History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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from laying violent hands upon us, and so long as they chose to stay, we were  obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with  insults and threatenings without number.
We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for  the purpose of attending to the of those who had been the same  morning ; the time appointed had arrived, and our friends had nearly  all collected together, when to my surprise, I was visited by a constable, and arrested by  him on a warrant, on charge of being a disorderly person; of setting the country in  an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, &c &c. The Constable informed me  (soon after I had been arrested) that the plan of those who had got out the warrant, was  to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he  was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person  from what I had been represented to him. I soon found that he had told me the  truth in this matter, for not far from ’s house, the waggon in which we  had set out; was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal  from the Constable; but to their great disappointment— he gave the horse the whip  and drove me out of their reach. Whilst driving along pretty quickly <in great haste>, one of the  waggon wheels came off, which left us, once more, very nearly surrounded by them, as  they had came on, in close pursuit; however we now managed to get <replace> the wheel on again  and, again left them behind us. He drove on to the Town of South Bainbridge  Chenango County, where he lodged me for the time being, in an upper room of a Tavern,  and in order that all might be right with himself and with me also, he slept during  the night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side, whilst I  occupied a bed which was in the room, he having declared that if we were interrupted un lawfully, that he would fight for me, and defend me as far as in his power.
On the day following a court was convened for the purpose of investigating  those charges which had been preferred against me, A great excitement prevailed  on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of  which will come out <appear> in the sequel.
In the mean time, my friend, , had repaired to two of his  neighbours viz: and John Reid Esqrs, (respectable farmers; men  renowned for their integrity, and well versed in the laws of their country,) and retained  them on my behalf during my trial. At <length> the trial commenced amidst a multi tude of spectators who in general evinced a belief that I was guilty of all that had been  reported concerning me, and of course were very zealous, that I should be punished  according to my crimes. Among many witnesses call<ed> up against me, was  Mr (of whom I have made mention, as having worked for him some  time) and examined to the following effect.— Q— Did not the prisoner  Joseph Smith have a horse of you? Ansr Yes. Q— Did not he go to you and  tell you, that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorised him to get [p. 44]
from laying violent hands upon us, and so long as they chose to stay, we were obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with insults and threatenings without number.
We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for the purpose of attending to the of those who had been the same morning ; the time appointed had arrived, and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise, I was visited by a constable, and arrested by him on a warrant, on charge of being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, &c &c. The Constable informed me (soon after I had been arrested) that the plan of those who had got out the warrant, was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him. I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from ’s house, the waggon in which we had set out; was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the Constable; but to their great disappointment— he gave the horse the whip and drove me out of their reach. Whilst driving in great haste, one of the waggon wheels came off, which left us, once more, very nearly surrounded by them, as they had came on, in close pursuit; however we managed to replace the wheel and, again left them behind us. He drove on to the Town of South Bainbridge Chenango County, where he lodged me for the time being, in an upper room of a Tavern, and in order that all might be right with himself and with me also, he slept during the night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side, whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room, he having declared that if we were interrupted unlawfully, that he would fight for me, and defend me as far as in his power.
On the day following a court was convened for the purpose of investigating those charges which had been preferred against me, A great excitement prevailed on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of which will appear in the sequel.
In the mean time, my friend, , had repaired to two of his neighbours viz: and John Reid Esqrs, (respectable farmers; men renowned for their integrity, and well versed in the laws of their country,) and retained them on my behalf during my trial. At length the trial commenced amidst a multitude of spectators who in general evinced a belief that I was guilty of all that had been reported concerning me, and of course were very zealous, that I should be punished according to my crimes. Among many witnesses called up against me, was Mr (of whom I have made mention, as having worked for him some time) and examined to the following effect.— Q— Did not the prisoner Joseph Smith have a horse of you? Ansr Yes. Q— Did not he go to you and tell you, that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorised him to get [p. 44]
Page 44