History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​May 8​> are working the basest corruption; they have lifted up their hands against innocence. You have power to hear the petitioner on his oath; I will show you a precedent. Look at the federal court of this district; the case was made out by affidavit which I swore to before the court.
“The habeas corpus is granted on the testimony of the petitioner; it is the law in Blackstone, that where no other matter is in existence, and the prisoner swears he is innocent, and his character for truth is supported by good testimony, he must be discharged; and he then goes away as free as the proud eagle. If I have the privilege of testimony under oath to the facts that they make slander of, then they cannot do anything with it. Suppose that I am an eye witness to the crime of adultery, or any other crime, and know verily for myself that the man is guilty of adultery, or other crime, and I speak of it, the man may sue me for damages, although I know him to be guilty; but if I swear <​to​> it in a court he cannot hurt me. If I have the privilege of giving testimony under oath, they can never do anything with me; but if you discharge me on the insufficiency of the writ, they can prosecute me again and again; but if you give me a fair hearing they cannot prosecute me again. I want the oath to go to the world; I must make statements of facts in order to defend myself. I must tell the story in its true light under oath; then I can be for ever set free. May I not have the privilege of being protected by law? The peace of myself, my family, my happiness, and the happiness of this depend upon it.’
“The Court allowed him to proceed with the case.
said:
‘This is a malicious prosecution, and we have averred that it is malicious, and have a right to prove it. There is an insufficiency in the writ; the writ did not show any crime had been committed, and we can show that we are not guilty of any plea in the case. There is no charge or case against us, and the whole matter is corrupt, and malicious, and wicked.’
Joseph Smith sworn— Said:
‘I must commence when was foaming against me and the Municipal Court in my house. said he was grieved at me, and I was grieved at him. I was willing on my part to settle all difficulties, and he promised if I would go before the City Council and tell them, he would drop everything against me for ever. I have never mentioned the name of disrespectfully from that time to this, but have been entirely silent about him; if any one has said that I have spoken disrespectfully since then, they have lied; and he cannot have any cause whatever. I want to testify to this court of what occurred a long time before left this . I was called on to visit ; I went and found him on a bed on the floor.
-[Here follows testimony which is too indelicate for the public eye or ear; and we would here remark that so revolting, corrupt, and disgusting has been the conduct of most of this clique, that we feel to dread having anything to do with the publication of their trials. We will not however offend the public eye or ear with a repetition of the foulness of their crimes any more.]-
said pointed out the spot where he had seduced a girl, and that he had seduced another. I did not believe it; I felt hurt, and labored with about it; he swore with uplifted hands that he had lied about the matter. I went and told the girl’s parents; when and made affidavits, and both perjured themselves; they swore false about me so as to blind the family. I brought before , and others; was present, when they both acknowledged that they had done these things, and asked us [p. 11]
May 8 are working the basest corruption; they have lifted up their hands against innocence. You have power to hear the petitioner on his oath; I will show you a precedent. Look at the federal court of this district; the case was made out by affidavit which I swore to before the court.
“The habeas corpus is granted on the testimony of the petitioner; it is the law in Blackstone, that where no other matter is in existence, and the prisoner swears he is innocent, and his character for truth is supported by good testimony, he must be discharged; and he then goes away as free as the proud eagle. If I have the privilege of testimony under oath to the facts that they make slander of, then they cannot do anything with it. Suppose that I am an eye witness to the crime of adultery, or any other crime, and know verily for myself that the man is guilty of adultery, or other crime, and I speak of it, the man may sue me for damages, although I know him to be guilty; but if I swear to it in a court he cannot hurt me. If I have the privilege of giving testimony under oath, they can never do anything with me; but if you discharge me on the insufficiency of the writ, they can prosecute me again and again; but if you give me a fair hearing they cannot prosecute me again. I want the oath to go to the world; I must make statements of facts in order to defend myself. I must tell the story in its true light under oath; then I can be for ever set free. May I not have the privilege of being protected by law? The peace of myself, my family, my happiness, and the happiness of this depend upon it.’
“The Court allowed him to proceed with the case.
said:
‘This is a malicious prosecution, and we have averred that it is malicious, and have a right to prove it. There is an insufficiency in the writ; the writ did not show any crime had been committed, and we can show that we are not guilty of any plea in the case. There is no charge or case against us, and the whole matter is corrupt, and malicious, and wicked.’
Joseph Smith sworn— Said:
‘I must commence when was foaming against me and the Municipal Court in my house. said he was grieved at me, and I was grieved at him. I was willing on my part to settle all difficulties, and he promised if I would go before the City Council and tell them, he would drop everything against me for ever. I have never mentioned the name of disrespectfully from that time to this, but have been entirely silent about him; if any one has said that I have spoken disrespectfully since then, they have lied; and he cannot have any cause whatever. I want to testify to this court of what occurred a long time before left this . I was called on to visit ; I went and found him on a bed on the floor.
-[Here follows testimony which is too indelicate for the public eye or ear; and we would here remark that so revolting, corrupt, and disgusting has been the conduct of most of this clique, that we feel to dread having anything to do with the publication of their trials. We will not however offend the public eye or ear with a repetition of the foulness of their crimes any more.]-
said pointed out the spot where he had seduced a girl, and that he had seduced another. I did not believe it; I felt hurt, and labored with about it; he swore with uplifted hands that he had lied about the matter. I went and told the girl’s parents; when and made affidavits, and both perjured themselves; they swore false about me so as to blind the family. I brought before , and others; was present, when they both acknowledged that they had done these things, and asked us [p. 11]
Page 11