Introduction to State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A, State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus, State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus, and State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 27 June 1844
 
State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 12 June 1844
 
State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 13 June 1844
 
State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 17 June 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In June 1844, JS appeared in a series of legal proceedings relating to the state of ’s efforts to prosecute him and other Latter-day Saints for their roles in the destruction of the press of the Nauvoo Expositor. This newspaper was edited by and published by , , , , , , and . Most of these individuals were former members of the church, and all of them were opposed to JS. The first and only issue of the paper was published on 7 June 1844 in , Illinois. It criticized JS in his capacity as a civic and religious leader, calling for the repeal of the legislative act that incorporated the city of Nauvoo—commonly known as the —and a reformation of the church.
On 8 and 10 June 1844, JS met with the City Council to deliberate the best course of action regarding the Expositor. Referencing English legal commentator William Blackstone and a provision in the Nauvoo charter, the city council declared on 10 June that the paper was a nuisance that needed to be abated to maintain the public peace. JS, as mayor, then issued an order to city marshal to destroy the press and scatter the type in the street. JS issued a second order for acting major general to muster the to support Greene. That night around eight o’clock, Greene led a posse of approximately one hundred men and executed the order.
 
State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A
On 11 June, one of the proprietors of the Expositor, , filed a complaint before , Illinois, justice of the peace , who lived in , Illinois. Higbee, who witnessed the demolition of the press, alleged in the complaint that JS and seventeen other men had “unlawfully & with force” destroyed the press of the Expositor. The order of names in the complaint suggests that Higbee was targeting two groups of men. In the first group were JS and four other members of the city council—alderman , city councilors and , and city councilor pro tempore . Another acting member of the city council, , who voted to approve the 10 June resolution, was listed with the second group—which was composed of individuals who evidently assisted in executing the mayor’s orders: , , , , , , , , , , , and .
Based on the complaint, issued a warrant the same day stating that the named men “with force & violence broke into the printing office of the Nauvoo Expositor, and unlawfully & with force burned & destroyed the printing press, type & fixtures of the same.” The warrant classified their actions as a , which law defined as “an unlawful act” performed by two or more people “with force or violence against the person or property of another, with or without a common cause of quarrel.” The law also indicated that “a lawful act” could constitute a riot, if performed “in a violent and tumultuous manner.” Conviction resulted in a fine of up to $200 or imprisonment of up to six months. Although the warrant did not explicitly state it, Morrison may have viewed JS and the four other members of the city council who did not physically participate in the destruction of the press as accessories to the riot. If convicted, accessories under Illinois law received the same punishment as principals.
On 12 June, constable served the warrant by arresting JS in . Bettisworth intended to take JS to for a preliminary examination before . JS, however, feared that his life was in danger in Carthage—the county seat and a nexus for antagonism against the church. He therefore declined to accompany Bettisworth to Carthage and sought a legal remedy within the safety of Nauvoo. Noting that the warrant allowed Bettisworth to take the individuals named therein before Morrison “or some other justice of the Peace” in the county, JS asked to be taken before , a justice of the peace who lived in Nauvoo and was a member of the church. According to , Bettisworth insisted that JS was required to appear before Morrison and “seemed very wrathy.”
 
State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus
In response, JS sought a writ of from the Nauvoo Municipal Court. Although reportedly later claimed that JS “had resisted the law” during the arrest, the constable nevertheless allowed him to prepare a petition for the writ. The petition gave three arguments justifying JS’s request for a writ of habeas corpus: First, ’s warrant was defective because it did not “disclose sufficently” the crime with which JS was charged. Second, was motivated to make his complaint by malice toward JS and was part of “a conspiracy against” JS’s life. Third, JS was not guilty of riot and was requesting the municipal court to investigate the merits of the charge against him. , clerk of the Nauvoo Municipal Court, granted the petition by issuing a writ of habeas corpus, which was directed to and commanded Bettisworth to produce JS before the municipal court. Greene served the writ on Bettisworth, who subsequently brought JS before the court.
On 12 June, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, associate justices , , , , and , with acting as president pro tempore of the court in JS’s place, convened at the to review the legality of JS’s detention. The court first reviewed the legal basis of the city council’s resolution to declare the Expositor a nuisance. The justices then heard witnesses who described the orderly manner in which the press had been destroyed. In addition, several witnesses testified regarding threats allegedly made by against JS and others in . Higbee evidently was not present at the hearing. The court ruled that JS “had acted under proper authority” in ordering the destruction of the press, that his orders “were excuted in an orderly. & judices [judicious] manner. without noise or tumult,” and that JS should “be honorably discharged from the accusati[o]ns and of the writ.” The court further held that Higbee had instituted “a malices prosecution” against JS and should pay the $22.12½ costs of the habeas corpus proceedings.
 
