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14 > Page 14 of Account of some of the proceedings of the legislatures of the states of Kentucky and New Hampshire, --1828 -- in relation to the people called Shakers

14 fore yom to answer for themselves; to meet tie evidvrccc which may be adduced against them, and await the decision of the committee and the House. But the petitioners are not prepared to support their allegations. They have no witnesses to produce-no evidence of any sort to lay be- fore you, and yet they ask for delay. Why are they not ready I If the evils of which they complained existed, it could not be difficult to prove them. They are of a pub- lic nature-affecting not merely individuals, but the com- munity. Can it require weeks and months and years to prove their existence If the Shakers were guilty as is alleged against them, there would be no lack of evidence to prove their guilt. The witnesses would be all around, and a week would not be wanted to bring them before you. Canterbury is an adjoining town, and but afew steps from you. The Shakers there are of the same society-the same in principle and in practice, with those of Enfield; and the same causes of complaint exist in the one town as in the other. Why are not the petitioners' witnesses, if they have any, upon the ground It is not stated to you that they are sick or at sea, or in other climes or other countries.- No excuse is offered for their absence-it is not known that any attempt has been made to procure their atten- dance;-and yet you are urged to postpone the hearing and require the attendance of the Shakers at another ses- sion to answer to charges without foundation and without a shadow of evidence to support them or justify the delay. After the frequent investigations which have been had- after the delay which has already taken place-and after the acknowledged agreement of the petitioners on this day to have a hearing-the petitioners are justified in asking the committee to dispose of the petition and detain them no longer. It may be sport to the agent of the complain- ants to have this case pending before the Legislature from session to session and from year to year. He is a member of your House, paid by the State, and can attend here with- out inconvenience and without expense. This agency for the petitioners may secure him another election, and give him an opportunity to ask at the next session for still fur- ther delay. But it is not so with the accused. Their towns do not send them here, and the State does not pay them for their attendance. They attend at no trifling ex- pense, with much inconvenience to themselves, and great detriment to their interests. But however painful to their