Difficulties with the Higbees and Fosters—Conferences Appointed by the Twelve throughout the United States—Instructions to Reuben Hedlock, President of the British Mission—Preparations for Enlargement of the Work—Francis M. Higbee’s Suit against President Smith—The Prophet Released.
Wednesday, April 10, 1844.—The Twelve were in council arranging a plan for appointing conferences.
Thursday, 11.—In general council in Masonic Hall, morning and afternoon. Had a very interesting time. The Spirit of the Lord was with us, and we closed the council with loud shouts of Hosanna!
Friday, 12.—The Twelve met in council. Rode out with Brothers Parker and Clayton to look at some land.
A conference was held at Cypry, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Elder Benjamin L. Clapp, president, and John Brown, clerk. Seven branches were represented, consisting of 192 members, 12 Elders, 5 Priests, 4 Teachers, and 2 Deacons, all in good standing.
Saturday, 13.—At 10 A.M. met in City Council. George P. Styles was appointed City Attorney. I advise that the council take such a course as would protect the innocent: that in many cases the attorney would get his pay off the individual employing him; that the appointment would be a valuable consideration, and for one year a salary of $100 would be sufficient; perhaps $160 the next year, &c., increasing as the city increases; and if $100 would not satisfy, we had better have no attorney. “I would rather give my services as counselor, &c., than levy a tax the people are not able to pay; and that every man ought to be willing to help prop the city by bearing a share of the burden till the city is able to pay a higher salary. My opinion is that the officers of the city should be satisfied with a very small compensation for their services. I have never received twenty-five dollars for my services; [as counselor] but the peace I have enjoyed in the rights and liberties of the city has been ample compensation.”
I suggested the propriety of inserting a clause in the ordinance to be made relating to the City Attorney, authorizing him to claim fees of parties in certain cases, and the small salary satisfy the attorney in cases where he can get no fees from his client. “I would rather be docked $100 in my salary than have the $200 given to the City Attorney by the city.”
I also proposed that the Council take into consideration the payment of the police; also proposed that a public meeting be called in each ward to see if they will not, then the council will take the case into consideration.
At 1 P.M., the Municipal Court sat in the assembly room, where I asked Dr. R. D. Foster if he bore my expenses to Washington, or any part thereof.
Foster replied he did not.
I stated that Dr. Goforth had said that he was taken in a secret council when Foster told him he had paid my expenses.
Dr. Foster replied he never had a secret interview with Dr. Goforth, and gave his version of the meeting.
I then asked him—”Have I ever misused you any way?
Foster said—”I do not feel at liberty to answer this question, under existing circumstances?”
I again asked him—”Did I ever misuse you?”
He again replied—”I do not feel at liberty to answer under existing circumstances.”
I then asked—”Did I ever wrong you in deal, or personally misuse you in any shape?”
Foster said, “I do not feel at liberty to answer. I have treated you Christianly and friendly too, so far as I have had the ability.”
I then asked him to tell me where I had done wrong, and I will ask his forgiveness; for I want you to prove to this company by your testimony that I have treated you honorably.
Foster then said—”I shall testify no further at present.”
I then asked Justice Aaron Johnson—”Did I ever make oath before you against Simpson?”
He replied—”Not before the prosecution.”
I then told the whole story.
Andrew Colton then came up before the Municipal Court on habeas corpus, and was discharged on the insufficiency of the papers.
After which, I preferred the following charge before the High Council against Dr. Robert D. Foster “for unchristian-like conduct in general, for abusing my character privily, for throwing out slanderous insinuations against me, for conspiring against my peace and safety, for conspiring against my life, for conspiring against the peace of my family, and for lying.”
A charge was preferred against Harrison Sagers for teaching spiritual wife doctrine and neglecting his family, which was handed over to the High Council to act upon.
At 2 P.M., Elder John Taylor delivered a political discourse.
About 5 P.M., the “Maid of Iowa” arrived at the Nauvoo House wharf, filled with passengers from England, led by William Kay. 210 souls started from Liverpool, and nearly all arrived in good health and spirits, one smaller company having previously arrived.
Sunday, 14.—Rainy day. No meeting at the stand. I preached on board the “Maid of Iowa.”
Committee of the Council met in the afternoon at my office.
Monday, 15.—At home settling with Dan Jones for steamboat “Maid of Iowa.” She has returned in debt about $1,700. After much conversation and deliberation, I agreed to buy out Jones, by giving him property in the city worth $1,231, and assuming the debts.
I rode out in the afternoon.
The Twelve Apostles arranged the appointments for the general conferences in the United States as follows:
Quincy, Ill., Sat. and Sun. May 4 and 5
Princess Grove, Ill.,———”———”———”——— 11 12
Ottowa, Ill.,———”———”———”——— 18 19
Chicago, Ill.,———”———”———”——— 25 26
Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Mich.,———”———”———June 1 2
Pleasant Valley, Mich.,———”———”———”——— 8 9
Frankland, Oakland county, Mich.,———”———”———”——— 15 16
Kirtland, Ohio———”———”———”——— 22 23
G. A. Neal’s six miles west of Lockport, N.Y.,———”———”———”——— 29 30
Batavia, N. Y.,———”———”——— July 6 7
Portage, Alleghany county, N. Y.,———”———”———”——— 13 14
Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y.,———”———”———”——— 20 21
Oswego, N. Y.,———”———”——— June 29 30
Adams, Jefferson county, N. Y.,———”———”———July 6 7
London, Caledonia county, N. Y.,———”———”———June 15 16
Northfield, Washington county, ten miles of Montpelier, at Lyman Houghton’s, N.Y.,
———”———”———”——— 29 30
Fairfield, Essex Co., at Elder Tracy’s, N. Y.,———”———”———July 13 14
Boston, Mass.,———”———”———June 29 30
Salem, ———”———”———”———July 6 7
New Bedford, Mass.,———”———”———”——— 13 14
Peterboro, N. H.,———”———”———”——— 13 14
Lowell, Mass.,———”———”———”——— 27 28
Scarboro, Maine,———”———”———”——— 6 7
Vinal Haven, ———”———”———”———”——— 13 14
Westfield, Mass.,———”———”———”——— 27 28
Farmington, Mass.,———”———”——— Aug. 3 4
New Haven, Conn.,———”———”———”——— 10 11
Canaan, Conn.,———”———”———”——— 17 18
Norwalk, ———”———”———”———”——— 24 25
New York City, N.Y.,———”———”———”——— 17 18
Philadelphia, Pa.,———”———”———Aug. 31 Sep. 1
Dresden, Weekly county, Tenn.,———”———”———May 25 26
Eagle Creek, Benton county, Tenn., Sat. and Sun. June 8 and 9
Dyer county, C. H.,———”———”———”——— 22 23
Rutherford county, C. H., Tenn.,———”———”——— July 20 21
Lexington, Henderson county, Tenn.,———”———”——— Aug. 3 4
New Albany, Clinton county, Ky.,———”———”——— June 29 30
Alquina, Fayette county, Ia.,———”———”———”——— 1 2
Pleasant Garden, Ia.,———”———”———”——— 15 16
Fort Wayne, Ia.,———”———”———”——— 29 30
Northfield, Boon county, Ia.,———”———”——— July 13 14
Cincinnati, Ohio,———”———”——— May 18 19
Pittsburgh, Pa.,———”———”——— June 1 2
Leechburg, ———”———”———”———”——— 15 16
Running Water Branch, Noxuble Co., Miss.,———”———”———”——— 1 2
Tuscaloosa, Ala.,———”———”———”——— 22 23
Washington City, D. C., Sept. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12,13, 14, 15.
