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Letter from Elias Higbee, 20 February 1840–B

this— making statements was one thing and prov ing them was another. Mr. Linn then said  he wished me to answer one thing. Viz. If the Leg islature of Missouri did not refuse to investigate  the subject of our difficulties, solely on account  of the trials then pending— In reply I assured him  that I knew they had refused us an investigation;  but as to that being the cause I did not know— but  told him, they might have done it, when those trials  were discharged— He seemed to think it injustice  for Congress to take it up before the Legislature  had acted on it— I occupied all but a few min utes of the time when the Senate was to go into  session, so they adjourned untill the morrow  at 10 o,clock; when the Missourians are to reply.  Mr. Lynn observed, that there was a gentleman, whom  he would have before the Committee on the morrow;  who lived in the upper part of Missouri, that knew  everything relative to the affair— I presume he is  to put in his gab. I suppose I must attend the  committee as I am solicited by the chairman— but  I would rather take a flogging; because I must sit  still, and hear a volubility of lies concerning myself  and Bretheren— Lies I say for they have nothing save  Lies to a tell that will in the least degree justify  their conduct in Missouri. Mr. Linn said he has  written to Missouri to get all the evidence taken  before Judge [Austin A.] King. So, that if the thing must come up  he would be prepared to have a full investigation  of the matter. And that the committee should  have power to send for persons, papers &c &c. In my  remarks I stated that an article of the constitution  was violated in not granting compulsory process for  witnesses in behalf of the prisoners— and that the main  evidence adduced, upon which they were committed  (as I understood) was from Dr. [Sampson] Avard; who once belonged  to our society, and was compelled to swear as suited  them best in order to save his life; that I knew him  to be a man whose character was the worst, I ever [p. 99]
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Elias Higbee, letter, Washington DC, to JS, en route to Nauvoo, IL, 20 Feb. 1840; handwriting of Howard Coray; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 97–100; JS Collection, CHL.

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