State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus
The next day, 13 June 1844, JS presided as chief justice of the municipal court over habeas corpus proceedings for his codefendants. Early that morning, arrested eight of the other men named in the warrant—, , , , , , , and . The defendants submitted a petition for habeas corpus to the municipal court, arguing that they were not guilty of riot. The petition further asserted that ’s complaint was motivated by malice, revenge, and a desire to bring a mob against . After receiving the petition, issued the writ of habeas corpus. One of the defendants, Huntington, acting in his capacity as a high constable of Nauvoo, served the writ on Bettisworth and brought the constable and the prisoners before the court. Subsequently, one of Bettisworth’s deputies, possibly physician Thomas Barnes of , arrested an additional eight men named in the warrant—, , , , , , , and . After the petition for habeas corpus was amended to include their names, Richards accordingly revised the writ of habeas corpus, and these additional defendants were also brought into the court.
The proceedings commenced at nine o’clock in the morning in the . JS was joined by associate justices , , , , and . city attorney represented the defendants. The justices heard a few documents read into evidence, including the city council’s resolution declaring the Expositor a nuisance and JS’s two orders for the abatement of the press. gave a statement about the defendants’ right to habeas corpus, after which two witnesses, Addison Everett and James Jackson, testified regarding the orderly and quiet manner in which the defendants carried out the order to destroy the press. evidently was not present at the hearing. JS and the court then “honorably discharged [the prisoners] from the accusations and arrest.” The justices also held that Higbee had instituted the suit out of malice and ordered him to pay the court costs.
 
State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B
Meanwhile, the church’s antagonists held public meetings in , Illinois, and in to pass resolutions expressing outrage against city authorities for the destruction of the Expositor and for the Nauvoo Municipal Court’s perceived interference in the legal process. JS’s antagonists called for volunteers to assemble as a on 19 June 1844 to help arrest him. Armed men began threatening Latter-day Saints living in Nauvoo’s countryside and outlying settlements. On 16 June 1844, Judge of ’s fifth judicial circuit, which included , visited Nauvoo in an attempt to defuse the situation. noted in JS’s journal that Thomas counseled JS and his codefendants to “go before some Jusstice of the peace” for an examination, which “would allay all excitement or cut off all legal pretext for a mob.” Thomas promised that after they did so, he would order the church’s opponents to keep the peace. Although the judge evidently meant that JS should go before , the justice who had issued the original warrant, JS interpreted Thomas’s counsel to mean that the accused could appear before any justice of the peace who had jurisdiction over the alleged crime.
On 17 June 1844, , a city alderman and justice of the peace, agreed to hear the case. Although Wells was a member of the Nauvoo City Council, he was ill on 10 June and therefore was not present when the council passed the resolution declaring the Expositor a nuisance. In addition, Wells was not a member of the church and the accused may have hoped that, outside of Nauvoo, he would be perceived as a neutral arbiter. Rather than interfere with another justice’s process, Wells opted to initiate new proceedings against the defendants. Latter-day Saint filed a complaint before Wells on 17 June alleging that “on or about the 10th day of June, 1844,” the accused men committed a riot in Nauvoo when they “forcibly” entered the Expositor printing office, seized “with force of arms a printing press, types and paper, together with other property” that belonged to the paper’s proprietors, and broke and burned “the same in the streets.” Based on the complaint, Wells issued a warrant for JS and sixteen other men who allegedly participated in the riot. The list of men named in Wells’s warrant was nearly identical to the one in ’s warrant.
constable arrested the defendants and brought them before , apparently on his farm in eastern , during the early afternoon on 17 June. As a justice of the peace, Wells had authority to hold a preliminary examination to “inquire into the truth or probability of the charge.” After reviewing the evidence, the justice could either send the case to the circuit court or discharge the defendants. served as the prosecuting attorney, while Nauvoo city attorney represented the defendants.
The prosecution called five witnesses. Three of them testified regarding the violent nature of the posse’s seizure of the press and destruction of it in the street in an effort to establish that the action constituted a riot under law. The other two witnesses—the complainant, , and city councilor —testified about the city council’s resolution regarding the Expositor in an attempt to demonstrate that JS and the other city council members named in the complaint were accessories to the riot. JS interrupted Warrington’s testimony by arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to try the city council’s official actions. held that the defendants were being tried “in their individual capacities, and could not be recognized by the court to their official capacity.” Warrington responded by stating that “all he heard the prisoner say, was said as councillors” and concluded without saying more.
The defense then called six witnesses, including again, each of whom testified that the posse had destroyed the press in an orderly manner and that no property other than the press and its fixtures had been destroyed. In addition, read into evidence the resolution and the mayor’s orders. After the testimony closed, discharged the defendants. The published trial report appeared in an extra issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor dated 21 June 1844.
 
