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Introduction to Halsted, Haines & Co. v. O. Granger et al.

Halsted, Haines & Co. v. O. Granger, W. Foster, O. Cowdery, J. Carter, H. Smith, Rigdon, JS, Bosley, Olney, Knight, G. Carter, Harlow Redfield, Cahoon, Hilman, Harvey Redfield, Gould, Hedlock, Hampton, Tanner, Johnson, Young, Badlam Sr., Packard, Cheney, W. Smith, Newcomb, Beman, Sherman, Perry, Barney, Decker, and J. Butterfield
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 16 April 1839
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1838, the mercantile firm of Halsted, Haines & Co. initiated a lawsuit against the , Ohio, mercantile firm of (consisting of partners , , and ) for an unpaid debt. At some point by fall 1836, Kirtland merchant introduced Cahoon, Carter, and Smith as well as JS and his mercantile partners, and , to his business contacts in New York, a connection that allowed them to buy more goods on credit than their new ventures would otherwise have allowed. The firm of Cahoon, Carter & Co. purchased goods from Halsted, Haines & Co. on 11 October 1836 and provided a promissory note for $6,162.23 payable in six months. The mercantile firm in which JS was a partner, , also purchased goods on credit during this business trip.
Because ’s note remained unpaid, the merchants hired the , Ohio, law firm Perkins & Osborn to litigate the debt and provided the law firm the overdue note in July 1837. On 1 September, went to to renegotiate this and other debts owed by Cahoon, Carter & Co. and by to Halsted, Haines & Co. and three other New York wholesale merchants: Mead & Betts, John A. Newbould, and Holbrook & Ferme. The renegotiation resulted in Cahoon, Carter & Co. dividing its original debt to Halsted, Haines & Co. into three payments and creating three promissory notes due in one, one and a half, and two years, respectively. These three notes were then cosigned by thirty Latter-day Saints living in Kirtland, including JS and . The first note, for $2,251.77, was due in September 1838.
When no payment was made in September 1838, created a statement of account in October listing the debts owed by and to the four wholesale merchants that Perkins & Osborn was representing in . Later that month, Perkins & Osborn began a lawsuit on behalf of Halsted, Haines & Co. to reclaim the debt on the first of the 1 September 1837 notes, bringing an action of against Cahoon, Carter & Co. and the cosigners on the note, including JS. By the time a summons was issued on 15 October 1838, most Latter-day Saints had relocated to , and the only signers of the promissory note still in the area were , William Foster, and church financial agent . In the declaration, Perkins & Osborn claimed $3,000 in damages. When the case was brought to court in April 1839, no representatives for the defendants appeared, so Judge ruled that the defendants had defaulted. Humphrey then required Granger and the other signers to pay Halsted, Haines & Co. $2,337.35 in damages, plus court costs.
, likely unable to pay the judgment rendered by the court and concerned by the two other promissory notes still owed to Halsted, Haines & Co., looked for another option. In August 1839, Granger and attempted to arrange another compromise to satisfy the debts owed to Halsted, Haines & Co. and the three other wholesale merchants. In the process of these debts being consolidated, JS, through Granger, became the main source for repayment, even though JS had direct ties to only two of the four debts. The August 1839 agreements required that all four of the New York merchants accept the conditions. It is unclear if Halsted, Haines & Co. (or Holbrook & Ferme) accepted the proposed arrangement; the only surviving agreements are those signed by John A. Newbould and Mead & Betts. If the agreement with Halsted, Haines & Co. was similar to the two surviving ones, it allowed Granger to pay a portion of the debt in land and the remaining debt would be forgiven.
In March 1841, the Court of Common Pleas issued a writ directing the sheriff to seize land in order to satisfy the judgment in the case. Sheriff Erastus Spencer seized several pieces of land appraised at a total of $592. For several months, Spencer tried to sell the seized land at public auction. He was unable to find buyers until September 1841, when he sold the land to and William Halsted (one of the partners in Halsted, Haines & Co.). In May 1842, Spencer gave Howden and Halsted deeds for the land they had purchased.
In November 1841, the law firm Browning & Bushnell wrote to JS requesting payment on the second and third promissory notes, which were overdue but had not yet been litigated. JS responded in December that he would need more time to repay the notes but assured the attorneys that he had means in the eastern to do so. This may have included lands that had arranged to acquire from Latter-day Saints in Oswego County, New York, in exchange for land in . After Granger’s death in August 1841, JS and the Saints discovered that the ownership of the land in New York was unclear. Granger’s son , who had taken possession of lands held by his father as a church agent, proved unwilling to return deeds, promissory notes, and other financial records in his father’s possession to JS. This left JS unable to use the New York land to repay the merchants as the elder Granger may have arranged.
JS petitioned for bankruptcy in April 1842, and he included the debt he owed Halsted, Haines & Co. in the schedule of debts he created as part of his application. However, JS’s bankruptcy was unresolved at the time of his death. The judgment owed on the first note, as well as the debts on the second and third promissory notes given to Halsted, Haines & Co., were included in the claims filed against JS’s estate.
In 1867, the law firm of Roys & Haines of Leavenworth, Kansas, sent a collection notice to the Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, banking firm of Nounnan Orr & Co. in an effort to collect the outstanding Halsted, Haines & Co. notes signed by JS, , and other prominent church leaders. This prompted Young, who was now president of the church, to send —who had taken over ’s responsibilities as church agent in the eastern —to to consult with on the status of the church’s old debts. The promissory notes had been signed thirty years earlier and were therefore no longer subject to litigation. It is unclear whether the debts were ever resolved.
 