We also publish the names of the Elders who are appointed to the several states, together with their appointments. Those who are numbered with the figures 1 and 2 will take the presidency of the several states to which they are appointed.
J. Butterfield, 1st Jonathan H. Hale
Elbridge Tufts, 2nd Henry Herriman
S. B. Stoddard John Moon
W. Snow, 1st Harley Morley
Howard Egan, 2nd Israel Barlow
Alvin Cooley David Clough Sen.
John S. Twiss Calvin Reed
Charles A. Adams Chilion Mack
Bethuel Miller Isaac Burton
A D. Boynton.
Daniel Spencer, 1st George Lloyd
Milton F. Bartlett Orlando D. Hovey
Daniel Loveland Nathaniel Ashby
Joseph J. Woodbury Samuel P. Hoyt
W. H. Woodbury Daniel W. Gardner
John R. Blanchard
William Seabury, 1st Melvin Wilbur
E. H. Davis, 1st Quartus S. Sparks
Erastus Snow, 1st Warren Snow
William Hyde Dominicus Carter
Denman Cornish Levi W. Hancock
Jeremiah Hatch Alfred Cordon
Martin Titus Charles Snow
William Haight James C. Snow
John D. Chase A. M. Harding
Josiah H. Perry Isaac Houston
C. W. Wandell, 1st William Newland
Marcellus Bates, 2nd Allen Wait
Truman Gillett William H. Parshall
A. A. Farnham C. H. Wheelock
Edmund Ellsworth Timothy B. Foote
Gregory Bentley George W. Fowler
Homer C. Hoyt Henry L. Cook
Isaac Chase William W. Dryer
Simeon A. Dunn Elijah Reed
Daniel Shearer Solon Foster
James W. Phippin Hiram Bennett
J. H. Van Natta Chandler Holbrook
Samuel P. Bacon Lyman Hall
Bradford W. Elliott William Felshaw
J. R. G. Phelps Daniel Fisher
Joseph P. Noble D. H. Redfield
John Tanner Martin R. Tanner
Thomas Fuller G. DGoldsmith
O. M. Duel Charles Thompson
Samuel White B. C. Elsworth
W. R. R. Stowell Archibald Bates
William D. Pratt David Pettigrew
Marcellus McKeown Ellis Eames
Horace S. Eldredge
Ezra T. Benson, 1st John Pack
D. D. Yearsley, 1st Wm. P. McIntyre
Edson Whipple, 2nd Jacob Zundall
John Duncan Orrin D. Farlin
Stephen Post Henry Mouer
G. W. Crouse G. Chamberlain
Jacob Shoemaker Thomas Hess
Stephen Winchester A. J. Glaefke
Hyrum Nyman Henry Dean
J. M. Cole James Downing
John Jones Jonathan O. Duke
Warren Snow Justus Morse
Jacob Hamblin Patrick Norris
B. Winchester, 1st James Park
S. C. Shelton, 2nd A. W. Whitney
Geo. D. Watt, 3rd Pleasant Ewell
Chapman Duncan W. E. Higginbottom
Joseph King John F. Betts
Peter Fife Alfred B. Lambson
Robert Hamilton David Evans
A. McRae, 1st John Holt
Aaron Razer, 2nd John Houston
Thomas Guymon James Sanderson
Alonzo LeBaron, 1st Ekells Truly
John M. Emell William Smith
William D. Lyman
Morgan L. Gardner Miles Anderson
Isaac Beebe S. E. Carpenter
John D. Lee, 1st D. D. Hunt
D. H. Rogers M. B. Welton
Samuel B. Frost Horace B. Owens
John O. Angus Joseph Holbrook
Charles Spry Hiram W. Mikesell
John H. Reid Garret W. Mikesell
A. O. Smoot, 1st J. J. Castell
Alphonzo Young, 2nd J. A. Kelting
W. W. Riley J. Hampton
Amos Davis Alfred Bell
L. T. Coon Armstead Moffitt
Jackson Smith D. P. Rainey
W. P. Vance James Holt
H. D. Buys Warren Smith
A. D. Young J. J. Sasnett
Joseph Younger H. B. Jacobs
G. W. Langley John L. Fullmer
G. Penn Joseph Mount
B. L. Clapp, 1st L. D. Butler
G. W. Brandon T. J. Brandon
J. B. Walker Daniel Tyler
J. B. Bosworth, 1st John Kelly
H. H. Wilson George Pew
Wm. Nelson Lorenzo Moore
A. A. Simmons J. A. Mcintosh
Darwin Chase Nathaniel Leavitt.