State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A (Continued)
The discharges by the Municipal Court and by failed to satisfy JS’s opponents or state officials that the needs of the law had been met. Illinois governor arrived in on 21 June, organized the state militia under his command, and assessed the increasingly volatile situation. After receiving reports from both the Latter-day Saints and their antagonists, Ford informed JS on 22 June that he had concluded that the destruction of the press of the Expositor—which Ford, a former Illinois Supreme Court justice, considered “a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people”—was the root cause of the difficulties. In addition, Ford declared that the attempt by the accused to address the riot charge before the Nauvoo Municipal Court, rather than before , further exacerbated the situation. Ford concluded that JS and the others needed to submit to arrest by and appear before Morrison. The governor promised that he would ensure their safety.
JS, doubtful about his security in despite the governor’s assurances, seriously considered leaving and seeking assistance from the federal government. In the early morning of 23 June, he crossed the and went to , but after messengers from Nauvoo urged him to reconsider, he returned to Nauvoo that evening. He informed via letter that he would comply with the governor’s demands. Accompanied by others named in ’s 11 June warrant, JS arrived in Carthage close to midnight on 24 June.
The following morning, detained JS and fourteen Latter-day Saints on the riot charge. The constable subsequently arrested JS and for , a charge evidently stemming from JS’s mustering of the Nauvoo Legion and declaration of martial law on 19 June. At four o’clock in the afternoon on 25 June, JS and the other defendants appeared for a preliminary examination, not before , but before Robert Smith, another justice of the peace and the commander of the Carthage Greys, the militia unit charged with guarding the prisoners. It is unknown why Morrison did not preside over the proceedings. , one of the proprietors of the Expositor, served as the prosecuting attorney, while the defendants were represented by and , attorneys from . Higbee requested an adjournment, perhaps because , the complainant, was not present. After some discussion between the attorneys, Justice Smith held that there was probable cause to believe that the defendants had committed a riot in the destruction of the press and ordered that they enter into $500 recognizances binding them to appear at the October 1844 term of the circuit court for trial. JS and Hyrum Smith were murdered while in jail on 27 June 1844, so criminal proceedings against them naturally terminated. However, at the October 1845 term of the Hancock County Circuit Court, a jury acquitted eleven men who had been indicted for their alleged roles in the destruction of the press.
 
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

    “Preamble,” Nauvoo Expositor, 7 June 1844, [1]–[2]; “Introductory,” Nauvoo Expositor, 7 June 1844, [2]–[3].  

