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Times and Seasons/4/3
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 3
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 4
|Number 2||Number 4|
Times and Seasons: Volume 4, Number 3
Jump to Subtopic:
- LETTER TO SIDNEY RIGDON, ESQ.
- CONFERENCE MINUTES.
- HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
- REMARKS ON CHARTERED RIGHTS.
- JOSEPH SMITH
- EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM F. M. HIGBEE.
- APOSTROPHE TO DEATH.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Vol. IV. No. 3.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. DEC. 15, 1842||[Whole No. 63.|
The very able and learned article on Habeas Corpus,' written by Justin Butterfield, United States' Attorney, for the District of Illinois, is worthy of attention. He shows, in a very lucid manner, what our right and privileges are, pertaining to that subject, and fully sustains the proceedings and views of the City Council, and the Municipal Court; it is sustained by the usages of all enlightened Courts, and accord with the opinion of every intelligent man,-the opinions of Ex-Governor Boggs, Gov. Reynolds, of Mo., and Gov. Carlin, to the contrary notwithstanding.
LETTER TO SIDNEY RIGDON, ESQ.
Chicago, Oct. 20th 1842.
SIDNEY RIGDON, ESQ:-
Dear Sir: In answer to your favors of the 17th inst. Mr. Warren was correct in the information he gave you of my opinion of the illegality of the requisition made by the Governor of Missouri, upon the Governor of this State, for the surrender of Joseph Smith, and that the Governor of this State should cause him to be arrested, for the purpose of being surrendered I had no doubt; but the Supreme Court of this State would discharge him upon Habeas Corpus,-subsequent examination has confirmed me in that opinion. I understand from your letter, and from the statement of facts made to me by Mr. Warren, that the requisition of the Governor of Missouri, is accompanied by an affidavit of Ex-Governor Boggs, stating in substance, that on the 6th day of May last he was shot while sitting in his house, with intent to kill, and as he verily believes, the act was committed by O. P. Rockwell, and that Joseph Smith was accessory to the crime before its commission, and that he has fled from justice; that it can be proved that Joseph Smith was not in the State of Missouri at the time the crime was committed, but was in this State; that it is untrue that he was in the State of Missouri at the time of the commission of the said crime, or has been there at any time since: he could not, therefore, have fled from that State since the commission of the said crime.
The right on the part of the Governor of Missouri to demand Smith, and the duty on the part of the Governor of this State to deliver him up: if they exist; are given and imposed by that clause of the Constitution of the United States. which declares 'that a person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other crime who shall flee from justice and be found in another State; shall on demand of the Executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.'
It is unnecessary to refer to the act of Congress in relation to the delivery up of fugitives from justice, as Congress has just so much power and no more than is expressly given by the said clause in the Constitution-the Constitution is the best exponent of itself-what person then can be surrendered up by the Governor of one State to the Governor of another? First, He must be a person charged with Treason, Felony, or other crime; it is sufficient if he be charged with the commission of crime, either by indictment found or by affidavit. Second, 'He must be a person who shall flee from justice and be found in another State.' It is not sufficient to satisfy this branch of the Constitution, that he should be 'charged' with having fled from justice, unless he has actually fled from the State where the offence [offense] was committed to another State, the Governor of this State has no jurisdiction over his person and cannot deliver him up. When Mr. Smith is brought up on a Habeas Corpus, he will have a right, under the 3rd Sec of our Habeas Corpus Act, to introduce testimony and shew [show] that the 'process upon which he is arrested was obtained by false pretence [pretense],' that it is untrue, that he fled from the State of Missouri, to evade being brought to justice there, for the crime of which he is charged, he will have the right to place himself upon the platform of the Constitution of the United States, and say I am a citizen of the State of Illinois; I have not fled from the State of Missouri or from the 'justice' of that State, on account of the commission of the crime with which I am charged. I am ready to prove that the charge of having fled from that State is false, and I am not, therefore, subject under the Constitution of the United States to be delivered up to that State for trial.
You say in your letter to me that you doubt whether on a Habeas corpus the Court would have a right to try the question whether Smith was in Missouri at the time of the commission of the crime of which he is charged. To this I answer that upon a Habeas Corpus the Court would be bound to try the question whether Smith fled from justice from Missouri to this State; the affidavit of Mr. Boggs is not conclusive on this point-it may be rebutted-unless Smith is a person who has fled from justice he
is not subject to be delivered up,-under the express provisions of our own Habeas Corpus Act, he has a right to show that the affidavit is false and that the order for his arrest was obtained by false pretenses. Again, the affidavit on its face was not sufficient to authorise [authorize] the arrest of Smith, it is evasive and deceptive-it does not show that he fled from the State of Missouri to evade justice for the commission of the crime of which he is charged by Gov. Boggs.
Robert G. Williams, in the year 1835, was indicted in the State of Alabama for attempting to incite rebellion and insurrection in that State; he was demanded by the Gov. of that State, of the Gov. of New York and the requisition stated that he had FLED FROM JUSTICE-the Governor of the State of New York (Marcy) took notice that the said Williams was a citizen of the State of New York, and had not fled from justice from Alabama, and on THAT GROUND ALONE refused to surrender him up. This was a stronger case than that of Smith's, as an INDICTMENT HAD BEEN FOUND. Gov. Marcy puts his refusal upon the express ground that by the Constitution of the United States the Governor of one State had no right to demand, nor the Governor of another State a right to surrender up one of his citizens unless had fled from justice; and it was the right and the duty of the Governor upon whom the demand was made to inquire into the fact whether he had fled from justice before he made the surrender. I have the book containing all the proceedings in this case of Williams: there are several other cases equally in point, and they all proceed upon the ground that the Governor of a State has no jurisdiction over the body of a citizen to arrest and surrender him up to a foreign State unless he has fled from that State to evade justice,' or in other words to evade being tried for the offence [offense] with which he is charged. In a despotic form of Government the sovereign power is the will of the Monarch who can act in every instance as may suit his pleasure; but can the Governor of one of our States, of his own mere will, without any authority from the Constitution, or the Legislative power of the State, arrest and deliver up to a foreign Government any person whatever If he can do this, then is the liberty of the citizen wholly at his disposal.
The writ of Habeas Corpus is a suit which every person imprisoned or unlawfully detained has a right to prosecute for the recovery of his liberty, and if he is in custody by process from a competent power he is entitled to his discharge when the jurisdiction has been executed.
The Governor of this State has the power or jurisdiction over the person of a citizen of this State to arrest and cause him to be delivered up and transported to another State, except the power expressly given to him by the Constitution of the United States, and what is that power? it only authorises [authorizes] the Governor of one State to surrender up a fugitive from justice to return him back to the State from whence he has fled. First, The person to be surrendered up must be a fugitive from the State to which it is attempted to surrender him. Second, He must be a fugitive from justice; in other words he must have been in the State when and where the crime was committed and have fled from that State to evade being apprehended and tried for that crime. Third, Unless he is in fact such a fugitive from justice, the Governor has no power, by the laws or Constitution, to deliver him up. Fourth, If he is charged with being a fugitive from justice and the Governor cause him to be apprehended on that charge; he has a right to sue out a Habeas Corpus and when brought up on that writ he has the undoubted right of showing that the Governor has no Constitutional power to deliver him up to another State; that he has not 'fled from justice into this State,' and is not such a person as the constitution authorises [authorizes] the Governor to deliver up. The question to be examined into upon the return of the Habeas Corpus would be a mere question of locality, the question would be, was Smith in this State or not at the time the crime was committed in Missouri? If he was in this State at that time, then he could not be a fugitive from justice, from Missouri, in the sense of the constitution, and the Governor would have no power to deliver him up.
The argument that because Gov. Boggs has made affidavit that Smith has fled from justice, his affidavit is to be taken as conclusive on that point, and that upon the return of a Habeas Corpus, Smith would be precluded from controverting or showing the falsity of that affidavit, is to absurd to require a serious answer.
