Introduction to Martindale v. JS et al.

Document Transcript

Martindale v. JS, Whitney, Cahoon, and Johnson
Geauga Co., Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, 5 June 1837
 
Historical Introduction
In October 1836, JS, , , and signed a promissory note and became indebted to in the amount of $5,000. The debt apparently related to the purchase of a farm Martindale owned in , Ohio. The note was due on 1 January 1837. By February, the note had not been paid, and attorney , acting on Martindale’s behalf, initiated legal proceedings on a plea of against JS and the others in the Court of Common Pleas. The court issued a writ of for the defendants on 16 February, and , a sheriff for Geauga County, arrested JS, Whitney, Cahoon, and Johnson on 22 February. The four men were released on $10,000 bail, with four fellow Latter-day Saints serving as sureties. A month later, church members and provided in the March court term for the same amount.
On 24 April, filed the ’s declaration with the court, outlining two separate claims—one for the $5,000 note, and a second for an additional $1,000, which the defendants had promised to pay Martindale on 20 February 1837, perhaps in an effort to avoid litigation on the unpaid promissory note. and the other defendants endeavored to negotiate with Martindale, but he would not settle unless he received $2,500 and kept the farm and the defendants paid court costs. Martindale’s terms were apparently accepted, and the case was settled out of court sometime between 24 April and 5 June 1837.
 
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

    Declaration, ca. 24 Apr. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.]. This was one of several land transactions JS undertook in fall 1836, and the land may have served as financial security for the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. See Documents, Volume 5, Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837; and Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836, in JSP, D5:295n60.  

    JSP, D5 / Rogers, Brent M., Elizabeth A. Kuehn, Christian K. Heimburger, Max H Parkin, Alexander L. Baugh, and Steven C. Harper, eds. Documents, Volume 5: October 1835–January 1838. Vol. 5 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.

  2. 2

    Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837. No deeds transferring property from Martindale to any of the four men are found in the Geauga County deed records. It is likely that the men attempted to buy the farm from Martindale but were unable to fulfill the payments, so the land reverted to Martindale. Martindale’s Geauga County taxes indicate that he owned three parcels of land containing 105 acres each in sections 7, 20, and 21 of Township 1, Range 9. He was not taxed on the property in Section 20 in 1836, which suggests that it may have been part of this October 1836 land transaction. (Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1816–1850, Tax Record for 1835, p. 16, microfilm 506,578; Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1816–1850, Tax Record for 1836, p. 20, microfilm 559,345; Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1816–1850, Tax Record for 1837, p. 27, microfilm 20,261, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  3. 3

    Declaration, ca. 24 Apr. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.].)  

  4. 4

    Capias ad Respondendum, 16 Feb. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.].  

  5. 5

    Capias ad Respondendum, 16 Feb. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.]; Special Bail, 21 Mar. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.].  

  6. 6

    Declaration, ca. 24 Apr. 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.]. The plaintiff’s declaration claimed a total of $7,500 in damages. In his assessment of the unpaid debt to Martindale, Newel K. Whitney told JS that more than $6,500 was owed. (Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837; Swan, Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, 1:216.)  

    Swan, Joseph R. The Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law, in Ohio, and Precedents in Pleading, with Practical Notes; together with the Forms of Process and Clerks’ Entries. 2 vols. Columbus: Isaac N. Whiting, 1845.

  7. 7

    Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837.  

  8. 8

    Docket Entry, Judgment, 5 June 1837 [Martindale v. JS et al.].