  2. 2

    Minutes, 8 June 1844; Minutes, 10 June 1844; Resolution, 10 June 1844; Blackstone, Commentaries, vol. 2, bk. 3, pp. 4, 170; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840. During the early years of the United States, unpopular newspaper presses were regularly destroyed, although through extralegal rather than legal means. (See Oaks, “Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor,” 862–903; and Kielbowicz, “Law and Mob Law in Attacks on Anti-Slavery Newspapers,” 559–600.)  

    Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the Laws of England: In Four Books; with an Analysis of the Work. By Sir William Blackstone, Knt. One of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas. In Two Volumes, from the Eighteenth London Edition. . . . 2 vols. New York: W. E. Dean, 1840.

    Oaks, Dallin H. “The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor.Utah Law Review 9 (Winter 1965): 862–903.

    Kielbowicz, Richard B. “The Law and Mob Law in Attacks on Anti-Slavery Newspapers, 1833–1860.” Law and History Review 24, no. 3 (Fall 2006): 559–600.

  3. 3

    Mayor’s Order to City Marshal, 10 June 1844; Military Order to Jonathan Dunham, 10 June 1844; JS, Journal, 10 June 1844.  

  4. 4

    “Meeting of the Bar,” Warsaw (IL) Signal, 5 May 1849, [1]. Although the complaint is apparently not extant, Morrison summarized it in the warrant he issued the same day for the arrest of JS and the other men named therein. (Warrant, 11 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A].)  

    Warsaw Signal. Warsaw, IL. 1841–1853.

  5. 5

    Warrant, 11 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]; An Act relative to Criminal Jurisprudence [26 Feb. 1833], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 220, sec. 117.  

    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.

  6. 6

    Illinois law defined an accessory as someone “who stands by and aids, abets, or assists; or who not being present aiding, abetting, or assisting, hath advised and encouraged the perpetration of the crime. He or she, who thus aids, abets, or assists, advises, or encourages, shall be deemed and considered as principal, and punished accordingly.” The question of whether JS and the other city councilors could be tried as accessories for the destruction of the press was discussed at legal proceedings related to the riot charge held before Nauvoo alderman and justice of the peace Daniel H. Wells on 17 June 1844. (An Act relative to Criminal Jurisprudence [26 Feb. 1833], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 201, sec. 13; Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B].)  

    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

    JS, Journal, 12 June 1844.  

  8. 8

    See Warsaw (IL) Signal, Extra, 14 June 1844, [1].  

    Warsaw Signal. Warsaw, IL. 1841–1853.

  9. 9

    Clayton, Journal, 12 June 1844; Warrant, 11 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]. According to Clayton, JS also asserted that appearing before Johnson was the defendants’ “privilege allowed by the Statute.” It is uncertain whether JS was aware that the Illinois statute governing arrests contained an additional clause not included in the warrant, stating that the arresting officer should bring the detained individual “before the officer issuing said warrant, or in case of his absence, before any other judge or justice of the peace” of the county. (An Act to Regulate the Apprehension of Offenders, and for Other Purposes [6 Jan. 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 238, sec. 3, italics added; see also Oaks, “Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor,” 864n11.)  

    Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

    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.

    Oaks, Dallin H. “The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor.Utah Law Review 9 (Winter 1965): 862–903.

  10. 10

    Events of June 1844; Petition, 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus].  

  11. 11

    Petition, 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus].  

  12. 12

    Habeas Corpus, 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]. The November 1842 ordinance directed that petitions be submitted to the municipal court clerk when the court was not in session and that the clerk issue the writ. (Ordinance, 14 Nov. 1842.)  

  13. 13

    Bettisworth arrested JS on 12 June 1844 and waited until the following day to detain the other men named in the warrant, as evidenced by three return notations that Bettisworth inscribed, with assistance from Richards, on the copy of the warrant attached to the petition; Bettisworth signed each return. (Petition, 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]; Warrant, 11 June 1844, William Clayton Copy [State of IL v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus and State of IL v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].)  