The liberties of the citizens of this State are not held on quite so feeble a tenure, nor does the Constitution authorise [authorize] the governor to transport the citizens of this State upon a mere 'charge' made by a citizen of another State; such is not the reading of the Constitution; that instrument only authorises [authorizes] the delivery up of such persons 'who shall flee' upon the demand of the Executive authority of the State from which they 'fled'-here must have been a 'flight' in fact and indeed from the State where
the offence [offense] was committed or the Governor has no jurisdiction to 'deliver up.' If the charge of having 'fled' is made, and the Governor acting in pais is attempting to deliver up upon that charge, the person attempted to be made the victim has a clear undoubted constitutional right, by means of a writ of Habeas Corpus, to test its truth before a judicial tribunal of the country, and if the charge is proven to be false, the Governor is ousted of his jurisdiction over the person of the prisoner, and he is restored to his liberty before he has undergone the penalty of the transportaiou [transportation] to a foreign country, upon the mere charge of an interested or partial witness.
The power of the Executive of a State to surrender up a citizen to be transported to a foreign State for trial; is a most tremendous power which might be greatly abused, were it not limited by Constitutional checks, and the citizens secured against its despotic exercise by the writ of Habeas Corpus. In the case of Williams, the Governor of Alabama, says, 'What occurs daily in the ordinary course of criminal proceedings, may take place in regard to persons transported to a distant jurisdiction for trial. It may happen that an innocent man will be accused, and, if demanded, he must be delivered up, should your exposition of the Constitution be sanctioned. Under these circumstances his condition would be perilous indeed; dragged from his home, far removed from friends; borne down by the weight of imputed guilt, and unable, probably to obtain the evidence by which he might vindicate his innocence; if appearances were against him he could scarcely hope to escape unmerited condemnation.
The American colonists regarded the exercise of this power, as an act of revolting tyranny, and assigned it in the declaration of Independence, as one of the prominent causes that impelled them to a separation from the British Empire. A power which may be thus oppressively used should be resorted to with the greatest caution. When its exercise is invoked it is not sufficient that the cause may apparently come within the letter of the Constitution; it is the duty of the Executive, before yielding a blind obedience to the letter of the law, to see that the case comes within the spirit and meaning of the Constitution. It may be pleasing as well as instructive to look into the proceedings of the Executive of our sister State, and witness, that by faithfully administering the law in relation to the delivery up of fugitives from justice, according to its spirit and meaning they have saved at least two of the citizens of Illinois from becoming victims to its abuse. In the year 1839 the Governor of the State of New York was presented with the copy of an indictment by a grand jury in the city of New York against John & Nathan Aldritch, for fraud in obtaining goods by false pretences, [pretenses], and was requested to make a requisition upon the Governor of Illinois, to surrender them up as fugitives from justice. Now here was case which came exactly within the letter of the Law of Congress, in relation to fugitives from justice. An indictment had been found charging them with having committed a crime. But did the Governor of New York make the 'requisition?' No; he referred the application to the Hon. John C. Spencer, now Secretary of War, and one of the most enlightened lawyers of the age.
The following is an extract of Mr. Spencer's opinion upon the case:
"The Constitutional provision under which requisitions may be made by the Governor of one State upon the Governor of another, was a substitute for the principle recognized by the law of Nations, by which one sovereign is bound to deliver to another, fugitives who have committed certain offences [offenses]. These offences [offenses] are of the deepest grade of criminality, and robbers, murderers, and incendiaries, are those enumerated, as proper to be surrendered. Following the analogy thus suggested, the provision in our Constitution, it would seem, should be construed to embrace similar cases only, except, perhaps, those offences [offenses] which arise from an abuse of the same constitutional provision-that provision must be guarded with the utmost care or it will become intolerable.
"I do not think the circumstance of the case before me are of such grave import, or the offence [offense] itself of such high grade as to justify the requisition desired. The power given by the Constitution ought not to be cheapened, nor applied to trifling offences [offenses], nor indeed to any that was not originally contemplated."
For the reasons stated in Mr. Spencer's opinion the Governor of New York refused to make the requisition upon the Governor of Illinois. The case certainly came within the letter of the law; but not within its spirit and meaning,-so with the affidavit of Gov. Boggs, when he swears that Smith had fled from justice, it may come within the letter of the Constitution; but does it come within its spirit and meaning? does it show that Smith was in Missouri at the time of the commission of the crime and that he fled from that State to evade being brought to justice for that Crime? or does it refer to the
flight of Smith and the Mormons from Missouri some years since?
I will refer to one more case of a similar nature. Lord Campbell, formerly Attorney General of England, in a recent debate in Parliament upon the subject of the Creole, made the following remarks: "To show how cautious States should be in making such concessions one to the other reciprocally, he would mention a case that occurred when he was Attorney General. A treaty had been agreed upon between the State of New York and the province of Canada, by which the Government of each agreed reciprocally to deliver up the citizens or subjects of the other against whom Grand Juries had found a bill, and who had sought refuge within the territories of the other. It happened that a slave had escaped from his master, at New York, and had got to Canada. To facilitate his escape, he rode a horse of his master's for a part of the way; but turned him back on reaching the frontier. The authorities of New York well knew that England would not give up a runaway slave, and that as they could not claim him under the treaty; they therefore had a bill of indictment against him before a New York Grand Jury for stealing the horse, though it was clear the animus furandi was wanting. The Grand Jury, however, found a true bill against him for the felony, and he was claimed under the treaty. The Governor, under such circumstances, refused to give him up until he had consulted the Government in England. He (Lord Campbell) was consulted and gave it as his opinion that the man ought not to be given up, as the true bill where no felony had been committed, did not bring the case within the treaty. The man was not given up, and there the matter rested. This, he repeated, showed the necessity of the greatest caution where reciprocal rights of surrender were granted between States."
It is not to be presumed that the Executive of this State would, knowingly, lend his aid in dragging one of our citizens, who is not a fugitive from justice, into a foreign State, for trial. The Governor has, undoubtedly, been misled by the evasive affidavit which accompanied the requisition. I would advise that Mr. Smith procure respectable and sufficient affidavits to prove, beyond all question that he was in this State, and not in Missouri, at the time the crime, with which he is charged, was committed, and, upon these affidavits, apply to the Governor to countermand the warrant he has issued for his arrest. If he should refuse so to do, I am clearly of the opinion that upon the above state of facts, the Supreme Court will discharge him upon Habeas Corpus.
Respectfully you obedient servant, JUSTIN BUTTERFIELD.
Olive Green, Oct. 17, 1842.
The Sunbury branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, met in conference at the house of brother Festus Sprague, Elder John P. Green was called to the chair, elders Alexander Badlam and Henry Kempton as clerks, by the request of elder Lyman Wight, vote unanimous. Prayer was offered up by brother J. P. Green, who made known the object of the conference, and the mission of the elders abroad, at this time; calling on the saints to step forth and obey the commandments of the Lord, by building the Temple, and the Nauvoo House, which would be done by the gathering of the saints, and the tithings and consecrations of the Lord's people.
