Letterbook 2

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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Petition, Alexander McRae to George Thompkins • 15 March 1839
To the Honorable [blank] [George] Thompkins Judge of the Supreme Court for the State of . Your petitioner would beg leave respectfully to represent to your honor that he has been confined and restrained of his liberty near five months, part of the time in chains.
That your petitioner alledges his confinement to be unlawful and unjust for the following reasons. In the first place your petitioner is confined on the charge of treason against the which crime according to the constitution of the , as well as of the , can consist only in levying war and committing overt acts, or in adhereing to the enemies of the same, which your petitioner declares he has never done, for he has yet to learn that the has an enemy. That your petition[er] on the examination was not allowed the privilege of the law in being examined before the court; that he was threatened and intimidated and was not allowed the liberty of speech and the right of conscience. That the examination on the part of the court was tyrannical and overbearing towards your petitioner, such as was not lawful and warrantable in a free government; that the witnesses of your petitioner were intimidated by an armed force, that had been for a length of time harassing and driving the Mormons from their homes and possessions, and this fact was known by the court; And yet the court employed this same armed force as a pretended guard to guard your petitioner, and suffered them to practice many abuses upon the witnesses of your petitioner and participated largely of the same himself in the same spirit of persecution therefore the witnesses of your petitioner were driven out of the place and Some of them out of the . Your petitioner solemnly declares that he never witnessed a more partial and unjust and unlawful transaction than was practiced upon your petitioner. That the whole transaction was nothing more nor less than a spirit of persecution <​against​> your petitioner. Your petitioner heard the court say that there was no law for the Mormons, and that they could not stay in the . Your petitioner declares that there is no evidence against him whereby he should be restrained of his liberty, That the family of your petitioner have been robbed of their property and driven out of the since your petitioner has been confined, and that they are now destitute of the necessaries of life, and that they consist of a weakly woman and two small children the eldest only three years old, and that your petitioners health is declining in consequence of his confinement, Your petitioner therefore prays your honor to grant to him the States warrant writ of Habeas Corpus directed to the Jailor of (Mo) commanding him forthwith to bring before you the body of your petitioner so that his case may be heard, and that your honor dispose of the case of your petitioner as you may [p. 26]
Petition, Alexander McRae to George Thompkins • 15 March 1839
To the Honorable [blank] George Thompkins Judge of the Supreme Court for the State of . Your petitioner would beg leave respectfully to represent to your honor that he has been confined and restrained of his liberty near five months, part of the time in chains.
That your petitioner alledges his confinement to be unlawful and unjust for the following reasons. In the first place your petitioner is confined on the charge of treason against the which crime according to the constitution of the , as well as of the , can consist only in levying war and committing overt acts, or in adhereing to the enemies of the same, which your petitioner declares he has never done, for he has yet to learn that the has an enemy. That your petitioner on the examination was not allowed the privilege of the law in being examined before the court; that he was threatened and intimidated and was not allowed the liberty of speech and the right of conscience. That the examination on the part of the court was tyrannical and overbearing towards your petitioner, such as was not lawful and warrantable in a free government; that the witnesses of your petitioner were intimidated by an armed force, that had been for a length of time harassing and driving the Mormons from their homes and possessions, and this fact was known by the court; And yet the court employed this same armed force as a pretended guard to guard your petitioner, and suffered them to practice many abuses upon the witnesses of your petitioner and participated largely himself in the same spirit of persecution therefore the witnesses of your petitioner were driven out of the place and Some of them out of the . Your petitioner solemnly declares that he never witnessed a more partial and unjust and unlawful transaction than was practiced upon your petitioner. That the whole transaction was nothing more nor less than a spirit of persecution against your petitioner. Your petitioner heard the court say that there was no law for the Mormons, and that they could not stay in the . Your petitioner declares that there is no evidence against him whereby he should be restrained of his liberty, That the family of your petitioner have been robbed of their property and driven out of the since your petitioner has been confined, and that they are now destitute of the necessaries of life, and that they consist of a weakly woman and two small children the eldest only three years old, and that your petitioners health is declining in consequence of his confinement, Your petitioner therefore prays your honor to grant to him the States writ of Habeas Corpus directed to the Jailor of (Mo) commanding him forthwith to bring before you the body of your petitioner so that his case may be heard, and that your honor dispose of the case of your petitioner as you may [p. 26]
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