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Hosea Stout Journals

January 4, 1848

Location: Winter Quarters - 1014 miles left, Nebraska - Location: 41:21:41N 95:56:45W Currently the site of Florence, Nebraska, Winter Quarters was settled in September, 1846 as a temporary resting place for the pioneers. It is located just west of the Missouri river in Nebraska.

Summary: The Police and the Bishops enforce the whiskey laws by confiscating the alcohol from the Brethren.

Journal entry: Tuesday Jan 4th 1848. Today was a busy day for the police & Bishops. Whiskey was at this time sold by a large number of brethren contrary to law which ordained that it should only be sold by the Bishops. The consequence was drunkeness and it was very prevelent and at some places they became very noisy.

A complaint was made to the council by the Bishops. Whitney of the same whereupon the Council decided (Sund last) that the police & Bishops do their duty. Which was tantemount to saying put the law in force, Bishops Carns & Knight made a move at it this morning & called on the police to back them up.

They first demanded McCauslins' whiskey. He gave it up without any difficulty, which the Bishops paid for - after that they demanded several others who gave it up mainly in all such cases it was paid for out of the sales of the same. Alonzo Jones closed his doors against the Bishops who broke open his door & took his barrel of whiskey. Also, one Ferris refused to deliver up his which was taken.

We then went to the redoubtable John Pack who also kept a barrel & the Bishops made known their Business telling him at the same time that they would pay him for it. He was very independant & saucy. He told them they had no right to it. He knew the law as well as they. He did not thank them to come to his Home to teach him the law & conduct. Such is a specimen of his treatment to the Bishops who bore his slang a long while endeavoring to pursuade him to yield to the demands of the law and to not resist them or he would most surley loose his whiskey. He remained ohstinate and dared them to touch it. They at last called on me to "lay hand on it which I did & the Spirit came" for the barrel was nearly full.

We now all decamped while he was pouring out a tirade of abuse & slang. We took 5 barrels today. The 3 latter was forfeited as they would not yield neither in that case would the Bishops pay. We were busy untill ten o'clock P. M.

Source: On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844-1861 Volume I - Edited by Juanita Brooks. Permission to use excerpts granted by Utah State Historical Society and the University of Utah Press.