  14. 14

    Clayton, Journal, 12 June 1844; Docket Entry, ca. 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Aug. 1842, 98–99. JS, as the petitioner, recused himself from his duties as chief justice, but Samuel Bennett did not, even though he was one of JS’s codefendants, having been named in Morrison’s warrant. (Warrant, 11 June 1844, William Clayton Copy [State of IL v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus and State of IL v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].)  

    Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

  15. 15

    The court reviewed the addendum to the Nauvoo charter that gave the city council power “to declare what shall be a nuisance, and to prevent and remove the same.” The justices then examined the city council’s 10 June 1844 resolution declaring the Expositor a nuisance and JS’s orders to the city marshal and the Nauvoo Legion to abate the nuisance. (Docket Entry, ca. 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840; see also Resolution, 10 June 1844; Mayor’s Order to Nauvoo City Marshal, 10 June 1844; and Military Order to Jonathan Dunham, 10 June 1844.)  

  16. 16

    Although eighteen witnesses were sworn, scribes recorded substantive testimonies for only eleven men: Cyrus Canfield, William Clayton, Joseph Dalton, John Hughes, James Jackson, John McEwan, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Henry G. Sherwood, Leonard Soby, Theodore Turley, and John R. Wakefield. The scribes also recorded the names of Robert Cleft, Augustus A. Farnhorn, John Gleason, James Goff, John Kay, Joseph A. Kelting, and Augustus Stafford without accompanying testimonies. (Docket Entry, ca. 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus].)  

  17. 17

    Docket Entry, ca. 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]. The Nauvoo City Council passed an ordinance in 1842 that permitted the municipal court to determine whether the initial charges were motivated “through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Aug. 1842, 98.)  

  18. 18

    JS, Journal, 13 June 1844. Bettisworth wrote these names in a return notation on the copy of the 11 June 1844 warrant that was used during the municipal court proceedings held on 12 and 13 June. (Warrant, 11 June 1844, William Clayton Copy [State of IL v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus and State of IL v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].)  

  19. 19

    Petition, 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  20. 20

    Habeas Corpus, 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  21. 21

    Habeas Corpus, 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  22. 22

    Warsaw (IL) Signal, Extra, 14 June 1844, [1]; Thomas L. Barnes, Ukiah, CA, to Miranda Haskett, 1 Nov. 1897, photocopy, CHL. These names were written in the third return notation inscribed on the copy of the 11 June 1844 warrant used in the 12 and 13 June 1844 proceedings. (Warrant, 11 June 1844, William Clayton Copy [State of IL v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus and State of IL v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].)  

    Warsaw Signal. Warsaw, IL. 1841–1853.

    Barnes, Thomas L. Letter, Ukiah, CA, to Miranda Haskett, 1 Nov. 1897. Photocopy. CHL.

  23. 23

    Petition, 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus]; Habeas Corpus, 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus]. Jesse Harmon was the only defendant on the warrant not arrested by Bettisworth or a deputy.  

  24. 24

    JS, Journal, 13 June 1844.  

  25. 25

    Docket Entry, ca. 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].  

  26. 26

    Warsaw (IL) Signal, Extra, 14 June 1844, [1].  

    Warsaw Signal. Warsaw, IL. 1841–1853.

  27. 27

    William Clayton, Daily Account of JS’s Activities, 14–22 June 1844; Letter from Isaac Morley, 16 June 1844; Letter from John Smith, 16 June 1844; see also Letter to Isaac Morley, 16 June 1844; and Letter to John Smith, 17 June 1844.  

  28. 28

    JS, Journal, 16 June 1844. Later, on 20 June 1844, Thomas reportedly told Anson Call that JS had misunderstood his advice and wrote a note to JS counseling him “to suffer yourself to be taken by the officer holding the writ and go before the justice of the peace who issued the same and have an investigation of the matter.” (Call, Autobiography and Journal, 23–26.)  

