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Introduction to State of Illinois v. Finch, State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus, and Davis v. JS et al.

State of Illinois v. Finch
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 23 November 1843
 
State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 24 November 1843
 
Davis v. JS, Spencer, and Greene
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 21 October 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In early 1844, initiated a civil suit against JS, , and in the circuit court of , Illinois. In the suit, Davis alleged that the three men had wronged him during the execution of their responsibilities as officials in the municipal court of , Illinois. Davis, a merchant and tavern keeper in Nauvoo, had joined the church in 1840, but in 1842 his relationship with JS and the church deteriorated. In March of that year, JS brought charges against Davis for his character. In September 1842, recorded a rumor in JS’s journal that the posse attempting to arrest JS for extradition to had used Davis’s tavern as a base of operations. Between 29 November and 6 December 1842, Davis was accused of violating several city ordinances and was tried in five cases in Nauvoo courts. JS participated in each of these cases as either mayor, , complainant, or witness. During the final case before JS, Davis testified that he believed JS to be “so prejudised against him that he Cannot have a fair and Impartial trial.” Nevertheless, Davis and JS avoided further conflict until November 1843.
 
State of Illinois v. Finch
In late November 1843, filed a complaint alleging that , a fellow merchant in the city, stole a clothes brush from him. Based on the complaint, justice of the peace issued a for Finch’s arrest. After a hearing, Higbee ordered Finch to pay $300 bail and appear at the next session of the county circuit court, to be held in May 1844, to answer the charge. Finch refused to pay the bail, so Higbee ordered him to await trial in the county jail.
 
State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus
On 23 November, before he could be conveyed to jail at , Illinois, petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . , clerk of the Nauvoo Municipal Court, issued the writ, and city marshal served it. When the Nauvoo Municipal Court, presided over by JS, met on 24 November 1843 to hear Finch’s case, it approved a motion to “proceed to trial on the merits of the cause.” After hearing witnesses, the court discharged Finch from arrest. Moreover, the court ordered to pay the costs of the case, as it was determined that he had instigated “a vexatious and malicious suit” against Finch.
On 15 December, issued a writ of to collect $24.30¼ from . Over the next month, newly appointed city marshal seized a horse, a buggy, a harness, and twenty-five bags of salt from Davis to pay the costs plus Greene’s own collection fees. The amount of property he seized to satisfy the execution considerably exceeded the costs. Greene appraised the salt he seized at over $30. Moreover, he valued the horse, buggy, and harness at just $5.31, although they were probably worth well over $100.
 
Davis v. JS, Spencer, and Greene
In February 1844, initiated a suit of against JS, , and in the county circuit court to recover $300 in damages. Davis appears to have based this action on the execution from the case, although it is unclear why Spencer, a alderman, was singled out while the other members of the municipal court were not. 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 most of the records related to this February 1844 case, including Davis’s declaration outlining his claims, are apparently not extant, the exact details of the case are unknown. However, both the request to issue the summons prepared by Davis’s attorneys and a subsequent notice to produce papers demanded that bring all the legal documents connected to the earlier case against Finch to the circuit court as part of Davis’s suit, indicating that the two cases were connected. In suing JS and the other defendants, Davis was either challenging Greene’s apparent exorbitant enforcement of the execution, making a broader objection to the municipal court’s jurisdiction in the case against Finch, or both.
Circuit Court deputy clerk issued a summons on 24 February 1844 ordering JS, , and to appear at the May 1844 term of the court to answer the charge. Constable and deputy sheriff served the summons on JS and Greene on 5 March 1844. When the case came to trial in May 1844, JS, Spencer, and Greene pleaded not guilty because, they argued, “the supposed trespasses were committed by the said defendants in the execution of a certain legal writ.” They likewise obtained a change of venue to neighboring , Illinois, with a court date set for October 1844. However, JS and Greene died before the case could again come to trial. In October 1844, the Hancock County Circuit Court dismissed the suit.
 
