JS as trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deed for property in , Hancock Co., IL, to , 6 Sept. 1842; printed form with manuscript additions in the handwriting of ; signature of JS; witnessed by ; certified by and by on behalf of JS; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes dockets and notation.
Single leaf, measuring 11⅜ × 7½ inches (29 × 19 cm). The leaf was folded for filing and is held together by three pieces of clear cellophane tape that were used to repair substantial tears and separation at the folds.
retained possession of the deed after its creation. It is unclear when or how it came into the possession of the Church Historical Department (now CHL). By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 6 September 1842, JS, as sole trustee-in-trust of the , issued a deed to for a city lot in , Illinois. The land, lot 2 in block 139, was valued at $1,000 and was located on the southeast corner of Parley and Granger streets, two blocks north of JS’s home. In his role as trustee-in-trust, JS oversaw hundreds of land transactions in 1842. This deed is an example of one such transaction. However, some of the circumstances surrounding this land transaction were not typical. For instance, Sarah Ann Whitney’s family was already living in a house on the deeded lot. According to extant records, on 24 September 1841 JS had reserved the property for Whitney’s father, , but the two men had neither determined a price for the lot nor executed the transaction. In addition, though several women owned lots in Nauvoo, it was much more common for men to own land in the city.
There is no record that made a cash payment for this land, nor is there any indication that a bond was issued with corresponding promissory notes, which would have been created if Whitney purchased the city lot on credit. She would have received the deed only after making all the required payments. While it is possible that Whitney paid for the lot and that the record of her payment is not extant, JS most likely deeded this lot to Whitney as a gift, requiring no payment. One possible explanation for the gift is that JS was trying to provide financially for Whitney, who six weeks earlier had been sealed to him as a plural wife. Concern for the financial support of other women who were sealed to JS may have prompted additional land transactions. JS similarly deeded land to a few widows in an apparent attempt to provide for them financially following the deaths of their husbands.
witnessed the land transaction on 6 September 1842. , who served as a justice of the peace by virtue of being a alderman, certified the deed that same day. On 28 February 1844, Clayton recorded the deed in the Nauvoo registry of deeds on behalf of JS, the city registrar of deeds.
Revelation, 27 July 1842. In marrying JS, Whitney presumably gave up the prospects of marrying another man, who would have provided for her financially. JS may have deeded this land to Whitney, who was seventeen years old at the time she was sealed to him, because she did not live in JS’s household and would need support. On 29 April 1843, Whitney married Nauvoo resident and church member Joseph Kingsbury, who was the widower of her late sister, Caroline. JS officiated the wedding ceremony. Because Whitney’s plural marriage to JS was not publicly known at the time, she may have been married to Kingsbury in order to bring her further social and financial protection. (Marriage Certificate for Joseph Kingsbury and Sarah Ann Whitney, Nauvoo, IL, 29 Apr. 1843, Nauvoo, IL, Recorder, Marriage Certificates, CHL.)
Nauvoo Registry of Deeds, Record of Deeds, bk. B, p. 83.
Nauvoo Registry of Deeds. Record of Deeds, bk. B, 1843–1846. CHL. MS 3443.
THIS INDENTURE MADE AND ENTERED INTO, This Sixth day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-Two between Joseph Smith, as sole Trustee in Trust, for the , of the county of , and State of of the FIRST part, and of the county of and aforesaid, of the SECOND part, Witnesseth, that the said Joseph Smith, party of the FIRST part, for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars, to him in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby grant, bargain, sell, convey, and confirm unto the said party of the SECOND part, his <her> heirs and assigns forever, all that tract of land, situate and being in the county of in the State of and known and described as follows, to wit: Lot Number Two (2) in Block Number one hundred and Thirty nine (139). of the City of .—— together with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining.
TO HAVE and TO HOLD The above described premises unto the said —— party of the SECOND part, his <her> heirs and assigns forever. And the said Joseph Smith, party of the FIRST part, his assigns and successors in office, the aforesaid premises, unto the said party of the SECOND part, his <her> heirs and assigns, against the claim or claims of all and every person whomsoever, do and will warrant and forever defend by these presents.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, The said Joseph Smith, party of the FIRST part has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year above written.
As sole Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Signed sealed and delivered in presence of
STATE OF ILLINOIS,)
I, a Justice of the Peace, in and for the City of , in said county, do certify that Joseph Smith, whose signature appears to the foregoing deed, and, who is personally known to me to be the person described in, and who executed the same, did acknowledge that he had executed the said conveyance for the uses and purposses therein mentioned.
Given under my hand and seal, this Sixth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-Two