Indictment, circa 23 May 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Perjury]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

of the May term of the Circuit Court in the year of our Lord AD 1844
State of Illinois) Ss [scilicet]
The Grand Jurors chosen selected and sworn in and for the County of , in the name and by the authority of the people of state of upon their oaths present that Joseph Smith senior late of said on the seventeeth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four at and within the county of aforesaid in the state of aforesaid wickedly and maliciously contriving and intending unjustly to aggrieve one and him the said to put to great expense, and also unjustly and maliciously to cause him the said to be arrested, came in his own proper person before one , then being one of the Justices of the peace in & for said , and then & there subscribd and made solemn oath in due form of law was sworn <​and made solemn oath​> to a certain affidavit in writing, (which said affidavit has been destroyed since it was so subscribed as aforesaid) he the said then & there having a competent & lawful authority to administer the said oath to the said Joseph Smith seinor in that behalf) and that the said Joseph Smith senior being so sworn as aforesaid, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being instigated <​& seduced​> by the devil, then & there upon his oath aforesaid, before the said , (the said then & there having competent power & authorty to adminster the said oath in that behalf falsely [p. [1]] corruptly, knowingly, wilfully, and meliciously in and by his said affidavit in writing, did depose & swear (amongst other things) in substance & to the effect following that is to say, that Robery and an attempt to commit a murder on the body of one in said had before that time been perpetrated, and from information he the said Joseph Smith senior verily believed that one was the person guilty of the said Robery & attempt to commit murder as in & by the said affidavit would fully appear had the same not have been destroyed by the said Joseph Smith senior, Whereas in truth & in fact he the said Joseph Smith senior at the time be so sworn to and made oath to the said affidavit did not <​verily​> believe that the said was the person who was guilty of the said robery and attempt to murder And so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said Joseph Smith senior on the said seventnth day of January in the year last aforesaid at the aforsaid in the aforesaid before the said , he the said then & ther having such power & authority as aforesaid, by his own act & consent, and of his own most wicked and corrupt mind, in manner & form as aforesaid falsely, wickedly, wilfully, diabolically, maliciously, corruptly, and of the instigation of the devil did commit wilful and corrupt perjury; to the great displeasure of Almighty God, contr[ar]y to the form of the statute in such case made [p. [2]] & provided, & against the peace & dignity of the sam people of the state of
E. A. Thompson
s Attorny [3/4 page blank] [p. [3]]
The People /
vs) Perjury
Joseph Smith sr
Bail $500,—
A , Benjn Avise Foreman of the Grand Jury
Filed May 24th. 1844
clk [p. [4]]


  1. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of E. A. Thompson.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Notation in unidentified handwriting.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.