Trial Report, 12–15 May 1844, as published in Times and Seasons [F. M. Higbee v. JS–A on Habeas Corpus]
Trial Report, , Hancock Co., IL, [12–15] May 1844, F. M. Higbee v. JS–A on Habeas Corpus (Nauvoo, IL, Municipal Court 1844). Published [ca. 18 May 1844] in “Municipal Court,” Times and Seasons, 15 May 1844, 5:536–541.
cate 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 any thing 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 to forgive them. I got vexed, my feelings had been hurt; has been guilty of adulterous communication, perjury, &c.; which I am able to prove by men who heard them confess it. I also preferred charges against , the same charges which I am now telling; and he got up and told them it was the truth, when he pleaded for his life, and begged to be forgiven; this was his own statement before sixty or seventy men; he said the charges were true against him and . I have been endeavoring to throw out shafts to defend myself, because they were corrupt, and I knew they were determined to ruin me; he has told the public that he was determined to prosecute me, because I slandered him, although I tell nothing but the truth. Since the settlement of our difficulties, I have not mentioned his name disrespectfully; he wants to bind up my hands in the circuit court, and make me pay heavy damages for telling the truth. In relation to the conspiracy, I have not heard say he would take away my life; but , and said they would shoot me; and the only offence against me is telling the truth. I did say that did steal a raw hide, I have seen him steal a number of times; these are the things that they now want to ruin me for; for telling the truth. When riding in the stage, I have seen him put his hand in a woman’s bosom, and he also lifted up her clothes. I know that they are wicked, malicious, adulterous, bad characters; I say it under oath; I can tell all the particulars from first to last.
, sworn, With regard to , at the time that is spoken of, I stopped opposite s’ store, we had been conversing with when I came into the room, rather recoiled and wished to withdraw; he went out and sat upon a pile of wood. He said it is all true, I am sorry for it, I wish it had never happened. I understood who related some of the circumstances, he cried and begged of us to forgive him, and said if he could be permitted to stay in the as a private individual he should be happy; that was about what he said; it is true, I am sorry for it I wish it had never been so; as we came up, , , and Mr. Smith, had been talking about it, I have not mentioned it before, I knew of the whole affair, it was on the 4th of July, or a few days after— it was shortly after I came from . I was in the City Council when said all was settled.
Cross-examined:— I have heard say all these things were facts; he acknowledged that had the —— and that he had doctored him, he acknowledged that, and a great deal more.
I will make one statement in our conversation with . I told that one charge was seducing young women, and leading young men into difficulty— he admitted it— if he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him.
, sworn, In relation to the matters before the court I am unacquainted with I was sick at the time but I have heard it talked of back and fro.
Cross-examined:— I recollect Joseph Smith came to me with a complaint against and , and made affidavit that it was true; I have the affidavit in my house. I went to see on last Saturday, I found him at Mr. Morrisons— he was waiting for a steam boat— I endeavered to prevail on him to relinquish his undertaking; he said I have no character in , for I have none to lose, I tried to convince him that he had a character and might be looked upon with respect, but he flatly contradicted me, and said he had none, and that was the reason why he persecuted Joseph Smith — as he had no character, he did not care what he did— he had nothing to lose by it— that is the substance of our conversation.
sworn,— I recollect a settlement of difficulties between and my brother Joseph, about which some of the court may recollect. I recollect asking forgiveness of the Lodge when there was about sixty present— acknowledged that it was the truth, that he was sorry, and had been a thousand times; he acknowledged his connection with the wo [p. 539]