SMITH, Joseph (1805-1844) – JACOBS, Henry. Autograph document signed, (“Henry Jacobs Justice of the peace”), to Ray County, Mo. Sherriff B.J. Brown, [Richmond], Ray County, Mo., 12 November 1838. Endorsed by Sherriff Brown on verso, 25 November 1838.
SMITH, Joseph (1805-1844) – JACOBS, Henry. Autograph document signed, (“Henry Jacobs Justice of the peace”), to Ray County, Mo. Sherriff B.J. Brown, [Richmond], Ray County, Mo., 12 November 1838. Endorsed by Sherriff Brown on verso, 25 November 1838.
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SMITH, Joseph (1805-1844) – JACOBS, Henry. Autograph document signed, (“Henry Jacobs Justice of the peace”), to Ray County, Mo. Sherriff B.J. Brown, [Richmond], Ray County, Mo., 12 November 1838. Endorsed by Sherriff Brown on verso, 25 November 1838.

Details
SMITH, Joseph (1805-1844) – JACOBS, Henry. Autograph document signed, (“Henry Jacobs Justice of the peace”), to Ray County, Mo. Sherriff B.J. Brown, [Richmond], Ray County, Mo., 12 November 1838. Endorsed by Sherriff Brown on verso, 25 November 1838.

Two pages. 220 x 190mm.

The manuscript summons for witnesses to testify against the Prophet Joseph Smith and his fellow prisoners at the conclusion of the Mormon War of 1838. At the conclusion of three months of hostilities in Missouri during the summer of 1838 that became known as the “Mormon War,” Governor Lilburn Boggs signed an executive order authorizing the state militia to subdue and expel Mormons from the state. Joseph Smith was one of the first to be arrested and was nearly executed after a hastily assembled military court found him guilty of treason. Fortunately for Smith, cooler heads prevailed, and Smith, among other Mormon leaders were transferred to a series of civilian jails as they awaited trial. On 9 November 1838, Smith and his fellow defendants arrived in Richmond, Missouri to stand trial. The preliminary trial began on the 12th and lasted until the end of the month. During the trial, Justice of the Peace Henry Jacobs issued the following summons for witnesses to testify in favor of the prosecution: “you are hereby commanded to summon John Whitmore David Whitmore F G. Williams George W. Henkle William W Phillips John Taylor John Clemson Wyatt Cravins John Caroll and Reed Peck ... [to] appear before A. A. King Judge of our Ray Circuit Court on monday [sic] at ten o clock.... to testify the truth of there [sic] knowledge tuching [sic] a certain matter in controversy before the said Judge depending between the State of Missouri plaintiff and Joseph Smith and others Defendant on the part of the plaintiff...” On the verso Ray County Sherriff endorses the summons, noting he was able to summon all the men named save for “F. J. Williams” who “was not to be found in Ray County”. The court determined that probable cause existed to charge Smith with treason and he, and other fellow Mormon leaders, spent the next several months in jail awaiting trial. He and his companions escaped custody in April 1839 and rejoined his followers on the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois to establish Nauvoo.
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