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Introduction to Extradition of JS et al. for Treason and Other Crimes

Extradition of JS, Wight, Brown, Pratt, Rigdon, and Baldwin for Treason and Other Crimes
Warren Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 10 June 1841
 
Historical Introduction
In April 1839, grand juries in and counties, Missouri, indicted JS and dozens of other Latter-day Saint men for treason and other crimes allegedly committed during the 1838 conflict between church members and their antagonists in . Most of the men named in the indictments had likely already left the state in forced compliance with Missouri governor ’s October 1838 expulsion order, while JS and about ten other Latter-day Saint prisoners escaped state custody in spring and early summer 1839 and relocated to . Following the escapes, Boggs obtained certified copies of the indictments and related case documents, but for unknown reasons the governor did not immediately initiate proceedings to have the men extradited from Illinois to Missouri for trial.
An 1840 incident between residents of and evidently prompted to seek JS’s extradition. On 7 July 1840, a group of vigilantes from Tully, Missouri—a town approximately thirty miles southwest of , Illinois—abducted four Latter-day Saint men. The vigilantes carried their captives into Missouri, where they were beaten in an effort to coerce them into confessing that they had stolen about $2,000 in property from Tully. Following the kidnapping, two of the captives, Alanson Brown and , escaped or were otherwise permitted to return to Nauvoo, where they swore affidavits recounting their experience. Church members in Nauvoo petitioned Illinois governor to demand that Missouri officials apprehend and extradite the kidnappers to stand trial in Illinois. Carlin agreed to do so, sending an agent to meet with Governor Boggs in August 1840.
evidently agreed to honor ’s requisition on the condition that the governor would in turn apprehend and extradite JS, , Alanson Brown, , , and to answer charges from the 1838 conflict. In compliance with federal law, Boggs attached certified copies of the 1839 indictments for treason, burglary, and murder. The governor was apparently unaware that these indictments had been dismissed by the circuit courts, as it had become evident that the defendants were not going to appear for trial. Boggs’s agents met with Carlin in , Illinois, on 6 September 1840. The Illinois governor accepted the requisition and issued an arrest warrant for JS and the other named Latter-day Saints, in accordance with state law. Subsequently, Sheriff of , Illinois, attempted to serve the warrant in , but JS and the others had evidently been warned and the sheriff could not locate them. He returned the warrant unserved.
In early June 1841, while visiting , Illinois, on church business, JS visited at the governor’s residence. The governor made no mention during the meeting of the requisition or the unserved warrant and JS departed. On 5 June, Deputy Sheriff of , Illinois, arrested him on the original warrant at , Illinois, approximately thirteen miles north of Quincy. After returning to Quincy, JS secured from the Adams County Circuit Court a writ of habeas corpus, a common law remedy that allowed an authorized judge to review the legality of an arrest. That evening, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit agreed to hear the case on habeas corpus in the Warren County Circuit Court, which was scheduled to be in session the following week.
The hearing was held on 9–10 June 1841 in Monmouth, Illinois, the seat of Warren County. Although no legal records from the hearing have been located, newspapers, including the church’s Times and Seasons, published summaries of the proceedings. JS was represented by attorneys , , , , , and , while the state of Illinois was represented primarily by lawyers , Lincoln B. Knowlton, and Henry Jennings. During the first day of the hearing, JS’s attorneys attempted to introduce witnesses who would testify that the April 1839 treason indictment “was obtained by fraud, bribery, and duress.” Furthermore, the lawyers desired to introduce “evidence on the merits of the case,” that is, as to whether JS had actually committed treason in . After hearing arguments on both sides, declined to rule on the admissibility of the proffered evidence, “as it involved great and important considerations, relative to the future conduct of the different states.”
The following morning, discharged JS on the grounds that ’s original warrant had been returned unserved in September 1840 and was therefore no longer valid. , who in 1841 was an Supreme Court justice, later wrote that Douglas discharged JS “upon the ground that the writ upon which he had been arrested had been once returned, before it had been executed, and was functus officio,” which a nineteenth-century law dictionary defined as “something which once had life and power, but which now has no virtue whatsoever.” Carlin evidently anticipated Douglas’s decision. On 8 June 1841, he issued a new warrant for JS and the other Latter-day Saints named in the requisition. The warrant was delivered to Warren County sheriff Samuel L. Hogue, who noted that he was unable to locate any of the named men in his county. No further action was taken against JS or the other Latter-day Saint defendants based on the 1 September 1840 requisition.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court or official government offices, 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 or office. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.
Extradition of JS, Wight, Brown, Pratt, Rigdon, and Baldwin for Treason and Other Crimes
Warren Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 10 June 1841
 
