Bond from First Presidency, 4 January 1842
JS, , and , Bond for property in , Hancock Co., IL, to JS as trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 Jan. 1842; signed by JS, , and ; acknowledged by . Featured version copied 18 Apr. 1842 in Hancock County Bonds and Mortgages, vol. 1, pp. 221–223; unidentified handwriting; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL. At some point, these pages were torn from the volume, resulting in some loss of text. For more complete source information, see the source note for Appointment as Trustee, 2 Feb. 1841
On 4 January 1842 members JS, , and signed a bond transferring land in , Illinois, to JS as trustee-in-trust for the . The bond identified ninety-one lots and a couple of incidental smaller properties in Nauvoo being sold to JS for $1. Despite this purchase price, the members of the First Presidency bound themselves as liable for $27,300, an amount equaling $300 per lot for ninety-one lots, likely reflecting the perceived value of the land.The apparent intention of this transfer was to legally place the land in the church’s possession via its trustee-in-trust, the legal for the church; however, the amount of land being sold vastly exceeded the amount that a religious organization could own under law. According to the Act concerning Religious Societies, passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 1835, religious organizations could “purchase a quantity of land not exceeding five acres.” The majority of lots in this bond were an acre each.It is unclear why the First Presidency transferred only the selected land and not other land on the peninsula. It may be noteworthy that all the lots listed in this bond were in the northern half of the , on land purchased from the partnership of , , and on 12 August 1839. No property from the church’s other early land purchases on the peninsula—those from Hotchkiss and , from , and from —was included in this transfer from the First Presidency to JS as trustee.The bond was recorded in the county clerk’s office in , Illinois, on 18 April 1842. ’s assistant, , inscribed the original signed copy of this bond, which includes signatures not only of JS, , , and Richards but also of county clerk .
Nauvoo Stake High Council Minutes, ca. 1839–ca. 1843. Fair copy. In Oliver Cowdery, Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL.
Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois; Passed at a Session of the General Assembly, Begun and Held at Vandalia the 6th Day of December, 1836. Vandalia, IL; William Walters, 1837.
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.