Certificate from Elias Higbee, 9 July 1838
, Certificate, , MO, to JS, , and , 9 July 1838; one page; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.Blue bifolium measuring 10 × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was folded for filing and was docketed. The document was presumably placed with JS’s other papers after it was received and has remained in continuous institutional custody.
On 9 July 1838, Judge wrote a certificate for JS, , and , affirming that stolen goods had been recovered and verified as belonging to the three men and were thus being returned to them. Higbee was the presiding judge of as well as a member of the in , Missouri. He stated in the certificate that the goods were “stolen or embezelled” from the men; were found in the possession of , who was an in the church; and were seized from him. Neither the certificate nor other extant documents provide details about the circumstances of the theft, the search warrant mentioned in the document, or the seizure of the goods. The language of the certificate closely follows that of the statute for recovering and returning “stolen or embezzled” goods. When an individual could produce “satisfactory proof of the title” to recovered property in the custody of a magistrate, the property would “be delivered to” the rightful owner after the owner paid “the necessary expenses incurred” by the magistrate in preserving the property. The magistrate would also issue a certificate documenting the transaction. Higbee presumably produced the document in Caldwell County, his judicial jurisdiction, and most likely in Far West, the county seat. The certificate was apparently delivered to JS and the others in conjunction with the return of the goods.
Nauvoo, IL. Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.
The Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri, Revised and Digested by the Eighth General Assembly, During the Years One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four, and One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five. Together with the Constitutions of Missouri and of the United States. 3rd ed. St. Louis: Chambers and Knapp, 1841.