Lorenzo Snow, 1st William Batson
L. Brooks, 2nd G. C. Riser
Alfred Brown Clark Lewis
J. J. Riser B. W. Wilson
J. Carroll A. W. Condit
L. O. Littlefield Loren Babbitt
J. M. Powers Elijah Newman
Milo Andrus Milton Stow
John Lovelace Edson Barney
W. H. Folsom Hiram Dayton
John Cooper Jacob Morris
S. Carter Ezra Strong
John Nichols J. M. Emmett
David Jones Allen Tulley
Nathaniel Childs P. H. Young
Jesse Johnson S. P. Hutchins
J. A. Casper J. H. Foster
Joseph Rose Nathan T. Porter
W. Brothers Ezra Vincent
Jared Porter Lysander Dayton
John W. Roberts
Amasa Lyman, 1st U. V. Stewart
G. P. Dykes, 2nd Washington Lemon
A. L. Lamoreaux Edward Carlin
Charles Hopkins L. D. Young
F. M. Edwards Wm. Snow
Salmon Warner Nathan Tanner
F. D. Richards Wm. Martindale
S. W. Richards Henry Elliott
John Mackey A. F. Farr
James Newberry John Jones
Abraham Palmer Frederick Ott
John G. Smith
Charles C. Rich, 1st Wm. Savage
Harvey Green, 2nd David Savage
Thomas Dunn Graham Coltrin
R. C. Sprague Samuel Parker
Joseph Curtis Jeremiah Curtis
Zebedee Coltrin C. W. Hubbard
Reuben W. Strong S. D. Willard
L. N. Kendall Wm. Gribble
E. H. Groves, 1st Morris Phelps, 2nd
John Vance S. Mulliner
H. Olmstead Galena John Gould
H. W. Barnesdo. Zenus R. Gurley
Hiram Mott Jefferson Hunt
David Candland Jacob L. Burnham
W. A. Duncan D. J. Kershner
Wm. O. Clark N. Leavitt
Almon Bathrick John Laurence
P. H. Buzzard Nathan A. West
Zachariah Hardy Levi Jackman
John Hammond Abel Lamb
G. W. Hickerson Howard Coray
Daniel Allen Stephen Markham
David Judah Levi Stewart
Thomas Dobson James Graham
James Nelson Timothy S. Hoit
David Lewis Duncan McArthur
A. H. Perkins, 1st Wm. Coray
John Lowry, 2nd O. M. Allen
Wm. G. Rule Wm. H. Jordan
S. H. Briggs
F. Nickerson, 1st A. C. Nickerson
L. S. Nickerson
Those Elders who are numbered in the foregoing list to preside over the different states will appoint conferences in all places in their several states where opportunities present, and will attend all the conferences, or send experienced and able Elders, who will preach the truth in righteousness, and present before the people “General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the General Government,” and seek diligently to get up electors who will go for him for the Presidency. All the Elders will be faithful in preaching the Gospel in its simplicity and beauty, in all meekness, humility, long-suffering and prayerfulness; and the Twelve will devote the season to traveling, and will attend as many conferences as possible.
Elder B. Winchester is instructed to pass through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia, to visit the churches, hold conferences, and preside over them.
Brigham Young, President
W. Richards, Clerk of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Tuesday, 16.—Rode out to Brother Greenwood’s, but he had not returned. Five P.M. had a long talk with Chauncey L. Higbee and Esq. Marr, in front of my house, and read to them Dr. A. B. Williams’ and M. G. Eaton’s affidavit before Esq. Wells.
The Twelve Apostles met in council.
Wednesday 17.—Rode out with Brother Heber C. Kimball and William Clayton to the steamboat landing. Remainder of the day at home.
Thursday, 18.—Nine A.M. went into general council until noon and introduced J. W. Coolidge, D. S. Hollister, and added Lyman Wight’s name.
While at dinner I made mention of the report that Foster, Higbee, et al. were paying someone’s board at my table so as to catch something against me; so that, if the report is true, they may have something to carry back.
Two to five thirty P.M. in council.
Excommunication of the Laws, Fosters, et. al.
At 6 P.M. Brigham Young, Willard Richards, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, of the Twelve Apostles; Alpheus Cutler, Samuel Bent, George W. Harris, A. Johnson, William Marks, of the City Council; Charles C. Rich, Amasa M. Lyman, of the High Council; William W. Phelps, Newel K. Whitney, John Smith, John M. Bernhisel, Joseph Fielding, George J. Adams, Erastus Snow, Reynolds Cahoon, J. W. Coolidge, John Scott, John D. Lee, Levi W. Hancock, S. Williams, Jos. Young, John P. Greene, John D. Parker, Alexander McRae, George D. Watt, and William Clayton held a council and unanimously cut off Robert D. Foster, Wilson Law, William Law and Jane Law, of Nauvoo, and Howard Smith of Scott county, Illinois, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for unchristian-like conduct; and their names were published in the Times and Seasons.
Friday, 19.—A company of about eighty Saints arrived.
In the evening rode to the upper steamboat landing.
Saturday, 20.—Emma started for St. Louis to purchase goods.
I rode out with Dr. Bernhisel and my boys Frederick and Alexander to the prairie, which is now very green.
Elders Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff rode to Lima and spent the night with Father Morley.
Sunday, 21.—At home; rainy day. A meeting at the Stand. Elder Erastus Snow preached on “The Law of Nature.”
Elders Young and Woodruff attended a conference and preached to the Saints in Lima, where twenty-six Elders volunteered to go out preaching.
Elder Kimball attended a conference at Ramus.
Monday, 22.—All night lightning, thundering, raining, with strong east wind which continued through the day.
The river very high; all the mills in the city stopped on account of the high water.
This morning a man, who had put up at my house told me he wanted to see me alone. I went into my room with him, when he told me he was a prophet of God, that he came from Vermont, and he prophesied that this Government, was about to be overthrown, and the kingdom which Daniel speaks of was about to be established somewhere in the West, and he thought in Illinois.
My brother William arrived from New Jersey with some forty or fifty Saints. I spent some time with him in the evening.
Elders Young and Woodruff started for Nauvoo; but on account of a tremendous storm of hail and rain, they were glad to take shelter at Brother William Draper’s where they spent the night.
Tuesday, 9.—From 9 to 12 a general meeting of citizens friendly to my election, was held in the hall, to elect a delegate to go to the Baltimore Convention, to be held on the first Monday in May. D. S. Hollister was elected.
From 3 to 5 P.M. again assembled, and many speeches were made, &c.; and appointed the second Monday in May to hold a State Convention at Nauvoo.
In the evening, visited Agnes, my brother Carlos’ widow, and Dr. Richards, with Hyrum.
Wednesday, 24.—Rode up to the steamboat landing, where we found Elder J. M. Grant, who introduced me to judge William Richards, of New Jersey, took him to Brother Winchester’s.
In the evening Brother Ezra Thayer, Dr. Richards, and Dr. Williams were in my room, and a man who boarded at the Masonic Hall. At their request, I gave them a history of the Laws’ proceedings, in part, in trying to make a difficulty in my family, &c.
Gave recommendations to Elders Amasa M. Lyman and D. S. Hollister.
Thursday, 25.—Emma returned from St. Louis.
A brother who works in the St. Louis Gazette office came up at the same time, and wanted to know by what principle I got so much power, how many inhabitants and armed men we had, &c. I told him I obtained power on the principles of truth and virtue, which would last when I was dead and gone, &c.
In general council from 10 till 12, and from 2 to 5, When they adjourned sine die, after appointing a State Convention to meet in Nauvoo on 17th May. The council then dispersed to go abroad in the nations.
