Introduction to State of Illinois v. Eagle–A

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. Eagle–A
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, between 25 and circa 20 October 1841
 
Historical Introduction
In 1841, erected a building near the construction site in , Illinois, to transact business as both a grocery and a groggery. The business appeared to violate multiple city ordinances, including an ordinance on temperance, and extensive public disapproval of the business led to its closure. The vacant building attracted graffiti, so on 23 October 1841, JS presented a resolution on nuisance houses to the Nauvoo City Council. After extensive discussion, the council adopted the resolution, declared the building a nuisance, and ordered the Nauvoo Legion to destroy it the following Monday, 25 October. During the demolition , who had recently obtained an interest in the building and was opposed to its destruction, allegedly assaulted of the Nauvoo Legion.
After the altercation, filed a complaint with the mayor’s court and a warrant was issued for ’s arrest on charges of . Eight people, including JS, were called as witnesses; during the trial, Eagle was fined for contempt of court and six unidentified offenses. A jury of six men found Eagle guilty and fined him a total sixty-five dollars plus eight dollars in court costs.
At a city council meeting held 30 October, city attorney asked that the council remit the fine imposed on . JS was initially in favor, but after some discussion about the powers of the city council and the fine, JS reversed his position, expressing his support of the fine and the jury verdict. Later in the meeting, a petition by was presented to the council requesting it pay damages of $125 for the building destroyed at its order. Discussions continued at the council meeting held 1 November, but ultimately council members, including JS, voted not to pay the damages. ’s arguments evidently had some impact, however. Though the context is unclear, on 30 November Eagle received a receipt from the city for thirty dollars in damages. Eagle used this voucher to offset the fine he owed, which left him with a forty-three-dollar debt. The debt was handled in a separate civil action the same day. Although recorded the criminal and civil suits separately, the proceedings of the two cases were likely held concurrently.
 
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

    Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841 [State of Illinois v. Eagle–A]; “The Neusance,” Times and Seasons, 15 Nov. 1841, 3:599–600; Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841, 26. Nauvoo law prohibited selling liquor in small quantities. “An Ordinance in relation to Temperance,” passed by the city council on 15 February 1841, specified that, unless otherwise permitted by a physician, whiskey must be sold at least by the gallon and other spirits by a quart or more. Cahoon’s father, Reynolds Cahoon, was a prominent Latter-day Saint in Nauvoo and a member of the temple committee. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, An Ordinance in Relation to Temperance, 15 Feb. 1841, 8.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  2. 2

    “The Neusance,” Times and Seasons, 15 Nov. 1841, 3:599.  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  3. 3

    Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841, 25–26; “The Neusance,” Times and Seasons, 15 Nov. 1841, 3:599–600; see also Woodruff, Journal, 30 Oct. 1841.  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  4. 4

    Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841 [State of Illinois v. Eagle–A]. According to the docket entry for State of Illinois v. Eagle–A, Eagle and Cahoon jointly owned the building. John P. Greene noted that Eagle bought the building after he knew it had been declared a nuisance. (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 30 Oct. 1841, 29.)  

  5. 5

    Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841 [State of Illinois v. Eagle–A]. The fine was the sum total of thirty dollars for contempt of court and offenses and a thirty-five-dollar fine accompanying the jury’s verdict. Although Bennett neglected to record in his docket the exact date of the trial, it occurred sometime prior to the city council’s 30 October 1841 meeting, where the fine was discussed. (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 30 Oct. 1841, 28.)  

  6. 6

    Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 30 Oct. 1841, 28–30. The Nauvoo City Council had “Jurisdiction and authority over all Fines imposed by the City officers whether in retaining or remitting them.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 30 Oct. 1841, 26.)  

  7. 7

    Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 30 Oct. and 1 Nov. 1841, 30–34.  

  8. 8

    Docket Entry, ca. 30 Nov. 1841, State of Illinois v. Eagle [Nauvoo Mayor’s Ct.], Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 16.  

    Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book / Nauvoo, IL, Mayor’s Court. Docket Book, 1843. In Historian’s Office, Historical Record Book, 1843–1874, pp. 12–50. CHL. MS 3434.