History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1437
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<January 4> have given up his dog on such a requisition. That an attempt should be made to  deliver up a man who has never been out of the , strikes at all the liberty of  our institutions. His fate to day may be yours tomorrow. I do not think the defendant  ought under any circumstances to be given up to . It is a matter of history  that he and his people have been murdered or driven from the . If he goes  there it is only to be murdered, and he had better be sent to the gallows. He is an  innocent and unoffending man. If there is a difference between him and other men  it is that this people believe in prophecy, and others do not; the old Prophets prophesied  in poetry and the modern in prose. managed the case  very judiciously. The Court room was crowded during the whole trial, the utmost  decorum and good feeling prevailed, and much prejudice was allayed.  was not severe apparently saying little more than his relation to the case demanded.  Court adjourned till tomorrow 9 a.m. for the making up of opinion. After, an  introduction to several persons I retired to ’s and after dinner spent some  time in conversation with and — at 5 ½ o clock I rode in  Mr. [Lyman] Prentice’s carriage to his house accompanied by and Elder  where I had a very interesting visit with Mr. Prentice and family, , Esquires  , , and , ’s Son and many others; partook of a——  splendid supper, with many interesting anecdotes, and every thing to render the repast  and visit agreeable, and returned to about 11 o’clock.
5 January 1843 • Thursday
<5> Thursday 5 At 9 A. M. repaired to the Court Room, which was crowded with  spectators anxious “to behold the Prophet” and hear the decision of , who  soon took his seat, accompanied by half a dozen ladies, and gave the following
opinion.
The importance of this case, and the consequences which may flow from an erroneous——  precedent, affecting the lives and liberties of our Citizens have impelled the court  to bestow upon it the most anxious consideration. The able arguments of the Counsel  for the respective parties have been of great assistance in the examination of the <important> question  arising in this cause. When the patriots and wise men who framed our Constitution  were in anxious deliberation to form a perfect union among the states of the——  Confederacy, two great sources of discord presented themselves to their consideration: the—  commerce between the States, and fugitives from justice and labor. The border Collisions  in other countries had been seen to be a fruitful source of War and bloodshed, and  most wisely did the constitution confer upon the National Government the regulation of  those matters, because of its exemption from the excited passions awakened by Conflicts——  between neighbouring States, and its ability alone to adopt a uniform rule, and establish  uniform laws among all the States in those cases. This case presents the important question—  arising under the constitution and laws of the , whether a Citizen of the State of   can be transported from his own to the State of , to be there tried for a crime,  which, if he ever committed, was committed in the State of ; whether he can be transported  to , as a fugitive from justice, when he has never fled from that . Joseph Smith  is before the court on habeas Corpus, directed to the Sheriff of State of Illinois.—  The return shows that he is in Custody under a Warrant from the of .——  professedly issued in pursuance of the Constitution and laws of the , and of the  State of , ordering said Smith to be delivered to the Agent of the Executive of [p. 1437]
January 4 have given up his dog on such a requisition. That an attempt should be made to deliver up a man who has never been out of the , strikes at all the liberty of our institutions. His fate to day may be yours tomorrow. I do not think the defendant ought under any circumstances to be given up to . It is a matter of history that he and his people have been murdered or driven from the . If he goes there it is only to be murdered, and he had better be sent to the gallows. He is an innocent and unoffending man. If there is a difference between him and other men it is that this people believe in prophecy, and others do not; the old Prophets prophesied in poetry and the modern in prose. managed the case very judiciously. The Court room was crowded during the whole trial, the utmost decorum and good feeling prevailed, and much prejudice was allayed. was not severe apparently saying little more than his relation to the case demanded. Court adjourned till tomorrow 9 a.m. for the making up of opinion. After, an introduction to several persons I retired to ’s and after dinner spent some time in conversation with and — at 5 ½ o clock I rode in Mr. [Lyman] Prentice’s carriage to his house accompanied by and Elder where I had a very interesting visit with Mr. Prentice and family, , Esquires , , and , ’s Son and many others; partook of a—— splendid supper, with many interesting anecdotes, and every thing to render the repast and visit agreeable, and returned to about 11 o’clock.
5 January 1843 • Thursday
5 Thursday 5 At 9 A. M. repaired to the Court Room, which was crowded with spectators anxious “to behold the Prophet” and hear the decision of , who soon took his seat, accompanied by half a dozen ladies, and gave the following
opinion.
The importance of this case, and the consequences which may flow from an erroneous—— precedent, affecting the lives and liberties of our Citizens have impelled the court to bestow upon it the most anxious consideration. The able arguments of the Counsel for the respective parties have been of great assistance in the examination of the important question arising in this cause. When the patriots and wise men who framed our Constitution were in anxious deliberation to form a perfect union among the states of the—— Confederacy, two great sources of discord presented themselves to their consideration: the— commerce between the States, and fugitives from justice and labor. The border Collisions in other countries had been seen to be a fruitful source of War and bloodshed, and most wisely did the constitution confer upon the National Government the regulation of those matters, because of its exemption from the excited passions awakened by Conflicts—— between neighbouring States, and its ability alone to adopt a uniform rule, and establish uniform laws among all the States in those cases. This case presents the important question— arising under the constitution and laws of the , whether a Citizen of the State of can be transported from his own to the State of , to be there tried for a crime, which, if he ever committed, was committed in the State of ; whether he can be transported to , as a fugitive from justice, when he has never fled from that . Joseph Smith is before the court on habeas Corpus, directed to the Sheriff of State of Illinois.— The return shows that he is in Custody under a Warrant from the of .—— professedly issued in pursuance of the Constitution and laws of the , and of the State of , ordering said Smith to be delivered to the Agent of the Executive of [p. 1437]
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