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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1343
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<​June 23​> the above letter was kept quiet, but held in reserve. He had not been long in before he began to keep company with a young lady, one of our citizens; and she being ignorant of his having a wife living, gave way to his addresses, and became confident, from his behavior towards her, that he intended to marry her; and this he gave her to understand he would do. I, seeing the folly of such an acquaintance, persuaded him to desist; and on account of his continuing his course, finally threatened to expose him if he did not desist. This to outward appearance, had the desired effect, and the acquaintance between them was broken off. But, like one of the most abominable and depraved beings which could possibly exist, he only broke off his publicly wicked actions to sink deeper into iniquity and hypocrisy. When he saw that I would not submit to any such conduct, he went to some of the females in the , who knew nothing of him but as an honorable man, and began to teach them that promiscuous intercourse between the sexes, was a doctrine believed in by the Latter Day Saints, and that there was no harm in it; but this failing he had recourse to a more influential and desperately wicked course; and that was to persuade them that myself and others of the authorities of the church not only sanctioned, but practiced the same wicked acts; and when asked why I publicly preached so much against it, said that it was because of the prejudice of the public, and that it would cause trouble in my own house. He was well aware of the consequence of such wilfil and base falsehoods, if they should come to my knowledge; and consequently endeavored to persuade his dupes to keep it a matter of secresy, persuading them there would be no harm if they should not make it known. This proceeding on his part, answered the desired end; he accomplished his wicked purposes; he seduced an innocent female by his lying, and subjected her character to public disgrace, should it ever be known. But his depraved heart would not suffer him to stop here. Not being contented with having disgraced one female, he made the attempt upon others; and, by the same plausible tale, overcame them also; evidently not caring whose character was ruined, so that his wicked, lustful appetites might be gratified. Sometime about the early part of July 1841, I received a letter [HC 5:36] from Elder H. Smith, and who were then in , Pennsylvania. This letter was dated June 15th. and contained the particulars of a conversation betwixt them and a respectable gentleman from the neighborhood where ’s wife and children resided. He stated to them that it was a fact that had a wife and children living, and that she had left him because of his ill treatment towards her. This letter was read to which he did not attempt to deny; but candidly acknowledged the fact. Soon after this information reached our ears, made an attempt at suicide, by taking poison; but he being discovered before it had taken effect, and the proper antidotes being administered, he — recovered; but he very much resisted when an attempt was made to save him. The public impression was, that he was so much ashamed of his base and wicked conduct, that he had recourse to the above deed to escape the censures of an indignant community. It might have been supposed that these circumstances transpiring in the manner [p. 1343]
June 23 the above letter was kept quiet, but held in reserve. He had not been long in before he began to keep company with a young lady, one of our citizens; and she being ignorant of his having a wife living, gave way to his addresses, and became confident, from his behavior towards her, that he intended to marry her; and this he gave her to understand he would do. I, seeing the folly of such an acquaintance, persuaded him to desist; and on account of his continuing his course, finally threatened to expose him if he did not desist. This to outward appearance, had the desired effect, and the acquaintance between them was broken off. But, like one of the most abominable and depraved beings which could possibly exist, he only broke off his publicly wicked actions to sink deeper into iniquity and hypocrisy. When he saw that I would not submit to any such conduct, he went to some of the females in the , who knew nothing of him but as an honorable man, and began to teach them that promiscuous intercourse between the sexes, was a doctrine believed in by the Latter Day Saints, and that there was no harm in it; but this failing he had recourse to a more influential and desperately wicked course; and that was to persuade them that myself and others of the authorities of the church not only sanctioned, but practiced the same wicked acts; and when asked why I publicly preached so much against it, said that it was because of the prejudice of the public, and that it would cause trouble in my own house. He was well aware of the consequence of such wilfil and base falsehoods, if they should come to my knowledge; and consequently endeavored to persuade his dupes to keep it a matter of secresy, persuading them there would be no harm if they should not make it known. This proceeding on his part, answered the desired end; he accomplished his wicked purposes; he seduced an innocent female by his lying, and subjected her character to public disgrace, should it ever be known. But his depraved heart would not suffer him to stop here. Not being contented with having disgraced one female, he made the attempt upon others; and, by the same plausible tale, overcame them also; evidently not caring whose character was ruined, so that his wicked, lustful appetites might be gratified. Sometime about the early part of July 1841, I received a letter [HC 5:36] from Elder H. Smith, and who were then in , Pennsylvania. This letter was dated June 15th. and contained the particulars of a conversation betwixt them and a respectable gentleman from the neighborhood where ’s wife and children resided. He stated to them that it was a fact that had a wife and children living, and that she had left him because of his ill treatment towards her. This letter was read to which he did not attempt to deny; but candidly acknowledged the fact. Soon after this information reached our ears, made an attempt at suicide, by taking poison; but he being discovered before it had taken effect, and the proper antidotes being administered, he — recovered; but he very much resisted when an attempt was made to save him. The public impression was, that he was so much ashamed of his base and wicked conduct, that he had recourse to the above deed to escape the censures of an indignant community. It might have been supposed that these circumstances transpiring in the manner [p. 1343]
Page 1343