History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1206
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<June 9> honorably, and stood up in defence of the persecuted, in a manner worthy of  high minded and honorable gentlemen. Some had even been told, that if they  engaged on the side of the defence, they need never look to the Citizens of that  County for any political favors. But they were not to be over-awed by the  popular clamor, or be deterred from an act of public duty by any insinuations  or threats whatever; and stated, that if they had not before determined to  take a part in the defence, they, after hearing the threats of the community,  were not fully determined to discharge their duty. The Counsel for the  defence spoke well, without exception, and strongly urged the legality of the  Court examining testimony to prove that the whole proceedings on the  part of , were base and illegal, and that the indictment was  obtained through fraud, bribery, and corruption. The Court, after hearing  the Counsel, adjourned about half past six o’clock P.M.
<When I was at dinner, a man rushed in and said, “which is Jo Smith, I have got a five dollar Bill, and I’ll be darn’d if he don’t take it back, Ill sue him, for his name is to it.” I replied I am the man, took the bill, and paid him the specie,  which he — — took very reluctantly, being anxious to kick up a fuss.>
<The crowd in the Court was so intense, that ordered the Sheriff of Warren Co. to keep the Spectators back; but he neglected doing so, when the fined him ten dollars; in a few minutes he again ordered the Sheriff to keep the men back,  from crowding the Prisoner and Witnesses, he replied, “I have told a Constable to do it,” when the immediately said “Clerk add ten dollars more to that fine,” the Sheriff finding neglect rather expensive, then attended to his duty.>
<A young Lawyer from volunteered to plead against me, he tried his utmost to convict me, but was so high with liquor, and chewed so much tobacco, that he often called for cold water; before he had spoken many minutes, he turned sick,  requested to be excused by the Court, and went out of the Court house, puking all the way down stairs. (As the Illinoisans call the people pukes, this circumstance caused considerable amusement, to the Members of the Bar—) during his plea, his language  was so outrageous, that the was twice under the necessity of ordering him to be silent.>
<Mr. then commenced his plea, and in a short time the puking Lawyer, — — — — — — returned and requested the privilege of finishing his plea, which was allowed.>
<Afterwards resumed his pleadings which were powerful, and when he gave a recitation of what he himself had seen, at , and on the Banks of the , when the Saints were “exterminated from ,” where he tracked the  persecuted women and children by their bloody foot marks in the Snow; they were so affecting, that the Spectators were often dissolved in tears, himself and most of the Officers wept, for they were under the necessity of keeping the Spectators, company.>
<Elder during the evening preached a brilliant discourse in the Court house, on the first principles of the gospel, which changed the feelings of the people very materially.>
The following Letter is from the Editor of the Times and Seasons
“American Hotel, Monmouth, Warren County, Ill. June 9th., 1841. Wednesday  evening— We have just returned from the Court House, where we have  listened to one of the most eloquent speeches ever uttered by mortal  man in favor of justice and liberty, by Esqre., who  has done himself immortal honor in the sight of all patriotic  citizens who listened to the same— He occupied the attention of  the court for more than two hours, and showed the falsity of the  arguments of the opposite Council, and laid down principles in  a lucid and able manner, which ought to guide the Court in  admitting testimony for the defendant, Joseph Smith— We have heard on former occasions, when he has frequently delighted his audience  by his eloquence; but on this occasion he exceeded our most sanguine  expectations. The sentiments he advanced were just, generous and  exalted, he soared above the petty quibbles which the opposite Council urged,  and triumphantly, in a manner and eloquence peculiar to himself,  avowed himself the friend of humanity, and boldly, nobly, and independently,  stood up for the rights of those who had waded through seas of oppression, and  floods of injustice, and had sought a shelter in the State of . It was an  effort worthy of a high minded and honorable gentleman, such as we  ever considered him to be, since we have had the pleasure of his acquaintance.  Soon after we came out of , he sympathized with us in our afflictions  and we are indeed rejoiced to know that he yet maintains the same  principles of benevolence. His was not an effort of a Lawyer anxious  to earn his fee; but the pure and patriotic feelings of christian benevolence  and a sense of justice and of right. While he was answering the monstrous  and ridiculous arguments urged by the opposing Council, that Joseph Smith  might go to and have his trial; he stated the circumstances of  our being driven from that , and feelingly and emphatically  pointed out the impossibility of our obtaining justice there. There we  were forbidden to enter in consequence of the order of the [p. 1206]
June 9 honorably, and stood up in defence of the persecuted, in a manner worthy of high minded and honorable gentlemen. Some had even been told, that if they engaged on the side of the defence, they need never look to the Citizens of that County for any political favors. But they were not to be over-awed by the popular clamor, or be deterred from an act of public duty by any insinuations or threats whatever; and stated, that if they had not before determined to take a part in the defence, they, after hearing the threats of the community, were not fully determined to discharge their duty. The Counsel for the defence spoke well, without exception, and strongly urged the legality of the Court examining testimony to prove that the whole proceedings on the part of , were base and illegal, and that the indictment was obtained through fraud, bribery, and corruption. The Court, after hearing the Counsel, adjourned about half past six o’clock P.M.