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.
State of Illinois v. Finch
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 23 November 1843
 
State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 24 November 1843
 
Davis v. JS, Spencer, and Greene
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 21 October 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In early 1844, initiated a civil suit against JS, , and in the circuit court of , Illinois. In the suit, Davis alleged that the three men had wronged him during the execution of their responsibilities as officials in the municipal court of , Illinois. Davis, a merchant and tavern keeper in Nauvoo, had joined the church in 1840, but in 1842 his relationship with JS and the church deteriorated. In March of that year, JS brought charges against Davis for his character. In September 1842, recorded a rumor in JS’s journal that the posse attempting to arrest JS for extradition to had used Davis’s tavern as a base of operations. Between 29 November and 6 December 1842, Davis was accused of violating several city ordinances and was tried in five cases in Nauvoo courts. JS participated in each of these cases as either mayor, , complainant, or witness. During the final case before JS, Davis testified that he believed JS to be “so prejudised against him that he Cannot have a fair and Impartial trial.” Nevertheless, Davis and JS avoided further conflict until November 1843.
 
State of Illinois v. Finch
In late November 1843, filed a complaint alleging that , a fellow merchant in the city, stole a clothes brush from him. Based on the complaint, justice of the peace issued a for Finch’s arrest. After a hearing, Higbee ordered Finch to pay $300 bail and appear at the next session of the county circuit court, to be held in May 1844, to answer the charge. Finch refused to pay the bail, so Higbee ordered him to await trial in the county jail.
 
State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus
On 23 November, before he could be conveyed to jail at , Illinois, petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of . , clerk of the Nauvoo Municipal Court, issued the writ, and city marshal served it. When the Nauvoo Municipal Court, presided over by JS, met on 24 November 1843 to hear Finch’s case, it approved a motion to “proceed to trial on the merits of the cause.” After hearing witnesses, the court discharged Finch from arrest. Moreover, the court ordered to pay the costs of the case, as it was determined that he had instigated “a vexatious and malicious suit” against Finch.
On 15 December, issued a writ of to collect $24.30¼ from . Over the next month, newly appointed city marshal seized a horse, a buggy, a harness, and twenty-five bags of salt from Davis to pay the costs plus Greene’s own collection fees. The amount of property he seized to satisfy the execution considerably exceeded the costs. Greene appraised the salt he seized at over $30. Moreover, he valued the horse, buggy, and harness at just $5.31, although they were probably worth well over $100.
 
Davis v. JS, Spencer, and Greene
In February 1844, initiated a suit of against JS, , and in the county circuit court to recover $300 in damages. Davis appears to have based this action on the execution from the case, although it is unclear why Spencer, a alderman, was singled out while the other members of the municipal court were not. 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 most of the records related to this February 1844 case, including Davis’s declaration outlining his claims, are apparently not extant, the exact details of the case are unknown. However, both the request to issue the summons prepared by Davis’s attorneys and a subsequent notice to produce papers demanded that bring all the legal documents connected to the earlier case against Finch to the circuit court as part of Davis’s suit, indicating that the two cases were connected. In suing JS and the other defendants, Davis was either challenging Greene’s apparent exorbitant enforcement of the execution, making a broader objection to the municipal court’s jurisdiction in the case against Finch, or both.
Circuit Court deputy clerk issued a summons on 24 February 1844 ordering JS, , and to appear at the May 1844 term of the court to answer the charge. Constable and deputy sheriff served the summons on JS and Greene on 5 March 1844. When the case came to trial in May 1844, JS, Spencer, and Greene pleaded not guilty because, they argued, “the supposed trespasses were committed by the said defendants in the execution of a certain legal writ.” They likewise obtained a change of venue to neighboring , Illinois, with a court date set for October 1844. However, JS and Greene died before the case could again come to trial. In October 1844, the Hancock County Circuit Court dismissed the suit.
 
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.
 
State of Illinois v. Finch, Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court
 
State of Illinois v. Finch on Habeas Corpus, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court
  • 1843 (7)
    • November (6)
      23 November 1843

      John Finch, Petition, to Nauvoo Municipal Court, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signature of John Finch; certification in handwriting of Willard Richards; docket and notation in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      23 November 1843

      Willard Richards, Habeas Corpus, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of William W. Phelps; witnessed by Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of William W. Phelps; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood; docket and notation in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      • 23 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting probably of John Finch; signature of Henry G. Sherwood; notation in handwriting of John D. Parker; docket and notation in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      23 November 1843

      Isaac Higbee, Mittimus, Copy, to Hancock Co. Jailer, for John Finch, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting probably of John Finch; docket and notation in handwriting of Willard Richards.
      24 November 1843

      Willard Richards, Subpoena, for Amos Davis and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
      24 November 1843

      Willard Richards, Attachment, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Elvira Davis, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; notation in handwriting of John D. Parker.
      23–ca. 24 November 1843

      Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23–ca. 24 Nov. 1843; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 89–90; handwriting of Willard Richards; notations in handwriting of Willard Richards.
    • December (1)
      15 December 1843

      Willard Richards, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 15 Dec. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Willard Richards; docket in handwriting of Willard Richards; endorsement in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood; endorsement and notations in handwriting of John P. Greene; notations in handwriting of Willard Richards.
 
