed adultery.
I wish the grand jury would tell me who they are—whether it will be a curse or blessing to me. I am quite tired of the fools asking me.
A man asked me whether the commandment was given that a man may have seven wives; and now the new prophet has charged me with adultery. I never had any fuss with these men until that Female Relief Society brought out the paper against adulterers and adulteresses.
Dr. Goforth was invited into the Laws’ clique, and Dr. Foster and the clique were dissatisfied with that document, and they rush away and leave the Church, and conspire to take away my life; and because I will not countenance such wickedness, they proclaim that I have been a true prophet, but that I am now a fallen prophet.
Jackson has committed murder, robbery, and perjury; and I can prove it by half-a-dozen witnesses. Jackson got up and said—”By God, he is innocent,” and now swears that I am guilty. He threatened my life.
There is another Law, not the prophet, who was cashiered for dishonesty and robbing the government. Wilson Law also swears that I told him I was guilty of adultery. Brother Jonathan Dunham can swear to the contrary. I have been chained. I have rattled chains before in a dungeon for the truth’s sake. I am innocent of all these charges, and you can bear witness of my innocence, for you know me yourselves.
When I love the poor, I ask no favors of the rich. I can go to the cross—I can lay down my life; but don’t forsake me. I want the friendship of my brethren.—Let us teach the things of Jesus Christ. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a downfall.
Be meek and lowly, upright and pure; render good for evil. If you bring on yourselves your own destruction, I will complain. It is not right for a man to bare down his neck to the oppressor always. Be humble and patient in all circumstances of life; we shall then triumph more gloriously. What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.
I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience; and then I sent my brother Hyrum, whom they virtually kicked out of doors.
I then sent Mr. Backenstos, when they declared that they were my enemies. I told Mr. Backenstos that he might tell the Laws, if they had any cause against me I would go before the Church, and confess it to the world. He [Wm. Law] was summoned time and again, but refused to come. Dr. Bernhisel and Elder Rigdon know that I speak the truth. I cite you to Captain Dunham, Esquires Johnson and Wells, Brother Hatfield and others, for the truth of what I have said. I have said this to let my friends know that I am right.
As I grow older, my heart grows tenderer for you. I am at all times willing to give up everything that is wrong, for I wish this people to have a virtuous leader, I have set your minds at liberty by letting you know the things of Christ Jesus. When I shrink not from your defense will you throw me away for a new man who slanders you? I love you for your reception of me. Have I asked you for your money? No; you know better. I appeal to the poor. I say, Cursed be that man or woman who says that I have taken of your money unjustly. Brother Babbitt will address you. I have nothing in my heart but good feelings.
I rode out in the afternoon. On my return, my lawyers, Col. Richardson and Almon W. Babbitt, called upon me on the subject of the writs which were out against me.
Threat to Kidnap Jeremiah Smith.
A man called and informed me that John Eagle and several others intended to kidnap Jeremiah Smith during the night. I therefore stationed an extra police in order to protect him.
President Brigham Young arrived at Cincinnati at 5 P.M.
President Smith Voluntarily goes to Carthage to Meet Indictments.
Monday, 27.—About 8 A.M., I started on horseback with a few friends, went by the Temple, and purchased my course towards Carthage, thinking it best for me to meet my enemies before the Circuit Court, and have the indictments against me investigated. After I had passed my farm on the prairie, most of the following brethren joined my company, and the remainder soon after my arrival in Carthage—viz.: Aaron Johnson, Dr. Bernhisel, Joseph W. Coolidge, John Hatfield, Orrin P. Rockwell, Lorenzo Rockwell, William Walker, Harrison Sagers, Hyrum Smith, John P. Greene, Judge William Richards, Shadrach Roundy, Theodore Turley, Jedediah M. Grant, John Lytle, Joseph B. Noble, Edward Bonney, Lucien Woodworth, Cornelius P. Lott, Johathan Dunham, and other friends.
We arrived at Hamilton’s hotel about noon. Charles A. Foster overtook us three or four miles from the city, and accompanied us to Carthage. I had considerable conversation with him, and he appeared to be more mild than previously, and as though he was almost persuaded that he had been influenced to some extent by false reports.
Joseph H. Jackson, Francis M. Higbee, and Chauncey L. Higbee were in Hamilton’s hotel when we arrived. Soon after our arrival there, Charles A. Foster took me into a private room and told me in a friendly manner that there was a conspiracy against my life. Robert D. Foster told some of the brethren (with tears in his eyes) that there was evil determined against me; and that there were some persons who were determined I should not go out of Carthage alive. Jackson was seen to reload his pistols, and was heard to swear he would have satisfaction of me and Hyrum.
I had a short interview with Judge Thomas, who treated me with the utmost courtesy. He is a great man and a gentleman. After dinner (at the second or third table) we retired to our room, when Jackson, who had been to the Court House, came towards the hotel. Some person told him Hyrum had arrived, when he immediately turned towards the Court House again.
My lawyers, Messrs. Richardson, Babbitt, and Skinner, used all reasonable exertions to bring forward my trial on the charge of perjury; but the prosecuting party were not ready,—one Withers, a material witness (as they asserted in court), being absent.
My attorneys frequently called on me to report the state of things in court, and I was ready to go in at a moment’s warning, being anxious for my trial; but the case was deferred till next term. I was left to give bail to the sheriff at his option. He told me I might go home, where he would call and take bail at his own convenience.
We immediately called for our horses; and while they were being harnessed, Chauncey L. Higbee came to me and wanted me to stay as a witness in a certain case in which he was employed as attorney. He urged me considerably, but I told him I did not recollect the occurrence he referred to particularly enough to testify in the case, and got him to excuse me.
The Return to Nauvoo.
At half-past four P.M., we started on our return; but when we had got as far as Brother George D. Grant’s, a heavy shower of rain commenced, and I went into the house, while most of the brethren went into the barn until the shower abated. After the storm had subsided, we went forward, and I, Hyrum, and some others arrived at home about 9 P.M., and found Emma sick. My carriage, with Joseph B. Noble, arrived a little after. It was upset on the Temple Hill, but no one was hurt. I rode on horseback all the way on “Joe Duncan.”
As we left the tavern in Carthage, and passed the Court House, there were many people about in small groups. Jackson stood on the green with one or two men some distance off.
While at Hamilton’s, Chauncey L. Higbee offered some insulting language concerning me to Orrin P. Rockwell, who resented it nobly as a friend ought to do. Hamilton, seeing it, turned Rockwell out of doors.
It was afterwards reported to me by James Flack that Robert D. Foster, Charles A. Foster, Wm. B. Rollinson, and the Higbees were on the hill when I passed in the morning. They immediately gathered their pistols, mounted their horses, and were in Carthage before me, excepting Charles A. Foster.
Also Mr. Powers was talking with Mr. Davies, a tailor, about my going to Carthage, and said they would attempt to kill Joseph Smith. Mr. Davies replied, “O no, I think not.” Mr. Powers rejoined, “They will, by G—; and you know it, by G—.”
Samuel Smith, of Montebello, heard at five this morning, that I had been taken prisoner to Carthage by a mob. He immediately gathered a company of twenty-five men for the purpose of assisting me, and arrived at Carthage about the time I did.