Introduction to Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery

Document Transcript

Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 5 June 1837
 
Historical Introduction
On 15 June 1836, the firm of , which operated a store in , Ohio, bought $289.96 worth of goods from the mercantile firm of Gardner & Patterson, operated by merchants and . Twelve days later the firm of , another mercantile firm in the Kirtland area, purchased $280.94 worth of merchandise from Gardner & Patterson. In December 1836, individuals representing the two Latter-day Saint businesses gave Gardner & Patterson a promissory note—cosigned by JS—for $596.46, payable at the Bank of Geauga in January 1837.
JS and the other cosigners of the note failed to make the required payment, and at some point, Gardner & Patterson endorsed the unpaid note to and . The Pattersons then decided to sue to obtain payment; their attorneys, and , initiated an action in against JS and his cosigners. On 29 March 1837, the sheriff left copies of the court summons with the defendants, except , who could not be found. The plaintiffs then filed their declaration, or complaint, with the court for $800 damages. The court convened on 5 June 1837, but the defendants failed to appear. Judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs for $610.37 plus court costs.
On 29 March 1838, Sheriff was commanded to execute the judgment against JS and his codefendants. He proceeded to seize two parcels of land in belonging to . The Pattersons assigned their judgment to on the same day. received a writ of —a command to sell the property—on 23 April 1838, and subsequently gave notice of a public auction on 4 June for the properties taken at suit. Marks purchased the lands at auction and was given title to them. Court costs remained unpaid until 1843, when , for unknown reasons, paid the costs.
 
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

    Invoice and Letter, Gardner & Patterson to Cahoon, Carter & Co., 15 June 1836. Charles Gardner came to Buffalo, New York, in 1828. By 1832 he had gone into business with George Patterson. Gardner & Patterson were well-known merchants in Buffalo who imported and sold china, glass, mirrors, and earthenware. By 1836 they had extended their business as far west as Detroit, Michigan. (Smith, History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, 1:740; Directory for the City of Buffalo [1832], 75, 76, 97; “Patterson, Gardner and Mather,” Constantine [MI] Republican, 21 Dec. 1836, [4].)  

    Smith, H. Perry, ed. History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. 2 vols. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason, 1884.

    A Directory for the City of Buffalo; Containing the Names and Residence of the Heads of Families and Householders, in Said City, on the First of July 1832. To Which Is Added a Sketch of the History of the Village, from 1801 to 1832. Buffalo, NY: L. P. Crary, 1832.

    Constantine Republican. Constantine, MI. 1836–1838.

  2. 2

    Invoice and Letter, Gardner & Patterson to Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery, 27 June 1836.  

  3. 3

    Receipt, Gardner & Patterson to Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery, 14 Dec. 1836. The two debts add up to $570.90. Interest charges of $25.56 would account for the difference between the amount of debt and the joint promissory note. The close relationship between the two firms is also demonstrated by their joint debt to the New York mercantile firm of Mead, Stafford & Co. of over $4,000. They renegotiated their obligations using the Kirtland temple as security. (See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Mead, Stafford & Co., 11 July 1837.)  

  4. 4

    In April 1837, Sidney Rigdon identified three primary debts of the church. One of these was a debt of some $13,000 related to construction of the temple. Goods had been purchased for the workmen and sold to them; materials were purchased to build the temple. These debts remained unpaid. (“Anniversary of the Church of Latter Day Saints,” Messenger and Advocate, Apr. 1837, 3:488.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  5. 5

    In 1841, George Patterson was living at Washington and North Mohawk streets in Buffalo, New York, with John Patterson and Robert Patterson. John and Robert operated a hardware and cutlery business at 170 Main Street in Buffalo. (Graham, Crary’s Directory for the City of Buffalo [1841], 36, 150, 151.)  

    Graham, C. W., comp. Crary’s Directory for the City of Buffalo . . . Containing a List of Banks, Insurance Offices, Associations, Societies, &c. &c. with the Names, Residence and Occupation of the Heads of Families, Householders, &c. on the First of June, 1841. Buffalo, NY: Faxon & Read, 1841.

  6. 6

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery].  

  7. 7

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery]. In February 1837, Cowdery “moved to Michigan to serve on the board of directors for the Bank of Monroe.” He returned to Kirtland in April 1837, as he was elected as a justice of the peace for the city. (See Historical Introduction to Indenture from Warren A. Cowdery, 23 November 1836; Kirtland Township Trustees’ Minutes and Poll Book, 29 Apr. and 6 June 1837, pp. 153–154.)  

    Kirtland Township Trustees’ Minutes and Poll Book, 1817–1838. Lake County Historical Society, Painesville, OH.

  8. 8

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery]. Though the plaintiffs’ declaration appears to ask for multiple damages, each for $800, it was actually a single debt, expressed in different ways. This followed legal procedures of the times. (Swan, Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, 1:212–217; for further discussion, see Historical Introduction to Declaration to the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, 7 May 1838, in JSP, D6:137.)  

    Swan, Joseph R. The Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, in Ohio, and Precedents in Pleading, with Practical Notes; together with the Forms of Process and Clerks’ Entries. 2 vols. Columbus: Isaac N. Whiting, 1845.

    JSP, D6 / Ashurst-McGee, Mark, David W. Grua, Elizabeth Kuehn, Alexander L. Baugh, and Brenden W. Rensink, eds. Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. Vol. 6 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, and Matthew C. Godfrey. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2017.

  9. 9

    It is unknown why JS, Rigdon, and the other defendants who had been served failed to appear. This same day they apparently appeared in court for the trial of Hezekiah Kelley against them, which was also for a promissory note. (See Introduction to Kelley v. Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery.)  

  10. 10

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery].  

  11. 11

    The land had been purchased from Hiram Dayton in 1836. (See Deed from Hiram and Permelia Bundy Dayton, 13 Sep. 1836.)  

  12. 12

    Notice, 1 May 1838 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery].  

  13. 13

    Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery]. The property appraised for $773.70 and sold for $515.80.  

  14. 14

    Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 5 June 1837 [Patterson and Patterson v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. and Rigdon, Smith & Cowdery]. The firm Cahoon, Carter & Co. was party to or mentioned in several other legal proceedings for debt collection that involved JS: Cahoon, Carter & Co. for the use of JS v. Avery; Cahoon, Carter & Co. for the use of JS v. Draper; and Spencer v. Cahoon et al. For examples of cases that did not involve JS, see Transcript of Proceedings, 24 Oct. 1837, Newbold v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 364–366; Transcript of Proceedings, 3 Apr. 1838, Scribner v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1838], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 584–585; Transcript of Proceedings, 5 June 1837, Kelley v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Common Pleas Record, vol. U, pp. 100–101, microfilm 20,279, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Docket Entry, Costs, 3 Apr. 1838, Jonathan F. Scribner v. Cahoon et al. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1838], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. G, p. 355; and Docket Entry, Costs, 5 June 1837, Kelley v. Cahoon, Carter & Co. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Execution Docket, vol. G, p. 57, microfilm 20,286, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. Additionally, there is the case of Lowell Goodman v. Cahoon, Smith, and Carter, which is based on a 20 May 1835 contract and appears to predate their forming the company. (Transcript of Proceedings, 25 Oct. 1836, Goodman v. Cahoon, Smith, and Carter [Geauga Co. C.P. 1836], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Common Pleas Record, vol. S, pp. 438–440, microfilm 20,279, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.