Introduction to State of Illinois v. Tubbs

Document Transcript

State of Illinois v. Tubbs
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, Justice of the Peace Court, 27 July 1842
Historical Introduction
On 26 July 1842, William Walker swore a complaint before , a justice of the peace in , Illinois, accusing of stealing livestock from JS on or around 15 May. In his complaint, Walker specified that the suspected theft occurred from the yard of the “trustee-in-trust”—that is, the person with legal responsibility for all church property—suggesting that the stolen cow was given to JS either as tithing or a donation for the temple. This was apparently not an isolated incident; the trustee’s office had published numerous notices in the church-owned Wasp regarding livestock which was missing from the trustee’s yard due to theft or straying.
Acting on Walker’s complaint, issued a warrant against , charging him with petty . At Tubbs’s request he also issued subpoenas for residents , William Hickman, and . The next day, 27 July, constable brought Tubbs before Robinson. Citing a lack of evidence, Robinson discharged Tubbs, who asked for a certificate proving his discharge. The cow in question was apparently returned to the trustee’s office, since two days later it was sold along with a calf to Latter-day Saint .
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  1. 1

    Docket Entry, between ca. 26 and ca. 27 July 1842 [State of Illinois v. Tubbs]. For more on livestock and goods being used as tithing in cash-poor Nauvoo, see Historical Introduction to Notice, 9 July 1842, in JSP, D10 (forthcoming).  

  2. 2

    See Historical Introduction to Notice, 9 July 1842, in JSP, D10 (forthcoming); see also “Strayed,” Wasp, 21 May 1842, [3], and “Strayed,” Wasp, 9 July 1842, [3].  

    The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.

  3. 3

    Docket Entry, between ca. 26 and ca. 27 July 1842 [State of Illinois v. Tubbs]. Some states—among them Ohio, where many of the Latter-day Saints including Robinson had lived—distinguished between grand and “petit” larceny, depending on “the value of the property stolen.” (An Act Relative to Criminal Jurisdiction [26 Feb. 1833], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois [1839], p. 208, sec. 62; “Larceny,” in Bouvier, Law Dictionary, 2:6; see also Statutes of the State of Ohio [1841], 232, 251.)  

    The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.

    Bouvier, John. A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America, and of the Several States of the American Union; with References to the Civil and Other Systems of Foreign Law. 2 vols. Philadelphia: T. and J. W. Johnson, 1839.

    Statutes of the State of Ohio, of a General Nature, in Force, December 7, 1840; Also, the Statutes of a General Nature, Passed by the General Assembly at Their Thirty-Ninth Session, Commencing December 7, 1840. Columbus, OH: Samuel Medary, 1841.

  4. 4

    Sometime later, likely in August 1842, William Clayton, who served as a clerk for JS and managed the accounts of the trustee’s office, informed Hunter that Tubbs was claiming ownership of the cow Hunter had purchased. Clayton requested that Hunter allow Tubbs to examine the cow and return it to him if he was thought to be the legitimate owner. (See Letter to Edward Hunter, ca. Aug. 1842, in JSP, D10 [forthcoming].)