Instructed Dr. Richards to make out a writ of habeas corpus for Mr. Jeremiah Smith, of Iowa, who was expecting to be arrested by the U. S. Marshal for getting money which was due him, as he says, at Washington.
A play on rational amusement was to commence this evening, but a most tremendous shower of rain and large hail from the southwest commenced about six P.M. which prevented it. The small creeks rose over four feet high, overflowed their banks, sweeping away fences, and doing considerable damage.
The Mississippi river is higher at this place than ever known by the oldest inhabitant.
Violence of the Fosters and Higbees.
Friday, 26.—At home. At 10 A.M. the Marshal went up on the hill to arrest Augustine Spencer for an assault on his brother, Orson Spencer, in his own house. Robert D. Foster, Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee came down. Charles Foster drew a pistol pointed towards me, and threatened to shoot while standing on the steps of my office. I ordered him to be arrested and the pistol taken from him, when a struggle ensued, in which Charles Foster, Robert D. Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee resisted, and I ordered them to be arrested also, and I as the Mayor ordered the policemen to be called; then went on to try Augustine Spencer. He was fined $100, and required to give bonds in $100 to keep the peace for six months. He appealed the case at once to the Municipal Court.
Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Charles Foster were also tried for resisting the authorities of the city.
O. P. Rockwell sworn. Marshal John P. Greene sworn:—Said Dr. Foster swore by God that he would not assist the Marshal, and swore by God they would see the Mayor in hell before they would go; and that Charles Foster drew a pistol and presented at the Mayor, which was being wrested from him when Dr. Robert D. Foster interfered. Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee said they would be G—d—d if they would not shoot the Mayor. They breathed out many hard threatenings and menacing sayings. They said they would consider themselves the favored of God for the privilege of shooting or ridding the world of such a tyrant (referring to the Mayor).
Joseph W. Coolidge sworn, and confirmed the Marshal’s testimony.
Elbridge Tufts sworn, and confirmed the foregoing statements.
Robert D. Foster, Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee were each fined $100. They immediately took an appeal to the Municipal Court.
I issued a warrant for Robert D. Foster, on complaint of Willard Richards, for a breach of ordinance, in that Foster said to Richards; “You,” shaking his fist in the doctor’s face, “are another d—ned black-hearted villain! You tried to seduce my wife on the boat, when she was going to New York and I can prove it; and the oath is out against you.”
Saturday, 27.—A large company of gentlemen from St. Louis and other places on the river, called at the Mansion. After spending some time, they returned to the boat, but it was gone, when they again returned to the Mansion.
At 9 A.M. the case of Dr. Robert D. Foster came up for trial before the Municipal Court. I had a conversation with Foster in which he charged me with many crimes, and said that Daniteism was in Nauvoo; and he used a great variety of vile and false epithets and charges.
The court adjourned to Monday, the 29th at 9 A.M.
Foster agreed to meet me on the second Monday in May, at the Stand, and have a settlement, and he would publish the result of it in the Warsaw papers. I told him if he did not agree to be quiet, and not attempt to raise a mob, I would not meet him; if he would agree to be quiet, I would be willing to publish the settlement in the Neighbor. But Foster would not agree to be quiet. I then told him I had done my duty; the skirts of my garments were free from his (Foster’s) blood; I had made the last overtures of peace to him; and then delivered him into the hands of God, and shook my garments against him as a testimony thereof.
I continued in the office some time afterwards in conversation, and then went into the big room and read in the Warsaw Signal a vile article against the Saints.
Elder Hiram Smith arrived from Liverpool accompanied by one hundred and fifty immigrating Saints.
There was a meeting at the Stand at one o’clock, to give instructions to the Elders going out electioneering. They were addressed by President Rigdon and William Smith.
Dr. Richards prosecuted Robert D. Foster for slander, &c.
Sunday, 28.—At home. A beautiful clear day.
My brother Hyrum preached at the Stand in the morning, and among other things, said the time will shortly come that when one man makes another an offender for a word, he shall be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ. There were prophets before, but Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.
President Brigham Young also spoke very pointedly and very truly about Dr. Foster and others. Dr. Foster was cursed, and the people cried “Amen.”
Several persons were baptized in the river at the foot of Main street.
There was a meeting of the Twelve Apostles, Seventies and others, in the Seventies’ Hall, in the afternoon.
Prayer meeting in the evening: the brethren prayed for the sick, a deliverance from our enemies, a favorable termination to lawsuits, &c., &c. I had been suddenly taken sick, and was therefore unable to attend.
A conference of Elders assembled at Yelrome, or Morley Settlement, Lima, Isaac Morley presiding, when a quorum of High Priests was organized, consisting of thirty-one members. Horace Rawson president, Philip Gardner and Joseph S. Allen, his counselors, and James C. Snow, clerk.
There was a meeting at Wilson Law’s, near the sawmill, of those who had been cut off from the Church, and their dupes. Several affidavits which they had taken against me and others were read. William Law, Wilson Law, Austin A. Cowles, John Scott, Sen., Francis M. Higbee, Robert D. Foster, and Robert Pierce were appointed a committee to visit the different families in the city, and see who would join the new church; i.e., as they had decided that I was a fallen prophet, &c.; and they appointed William Law in my place, who chose Austin Cowles and Wilson Law as his counselors. Robert D. Foster and Francis M. Higbee to be two of the Twelve Apostles, &c., &c., as report says.
Elder James Blackeslee preached in the forenoon, bearing a faithful testimony of the truth of the work and my being a true prophet, and in the afternoon joined the “Anties.” They chose Charles Ivins Bishop.
A conference was held in Sheffield, England, representing 215 members, 7 Elders, 19 Priests, 5 Teachers, and 3 Deacons.
Monday, 29.—At home; received a visit from L. R. Foster of New York, who gave me a good pencil case, sent me by Brother Theodore Curtis, who is now in New York; and the first words I wrote with it were, “God bless the man!”
At 11 A.M., Robert D. Foster came up for trial. I transferred the case to Alderman William Marks. Foster objected to the jurisdiction of the court, also to an informality in the writ, &c.
The court decided he had not jurisdiction. Esquire Noble, from Rock river, assisted the City Attorney. Esquire Patrick was present.
I called a special session of the City Council at 3:30 P.M., when it was voted that W. W. Phelps take the place of John Taylor during his absence this season; also Aaron Johnson in place of Orson Hyde; Phineas Richards in place of Heber C. Kimball; Edward Hunter in place of Daniel Spencer; Levi Richards in place of Brigham Young as councilors in the City Council; and Elias Smith as alderman in place of George A. Smith.
