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16 > Page 16 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

16 the committee first met and agreed on this as the day of hearing, he soon found it would be impossible to prepare for it, and understanding from Mr. Winkley, one of the elders of the Society, that they were willing for an inves- tigation, he gave him notice by letter that it could not be had at this time-supposing that the Shakers could as con- veniently attend in June as now, he did not suppose there would be any objection on their part to the postponement. There were some material witnesses who are now out of the State, and others so old or infirm that they could not attend here at this season of the year. He hoped the con- sideration of the subject might be postponed, or that a committee might be appointed to go on the ground, and not only hear of, but see something of, the evils which were complained of. The petitioners would not be satisfied without a hearing, and if thrust out of doors without it now, they would apply again at the next session, so that the Society could in fact gain nothing by insisting on an exparte hearing. Mr. Winkley said the Society had been called upon to answer for themselves before the civil government, and they ackcnowledgred themselves bound to obey the call. The Legislature have appointed a committee to hear them, and they were now ready to be heard according to the agreement of the petitioners and the order of the com- mittee. He knew no reason why they should not proceed. He had indeed a day or two since received notice from Esquire Willis, that the petitioners would not be ready to prove their complaints; but the Society did not think it prudent to rely on that notice, as an excuse for not attend- ing to their defence. He knew that the enemies of the Society might again petition and complain, and that the Society might again be put to trouble and expense, but it was no reason why this prosecution should not be ended, because another might be begun. The Society must sub- mit to whatever might befal them. They were now ready to be heard; and were satisfied with the men who had been appointed to hear them. They asked only for an impartial hearing and a just 'decision, and doubted not that the committee would give them the one, and the Legislature come to the other. The Chairman of the committee inquired of the peti- tioners if they purposed putting in any evidence at this