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Introduction to Phelps Assignee of JS v. Wilson Law

Phelps Assignee of JS v. Wilson Law
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 21 May 1845
 
Historical Introduction
Acting on JS’s instructions, initiated a suit against in the , Illinois, circuit court in May 1844 to recover payment for two Law had given JS. On 24 January 1842, Law and his brother arranged to purchase from JS a fractional lot in , Illinois, where they could build a combined steam sawmill and flour mill. In exchange for the property, Wilson Law promised to pay JS $600 in three installments of $200, due in January of 1843, 1844, and 1845. Despite this schedule, by May 1844 Law had made only one recorded payment on 20 March 1844 for $144.50. By that time, the relationship between JS and Law had soured and Law had been excommunicated.
On 1 May 1844, JS renegotiated a separate debt with Joshua J. Moore. In this settlement, Moore returned a promissory note JS had given him in exchange for one of the notes had given JS. Moore then sought out Law to arrange payment on the note; however, Law refused to pay Moore, arguing that the debt had already been fulfilled. The next day, JS sent to meet with Law to better understand his refusal. At this meeting the Law brothers argued that they had borrowed money to rescue JS after he was arrested in the summer of 1843 as part of ’s third extradition attempt and that these funds offset their debt to JS. Clayton dismissed these claims, believing that Wilson Law had already been reimbursed for his expenses. When JS learned that Law still refused to pay the note, he ordered , one of his scribes, to sue Law to recover the debt. Ultimately, , another one of JS’s scribes, brought a suit against Law instead. In preparation for the suit, JS assigned the two promissory notes that had come due to Phelps. JS dated the assignments to 1 January 1843.
By 4 May 1844, initiated an suit against seeking repayment of $350, the remaining principal and interest due on the notes. The declaration Phelps’s attorney, , filed with the court argued that the notes had been “regularly assigned” to Phelps by JS and that Law had “wholly Disregarded” his promises to pay the amounts due. The case was scheduled to be heard at the May 1844 session of the Hancock County Circuit Court. However, two of Law’s key witnesses— and Moore—were not able to attend the court when the case came to trial, so Law petitioned for a , which was granted. In his affidavit seeking a continuance, Law argued that he could provide accounts of “money and goods and services rendered” to JS that would more than offset the amount due in the notes. Furthermore, Law stated that Patrick and Moore could testify that they had been in possession of the two notes in early May 1844 and that the notes had been “fraudulently assigned” to Phelps and backdated as a means to “Cut off” Law’s claim that he had repaid his debt to JS. Law’s formal plea at the October 1844 session of the circuit court repeated these claims. Although Law consistently claimed that he had redeemed his debt to JS, the amount of money he claimed to have paid and when he claimed to have paid it changed over time. In May 1845, the case was at the request of Phelps’s attorney, and Phelps was ordered to pay the costs of the suit. Subsequent attempts to recover the costs from Phelps were unsuccessful.
 
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.
Phelps Assignee of JS v. Wilson Law
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court, 21 May 1845
 
Historical Introduction
Acting on JS’s instructions, initiated a suit against in the , Illinois, circuit court in May 1844 to recover payment for two Law had given JS. On 24 January 1842, Law and his brother arranged to purchase from JS a fractional lot in , Illinois, where they could build a combined steam sawmill and flour mill. In exchange for the property, Wilson Law promised to pay JS $600 in three installments of $200, due in January of 1843, 1844, and 1845. Despite this schedule, by May 1844 Law had made only one recorded payment on 20 March 1844 for $144.50. By that time, the relationship between JS and Law had soured and Law had been excommunicated.
On 1 May 1844, JS renegotiated a separate debt with Joshua J. Moore. In this settlement, Moore returned a promissory note JS had given him in exchange for one of the notes had given JS. Moore then sought out Law to arrange payment on the note; however, Law refused to pay Moore, arguing that the debt had already been fulfilled. The next day, JS sent to meet with Law to better understand his refusal. At this meeting the Law brothers argued that they had borrowed money to rescue JS after he was arrested in the summer of 1843 as part of ’s third extradition attempt and that these funds offset their debt to JS. Clayton dismissed these claims, believing that Wilson Law had already been reimbursed for his expenses. When JS learned that Law still refused to pay the note, he ordered , one of his scribes, to sue Law to recover the debt. Ultimately, , another one of JS’s scribes, brought a suit against Law instead. In preparation for the suit, JS assigned the two promissory notes that had come due to Phelps. JS dated the assignments to 1 January 1843.
By 4 May 1844, initiated an suit against seeking repayment of $350, the remaining principal and interest due on the notes. The declaration Phelps’s attorney, , filed with the court argued that the notes had been “regularly assigned” to Phelps by JS and that Law had “wholly Disregarded” his promises to pay the amounts due. The case was scheduled to be heard at the May 1844 session of the Hancock County Circuit Court. However, two of Law’s key witnesses— and Moore—were not able to attend the court when the case came to trial, so Law petitioned for a , which was granted. In his affidavit seeking a continuance, Law argued that he could provide accounts of “money and goods and services rendered” to JS that would more than offset the amount due in the notes. Furthermore, Law stated that Patrick and Moore could testify that they had been in possession of the two notes in early May 1844 and that the notes had been “fraudulently assigned” to Phelps and backdated as a means to “Cut off” Law’s claim that he had repaid his debt to JS. Law’s formal plea at the October 1844 session of the circuit court repeated these claims. Although Law consistently claimed that he had redeemed his debt to JS, the amount of money he claimed to have paid and when he claimed to have paid it changed over time. In May 1845, the case was at the request of Phelps’s attorney, and Phelps was ordered to pay the costs of the suit. Subsequent attempts to recover the costs from Phelps were unsuccessful.
 