Lieutenant Williams filed his affidavit versus Major-General Wilson Law, and he was suspended from office to await his trial before a court-martial of the Nauvoo Legion for ungentlemanly conduct, &c.; and he was notified of his command in the Legion being suspended, and Charles C. Rich was notified to take command, and also notified seven officers to sit as a court-martial.
William Law was suspended for trial about the same time.
Steamer Mermaid touched at Nauvoo House, landing at 5 P.M. for a short time when going down.
John P. Greene published the following in the Neighbor: (Impression of May 1st.)
The Foster-Higbee Embroilment.
All is peace at Nauvoo, among the Saints:
But, Mr. Taylor, I wish you to give the following outrage an insertion in the Neighbor, that the public mind may be disabused, and the disgrace and shame fall on those who have justly deserved it and merited the people’s rebuke!
On Friday morning, the 26th inst., I was informed by Mr. Orrin P. Rockwell that one Mr. Augustine Spencer had committed an assault on the person of Alderman Orson Spencer, and the Mayor of the city had sent for Augustine Spencer, and found him in Mr. Marr’s law office, made him a prisoner, and informed him he must go with me to the Mayor’s office, when he said he would not go.
I then called upon Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Charles A. Foster to assist me in taking said Spencer to the Mayor’s office; but they swore they would not, and used many threatening oaths and aspersions, saying they would see the Mayor and the city damned, and then they would not; but soon followed me and Mr. Augustine Spencer to the office door, when the Mayor ordered me to arrest these three men for refusing to assist me in the discharge of my duty; and when attempting to arrest them, they all resisted, and with horrid imprecations threatened to shoot.
I called for help, and there not being sufficient, the Mayor laid hold on the two Fosters at the same time. At that instant Charles A. Foster drew a double-barrel pistol on Mr. Smith, but it was instantly wrenched from his hand; and afterwards he declared he would have shot the Mayor, if we had let his pistol alone, and also he would thank God for the privilege of ridding the world of a tyrant! Chauncey L. Higbee responded to Foster’s threats, and swore that he would do it.
However, the three were arrested and brought before the Mayor, whereupon Orrin P. Rockwell, Joseph Coolidge, John P. Greene and E. Tufts testified to the amount of the above statements; upon which evidence the court assessed a fine of one hundred dollars to each of the above-named aggressors, who appealed to the Municipal Court.
I wish the public to know who it is that makes insurrections and disturbs the peace and quiet of the people of the city of Nauvoo; and in order to do this I need only to tell the world that this Robert D. Foster is a county magistrate, and the same Robert D. Foster that was fined for gambling a few weeks since; and that this Chauncey L. Higbee is a lawyer and notary public of Hancock county, and the same Chauncey L. Higbee that was fined for insulting the city officers (the marshal and constable) when in the discharge of their official duties, a few weeks since.
“When the wicked rule the people mourn, but righteousness exalteth any nation”—Solomon.
J. P. Greene, City Marshal.
N. B.—We wish it to be distinctly understood that neither of the three above-named individuals are members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, but we believe Charles A. Foster is a Methodist.—J. P. G.
Tuesday, 30.—At home counseling the brethren about many things; received much company, &c.
In the afternoon in council with Hiram Clark and Brigham Young, at Brigham Young’s house, on the affairs of the Church in England.
A complaint was commenced against William and Wilson Law in the Masonic Lodge, &c.
Sent notification to two more officers to sit in the court-martial on the trial of William and Wilson Law.
The Osprey steamer touched at the Nauvoo House landing in the evening.
Wednesday, May 1.—Heavy rain and wind last night.
At home counseling the brethren, and rode out a short time in the afternoon with a gentleman from Quincy.
Elder Lyman Wight and Bishop George Miller arrived from the Pine country.
Mr. Thomas A. Lyne, a tragedian from New York, assisted by George J. Adams and others, got up a theatrical exhibition in the lower room of the Masonic Hall, which was fitted up with very tasteful Scenery. They performed “Pizarro,” “The Orphan of Geneva,” “Douglas,” “The Idiot Witness,” “Damon and Pythias,” and other plays with marked success. The Hall was well attended each evening, and the audience expressed their entire satisfaction and approbation.
Thursday, 2.—Very windy all night, breaking down large trees; a thunder storm also.
At home and counseling the brethren.
Sent William Clayton to Wilson Law to find out why he refused paying his note, when he brought in some claims as a set-off which Clayton knew were paid, leaving me no remedy but the glorious uncertainty of the law.
At 10 A.M. the Maid of Iowa steamer started for Rock River for a load of wheat and corn to feed the laborers on the Temple.
William Clayton and Colonel Stephen Markham started to attend court at Dixon, on the case of “Joseph Smith vs. Harmon T. Wilson and Joseph H. Reynolds.”
In the afternoon I rode to the prairie to sell some land, and during my absence Lucien Woodworth returned from Texas.
Lieut. Aaron Johnson made the following affidavit;
Nauvoo, May 2nd, 1844.
State of Illinois, Hancock Co.,
City of Nauvoo. ss
Personally appeared before me, John Taylor, Judge-Advocate of the Nauvoo Legion, Aaron Johnson; and being duly sworn deposes and says that on or about the 28th day of April, 1844, at the dwelling house of Wilson Law in Nauvoo aforesaid, Colonel R. D. Foster, Surgeon-in-Chief, and Brevet Brigadier-General of said Nauvoo Legion, while talking about General Joseph Smith, said that General Smith kept a gang of robbers and plunderers about his house for the purpose of robbing and plundering, and he (Smith) received half the spoils; also that said General Joseph Smith tried to get him (Foster) to go and kill Boggs, with many other ungentlemanly and unofficer-like observations concerning said General Smith and others.
2nd Lieut., 1st Comp., 1st Regiment, 2nd Cohort, Nauvoo Legion.
Personally appeared, Aaron Johnson, the signer of the above complaint, and made oath the same was true according to the best of his knowledge and belief, the day and year above written before me.
Judge-Advocate of the Nauvoo Legion.
Friday, 3.—At home giving advice to brethren who were constantly calling to ask for counsel. Several thunder showers during the day.
In general council from 2 to 6, and from 8 to 10 P.M. Lucien Woodworth gave an account of his mission.
Wrote a letter to Uncle John Smith, and requested him to attend general council next Monday.
The following letter was written:
Letter: Brigham Young and Willard Richards to Reuben Hedlock—Instructions on Immigration Matters.
Nauvoo, May 3rd, 1844.
Elder Reuben Hedlock:
Dear Brother—Your long communication by Elder Kay was received two weeks last Saturday, also the one by Elder Clark last Saturday, and we feel to thank you for the care you have taken to write us so particularly. We are glad to receive such communications, and wish you to continue the same course as opportunities present. The brethren have all had good passages (four ships). Elder Clark was only five weeks and three days to New Orleans. All things safe.
