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Introduction to City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick, Bostwick v. JS and Greene, and Bostwick v. JS

City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 26 February 1844
 
Bostwick v. JS and Greene
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 20 May 1844
 
Bostwick v. JS
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, in Chancery, 27 May 1844
 
Historical Introduction
During the first half of 1844, JS was involved in a series of legal actions with , Illinois, resident . In February 1844, JS prosecuted Bostwick in the Nauvoo mayor’s court for . Although Bostwick’s attorney, , announced his client’s intention to appeal the conviction, first to the Nauvoo Municipal Court and then to the , Illinois, circuit court, Bostwick instead initiated two civil actions in the circuit court that were heard in the May 1844 term.
 
City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick
In late February 1844, filed a complaint before JS asserting that had used “slanderous Language conering [concerning] Hyrum and certain f[e]males—of .” The allegation stemmed from rumors surrounding Smith’s confidential practice of plural marriage. JS prosecuted the suit under an unspecified Nauvoo city ordinance. Witness provided a sworn statement summarizing Bostwick’s allegations to the court. According to Scott, Bostwick said he did not believe JS had “spiritual wives” but was convinced that his brother Hyrum did and that he had committed adultery with them. Bostwick further referred to an unidentified young woman he alleged had been “vitieous [virtuous]” from her childhood yet became promiscuous shortly after Hyrum administered a healing blessing to her. Additionally, Bostwick claimed that “a number of English women” and other women in “good standing in the Church” earned a living in Nauvoo as prostitutes. Scott testified that he pressed Bostwick to divulge the identity of these women, but Bostwick refused. The mayor’s court convicted Bostwick and fined him fifty dollars plus costs. gave notice of the defendant’s intention to appeal the decision to the Nauvoo Municipal Court and, if necessary, the Circuit Court, which was located in , Illinois, a nexus of hostility toward the church. JS responded that “trying to cary such a suit to Carthage” was an attempt to incite mob violence against the Latter-day Saints.
In an effort to address rumors spreading from ’s allegations, JS summarized the proceedings of the trial in a public meeting held in on 7 March 1844. He encouraged members of the to adopt “The Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo,” a statement that defended the virtue of Nauvoo’s women and condemned Bostwick’s claims. The Relief Society approved the statement in subsequent days.
 
Bostwick v. JS and Greene
did not ultimately appeal his conviction. Instead, in early March 1844 he initiated a suit of against JS and city marshal in the Circuit Court to recover $200 in damages. Trespass was a broad common law category of civil suits designed to recover damages from unlawful injuries to person or property, including the “carrying away” of property. Because many of the records related to this 1844 case, including Bostwick’s declaration outlining his claims, are apparently not extant, the exact details of the case are unknown. On 9 April, Bostwick’s attorneys issued a notice to JS and Greene instructing them to produce the records and proceedings related to Bostwick’s earlier case before JS, indicating that these two cases were related. Bostwick’s trespass suit was presumably similar to another 1844 trespass suit against JS, Greene, and another city official in that Bostwick was either challenging an exorbitant enforcement of an , making a broader objection to the municipal court’s jurisdiction in the original case, or both. However, when the suit came to trial on 20 May 1844, Bostwick’s attorneys motioned for it to be dismissed. The court’s attempts to recover the costs of the suit from Bostwick were unsuccessful.
 
Bostwick v. JS
In addition to the trespass suit, sought a bill of injunction against JS in the Circuit Court in during this same time. A bill of was “generally granted for the purpose of preventing a wrong, or preserving property in dispute pending a suit.” Presumably this was also connected with Bostwick’s earlier trial before JS. As with the trespass suit, when this case came to trial on 27 May 1844, Bostwick’s attorneys motioned for it to be dismissed. The docket entry for the dismissal of the suit and a docket entry for a fee bill likely issued in connection with the proceedings are apparently the only documents still extant from this case. The court’s attempts to recover the costs of the suit from Bostwick were unsuccessful.
 
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.
City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 26 February 1844
 
Bostwick v. JS and Greene
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 20 May 1844
 
Bostwick v. JS
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, in Chancery, 27 May 1844
 
Historical Introduction
During the first half of 1844, JS was involved in a series of legal actions with , Illinois, resident . In February 1844, JS prosecuted Bostwick in the Nauvoo mayor’s court for . Although Bostwick’s attorney, , announced his client’s intention to appeal the conviction, first to the Nauvoo Municipal Court and then to the , Illinois, circuit court, Bostwick instead initiated two civil actions in the circuit court that were heard in the May 1844 term.
 
