Report of Agents, circa 30 January 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

The for the , for the purchasing and selling lands and transacting the business of the Church, would respectfully report:
— That during the interval which has elapsed since their last report, nothing of great importance has transpired in regard to their busness transactions of the
Some lots have been sold since that time, but very little means have been realized, hardly sufficient to meet the current expences,— yet they do not feel discouraged but cheerfully bear up under the burden believing that when they needed assistance; the brethren would come to their assistance with cheerfulness and delight and assist in moving along the great wheel which has commenced to roll in these last days—
The statement of situation of the City plot is as follows.
In the their there have been sales made amounting to about $83.000.—
There are about <​full​> 175 lots remaining unsold & several fractions on the which are valued at— 112.000.
In the purchase There have been sold Lots amounting to 15.000
There are about 32 lots (exclusive of the block) on which Resides valued at 20.000
In the ’s purchase There have been lots sold amounting to 15.000
The estimated value of the remaing lots 20.000
265 000
There have been sales made to widdows and other poor of the Church that from which we cannot expect to receive any pay amounting to 45-000
The purchase of the lands, and the various expences connected with the same will before the whole be settled probably amount to 2,00.0◊◊
[p. [1]]
The sales that have been made, have generally been on credit and as yet but comparitavely little means have come into their hands.
There has been paid the following, sums for lands in the plot viz
2000 Dollars to Mr Hugh White
1000 " to
18000 to Dr which
$3000 are now due to <​being the first payment of Int​> and $3000 to Mr Hugh White— the $3000 to Hugh White must be paid with or the must <​may​> suffer loss— it being the last payment to him for the farm purchased of him, and as soon as it is paid we shall be entitled to a deed for the same— we shall then have a deed of about 250 acres of the fairest portion of the City plot—
viz 120 acres from
80 from
and 50 from
We have notes which are now due nearly sufficient to meet the payments but in consequence of the poverty of the brethren, we shall not be able to collect them for some time [p. [2]]


  1. 1

    The “Hotchkiss purchase” refers to two separate land agreements that church leaders entered into on 12 August 1839 with Horace Hotchkiss, a land speculator from Connecticut. The larger of these purchases was made with Hotchkiss and his business partners, Smith Tuttle and John Gillet. This tract contained approximately four hundred acres in and around the platted towns of Commerce and Commerce City, Illinois, and was the largest land purchase the church made in the state. The church bought this land for $110,000, with two principal payments of $25,000 each, along with forty interest payments of $1,500 each. The second agreement entered into was with Hotchkiss alone, for 89½ acres that Hotchkiss had previously agreed to purchase from William White, a longtime resident of the area. This second agreement required the church to pay $2,500 plus interest to Hotchkiss, as well as $1,000 to White, which was the same amount that Hotchkiss still owed White. (Bonds from Horace Hotchkiss, 12 Aug. 1839–A and B.)  

  2. 2

    Fractional lots were those smaller than Nauvoo’s normal one-acre size, usually rendered smaller by the intrusion of a geographical feature—in this case the shoreline of the Mississippi River.  

  3. 3

    In April 1839, George Robinson on behalf of the church purchased land from Isaac Galland in the southwest portion of the peninsula that became Nauvoo. This land, which cost $18,000, included approximately forty-seven acres of Galland’s farm (including his home and rights to a ferry) and small, fractional parcels of land north and south of the peninsula on the Mississippi shoreline—apparently intended as additional ferry landings. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  4. 4

    Nauvoo block 132. Rigdon resided on lot 4, on the northwest corner of the intersection of Hills and Parley streets, in the “lower stone house.” This two-story house, one of the earliest structures built on the peninsula, was constructed around 1827. James White, an early settler in the area, sold the home to Isaac Galland, who sold the house to Rigdon’s son-in-law George W. Robinson. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  5. 5

    On 30 April 1839, church agent Alanson Ripley purchased from Hugh White, William White’s brother, approximately 130 acres of property on the southern end of the peninsula, including Hugh White’s home—one of the oldest structures in the area—into which JS and his family moved. Ripley purchased the property for $5,000. (Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 1, pp. 31–32, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm, 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  6. 6

    TEXT: Corner of page torn.  

  7. 7

    On 23 April 1840, White gave JS a receipt for the payment of $1,000 plus interest in satisfaction of the debt owed White on the smaller land agreement church leaders made with Hotchkiss on 12 August 1839. (Receipt from William White, 23 Apr. 1840.)  

  8. 8

    The 12 August 1839 agreement between church leaders and the partnership of Hotchkiss, Tuttle, and Gillet required the payment of two interest installments per year, both due on 12 August, for $1,500 each. This report lists these payments as being “now due,” indicating that the August 1840 interest payments had not been made by the time this report was created. (Bond from Horace Hotchkiss, 12 Aug. 1839–A; JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith to Horace Hotchkiss, Promissory Note, 12 Aug. 1839–A, JS Collection, CHL; JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith to John Gillet and Smith Tuttle, Promissory Note, 12 Aug. 1839–A, JS Collection, CHL; see also Promissory Note to John Gillet and Smith Tuttle, 12 Aug. 1839.)