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