Elder Wight then arose to instruct the saints concerning their present situation, showing that brotherly love and kindness should exist among us, which would make us that we cauld [could] not bear to hear of the sufferings of our brethren, and not be willing to share with them in their sufferings, as well as in prosperity, and shew [show] our love by putting forth the helping hand; be told the brethren plainly that all excuses were in vain, and if the saints would go forth to the place appointed, and talk no more of staying behind, to help the travelling [traveling] elders as they pass through, there will be no danger but the elders will be well supplied; it being the duty of the churches to lay hold with their might in assisting in the great and glorious work of building up the city of Nauvoo. Plainly setting forth without hypocrisy or deception, saying to the brethren, if you are disposed to keep the commandments of God, you will consider no sacrifice too great, when you see what your brethren have passed through; for if you expect to reign with them in glory, you must expect to participate with them here; for it should be remembered that all the persecution that has been suffered has been in consequence of the scattered situation of the church, which has made some of them an easy prey to the adversary of all souls. He further stated that the gathering was necessary for the building of the houses-for the relief of the poor-and salvation of the church; and he set forth the principle of economy in it so plain that it could not be misunderstood; and also declared that there was no other man who could have devised such a scheme of economy, for both the rich and the poor, but Joseph Smith, who is our prophet and seer. Brother Wight declared himself able and willing to prove the character of Joseph Smith to be more meek more humble, chaste, and virtuous-better qualified to fill his mission,
which is to usher in the fullness of all dispensations, and gather the house of Israel, than any prophet from Moses to Malachi. He also challenged the world to bring on their champion and he was ready to meet him.
The expression of the conference was then called with regard to their having entire confidence and fellowship in Joseph Smith, as a prophet gnd [and] seer, which was manifested by uplifted hands, without one dissenting voice,-We find the brethren here perfectly sound in the faith, and are willing to do all they can.-Some have manifested their faith by their works, and have contributed for the houses in such things as the brethren in Nauvoo want, such as clothing, shoes, &c. which will be sent on by brother Henry Kempton soon; and as soon as they can dispose of their property they will do every thing that can be desired, both in buying Nauvoo stock, and for the Temple.
Tuesday evening, met at elder H. Kempton's, and ordained four elders, This branch consists of forty one members, including five elders, two priests, and one teacher. Here brother Green left us, and went through Huron county; he arrived at Kirtland Tuesday morning, 25th Oct. and we arrived the same day. The day that brother Green left us we went ten miles, to the house of Mr. Smith, a man who had made no profession of religion of any kind, who obtained the house of the New Lights, in that place, for preaching: we held a meeting, and stopped with him through the night. In the morning he proposed to let brother Wight take his grist and saw mill apparatus which consists of an engine of thirty horse power, boilers, and two run of burrs, four feet each, of a superior quality, of which he gives one half for delivering on the bank of the Mississippi, at Nauvoo. The property is considered worth not less than two thousand five hundred dollars. When there a committee was appointed, of the last mentioned branch, to either build or buy a boat sufficient to carry the mill and about one hundred persons, who will all be ready to start from that place by the first of May next. Mr. Smith then said if he should die before we returned, he requested that the mill should not only be taken, but his family also; for it was his desire that they should be raised among a christian people, and not among heathen; they were as anxious to go as he was to have them go.-His oldest daughter said that she had always wanted to go to Nauvoo ever since she had heard there was a Nauvoo. We then made on our way to New Portage, where we found about fifteen brethren and sisters; here we preached to them on Sunday; they are calculating on going up in the spring. Form there we went on through Franklin, where we found a small branch, built up by elders Shirtleff and Eldredge; these are talking of going up soon.-From this we came on to Kirtland: here brother H. P. Green informed us that while he was absent from us, passing through Huron county, he stopped at a temperance house, where, after making himself known, he was politely invited to preach on Sunday, the Presbyterian meeting house; which circumstance proved to be one of the anomalies of this generation; he preached on Saturday night to a few persons-the minister, Mr. White, was present. On Sabbath morning at an early hour the house was crowded with people. Mr. White wished to know what course he should pursue, and then stated what he desired, which was to hear what was the faith of the Mormons, and wherein they differed from the popular sects of the day.-Brother Green assented to his proposition: he then arose and presented to the congregation the object, and called for an expression of the people to know if they would hear him, Mr. White, in his ordinary way, or hear the stranger; upon which a unanimous vote was given for the stranger, who then presented unto them the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as being full of prophets, prophesyings, and revelations to be fulfilled in the last days, which are the days of this generation, and proposed to show from the scriptures that these things will be literally fulfilled, and then read the 11th chapter of Isaiah, showing by it that the Lord established his kingdom upon the earth when the root of Jesse stood for an ensign for the people in his day, at Jerusalem; also showing that God would at another distinct period, and at another day, set his hand to restore the kingdom unto Israel; and in that day God would set up an ensign to the nations, which ensign should accomplish the great and glorious work of restoration promised unto the house of Israel. Elder Green showed the difference between the two ensigns so plain, that no person need be mistaken or blend them together-searching the prophets from Moses to John the Revelater; showing in a very clear and satisfactory light, that something like unto the Book of Mormon, and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, must certainly come forth, or the prophets must fail. He then bore the testimony of the Lord unto them that God had now set his hand to accomplish the same, and had called Joseph Smith to be a Prophet and Seer unto this generation; and warned all men both professors and non professors to search the scriptures with the prayer of faith; to hold fast all
the good that they had got; assuring them that there would be false christs, false prophets, and teachers, who would bring in damnable heresies, and showed them that no man need be deceived, as God would impart of his spirit unto all who would receive it. Elder Green also told them that he condemned no man-neither did he sit in judgment on any man: but manifested that charity unto them that is always becoming in a seraant [servant] of the Most High, in order that all men may be left without excuse, and that it may never be said that good is evil spoken of, by the elders in Israel. We left the people with very serious and favorable impressions; having destroyed much prejudice by the light which was reflected.
Kirtland, Oct. 26, 1842.
This evening brother Green preached in the Temple, from the 12th chapter of Revelations, more particularly on the subject of accusing the brethren, to a very attentive congregation; he recommended that the brethren should never be found accusing one another, but to cast out the accuser and thrust him down, and love in peace and union, and enjoy the spirit of God. He also preached a funeral sermon on Sunday afternoon, to a large number of persons, and set forth the doctrine of the resurrection-the reign of Christ on the earth-and the beauty of becoming obedient to the gospel: as neither the deceased nor the mourners had yet become obedient. Brother Green also spoke at intervals, bore testimony, and counselled [counseled] the chairman throughout the conference, approving in all cases the proceedings of effcting [effecting] a union assisted in the ordinance of baptizing, ordaining, confirming, blessing children, &c.
We shall not be willing to return, as the Lord said to Lyman and Parley, to return not without one hundred; but we shall not be willing to return short of what Joseph said on the stand-with our thousands and tens of thousands.-With grist mills, saw mills, carding machines, factories, foundries, merchandize [merchandise], cattle, sheep, and horses; and in short, the fulness [fullness] of the Gentiles. There never has been the time when the gospel could be preached with the same case and influence as at the present time.
ALEXANDER BADLAM, Clerk.
Kirtland, October 28, 1842.
A meeting was held this day, in the house of the Lord. Brother Lyman Wight having commenced the subject of what it required to save an individual, and having addressed the people on the principles of faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the two evening previous, he again resumed the subject and read the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians. The doctrines of the saints were held up to view in so positive, plain, and convincing a manner that all the congregation seemed not only well satisfied but very much astonished at the thing which they had heard. Only about seventy five were present; but in the afternoon one hundred and fifty persons came into the Temple with cheerful countenances, while elder Wight, by the power of the spirit of God launched forth into a boundless theme of intelligence, while the doctrines of charity, baptism for the dead, and responsibility of connections were so clearly taught that no one could be misguided by his remarks. At the close of the meeting an appointment was given out for baptising [baptizing] the next morning at 7 o'clock., in the waters of Shagrin rilver. [river].
