AN ORDINANCE CONCERNING LIBELS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Whereas the saints in all ages of the world, have suffered persecution and death, by wicked and corrupt men under the garb of a more holy appearance of religion; and whereas the from the moment that its first “truth sprang out of the earth” till now, has been persecuted with death, destruction, and extermination; and whereas men, to fulfill the scriptures, that a man’s enemies are they of his own household, have turned traitors in the church and combined and leagued with the most corrupt scoundrels and villians that disgrace the earth unhung, for the heaven daring and damnable purpose of revenge on account of disappointed lust; disappointed projects of speculation, fraud, and unlawful designs, to rob and plunder mankind with impunity; and whereas such wicked and corrupt men have greatly facilitated their unlawful designs; horrid intentions and murderous plans by polluting, degrading and converting the blessings and utility of the press, to the sin-smoking and blood-stained ruin of innocent communities, by publishing lies, false statements; coloring the truth, slandering men, women, children, societies, and countries, by polishing the characters of black legs, highwaymen and murderers, as virtuous; and whereas a horrid, bloody, secret plan, upheld, sanctioned, and largely patronized by men, in and out of it, who boast that all they want [is] for the word “go,” to exterminate or ruin the Latter day Saints, is, for them to do “one” unlawful act, and the work shall be done, is now fostered, cherished, and maturing in , by men too, who helped to obtain the very charter they would break; and some of them drew up and voted for the very ordinances they are striving to use as a “scare crow” to frighten the surrounding country in rebellion; mobbing and war; and whereas, while the blood of our brethren, from wells, holes, and naked prairies, and the ravishment of female virtue, from , and the smoke from the altars of infamy, prostituted by , and continued in the full tide of experiment and disgraceful damnation, by the very self called fragments of a body of degraged men that have got up a press in , to destroy the charter of the ; to destroy Mormonism, men, women, and children, as did, by force of arms; by fostering laws that Emanate from corruption, and betray with a kiss: wherefore to honor the State of , and those patriots, who gave the charter, and for the benefit, convenience, health, and happiness of said :
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of , That if any person or persons shall write or publish, in said , any false statement, or libel any of the citizens, for the purpose of exciting the public mind against the chartered privileges, peace, and good order of said , or shall slander, (according to the definition of slander or libel by Blackstone or Kent, or the act in the statute of ,) any portion of the inhabitants of said , or bribe any portion of the citizens of said , for malicious purposes; or in any manner or form excite the prejudice of the community against any portion of the citizens of said , for evil purposes, he, she, or they, shall be deemed disturbers of the peace, and upon conviction before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor or Court.
Sec. 2. Be it further ordained that nothing in the foregoing section shall be so construed as to interfere with the right of any person to be tried by a jury of his vicinage; with the freedom of speech or the liberty of the press, according to the most liberal meaning of the constitution; the dignity of freemen; the voice of truth; and the rules of virtue.
Sec. 3. And be it further ordained that this ordinance shall be in force, from and after its passage.