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misery in this or any other house of bondage, correct us not in thine anger, neither chasten us in thy sore displeasure : give us a right understanding of ourselves, and of thy threats and promises ; that we may neither cast away our confidence in thee, nor place it any where but in thee. Be pleased to relieve the distressed in this and in all other places whereever they may be ; protect the innocent and make their innocency to appear ; awaken the guilty, convert the unconverted, and fill the world with thy glory. And, forasmuch as thou alone canst bring light out of darkness, and good out of evil, grant that the pains and punishments which we thy servants endure, here through our bodily confinement, may tend to the setting free of our souls from the chains of sin, that when this inortal life shall be ended, we may dwell with thee in life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord ; Amen.
For about ten years I had been a settled minister in a county town, and waş the only minister in town, my congregation was generally from 500 to 700, had' 280 communicants, lived in plain sight of the jail and court house, and had thought it my duty often to visit those who were in prison, and to comfort the afflicted. It was not my business to add to the sentence of law, and to neglect or afflict the afflicted; it was enough for me to know that they were sick or in prison ; I knew that often the innocent were condemned, and the guilty went clear, and it was my delight and my business, like the good Samaritan, to pour the wine and oil of consolation into the wounds of a bleeding heart. Often have I preached to prisoners in jail ; often have I seen the tears of gratitudo flow from the eyes of those who had been edified by my instruction, who had received comfort from my sympa-, thy, relief from my bounty, and consolation from my prayers; but little did I think that I should ever be confined myself; little did I think that I should ever need those kind offices of love and friendship which I had so often administered to others~" but he who is on the highest spoke in fortune's wheel may soon be on the lowest, and the wisest knows not how soon.
Whoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffei
persecution. Our blessed Saviour himself entered not into his glory until he had first suffered here on earth. Read the 12th chapter of Hebrews.
The Sheriff was good enough, t'ough very much against the wishes of Lanman, to give me the best room in the jail. The first day after my confinement I had my room throughly washed and cleansed. I soon sent for a joiner and had it repaired and shelves put up ; it was then whitewashed ; a ventiduct was soon put in from the vault to prevent a disagreeable smell. My friend Collins brought me a bed and bedding. I had table cloths and towels sent me- table and chairs were furnished by the jailer--I purchased table furniture, crockery, glasses &c.—my trunks and books were brought to me--a paper maker sent to me as a present, half a ream of good writing paper ; and I was as comfortable as could be expected.
My friends wrote to me from almost every part of Connecticut, and from other states, and offered me any assistance which I might possibly want. I was permitted to have the room entirely to myself; the prisoners seemed solicitous not to hurt my feelings ; they were attentive to my daily devotions and religious instructions ; a change in their moral conduct and conversation was very observable ; no profane, no obscene, no unbecoining language was heard among them, and here I staid (wo years !
To mention the kindness of one friend would seem to be a neglect of others. I was visited by people of the first standing in society, from different parts of Connecticut, and from other states—I performed divine service and preached through the grates of the jail almost every Sunday when the weather was fair, for two years-seats were built up on the out side of the jail and the congregation was as large, as attentive and as respectful as could be expected. On Christmas, Easter and Whitsundays the doors were opened and I preached and administered and received the sacrament of the Lord's supper, on Christmas eve's the jail was, by the bounty of my friends, handsomely illuminated and decorated with green
bows and vines, in token of joy and rejoicing at the birth of our blessed Saviour.
The jailer at that time furnished good and wholesome food, and enough of it. The sheriff often called to see the prisoners, and to inquire of their welfare. Mr. Gurley was now the state's attorney, and seemed to be sensible of the injustice which was done to me. Goddard knew that I blamed him, and I have never spoken to him since my trial.
