Trial Report, 28 August 1832 [State of New York v. JS–C]

Document Transcript

State of New York,)
, ss. [scilicet])
The People,)
vs.) Joseph Smith, jr.)
Joel K. Noble, Justice. Samuel Dickinson, Complainant.
The defendant was brought before me by virtue of a warrant on the 30th day of June, A. D. 1830, on a charge “that he, the said Joseph Smith, Jr. had been guilty of a breach of the Peace, against the good people of the State of , by looking through a certain stone to find hid treasures, &c. within the Statute of Limitation.
To the charge, the defendant plead not guilty. At the instance of the people, Joseph A. S. Austin was by me duly sworn and says “that he had been acquainted with Smith, the Prisoner, for several years; that prisoner pretended to look in a certain glass, or stone, and said he could tell where stolen goods were, and could discover mines of gold and silver under ground; made some pretence at telling fortune, but he, witness never knew of prisoner’s finding any thing by his pretended art. Once witness asked prisoner to tell him if he, prisoner, could tell any thing by looking in said glass, and wished a candid and true answer. Prisoner told witness frankly he could not see any thing, and in answer, prisoner likewise observed to witness, any thing you know for a living: says, two or years before this present time, he saw prisoner drink a certain quantity of distilled liquor, and was drunk, as he does believe; for he could not stand up, but lay in the woods for some hours.
Harriss Stowel [Harris Stowell] being by me sworn, saith, “he has been acquainted with the prisoner for a number of years past; that prisoner said he could look in a certain stone or glass, and could tell where money and hid treasures were, and could tell where gold and silver mines and salt springs were; and that Smith, the prisoner, the pretended prophet and money digger, had followed digging for money, for salt, and for gold and silver mines for a number of years; that others, by his instigation, had followed digging; that at one time, witness hid a bag of grain in his barn, told Smith he had lost a bag of grain, and wished Prisoner to find it; Prisoner looked in his glass in vain, for he could not find it; prisoner, after using all his art for a number of days, offered to give witness’s brother fifty cents (so his brother told witness) to find where the grain was, and tell him, prisoner, unbeknown to witness, so that Smith, the prisoner, might have the credit of finding the grain.”
Cross question—says, he has not known the prisoner look in the glass within the space of two years last past.
being by me sworn, saith, he has been acquainted with Smith, the prisoner for quite a number of years; that he did pretend to tell, by looking in a stone, or glass, where money and goods and mines were in a manner peculiar to himself; the prisoner had followed digging for money; pretenddd to find mines, hid treasures, and lost goods, and frequently others would be digging with him; says that about three years since, prisoner was put under arrest by an officer at in , for breaking the peace, and that he escaped from the officer and went to ; and that about two years since was at , and saw prisoner; that prisoner told that the Lord had told prisoner that a Golden Bible was in a certain hill; that Smith, the prisoner went in the night and brought the Bible, (as Smith said;) saw a corner of it; it resembled a stone of a greenish caste; should judge it to have been about one foot square and six inches thick; he would not let it be seen by any one; the Lord had commanded him not; it was unknown to Smith that saw a corner of the bible, so called by Smith; told the leaves were gold; there were written characters on the leaves; prisoner was commanded to translate the same by the Lord; and from the Bible got from the hill, as aforesaid, the prisoner said he translated the book of Mormon, prisoner put a certain stone into his hat, put his face into the crown, then drew the brim of the hat around his head to prevent Light—he could then see as prisoner said, and translate the same, the Bible, got from the hill in , at the same time under a lock and in a chest; and the prisoner, when looking for money, salt springs, hid treasures, &c. looked in the same manner; did not know that prisoner could find money lost, &c.; and that prisoner told after he was arrested in , he would not look for money, &c. any more; told he could see into the earth forty or fifty feet.” &c. &c.
sworn, saith “prisoner could see in a stone as stated by ; that formely he looked for Money &c, but latterly he had become holy, was a true preacher of the Gospel of Christ, possessed the power of casting out Devils; he knew it to be a fact, he (Smith, the prisoner) had cast a Devil from him , in manner following viz. was in mind impressed; and Smith did conclude and knew the devil was in ; they joined hands, their faith became united, the devil went out of ; knew it to be a fact, for he saw the devil as he departed; Smith did it by the power of God,” &c.
A true copy from minutes taken by me on the trial.
JOEL K. NOBLE, J. Peace.
Dated , August 28th, 1832. [p. [2]]