After visiting Massachusetts, the Nichols had this interesting experience as a result of living their religious convictions in Portland, Maine. Otis Nichols relates the story as it happened in 1845:
“Some of our wicked, profane neighbors complained that they were disturbed by our frequent praying, and we were several times interrupted by them. One afternoon an officer was sent to visit us, while some of our neighbors raised their windows to hear the result. Father was away at his business, and mother stepped to the door. He told her that complaints had reached him that we disturbed the peace of the neighborhood by noisily praying, and sometimes by praying in the night, and he was requested to attend to the matter.
“Mother answered that we prayed morning and night, and sometimes at noon, and should continue to do so; that Daniel prayed to his God three times a day, notwithstanding the king’s decree.
“He said he had no objection to prayer; if there was more of it in the neighborhood it would be better. ‘But,’ said he, ‘they complain of your praying in the night.’
“He was told that if any of the family were sick, or in distress of mind in the night, it was our custom to call upon God for help, and we found relief.
“He was referred by our neighbor who used strong drink. His voice was often heard cursing and blaspheming God. ‘Why did not the neighbors send you to him,’ my mother said, ‘to still the disturbances he causes in the neighborhood? He serves his master; we serve the Lord our God. Why is it that his curses and blasphemy seem not to disturb the neighbors, while the voice of prayer greatly troubles them?’
“‘Well,’ said the officer, ‘what shall I tell them that you will do?’
“My mother replied, ‘Serve God, let the consequences be what they may.’
“The officer left, and we had no further trouble from that quarter.
“A few days after, while out family was quietly engaged in evening prayer, some young men, imitating the example of their parents, began making noise around the house. At length they ran for an officer. He came, and they told him to listen. Said he, ‘Is this what you have called me for? That family is doing what every family ought to do. They are making no disturbances; and if you call me out for this purpose again, I will put you in the lock-up, for disturbing a peaceable family while attending their religious duties.’ After this we were not molested.” (Life Sketches Manuscript, 161-163.)