Deed from William and Rosannah Robinson Marks, 11 February 1841–B
and Rosannah Robinson Marks, Deed for property in , Lake Co., OH, to JS as trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11 Feb. 1841; handwriting of ; signatures of and Rosannah Robinson Marks; witnessed by and ; certified by and ; three pages; JS Collection (Supplement), CHL. Includes dockets and notations.
Bifolium measuring 12⅝ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm) with thirty-five horizontal lines in blue ink and an illegible embossed logo from a paper mill in the top left corner of the first page. The deed was written on the recto and verso of the first leaf and the recto of the second leaf. Certification from the Commissioner’s Court was attached to the recto of the second leaf with an adhesive wafer. The second leaf was later folded backward, and the document was then folded for filing.
The document was docketed by . Although the custodial history is uncertain, sometime between 1973 and 1984, the deed was added to the JS Collection (Supplement) at the Church Historical Department (now CHL).
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection (Supplement), 1833–1844, in the CHL catalog.
In two separate deeds dated 11 February 1841, and Rosannah Robinson Marks transferred parts of lots 29, 30, and 31 in , Ohio, to JS. The deed featured here transferred the portion of lot 30 that included the Kirtland . In the related deed from 11 February, parts of the adjoining lots—29 and 31—were also transferred to JS, along with another portion of lot 30. The deed featured here is representative of both transactions. The deeds were created in , Illinois, and returned these Kirtland tracts to JS nearly four years after he had transferred them to William Marks.
was a trusted associate of JS, serving both as president of the and as an alderman in the Nauvoo City Council. The two men had also entered several land transactions together in the past. The original 1837 sale of lot 30 to Marks, along with the transfer of five other extant deeds, may have been done for strategic purposes to prevent the from being seized for debt payment. It is even possible that no money or other items of value changed hands at the original transfer. Although the paperwork for the 1837 transactions specified selling prices commensurate with the market price of real estate, this 11 February 1841 transaction listed only the nominal amount of one dollar to be paid to the Markses. As stated in the deed, the Markses were making the transaction not to obtain assets but out of their “love and attachment to the .”
In the period between the 1837 transactions and those of February 1841, the property described on the deed featured here was transferred to and then back to . Unfortunately, no extant sources clearly elucidate the reasons for the transfer of ownership.
It is also possible that ’s stewardship over the lots was in the capacity of informal for JS and the church. Marks mortgaged the property in 1837 to the firm of Mead, Stafford & Co. in accordance with a decision made by JS, , , , , and . This mortgage allowed the church leaders to continue using the building while repaying their debts. Apparently the mortgage had been fulfilled by late 1840, and it was time for Marks to return the ownership of the lot and to JS, who was authorized to act on behalf of the church.
After the deed was written and witnessed by JS’s clerk , it was certified by the justice of the peace, . Likely because the deed was for property in another state, the Hancock County clerk, , then certified that Wells was acting as an official justice of the peace in , and this certification was attached to the deed. The deed was then taken to the Lake County recorder in , where the property was located, and recorded in the local deed book in April 1841.
Lake Co., OH, Land Registry Records, 1840–1842, bk. A, pp. 327–328, 11 Feb. 1841, CHL.
Lake Co., OH, Recorder’s Office. Land Registry Records, 1840–1842. CHL.
This Indenture made and entered into this eleventh day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one between and Rosanah [Rosannah Robinson Marks] his his wife of the County of and State of of the first part and Joseph Smith Sole Trustee in trust for the , of the County of and State of of the other part witnesseth: that the said and Rosanah his wife for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar to them in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and for their love and attachment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell and confirm unto the said Joseph Smith sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the following described tract or parcel of land situate in No 9 in the 9th. Range of Townships, in the , in the State of , and which is also in the County of Lake and is known as part of Lot No 30, and is bounded as follows, to wit On the south by land formerly owned by Isaac Mo[o]re. Beginning near the North East Corner of said Moore’s land in the center of the road leading from to and running west on the North line of said land Twenty Two rods thence North seventeen rods to a stake marked No 1— Thence east to the west line of the lot owned by the Methodist Episcopal society on which their meeting house stands. Thence [p. ]