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Introduction to City of Nauvoo v. Rhodes, City of Nauvoo v. Walker, and City of Nauvoo v. McGraw

City of Nauvoo v. Rhodes
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
 
City of Nauvoo v. Walker
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 2 August 1842
 
Historical Introduction
On 5 July 1842, JS, who had recently been elected the mayor of , Illinois, to replace , presided over three cases brought before the Nauvoo Mayor’s Court. Henry Rhodes was charged with disorderly conduct for using abusive language near Warner’s Tavern the evening of 4 July, and Thomas Walker and William McGraw were charged with selling alcohol, a breach of the city’s temperance ordinance. The charges against all three appear to be associated with Fourth of July celebrations in Nauvoo, which all three men appear to have attended from out of town. According to the 9 July issue of the local newspaper, the Wasp, a large crowd of eleven or twelve thousand gathered in Nauvoo on 4 July, including visitors who had traveled from via steamboat. The charges brought against Walker and McGraw suggest that festivities may have extended to the next day.
In addition to extant legal documents, information about these cases can be found in an article about the three 5 July trials, called a “police report,” which was also published in the 9 July issue of the church-owned Wasp. The article, which assumed a humorous—even mocking—tone, took the form of a dialogue between the court and the accused. Although it does not appear to capture actual conversation, and the names given appear to be fabricated, the report contains information matching the cases, and it includes details that are not mentioned in the extant case documents.
Rhodes was apparently brought before the mayor’s court first. At the 5 July trial, Rhodes pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was discharged by JS. The city ordinance allowed for fines, incarceration, and the need to “indemnify the corporation against any charge,” but JS required him only to pay the city marshal and city watch for their efforts. The Wasp report suggests that Rhodes’s disorderly conduct included drunkenness and that he may have been discharged without a fine because he identified the individual who had illegally sold him alcohol—the third individual charged on 5 July, William McGraw.
Walker’s charge of selling “spiritous liquors” was apparently heard next. Walker pleaded not guilty, and two witnesses—Perregrine Sessions, a member of the night watch, and —were examined. JS found Walker guilty and fined him ten dollars. The second case mentioned in the Wasp report, likely that of Walker, informed readers that the defendant had been charged “for selling whiskey from a wagon without a license.” In fact, alcohol licenses were not issued in Nauvoo and the sale of alcohol in small amounts was illegal.
McGraw’s case was apparently heard last. He pleaded not guilty, and , , and Henry Rhodes (who had earlier that day pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct) were subpoenaed as witnesses. McGraw was found guilty by JS and fined twenty-five dollars, the maximum fine. Rather than accepting the guilty verdict and fine, McGraw appealed the decision to the Nauvoo Municipal Court.
Rhodes and were bound in a recognizance to appear as witnesses before the municipal court on 1 August. The third witness, , had left before signing the recognizance, and a subpoena was issued for him on 14 July. That same day, the municipal court issued a writ for a jury, and city marshal gathered a jury of twelve men. The court met on 1 August but postponed the appeal until the next day. On 2 August, neither McGraw nor any party representing him appeared for the trial, and the municipal court, with JS as chief justice, rendered judgment in favor of the city. McGraw was required to pay all court costs associated with the case.
 
Calendar of Documents
City of Nauvoo v. Rhodes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
Circa 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 29; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. Walker, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
5 July 1842 Execution, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842. Not extant.
 
Ca. 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 29; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
5 July 1842 JS as Mayor, Subpoena, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Carlos Granger and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notation in handwriting of Charles Allen.
 
5 July 1842 JS as Mayor and Justice of the Peace, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; docket and notation in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
5 July 1842 Henry Rhodes and Others, Recognizance, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to City of Nauvoo
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signatures of Henry Rhodes, George Stiles, Carlos Granger, and JS.
 
Ca. 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 30; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court
 
5 July 1842 William McGraw and George Mills, Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to the People of Nauvoo, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signatures of William McGraw, George Mills by his mark, and Ira Miles; notation in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
5 July 1842 William McGraw and Silas Hillman, Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to City of Nauvoo, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signatures of William McGraw, Silas Hillman, and John Hoskinson; notation and docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
14 July 1842 JS as Chief Justice, Writ of Venire Facias, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
14 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notations in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
 
14 July 1842 JS as Chief Justice, Subpoena,to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Carlos Granger, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
14 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
 
2 August 1842 Judgment, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
2 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
Between 14 July and ca. 2 August 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Between 14 July and ca. 2 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 5; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
31 August 1842 Cancellation of Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
31 Aug. 1842. Not extant.
Ca. 31 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan.
City of Nauvoo v. Rhodes
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
 
City of Nauvoo v. Walker
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court, 5 July 1842
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court, 2 August 1842
 
