Better Information
Raw Information about the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Original documents and sources


Trial of 1829


   This roused in Martin Harris a great desire to go down to Penn to see how they were prospering for himself as he was more than commonly interested in the matter his soon came to the knowlege of his intention and fixed in her mind a determination to prevent him from going also to bring Joseph into a difficulty that would be the means of hindering him perhaps entirely from accomplishing the work which he was about<br>
   Accordingly she mounted her horse flew through the neighborhood like a dark spirit, from house to house making diligent enquiry at every house for miles where She had the least hope of gleaning anything that would subserve her purpose which was to prove that Joseph had not the record which he pretended to have that he pretended to be in possession of certain Gold plates for the express purpose of obtaining money from those who might be so credulous as to believe him after she had ascertained the strength of her adherents she entered a complaint before a magistrate at lyons she then sent word to Lyman Cowdray requesting him to Come to Lyons prepared to with a good horse to travel post haste to Penn. after the descision was given in case it was agains Joseph Smith that he might go with the officers to assist them in securing him and confining him in prison. Lyman Cowdray was very obeidient to her suggestion and seemed to be going on prosperously with her She made affidavit to many things and directed the officers who to Subpoena, among the rest her husband was a principle witness. When the day of trial came the neigbors who felt friendly to us informed us that the witnesses were gone to Lyons and were determined to obtain a verdict against Joseph if it could be done by swearing It<br>
   This very naturally gave me great anxiety for my Son Hyrum came in and asked him what could be done Why mother said he we can do nothing look to the Lord for in him is all help and strength and he can deliver from every trouble.— I had never neglected this all important duty but seeing this confidence in my son strengthened me in this hour of trial for I was not then so much accostomed to such things as I was afterwards this was the first time that a suit was ever brought before any court which affected any of my Children and I trembled for the isue but I retired to a secluded place and bowed myself before God and poured out my whole soul in impassioned entreaties for the safety of my son I continued my suplication for some time at length the spirit fell upon me so powerfully that every feeling of foreboding or distress was entirely removed and a voice spoke to me saying not one hair of his head shall be harmed. I was satisfied and rose up and went into the house I never had felt as happy in my life as I did then I sat down and began to read but my feelings were to intense to permit me to do so My daughterinlaw Jerusha came into the room soon after as She turned her eyes upon me she stopped short saying why Mother what is the Matter I never saw you look so strange in my life I told her I never had been so happy before indeed said my heart was so light and my mind so completely at rest that it did not seem to me as though I should ever have any more trouble while I lived and I have got a witness from the Lord that Joseph’ enemies would have no power over him for I have received a promise that he shall be protected Overpowered by the strength of my feelings I burst into tears and sobbed aloud<br>
   I will now relate the proceedings of the court after the setting of the same the witness were sworn The 1st. Witness testified that Joseph Smith told him that the box which he had contained nothing but sand and he only said it was gold plates to deceive the people 2nd. Witness Swore that Joseph Smith told upon a certain occasion that it was nothing but a box of lead and he was determined to use it as he saw fit<br>
   3rd. Witness declared under oath that he enquired of Joseph Smith what he had in that box and Joseph to him that there was nothing in the box saying I have made fools of the whole of you and I all I want is to get Martin Harris’s money away from him Witness also stated that Joseph had already got $200 or $300 from Martin by his persuasion<br>
   Next came Mrs Harris’s affidavit in which she stated that she believed that Joseph Smith had but one principle object in view and that was to defraud her husband in such a way as to induce him to give up all his property into his (said Smiths) hands that she did not believe that Joseph Smith had ever been in possession of the Gold plates which he talked so much about and that his pretesions were altogather unreal—<br>
   The Esq. then forbid the introduction of any more witnesses on untill he heard Mr Harris’s testimony<br>
   Mr Harris being duly sworn testified boldness decision and energy to a few simple facts when he rose he raised his hand to Heaven and said I can swear,— that Joseph Smith never got one dollar from me since God made I did once voluntarily of my own free will and accord put $50 into his hands before many witnesses for the purpose of doing the work of the Lord. This I can pointedly prove and I can tell you furthermore that Joseph Smith has certainly never shown any disposition to get any man’s money and as to the plates which he professes to have and if you gentlemen do not believe it but continue to resist the truth it one day be the means of damning your souls. The Judge then told them  that they need not call any more of their witnesses but to bring that which had been recorded of the testimony that had been given. This he tore in pieces before their eyes and told them to go home about their buisness and trouble him no more with such ridiculous folly. They returned home abashed and confounded hanging down their heads with shame and confusion.
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 97-99
Lucy Smith Account
