Account of Trial, 26 April 1844 [City of Nauvoo v. C. L. Higbee et al.]
Account of Trial, , Hancock Co., IL, 26 Apr. 1844, City of Nauvoo v. C. L. Higbee et al. (Nauvoo, IL, Mayor’s Court 1844); in JS, Journal, 1842–1844, Book 4, pp. –; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL.
10 A M. went up on hill to arrest for an assault on his Bro . for an assault in his own home—— . . &. . came down drew a pistol towa[r]ds me on the steps of my office.— I orderd him to be arrestd and the pistol taken from him. a struggle ensued— in which . . & resisted. and I orde[re]d them to to be arrested. th[e]y resistd, and I. Mayor, orderd the — to be calld and his possey & went on to try. — fin[e]d him $100— Bonds for to keep th[e] peace— 6 months— $100. Bonds appeald to municipal court. at once . . & .—— for resisting the auhoities [authorities] of the city. — sworn— — sworn— said — swore by God he would not assist the and swore by God th[e]y would see the may[o]r &[c] in hell before th[e]y would go [p. ]
According to a later account by Lucy Mack Smith, Augustine Spencer had verbally abused JS and Hyrum Smith at the house of Augustine’s brother Orson Spencer. Orson told Augustine to stop the abuse or leave the house, after which a physical fight ensued between the two men. (Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches, 275–276.)
Smith, Lucy Mack. Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations. Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1853.
Augustine Spencer was tried and convicted in JS’s mayor’s court, which functioned as a justice-of-the-peace court. According to the Nauvoo charter, “any decision or judgment of said mayor” could be appealed to the municipal court. The municipal court was composed of the mayor as chief justice and the aldermen as associate justices. (“Outrage,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 1 May 1844, ; An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo [16 Dec. 1840], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], p. 55, secs. 16, 17.)
Nauvoo Neighbor. Nauvoo, IL. 1843–1845.
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly, at Their Session, Began and Held at Springfield, on the Seventh of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty. Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841.