31104

Letter to Editor, 22 June 1835

Kirtland, June 22, 1835.
To the Editor of the Painesville Tele graph:
Sir:—In a late number of your pa per the fact was noticed of my being  bound over to the Court of Common  Pleas, to keep the peace, for an assault  upon the person of my brother-in-law:  Since my honorable acquital before said  court, last week, there being no evidence  to prove the same, I believe you will do  me the justice to make the last as public  as the former, and oblige
Your ob’t serv’t,
JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.
In compliance with the above polite  invitation, we give below the evidence  introduced, and the decision of the  Court, on the trial of the Prophet, last  week. It may be proper to state, in  limine, that at the examination had be fore the justice, in this place, by whom  the Prophet was held to Bonds, Stod dard, the individual upon whose person  the assault was committed, could not be  obtained as a witness, as he had, it ap peared, been suddenly induced to leave  the State. He returned a few days  since when his presence at court was  secured, much against his will. Bur gess, the witness last examined, whose  testimony most favored the accused, was  not brought forward at the justice’s ex amination, although present in the place  at the time—a circumstance that induced  many to suppose his evidence was man ufactured for the occasion. The wit nesses introduced were, Stoddard, a  brother-in-law, Wm. Smith, a brother  and “apostle,” Mrs. Smith, the mother,  and Burgess, a faithful follower, of the  Prophet accused.
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS.
Saturday, June 20.
Joseph Smith, Jr., was put upon his  trial on a charge of Assault and Bat tery committed upon the person of a  Mr. Stoddard. By consent of the par ties, the case was submitted to the Court  without Jury.
Stoddard examined—States that Smith  had irritated him in a controversy about  water—he had affirmed that there was  water in a certain lot, which Smith deni ed—as Smith passed towards his house,  he (Stoddard,) followed him, and said,  “dont fear you, or no other man”— Smith then came up and struck him on  the forehead with his flat hand—the  blow knocked him down, when Smith  repeated the blow four or five times, very  hard—made him blind—that Smith af terwards came to him and asked his for giveness—was satisfied—had forgiven  him—would forgive any man who would  injure him and ask his forgiveness.
Cross ex.—Had a cane—did not at tempt to strike him, or threaten:
Wm. Smith examined—Saw Stoddard  come along cursing and swearing—Jo seph went out—Stoddard said he would  whip him, and drew his cane upon Jo seph—Joseph backed the cane off, and  struck Stoddard with a flat hand—Stod dard fell down—Joseph struck him once  or twice.
Cross-ex.—Joseph stopped in the  yard—they were close together when  he saw them—cautioned Joseph to stop,  that he had done enough.
Mrs. Smith, the Prophet’s mother Saw some of the affray—was up stairs —heard Stoddard talking loud—called  Joseph “a d——d false Prophet, and a  d——d one thing another”—saw Joseph  slap him—did not hear Stoddard say he  would flog him—did not see Stoddard  attempt to strike him.
Burgess—Says Stoddard struck at  Smith first, and raised his cane in a  threatening attitude when down.
The Court, after summing up the tes timony, said that as the injured party  was satisfied, there could be no cause  for further prosecution ; that the assault  might perhaps be justified on the princi ple of self-defence. The accused was  then acquitted. [p. [3]]
JS, letter, Kirtland, OH, to editor of the Painesville Telegraph, Painesville, OH; Painesville Telegraph, 26 June 1835, p. 3.

Facts