Introduction to City of Nauvoo v. McGraw and White
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw and White
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 2 August 1842
In late July 1842, filed a complaint against William McGraw and James White for violating the temperance ordinance in , Illinois, by selling “spirituous liquors.” It was the second time McGraw had been charged with illegally selling alcohol in Nauvoo. Because Markham’s complaint is not extant, the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime are unknown. The trial was set for 2 August, and subpoenas were issued for seven witnesses. In contrast to McGraw’s first trial, held on 5 July 1842, neither McGraw nor White appeared before the court on 2 August. JS found the two men guilty in absentia and fined them twenty-five dollars, the same fine McGraw received on 5 July. When constable attempted to collect the fine against McGraw and White, he found no property belonging to either man in Nauvoo. This and other records suggest that McGraw and White were neither Latter-day Saints nor residents of Nauvoo. After the 2 August 1842 trial, no further complaints were issued against the men, and neither was brought before the Nauvoo courts again.
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.
Ca. 29 July 1842
Stephen Markham, Complaint, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 29 July 1842. Not extant.
30 July 1842
JS as Mayor and Justice of the Peace, Summons, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for William McGraw and James White, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
30 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
30 July 1842
JS as Mayor and Justice of the Peace, Subpoena, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Jerome Remmington and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
30 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
2 August 1842
JS as Mayor and Justice of the Peace, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
2 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; docket in handwriting of James Sloan; endorsement in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood; notation in handwriting of Dimick B. Huntington.
Nauvoo law prohibited selling liquor in small quantities. “An Ordinance in relation to Temperance,” passed by the city council on 15 February 1841, specified that, unless otherwise permitted by a physician, whiskey must be sold at least by the gallon, and other spirits by a quart or more. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, An Ordinance in Relation to Temperance, 15 Feb. 1841, 8.)
The names of neither man appear in church records or Nauvoo or Hancock County land records. Census records and newspaper notices identify individuals named “William McGraw” and “James White” in Sangamon County, Schuyler County, and Logan County. (1830 U.S. Census, Sangamon Co., IL, 330; 1840 U.S. Census, Precinct 3, Schuyler Co., IL, 101; 1850 U.S. Census, Rushville, Schuyler Co., IL, 308; “List of Letters,” Sangamo (IL) Journal, 5 Apr. 1832, ; “Petition to Sell Real Estate,” and “Estate of Wm. McGraw, Deceased,” Illinois Journal [Springfield], 26 Sept. 1849, .)
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.