Manchester, December 5th, 1833.
I have been acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith Sen. for
several years, and I know him to be a drunkard and a liar, and to be much in the
habit of gambling. He and his boys were truly a lazy set of fellows, and more
particularly Joseph, who, very aptly followed his father's example, and in some
respects was worse. When intoxicated he was very quarrelsome. Previous to his
going to Pennsylvania to get married, we worked together making a coal-pit.
While at work at one time, a dispute arose between us, (he having drinked a
little too freely) and some hard words passed between us, and as usual with him
at such times, was for fighting. He got the advantage of me in the scuffle, and
a gentleman by the name of Ford interfered, when Joseph turned to fighting him.
We both entered a complaint against him and he was fined for the breach of the
Peace. It is well known, that the general employment of the Smith family was
money digging and fortune-telling. They kept around them constantly, a gang of
worthless fellows who dug for money nights, and were idle in the day time. It
was a mystery to their neighbors how they got their living. I will mention some
circumstances and the public may judge for themselves. At different times I have
seen them come from the woods early in the morning, bringing meat which looked
like mutton. I went into the woods one morning very early, shooting patridges
and found Joseph Smith Sen. in company with two other men, with hoes, shovels
and meat that looked like mutton. On seeing me they run like wild men to get out
of sight. -- Seeing the old man a few day afterwards, I asked him why he run so
the other day in the woods, ah, said he, you know that circumstances alter
cases; it will not do to be seen at all time.
I can also state, that Oliver Cowdrey proved himself to be a worthless person and not to be trusted or believed when he taught school in this neighborhood. After his going into the ministry, while officiating in performing the ordinance of baptism in a brook, William Smith, (brother of Joseph Smith) seeing a young man writing down what was said on a piece of board, was quite offended and attempted to take it from him, kicked at him and clinched for a scuffle. -- Such was the conduct of these pretended Disciples of the Lord.
On the 12th day of December, 1833, the said David Stafford appeared before me, and made oath that the foregoing statement, by him subscribed, is true.
Justice of the Peace of Wayne Co. N. Y.
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