, Bond, , Hancock Co., IL, to JS as trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, , Hancock Co., IL, 11 Oct. 1842; handwriting of ; signature of ; one page; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes docket and archival marking.
Single leaf, measuring 12⅜ × 7¾ inches (31 × 20 cm). The paper is ruled with about thirty-six horizontal lines printed in blue ink (now faded). The bond was folded twice horizontally and docketed. Separation along a fold partially obscures some text.
The document was docketed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. In late 1844, following JS’s death, became one of the interim church trustees and was appointed “first bishop” among other Nauvoo bishops. It was presumably during this time that many of the church’s financial and other administrative records passed into his possession. This document, along with many other personal and institutional documents that Whitney kept, was inherited by Newel K. and ’s daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who was married to Isaac Groo. The documents were passed down within the Groo family. Between 1969 and 1974, the Groo family donated their collection of Newel K. Whitney’s papers to the J. Reuben Clark Library (renamed Harold B. Lee Library in 1973) at Brigham Young University.
JS, Journal, 29 June 1842; “Clayton, William,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:718; Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 30–31.
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Andrus and Fuller, Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 24; Wilkinson et al., Brigham Young University, 4:255.
Andrus, Hyrum L., and Chris Fuller, comp. Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers. Provo, UT: Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1978.
Wilkinson, Ernest L., Leonard J. Arrington, and Bruce C. Hafen, eds. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years. Vol. 4. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1976.
On 11 October 1842, signed a bond in , Illinois, to JS as sole trustee-in-trust for the , committing himself to submit funds he collected for the construction of the Nauvoo to JS. Sometime before 10 September, Bent accepted an assignment from the to serve a mission in collecting donations in cash and in kind. Bent had previous experience with fund raising, having traveled throughout Illinois, , and in 1840 to raise money for the printing of a new edition of the Book of Mormon and other church publications. As early as April 1841, church members charged with collecting funds for the temple signed similar bonds. The bond may have also been created because not all of the and other donations collected away from Nauvoo for the temple’s construction were being submitted to church leaders.
It is unclear whether the creation of this bond was instigated by , by JS (who was in hiding at the time), or by someone else. , the temple recorder and JS’s , prepared the bond. According to the terms of the bond, if Bent did not submit to JS all of the funds and properties that he collected, he would owe the church $2,000. After Bent signed the bond, Clayton presumably kept it on JS’s behalf.
On his mission, collected livestock donated by church members in or near Appanoose Township, Illinois. The church’s tithing record does not list a later payment of $2,000 to JS as the sole trustee-in-trust of the church, suggesting that Bent’s submission of the donations he had collected met the terms of the bond.
On 10 September, Bent arranged for Elias Higbee to fill his spot on the Nauvoohigh council for the duration of an unspecified mission. He was in Nauvoo on 11 October to sign this bond, suggesting that he served a different mission in September or that he had yet to leave. In the minutes for meetings held on 15 and 22 October, Higbee was listed in Bent’s place. Bent returned to Nauvoo by 24 October, when he submitted the tithing he collected on his mission. (Nauvoo Stake High Council Minutes, 10 Sept. 1842, 11; 15, 22, and 29 Oct. 1842, 13–14; Book of the Law of the Lord, 243–244.)
Nauvoo Stake High Council Minutes, ca. 1839–ca. 1843. Fair copy. In Oliver Cowdery, Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL.
Although much of the documentation illustrating this problem postdates the bond featured here, the creation of this bond suggests that the submission of collected tithing and donations was a problem at this time as well. (See, for example, Historical Introduction to Letter from James M. Adams, 16 Nov. 1842; JS, Journal, 6 Apr. 1843; and Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 6 Apr. 1843.)
The Book of the Law of the Lord lists the men who paid their tithes through Bent on that occasion. Some of the same men were also named as members of the branch in Appanoose Township in an April 1845 branch record. (Book of the Law of the Lord, 243–244; Mound Branch, Record of Members, 1845–1846, , ; Platt, “Early Branches of the Church,” 30.)
Mound Branch. Record of Members, 1845–1846. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, Record of Members Collection, 1836–1970. CHL.
Platt, Lyman De. “Early Branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1850.” Nauvoo Journal 3 (1991): 3–50.
Know all men by these presents that I of the County of and state of am held and firmly bound unto Joseph Smith sole Trustee in Trust for the of the and aforesaid in the sum of Two thousand dollars, for the payment of which well and truly to be made I bind myself my heirs executors, administrators and assigns firmly by these presents.
Now the condition of this obligation is such that whereas the said has been appointed by the to collect funds for the building of the in the City of , if the said shall well and truly perform said duties, and shall make just and true returns of all monies and properties so collected; and shall pay over to the said Joseph Smith, Trustee &c all such monies & properties so received then this bond to become null and void, otherwise to be and remain in full force and virtue
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal at the City of this 11th. day of October A. D. 1842.