Introduction to City of Nauvoo v. Clements and N. Tanner

Document Transcript

City of Nauvoo v. Clements and N. Tanner
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 19 December 1842
 
Historical Introduction
On 17 December 1842, Adah Winchell Clements filed a complaint before JS in the , Illinois, mayor’s court, accusing her husband, Albert, and of by “striking, dragging, pulling, and otherwise abusing” her. The cause of the altercation is uncertain, but Adah and Albert had been having marital difficulties. She also accused the two men of violating Nauvoo’s city ordinance concerning disorderly persons. When Albert Clements and Nathan Tanner were brought to trial, only the city ordinance was brought up, not the assault charge.
JS presided at the trial on 19 December. Nine witnesses testified, including Adah and three of ’s relatives. The court fined each of the defendants ten dollars and ordered Albert Clements to enter a of fifty dollars, guaranteeing that he would keep the peace for the next six months. Both Tanner and Albert Clements signed the recognizance, binding themselves to pay the money if Clements failed to keep the peace.
 
Related Case
 
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.

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Complaint, 17 Dec. 1842 [City of Nauvoo v. Clements and Tanner]; “Clements, Ada,” in Jenson, Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:688. Generally, a woman could not provide testimony against her husband in either civil or criminal cases; an exception was made if he was accused of assaulting her. (See Greenleaf, Treatise on the Law of Evidence, 1:384, sec. 334; 1:391–392, sec. 343.)  

    Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.

    Greenleaf, Simon. A Treatise on the Law of Evidence. 3 vols. Various publishers, 1842–1853.

  2. 2

    Less than two months after the trial, Adah and Albert Clements appeared before the Nauvoo high council and discussed friction between them: “The case was then investigated at length and it appearing that the grounds of difference between them were that sister Clements was not willing to abide the advise of her husband in some of his views in his temporal concerns &c the Council decided that it was her duty to be in subjection to her husband according to the scriptures & also gave him some instruction relative to his duty towards his wife.” (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 4 Feb. 1843, 29–30.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. Draft. CHL.

  3. 3

    The ordinance prohibited people from “indecent” behavior. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, An Ordinance concerning Vagrants and Disorderly Persons, 13 Nov. 1841, 31.)  

  4. 4

    Docket Entry, ca. 19 Dec. 1842 [City of Nauvoo v. Clements and Tanner]. State law provided that a person charged with assault was entitled to a trial by a jury of at least six jurors unless the defendant chose to dispense with their right, while violation of the city ordinance had no such provision. (See An Act to Extend the Jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace [1 May 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, pp. 414–415, sec. 1.)  

    The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.

  5. 5

    Docket Entry, ca. 19 Dec. 1842 [City of Nauvoo v. Clements and Tanner]. Albert and Henry Tanner were younger brothers of Nathan. It is unknown whether the John Tanner that testified was Nathan’s father or older brother. (John Tanner [1778–1850] and Lydia Stewart family tree, FamilySearch, accessed 28 Dec. 2018, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KWJ1-K2F.)  

    FamilySearch. Compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://familysearch.org.

  6. 6

    Docket Entry, ca. 19 Dec. 1842 [City of Nauvoo v. Clements and Tanner]. The ordinance allowed the court to assess a fine up to five hundred dollars. In contrast, the state statute, for assault and battery, allowed a fine of not less than three dollars and not more than one hundred dollars. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, An Ordinance concerning Vagrants and Disorderly Persons, 13 Nov. 1841, 31; An Act to Extend the Jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace [1 May 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, pp. 414–415, sec. 1.)  

    The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.

  7. 7

    Recognizance, 19 Dec. 1842 [City of Nauvoo v. Clements and Tanner]; see Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, An Ordinance Concerning Vagrants and Disorderly Persons, 13 Nov. 1841, 31.