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.
Halsted, Haines & Co. v. O. Granger, W. Foster, O. Cowdery, J. Carter, H. Smith, Rigdon, JS, Bosley, Olney, Knight, G. Carter, Harlow Redfield, Cahoon, Hilman, Harvey Redfield, Gould, Hedlock, Hampton, Tanner, Johnson, Young, Badlam Sr., Packard, Cheney, W. Smith, Newcomb, Beman, Sherman, Perry, Barney, Decker, and J. Butterfield
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 16 April 1839
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1838, the mercantile firm of Halsted, Haines & Co. initiated a lawsuit against the , Ohio, mercantile firm of (consisting of partners , , and ) for an unpaid debt. At some point by fall 1836, Kirtland merchant introduced Cahoon, Carter, and Smith as well as JS and his mercantile partners, and , to his business contacts in New York, a connection that allowed them to buy more goods on credit than their new ventures would otherwise have allowed. The firm of Cahoon, Carter & Co. purchased goods from Halsted, Haines & Co. on 11 October 1836 and provided a promissory note for $6,162.23 payable in six months. The mercantile firm in which JS was a partner, , also purchased goods on credit during this business trip.
Because ’s note remained unpaid, the merchants hired the , Ohio, law firm Perkins & Osborn to litigate the debt and provided the law firm the overdue note in July 1837. On 1 September, went to to renegotiate this and other debts owed by Cahoon, Carter & Co. and by to Halsted, Haines & Co. and three other New York wholesale merchants: Mead & Betts, John A. Newbould, and Holbrook & Ferme. The renegotiation resulted in Cahoon, Carter & Co. dividing its original debt to Halsted, Haines & Co. into three payments and creating three promissory notes due in one, one and a half, and two years, respectively. These three notes were then cosigned by thirty Latter-day Saints living in Kirtland, including JS and . The first note, for $2,251.77, was due in September 1838.
When no payment was made in September 1838, created a statement of account in October listing the debts owed by and to the four wholesale merchants that Perkins & Osborn was representing in . Later that month, Perkins & Osborn began a lawsuit on behalf of Halsted, Haines & Co. to reclaim the debt on the first of the 1 September 1837 notes, bringing an action of against Cahoon, Carter & Co. and the cosigners on the note, including JS. By the time a summons was issued on 15 October 1838, most Latter-day Saints had relocated to , and the only signers of the promissory note still in the area were , William Foster, and church financial agent . In the declaration, Perkins & Osborn claimed $3,000 in damages. When the case was brought to court in April 1839, no representatives for the defendants appeared, so Judge ruled that the defendants had defaulted. Humphrey then required Granger and the other signers to pay Halsted, Haines & Co. $2,337.35 in damages, plus court costs.
, likely unable to pay the judgment rendered by the court and concerned by the two other promissory notes still owed to Halsted, Haines & Co., looked for another option. In August 1839, Granger and attempted to arrange another compromise to satisfy the debts owed to Halsted, Haines & Co. and the three other wholesale merchants. In the process of these debts being consolidated, JS, through Granger, became the main source for repayment, even though JS had direct ties to only two of the four debts. The August 1839 agreements required that all four of the New York merchants accept the conditions. It is unclear if Halsted, Haines & Co. (or Holbrook & Ferme) accepted the proposed arrangement; the only surviving agreements are those signed by John A. Newbould and Mead & Betts. If the agreement with Halsted, Haines & Co. was similar to the two surviving ones, it allowed Granger to pay a portion of the debt in land and the remaining debt would be forgiven.
In March 1841, the Court of Common Pleas issued a writ directing the sheriff to seize land in order to satisfy the judgment in the case. Sheriff Erastus Spencer seized several pieces of land appraised at a total of $592. For several months, Spencer tried to sell the seized land at public auction. He was unable to find buyers until September 1841, when he sold the land to and William Halsted (one of the partners in Halsted, Haines & Co.). In May 1842, Spencer gave Howden and Halsted deeds for the land they had purchased.
In November 1841, the law firm Browning & Bushnell wrote to JS requesting payment on the second and third promissory notes, which were overdue but had not yet been litigated. JS responded in December that he would need more time to repay the notes but assured the attorneys that he had means in the eastern to do so. This may have included lands that had arranged to acquire from Latter-day Saints in Oswego County, New York, in exchange for land in . After Granger’s death in August 1841, JS and the Saints discovered that the ownership of the land in New York was unclear. Granger’s son , who had taken possession of lands held by his father as a church agent, proved unwilling to return deeds, promissory notes, and other financial records in his father’s possession to JS. This left JS unable to use the New York land to repay the merchants as the elder Granger may have arranged.
JS petitioned for bankruptcy in April 1842, and he included the debt he owed Halsted, Haines & Co. in the schedule of debts he created as part of his application. However, JS’s bankruptcy was unresolved at the time of his death. The judgment owed on the first note, as well as the debts on the second and third promissory notes given to Halsted, Haines & Co., were included in the claims filed against JS’s estate.
In 1867, the law firm of Roys & Haines of Leavenworth, Kansas, sent a collection notice to the Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, banking firm of Nounnan Orr & Co. in an effort to collect the outstanding Halsted, Haines & Co. notes signed by JS, , and other prominent church leaders. This prompted Young, who was now president of the church, to send —who had taken over ’s responsibilities as church agent in the eastern —to to consult with on the status of the church’s old debts. The promissory notes had been signed thirty years earlier and were therefore no longer subject to litigation. It is unclear whether the debts were ever resolved.
 
