tue, and righteousness is their only aim and object in this life. They are sir, a much injured, and abused people; and are greatly belied as to their true character. They have been fallen up on by a gang of ruffians and murder ers, three times, in the state of ; and entirely broken up, without having committed the first offence: or without there being the least shadow in the very slightest degree of evidence, that they have done ought of any thing derogatory to the laws, or character, of the state of . And this last time of their being broken up; it is either my misfortune, or good fortune, (for I rather count it good fortune to suffer affliction with the people of God,) in connection with others of my breth ren, to be made a severe sufferer, by the hands of the above mentioned ras cals: they are supported by some por tions of the authorities of the , ei ther in consequence of prejudices, ex cited by foul calumnies, or else they themselves, are the fathers and instiga tors, of the whole diabolical and mur derous proceeding.
I am bold to say sir, that a more nefarious transaction never has exist ed, since the days of Yore; than that which has been practiced upon us.— Myself and those who are in prison with me, were torn from our houses, with our wives and children clinging to our garments, under the awful ex pectation of being exterminated. At our first examination, the mob found one or two persons, of low and worth less character, whom they compelled, at the peril of their lives, to swear some things against us: which things, if they had been even true, were nothing at all, and could not have so much as disgraced any man under heav en. Nevertheless, we could have prov ed, by more than five hundred witnes ses, that the things were false. But the Judge employed an armed force, and compelled us to abandon the idea of introducing witnesses, upon the per il of the lives of the witnesses. Under such circumstances, sir, we were com mitted to this jail, on a pretended charge of treason, against the State of , without the slightest evidence to that effect. We collected our wit nesses the second time, and petitioned a habeas corpus: but were thrust back again into prison, by the rage of the mob; and our families robbed, and plun dered: and families, and witnesses, thrust from their homes, and hunted out of the State, and dare not return for their lives. And under this order of things, we, held in confinement, for a pretended trial: whereas we are to be tried by those very characters who have practiced those things, yea the very characters who have murdered some hundred men, women and chil dren,* <*He was thus imformed by the Missourians> and have sworn to have our lives also; and have made public proc lamation that these men must and should be hung, whether they were in nocent, or guilty. Such men too, sir, have made this proclamation, as , who is considered one of the most prominent men in the . This is according to the information I have received, which I suppose to be true. Their plea sir, is that the will be ruined, if the Mormon leaders are liberated, so that they can publish the real facts, of what has been prac tised upon them.
We are kept under a strong guard, night and day, in a prison of double walls and doors, proscribed in our lib erty of conscience, our food is scant, uniform, and coarse; we have not the privilege of cooking for ourselves, we have been compelled to sleep on the floor with straw, and not blankets suf ficient to keep us warm; and when we have a fire, we are obliged to have al most a constant smoke. The Judges have gravely told us from time to time that they knew we were innocent, and ought to be liberated, but they dare not administer the law unto us, for fear of the mob. But if we will deny our religion, we can be liberated. Our lawyers have gravely told us, that we are only held now by the influence of long faced Baptists; how far this is true, we are not able to say: but we are certain that our most vehement ac cusers, are the highest toned professors of religion. On being interogated what these men have done? their uniform an swer is, we do not know, but they are false teachers, and ought to die. And of late boldly and frankly acknowledge, that the religion of these men, is all that they have against them. Now sir, the only difference between their [p. 52]