Letter to Justin Butterfield, 18 March 1843

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March 18th. 1843
Dr Sir.—
Your letter of the 3d ultimo was received after the rapid Journey of one month, I. E. It it has just arrived. So The information it has containd was is satisfactory but a new subject having re[c]ently arisen. I purpose to dispat[c]h a messenger to you on the morrow, with this, the mails are so tardy.— , (whom you well know, has been reported as the author of <​of the outrage on​> — last year, & myself as instigator) has been <​was​> taken <​on the 6th inst​> and lodged in jail at Missisour— and on the next day— took his departure for , according to the letter of . Esqr of Dated; March 7. Just receved, <​in this place —​> stating that had called on him for council, & he had advised according to the nature of the case & the information in his possession, that he had written to the , demanding protection of the Laws for , agist [against] personal violence &c.— & proposing in his letter to promise a change of venue to from to some adjoining county, & waiting for instruction from his friends &c.— has been informed that the it is wished by s friend that he should take such measures as will secure the personal safety of the prisoner and defer trial until such time as preperation can be made by the collection of affidavits & the presence of the — for the Discrt [District] of , or of <​Gen​> , of — (one or both.) are prese[n]t, of is in possession of some important testimony <​sufficient, he said says said, to destroy s [John C. Bennett’s] testimony in relation to will be important in s.— <​in defense of ​>​> necessary to be joined with what can be obtained here—to destroy the testimony of who will [be] the principel witness against & if possible— shall endeavre to have him attend the trial with yourself— for I wish you to defend friend , & I will be responsible for your compensation.— is innocent, & must be defended.—
Having the facts before you in my case, you [p. [1]] can readily infer the situation of ,— I am ready to testify that I never instigated to murder and never had any knowledge of the case only from public reports. & that , has sworn revenge on myself— & ,— in pa[r]ticular & the mormons generally for the expose we have made of his abominable conduct, & there is abundance of other such like testimony, or witnesses to the same, and simlar facts— I shall write , <​of . N. Y.—​> immediately, to forward me the particular facts in his possession, req[u]esting him to be ready to attend the trial when the day shall be ascertai[ne]d.——
I wish you to answer this, per bearer, informing the best plan of defence procedure, whether by defe[n]ce before the Courts, or by — in the district Court.— and in either case. when it will be best to bring the case forward.— or, when it can be done. Have you any instruction for Esqr— at this time? Will it be consistent for you to call here and direct in the taking of affidavits— previous to the trial? Would it be well for to procure a change of venue from . to the North east Co in . where which will bring the trial so near his friends can <​convenetly [conveniently]​> attend? or some other County? Are you acquainted with — if so what is his standing <​Reputation​> at the Bar?
Please to answ[e]r these questions, and give me all necessary information which may not happen to be attended to on this sheet and, believe me, as ever, your Fnd. in grateful reme[m]brance of the past.—
Joseph Smith.— [p. [2]]