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Civil Government and Religion

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    TWENTIETH CASE J. L. Shockey, the second time.

    In August, 1886, Mr. P. Hammond, a member of the Baptist Church, appeared before the Grand Jury in Hot Spring County, and charged J. L. Shockey with hauling rails and clearing land on Sunday, the first day of the week, July 11, 1886. The Grand Jury presented an indictment. On Dec. 14, 1886, Mr. Shockey weas arrested and taken to Malvern, locked up until the next day, when he gave the usual bond for his appearance at Court, and was released. The work for which Mr. Shockey was indicted, was done on a new farm which he was opening up in the woods, three fourths of a mile from any public road, and more than a mile from any place of public worship, and not in sight of either. The witness, Mr. Hammond, passed by where Mr. Shockey was at work, and after he had gone some distance, returned, and spoke to Mr. Shockey about buying from him a Plymouth Rock rooster. The bargain was then made, Hammond agreeing to pay Shockey fifty cents for the rooster.CGRSL 139.2

    Shockey was indicted, and his case set for trial Feb. 7, 1887. This case, with the one before mentioned and some others that had been held over to await the decision in the Scoles case, was called, and February 11 fixed as the day of trial for all.CGRSL 139.3

    In the meantime, Eld. Dan. T. Jones, president of the Missouri Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, had an interview with the prosecuting attorney, Mr. J. P. Anderson, and explained the nature of all these cases, and showed him that the Adventists were faithful, law-abiding citizens in every respect, except in this matter of working on Sunday; that the defendants in the cases were all poor men, some of whom were utterly unable to go to pay fines and costs, and consequently would to go to jail; and asked Mr. Henderson if he would be willing to remit a portion of his fees, which were ten dollars in each case, provided the remainder was raised by donations by the Seventh-day Adventists throughout the country, for the relief of their brethren in Arkansas.CGRSL 140.1

    Mr. Henderson replied that if these cases were of the nature of religious persecution, he would not feel justified in taking any fees. He said he would not be a party to any such action, but would want some time to investigate the cases, to satisfy himself that this was true. Upon investigation, he became fully satisfied that the prosecutions were simply of the nature of religious persecutions, and generously refused to take any fees in any of the cases.CGRSL 140.2

    When the cases were called, the defendants confessed judgment, and the fine prescribed by law was assessed. The county clerk reduced his fees about one half; the sheriff, one half of his; and the prosecuting attorney, all of his, which reduced the total expenses about one half. The remainder was advanced from funds supplied by Seventh-day Adventists throughout the country, for the relief of their brethren in Arkansas.CGRSL 140.3

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