Introduction to State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus
Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 9 October 1843
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 17 October 1843
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 20 May 1845
 
Historical Introduction
In mid-October 1843, JS presided over a hearing in the , Illinois, municipal court for Charles Drown. The case grew out of an earlier dispute involving several Nauvoo residents. In August 1842, Drown filed a complaint before , Illinois, justice of the peace , accusing Lemuel Mallory of of a brass kettle. While the outcome of that case is unclear, Christian Upperman later alleged that Drown had tried to persuade him to place the kettle on Mallory’s property and used the resulting charge of larceny as leverage to settle a debt. On 4 October 1843, Almon Bathrick filed a complaint before Hancock County justice of the peace Leonard Harrington accusing Drown of . Based on Bathrick’s complaint, Harrington issued a warrant for Drown, which was served by Hancock County constable Samuel Waterman, and held a preliminary hearing on 9 October. After hearing testimony, Harrington held that there was probable cause to believe that Drown had committed perjury, and he ordered that Drown enter into a $400 binding him to appear at the next session of the Hancock County Circuit Court for a trial. Drown, however, refused to pay bail, and Harrington ordered Waterman to take him into custody.
On 10 October, while he was still under arrest, Drown and his attorney, , petitioned , the clerk of ’s municipal court, for a writ of . Drown’s petition claimed that he was innocent, that the proceedings against him “were instituted through malice, private pique & corruption,” and that the warrant used to arrest him as well as the subsequent proceedings were irregular. Richards granted his petition, and the Nauvoo Municipal Court assembled the next day to hear the case, though JS was not in attendance. The court reconvened on 13 October with JS presiding. After hearing arguments from Stiles and city attorney , the court voted “to proceed to trial” over JS’s objections. The court also ruled that the “original prosecutor”—presumably referring to the complainant, Bathrick—should produce evidence at the hearing. Because Drown was sick, the court adjourned until 16 October and again until 17 October. Rigdon was not present on 17 October, and the court ordered Drown to be discharged from custody. The municipal court’s efforts to collect the costs, first from Drown and then from Bathrick, were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, independent of the proceedings in , the Circuit Court then in session moved forward with the case against Drown and indicted him for on 18 October. The court issued multiple warrants for his arrest, but each was returned unserved. On 20 May 1845, the prosecuting attorney motioned to dismiss the case, as it appeared that Drown would not appear for the trial.
 
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

    Complaint, 8 Aug. 1842 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  2. 2

    Upperman offered contradictory affidavits in April and October 1843 regarding Drown’s motives. In the first, he claimed that Drown wanted to coerce Mallory to release Upperman and Drown from a debt they owed him. In the second, Upperman claimed that Drown wanted to coerce Mallory to pay a debt owed to Upperman and Drown. The same day as the latter affidavit, Upperman also testified that another affidavit he had sworn the day before related to the case, now apparently not extant, had been made under duress and that his April 1843 affidavit was true. (Affidavit, 10 Apr. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Affidavit, 3 October 1843–A [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Affidavit, 3 October 1843–B [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]).  

  3. 3

    Complaint, 4 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  4. 4

    Warrant, 4 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Docket Entry, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  5. 5

    Recognizance, 9 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Docket Entry, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  6. 6

    Docket Entry, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  7. 7

    Petition, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]. For more on habeas corpus, see “Nauvoo Municipal Court and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.”  

  8. 8

    Petition, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]. According to a Nauvoo ordinance regarding habeas corpus, if the court found that the charge was obtained “through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation” the petitioner was to be “released & discharged.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Aug. 1842, 98–99.)  

  9. 9

    Habeas Corpus, 10 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Docket Entry, 10–ca. 17 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  10. 10

    Docket Entry, 10–ca. 17 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  11. 11

    Docket Entry, 10–ca. 17 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]. In February 1845, as one of the last official acts of the city officers after the Nauvoo charter had been repealed the prior month, the mayor tallied up outstanding fees owed by the city and authorized payment out of the city treasury. (Daniel Spencer, Order of City Treasury, to William Clayton, 10 Feb. 1845, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

    Nauvoo, IL, Records, 1841–1845. CHL.

  12. 12

    Docket Entry, 18 Oct. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  13. 13

    Capias, 15 Dec. 1843 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus]; Capias, 16 July 1844 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].  

  14. 14

    Docket Entry, Dismissal, 20 May 1845 [State of Illinois v. Drown on Habeas Corpus].