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Ans. The counsel for Mr. Rogers have advised him not to bring her forward, but I should be sorry to have his interest suffer by the advice of his counsel. By the judge, to Mr. Isham-I see that Mr. Lanman is absent, and
you have been employed in this case, what do you say to this application? Ans. I am confident if Mr. Lanman were present, he would object to it; and in his absence I do object. By the judge-She cannot be admitted.-I then replied—I shall think it very hard to be condemned with the undeniable and irresistible evidence of my innocence by my side, ready and willing to testify, but rejected by the court merely because she was not offered a little sooner. Mr. Lanman introduced Maria to testify after my counsel had closed their pleadings. By the judge—she cannot be admitted. This is the substance and in many respects the very words which passed between me and the judge at this time. He had before admitted collateral testimony before the main facts were proved.--He had refused to send for Lester Clark, who would have destroyed the testimony of Maria A Smith, on which I was condemned; he had directed them to proceed in the trial while the papers and documents, which were delivered in evidence to the justice at the binding over, were withheld and concealed. And he now proceeded to charge the jury in a manner, which I appeal to a candid and enlightened public to say, if it was not highly objectionable.
The judge then arose, And gave what some called a charge to the jury ; but he did not charge them to inquire on their oath if the crimes charged in the information were true as therein contained and set forth. He dwelt largely upon the testimony of Doct. Downing, Maria, and Sam the negro! He had excluded the testiinony of Asenath, he had refused to send for a witness in my favor, he proceeded in the trial when he was informed and well knew, that documents, important documents, the undeniable evidence of my innocence were withheld and concealed. For 20 years he had been my personal enerny and persecutor,
and he now exercised official power to gratify personal feeling, than which nothing can be more oppressive !*
SATURDAY, October 7th, 1820. The court met according to adjournment ; the jury at about eleven o'clock came in after having been out one night and part of one day and declared me guilty. Mr. Goddard then moved for a new trial on the ground that there was no evidence that the crimes charged in the information had ever been committed by any person ; on the ground that there was no proof against me, which ought to be regarded.
In both cases the court overruled, and would not grant a new trial. I did expect that he would have moved for a new trial on the ground that important documents had been withheld and concealed : on the ground that Mr. Perry Clark and his wife were out of the state and their testimony could not be had ; on the ground that I had been deprived of the constitutional right of confronting the principal witness against me, and of compulsory process to obtain a witness necessary in my defence.
He did take exceptions to the words of the information, but here again the judge overruled.
The court adjourned till one o'clock, then to meet at the Judge's chamber at Shepherd's hotet. At one o'clock the court was called in the Judge's private chamber. I appeared. The Judge said, you stand charged with a most heinous offence ; the jury have declared you guilty. It now devolves upon me to pronounce the sentence ; this is a matter of discretion with the court. I understand that you have children who are well educated and respectable, and I am inclined to mercy so far as is consis! tent with the welfare of society. The sentence of the co.int therefore is, that you be imprisoned in Norwich Jail, without bail or mainprize, for the term of two years. Lanman, the state's attorney, who had maliciously brought this prosecution, and was one of the three, that had overpersuaded and hired them to swear falsely against me, standing by, exulting and triumphing over his unfortunate and distressed victim, said to the Judge, I suppose you mean Newgate; but the Judge, who had been counsel against me in the county of Fairfield, had opposed me in the convention of the Episcopal church, and was considered by me as my personal, political and religious enemy, and who in this very case I considered as having acted very unfairly, was yet more merciful, and said, no I mean Norwich.
* If the Judge assume the power of admitting and excluding from the Jury, such evidence as his own personal feelings may suggest, and they be bound by oath to render a verdict according to the evidence then delivered in court; it is evident that the right of trial by a Jury is perverted! In this case the principal witness was excluded, see page 111, important papers and documents were withheld and concealed, see page 104, a trick was permitted to be palmed upon the Jury, see page 116, a perjured person and a lying, thievish negro were permitted to testify, and I was declared guilty of crimes which never came into my mind, of which I was as innocent as the Judge who pronounced the sentence, or as any other person in the world, and which never were charged upon me until two years after they were said have been committed.
