In the original document, the questions and answers appear together in paragraphs. The testimony is presented here split into questions and answers so it that it is easier to follow. All spelling, grammar, and spelling inconsistencies are in the original text. The document is said to contian the verbatim record of the witnesses’ testimony in the 1845 trial of those accused in the murder of Joseph Smith.
Examined by Mr. Browning
William Smith sworn:
I will get you to inform the jury wether you where [sic, were] in the Grand jury when the indictment was found against these defendants.
Was there a witness by the name of Benjeman Brackenbury examined before you that day?
Have you ever seen him since?
Not till yesterday.
Was it the same man examined before you on the finding of this indictment last term?
I think it was.
Will you relate what he said on that occasion in relation to Williams being present at the jail at the killing of the Smiths.
He stated that Williams was at the jail, that he rode on a dark bay or surral horse he rather thought a surral.
Just state as near as you can the substance of his evidence on that occasion as relates to these 5 individuals.
He stated that he was riding with a man by the name of Fuller and they came up within a quarter or half a mile from the jail and that he saw Williams on horse back at the jail. He was asked by some of the jury if he was aquainted with Williams and knew it to be him upon which he said he could not be mistaken I think he said also that Williams rode out from the jail towards Carthage; I don’t know that I recollect any other scircumstance.
Do you recollect wether or not Brackenberry made any statement as to what Sharp said about the Smiths being dead?
I think he stated on his return to Warsaw that Mr. Sharp overtook him and stated that Jo and Hiram where [sic, were] dead for he had had hold of them since the men left the jail.
Cross examined by Mr. Lamburn:
Do you state what occurred before the grand jury from recollection or from a memorandum?
Have you got a memorandum?
There was some little memorandum kept by James Renolds (sic).
Was there a copy of the evidence taken down at the time?
Who took it down?
John J. Hitcock that would show the correct state of the matters as they where [sic, were] then.
Did you hear it read after it was written?
It was read once or twise [sic, twice].
You think that that document contained a true statement of the evidence given?
Yes it did then.
If you was to see that paper would you know if it was correct now?
I don’t know that I am well enough aquainted with the hand writing of Hitcock.
Do you recollect all that Brackenberry said on that day?
I don’t know that I do.
Did you hear him state that he was at the railroad shanties?
Do you recollect what he said occured (sic) there?
I do not recollect all.
Did you hear his statements yesterday of what occured (sic) there?
I heard part of it.
Did that curespond [sic, correspond] with what he said before the grand jury?
Part of it.
What part of it differed?
I don’t know that it was different.
Did he state before the grand jury as he stated yesterday that he came along with them driving A baggage waggon?
Did he state that he drove Fullers waggon?
Did he state any thing about Eliot?
I think not.
Did he say anything about Eliot being in the company?
Not that I recollect.
You don’t recollect wether he said any thing about Eliot or not?
I have rather an impression he did not but I am not scertain my memory is rather weak.
Did he say any thing about meeting a man by the name of Smith?
He said he saw a man by that name.
He said he saw a man by the name of Smith as they came up?
Did he say they separated the waggons going one way and the company another?
I think he did.
At What point did he say those men left the company to come into town?
He said somthing [sic, something] about being met by a Carthage Gray and his testimony went to show that Alridge and Williams where [sic, were] with them at the time the Carthage Gray came up soon after that Williams and Alridge left but how I think he did not state.
Was his evidence the same yesterday about the Carthage Gray?
I think he stated that the man came out that was said to be the Carthage Gray not from a knowledg[e] he had for himself but was told by some other person I think he stated that he saw Williams and Steavens conversing with the man.
Do you recollect that he said before the Grand jury that these men past him on his way back in his waggon on horse back?
I don’t recollect.
What sort of a horse do you say he said Williams was riding?
I think a bay or surrel but I rather think a surrel.
Did he say he had seen Williams or a bay or surrel that day before the killing of the Smiths?
I don’t think he did.
Was not this the way he stated about Williams riding that horse that evening; that he had seen him riding a bay or a surral at the shanties and that he saw him coming back that evening riding the same horse; Don’t you think he stated that it was his opinion?
I did not understand him to.
You think he stated positivly he was there on horse back?
Yes he said so according to my best recollection (sic).
He did not state it inferentially any thing seen before or after?
How far did he say Williams was from the jail when the killing took place?
I think he said about half a mile he was then interogated by some of the jury how he knew about the transaction going on at the jail at so great a distance he then stated it was then about a quarter to half a mile.
Who did he say before the grand jury brought on the first intelligence that Smith was killed?
I think that he stated that some of the men from the jail came out and got into his waggon, I think he said Grover was one of them and Wells and I think Boarus was one and Gallier.
Did he say anything about a man of the name of Greg before the Grand jury?
I think he said some thing about that man.
Did he say Greg past him on horse back and told him the smiths where killed?
I don’t recollect.
Did he say a man by the name of Chatenders told him to turn the waggons and go back?
I think he said that some individual told him to put out some of the baggag[e] and return back.
This memorandum from which you refresh your memory was it made when the witteness was before the Grand jury?
We made it from the best recollection we had of the case, and hearing the evidence again.
Was not his evidance was the same as was before?
Generally; I think the evidance was the same in substance.
When was it this evidance was given before the Grand jury?
Did you hear him say on yesterday how meny got into his waggon?
I think he stated there was 5.
Do you recollect that he said Boarus and Gallier got into his waggon?
I think he stated that Boarus and Gallier did not get in his wagon.
Did this differ from his evidence before the Grand jury?
I think to the best of my recollection he said Boarus and Gallier got into his waggon but being loaded to heavy some one got out.
Did he state his name that got out?
He stated his name was James Greg.
Do you recollect or did you hear what he said on yesterday about the Gray when he came up?
I don’t know that I did.
You recollect that he sated [sic, stated] before the Grand jury that the Carthage Gray held conversation with Williams and Steavens?
What became of the written evedance that was taken last term of Court before the Grand jury?
It was said to be taken away by Mr. McNeal.
Do you or not know if Mr. Lamborn has seen that written evidence?
I do not.
Had you no conversation with him?
I have had some conversation with him.
Do you know if that written testimony was sent for by him through the mail?
Did he say what he heard the Gray say in conversation with these men?
I don’t recollect.
Was there a Miss Eliza Grame called and examined before the Grand jury?
There was not.