All things are going on gloriously at Nauvoo. We shall make a great wake in the nation. Joseph for President. Your family is well, and friends generally. We have already received several hundred volunteers to go out electioneering and preaching and more offering. We go for storming the nation. But we must proceed to realities.
The whisperings of the Spirit to us are that you do well to content yourself awhile longer in old England, and let your wife remain where she is. We hope the Temple may be completed, say one year from this spring, when in many respects changes will take place. Until then, who can do better in England than yourself! But we will not leave you comfortless; we will send Elders to your assistance. For three or four months we want all the help we can get in the United States; after which you may expect help.
In the meantime you are at liberty to print as many Stars, pamphlets hymn books, tracts, cards, &c., as you can sell; and make all the money you can in righteousness. Don’t reprint everything you get from Nauvoo. Many things are printed here not best to circulate in England. Select and write doctrine, and matter, (new) such as will be useful to the Saints in England and new to us; so that when we exchange papers all will be edified. God shall give you wisdom, if you will seek to Him, and you shall prosper in your printing.
We also wish you to unfurl your flag on your shipping office, and send all the Saints you can to New York, or Boston, or Philadelphia or any other port of the United States, but not at our expense any longer. We have need of something to sustain us in our labors, and we want you to go ahead with printing and shipping, and make enough to support yourself and help us a bit. You will doubtless find it necessary to employ Brother Ward. Keep all your books straight, so that we in the end can know every particular.
Ship everybody to America you can get the money for—Saint and sinner—a general shipping-office. And we would like to have our shipping-agent in Liverpool sleep on as good a bed, eat at as respectable a house, keep as genteel an office, and have his boots shine as bright, and blacked as often as any other office-keeper. Yes sir; make you money enough to wear a good broadcloth, and show the world that you represent gentlemen of worth, character and respectability.
We will by-and-by have offices from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and we will begin at Liverpool from this time and increase and increase and increase the business of the office as fast as it can be done in safety, and circumstances will permit. Employ a runner, if necessary, and show the world you can do a better and more honorable business than anybody else, and more of it. Don’t be afraid to blow your trumpet.
We need not say, deal with everybody so that they will want to deal with you again, and make all the money you honestly can. Send no more emigrants on emigration books or Star money. Temple orders for emigrants may be filled on Temple funds. Keep account of all moneys in their separate departments and favor us with a report occasionally.
Sell the Books of Mormon the first opportunity, if it be at a reduced price, and forward the money by the first safe conveyance to Brigham Young.
We will pay your wife as you requested in your letter, as soon as possible. We wish you to take care of yourself and family, and withal help us besides; and we have now put you in possession of means to do it.
Let nobody know your business but the underwriters. Our wives know not all our business, neither does any wise man’s wife know all things, for the secret of the Lord is with those that fear Him and do His business. A hint to the wise is sufficient. But we will add, if you want us to do anything for your wife, write us, and we will do it; but keep our business from your wife and from everybody else.
We are glad to hear a door is open in France, and sure we have no objections to your going over and preaching, &c.; but we think perhaps you will now find as much to do in England as you can find time to do it in; if not, go by all means. We are in hopes of sending a special messenger to France in a few days; if so, very likely he may call on you, and you pass over and give him an introduction: this would be pleasant for you all.
Brother Hedlock, a word with you privately. Joseph said, last conference, that Zion included all North and South America; and after the Temple was done, and the Elders endowed, they would spread and build up cities all over the United States; but at present we are not to teach this doctrine. Nay, hold your tongue. But by this you can see why it is wisdom for the Saints to get into the United States—anywhere rather than stay in England to starve.
The prophet has a charter for a dam from the lower line of the city to the island opposite Montrose, and from thence to the sand-bar above in the Mississippi. Could five, six or seven thousand dollars be raised to commence the dam at the lower extremity, and erect a building, any machinery might be propelled by water. The value of a steam-engine would nearly build the dam sufficient for a cotton-factory, which we much need. Start some capitalists, if you can: ’tis the greatest speculation in the world: a world of cotton and woollen goods are wanted here.
We have proposed to Brother Clark to return to your assistance in the shipping business soon; also to enter into exchanges of goods and produce. Which he will do, he has not decided. What will hinder your doing a good business in shipping this season? Good? Yes, in competing with the first offices in the city, and by next season taking the lead, if not this! When the Saints get to New York, Boston, &c., let them go to work, spread abroad in the land, or come to Nauvoo, as they and convenient and have means, and when the season arrives, start again for New Orleans. Write soon after the receipt of this, and let us know the prospect.
Tell the Saints, when they arrive in America, to make themselves as comfortable as they can, and be diligent in business, and not be over anxious if they cannot come to Nauvoo. They will find Elders in all the states who will be ready to give them instruction; and if they can gather something by the way by their industry to assist themselves with when they arrive here, it will be well for them.
We have dropped the Nauvoo House until the Temple can be completed, and the Temple is going on finely. We have had an open winter and a forward spring. The Twelve are holding general conferences all over the United States. They will go East soon, and Brother Young will write to you as soon as he gets the information to tell what house you can remit the book money to in New York.
We shall have a State Convention at Nauvoo on the 17th inst.,—an election. A great many are believing the doctrine. If any of the brethren wish to go to Texas, we have no particular objection. You may send a hundred thousand there if you can, in eighteen months, though we expect before that you will return to receive your endowments; and then we will consult your interest, with others who may be going abroad, about taking their families with them.
The kingdom is organized; and, although as yet no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, the little plant is in a flourishing condition, and our prospects brighter than ever. Cousin Lemuel is very friendly, and cultivating the spirit of peace and union in his family very extensively.
William and Wilson Law, Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. and Francis Higbee, Father Cowles, &c., have organized a new church. (Laws and Fosters were first cut off). William Law is Prophet; James Blakesley and Cowles, Counselors; Higbee and Foster of the Twelve. Cannot learn all particulars. Charles Ivins, Bishop; old Dr. Green and old John Scott, his counselors. They are talking of sending a mission to England, but it will probably be after this when they come among you. ‘Tis the same old story over again—”The doctrine is right, but Joseph is a fallen prophet.”
Your brethren in the new covenant,
Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote from Richmond, Mass., as follows:
Letter: Parley P. Pratt to Joseph Smith et al., Denouncing Augustine Spencer.
Dear Brother Joseph and Brother Orson Spencer, or whom it may concern:
This is to forewarn you that you have a snake in the grass—a base traitor and hypocrite in your midst, of whom perhaps you may not be fully aware. You may think these harsh terms, but I speak from good evidence and speak the truth.