As the appointed time a great number of persons assembled, not only to witness this very delightful and soul reviving spectacle of humble obedience to the ordinance of baptism, but to become partakers in the joys which flow from cheerful obedience to the commandments of God. The sight was sublime and affecting; to behold both old and young flocking together and pressing forward to the liquid stream, so celebrated as a place of baptism by the Latter day Saints. After this service was concluded the whole congregation repaired to the Temp;e, where from five to seven hundred persons were soon assembled, to hear the instructions of elder Wight, which were in strict accordance with the propositions he had previously made; in which the doctrines of babtism [baptism], charity, &c. were set forth in so clear and plain a manner that every heart was made glad. In the evening the church again met and were instructed by brother Wight, after which the brethren, one after another arose, and so great were the manifestations of the spirit to the congregation, and so clear the evidence and testimony to every soul, that it seemed almost impossible to bring the meeting to a close without curtailing many in the privilege of bringing in a testimony concerning the blessings received by complying with the requirements of heaven; and by giving heed to the instructions of those whom God had sent to this meeting. In consequence of the uncommon degree of intelligence and power manifested it was more like those meetings enjoyed in times past, in the house of the Lord. than any since the church removed to the west. The next morning we again went to the water and many more came forward, some of whom were not baptised [baptized] before; after this we went again to the Temple, where the conference sat
agreeable to previous appointment, Oct. 31, 1842. Elder Lyman Wight was called to the chair; elders John Morton and A. Badlam, clerks of the conference. Elder Wight arose and instructed the church concerning the manner of dealing one with another; showing the brethren the great impropriety of attempting to set in judgment upon each other; but rather cast the mantle of charity over, and extend the hand of friendship to all. Conference then adjourned until two o'clock in the afternoon.
Brother Wight spoke concerning the organization of the church in this place, and gave it as his opinion that it would not be necessary to orgagize [organize] as a stake, but remain for further instructions from President Joseph Smith, as a branch; to which the church cheerfully agreed unanimously. Accordingly Lester Brooks was chosen president, elders John Youngs, and Hiram Kellogg counsellors [counselors] John Morton clerk of the church, and Thomas Burdick bishop, as before, with the right to choose his own counsellors [counselors]. It was then by a unanimous voice agreed upon, that this branch shall hold intercourse and communion with brother Joseph Smith, from time to time, as circumstances may require. The vote was then called to know how many present were willing to acknowledge President Joseph Smith as a prophet, revelator, and seer, when there was not one dissenting voice; all agreed to it cheerfully, with cheerful hearts and noble souls, (thanks be to God for brotherly kindness.) Twenty eight elders were then ordained, and the conference adjourned until the next day at 10 o'clock.
It being the first day of November, elder Wight then read the third chapter of 2d Corinthians, after which he set forth the difference between the letter and the spirit., showing that the Jews as well as this generation wore a [veil] of darkness over their faces and hearts; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same vail [veil] untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail [veil] is done away in Christ; consequently all who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, "with open face, behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord; and are changed into the same image, from glory to glory;" and being possessed of this blessing will no doubt be willing to admit of modern revelations. The conference adjourned at five o'clock, until the sixth day of April next.
Through the scene of this conference two hundred and three persons were baptised [baptized], and thirty elders ordained; eighteen children blessed; bread and wine administered to between two and three hundred, in full fellowship. We are now holding meetings every night, and shall do so as long as there is from three to ten coming forward a day, which is now the case. The people are preparing to come from Painesville, Cleveland, Chardon, and all the regions of country round about. We have no raason [reason] to doubt but that a great work will be done here, if the brethren in Nauvoo give us their prayers; for the brethren here truly give you theirs; for they are truly with you both heart and hand, in all things, and there will be much done here for both houses. Some who had entirely relaxed their intentions to do any thing, have concluded to go as high as a hundred dollars; and others would willingly give all they have if required. One woman, who at the commencement of the conference declared herself good enough without re-baptism, has now come forward before the close and says that she would go to the Rocky Mountains if Joseph said so; and in fine, we are now in the midst of glory, and glorious times, and care not if it never ends. Amen, and amen.
LYMAN WIGHT, JOHN P. GREEN. ALEXANDER BADLAM, Clerk, Attest-D. H. BRYANT
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
Amongst the many present at this meeting was one Emily Coburn sister to the wife of Newel Knight. The Rev. Mr. Shearer, a divine of the Presbyterian faith, who had considered himself her pastor, came to understand that she was likely to believe our doctrine, and had a short time previous to this our meeting, came to labor with her, but having spent some time with her without being able to persuade her against us, he endeavored to have her leave her sister's house, and go with him to her father's, who lived at a distance of at least ten miles off: for this purpose he had recourse to stratagem, he told her that one of her brothers was waiting at a certain place, wishful to have her go home with him, he succeeded thus to get her a little distance from the house when, seeing that her brother was not in waiting for her, she refused to go any further with him., upon which he got hold of her by the arm to force her along; but her sister, was soon with them; the two women were too many for him and he was forced to sneak off without his errand, after all his labor and ingenuity. Nothing daunted however he went to her father, represented to him something or other, which induced the old gentleman to give him a power of attorney, which, as soon as our meeting was
over, on the above named Sunday evening, he immediately served upon her and carried her off to her father's residence, by open violence, against her will. All his labor was in vain however, for the said Emily Coburn, in a short time afterwards, was baptized and confirmed. a member of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
However, early on Monday morning we were on the alert, and before our enemies were aware we had repaired the dam, and proceeded to baptize, when the following thirteen persons were baptized under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, viz: Emma Smith, Hezekiah Peck and wife, Joseph Knight and wife, William Stringham and wife, Joseph Knight jr., Aaron Culver and wife, Levi Hall, Polly Knight and Julia Stringham. Before the baptism was entirely finished, the mob began again to collect, and shortly after we had retired, they amounted to about fifty men. They surrounded the house of Mr. Knight (where we had retired to) raging with anger and apparently wishful to commit violence upon us. Some asked us questions, others threatened us, so that we thought it wisdom to leave and go to the house of Newel Knight.
There also they followed us, and it was only by the exercise of great prudence on our part, and reliance on our heavenly Father that they were kept from laying violent hands upon us, and so long as they chose to stay we were obliged to answer them various unprofitable questions, and bear with insults and threatenings without number.
We had appointed a meeting for this evening, for the purpose of attending to the confirmation of those who had been the same morning baptized; the time appointed had arrived, and our friends had nearly all collected together, when to my surprise, I was visited by a constable. and arrested by him on a warrant, on charge of being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, &c. &c. The constable informed me (soon after I had been arrested) that the plan of those who had got out the warrant, was to get me into the hands of the mob, who were now lying in ambush for me; but that he was determined to save me from them, as he had found me to be a different sort of person from what I had been represented to him. I soon found that he had told me the truth in this matter, for not far from Mr. Knight's house, the waggon [wagon] in which we had set out was surrounded by the mob, who seemed only to await some signal from the constable; but to their great disappointment, he gave the horse the whip and drove me out of their reach. Whilst driving along pretty quickly, one of the waggon [wagon] wheels came off, which left us, once more, very nearly surrounded by them, as they had come on, in close pursuit, however we managed to get the wheel on again and, again left them behind us. He drove on to the town of South Bainbridge, Chenango county, where he lodged me for the time being, in an upper room of a tavern, and in order that all might be right with himself and with me also, he slept during the night with his feet against the door, and a loaded musket by his side, whilst I occupied a bed which was in the room he having declared that if we were interrupted unlawfully, that he would fight for me, and defend me as far as in his power.
On the day following a court was convened for the purpose of investigating those charges which had been preferred against me. A great excitement prevailed on account of the scandalous falsehoods which had been circulated, the nature of which will come out in the sequel.
In the maan [mean] time, my friend, Joseph Knight, had repaired to two of his neighbors viz: James Davidson and John Reid Esqrs., (respectable farmers; men renowned for their integrity, and well versed in the laws of their country,) and retained then on my behalf during my trial. At length the trial commenced amidst a multitude of spectators who in general evinced a belief that I was guilty of all that had been reported concerning me, and of course were very zealous, that I should be punished according to my crimes. Among many witnesses called up against me, was Mr. Josiah Stoal (of whom I have made mention, as having worked for him some time) and examined to the following effect. Q. Did not the prisoner Joseph Smith have a horse of you? Ans. Yes. Q. Did not he go to you and tell you, that an angel had appeared unto him, and authorised [authorized] him to get the horse from you? Ans. No, he told me no such story. Q. Well; how had he the horse of you? Ans. He bought him of me, as another man would do. Q. Have you had your pay? Ans. That is not your business.-The question being again put, the witness replied, "I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay; for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr., and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms."
