Ohio History Journal

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MONDAY, August 27, 1810. -This day occurred, in the

county of Warren, now Union Village, near Lebanon, in the

State of Ohio, one of the most extraordinary instances of un-

constitutional proceedings, and the most formidable appearance

of infringement on the rights of conscience, that ever was wit-

nessed in this country.

A body of five hundred armed men, equipped in uniform,

and in military order, with their officers, appeared on the ground

before the meeting-house, and, by a committee of about twelve

men, appointed for the purpose, demanded of us that we should

renounce our faith and practice, our public preaching and mode

of worship, or quit the country.

This very extraordinary attempt first began to be agitated

principally through the instrumentality of a certain John Davis,

John and Robert Wilson, and John Bedle, who had apostatized

from the faith, and became bold in wickedness and false ac-

cusations against the Believers; whereby those who had long

waited for false witness to accuse the Believers of something

criminal, were at length furnished with sufficient matter (as they

said) to answer their purpose.

Accordingly, about the first of June, a piece appeared in

the public papers, signed by Col. James Smith, stating as mat-

ters of fact, what he had been informed by the aforesaid

apostates-viz: that the education of children among the Shakers

is chiefly a pretence - that they whip their underlings severely,

and also their children - that they count it no sin to have carnal

knowledge of their own women - that all surplus money and

property is given up to Elder David--that he keeps the whole

treasury of the Society in his own hands; and that he, like

the Pope, exercises unlimited authority over all under his control;

and that he, with his council, live sumptuously on the labors of

others; with many things more of a like nature; with remarks

made to exasperate the public with the hottest indignation against