Davis v. JS et al., Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court
  • 1844 (18)
    • February (6)
      Ca. 22 February 1844

      Bachman & Skinner and Chauncey L. Higbee, Praecipe, to Hancock Co. Circuit Court Clerk, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 22 Feb. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Onias Skinner; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      23 February 1844

      Bachman & Skinner and Chauncey L. Higbee, Praecipe, to Hancock Co. Circuit Court Clerk, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 Feb. 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court case files, 1830–1900, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Onias Skinner; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      24 February 1844

      David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Summons, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for JS and Others, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Feb. 1844; JS Collection, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; docket and notations printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; notation printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of John D. Parker; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      24 February 1844

      David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Subpoena, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for Chauncey L. Higbee and Others, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, 24 Feb. 1844–A

      • 24 Feb. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; docket printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; notation printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of William Backenstos; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      24 February 1844

      David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Subpoena, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for John D. Parker, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, 24 Feb. 1844–B

      • 24 Feb. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of David E. Head; docket in handwriting of David E. Head; notations in handwriting of William Backenstos; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      24 February 1844

      David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Subpoena, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for Willard Richards, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, 24 Feb. 1844–C

      • 24 Feb. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of David E. Head; docket in handwriting of David E. Head and William Backenstos; notation in handwriting of William Backenstos; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
    • April (1)
      9 April 1844

      Bachman & Skinner and Chauncey L. Higbee on behalf of Amos Davis, Notice, to JS and Others, Hancock Co., IL

      • 9 Apr. 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court case files, 1830–1900, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Chauncey L. Higbee; notation in handwriting of Chauncey L. Higbee with signature of David E. Head; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      • Ca. 13 Apr. 1844; JS Collection, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Thomas Bullock.
      • Ca. 13 Apr. 1844. Not extant.
      • Ca. 13 Apr. 1844. Not extant.
    • May (6)
      21 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Leave to Plead, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 21 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 88, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 22 May 1844

      Almon Babbitt on behalf of JS and Others, Pleas, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 22 May 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of Almon Babbitt; docket in handwriting of Chauncey L. Higbee; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      Ca. 22 May 1844

      Onias Skinner and Chauncey L. Higbee on behalf of Amos Davis, Demurrer, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 22 May 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      23 May 1844

      Jacob B. Backenstos, Attachment, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for John D. Parker and Willard Richards, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 May 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; docket in handwriting of handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; notation in handwriting of William Houck.
      23 May 1844

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

      • 23 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 118, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      23 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Motion and Change of Venue, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 23 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 122, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
    • August (2)
      6 August 1844

      Onias Skinner, Affidavit, before M. Avise on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 6 Aug. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; witnessed by M. Avise.
      Ca. 6 August 1844

      Onias Skinner on behalf of Amos Davis, Motion, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 6 Aug. 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; docket in handwriting of Onias Skinner; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
    • October (2)
      21 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Notification of Death and Dismissal, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 21 Oct. 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [171], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 21 October 1844

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

    • November (1)
      22 November 1844

      Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

  • 1845 (5)
    • February (2)
      Between 22 November 1844 and ca. 20 February 1845

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

      • Between 22 Nov. 1844 and ca. 20 Feb. 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [184], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting possibly of David E. Head.
      25 February 1845

      William Backenstos, Praecipe, to Hancock Co. Circuit Court Clerk, Hancock Co., IL

      • 25 Feb. 1845; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; handwriting of William Backenstos; docket and notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
    • March (1)
      29 March 1845

      Alias Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

    • July (2)
      Between 29 March and ca. 7 July 1845

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

      • Between 29 Mar. and ca. 7 July 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [252], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting possibly of David E. Head.
      Ca. 7 July 1845

      Docket Entry, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 7 July 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Judgment Docket, vol. B, p. 148, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting possibly of David E. Head.