    Call, Anson. Autobiography and Journal, ca. 1857–1883. CHL. MS 313.

  29. 29

    JS, Journal, 17 June 1844; “Affidavit of Hyrum Smith,” Times and Seasons, 1 Aug. 1842, 3:870–872; Wells, “Wells Family Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Jan. 1915, 5. Wells was elected to his second two-year term as an alderman on 6 February 1843. According to the city charter, aldermen “shall be conservators of the peace within the limits of said city, and shall have all the powers of Justices of the Peace therein, both in civil and criminal cases arising under the laws of the State.” (“City Election,” Wasp, 8 Feb. 1843, [2]; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840; “Municipal Election,” Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1841, 2:309; Record of Attendance of City Council, 10 Feb.–13 July 1844, 10 June 1844, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

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

    Wells, Junius F. “The Wells Family Genealogy.” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 6 (Jan. 1915): 1–16.

    The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.

    Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.

  30. 30

    JS, Journal, 17 June 1844. Apparently, neither Ware’s complaint nor Wells’s warrant is extant, but both documents are referenced in Wells’s published trial report, which lists Samuel Bennett, Joseph W. Coolidge, Jonathan Dunham, John P. Greene, Jesse Harmon, Jonathan Holmes, Dimick B. Huntington, John Lytle, Stephen Markham, Stephen Perry, William W. Phelps, Harvey Redfield, Levi Richards, Orrin Porter Rockwell, JS, Hyrum Smith, and John Taylor as defendants. The list in Wells’s warrant was identical to that included in Morrison’s 11 June 1844 warrant, except that it omitted William H. Edwards for unknown reasons. (Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B]; Petition to Nauvoo Municipal Court, 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus].)  

  31. 31

    JS, Journal, 17 June 1844; Clayton, Daily Account of JS’s Activities, 14–21 June 1844. According to an 1842 survey, Wells’s farm was located between Warrington’s Addition and Herringshaw and Thompson’s First Addition to Nauvoo. (See Hills, Map of the City of Nauvoo, 1842; and Nauvoo Plats, Blocks, and Lots, 27 June 1844.)  

    Hills, Gustavus. Map of the City of Nauvoo. New York: J. Child, 1842. CHL.

  32. 32

    An Act to Regulate the Apprehension of Offenders, and for Other Purposes [6 Jan. 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 238, sec. 3. If the justice decided to send the case to the circuit court, the defendants would be either admitted to bail or committed to jail until the court’s next session.  

    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.

  33. 33

    Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B]. Bonney was a merchant who had recently moved to Nauvoo and was one of three non-Latter-day Saints who were admitted to the Council of Fifty. It is unknown why he was selected to act as the prosecutor in this case, as he is not known to have had legal training. Stiles was appointed Nauvoo city attorney in mid-April 1844 and had represented the defendants in the riot case in the habeas corpus proceedings before the Nauvoo Municipal Court. (Council of Fifty, Minutes, 4 Apr. 1844; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 13 Apr. 1844, 207; Docket Entry, ca. 12 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]; Docket Entry, ca. 13 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. H. Smith et al. on Habeas Corpus].)  

  34. 34

    The trial report identified these witnesses as “H. O. Norton,” presumably Henry Norton; “O. F. Moesseur,” presumably Frederick Moeser; and “P. T. Rolfe,” presumably Tallman Rolfe. Norton and Rolfe testified that they were in the newspaper’s office when the posse arrived. Moeser, who owned a grocery store across the street from the Expositor office, testified that he observed the destruction from outside the office. (Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B]; Willard Richards, Minutes concerning Threats, 11 June 1844, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1860, CHL; Nauvoo, Illinois, 27 June 1844.)  

    Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.

  35. 35

    Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B]; Revised Minutes, 17 June 1844.  

  36. 36

    Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B].  

