Petition to George Thompkins, 15 March 1839

To the honorable Judge [George] Thompkins, or either of the Judges of the  Supreme Court for the State of Missouri.
Your petitioners, Alansen [Alanson] Ripley  Heber C. Kimble [Kimball], Joseph B. Noble William Huntington, and Joseph Smith Jr  beg leave respectfully to represent to your honor that Joseph Smith Jr is now  in Liberty Jail, Clay County (Mo) that he has been restrained of his liberty near  five months. Your petitioners claim that the whole transaction which has  been the cause of his confinement, is unlawful from the first to the last, he was  taken from his home by a fraud practiced upon him by a man named by the  name of George M. Hinkle and one or two others thereby your petitioner respectfully  shows that he was forced contrary to his wishes and without knowing the cause  into the Camp which was commanded by General [Samuel D.] Lucas of Jackson County  and from thence to Ray County sleeping on the ground and suffering many  insults and injuries and deprivations which were calculated in their nature  to break down the spirits and constitution of the most robust and hardy of man kind, he was put in Chains immediately on his being landed in Richmond  and there underwent a long and tedious expartie examination. Not only was  it expartie, but your petitioners solemnly declare that it was a mock examination  that there was not the least shadow of honor or justice or law administered toward  him, on account of his religion but sheer prejudice and the spirit of persecution  and malice and prepossession against him on account of his religion— that  the whole examinations show that the said Joseph Smith Jr was deprived  of the privilege of being examined before the court as the law directs— that the  witnesses on the part of the State were taken by force of arms and threatened with exter mination, immediate death, and were brought without Subpoena or warrant  under this awful and glaring anticipation of being exterminated if they did not  swear something against him to please the Mob, or his persecutors, and those  witnesses were compelled to swear at the muzzle of the Gun and that some of  them have acknowledged since which your petitioners do testify and are able to  prove; that they did swear false and that they did it in order to save their lives  and your petitioners testify that all the testimony that had any tendency or  bearing of criminality against Said Joseph Smith Jr is false.
We are personally acquainted with the circumstances and being  with him most of the time, and being present at the times spoken of by them  therefore we know that their testimony was false and if he could have had a fair and  impartial and lawful examination before the court, and could have been [p. 21]
Alanson Ripley, Heber C. Kimball, William Huntington, Joseph B. Noble, JS, and others, Liberty, MO, petition, to George Thompkins, 15 Mar. 1839; handwriting of James Mulholland; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 21—24; JS Collection, CHL.