I then addressed the court in these words : I thank the court for shewing some degree of mercy, when it was in your power to have gone further; but that God who knows the hearts of all men, knows that I am as innocent of the crimes charged upon me as your honor the Judge or as either of the gentlemen of the jury, who have declared me guilty. I think that they have been misled, and have declared me guilty without evidence, and I know without truth. From the sentence now pronounced upon me, I appeal to the righteous tribunal of Heaven, there you and I must appear, and then it will be known that you have condemned the innocent, and that I suffer unjustly. In the mean time, I submit myself to every insult, to every abuse, and to every injustice, which can be loaded upon me. Much better men than any of us have suffered before me !
I then settled my business at the tavern where I and my witnesses put up-committed my horse and carriage to the care of my good friend Seth Collins, Esq. got into a wagon with a Mr. Reed, was accompanied by a deputy sheriff, went to Norwich, about 13 miles, gave myself up to the Jailer, and was locked up, where I remained seven hundred and thirty one days, without ever putting my foot on the ground, having the compassion of my friends, and suffering the insults and abuse of my enomics.
Here I am in jail, who have received the honors of one of the first universities in America, who was ordained in Trinity church in the city of New York, constantly a member of the convention of the Episcopal church in that state, ihree years a member of the general convention of the United States, who have preached with approbation in all the principal towns and cities in the northern and eastern states, who have enjoyed all the honors and degrees of freemasonry, who am now a member of the corporation of Union College in the city of Schenectady, and was one of its first founders* who was settled as a minister in my native town and state, without so much as one dissenting voice and vote; who have performed more ministerial duties than almost any other clergyman in the United States, who have always endeavoured to give the best instructions, and set the best example in my power, and to have always a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man ! Because I thought it best for the Episcopalians to unite with the republicans of Connecticut and to do away the offensive blue-laws of the state, and that all denomina tions should enjoy equal rights and privileges according to their several capacities and stations; I was forbid to preach in the state, without hearing or trial, and actually without my knowledge. I was sued nine times for not regarding that prohibition, was persecuted for more than seven long years in Fairfield county;
was refus. ed a seat in the convention of my own church in the state, though they acknowledged and confessed that they had nothing against me,that my character and authority were good, but I was a republican in principle, I was opposed to a union of church and state, and had offered to change the laws and customs of the state, in taxing every body to support one particular denomination unless they would acknowledge themselves dissenters.
* UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK, OCTOBER 28, 1831. -I certify the following to be a true list of names of the Trustees of UNION COLLEGE, in the city of Schenectady, as named in the original charter, (granted 1795,) viz. Robert Yates, Abraham Yates, jun. Abram Ten Brook, Goldsbrow Banyad, John V. Henry, George Merchant, Stephen Van Ranselear, John Glen, Isaac Vrooman, Joseph Č. Yates, James Shuler, Nicholas Veeder, James Gordon, Beriah Palmer, Samuel Smith, Henry Wattvn, Ammi Rogers, Aaron Condict, Jacobus V. C. Romeyn, James Cochran, John Frye, D. Christopher Peek, Jonas Platt, and Jonas Coe.
GIDEON HAWLEY, Secretary of the Regents of the University of New York, 1831.
The Judge himself, on my trial, had been employed as a lawyer against me, for many years in the county of Fairfield ; and for almost 20 years had been one of my principal opposers--was prejudiced against me, and not kt to judge a case where I was concerned, if only one dollar was depending, much less where character, profession, liberty and every thing valuable in life were at stake. My counsel did not defend me and my cause as I expected, and as they might have done ! ! a combination was formed against me, I am accused of what never came into my mind ; on trial I was refused the constitutional right of confronting the principle witness against me ; the court refused to send for a witness in my favor, important papers and documents, the undeniable evidence of my innocence, were, on trial withheld and concealed, and the court proceeded without them; the judge did not charge the jury on the information, as I thought he ought to have done.
The court refused a new trial, overruled all objections of my counsel, pronounced on a sentence of two years imprisonment in Norwich jail, and here I am in affliction, in disgrace, and in misery.
0, Father of mercies and God of all comfort, my on ly help in time of need : look down from Heaven I humbly beseech thee, behold, visit, and relieve thy persecuted and afflicted servant ; look upon me with the eyes of thy mercy, comfort me with a sense of thy goodness, preserve me from the temptations of the enemy, give me patience and resignation under my sufferings. O, that no repining thought may enter my heart to discompose me in my duty towards thee my God, or towards my fellow men ; be pleased to forgive my enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts ; and O God, who spareth when we deserve punishment, and in the midst of thy wrath rememberest mercy, I humbly beseech thee, of thy great goodness, to comfort and succour me, and all others who are under reproach and