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   This roused in Martin Harris a great desire to go down to Penn to see how they were prospering for himself as he was more than commonly interested in the matter his soon came to the knowlege of his intention and fixed in her mind a determination to prevent him from going also to bring Joseph into a difficulty that would be the means of hindering him perhaps entirely from accomplishing the work which he was about
   Accordingly she mounted her horse flew through the neighborhood like a dark spirit, from house to house making diligent enquiry at every house for miles where She had the least hope of gleaning anything that would subserve her purpose which was to prove that Joseph had not the record which he pretended to have that he pretended to be in possession of certain Gold plates for the express purpose of obtaining money from those who might be so credulous as to believe him after she had ascertained the strength of her adherents she entered a complaint before a magistrate at lyons she then sent word to Lyman Cowdray requesting him to Come to Lyons prepared to with a good horse to travel post haste to Penn. after the descision was given in case it was agains Joseph Smith that he might go with the officers to assist them in securing him and confining him in prison. Lyman Cowdray was very obeidient to her suggestion and seemed to be going on prosperously with her She made affidavit to many things and directed the officers who to Subpoena, among the rest her husband was a principle witness. When the day of trial came the neigbors who felt friendly to us informed us that the witnesses were gone to Lyons and were determined to obtain a verdict against Joseph if it could be done by swearing It
   This very naturally gave me great anxiety for my Son Hyrum came in and asked him what could be done Why mother said he we can do nothing look to the Lord for in him is all help and strength and he can deliver from every trouble.— I had never neglected this all important duty but seeing this confidence in my son strengthened me in this hour of trial for I was not then so much accostomed to such things as I was afterwards this was the first time that a suit was ever brought before any court which affected any of my Children and I trembled for the isue but I retired to a secluded place and bowed myself before God and poured out my whole soul in impassioned entreaties for the safety of my son I continued my suplication for some time at length the spirit fell upon me so powerfully that every feeling of foreboding or distress was entirely removed and a voice spoke to me saying not one hair of his head shall be harmed. I was satisfied and rose up and went into the house I never had felt as happy in my life as I did then I sat down and began to read but my feelings were to intense to permit me to do so My daughterinlaw Jerusha came into the room soon after as She turned her eyes upon me she stopped short saying why Mother what is the Matter I never saw you look so strange in my life I told her I never had been so happy before indeed said my heart was so light and my mind so completely at rest that it did not seem to me as though I should ever have any more trouble while I lived and I have got a witness from the Lord that Joseph’ enemies would have no power over him for I have received a promise that he shall be protected Overpowered by the strength of my feelings I burst into tears and sobbed aloud
   I will now relate the proceedings of the court after the setting of the same the witness were sworn The 1st. Witness testified that Joseph Smith told him that the box which he had contained nothing but sand and he only said it was gold plates to deceive the people 2nd. Witness Swore that Joseph Smith told upon a certain occasion that it was nothing but a box of lead and he was determined to use it as he saw fit
   3rd. Witness declared under oath that he enquired of Joseph Smith what he had in that box and Joseph to him that there was nothing in the box saying I have made fools of the whole of you and I all I want is to get Martin Harris’s money away from him Witness also stated that Joseph had already got $200 or $300 from Martin by his persuasion
   Next came Mrs Harris’s affidavit in which she stated that she believed that Joseph Smith had but one principle object in view and that was to defraud her husband in such a way as to induce him to give up all his property into his (said Smiths) hands that she did not believe that Joseph Smith had ever been in possession of the Gold plates which he talked so much about and that his pretesions were altogather unreal—
   The Esq. then forbid the introduction of any more witnesses on untill he heard Mr Harris’s testimony
   Mr Harris being duly sworn testified boldness decision and energy to a few simple facts when he rose he raised his hand to Heaven and said I can swear,— that Joseph Smith never got one dollar from me since God made I did once voluntarily of my own free will and accord put $50 into his hands before many witnesses for the purpose of doing the work of the Lord. This I can pointedly prove and I can tell you furthermore that Joseph Smith has certainly never shown any disposition to get any man’s money and as to the plates which he professes to have and if you gentlemen do not believe it but continue to resist the truth it one day be the means of damning your souls. The Judge then told them that they need not call any more of their witnesses but to bring that which had been recorded of the testimony that had been given. This he tore in pieces before their eyes and told them to go home about their buisness and trouble him no more with such ridiculous folly. They returned home abashed and confounded hanging down their heads with shame and confusion.
(Note:  This quote comes from Lucy's original manuscript transcribed in 1844-1845 by Martha Jane and Howard Coray. In 1845 the Corays produced an altered copy which can be read in full here. This altered manuscript was used in the 1853 publication by Orson Pratt in England under the title "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his Progenitors for many Generations" which can be read in full here.)

kimballthenom@yahoo.com