Introduction to Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.

Document Transcript

Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, H. Smith, and JS
Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., Ohio, Justice of the Peace Court, 23 December 1837
 
Historical Introduction
On 18 December 1837, William Foster Sr. commenced an against , , , and JS for payment of a promissory note. Luke and Lyman Johnson had signed a promissory note for $100.45 plus interest to Hyrum Smith on 15 May 1837. The reason for the debt is unknown. When Hyrum Smith subsequently gave the note to Foster, it was endorsed by himself and JS. Two payments were made on the note—$31.00 in June 1837 and $66.12 in September 1837.
Foster commenced an action against both the Johnsons, as the signers of the note, and against and JS, as the endorsers, in an attempt to recover the remaining debt in mid-December 1837. , a , Ohio, justice of the peace, issued a summons for the defendants, which constable personally served on all of them except , who had moved to , Missouri. By this time, Lyman and had joined with dissenters who questioned JS’s authority and leadership. As a result, the Kirtland high council excommunicated Luke Johnson and several other dissenters in late December 1837. When the matter came to trial on 23 December, the defendants failed to appear, and judgment was granted to Foster for $9.02. Lyman Cowdery entered a with the court as an assurance that the defendants would satisfy the judgment. Within three weeks of the judgment, Foster asked the court to transfer his judgment to J. W. & W. W. Oakley. By May 1838, the judgment was satisfied “in full,” excluding court costs.
 
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

    The docket entry stated $100.45 “with use,” which was another way of saying that the promissory note included interest. (Docket Entry, between 18 and 23 Dec. 1837 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]; Abbott and Abbott, Digest of New York Statutes, 425.  

    Abbott, Benjamin Vaughan and Austin Abbott. A Digest of New York Statutes and Reports: From the Earliest Period to the Year 1860. 5 Vols. New York: Baker, Voorhis, 1865–1868.

  2. 2

    Docket Entry, between 18 and 23 Dec. 1837 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]. Ohio law provided that any endorsee of the note could bring an action for payment. Before the endorsee could proceed against other persons to whom the note had been endorsed, he was required to use “due diligence to obtain the money of the drawer, maker or obligor.” Due diligence included making a demand for payment at the time the note became due “or within a reasonable time thereafter.” (An Act, Making Certain Instruments of Writing Negotiable [25 Feb. 1820], Statutes of Ohio, vol. 2, pp. 1137, 1139, secs. 2, 5.)  

    The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted from 1788 to 1833 Inclusive: Together with the Ordinance of 1787; the Constitutions of Ohio and of the United States, and Various Public Instruments and Acts of Congress: Illustrated by a Preliminary Sketch of the History of Ohio; Numerous References and Notes, and Copious Indexes. 3 vols. Edited by Salmon P. Chase. Cincinnati: Corey and Fairbank, 1833–1835.

  3. 3

    Docket Entry, between 18 and 23 Dec. 1837 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]; see Historical Introduction to Minutes, 13 Apr. 1838, in JSP, D6:94; Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 6: 20 Apr.–14 Sept. 1837; and Charges against Joseph Smith Preferred to Bishop’s Council, 29 May 1837.  

    JSP, D6 / Ashurst-McGee, Mark, David W. Grua, Elizabeth Kuehn, Alexander L. Baugh, and Brenden W. Rensink, eds. Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. Vol. 6 of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, and Matthew C. Godfrey. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2017.

  4. 4

    John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 1 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL.  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  5. 5

    Docket Entry, between 18 and 23 Dec. 1837 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]. This amount included the unpaid $3.00 as well as interest due on the $100.45, calculated at six percent, which was the highest rate of interest allowed by law. (An Act Fixing the Rate of Interest [12 Jan. 1824], Statutes of Ohio, vol. 2, p. 1297, sec. 1.)  

    The Statutes of Ohio and of the Northwestern Territory, Adopted or Enacted from 1788 to 1833 Inclusive: Together with the Ordinance of 1787; the Constitutions of Ohio and of the United States, and Various Public Instruments and Acts of Congress: Illustrated by a Preliminary Sketch of the History of Ohio; Numerous References and Notes, and Copious Indexes. 3 vols. Edited by Salmon P. Chase. Cincinnati: Corey and Fairbank, 1833–1835.

  6. 6

    Bond, 23 Dec. 1837 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]; Assignment of Judgment, 11 Jan. 1838 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]. John W. Oakley and Wilmot W. Oakley were doing business under the name of J. W. & W. W. Oakley. They resided in Richmond, Ohio, located in the northern part of Painesville township. (Transcript of Proceedings, 4 June 1838, Oakley & Oakley v. Hamblin [Geauga Co. C. P. 1838], Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Common Pleas Record, vol. W, pp. 75–76, microfilm 20,280, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; 1840 U.S. Census, Richmond, Lake Co., OH, 64; Smith, Map of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio [Philadelphia: S. H. Matthews, (1857)].)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

    Smith, Robert Pearsall. Map of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio. Philadelphia: S. H. Matthews, [1857]. Copy at the Library of Congress.

  7. 7

    Assignment of Judgment, 11 Jan. 1838 [Foster Sr. v. Luke Johnson et al.]. Who paid the judgment is unknown. JS, along with Sidney Rigdon, left Kirtland on 12 January 1838 for Far West, Missouri. See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C.