Letter from Elias Higbee, 21 February 1840

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Feb 21st. 1840
Dr. Bro,
I have just returned again from the committee room, and made some statements, to which I replied— is much more mild and reasonable (mostly perhaps from policy) than ! who related a long lingo of stuff, which he said was proven before the Legislature in which amounted to about this that Joseph Smith gave the Mormons liberty to trespass on their neighbors property; also <gave> told them that it all belonged to them; as they [were] Israelites. O Upon this the strength of this they became the aggressors. I replied that the People in their declaration of causes that induced them to unite in order to drive the Mormons— The crime of stealing or trespassing was not mentioned; and there was no Docket, either Clerks or Justices that could show it, in , , , or Counties— and that no Mormons ever heard such teaching or doctrine from Joseph Smith or any other Mormon; that we held to no such doctrine neither believed in any such thing— I mentioned some things contained in our Book of doctrine and Covenants; Government and laws in general. Told them we had published long ago our belief on that subject— Some things I recolected; which were, that all persons should obey the laws of the government under which they lived, and that ecclesiastical power should not be exercised to [p. 100]
Feb 21st. 1840
Dr. Bro,
I have just returned again from the committee room, and made some statements, to which I replied— is much more mild and reasonable (mostly perhaps from policy) than ! who related a long lingo of stuff, which he said was proven before the Legislature in which amounted to about this that Joseph Smith gave the Mormons liberty to trespass on their neighbors property; also told them that it all belonged to them; as they [were] Israelites. Upon the strength of this they became the aggressors. I replied that the People in their declaration of causes that induced them to unite in order to drive the Mormons— The crime of stealing or trespassing was not mentioned; and there was no Docket, either Clerks or Justices that could show it, in , , , or — Counties— and that no Mormons ever heard such teaching or doctrine from Joseph Smith or any other Mormon; that we held to no such doctrine neither believed in any such thing— I mentioned some things contained in our Book of doctrine and Covenants; Government and laws in general. Told them we had published long ago our belief on that subject— Some things I recolected; which were, that all persons should obey the laws of the government under which they lived, and that ecclesiastical power should not be exercised to [p. 100]
Page 100