I blame him for permitting the trial to proceed, without compelling them to bring forward their principal witness, and while my documents were withheld. Uncommon exertions were made to convince the public that I was guilty and justly condemned ; the newspapers were filled with squibs and misrepresentations. Constance F. Daniels, cousin of Ira Daniels, reported, and Mr. Green of New-London printed a misrepresentation of my trialsetting forth to the public what was proved at the binding over and a great deal more ; and wholly neglecting to shew any thing which I proved at that time, reviling and reproaching me in the most false manner, and with the most abusive epithets ! ! Illy would it become me to render railing for railing. But to the said Daniels I would barely mention the name of the amiable widow Wade, on whose money the poor wretch was supported and educated, to whom he had most solemnly promised marriage, but forfeited his word and honor, married another woman, was prosecuted and his poverty was his security-just such an as Lanman might couple with Maria and Sam !
Benjamin Harris, Esq. of Preston, testified that he did not think that there was a person in Preston or Griswold, who was acquainted with Maria A. Smith, that would take her word, or her oath for one quarter of a dollar. Hon. Judge Williams of Groton, who lived in the neighbourhood of the said Maria, testified that he did not think that any person who was acquainted with her, ought or would think the better or worse of any one in consequence of any thing that she could say or swear; that the first time he ever heard of her, she was in a house of ill fame, hugging and kissing a married man, and that if
che court and jury had known her character and the circumstances, they certainly never would have declared me guilty, or pronounced sentence against me.
Per y Clark and Sophia Clark, depose and say that Asenath and Maria A. Smith lived in the same house with them in the year 1817, and long before and since that time—that they well remember that Asenath was in the habit of keeping
vate company with
young physician—that said Perry saw him come out of her bed chamber between break of day and sunrise or or about the first day of July 1817—that they have no knowledge or belief that Mr. Rogers was at their house during the summer of 1817—that they well remember that in the summer and fall of that year Asenath was very unwell and feeble, and had fits, and particularly on the week before she was said to have been delivered—that they personally knew that the testimony of Maria, on the trial of Mr. Rogers, was false, particularly as to his being shut up alone with her at their house, &c. (see page 107)
—that they never heard of any such thing until about two years afterwards—that the mother of Asenath in. formed Mrs. Clark, who was her sister, that she never suspected that Asenaih was like to have a child, for she knew that it was not with her, as it is with women in general when they were in that situation, &c. &c.
Subscribed and sworn in due form of law, in Norwich, in the County of New-London, March 26, 1822.
Before John Hyde, Justice of Peace.
On the 25th of January 1822 I addressed a letter to the Governor of Connecticut, inclosing a petition to the General Assembly of that state, stating my case with the foregoing depositions of Doct. Harris, Judge Williams, Perry Clark and his wife Sophia Clark, praying, not for a pardon of crimes which I never had coinmitted or ever thought of, but to have the sentence suspended until I could collect my witnesses and defend myself in
person and by counsel before that Hon. Assembly and froin him I received the following answer viz. State of Connecticut, Litchfield, February 11th, 1822.
SIR I received, a few days since, your letter dated January 25th, 1822, with a narrative in the form of a petition, to the General Assembly of this State, to be convened at New-Haven, on the first Wednesday in May next. Your conscience must have informed you whether this narrative contains a just representation of your case.
If it is false, you have greatly aggravated the offence for which you are now suffering imprisonment, and instead of reproaching the court and its officers, you ought penitently to admit that the sentence of the Judge was mild as he was justifiable in pronouncing. On the contrary if your narrative be true, if you have not been heard by yourself and counsel, if you have not been confronted by the witnesses against you, if you have been refused compulsory process to obtain witnesses in your favor, if you have not had a public trial by an impartial jury, or have been deprived of your liberty otherwise than by a due course of law, the General Assembly, to whom you address your petition, will examine into your case, and doubtless adjudge thereon in such a manner, as an equal regard to your rights and the laws and the honor of the State shall require.
By the Constitution of this State," the Governor has power to reprieve after conviction, in all cases except those of impeachment, until the end of the next session of the General Assembly and no longer.” If it is intended that reprieves should be effectual in any other than capital cases, the law ought to provide a mode by' which either the persons or offenders may be holden to abide the sentence of the law, in cases where pardons are not granted by the General Assembly, or that suita. ble forfeitures should be recovered in cases where such reprieved persons are not surrendered. No provision of this nature exists, and in my opinion, any bond for that purpose would be illegal and void. As the General Assembly alone can grant you relief, it would be useless for me to investigate the truth or falsity of the facto