Mr. Augustine Spencer, brother to Elder Orson Spencer, has written a letter from Nauvoo, which is now going the rounds in this neighborhood, and is fraught with the most infamous slander and lies concerning Joseph Smith and others, and which is calculated to embitter the minds of the people who read or hear it. It affirms that Joseph Smith is in the habit of drinking, swearing, carousing, dancing all night, &c., and that he keeps six or seven young females as wives, &c., and many other such like insinuations.
At the same time he cautions the people to whom he writes to keep the letter in such a way that a knowledge of its contents may not reach Nauvoo, as he says he is on intimate terms and confidential friendship with the “Prophet Joe” and the Mormons, and that he hopes to get into office by their means. This is his own acknowledgment of his own baseness, imposition and hypocrisy. I have not seen the letter myself, but have carefully examined the testimony of those who have, and I have also seen and witnessed its baneful effect upon the people here.
Now, I say to the Saints, Let such a man alone severely; shun him as they would the pestilence; be not deceived by a smooth tongue nor flattering words; neither accept of any excuse or apology until he boldly contradicts and counteracts his lying words abroad; but rather expose and unmask him in your midst, that he may be known and consequently become powerless, if he is not already so. I am well and expect to be in Boston tomorrow.
I remain, as ever, your friend and brother, in the love of truth,
P. P. Pratt.
Richmond, Mass., May 3rd, 1844.
Saturday, 4.—Rode out on the prairie to sell some land. The Stone work for four circular windows finished cutting for the middle story of the Temple. Elder Wilford Woodruff moved into his new brick house.
A court-martial was detailed as follows:
Headquarters Nauvoo Legion May 4, 1844.
To Alanson Ripley, Sergeant-Major, 2nd Cohort, Nauvoo Legion:
You are hereby forthwith commanded to notify the following named officers of the Nauvoo Legion to assemble at the office of Lieut.-General Joseph Smith, on Friday, the 10th inst., at 9 o’clock A.M., as members of a court-martial detailed for the trial of Robert D. Foster, Surgeon-in-Chief and Brevet Brigadier-General of the Nauvoo Legion, on the complaint of Lieut. Aaron Johnson for unofficer-like and unbecoming conduct, and hereof fail not, and make returns of your proceedings to the President of the Court on the first day of its sitting—viz.
Brig.-Gen. George Miller as President; Brevet Brig.-Gen. Hugh McFall, Brevet Brig.-General Daniel H. Wells, Brevet Brig.-Gen. John S. Fullmer, Colonel Jonathan Dunham, Colonel Stephen Markham, Colonel Hosea Stout, Colonel John Scott, Lieut.-Colonel John D. Parker, Lieut.-Colonel Jonathan H. Hale, Lieut.-Colonel Theodore Turley, as members of said court, and Colonel John Taylor as Judge-Advocate. Also to summons Willard Richards and Aaron Johnson to appear at the same time and place as witnesses.
Given under my hand the day and year above written.
Charles C. Rich,
Major-General N. L., Commanding.
Dr. Richards wrote a letter, at President Brigham Young’s request, to Reuben Hedlock.
Sunday, 5.—At home. Rainy day. Elder Jedediah M. Grant preached at the Mansion at 2 P.M. A large company of friends at my house afternoon and evening, whom I addressed on the true policy of this people in our intercourse with the national government.
A conference was held at Marsh Hill, (formerly Froom’s Hill) England, comprising 681 members, 22 Elders, 43 Priests, 15 Teachers, 7 Deacons.
Monday, 6.—Attended general council all day. Elder J. M. Grant was added to the council. Voted to send Almon W. Babbitt on a mission to France and Lucien Woodworth to Texas. Sidney Rigdon was nominated as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency of the United States.
I had a warrant served on me by John D. Parker, issued by the clerk of the Circuit Court at Carthage, on the complaint of Francis M. Higbee, who had laid his damages at $5,000, but for what the writ does not state.
I petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of habeas corpus, which I obtained.
At 6 P.M. I was in conversation with Jeremiah Smith and a number of gentlemen, in my office on the subject of Emma’s correspondence with Governor Carlin.
Beautiful day. West wind.
Tuesday 7.—Rode out on the prairie at nine A.M., with some gentlemen, to sell them some land. A tremendous thunder shower in the afternoon, with a strong wind and rain, which abated about sunset, and I stayed at my farm all night.
Esquire Daniel H. Wells issued a writ of ejectment against all persons who had bought land of Robert D. Foster on the block east of the Temple, Foster having given them warranty deeds, but not having paid for the land himself.
An opposition printing press arrives at Dr. Foster’s.
The following notice was issued by the Recorder:
State of Illinois,
City of Nauvoo.
To the Marshal of the said City, greeting:
You are hereby required to notify Phineas Richards, Edward Hunter and Levi Richards, that they have been elected members of the City Council of said city; and Elias Smith, that he has been elected Alderman of said city by said City Council; and the said Councilors and Alderman and Gustavus Hills are required to appear, receive their oath of office, and take seats in said Council on Saturday, the 8th of June, 1844, at 10 o’clock A.M., at the Council Chamber. By order of the Council. Witness my hand and corporation seal this 7th May, 1844.[L. S.]
W. Richards, Recorder.
Thursday, 8.—Returned home. At 10 A.M. went before the Municipal Court on the case, “Francis M. Higbee versusJoseph Smith.”
The Prophet’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Municipal Court, City of Nauvoo, Illinois.
Third day, regular term, May 8, 1844.
Before Alderman N. K. Whitney, acting Chief Justice, and Aldermen Daniel H. Wells, William Marks, Orson Spencer, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, George A. Smith and Samuel Bennett, Associate Justices presiding.
Exparte Joseph Smith Sen., on habeas corpus.
Messrs. Styles and Rigdon, Counsel for Smith.
This case came before the court upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, which was issued by this court on the 6th of May instant, upon the petition of Joseph Smith, Sen., as follows:
State of Illinois,
City of Nauvoo, Sct.
To the Honorable Municipal Court and for the City of Nauvoo:
The undersigned, your petitioner, most respectfully represents that he is an inhabitant of said city. Your petitioner further represents that he is under arrest in said city, and is now in the custody of one John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of the county of Hancock, and state of Illinois; and that the said Parker holds your petitioner by a writ of Capias ad respondendum, issued by the clerk of the Circuit Court of the county of Hancock and state of Illinois, at the instance of one Francis M. Higbee of said county, requiring your petitioner to answer the said Francis M. Higbee, “of a plea of the case;” damage, five thousand dollars. Your petitioner further represents that the proceedings against him are illegal; that the said warrant of arrest is informal, and not of that character which the law recognizes as valid; that the said writ is wanting and deficient in the plea therein contained; that the charge or complaint which your petitioner is therein required to answer is not known to the law.