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.
 
 
Hancock Co., Illinois, Circuit Court
  • 1844 (23)
    • May (8)
      4 May 1844

      David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Summons, to Hancock Co. Sheriff, for Wilson Law, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 4 May 1844; private possession; photocopy at Joseph Smith Papers; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; docket printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; notations printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of William Backenstos; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 8 May 1844

      George Stiles on behalf of William W. Phelps assignee of JS, Declaration, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 8 May 1844; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm 1,637,612 at FHL; handwriting of George Stiles; docket and notation in handwriting of David E. Head with signature of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      11 May 1844

      Subpoena, Hancock Co., IL

      • 11 May 1844; private possession.
      16 May 1844

      Jacob B. Backenstos, Subpoena, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, to Lee Co. Sheriff, for Shepherd Patrick

      • 16 May 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; docket printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; notations printed with manuscript additions in handwriting of James Campbell.
      20 May 1844

      Wilson Law, Affidavit, before Jacob B. Backenstos, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 20 May 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; handwriting of Onias Skinner; signatures of Wilson Law and Jacob B. Backenstos; docket in handwriting of Onias Skinner; notation probably in handwriting of David E. Head; notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      20 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Motion, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 20 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 84, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      21 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Continuance and Order to Plead, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 21 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [101], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      22 May 1844

      Docket Entry, Leave to Amend Declaration, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 22 May 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [105], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
    • July (1)
      10 July 1844

      Plea, Hancock Co., IL

      • 10 July 1844; private possession.
    • August (1)
      6 August 1844

      Affidavit, Hancock Co., IL

      • 6 Aug. 1844; private possession.
    • September (1)
      28 September 1844

      Subpoena, Hancock Co., IL

      • 28 Sept. 1844; private possession.
    • October (5)
      22 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Leave to Open Depositions, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 22 Oct. 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [179], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 23 October 1844

      JS, Account, to Wilson Law, Rock Co., IL

      • Ca. 23 Oct. 1844; Claims on the estates of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, 1844–1845, BYU; unidentified handwriting; docket and notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos; notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      24 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Leave to Plead, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Oct. 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. 196, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      24 October 1844

      Pleas, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Oct. 1844; private possession.
      24 October 1844

      Docket Entry, Pleas, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 24 Oct. 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [197], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting possibly of J. H. Baker.
    • November (7)
      1 November 1844

      Robert D. Foster, Affidavit, before David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, 1 Nov. 1844–A

      • 1 Nov. 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; signature of Robert D. Foster; notation in handwriting of David E. Head; docket and notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      1 November 1844

      William Law, Affidavit, before David E. Head on behalf of Jacob B. Backenstos, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, 1 Nov. 1844–B

      • 1 Nov. 1844; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; signature of William Law; notation in handwriting of David E. Head; docket and notation in handwriting of Jacob B. Backenstos.
      1 November 1844

      Docket Entry, Continuance and Costs, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 1 Nov. 1844; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [227], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      22 November 1844

      Fieri Facias, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      22 November 1844

      Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      Ca. November 1844

      Docket Entry, Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, ca. Nov. 1844–A

      Ca. November 1844

      Docket Entry, Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL, ca. Nov. 1844–B

  • 1845 (11)
    • February (2)
      Between 1 November 1844 and ca. 17 February 1845

      Docket Entry, Fieri Facias, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Between 1 Nov. 1844 and ca. 17 Feb. 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [197], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; unidentified handwriting.
      Between 22 November 1844 and ca. 17 February 1845

      Docket Entry, Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Between 22 Nov. 1844 and ca. 17 Feb. 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [218], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; unidentified handwriting.
    • May (5)
      19 May 1845

      Docket Entry, Security for Costs, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 19 May 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [237], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of J. H. Baker.
      21 May 1845

      Docket Entry, Nonsuit and Withdrawal of Papers, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 21 May 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court Record, vol. D, p. [259], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm at FHL; handwriting of David E. Head.
      Ca. 21 May 1845

      Docket Entry, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Ca. 21 May 1845; handwriting possibly of David E. Head; Hancock County Circuit Court, Judgment Docket, vol. B, p. 124, Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL.
      26 May 1845

      Robert D. Foster, Affidavit, before J. H. Baker on behalf of David E. Head, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 26 May 1845; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of J. H. Baker; signature of Robert D. Foster; docket and notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
      27 May 1845

      William Law, Affidavit, before David E. Head, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • 27 May 1845; microfilm in Circuit Court Case Files, 1830–1900, CHL; printed form with manuscript additions in handwriting of David E. Head; signature of William Law; docket and notation in handwriting of David E. Head.
    • June (3)
      7 June 1845

      Costs, Hancock Co., IL

      • 7 June 1845; private possession.
      14 June 1845

      Fieri Facias, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      Ca. June 1845

      Docket Entry, Fee Bill, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

    • August (1)
      Between 21 May and ca. 4 August 1845

      Docket Entry, Fieri Facias, Carthage, Hancock Co., IL

      • Between 21 May and ca. 4 Aug. 1845; Hancock County Circuit Court, Execution Docket, vol. B, p. [259], Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; image in Hancock County Papers, 1830–1872, CHL; handwriting probably of David E. Head and unidentified scribe.
  • 1846 (9)
  • 1847 (1)
    • May (1)
      5 May 1847

      Melgar Couchman, Certificate, Hancock Co., IL

      • 5 May 1847. Not extant.
      • Ca. 6 May 1847; Hancock County Sheriff, Old Certificates of Purchase, Levy, and Redemption, pp. 347–348; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL; microfilm 955,142 at FHL; handwriting of Melancton S. Carey.