20031837

Petition to George Thompkins, 15 March 1839

allowed the privilege of introducing his witnesses, he could have disproved every  thing that was against him: but the Court suffered them to be intimidated  some of them <in> the presence of the Court, and they were driven also and hunted  and some of them entirely driven out of the State, And thus he was not able  to have a fair trial; That the Spirit of the Court was tyrranical and  overbearing, and the whole transaction of his treatment convinced your  petitioners that it was a religious persecution, proscribing <him> in the liberty  of Conscience which is guaranteed to him by the Constitution of the United  States, and the State of Missouri. That a long catalogue of garbled  testimony was permitted by the court, purporting to be the religious senti ments of the Said Joseph Smith Jr which testimony was false, and your  petitioners know that it was false, and can prove that it was false  because the witnesses testified that those sentiments were promulgated on  certain days and in the presence of large congregations, and your petit ioners can prove by those congregations that the said Joseph Smith Jr  did not promulgate such ridiculous and absurd sentiments for his religion  as was testified of, and admitted before the Honorable Austin A King  and at the same time these things had no bearing on the case that the said  Joseph Smith Jr was pretended to be charged with.
And after the examination the said prisoner was committed to the jail for treason  against the State of Missouri. whereas the said Joseph Smith Jr did not levy war  against the State of Missouri, neither did he commit any overt acts, neither did he  aid or abet an enemy against the State of Missouri during the time that he is  charged with having done so, and further your petitioners have yet to learn that  the State has an enemy, neither is the proof evident nor the presumption great  in its most malignant form upon the face of the testimony on the part of the  State, expartie as it is in its nature that the said prisoner had committed the  slightest degree of treason or any other act of transgression against the laws of the  State of Missouri; and yet said prisoner has been committed to Liberty Jail  Clay County (Mo) for treason, he has continually offered bail to any amount  that could be required, notwithstanding your petitioners alledge that he ought  to have been acquitted. Your petitioners also alledge that the commitment was  an illegal commitment, for the law requires that a copy of the testimony should  be put in the hands of the Jailor which was not done. Your petitioners alledge  that the prisoner has been denied the privilege of the law, in a writ of Habeas  Corpus, by the Judges of this County; whether they have prejudged the case of the  prisoner or whether they are not willing to administer law and justice to the  prisoner, or that they are intimitdated by the high office of Judge King who only  acted in the case of the prisoners as a committing Magistrate, a conservator [p. 22]
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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.

Facts