Around 1836 a Baptist clergyman visited JS in , Ohio. JS put him up for the night, only to be insulted and called a liar and impostor after breakfast the following morning. According to a later account, JS boxed his ears and threw him out of the house. The cleric filed a complaint before a magistrate, accusing JS of assault and battery. , who witnessed the events and alleged that the clergyman had provoked the assault, obtained a warrant for the man’s arrest. Johnson claimed that this caused the cleric to hurriedly leave the , at which point Johnson overtook him and said, “Sir, you are lucky to have got over the line, and out of my jurisdiction or I should have arrested you.”
The account of this legal encounter is recorded in an 1850s autobiography of ; the legal documents are not extant. Though Johnson failed to identify the cleric, he stated that he was a “Baptist clergyman from the State of , who had been acquainted with the Prophet Joseph in his early life.”
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court, whether extant or not. It does not include versions of documents created for other purposes, though those versions may be listed in footnotes. In certain cases, especially in cases concerning unpaid debts, the originating document (promissory note, invoice, etc.) is listed here. Note that documents in the calendar are grouped with their originating court. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.
Clergyman, Complaint, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
Ca. 1836. Not extant.
Luke Johnson, Complaint, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH
Ohio law provided that if a person “shall provoke, or attempt to provoke, another to commit a breach of the peace; every such person shall be deemed guilty of an offence, and on conviction thereof before any justice of the peace, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding ten dollars, nor less than one dollar.” (An Act Defining the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace and Constables, in Criminal Cases [11 Mar. 1831], Statutes of Ohio, vol. 3, chap. 837, p. 1760, sec. 6.)
The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted from 1788 to 1833 Inclusive: Together with the Ordinance of 1787; the Constitutions of Ohio and of the United States, and Various Public Instruments and Acts of Congress: Illustrated by a Preliminary Sketch of the History of Ohio; Numerous References and Notes, and Copious Indexes. 3 vols. Edited by Salmon P. Chase. Cincinnati: Corey and Fairbank, 1833–1835.
Reminiscence, 1857–1858 [Baptist Clergyman v. JS]. The book History of Wayne County, New York identified several men who served as pastors for the Baptist Church for the communities of Palmyra and Macedon. This church was situated “on the main road between the two villages of Palmyra and Macedon” and served both communities for 32 years (1803–1835). During this time the following served as pastors for the church: Jeremiah Irons served for seventeen years beginning in 1804; Eliphalet Spencer served for 10 months beginning January 1822; James C. Barrett served from March 1823 to August 1825; and E. Blakesley served from August 1825 to May 1828. (History of Wayne County, New York, 119, 148.)
History of Wayne County, New York, With Illustrations Descriptive of its Scenery, Palatial Residences, Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Importnat Manufacotires, From Original Sketches by Artists of the Highest Ability. Philadelphia: Everts, Ensign & Everts, 1877.