When I was at dinner, a man rushed in and said, “which is Jo Smith, I have got a five dollar Bill, and I’ll be darn’d if he don’t take it back, Ill sue him, for his name is to it.” I replied I am the man, took the bill, and paid him the specie, which he — — took very reluctantly, being anxious to kick up a fuss.
The crowd in the Court was so intense, that ordered the Sheriff of Warren Co. to keep the Spectators back; but he neglected doing so, when the fined him ten dollars; in a few minutes he again ordered the Sheriff to keep the men back, from crowding the Prisoner and Witnesses, he replied, “I have told a Constable to do it,” when the immediately said “Clerk add ten dollars more to that fine,” the Sheriff finding neglect rather expensive, then attended to his duty.
A young Lawyer from volunteered to plead against me, he tried his utmost to convict me, but was so high with liquor, and chewed so much tobacco, that he often called for cold water; before he had spoken many minutes, he turned sick, requested to be excused by the Court, and went out of the Court house, puking all the way down stairs. (As the Illinoisans call the people pukes, this circumstance caused considerable amusement, to the Members of the Bar—) during his plea, his language was so outrageous, that the was twice under the necessity of ordering him to be silent.
Mr. then commenced his plea, and in a short time the puking Lawyer, — — — — — — returned and requested the privilege of finishing his plea, which was allowed.
Afterwards resumed his pleadings which were powerful, and when he gave a recitation of what he himself had seen, at , and on the Banks of the , when the Saints were “exterminated from ,” where he tracked the persecuted women and children by their bloody foot marks in the Snow; they were so affecting, that the Spectators were often dissolved in tears, himself and most of the Officers wept, for they were under the necessity of keeping the Spectators, company.
Elder during the evening preached a brilliant discourse in the Court house, on the first principles of the gospel, which changed the feelings of the people very materially.
The following Letter is from the Editor of the Times and Seasons
“American Hotel, Monmouth, Warren County, Ill. June 9th., 1841. Wednesday evening— We have just returned from the Court House, where we have listened to one of the most eloquent speeches ever uttered by mortal man in favor of justice and liberty, by Esqre., who has done himself immortal honor in the sight of all patriotic citizens who listened to the same— He occupied the attention of the court for more than two hours, and showed the falsity of the arguments of the opposite Council, and laid down principles in a lucid and able manner, which ought to guide the Court in admitting testimony for the defendant, Joseph Smith— We have heard on former occasions, when he has frequently delighted his audience by his eloquence; but on this occasion he exceeded our most sanguine expectations. The sentiments he advanced were just, generous and exalted, he soared above the petty quibbles which the opposite Council urged, and triumphantly, in a manner and eloquence peculiar to himself, avowed himself the friend of humanity, and boldly, nobly, and independently, stood up for the rights of those who had waded through seas of oppression, and floods of injustice, and had sought a shelter in the State of . It was an effort worthy of a high minded and honorable gentleman, such as we ever considered him to be, since we have had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Soon after we came out of , he sympathized with us in our afflictions and we are indeed rejoiced to know that he yet maintains the same principles of benevolence. His was not an effort of a Lawyer anxious to earn his fee; but the pure and patriotic feelings of christian benevolence and a sense of justice and of right. While he was answering the monstrous and ridiculous arguments urged by the opposing Council, that Joseph Smith might go to and have his trial; he stated the circumstances of our being driven from that , and feelingly and emphatically pointed out the impossibility of our obtaining justice there. There we were forbidden to enter in consequence of the order of the [p. 1206]
Page 1206