Trial Report, between circa 12 and 20 June 1844, Draft [State of Illinois v. JS for Riot on Habeas Corpus]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Muncipal Court
State of Illinois)
City of )
Joseph Smith exparte on June 12, 1844.
This day came Joseph Smith and upon the reading and filing the petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus to be directed to one , constable of the county of to have forth with before the Municipal Court. of said the body of said Joseph Smith upon said writ of— Habeas Corpus. said writ was granted by the clerk.
Special Session June 12, 1844. 5. OClock <​P. M.​>
Present Alderman . . . . . and . associate Justices.
The Mayor being on trial. was appointed <​elected​> Prest. Pro. Tempore.
. Marshall made his return on the writ of Habeas Corpus the body of Joseph Smith in Court.
. made his return on the copy of the warrant which was attached to the petition. all of which are on file.— showing that said Joseph Smith was arrested— on a writ issued by J. P. on complaint of . 7th. section of Adenda of city ordinance read by Councillor Resolution of city council June 10th. 1844 declaring the printing Establishment of the [p. 1] Nauvoo Expositor a nuisance. read.
Mayors order to the to execute the same Lieut. Genls. order of June 10th. 1844 to to assist the to destroy said printing establishment.
sworn. said that the order of the was executed quiet and peaceably. no riot or disturbance. no noise no exultation. endeavoured to keep peace and silence, and the officers did the same. the two Companies under command of & , retired in perfect order, no exultation or shouting. marched in front of the and were dismissed.
. confirmed the statement of said the stated his authority and demanded the key of the building. which denied. and ordered the door to be forced and the press was broken and type pied in the street.
James Jackson. sworn. confirmed the statements of previous witnesses. heard the no noise. on opening the door. most of the confusion he heard was and his company throwing blackguard to the possie which they did not regard. saw the whole proceedings till they were dismissed. all was done in order, s blackguard was not answered to at all by the ranks. heard nothing said about shooting, heard some one damn the city authorities understood it was [p. 2] , was a stranger in the place
John Kay, Robert Cleft, a. a. Fairnhorn [August A. Farnhorn]. . Augustus Stoffered [Stafford], . John Glason sworn. . said <​Confirmed​> the statements of previous witnesses. Pullin called for and the officer commanded silence. ’s threats have been lavish towards Genl. Smith and for a long time,— has threatened injury upon them and the property of the Smiths,— his conspiraces and threats have not been a little.
. sworn. some three or four weeks— ago— said said he would go his death against Joseph Smith and . said I know my course is wrong but if I stop I shall get hell and if I go on I shall get only hell,— and would do what he intended, at the risque of his life,— and would destroy the General if possible,— said the council had ordered the press destroyed, and who lays his hand on the press it is death to them, has frequently heard tell lies about the General— to injure his character.
John Heughs. Said <​Joseph​> Daton. & Jas. Goff. <​sworn​>
John Heughs. Said. said by God all I want to live for is to see this sink down to the lowest hell and by God it shall. Just previous to the s arriving. on the 10th. inst
. said. 2 Years this June,— [p. 3] confessed he was concerned with in his iniquity and had a bad disorder, Said he knew his character was ruined.— from time to time since that witness knew had been threatening Genl. Smiths character, and property
. said he heard threaten to shoot Genl. Smith at s Store, said the destinies of this people is this day sealed in the archives of heaven— and there shall not be left one stone upon another of <​on​> that .
John P. Mc.Ewan, <​Sworn​> said in reference to Joseph Smith God damn him, if I will shoot him, & God damn him. I will shoot him and all that pertains to him.— and before ten suns shall go over our heads the and shall all be destroyed and it will be the total downfall of this Community
. sworn. said he would never let things go till he had accomplished the downfall of General Smith that he did not value his life to produce the downfall of Gen. Smith
Joseph Dalton. said if they laid their hands upon the press from that hour they might date their downfall that ten suns should not roll over their heads till the was destroyed. [p. 4]
Court decided that Joseph Smith had acted under proper authority in destroying the establishment of the Nauvoo Expositor, on the 10th. inst that his orders were executed in an orderly, and judicious manner, without noise, or tumult. that this was a malicious prosecution on the part of and that said pay the costs of suit, and that Joseph Smith be honorably discharged from the accusations and of the writ and go hence without day.
The above is a true synopsis of the trial of Joseph. Smith on , before the municipal Court of the city of June 12th 1844
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of said Cou[r]t at the city of this 20th day of June 1844.
Clerk M. C. C. [1/4 page blank] [p. 5]
Proceedings of the Municipal Court June 12th 1844.
Joseph Smith on [p. 6]


  1. new scribe logo

    Certification in handwriting of Willard Richards.  

  2. 1

    TEXT: Seal of the Nauvoo, Illinois, Municipal Court.  

  3. new scribe logo

    Docket in handwriting of Willard Richards.