Historical Introduction
On 5 July 1842, JS, who had recently been elected the mayor of , Illinois, to replace , presided over three cases brought before the Nauvoo Mayor’s Court. Henry Rhodes was charged with disorderly conduct for using abusive language near Warner’s Tavern the evening of 4 July, and Thomas Walker and William McGraw were charged with selling alcohol, a breach of the city’s temperance ordinance. The charges against all three appear to be associated with Fourth of July celebrations in Nauvoo, which all three men appear to have attended from out of town. According to the 9 July issue of the local newspaper, the Wasp, a large crowd of eleven or twelve thousand gathered in Nauvoo on 4 July, including visitors who had traveled from via steamboat. The charges brought against Walker and McGraw suggest that festivities may have extended to the next day.
In addition to extant legal documents, information about these cases can be found in an article about the three 5 July trials, called a “police report,” which was also published in the 9 July issue of the church-owned Wasp. The article, which assumed a humorous—even mocking—tone, took the form of a dialogue between the court and the accused. Although it does not appear to capture actual conversation, and the names given appear to be fabricated, the report contains information matching the cases, and it includes details that are not mentioned in the extant case documents.
Rhodes was apparently brought before the mayor’s court first. At the 5 July trial, Rhodes pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was discharged by JS. The city ordinance allowed for fines, incarceration, and the need to “indemnify the corporation against any charge,” but JS required him only to pay the city marshal and city watch for their efforts. The Wasp report suggests that Rhodes’s disorderly conduct included drunkenness and that he may have been discharged without a fine because he identified the individual who had illegally sold him alcohol—the third individual charged on 5 July, William McGraw.
Walker’s charge of selling “spiritous liquors” was apparently heard next. Walker pleaded not guilty, and two witnesses—Perregrine Sessions, a member of the night watch, and —were examined. JS found Walker guilty and fined him ten dollars. The second case mentioned in the Wasp report, likely that of Walker, informed readers that the defendant had been charged “for selling whiskey from a wagon without a license.” In fact, alcohol licenses were not issued in Nauvoo and the sale of alcohol in small amounts was illegal.
McGraw’s case was apparently heard last. He pleaded not guilty, and , , and Henry Rhodes (who had earlier that day pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct) were subpoenaed as witnesses. McGraw was found guilty by JS and fined twenty-five dollars, the maximum fine. Rather than accepting the guilty verdict and fine, McGraw appealed the decision to the Nauvoo Municipal Court.
Rhodes and were bound in a recognizance to appear as witnesses before the municipal court on 1 August. The third witness, , had left before signing the recognizance, and a subpoena was issued for him on 14 July. That same day, the municipal court issued a writ for a jury, and city marshal gathered a jury of twelve men. The court met on 1 August but postponed the appeal until the next day. On 2 August, neither McGraw nor any party representing him appeared for the trial, and the municipal court, with JS as chief justice, rendered judgment in favor of the city. McGraw was required to pay all court costs associated with the case.
 
Calendar of Documents
City of Nauvoo v. Rhodes, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
Circa 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 29; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. Walker, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
5 July 1842 Execution, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842. Not extant.
 
Ca. 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 29; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Mayor’s Court
 
5 July 1842 JS as Mayor, Subpoena, to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Carlos Granger and Others, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notation in handwriting of Charles Allen.
 
5 July 1842 JS as Mayor and Justice of the Peace, Execution, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; docket and notation in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
5 July 1842 Henry Rhodes and Others, Recognizance, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to City of Nauvoo
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signatures of Henry Rhodes, George Stiles, Carlos Granger, and JS.
 
Ca. 5 July 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Ca. 5 July 1842; Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 30; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
City of Nauvoo v. McGraw, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Municipal Court
 
5 July 1842 William McGraw and George Mills, Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to the People of Nauvoo, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of George Stiles; signatures of William McGraw, George Mills by his mark, and Ira Miles; notation in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
5 July 1842 William McGraw and Silas Hillman, Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, to City of Nauvoo, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
5 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signatures of William McGraw, Silas Hillman, and John Hoskinson; notation and docket in handwriting of James Sloan.
 
14 July 1842 JS as Chief Justice, Writ of Venire Facias, to Nauvoo City Marshal, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
14 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notations in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
 
14 July 1842 JS as Chief Justice, Subpoena,to Nauvoo City Marshal, for Carlos Granger, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
14 July 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan; signature of JS; notation in handwriting of Henry G. Sherwood.
 
2 August 1842 Judgment, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
2 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
Between 14 July and ca. 2 August 1842 Docket Entry, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
Between 14 July and ca. 2 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 5; handwriting of James Sloan.
 
31 August 1842 Cancellation of Bond, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL
31 Aug. 1842. Not extant.
Ca. 31 Aug. 1842; Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL; handwriting of James Sloan.