City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick
In late February 1844, filed a complaint before JS asserting that had used “slanderous Language conering [concerning] Hyrum and certain f[e]males—of .” The allegation stemmed from rumors surrounding Smith’s confidential practice of plural marriage. JS prosecuted the suit under an unspecified Nauvoo city ordinance. Witness provided a sworn statement summarizing Bostwick’s allegations to the court. According to Scott, Bostwick said he did not believe JS had “spiritual wives” but was convinced that his brother Hyrum did and that he had committed adultery with them. Bostwick further referred to an unidentified young woman he alleged had been “vitieous [virtuous]” from her childhood yet became promiscuous shortly after Hyrum administered a healing blessing to her. Additionally, Bostwick claimed that “a number of English women” and other women in “good standing in the Church” earned a living in Nauvoo as prostitutes. Scott testified that he pressed Bostwick to divulge the identity of these women, but Bostwick refused. The mayor’s court convicted Bostwick and fined him fifty dollars plus costs. gave notice of the defendant’s intention to appeal the decision to the Nauvoo Municipal Court and, if necessary, the Circuit Court, which was located in , Illinois, a nexus of hostility toward the church. JS responded that “trying to cary such a suit to Carthage” was an attempt to incite mob violence against the Latter-day Saints.
In an effort to address rumors spreading from ’s allegations, JS summarized the proceedings of the trial in a public meeting held in on 7 March 1844. He encouraged members of the to adopt “The Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo,” a statement that defended the virtue of Nauvoo’s women and condemned Bostwick’s claims. The Relief Society approved the statement in subsequent days.
 
Bostwick v. JS and Greene
did not ultimately appeal his conviction. Instead, in early March 1844 he initiated a suit of against JS and city marshal in the Circuit Court to recover $200 in damages. Trespass was a broad common law category of civil suits designed to recover damages from unlawful injuries to person or property, including the “carrying away” of property. Because many of the records related to this 1844 case, including Bostwick’s declaration outlining his claims, are apparently not extant, the exact details of the case are unknown. On 9 April, Bostwick’s attorneys issued a notice to JS and Greene instructing them to produce the records and proceedings related to Bostwick’s earlier case before JS, indicating that these two cases were related. Bostwick’s trespass suit was presumably similar to another 1844 trespass suit against JS, Greene, and another city official in that Bostwick was either challenging an exorbitant enforcement of an , making a broader objection to the municipal court’s jurisdiction in the original case, or both. However, when the suit came to trial on 20 May 1844, Bostwick’s attorneys motioned for it to be dismissed. The court’s attempts to recover the costs of the suit from Bostwick were unsuccessful.
 
Bostwick v. JS
In addition to the trespass suit, sought a bill of injunction against JS in the Circuit Court in during this same time. A bill of was “generally granted for the purpose of preventing a wrong, or preserving property in dispute pending a suit.” Presumably this was also connected with Bostwick’s earlier trial before JS. As with the trespass suit, when this case came to trial on 27 May 1844, Bostwick’s attorneys motioned for it to be dismissed. The docket entry for the dismissal of the suit and a docket entry for a fee bill likely issued in connection with the proceedings are apparently the only documents still extant from this case. The court’s attempts to recover the costs of the suit from Bostwick were unsuccessful.
 
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.
 
City of Nauvoo v. Bostwick, Nauvoo, Illinois, Mayor’s Court
  • 1844 (2)
    • February (2)
      Between 18 and 26 February 1844

      Hyrum Smith, Complaint, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      26 February 1844

      John Scott, Deposition, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 26 Feb. 1844; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; certified by Willard Richards.
 
Bostwick v. JS and Greene, Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court
  • 1844 (6)
    • March (1)
      Ca. 3 March 1844

      Chauncey L. Higbee on behalf of Orsamus F. Bostwick, Praecipe, to Hancock Co. Circuit Court Clerk, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 3 Mar. 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; handwriting of Chauncey L. Higbee; docket in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; notation probably in handwriting of David E. Head.
    • April (1)
      9 April 1844

      Bachman & Skinner and Chauncey L. Higbee on behalf of Orsamus F. Bostwick, Notice, Hancock Co., IL, to JS and John P. Greene

      • 9 Apr. 1844; JS Collection, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Chauncey L. Higbee.
    • May (3)
      20 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Dismissal, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 20 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 82, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 20 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 20 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court, Judgment Docket, vol. B, p. 12, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting probably of David E. Head.
      Ca. 27 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 27 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court, Judgment Docket, vol. B, p. 16, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
    • November (1)
      22 November 1844

      Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

  • 1845 (1)
    • February (1)
      Between ca. 22 November 1844 and ca. 20 February 1845

      Docket Entry, Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Between ca. 22 Nov. 1844 and ca. 20 Feb. 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [214], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; unidentified handwriting.
 
Bostwick v. JS, Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, in Chancery