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Introduction to JS v. O. Cowdery

JS v. O. Cowdery
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 29 October 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1841, an unidentified attorney, operating on behalf of JS, sought an injunction against in the , Illinois, Circuit Court in chancery. Many of the details surrounding this case are unknown. Presumably, it revolved around an outstanding debt or financial arrangement between the two men, since at the time JS commenced this suit, he and other church leaders were particularly concerned about outstanding debts contracted in and . At least some of these debts likely involved Cowdery. Conflict over unspecified debts with Cowdery continued among some church leaders through at least December 1842.
According to the law governing chancery proceedings, JS and his attorney would have initiated the suit by filing a “bill of injunction” that summarized JS’s complaint against . JS’s bill is apparently not extant. Illinois law and examples of similar cases from around this time suggest that upon receiving JS’s bill, the circuit court likely issued an injunction and a summons for Cowdery. However, Cowdery did not live in Illinois at the time and was practicing law in Tiffin, Ohio. In such cases, Illinois law specified that notice of proceedings against nonresidents should be published in a local newspaper. Accordingly, on 26 January 1842, JS’s attorney filed an affidavit in the Circuit Court attesting that Cowdery was not a resident of Illinois. The of the court then prepared a notice instructing Cowdery to appear at the May 1842 term of the court to answer JS’s bill. The notice stated that if Cowdery failed to appear, the court would proceed as if he had confessed and rule against him. The notice was published in the Warsaw Signal nine times over succeeding months. Cowdery did not appear at the May term, but the court did not rule against him. Rather, the case was continued multiple times until the October 1844 term, when, due to JS’s death, it was dismissed “for want of prosecution.”
 
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.
JS v. O. Cowdery
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 29 October 1844
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1841, an unidentified attorney, operating on behalf of JS, sought an injunction against in the , Illinois, Circuit Court in chancery. Many of the details surrounding this case are unknown. Presumably, it revolved around an outstanding debt or financial arrangement between the two men, since at the time JS commenced this suit, he and other church leaders were particularly concerned about outstanding debts contracted in and . At least some of these debts likely involved Cowdery. Conflict over unspecified debts with Cowdery continued among some church leaders through at least December 1842.
According to the law governing chancery proceedings, JS and his attorney would have initiated the suit by filing a “bill of injunction” that summarized JS’s complaint against . JS’s bill is apparently not extant. Illinois law and examples of similar cases from around this time suggest that upon receiving JS’s bill, the circuit court likely issued an injunction and a summons for Cowdery. However, Cowdery did not live in Illinois at the time and was practicing law in Tiffin, Ohio. In such cases, Illinois law specified that notice of proceedings against nonresidents should be published in a local newspaper. Accordingly, on 26 January 1842, JS’s attorney filed an affidavit in the Circuit Court attesting that Cowdery was not a resident of Illinois. The of the court then prepared a notice instructing Cowdery to appear at the May 1842 term of the court to answer JS’s bill. The notice stated that if Cowdery failed to appear, the court would proceed as if he had confessed and rule against him. The notice was published in the Warsaw Signal nine times over succeeding months. Cowdery did not appear at the May term, but the court did not rule against him. Rather, the case was continued multiple times until the October 1844 term, when, due to JS’s death, it was dismissed “for want of prosecution.”
 
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.
 
  • 1841 (2)
    • October (2)
      Ca. October 1841

      Bill of Injunction, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      16 October 1841

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 16 Oct. 1841; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. A, p. 250, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; unidentified handwriting.
  • 1842 (4)
    • January (2)
      Ca. 25 January 1842

      Affidavit, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 25 Jan. 1842. Not extant.
      26 January 1842

      Jacob Davis, Notice, Hancock Co., IL

      • 26 Jan. 1842. Not extant.
      • 26 Jan. 1842; Warsaw (IL) Signal, 2 Feb. 1842, [3].
    • May (1)
      14 May 1842

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 14 May 1842; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. A, p. 392, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of M. Avise.
    • October (1)
      15 October 1842

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 15 Oct. 1842; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. B, p. [101], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
  • 1843 (2)
    • May (1)
      27 May 1843

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 27 May 1843; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. B, p. 302, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
    • October (1)
      18 October 1843

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 18 Oct. 1843; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. B, p. [389], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
  • 1844 (4)
    • May (1)
      20 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Continuance, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 20 May 1844; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. C, p. 2; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
    • October (3)
      29 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Dismissal, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 29 Oct. 1844; Hancock County Chancery Record, vol. C, p. 170; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 29 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Fees, Carthage Hancock Co., IL

      Ca. 29 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 29 Oct. 1844 Hancock County Circuit Court, Judgment Docket, vol. B, p. 150, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting probably of David E. Head.