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Introduction to State of Illinois v. Goddard et al. on Habeas Corpus

State of Illinois v. Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 4 February 1843
 
Historical Introduction
On 4 February 1843, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Stephen Goddard, , and William Riley. The hearing grew out of an incident on 2 February in which Josiah Simpson interrupted a choir practice in Nauvoo and had a confrontation with Goddard. That night Goddard had Simpson arrested, and the next day Simpson was convicted of assault in a trial before Justice of the Peace . In retaliation, Simpson filed a complaint before Nauvoo alderman and justice of the peace that accused Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley of “unlawfully assaulting and beating” him. Spencer issued a warrant on 3 February, and the following morning Constable James Flack arrested the three men.
After their arrest, —who had been present at the altercation—brought Goddard and to visit JS, who advised the accused men to obtain a writ of from the city’s municipal court. That same morning, following JS’s advice, Clayton prepared a petition for a writ of habeas corpus for the three men, and , the municipal court clerk, issued the writ commanding Flack to present the prisoners. In preparation for the hearing, he also issued an attachment to summon the municipal court justices and subpoenas for witnesses.
The court assembled that evening with JS presiding. , who in his role as justice of the peace had issued the warrant for Goddard, , and Riley, sat as an associate justice in the municipal court. Although the prosecuting and defense attorneys indicated their desire to adhere strictly to procedural issues surrounding the case, Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley indicated through their attorney that they “wished for an investigation” into the charge itself. The court heard testimony from ten witnesses. Simpson’s brother reportedly testified that Riley had “struck” Simpson—a claim that , who had witnessed the conflict, dismissed as “utterly false.” In contrast, Clayton testified that the defendants had merely defended themselves from Simpson’s attacks. At the conclusion of the testimony, the court—going beyond what was understood at common law to be permissible in cases—“acquitted” Cahoon and heard his testimony on behalf of the remaining defendants. Ultimately, the court remanded Goddard and Riley to custody to await trial and then ordered Goddard, Riley, and Simpson to pay the costs of the hearing. While Goddard and Riley paid at least a portion of their costs, Simpson did not, and an execution issued in April 1843 was unsuccessful in obtaining any property.
 
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. Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 4 February 1843
 
Historical Introduction
On 4 February 1843, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Stephen Goddard, , and William Riley. The hearing grew out of an incident on 2 February in which Josiah Simpson interrupted a choir practice in Nauvoo and had a confrontation with Goddard. That night Goddard had Simpson arrested, and the next day Simpson was convicted of assault in a trial before Justice of the Peace . In retaliation, Simpson filed a complaint before Nauvoo alderman and justice of the peace that accused Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley of “unlawfully assaulting and beating” him. Spencer issued a warrant on 3 February, and the following morning Constable James Flack arrested the three men.
After their arrest, —who had been present at the altercation—brought Goddard and to visit JS, who advised the accused men to obtain a writ of from the city’s municipal court. That same morning, following JS’s advice, Clayton prepared a petition for a writ of habeas corpus for the three men, and , the municipal court clerk, issued the writ commanding Flack to present the prisoners. In preparation for the hearing, he also issued an attachment to summon the municipal court justices and subpoenas for witnesses.
The court assembled that evening with JS presiding. , who in his role as justice of the peace had issued the warrant for Goddard, , and Riley, sat as an associate justice in the municipal court. Although the prosecuting and defense attorneys indicated their desire to adhere strictly to procedural issues surrounding the case, Goddard, Cahoon, and Riley indicated through their attorney that they “wished for an investigation” into the charge itself. The court heard testimony from ten witnesses. Simpson’s brother reportedly testified that Riley had “struck” Simpson—a claim that , who had witnessed the conflict, dismissed as “utterly false.” In contrast, Clayton testified that the defendants had merely defended themselves from Simpson’s attacks. At the conclusion of the testimony, the court—going beyond what was understood at common law to be permissible in cases—“acquitted” Cahoon and heard his testimony on behalf of the remaining defendants. Ultimately, the court remanded Goddard and Riley to custody to await trial and then ordered Goddard, Riley, and Simpson to pay the costs of the hearing. While Goddard and Riley paid at least a portion of their costs, Simpson did not, and an execution issued in April 1843 was unsuccessful in obtaining any property.
 
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.
 
  • 1843 (11)
    • February (10)
      3 February 1843

      Orson Spencer, Warrant, to any Hancock Co. Constable, for Stephen Goddard and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      4 February 1843

      Stephen Goddard and Others, Petition, to the Judges of the Nauvoo Municipal Court, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of William Clayton; signatures of Stephen Goddard, William Cahoon, and William Riley; notation and docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
      4 February 1843

      James Sloan, Habeas Corpus, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; manuscript form with manuscript additions in handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
      4 February 1843

      James Sloan, Attachment, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
      4 February 1843

      James Sloan, Subpoena, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for John Lambert and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, 4 Feb. 1843–A

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; manuscript form in handwriting of James Sloan with manuscript additions in handwriting of William Clayton, John D. Parker, and unidentified scribe; notation in handwriting of John D. Parker.
      4 February 1843

      James Sloan, Subpoena, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Samuel White and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, 4 Feb. 1843–B

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
      4 February 1843

      Stephen Goddard and Others, Affidavit, before James Sloan, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, 4 Feb. 1843–A

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; signatures of Stephen Goddard, William Cahoon, and William Riley; certification in handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
      4 February 1843

      William Clayton, Affidavit, before James Sloan, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, 4 Feb. 1843–B

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of William Clayton; certification in handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
      4 February 1843

      Costs, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
      Ca. 4 February 1843

      Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 4 Feb. 1843; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 17–19; handwriting of James Sloan; notations in handwriting of James Sloan.
    • April (1)
      26 April 1843

      James Sloan, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL

      • 26 Apr. 1843; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; notations in handwriting of John D. Parker.