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.
 
  • 1836 (1)
  • 1837 (3)
    • September (3)
      1 September 1837

      Jared Carter and Others (Including JS), Promissory Note, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, to Halsted, Haines & Co., New York City, New York Co., NY, 1 Sept. 1837–A

      • 1 Sept. 1837; private possession; photocopy at CHL; handwriting of William Perkins; signatures of JS and 32 others.
      • Before 1867. Not extant.
      • Ca. 1867; Brigham Young Office, Halsted, Haines & Co. File, 1867, CHL; handwriting of Thomas W. Ellerbeck.
      1 September 1837

      Jared Carter and Others (Including JS), Promissory Note, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, to Halsted, Haines & Co., New York City, New York Co., NY, 1 Sept. 1837–B

      • 1 Sept. 1837; handwriting probably of William Perkins; probable signatures of JS and 32 others. Not extant.
      • Before 1867. Not extant.
      • Ca. 1867; Brigham Young Office, Halsted, Haines & Co. File, 1867, CHL; handwriting of Thomas W. Ellerbeck.
      1 September 1837

      Jared Carter and Others (Including JS), Promissory Note, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, to Halsted, Haines & Co., New York City, New York Co., NY, 1 Sept. 1837–C

      • 1 Sept. 1837; handwriting probably of William Perkins; probable signatures of JS and 32 others. Not extant.
      • Before 1867. Not extant.
      • Ca. 1867; Brigham Young Office, Halsted, Haines & Co. File, 1867, CHL; handwriting of Thomas W. Ellerbeck.
 
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas