JS, , and , Bond, , Hancock Co., IL, to , , Hancock Co., IL, 21 May 1842; handwriting of ; signatures of JS, , and ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.
Single leaf measuring 9 × 7½ inches (23 × 19 cm), ruled with twenty-seven horizontal blue lines (now faded) on the recto. The bond and signatures were written in blue ink, except for the signature of James Ivins, which is in brown ink. The leaf was later trifolded, presumably for filing.
, who served as the city recorder from February 1841 to July 1843, docketed the document. It was likely interfiled in either the Nauvoo City Council records or the two manuscript record books that contained copies of Nauvoo bonds and deeds. These records were listed in an inventory produced by the Church Historian’s Office in 1846, when they were packed up with church records that were taken to the Salt Lake Valley. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early docket and inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 suggest continuous institutional custody.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 21 May 1842, JS, along with and , signed a bond to , the city recorder of , Illinois, providing assurance that JS would fulfill his duties as Nauvoo’s newly elected mayor. Two days after resigned as mayor on 17 May, the city council elected JS to finish Bennett’s term of office. The bond accorded with a provision in the Nauvoo charter that required all city officers to complete “bonds with penalty and security, for the faithful performance of their respective duties.” JS also likely signed the bond, since such bonds were a prerequisite for mayors to receive commissions as justices of the peace. The bond included a penal sum, which stipulated that JS would be required to pay $1,000 if he failed to fulfill his duties.
inscribed the document; then JS, , and added their signatures. Whitney and Ivins presumably signed the $1,000 bond as sureties, indicating their willingness to pay JS’s fine if he was unable to pay. Whitney, who had been involved in the finances of the for a decade as an and , had also held a number of city council appointments. Ivins, meanwhile, had recently become a prominent financial agent of the church after being assigned to handle transactions with land speculator .
In addition to issuing this bond, JS signed an oath to uphold the law and perform his duties as mayor. sent a certificate of the bond to governor and requested that Carlin forward to JS’s commission to serve as a justice of the peace. Carlin issued the commission on 13 June.
See, for example, An Act to Amend an Act Entitled, “An Act to Incorporate the City of Quincy” [7 Jan. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], p. 58, sec. 6. The Nauvoo charter granted “the Mayor and Aldermen . . . all the powers of Justices of the Peace” and stipulated that these justices would be governed by the same laws as other justices of the peace and be commissioned by the Illinois governor. (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835. Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835.
Whitney had been sworn into office as an alderman in February 1841 and was acting as a justice of the peace by July 1841. He had also been appointed to the city council’s Committee of Ways and Means on 19 May 1842. (Minutes, 3 Feb. 1841; Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. S, p. 200, 12 July 1841, microfilm 954,605, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Minutes, 19 May 1842.)
Know all Men by these Presents that We Joseph Smith, and all of the City of , Hancock County, and State of Illinois, are held and firmly bound unto Recorder of said in the penal Sum of One Thousand Dollars, to the payment of which we bind Ourselves, our Heirs, and assigns, firmly by these Presents, In witness whereof we have hereunto set our Hands and Seals this 21st. day of May, AD. 1842.
The Condition of the above Bond is such that Whereas the said Joseph Smith has been elected Mayor of the City of for the remainder of Two years which will expire on the first Monday which will be in the Month of February <A.D.> One Thousand eight hundred and forty three, and now next ensuing, and having been Sworn as is directed in the Charter of said .
Now therefore if the said Joseph Smith shall well and truly execute and perform all the duties pertaining to the office of Mayor aforesaid, and faithfully pay over and discharge all Monies that shall come to his Hands by Virtue of the said office of Mayor, And generally to do all things whatsoever that shall be required of him in pursuance of Law. Then this Bond and every thing herein Contained shall Cease otherwise to remain in full force and Virtue in Law.
The bond John C. Bennett signed upon becoming mayor also had a penal sum set at $1,000, as did the bonds for other city offices. Penal sums for government officers were standard practice in this period. (See John C. Bennett, Daniel H. Wells, and JS to James Sloan, Bond, Nauvoo, IL, 11 Feb. 1841, JS Collection, CHL; City Charter, 22–24; An Act Establishing the Courts of County Commissioners [22 Mar. 1819], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois [1834–1837], p. 161, sec. 6; and An Act to Establish and Maintain a General System of Internal Improvement [27 Feb. 1837], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois [1834–1837], pp. 350, 351–352, secs. 1, 5–6.)
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.