Mr. Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined. Q. Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr. had a yoke of oxen of you?
Ans. Yes. Q. Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them. Ans. No, he did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen; he purchased them the same as another man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that two young women (daughters to Mr. Stoal) with whom I had at times kept company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them which might be made a pretext against me. The young ladies arrived and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general but particularly as to my behavior towards them both in public and private, when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a pretext on their account. Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in Broom county were brought forward; but these, my lawyers would not here admit of against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors managed to detain the court, until they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broom county, and which warrant they serve upon me, at the very moment in which I had been acquitted by this court.
TIMES AND SEASONS
CITY OF NAUVOO, THURSDAY,
DECEMBER 15, 1842.
REMARKS ON CHARTERED RIGHTS.
It will be seen by the inaugural address of Gov. Ford, that our city charters are considered objectionable, by his excellency, on many accounts; but particularly on account of the 'powers granted.' He states tkat [that] the people of the State have become aroused on the subject and anxiously desire that those charter s should be modified, so as to give the inhabitants of the city of Nauvoo no greater privileges than those enjoyed by others of our fellow citizens.' The House of Representatives have taken up the subject and many of the Honorable members feel very desirous to take from us our chartered rights. We insert the whole of the particulars pertaining to this discussion as published in the Sangamo Journal of Dec. 15.
Now it does and always has appeared strange to us that such a feverish excitement and such a continuous dogged jealousy should exist on the minds of community pertaining to us as a people; and more particularly that such feelings should be cherished by honorable members; and that opportunities should be sought to misrepresent us, and to speak evil of our religion, in the Senate chamber, and in the Legislative hall.
If indeed we as a people do possess peculiar, exclusive privileges: if we have violently, or fraudulently taken from any men their rights; if we have refused to be subject to any legal enactments; if we have transcended the bounds of our chartered privileges; or violated the Constitution of the State, or that of the United States; we refuse not to be dealt with legally, fairly, and constitutionally: but if we have broken no law, and have kept within the limits of our chartered rights, and those rigts [rights] are not exclusive; we throw ourselves under the banner or our great republic; we stand proudly erect, and proclaim ourselves American citizens; we claim the rights of the free sons of Columbia; we rest under the shade of our glorious Constitution; the broad folds of which we trust, will secure us from the power or religious bigots, and fanatics; the hand of persecution, and the power of tyranny and despotism.
His Excellency seems to think that our charters are 'objectionable on many accounts; but particularly on account of the powers granted.' What the many things are that are objectionable we are at a loss to know, as we have never observed them in the city charter; nor have honorable members who have discussed this subject, informed us of them; we have heard a great deal said about exclusive rights, and extraordinary powers; but we have never yet been shown where those powers exist; and unless we have more light thrown upon the subject than has yet been made manifest, we must remain ignorant. Our city Charter grants us the privilege of electing our own Mayor, City Council, Aldermen, Marshall and Constables; of creating all offices and making all laws that shall be considered for the benefit, well being, peace and happiness of the city of Nauvoo, 'not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this State.'
Is there any thing objectionable in this? any powers that a duly advised Senator, or Legislator, would deprecate? or that a philanthropist or republican would not subscribe to? We have, too, our charter for the Nauvoo Legion, University, and Agricultural Society.
As it regards the first of these, we say that it is equipped, officered, and organized, in a manner that not only does credit to the city of Nauvoo, but to the State of Illinois; and is acknowledged by all who have seen its numbers, uniform and discipline, and witnessed its evolutions, to be one of the most efficient military bodies in
this state; have they transcended their power, been negligent in their duties, or violated the law? They have not. We ask then, would it be wise? would it be politic? would it be consonant with the feeling of enlightened republicans? and more especially of the intelligent citizens of Illinois, to trample under foot this mantle of protection: this shield of defence [defense]; and sacrifice at the shrine of religious bigotry, party spirit, and idle rumor, a band of patriots, who have voluntarily proffered their services to their country, at their country's call? rather let us imitate their example; then should we have a military force that would bid defiance to all aggressors: whose banners would float proudly, and triumphantly throughout the land; and whose prowess and military power, would become a proverb throughout the Union. Their voluntary action, take proficiency that they have made in military tactics, if found among other citizens, than the Mormons, would be lauded to the skies; they would be hailed as patriots; as highminded [high-minded] philanthropists, and as honorable men; but because they are found in Nauvoo, shall narrow bigotry, and religious persecution (without evidence) brand them as designing persons and traitors to their country? No! says our Constitution; No! says the Constitution of the United States; No! reiterates every patriot and republican! for at such conduct the Godess [Goddess] Liberty would weep; and of such proceedings even the monarchs of Europe would be ashamed.
Concerning our charters for a University and an Agricultural and Manufactoring [manufacturing] Society; we presume that there are not any of the intelligent inhabitants of the State of Illinois who would upon mature deliberation, wish for such a thing as their repeal. The first has a tendency to refine the mind, enlarge the intellect, and promote learning, literature and science; while the second has a tendency to increase our resources, improve our agriculture, encourage home manufacture, and be a source of wealth, not only to Nauvoo, but to the surrounding country and to the State. Is there any thing objectionable in this? or would it be consonant with the highminded [high-minded], the energetic, and the intelligent citizens of Illinois to proscribe learning, science, trade and agriculture?
But we are very gravely told that the people of the State have become aroused, and anxiously desire thut [that] those charters should be repealed, or modified; and one of the honorable members, Mr. Hicks, is so zealous to fulfill the wishes of his constituents, that he wishes them annulled, root and branch, immediately; without reference, without testimony, without examination, without evidence, and in the absence of any positive knowledge of whether they were right or wrong: as if we were on the eve of some fearful event, thought that 'the House could not be better employed now than in voting these charters all down.' And what is the reason assigned by honorable members for this unprecedented course of conduct? That the interests of the community require it, and that it is the wish of their constituents to have this business despatched immediately; that they may have ample evidence that they are doing their duty.
With all deference, however, to the opinions of his Excellency, and that of honorable members, who have spoken on this subject; we would beg leave to differ with them in relation to the views that are entertained by the citizens of this State generally, and particularly by the intelligent portion of them.
That a prejudice exists in certain sections of the country, where they have no means of attaining information concerning us and our proceeding;s but through the false statements, the vile abuse, and the published detraction and slander (principally of a religious nature,) that is found in the columns of the Sangamo Journal, the Quincy Whig, and other publications of a similar kind, we are free to admit; but that this feeling is general; that it arises from any extraordinary powers that we possess, or from an abuse of our chartered privileges, we think cannot be sustained; and we trust that there will be found a respectable majority of honorable members, within the walls of the Legislative hall that will sustain the liberal and enlightened views of the Hon Mr. McClernand, that 'he was in favor of giving the Mormons equal rights. He was satisfied that they had been persecuted; that great efforts had been made to get up an excitement against them; and that they had as much right to protect on as any other sect. He did not believe that the charter of Nauvoo contained any greater powers than had been granted to other cities.'
