Receipt from William White, 23 April 1840
, Receipt, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS, 23 Apr. 1840; manuscript form in the handwriting of with manuscript additions in the handwriting of ; signature of ; certified by ; one page; JS Receipts and Accounts, CHL. Includes seal and docket.One leaf of lined paper, measuring 9⅝ × 7¾ inches (24 × 20 cm). The document was inscribed on the recto of the leaf. The verso is blank except for a docket written by . The receipt was folded for filing, and separation at the folds has been mended.The receipt was apparently received by JS or by on JS’s behalf and has presumably remained in continuous institutional custody.
While visiting , Illinois, signed a receipt on 23 April 1840 stating that he had received payment from JS for property purchased in the area. White had previously agreed to sell to land speculator two tracts of land, totaling 89½ acres, just south and southeast of , Illinois. White sold the land to Hotchkiss for $1,000 plus an unspecified amount of interest. On 12 August 1839, JS, , and made an agreement to purchase this same land from Hotchkiss. The leaders agreed to pay Hotchkiss two installments of $1,250 each, with one payment due in five years and one in ten years. They were also to pay directly to White the $1,000 Hotchkiss still owed him “in such manner as shall be satisfactory to said White.”On 23 April, however, JS slightly altered the arrangement. When JS paid the outstanding $1,000 and interest, White agreed to provide the deed for the land directly to JS. White apparently planned to give JS the deed as soon as he received the bond for the deed from , though it is unclear if White waited to receive the bond before transferring the deed to JS. Rather than allow JS to receive a direct deed from White, standard land transaction protocols would have obligated White to transfer the deed to Hotchkiss when White received this payment from church leaders. In turn, Hotchkiss would have provided JS and his associates with the deed only after receiving full payment from them, which was not scheduled to take place for another decade. The church purchased most of the land on the peninsula that became on long-term arrangements. These agreements only allowed the church to give buyers of lots in the area bonds for the eventual transfer of a deed to the land. The transfer of the deed was contingent on the initial purchase being completed, which in some cases would occur many years in the future. This new arrangement to receive a direct deed benefited church leaders in their efforts to resell the land to immigrating Latter-day Saints. Obtaining a clear title from White would make the land more desirable for prospective buyers, who would be able to receive deeds rather than bonds for eventual deeds.Three months after paying , JS wrote to , informing him of this transaction with White, describing the details of the arrangement, and explaining the rationale for modifying the agreement with Hotchkiss. JS clarified that immediately having clear title would increase the marketability of the land. The money derived from these sales to church members would allow JS and his associates to pay Hotchkiss more promptly not only for these 89½ acres but also for a much larger and more valuable tract of land—approximately 400 acres worth $110,000—they had agreed to purchase from Hotchkiss and his partners and on 12 August 1839.No response from regarding this rearrangement has been located. However, on 23 October 1840, JS signed a new promissory note to Hotchkiss for the $2,500 initially promised him, but with the entirety due eight months after that date rather than in two installments over ten years.The manuscript receipt was prepared by and signed by in Thompson’s presence.