John Patten charges Elijah Fordham with playing a violin at a Black gala.

Aug 17, 1840
Meeting Minutes / Notes
Hosea Stout

Minutes, Nauvoo High Council, August 17, 1840: 70-73, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed May 13, 2021

Hosea Stout
Hosea Stout, Elijah Fordham, William Coleman, David W. Roger, Joseph Smith, Jr., John Patten
Nauvoo High Council

August. 17th 1842 [1840] The High Council met according to adjournment at the office of Joseph Smith jr together with the First Presidency of the Church and the High Council of the Stake in Iowa Territory

John Patten against Elijah Fordham

Charge. Unchristian conduct.

Firstly For libelous, slanderous, and infamous reports in the High Council of the Church of Latter Day Saints at Montrose, against John Patten’s character; charging said Patten of being guilty of lieing, theft, burglary, and attempt to murder and done in the spirit of malevolence & high toned wickedness.

Secondly, For having told a positive lie.

Thirdly, For affirming to things which he did not know in a Court of Justice thereby perjuring himself in making the following statements, to wit,

1stly. That said Patten’s garden was on Mr Coleman’s Claim— 2ndly. That he never saw the garden. 3rdly That the damage done by destroying said garden did not amount to five dollars.

4thly That rails delivered were worth from one dollar to one dollar and a quarter and one dollar and a half: and—

5thly That every person in Montrose knew that Colemans had not relinquished his claim to the land on which said Patten’s garden was situated,

Fourthly. For being privy to [David W.] Rogers taking my rails and destroying my garden.

Fifthly. For justifying Rogers for so doing & approving of the act or Rogers’ conduct.

Sixthly For embezeling Rogers property to prevent the payment of Rogers’ debts.

Seventhly For having made false statements about Rogers’ pill nostrums, saying that they had had the effect in his family last fall and winter set forth by said, to wit: that he never failed of effecting a complete and radical cure; when it is a well known fact that Fordham and his family were sick nigh unto death during the fall and winter: thus endeavoring to vindicate the conduct of Rogers in palming his deception on community.

Eighthly— For acting an unrighteous and unholy part in the High Council, and because I. opposed his course he sought for evil against me, to slander and defame my character, destroy my influence and drive me from my seat in the Council— that the Council might enter immediately into the consecration law which he publickly declared was the determination of the High Council (of Montrose) and I alone opposed their proceedings and had spoken against the proceedings of the High— Council in public; stating that the council of the First Presidency was contrary to the proceedings of the High Council (of Montrose) and that Prest Hyrum Smith was vested with the authority of the First Presidency in the absence of the other to two Presidents, which was contended was not so: and I was charged with weakening or deminishing the influence of the High Council (of Monte) by speaking in publick against the proceedings of that quorum, which was the first charge made against me to drive me from the Council, and was followed by others, such as playing the violin for a negro ball; Suffering my daughter to go to balls; and then followed the slanderous & vile <​charges first mentioned in this​> catalogue of crimes and misdemeanours & when President John Smith told him it was his duty to take up a labor with me he replied, I was not worthy of his notice, of which I wish to convince him to the contrary.

BHR Staff Commentary

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