"The people of Illinois," feel highly exasperated at us, and desire a repeal of our charter!!! It cannot be possible; what have we done to them that they should desire it? At a time when the interests of the State have been declining;-when in consequence of foolish, and wild legislative enactments the State has been overwhelmed in debt, so that there seems to be no alternative left, but that of a dishonorable repudiation;-at a time when many of the citizens have left the State in consequence of a burthensome [burdensome] taxation;-at a time when our banks have become insolvent, and our credit
destroyed, when our wisest men had stood confounded, and have not known what method to adopt to save the State from ruin. While all hearts have fainted the Mormons have been pouring in a flood of emigration, which is unprecedented in the history of this State; and with that emigration a proportionate increase of wealth;-they have built up a city which bids fair soon, to be the largest city in the west. They have converted a desolate waste into fields and gardens; they have enhanced the value of property, for many miles around Nauvoo, tenfold; they have created a market that takes in a great portion of the surplus produce, that is raised within thirty and forty miles of Nauvoo; and in the city of Nauvoo alone (which three years ago was a barren waste) their city and couuty [county] tax amounts to upwards of four thousand dollars, (as per last assessment:) they have commenced some splendid buildings, that in point of magnitude, architectural design, elegant workmanship, and splendid appearance, will rival or outvie any buildings in the west, and will be an ornament to the State of Illinois; and they have also raised a large independent military body which does honor to the State, and is one of its strongest defences [defenses]; they are making arrangements to manufacture pottery that will equal the finest porcelain ware; that now have to be imported from England, at an enormous expense; and have it in contemplation to manufacture iron and also cotton, silk, and woolen goods: and is this as injury to the citizens of Illinois? The Mormons have also maintained as good morals, and there have been as few delinquencies among them, as among the same number of people in this, or any other State in the Union.-Can it be possible then that "the people of Illinois" should desire to proscribe our privileges? We believe not. The Mormons as Mr. McClernand states "have been persecuted," and political demagogues, religious bigots, and partisan papers, have fanned the flame, and made dishonorable use of religious prejudice for political effect; but do these men call themselves "the people of Illinois." Will that honorable body of men composing the Legislative Assembly be governed by such illiberal views; or will the respectable and enlightened portion of the inhabitants of this State subscribe to such narrow contracted, bigoted, and antirepublican [anti-republican] views? God forbid! we believe they will not.
The following from the Chicago Democrat sustains us in our remarks, pertaining to slander and persecution:
"We do not pick up a single newspaper but has something to say about this distinguished sectarian. One locates him here and another there. One says he is doing this evil thing and another that. When, in fact, they know nothing about him. We are in the regular receipt of the Nauvoo papers, one of which, religious, the Times & Seasons, is edited by him; and, all through the excitement, he has been at Nauvoo diligently attending to his own business. Ours is a political paper and it shall favor no religious sect at all, but shall deal with all fairly. Now what good does all this lying and abuse about the Mormon Prophet do? A joke at his expense or any one else's can be appreciated and passed over, But, at the present time, the matter is carried too far and, so far as our foreign press' (he might also have added with propriety some of the presses of this State 'is concerned, the Mormons are a belied and persecuted sect. Joseph Smith has as good a right to set up a creed as Mahommed, Luther, Calvin, King Henry the VIII, Wesley, Campbell, or Parson Miller. His doctrines will go for what they are worth and no more. Abuse never injured a cause nor did slander ever make a man's friends the less in the end. Give Joseph Smith his due. Tell the truth about him and there stop. He asks no more, nor should any one else."
It is however stated by a honorable member (Mr. Johnson) 'that Jo. (Joseph) Smith, the Mormon prophet, has used this charter to arrest himself from the civil authorities of the State, by causing himself to be brought before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo; and upon a trial of some sort discharged; and thus vauntingly let at defiance, the civil authorities of the State. And that he has openly traduced, and vilified the Governor of Missouri, and Ex-Governor Carlin, and set at defiance our institutions there can be as little doubt.' In regard to the latter statement, we should have been pleased if the honorable member had referred us to the time, circumstances, or documents, concerning Joseph Smith's setting at defiance our institutions, and vilifying the Governor: as we have no knowledge of the thing ourselves, and should very much "doubt it." But supposing it was true; what has that to do with our charter; if he has defied the institutions of the State, or vilified the Governor; let him be dealt with according to law; let him suffer for his own crimes;-he is not the inhabitants of the city of Nauvoo; he is but one individual in it: this we are told that none individual, out of about ten thousand, has done something wrong; and forsooth the whole community must be destroyed, body and bones. Oh shame where is thy blush! If we were to judge any judiciary,
any corporation, body politic, or legislative assembly by this rule, we should not find one but that would be destroyed throughout the length, and breadth of this vast republic.
In regard to the charge of Mr. Smith's being brought before the Municipal Court, and of his being tried, and dismissed by them; the statement is incorrect. Mr. Smith was not brought before that tribunal at all. It is true that the Municipal Court issued a writ of Habeas Corpus (according to the salutary, and wise provisions made in the charter) but the sheriff was unwilling to give the prisoners up, until he had first obtained legal advice; while he was absent Mr. Smith disappeared. Because he was not forthcoming, are the citizens of Nauvoo to be blamed? did they resist the civil authorities, or retard, or hinder their search for that gentlemen? They did not. They considered the writ to be illegal; and knew that the whole was a religious persecution; but despite of all this, they did not resist the civil authorities.-Mr. William Law who is City Councillor [Councilor], and General in the Nauvoo Legion, told the sheriff in the presence of a promiscuous company that he might have free access to search anywhere that he thought proper, that he might take with him a sufficient number to facilitate the search, and the he would pledge his honor, that he would not, and should not be injured. Was he injured, we again ask? no. What then have the citizens of Nauvoo done in this particular. Echo answers what!
In regard to the policy of his taking the steps he did, is another question, and not connected with our citizens generally; but we should think, that at that time of feverish excitement when illegal claims had been made by the State of Missouri, and the Governor of this State had endorsed those claims; when rumor, with her ten thousand tongues, was busy circulating detraction, and falsehood; the press teeming with vituperative abuse and falsehood, and the public mind excited to the highest pitch; we think that perhaps he took the wisest course; and our opinion is sustained by that of many intelligent men. That those claims were illegal and the course pursued by Governor Carlin wrong, is very fully shown in an able, learned, and lucid article, written by Justin Butterfield, the U. S. Attorney for the district of Illinois, and may be found in the last number of the Wasp published Dec. 17th.
He states that Governor Reynolds of Missouri had no right to make such a requisition, upon the mere oath of Ex-Governor Boggs, and that the Governor of this State had no right to give him up; we quote the following.
Dear Sir: In answer to your favours [favors] of the 17 inst. Mr. Warren was correct in the information he gave you of my opinion of the illegality of the requisition made by the Governor of Missouri, upon the Governor of this State, for the surrender of Joseph Smith, and that the governor of this State should cause him to be arrested, for the purposs [purpose] of being surrendered I had no doubt but the Supreme Court of this State would discharge him upon Habeas Corpus,-subsequent examination has confirmed me in that opinion. I understand from your letter, and from the statement of facts made to me by Mr. Warren, that the requisition of the Governor of Missouri, is accompanied by an affidavit of Ex Governor Boggs, stating in substance, that on the 6th day of May last he was shot while sitting in his house, with intent to kill, and as he verily believes, the act was committed by O. P. Rockwell, and that Joseph Smith was accessory to the crime before its commission, and that he has fled from justice; that it can be proved that Joseph Smith was not in the State of Missouri at the time the crime was committed but was in this State; that it is untrue that he was in the State of Missouri at the time of the commission of the said crime, or has been there at any time since: he could not, therefore, have fled from that State since the commission of the said crime.' * * * *
It is not to be presumed that the Executive of this State would knowingly, lend his aid in dragging one of our citizens, who is not a fugitive from justice, into a foreign State, for trial. The Governor has, undoubtedly, been misled by the evasive affidavit which accompanied the requisition. I would advise that Mr. Smith procure respectable and sufficient affidavits to prove, beyond all question that he was in this State, and not in Missouri, at the time the crime, with which he is charged, was committed; and, upon these affidavits, apply to the Governor to countermand the warrant he has issued for his arrest. If he should refuse so to do, I am clearly of the opinion that upon the above state of facts, the Supreme Court will discharge him upon Habeas Corpus."
