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    FIFTEENTH CASE

    Z. Swearingen.

    Mr. Z. Swearingen was a member of the church of Seventh-day Adventists. When from Michigan to Arkansas in 1879, and settle on a small farm eleven miles south of Bentonville, the county seat of Benton County. He and his son Franz, aged seventeen years, were indicted by the Grand Jury at the April term of the Circuit Court of 1886, upon the charge of Sabbath-breaking by “performing labor other than customary household duties of daily comfort, necessity, or charity, against the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas, on Feb. 14, 1885,” the same day being Sunday.CGRRLL 131.2

    Both were arrested by F. P. Galbraith, sheriff of Benton County, in May, 1886, and were put under bond of $250 for their appearance at the fall term of the Circuit Court. Sept. 27, 1886, the defendants appeared before Pittman, of the Fourth Judicial District.CGRRLL 132.1

    John G. Cowen, witness for the State, testified that he saw Mr. Swearingen and his son hauling rails on the 14th day of February, 1885, as he returned from the funeral of Mrs. Boggett. Hon. J. W. Walker, attorney for the defendants, explained to the jury that the defendants conscientiously observed the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath, in accordance with the faith and practice of the church of which they were members. The prosecuting attorney stated to the jury that it was “one of those Adventist cases.” Jury found the defendants guilty, as charged in the indictment. As Mr. Swearingen did not have the money to pay the fine and costs for himself and son, amounting to $34.20, they were sent to jail until the money should be secured.CGRRLL 132.2

    They were put in jail Oct. 1, 1886. On the 13th of the same month, the sheriff levied on, and took possession of, a horse belonging to Mr. Swearingen. The horse sold at sheriff’s sale, the 25th of the same month, for $26.50, leaving a balance against Mr. Swearingen of $7.70; yet both he and his son were released the same day that the horse was sold. On the 15th day of December, the sheriff appeared again on the premises of Mr. Swearingen, and presented a bill for $28.95. Of this sum, $21.25 was for the board of Mr. Swearingen and son while in jail, and $7.70, balance on the fine. Mr. Swearingen had no money to pay the bill. The sheriff levied on his mare, har- ness, wagon, and a cow and calf. Before the day of the sale, however, Mr. Swearingen’s brethren raised the money by donations, paid the bill, and secured the release of is property. One thing about this case is to be noted particularly: The witness upon whose testimony these people were convicted, said that he saw them hauling rails on Sunday, the 14th day of February, as he returned from the funeral of Mrs. Boggett. Now, the act under which this prosecution was carried on, because a law March 3, and was approved by the Governor, March 7. Consequently, they were convicted for work done seventeen days before the act was passed under which they were convicted.CGRRLL 132.3

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