Affidavit, 27 March 1844–B [F. M. Higbee v. JS–A on Habeas Corpus]

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State of Illinois,)
)
Personally appeared before me, , an acting Justice of the P[e]ace in and for said , , who being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith that on or about the 15th day of March, A. D. 1844, came to me several times and requested me to go on the hill with him. I finally consented and went with him to the Key Stone Store, in the city of . and one of the Higbees, I think , were in the store. The said , together with the said , and said , went into the back room of the store. They appeared to enter into private council. Soon after they went into the said room the said invited me into the room where they were now sitting, I immediately complied. Soon after I went in the said commenced talking about the spiritual wife system. He said he had no doubt but some of the had ten or twelve apiece. He said they married them whether the females were willing or not; and they did it by recording the marriage in a large book; which book was sealed up after the record was made, and was not to be opened for a long time, probably not until many of the husbands of those who were thus married were dead. They would then open the book and break the seals in the presence of those females, and when they saw their names recorded in that book they would believe that the doctrine was true and they must submit. He said this book was kept at Mr. ’s. I asked the said * * * *
-[Here follows some expr[e]ssions too indecurous for insertion.]-
The afo[r]esaid , then a[s]k[e]d me what I would think if during my absence from home a carriage should drive up to my house, a person al[i]ght, and the carriage then drive off again, this person should then go into my house and begin to tell my wife a great many things ag[a]inst me to prejudice her m[i]nd against me and use every po[s]sible means to do this, and finally would introduce and preach the spiritual wife doctrine to her and make an attempt to seduce her, and further this person should sit down to dine with my wife, bless the victuals &c, and while they were thus engaged, I should come home and find them thus associated; this person should rise up and say how do you do, and bless me in a very polite manner &c., and also, if upon these appearances, I should feel jealous that something was wrong and when the person was gone, I would ask my wife what had been the conversation between her and this person, but she would refuse to [t]ell me. I then draw a pistol and present it to her and threaten to shoot her if she did not tell me all, but she would still refuse. I then would give her a double barrelled pistol, and say to her defend yourself, for if you don’t tell me, either you or I would shoot. She would [t]hen faint away through fear and excitement, and when she came to again she would begin and tell you how this person had been trying to poison your wife’s mind against you, and by preching the spiritual wife system to her had endeavoured to seduce her. I replied I should think he was a rascal; but who has had such a trial as that? The said , answered that he was the man who had had that trial, and who had been thus abused.
The said , and then remarked that they were about to hold a secret meeting to oppose and try to put a stop to such things. The said also said that if any person undertook to arrest him he should begin to cut them.
The said Further said he was afraid of his life and dare not be out at nights.
The said said he had not a doubt but there had been men killed in Missouri who had had secrets that they were afraid to divulge.
He said he was afraid of his life
The said further said that he should not be surprised if there should be a real muss and insurrection in the in less than two months, and that if a disturbance should take place the Carthagenians and others would come and help them.
He mentioned some name of persons who would come from which names I do not remember. The same day when in Mr. Loomis’s room. I heard the said say that the Laws were ready to enter into a secret conspiracy tooth and nail.
The said also said that while at the Key stone that if ever he was brought before the Mayor’s Court again, and the Mayor told him again to [hold?] his tongue, that he should get up and tell him he had a right to speak and should do so, and then if any man attempted to put him out of the court he would shoot them through and further this deponent saith not.
.
Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of March A. D. 1844.
, J. P. -[L. S.]- [p. [3]]
State of Illinois,)
)
Personally appeared before me, , an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said , , who being duly sworn according to law deposeth and saith that on or about the 15th day of March, A. D. 1844, came to me several times and requested me to go on the hill with him. I finally consented and went with him to the Key Stone Store, in the city of . and one of the Higbees, I think , were in the store. The said , together with the said , and said , went into the back room of the store. They appeared to enter into private council. Soon after they went into the said room the said invited me into the room where they were now sitting, I immediately complied. Soon after I went in the said commenced talking about the spiritual wife system. He said he had no doubt but some of the had ten or twelve apiece. He said they married them whether the females were willing or not; and they did it by recording the marriage in a large book; which book was sealed up after the record was made, and was not to be opened for a long time, probably not until many of the husbands of those who were thus married were dead. They would then open the book and break the seals in the presence of those females, and when they saw their names recorded in that book they would believe that the doctrine was true and they must submit. He said this book was kept at Mr. ’s. I asked the said * * * *
-[Here follows some expressions too indecurous for insertion.]-
The aforesaid , then asked me what I would think if during my absence from home a carriage should drive up to my house, a person alight, and the carriage then drive off again, this person should then go into my house and begin to tell my wife a great many things against me to prejudice her mind against me and use every possible means to do this, and finally would introduce and preach the spiritual wife doctrine to her and make an attempt to seduce her, and further this person should sit down to dine with my wife, bless the victuals &c, and while they were thus engaged, I should come home and find them thus associated; this person should rise up and say how do you do, and bless me in a very polite manner &c., and also, if upon these appearances, I should feel jealous that something was wrong and when the person was gone, I would ask my wife what had been the conversation between her and this person, but she would refuse to tell me. I then draw a pistol and present it to her and threaten to shoot her if she did not tell me all, but she would still refuse. I then would give her a double barrelled pistol, and say to her defend yourself, for if you don’t tell me, either you or I would shoot. She would then faint away through fear and excitement, and when she came to again she would begin and tell you how this person had been trying to poison your wife’s mind against you, and by preching the spiritual wife system to her had endeavoured to seduce her. I replied I should think he was a rascal; but who has had such a trial as that? The said , answered that he was the man who had had that trial, and who had been thus abused.
The said , and then remarked that they were about to hold a secret meeting to oppose and try to put a stop to such things. The said also said that if any person undertook to arrest him he should begin to cut them.
The said Further said he was afraid of his life and dare not be out at nights.
The said said he had not a doubt but there had been men killed in Missouri who had had secrets that they were afraid to divulge.
He said he was afraid of his life
The said further said that he should not be surprised if there should be a real muss and insurrection in the in less than two months, and that if a disturbance should take place the Carthagenians and others would come and help them.
He mentioned some name of persons who would come from which names I do not remember. The same day when in Mr. Loomis’s room. I heard the said say that the Laws were ready to enter into a secret conspiracy tooth and nail.
The said also said that while at the Key stone that if ever he was brought before the Mayor’s Court again, and the Mayor told him again to [hold] his tongue, that he should get up and tell him he had a right to speak and should do so, and then if any man attempted to put him out of the court he would shoot them through and further this deponent saith not.
.
Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of March A. D. 1844.
, J. P. -[L. S.]- [p. [3]]
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