Respectfully your obedient servant, JUSTIN BUTTERFIELD.
At that time when the Executive of two States, had either knowingly, and wantonly, or ignorantly, (we leave this for the public to judge) abused the power vested in their hands; and contrary to law, contrary to justice, and contrary to constitutional rights, were using the influence that their position gave them, to injure a free born American citizen; at a time
when public excitement was wound to the highest pitch; and mobs were threatening on every hand: if the Executive of those States had manifested such egregious ignorance in regard to that affair, he knew not but that their precedent, and influence, and the influence of religious prejudice might bias the minds of others, who might act in his case; but independent of this, ten chances to one but that he had been kidnapped by Missouri; and whether he had been given up by the judiciary of this State, or been kidnapped (both would have been illegal) it would have made no difference; he would have been in the hands of a people who could not administer justice to him; who have heretofore acted as a legalized mob; and who would no doubt have murdered him. Under these circumstances we think that he took the wisest course.
But independent of what is before mentioned, relative to our charters; we very much doubt the legality, constitutionality, and sound policy of taking them away. We have always been in the habit of looking upon charters as instruments of a most sacred, and binding nature, in which the maintenance, and adherence to, or departure from, the honor and dignity of a state, or nation was concerned; and that when once granted constitutionally, and without a repealing clause, or a reference to the time of their expiration, they could not be repealed, or altered, without tarnishing the escutcheon of the states, or nation; without the consent of both parties viz. the petitioners and the state, or nation.
We are led to these conclusions, both from the nature of the compact, and from the precedent and usages of legislative bodies; if we trace the formation of governments to the first organization of society, we shall realize the importance of one grand truth, which is found in the Declaration of Independence, and ought to be written in letters of gold; "that all mankind are born free and equal." In this situation nature placed mankind, and every man ruled his own house, made and administered his own laws, defended his own rights, and protected his own property; when governments were formed, conventions were held and each man gave up his own individual right to govern, for the general good of the whole community;-Such a community was formed in America at the time of the Declaration of Independence. Having resisted the tyranny, and thrown off the yoke of the mother country; being no longer subject to their laws; they became individually responsible for their own acts; these individuals selected persons form among themselves, in their several districts to represent their interest; and thus the law-making department, or government, was empowered by the people to legislate for them, and the people promised to be governed by their enactments; subject however to the constitution, which had been sanctioned be [by] the people; and which was their magna charta, their protection, and safegaurd [safeguard] Without entering into the particulars of the formation and organization of the United States, the history of which is familiar to all, we would remark that by this constitution the representatives were bound:-beyond it they could go;-and any acts that they might pass contrary to this would be illegal, and the people were not bound to receive them. This Constitution thus formed and sanctioned, making general provisions for the universal good of the whole community, among other things provided for the reception of new States into the Union, from its territories; or in other words, ceded up the right to govern, which had been vested in their hands, and allowed them to make their own laws, become free and independent, and govern themselves: subject however to certain restrictions as expressed in the Constitution of the United States, for the general good. Thus the people of that State became as free and independent, in regard to their local affairs, as though the United States had not been formed; they are however bound by certain principles (which are acknowledged by all the States) of a general nature, to the confederation, for the mutual good of all the States of the Union.
Just such a State is Illinois; she petitioned for the right to govern herself, which petition was granted, and she became an independent State. It has been customary for those independent States, thus formed, as populous, and the task become onorous [onerous] the Legislature to manage all their local affairs, to grant charters to different cities, and thus give up to those specific places, (what was ceded to them by the General Government.) The right to govern themselves in all local affairs; subject however to the restrictions of their charter, which is to them what the constitution is to the State.
Now the United States never thought of taking from any of the seperate [separate] States their Constitution, they were bound by every sense of justice, honor and integrity, to maintain the independence of the several States inviolate, and having ceded up the power to govern, could not take it back. The same principle will apply unto chartered rights, granted unto cities, and we have yet to learn that any of the United States,
or the mother country, having granted a city charter ever took it back. It will, we presume be left for the State of Illinois to launch forth into this new field of legislation. and accomplish this feat ; which would be as disreputable as it is strange; which would stamp an eternal stain upon her escutcheon, and be an anomoly [anomaly] the history of all free nations, and we presume in the world.
When the 'Magna Charta' was signed by King John of England, although much against his will, was that instrument ever recinded [rescinded], either by him or any succeeding monarch? It was not:-the subject never entered their councils.
There have many charters and grants been made by that country, to cities, boroughs, certain districts of country, and to individuals, many of which are foolish and obnoxious, but their rights have been held sacred and inviolate.
In New York the 'Manhattan company' petitioned the Legislature for a charter, granting them the privilege of watering the city, and in that charter there was an ambiguous clause pertaining to their surplus funds, which was unobserved by the legislators; but which, however, gave them a perpetual charter for a bank: their petition was heard; they commenced their banking operations, to the surprise of the legislators, who soon saw how they had been duped;-the subject of repeal was brought up before the house; but it could not be carried. The people were enraged, and the Legislature were called on a special session to investigate the subject of repeal; but they found that they could not honorably accomplish it, and all that they could do was to pass an act that no charter of a similar kind should again be granted.
Here then was a charter obtained through duplicity and guile, which the Legislative Assembly of New York found themselves bound to maintain inviolate; whilst our charter was obtained openly, honorably, and above board, and because there is a bare supposition without proof, that one individual has done something wrong, our charter must be taken away, the whole of the citizens injured; and our city laws and polity destroyed.
We might refer to the bad policy of such a step and its injury to the Government; the loss that would be sustained by companies, and individuals; the want of confidence that such a step would produce &c; but as our sheet is not large, we shall desist; and shall content ourselves, for the present, by saying that as such a step would be unprecedented in the annals of Legislative bodies; that as it would be contrary to sound policy: that as it would be dishonorable and unconstitutional; and would be a great injury to private individuals, that as the State is at the present time, through absolute necessity, on the verge of repudiation; that they will not recklessly commit themselves by depriving a number of their fellow citizens of their chartered rights, and bring dishonor on the State, that might be avoided. We believe they will not.
For the Times and Seasons
BROTHER TAYLOR:-It has occurred to my mind that a few thoughts on the utility of a general diffusion of science, would not be uninteresting to the readers of the 'Times and Seasons.' The following is therefore respectfully submitted for your consideration.
Science, in its extended import is a development and collection of facts, and their comparison with each other, or the comparing of things as they exist in nature.
True science is a discovery of the secret, immutable and eternal laws, by which the universe is governed; and when practically applied, sets in motion the mighty wheels of useful engines, with all the various machinery which genius has invented, or art contrived.-It ameliorates the condition of man, by extending the means of intellectual, moral, social, and domestic happiness.
The greatest discoveries in science, have not been made by the most powerful intellects under extraordinary circumstances; but by the concentrated efforts of ordinary minds under favorable circumstances. As the concentrated solar rays will ignite when brought to a focus through a common lens.
A spectacle-maker's boy led to the discovery of the telescope. The discovery of a fountain player, that water could rise only to thirty-two feet in the tube of a forcing engine led Galileo, to calculate the gravity of the air.
Archimedes by observation discovered the process of determining the specific gravity of bodies while in the act of bathing.
Newten's [Newton's] attention was directed to the law of gravitation by the falling of an apple upon his head. On being asked how he discovered the true system of the universe, he replied, "by continually thinking about it. If I have done the world and service' (continued he) 'it has been by industry, and patient thought.'