Historical Introduction
In April 1839, grand juries in and counties, Missouri, indicted JS and dozens of other Latter-day Saint men for treason and other crimes allegedly committed during the 1838 conflict between church members and their antagonists in . Most of the men named in the indictments had likely already left the state in forced compliance with Missouri governor ’s October 1838 expulsion order, while JS and about ten other Latter-day Saint prisoners escaped state custody in spring and early summer 1839 and relocated to . Following the escapes, Boggs obtained certified copies of the indictments and related case documents, but for unknown reasons the governor did not immediately initiate proceedings to have the men extradited from Illinois to Missouri for trial.
An 1840 incident between residents of and evidently prompted to seek JS’s extradition. On 7 July 1840, a group of vigilantes from Tully, Missouri—a town approximately thirty miles southwest of , Illinois—abducted four Latter-day Saint men. The vigilantes carried their captives into Missouri, where they were beaten in an effort to coerce them into confessing that they had stolen about $2,000 in property from Tully. Following the kidnapping, two of the captives, Alanson Brown and , escaped or were otherwise permitted to return to Nauvoo, where they swore affidavits recounting their experience. Church members in Nauvoo petitioned Illinois governor to demand that Missouri officials apprehend and extradite the kidnappers to stand trial in Illinois. Carlin agreed to do so, sending an agent to meet with Governor Boggs in August 1840.
evidently agreed to honor ’s requisition on the condition that the governor would in turn apprehend and extradite JS, , Alanson Brown, , , and to answer charges from the 1838 conflict. In compliance with federal law, Boggs attached certified copies of the 1839 indictments for treason, burglary, and murder. The governor was apparently unaware that these indictments had been dismissed by the circuit courts, as it had become evident that the defendants were not going to appear for trial. Boggs’s agents met with Carlin in , Illinois, on 6 September 1840. The Illinois governor accepted the requisition and issued an arrest warrant for JS and the other named Latter-day Saints, in accordance with state law. Subsequently, Sheriff of , Illinois, attempted to serve the warrant in , but JS and the others had evidently been warned and the sheriff could not locate them. He returned the warrant unserved.
In early June 1841, while visiting , Illinois, on church business, JS visited at the governor’s residence. The governor made no mention during the meeting of the requisition or the unserved warrant and JS departed. On 5 June, Deputy Sheriff of , Illinois, arrested him on the original warrant at , Illinois, approximately thirteen miles north of Quincy. After returning to Quincy, JS secured from the Adams County Circuit Court a writ of habeas corpus, a common law remedy that allowed an authorized judge to review the legality of an arrest. That evening, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit agreed to hear the case on habeas corpus in the Warren County Circuit Court, which was scheduled to be in session the following week.
The hearing was held on 9–10 June 1841 in Monmouth, Illinois, the seat of Warren County. Although no legal records from the hearing have been located, newspapers, including the church’s Times and Seasons, published summaries of the proceedings. JS was represented by attorneys , , , , , and , while the state of Illinois was represented primarily by lawyers , Lincoln B. Knowlton, and Henry Jennings. During the first day of the hearing, JS’s attorneys attempted to introduce witnesses who would testify that the April 1839 treason indictment “was obtained by fraud, bribery, and duress.” Furthermore, the lawyers desired to introduce “evidence on the merits of the case,” that is, as to whether JS had actually committed treason in . After hearing arguments on both sides, declined to rule on the admissibility of the proffered evidence, “as it involved great and important considerations, relative to the future conduct of the different states.”
The following morning, discharged JS on the grounds that ’s original warrant had been returned unserved in September 1840 and was therefore no longer valid. , who in 1841 was an Supreme Court justice, later wrote that Douglas discharged JS “upon the ground that the writ upon which he had been arrested had been once returned, before it had been executed, and was functus officio,” which a nineteenth-century law dictionary defined as “something which once had life and power, but which now has no virtue whatsoever.” Carlin evidently anticipated Douglas’s decision. On 8 June 1841, he issued a new warrant for JS and the other Latter-day Saints named in the requisition. The warrant was delivered to Warren County sheriff Samuel L. Hogue, who noted that he was unable to locate any of the named men in his county. No further action was taken against JS or the other Latter-day Saint defendants based on the 1 September 1840 requisition.
 
Calendar of Documents
This calendar lists all known documents created by or for the court or official government offices, 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 or office. Where a version of a document was subsequently filed with another court, that version is listed under both courts.
 
State of Missouri, Office of the Governor
  • 1839 (3)
    • July (3)
      6 July 1839

      Transcript of Proceedings, Treason, Honey Creek Township, Daviess Co., MO

      • 6 July 1839; Joseph Smith Extradition Records, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois; handwriting of Robert Wilson; docket in unidentified handwriting.
      6 July 1839

      Transcript of Proceedings, Burglary, Honey Creek Township, Daviess Co., MO

      • 6 July 1839; Joseph Smith Extradition Records, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois; handwriting of Robert Wilson; docket in unidentified handwriting; notations in unidentified handwriting.
      18 July 1839

      Transcript of Proceedings, Murder, Columbia, Boone Co., MO

      • 18 July 1839; Joseph Smith Extradition Records, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois; handwriting of Roger N. Todd and unidentified scribe; docket in handwriting of Roger N. Todd.
  • 1840 (1)
    • September (1)
      1 September 1840

      Lilburn W. Boggs, Requisition, Jefferson City, Cole Co., MO

      • 1 Sept. 1840; Joseph Smith Extradition Records, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of James L. Minor; signatures of Lilburn W. Boggs and James L. Minor.
 
State of Illinois, Office of the Governor
  • 1840 (1)
    • September (1)
      Ca. 6 September 1840

      Thomas Carlin, Warrant, Quincy, Adams Co., IL

      • Ca. 6 Sept. 1840. Not extant.
  • 1841 (1)
    • June (1)
      8 June 1841

      Warrant, Springfield, Sangamo Co., IL

      • 8 June 1841; Executive Section, Requisitions From Other States, 1835–1949, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois; handwriting of unidentified scribe; certification in handwriting of Thomas Carlin; docket in unidentified handwriting; notation in unidentified handwriting.
 
Adams Co., Illinois, Circuit Court
  • 1841 (2)
    • June (2)
      5 June 1841

      Petition to Calvin A. Warren, Quincy, Adams Co., IL

      • 5 June 1841. Not extant.
      5 June 1841

      Habeas Corpus, Quincy, Adams Co., IL

      • 5 June 1841. Not extant.