  37. 37

    Aside from Ware, the defense witnesses included John R. Wakefield and Edward Wingott, two visitors to Nauvoo who witnessed the destruction of the press. In addition, three Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo or nearby testified: Addison Everett, who witnessed the destruction of the press; Joel Miles, a Hancock County constable who also witnessed the press’s destruction; and Joseph W. Coolidge, one of the defendants whom Wells discharged and then allowed to testify. (Trial Report, 19–21 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–B]; JS, Journal, 17 June 1844.)  

  38. 38

    Ford did not mention the defendants’ attempt to address the charge before Wells, perhaps because he was not yet aware of it or had not fully considered its implications. (Letter from Thomas Ford, 21 June 1844; Letter from Thomas Ford, 22 June 1844; Ford, History of Illinois, 324.)  

    Ford, Thomas. A History of Illinois, from Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Containing a Full Account of the Black Hawk War, the Rise, Progress, and Fall of Mormonism, the Alton and Lovejoy Riots, and Other Important and Interesting Events. Chicago: S. C. Griggs; New York: Ivison and Phinney, 1854.

  39. 39

    Letter to Thomas Ford, 22–23 June 1844; Willard Richards, Journal Excerpt, 23–27 June 1844; Events of June 1844; JS History, vol. F-1, 147; Clayton, Journal, 23 June 1844; Letter to Thomas Ford, 23 June 1844.  

    Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

  40. 40

    Richards, Journal, 24 June 1844.  

    Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, boxes 1–2.

  41. 41

    Aside from JS, Bettisworth noted that he arrested Joseph W. Coolidge, Jonathan Dunham, John P. Greene, Jesse Harmon, Jonathan Holmes, Dimick B. Huntington, John Lytle, Stephen Markham, Stephen Perry, William W. Phelps, Harvey Redfield, Levi Richards, Hyrum Smith, and John Taylor. Samuel Bennett, William H. Edwards, and Orrin Porter Rockwell, the other men named in Morrison’s 11 June warrant, were evidently not in Carthage. (Warrant, 11 June 1844 [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A].)  

  42. 42

    See Introduction to State of Illinois v. JS and H. Smith for Treason.  

  43. 43

    Willard Richards mistakenly listed Orrin Porter Rockwell as being among those who entered into recognizances on 25 June 1844, but according to William Clayton, Rockwell was in Nauvoo that day, “whipping F. M. Higbee,” presumably referring to a physical altercation. An 1845 Illinois justice of the peace manual indicated that “excessive bail ought not to be required, though what bail shall be called excessive must be left, in a great measure, to the justice to determine on considering the circumstances of the case.” In the event of a conviction, the upper limit of the fine for committing a riot was $200, less than half of the amount Smith set for the prisoners’ recognizances. (Richards, Journal, 25 June 1844; Clayton, Journal, 25 June 1844; Recognizance, 25 June 1844–A [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]; Recognizance, 25 June 1844–B [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]; Recognizance, 25 June 1844–C [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]; Recognizance, 25 June 1844–D [State of Illinois v. JS et al. for Riot–A]; Cotton, Treatise on the Powers, 57; An Act relative to Criminal Jurisprudence [1 July 1833], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 22, sec. 117.)  

    Richards, Willard. Journals, 1836–1853. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, boxes 1–2.

    Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

    Cotton, Henry G. A Treatise on the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace in the State of Illinois, with Practical Forms. Ottawa, IL: By the author, 1845.

    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.

  44. 44

    The prosecution evidently decided not to indict members of the Nauvoo City Council and instead focused on men who allegedly executed the order to destroy the press. The indicted defendants were Andrew Cahoon, Daniel Cahoon, Alpheus Cutler, Jonathan Dunham, William H. Edwards, Jesse Harmon, Jonathan Holmes, John Lytle, Stephen Markham, Stephen Perry, and Orrin Porter Rockwell. Although the grand jury submitted the indictment to the circuit court at the October 1844 term, the trial was not held until the October 1845 term. (Indictment, ca. 22 Oct. 1844 [State of Illinois v. Perry et al.]; Docket Entry, Verdict, 23 Oct. 1845 [State of Illinois v. Perry et al.]; Clayton, Journal, 23 Oct. 1844.)  

    Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.