Joe Smith Publicly Flaunting State Law - 1842
Quincy Herald – September 8, 1842
ANOTHER ABORTIVE ATTEMPT TO ARREST JOE SMITH.
Mr. FORD, the officer
bearing the requisition from Gov. Reynolds, of Mo., for the person of Joseph
Smith, arrived here one day last week from Iowa Territory, whither he had been
to make a similar demand on the Governor of Iowa, in case Joe Smith should cross
the river. On Friday, the writs for the arrest of Smith and Rockwell were placed
in the hands of Messrs. King and Pitman, and on the same evening in company with
Mr. Ford and five or six others, they started for Nauvoo. Notwithstanding the
officers endeavored to keep the whole proceedings secret, the news of their
intentions and errand reached Nauvoo before them; and about two hours before
they arrived here, Joe Smith had taken his departure, or secreted himself so
that he was not to be found. There were men stationed on the opposite side of
the river the day and night previous to the arrival of the officers at Nauvoo,
who kept a strict look-out in case he should get wind of the coming of the
officers, and cross the river. But neither of the parties saw or heard any thing
of him, except that he was at home a very short time before their arrival. His
house and premises were thoroughly searched; but no signs of him could be
obtained. -- The officers returned here last Monday morning, and Mr. Ford went
back to Missouri.
It was told to the officers at Warsaw, by men who were witnesses of the fact, that Jo Smith made a public speech, on Monday the 29th ult. to his followers, in which he declared that Messrs. King and Pitman were cowards, and were afraid to take him, or even to make a serious attempt. He also stated that Gov. Reynolds, of Mo., and Gov. Carlin, were fools, and that they might go to the d---l; but they would never have the pleasure of taking possession of this person; and much more, of the same braggadocio character. We know not how Gov. Carlin will relish such language, but from him his well known character and temper when he is defied, we would suppose he could not swallow it as easily as Joe may suppose. It is perfectly ridiculous that one man, of the calibre of Jo Smith, should throw defiance in the teeth of the people of two States. -- What in the name of common sense are our laws for, if it is impossible to put them in execution in so simple an instance as the one now under consideration? Can it be possible that the people of Illinois will suffer a proclaimed culprit and fugitive from justice, to throw himself in the centre of some two or three thousand followers, and then defy the Executive of the State, and the officers of justice, and proclaim himself independent of, and above the laws of the State, in the most insulting language? For the honor of Illinois, we hope that effective measures may be speedily taken on the part of the Governor to crush such treason in the bud.
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