Your petitioner further avers that the said writ does not disclose in any way or manner whatever any cause of action; which matter your petitioner most respectfully submits for your consideration, together with a copy of the said warrant of arrest which is hereunto attached.
Your petitioner further states that this proceeding has been instituted against him without any just or legal cause; and further that the said Francis M. Higbee is actuated by no other motive than a desire to persecute and harass your petitioner for the base purpose of gratifying feelings of revenge, which, without any cause, the said Francis M. Higbee has for a long time been fostering and cherishing.
Your petitioner further states that he is not guilty of the charge preferred against him, or of any act against him, by which the said Francis M. Higbee could have any charge, claim or demand whatever against your petitioner.
Your petitioner further states that he verily believes that another object the said F. M. Higbee had in instituting the proceeding was and is to throw your petitioner into the hands of his enemies, that he might the better carry out a conspiracy which has for some time been brewing against the life of your petitioner.
Your petitioner further states that the suit which has been instituted against him has been instituted through malice, private pique and corruption.
Your petitioner would therefore most respectfully ask your honorable body to grant him the benefit of the writ ofhabeas corpus, that the whole matter may be thoroughly investigated, and such order made as the law and justice demand in the premises: and your petitioner with ever pray. Joseph Smith, Sen.
Order of the Municipal Court.
State of Illinois,
City of Nauvoo, Sct.
Nauvoo, May 6th, 1844.
The people of the State of Illinois, to the Marshal of said city, greeting:
Whereas application has been made before the Municipal Court of said city, that the body of one Joseph Smith, Senior, of the said city of Nauvoo, is in the custody of John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of Hancock county and state aforesaid.
These are therefore to command the said John D. Parker, of the county aforesaid, to safely have the body of said Joseph Smith, Senior, of the city aforesaid, in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention, by whatsoever name the said Joseph Smith, Senior, may be known or called, before the Municipal Court of said city forthwith, to abide such order as the said court shall make in this behalf; and further, if the said John D. Parker, or other person or persons, having said Joseph Smith, Senior, of said city of Nauvoo, in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you, the marshal of said city, or other person authorized to serve the same, are hereby required to arrest the person or persons so refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid, and bring him or them, together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal Court aforesaid, to be dealt with according to law; and herein fail not and bring this writ with you.
Witness, Willard Richards, clerk of the Municipal Court at Nauvoo, this 6th day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
Clerk M. C. C. N.
I hold the within-named Joseph Smith, Senior, under arrest, by virtue of a capias ad respondendum.
Hancock County Court.
To May Term, A. D. 1844.
Francis M. Higbee
Joseph Smith In case.
The day of his caption, May 6th, 1844.
To damage five thousand dollars.
Wm. Backenstos, S. H. C.
By J. D. Parker, D. S.
State of Illinois,
Hancock County. ss
The people of the state of Illinois to the Sheriff of said county, greeting:
We command you that you take Joseph Smith, if to be found within your county, and him safely keep, so that you have his body before the Circuit Court of said county of Hancock on the first day of the next term thereof, to be holden at the Courthouse in Carthage on the third Monday in the month of May instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, of a plea of the case; damage, the sum of five thousand dollars, as he says; and you have then there this writ, and make due return thereon in what manner you execute the same.
Witness, J. B. Backenstos, clerk of said Circuit Court at Carthage, this first day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
J. C. Backenstos, Clerk.
By D. E. Head, Deputy.
This is a true copy of the original now in the possession of William B. Backenstos, Sheriff of Hancock county.
By J. D. Parker, Deputy.
State of Illinois,
City of Nauvoo. Sct.
To Mr. Francis M. Higbee:
Sir.—You will please to take notice that Joseph Smith, Senior, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court of said city, praying that he may be liberated from the custody of John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of Hancock county, by whom he is held in custody on a capias ad respondendum, issued by the Circuit Court of Hancock county, on the first day of May instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee on a plea of the case, etc.; which writ is granted; and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Municipal Court at 10 o’clock A.M. on the 7th of May instant, at the Council Chamber in said city, and show cause why said Joseph Smith, Senior, should not be liberated on said habeas corpus.[Seal]
Witness my hand and seal, of court this 5th day of May, 1844.
Willard Richards, Clerk M. C. C. N.
The case was argued at length by Messrs. George P. Styles and Sidney Rigdon. After which the court allowed the petitioner and his counsel to proceed with the case. Whereupon President Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Cyrus H. Wheelock, Joel S. Miles, Henry G. Sherwood, Heber C. Kimball, were permitted to testify proving (1) the very bad and immoral character of Francis M. Higbee; and (2) the maliciousness of his prosecution of Joseph Smith. In the course of his testimony the Prophet said: “The only sin I ever committed was in exercising sympathy and covering up their [the Higbees’, Fosters’, Laws’ and Dr. Bennett’s] iniquities, on their solemn promise to reform, and of this I am ashamed, and will never do so again.” After hearing these witnesses the Judge said: “It is considered and ordained by the court—
“1st. That the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the case, and that he go hence without day.
“2nd. Francis M. Higbee’s character having been so fully shown as infamous, the court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption, and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the court that the said Francis M. Higbee pay the costs.”[Seal]
In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said court at the city of Nauvoo, this 8th day of May, 1844.
Willard Richards, Clerk.
I copy the following from the Neighbor of this date:
Hurrah for the General! The following which we extract from the St. Louis Organ, shows how the public mind is turning, and what their feelings are in regard to the Prophet, his views and theirs also in regard to the Presidency.
Forebear awhile—we’ll hear a little more. The matter is now settled with Messrs. Clay, Tyler and Van Buren. Let Mr. Clay return at once from his political perambulations in the South, Mr. Tyler abandon his hopes of re-election by aid of the “immediate annexation” of Texas, and let Mr. Van Buren be quiet at Kinderhook, that he may watch the operations of the “sober second thought” of the people!
General Joseph Smith, the acknowledged modern Prophet, has got them all in the rear; and from the common mode of testing the success of candidates for the Presidency, to wit., by steamboat elections, he (Smith) will beat all the other aspirants to that office two to one. We learn from the polls of the steamboat Osprey, on her last trip to this city, that the vote stood for General Joseph Smith, 20 gents and 5 ladies; Henry Clay, 16 gents and 4 ladies; Van Buren, 7 gents and 0 ladies.
Attended theatre in the evening.