License, , Geauga Co., OH, for , 25 Feb. 1834; printed form with additions in handwriting of ; signatures of JS, , and ; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes archival marking.
Single leaf measuring 6⅜ × 6½ inches (16 × 17 cm). The left and right edges have been unevenly cut. This document has been folded, and at some point a piece of white, watermarked paper, measuring 3⅝ × 6¼ inches (9 × 16 cm), was glued to the back of the license to reinforce the paper where it was folded. On the verso, a notation in graphite in unidentified handwriting reads: “Signed by Joseph Smith, | , and ”. In the upper right corner of the recto a graphite notation retraced in ink reads “No. 1”.
This license is from a collection of other licenses that were donated to the Church History Library at an unknown time as part of the papers of , son of . This , along with other licenses of John P. Greene, was eventually separated from the Evan M. Greene papers and placed in the JS Collection.
Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL. MS 155.
This was issued to five days after the in , Ohio, appointed him to visit , Ohio, with and one day after JS dictated a revelation regarding the redemption of . The 24 February 1834 revelation appointed various men to serve missions to gather men and resources for the expedition. Though Greene was not specifically identified in the revelation, an 1857 history by his son indicates that after receiving his ’s license, Greene “took a mission . . . to the western part of and into to gather men and means” for the expedition. This account suggests that Greene was granted the license in preparation for his recruiting mission rather than for his trip to Strongsville. If Greene completed his mission to Strongsville, he must have done so before departing for New York and perhaps even before receiving the license. No minutes from the 25 February 1834 meeting in which the license was issued, and which might clarify for what mission Greene received this license, have been located. Those who filled out Greene’s license used the same printed form that was used for the license issued to . Greene’s license, like Williams’s, is one of the earliest printed licenses known to have been issued in the .
It is unclear from Greene’s biographical sketch if he left for New York and Canada immediately after receiving his license or if he had sufficient time to travel to nearby Strongsville first. His biographical sketch reads, “He received letters of commendation, from the hand of Jos Smith jr & S. Rigdon and took a mission again to the western part of N. Y. and into Canada to gather men and means for the redemption of Zion.” (Greene, “Biographical Sketch of the Life and Travels of John Portenus Greene,” 2.)
Greene, Evan Melbourne. “A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Travels of John Portenus Greene,” 1857. CHL. MS 15390.
THIS Certifies, that , has been received into this , organized on the sixth of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty; and has been an according to the rules and regulations of said church, and is duly authorized to preach the gospel, and act in all the of the , agreeably to the authority of that office.
From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral character, and his zeal for the cause of righteousness, and diligent desire to persuade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people, in every country where he may be permitted to travel, in the order of Divine providence, as a worthy member of society; being sent from the bosom of this church to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to mankind.
We, therefore, in the name, and by the authority of this church, grant unto this, our worthy brother in the Lord, this letter of commendation as a proof of our fellowship and esteem: praying for his success and prosperity in our Redeemer’s cause.
Given in, and by the direction of a of the elders of this church, assembled in , Geauga county, Ohio, this 25the day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty four.