Introduction to Boynton and Hyde v. JS

Document Transcript

Boynton and Hyde v. JS
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 3 April 1838
 
Historical Introduction
On April 6, 1837, JS and addressed members of the church in , Ohio, remarking on the church’s financial woes. One of the primary debts was the construction of the temple or . In addition to purchasing building materials, the church was also in debt for goods bought from merchants and then sold to temple workmen. Rigdon noted that “the unliquidated debt for the building was rising of thirteen thousand dollars.” The following week, 13 April, amid the mounting pressure of church debts, JS, Rigdon, , and gave a promissory note to , a local dry goods merchant, promising to pay him $825 plus interest in five months. At some point Howden transferred the note to Ray Boynton and his partner Harry Hyde, two merchants. When the note came due and payment was not forthcoming, Boynton and Hyde brought an action, known as , to recover the debt. Notice of the action—a summons issued on 26 October 1837—was served on JS’s wife because JS was traveling to at the time.
On 30 November, Boynton’s attorney, George W. Lynde, filed a declaration, or complaint, in the Court of Common Pleas in , Ohio. Following the form of the day, the wording of the complaint enumerated the single claim of $1,200 in multiple ways as various damages. JS had not yet returned from when Boynton’s attorney filed the declaration, and when he finally did return to in December, his stay was not long. On 12 January 1838, facing the threat of mob violence, JS and fled Kirtland for the friendlier confines of , Missouri. In JS’s absence, a default judgment was issued against him in April 1838.
After Boynton and Hyde obtained judgment against JS, they immediately commenced an action against for payment on the note. Howden countered that after the note became due, he had entered an agreement with Boynton to pay the expenses of prosecuting JS and in return Boynton had promised not to prosecute Howden for payment of the note. Howden further claimed that Boynton had refused to issue an execution upon the property of JS and the other signers of the note. Boynton, in turn, denied making the agreement Howden claimed. In April 1839 the court decided in Boynton’s favor, and Howden appealed. Thereafter, for unknown reasons, Boynton released Howden from the obligation and again attempted to collect from JS and the other signers of the note. Efforts were still being made to collect on the judgment in the 1840s, without success.
Boynton and Hyde also brought an action against , , , and . For court documents relating to these proceedings see “Documents Related to Boynton and Hyde v. JS.”
 
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

    “Anniversary of the Church of Latter Day Saints,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Apr. 1837, 3:487–488; see also remarks by JS in Discourse, 6 Apr. 1837.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  2. 2

    Boynton and Hyde operated a dry goods store located at 51 Cedar Street in New York. (Longworth’s American Almanac [1837], 108, 335.)  

    Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register, and City Directory, for the Twenty-Eighth Year of American Independence. New York: D. Longworth, 1803.

  3. 3

    Transcript of Proceedings, ca. 3 Apr. 1838 [Boynton and Hyde v. JS]; Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 7: 17 Sept. 1837–21 Jan. 1838. According to Ohio law, a summons was to “be personally served on the defendant, or left at his usual place of residence.” At this time, two additional actions for the debt were also brought, one against Sidney Rigdon and the other against Hyrum Smith. The results in their cases were identical to the one against JS; they both failed to appear and defaulted. (An Act Concerning Mesne Process, in Civil and Criminal Cases [10 Feb. 1831], Statutes of the State of Ohio [1840], 649; Transcript of Proceedings, Boynton and Hyde v. Hyrum Smith [Geauga Co. C.P. 1838], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Record Book U, pp. 492, 518, microfilm 20,279, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force, December 7, 1840; Also, the Statutes of a General Nature, Passed by the General Assembly at Their Thirty-Ninth Session, Commencing December 7, 1840. Columbus, OH: Samuel Medary, 1841.

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  4. 4

    “But it happens more frequently than otherwise, that, when various counts are introduced, they do not really relate to distinct claims, but are adopted merely as so many different forms of propounding the same cause of action.” (Stephen, Treatise on the Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions, 284, italics in original.)  

    Stephen, Henry John. A Treatise on the Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions; Comprising a Summary View of the Whole Proceedings in a Suit at Law. London: Joseph Butterworth and Son, 1824.

  5. 5

    See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C; and Docket Entry, Verdict, 3 Apr. 1838 [Boynton and Hyde v. JS].  

  6. 6

    Ohio law provided that before a plaintiff could recover against the endorser of a note they must use “due diligence to obtain the money” from the maker or obliger of the note. (An Act Making Certain Instruments of Writing Negotiable, Statutes of the State of Ohio [1840], 587.)  

    Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force, December 7, 1840; Also, the Statutes of a General Nature, Passed by the General Assembly at Their Thirty-Ninth Session, Commencing December 7, 1840. Columbus, OH: Samuel Medary, 1841.

  7. 7

    Transcript of Proceedings, 16 Apr. 1839, Boynton and Hyde v. Howden [Geauga Co. C.P. 1839], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Record Book V, pp. 586–591, microfilm 20,280, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  8. 8

    Docket Entry, Boynton and Hyde v. Howden [Geauga Co. C.P. 1839], Execution Docket G, p. 653, microfilm 1,289,258, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  9. 9

    See later notations on Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 3 Apr. 1838 [Boynton and Hyde v. JS]; and Docket Entry, Costs, ca. 3 Apr. 1838 [Boynton and Hyde v. Rigdon].