The saints being of choice intellects, selected from the great mass of mankind, with free and independent minds, determined to think and know for themselves, are well situated by an attentive observation of the phenomens [phenomena] and laws of nature, (the laws of motion, mechanics, &c.)
to discover and demonstrate new truths. And in this way may excel in science and the arts, by turning every thing to profit in agriculture and machinery, as well is in religion, and morality.
If the world in confusion and under mental bondage have made valvable [valuable] acquisitions, what may not the saints do? Situated as they are, with a man at their head. who can detect error, and fully appreciate philosophical truth, 'even by the spirit of truth, which will guide into all truth.'
May they not, by every man improving his own talent, by industry and perseverance, become the most prosperous, happy, and intelligent people upon the earth?
For the number, and value of scientific truths made known, will be in proportion to the number of active minds engaged.
Thus, while the surrounding nations are convulsed and 'perplexed,' for the want of a circulating medium; we, by making capital of genius and intellect, may dwell in civil peace and harmony. H. TATE. Nauvoo, Illinois, Dec. 15th 1842.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM F. M. HIGBEE.
Nauvoo, Dec. 25th 1842.
Editor of the Times and Seasons:
DEAR SIR:-Please publish the following extracts from a letter received from Francis M. Higbee, written to his parents, in answer to a letter written to him by them, upon the subject of two letters purporting to be written by him to J. C. Bennett and published in his book, entitled the "History of the Saints."
Respectfully yours, as ever, ELIAS HIGBEE.
Cary's Academy Pleasant Hill, Nov. 28,1842.
DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER:-I received your letter to-day, under date of Nov. 13th which contained astonishing news to me indeed; and equally as painful as strange, and that is the fact of Benett's [Bennet's] book containing two letters from me, as such a thing has no foundation in truth. He has not got a scratch on earth, nor never did he have, with my name subscribed by my own hand, except the affidavit that fell into his hands.
But as for any other document., or paper of any description, sort, or size, with my name to it, he has not got it from me; nor from any one authorized to give it, for as such no one ever possessed the power of executing from me, either directly or indirectly. And if he has published any thing over my signature, or name, it is forged, and I forever detest and disclaim any such thing. I have been subjected both by letter, and in person, to come out with such a lingo as Bennett, and others have done and attempted in days gone by. My assistance has loudly been called for in such a sheme [scheme], or adventure, and in one instance since I left home I have had what some might consider (were they disposed to be dishonest) a great offer or proposition made me, if I would assist in the management, and bringing into existence, a newly modeled concern against the church; that is a corrected and revised story fresh from the mint. But God forbid, as long as he gives me health, and strength, and vigor of mind, I scorn the idea. * * * * * * *
I have never had any feelings against the church, or people; with the exception of a very few. * * * * * * * * *
I have always respected, and reverenced, the work or faith and shall always continue so to do. * * * * * * * * *
I want you to understand that I have no feeling against Joseph: I have fully satisfied myself that he has been called of God, to do a great and mighty, work in the earth, and let it suffice to say I am fully satisfied with him.-All our former difficulties (if such might be called) were forever effectually settled before I left. Bennett has by his artful cunning, or low cunning, sought to bring them into existence, but I hope without effect: for I should much regret any such thing. * * * * ** * * *
Bennett has been the instigator probably of more real trouble and misery than any other man we have ever met with, or ever shall find in this world. Vain man! would it not have been better for him if he had had a millstone tied about his neck, and then been cast into the sea? For there is hope of a tree if it be cut down that the tender branches will spring up again; but there is no hope of him. He has lain himself down and is already wasting away, like the morning dew before the sun in the meridian splendor and in the glory of his power. Yours as ever, FRANCIS M. HIGBEE.
It would seem that Bennett has been making pretty free use of people's names; we published a short time since from a brother of Francis M. Higbee, a letter stating that he had written two letters, over his signature, which he stated was a forgery, and unauthorised [unauthorized] by him.
The liberty branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, met in conference at liberty schoolhouse, Cotton township
Switzerland county, Indiana, on Saturday Oct. 15th 1842, according to previous appointment. The meeting was called to order by elder Samuel Hewitt, when elder John Bair was called to the chair, and elder Samuel Hewitt appointed to act as clerk.
Being duly organized the conference was opened by singing, and prayer by J. M. Grant. The business brought before the conference was then disposed of to the entire satisfaction of all present, and the officers of the branch were chosen without a dissenting vote. The greatest union and harmony prevailed, and all things were done decently and in order, as becometh saints.
After several addresses by elders Grant and Bair, the clerk represented the condition of the branch as follows: thirty five members, exclusive of officers; six have removed to the west since our conference in May last, and twenty have been added; a number more are believing, but are still halting between two opinions, whether it is best to serve God or Baal. There is grounds to hope that some of them will make a wise choice and choose that good part which shall not be taken from them.
The following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That elders J. M. and J. Grant receive a vote of thanks of this conference for their labors among us for the last two weeks.
Resolved, That elder John Bair receive a letter of commendation for his labors in this branch during the past summer.
Resolved, That an abridged copy of the minutes of this conference be forwarded to the editor of the Times and Seasons for publication.
Resolved, That this conference adjourn to meet at the same place, on the third Saturday of April next.
For the Times and Seasons.
APOSTROPHE TO DEATH.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
What art thou, Death?-I've seen thy visage and Of revelation shone upon thy path
Have heard thy sound-deep, low, murm'ring sound Thou seem'st no more a hideous monster, arm'd
That rises on thy tread! With jav'lins, arrows, shafts, and iron barbs,
Thy land is called To fix in everlasting hopelessness
A land of shadows; and thy path, a path The noblest prospect and the purest hope.
Of blind contingence gloominess and fear- Beyond thy presence and beyond thy reach-
Thy form, comprising all that's terrible; Beyond the precincts of thy dread domain-
For all the terrors that have cross'd the earth, Beyond the mansions where in silence lie
Or crept into its lowest depths, have been The scattered relics of thy ghastly power-.
Associated with the thoughts of Death! High on eternity's projecting coast;
The tales of old bear record of thy deeds, A glorious beacon rears its lofty disk,
For thou hast been in every rank and grade- And the bright beams of immortality
In every circumstance-in every place By revelation's bold reflection giv'n,
A visitor. Unceremoniously Have fall'n upon thee and roll'd back the shades
Thou'st strode into the mansions of the great, Which superstition, ignorance and doubt
And rous'd a strain of agonizing grief Had heap'd like ocean's mountain-waves upon
Above the rich, embroidered carpetings Thy lone, unsocial, hourly-trodden path.
That decorate the splendid citadels Hope, the bright luminary of the heart,
Where pomp and fashion reign: where bolts and bars Is coursing around thee, and her orbit's breadth
To each intruding form; all but thyself, Extends beyond the utmost of thy shades
Preclude admittance: thou hast added oft And points her radius to celestial spheres
To the abode of wretched poverty The mask that hung in troubled folds around
A larger, deeper draught of wretchedness! Thy pulseless bosom, has been torn aside-
The rich and poor, the little and the great Seen as thou art, by inspiration's light,
Have shar'd thy bitterness-have seen thy hand! Thou hast not look the righteous need to fear,
But thou art chang'd-the terror of thy looks- With all thy ghastliness-amid the grief
The darkness that encompass'd thee, is gone; Thy presence brings. I hear a thrilling tone
There is no frightfulness about thee now Of music, sweet as seraph notes that ride
Intelligence, the everlasting lamp Upon the balmy breath of summer eve.
Of truth, of truth eternal, lighted from Art thou a tyrant, holding the black reins
The world on high, has pour'd its brilliant flame Of destiny that binds the future course
Abroad, to scatter darkness and to chase Of man's existence? No; thou art, O Death!
The horrors that attended thy approach! A haggard porter, charg'd to wait before
And thou art chang'd-for since the glorious light The Grave, life's portal to the worlds on high.
The Times and Seasons, IS EDITED BY JOHN TAYLOR.
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