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

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​May 8th.​> be as much in the power of the simple magistrate as of the greatest judge; hence Governors and Supreme Judges all know that I am correct. A simple magistrate should have the right; “the right of Habeas Corpus shall not be denied”; it does not say by a governor or judge; who then does it mean? all the authorities. All judges know that it is a fact. If you hold the office of a magistrate, and you are sworn to keep inviolate the Constitution of the , you are sworn to fulfil that part which says that you shall not refuse the privilege of the Habeas Corpus to any one. I have only to open Blackstone, or the Bible, and then I know where powers are. I never said anything about the Higbees, or the Laws, or the Fosters, but what is strictly true. I have been placed in peculiar circumstances.
“The only sin I ever committed was in exercising sympathy, and covering up their iniquities, on their solemn promises to reform; and of this I am [HC 6:360] ashamed, and never will do so again.’
“After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said petition, it is considered and ordained by the Court: 1st, That the said Joseph Smith Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the Case, and that he go hence without day [delay?]. Secondly, ’s character having been so fully shown as infamous, the Court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption, and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the Court that said pay the costs.
In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said Court at the City of , this 8th day of May, 1844.
Seal.
, Clerk.”
 
I copy the following from the Neighbor of this date:
Hurrah for the General!! The following which we extract from the St. Louis Organ, shews how the public mind is turning, and what their feelings are in regard to the Prophet, his views, and theirs also in regard to the Presidency.
Forbear awhile— we’ll hear a little more. The matter is now settled with , , and ! Let return at once from his political perambulation in the South, abandon his hopes of re-election by aid of the “immediate annexation” of , and let be quiet at Kinderhook that he may watch <​the operations of​> the “sober second thought” of the people! General Joseph Smith, the acknowledged modern prophet, has got them all in the rear; and from the common mode of testing the success of candidates for the Presidency, to wit— by steamboat elections— he, Smith, will beat all the other aspirants to that office, two to one. We learn from the polls of the steamboat Osprey, on her last trip to this , that the votes stood for
General Joseph Smith, 29 gentlemen and 5 ladies.
, 16 " " 4 " .
, 7 " " 0 ".”
Attended theatre in the evening. [HC 6:361]
9 May 1844 • Thursday
<​9th.​> Thursday 9th. A Court Martial was held in my for the trial of Major General , on a charge of ungentlemanly and unofficerlike conduct. [p. 15]
May 8th. be as much in the power of the simple magistrate as of the greatest judge; hence Governors and Supreme Judges all know that I am correct. A simple magistrate should have the right; “the right of Habeas Corpus shall not be denied”; it does not say by a governor or judge; who then does it mean? all the authorities. All judges know that it is a fact. If you hold the office of a magistrate, and you are sworn to keep inviolate the Constitution of the , you are sworn to fulfil that part which says that you shall not refuse the privilege of the Habeas Corpus to any one. I have only to open Blackstone, or the Bible, and then I know where powers are. I never said anything about the Higbees, or the Laws, or the Fosters, but what is strictly true. I have been placed in peculiar circumstances.
“The only sin I ever committed was in exercising sympathy, and covering up their iniquities, on their solemn promises to reform; and of this I am [HC 6:360] ashamed, and never will do so again.’
“After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said petition, it is considered and ordained by the Court: 1st, That the said Joseph Smith Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the Case, and that he go hence without day delay. Second, ’s character having been so fully shown as infamous, the Court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption, and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the Court that said pay the costs.
In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said Court at the City of , this 8th day of May, 1844.
Seal.
, Clerk.”
 
I copy the following from the Neighbor of this date:
Hurrah for the General!! The following which we extract from the St. Louis Organ, shews how the public mind is turning, and what their feelings are in regard to the Prophet, his views, and theirs also in regard to the Presidency.
Forbear awhile— we’ll hear a little more. The matter is now settled with , , and ! Let return at once from his political perambulation in the South, abandon his hopes of re-election by aid of the “immediate annexation” of , and let be quiet at Kinderhook that he may watch the operations of the “sober second thought” of the people! General Joseph Smith, the acknowledged modern prophet, has got them all in the rear; and from the common mode of testing the success of candidates for the Presidency, to wit— by steamboat elections— he, Smith, will beat all the other aspirants to that office, two to one. We learn from the polls of the steamboat Osprey, on her last trip to this , that the votes stood for
General Joseph Smith, 29 gentlemen and 5 ladies.
, 16 " " 4 " .
, 7 " " 0 ".”
Attended theatre in the evening. [HC 6:361]
9 May 1844 • Thursday
9th. Thursday 9th. A Court Martial was held in my for the trial of Major General , on a charge of ungentlemanly and unofficerlike conduct. [p. 15]
Page 15