, Agreement, with JS, , IL, 29 Apr. 1840; handwriting of ; signatures of and JS; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes dockets, seals, and redaction.
One leaf, measuring 11¾ × 7½ inches (30 × 19 cm). The right edge has the square cut of manufactured paper, whereas the left, top, and bottom edges are all uneven, suggesting they were cut by hand. The leaf was folded in half twice for filing. The weathering on the back of the document suggests that the agreement was kept folded for some time. The leaf has undergone conservation and is encased in a Mylar sleeve. At some point, perhaps in the mid-twentieth century, an unknown person wrote “29 APRIL 1840” in graphite along the right side of the recto, presumably for vertical filing as practiced in the Church Historian’s Office.
’s docket on the document indicates that the agreement was in church possession shortly after its creation. The later redaction suggests institutional custody beginning in the mid-twentieth century. Between 1974 and 1984, the agreement was included in the JS Collection (Supplement). The document’s docket, redaction, and cataloging indicate it has remained in continuous institutional custody.
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection (Supplement), 1833–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 29 April 1840, JS signed an agreement with transferring to Granger all of the debts and obligations that members JS, , and had contracted on the ’s behalf. Some of these obligations stemmed from transactions related to the , a banking establishment operated by church leaders in , Ohio, in 1836 and 1837; others resulted from buying goods to stock Kirtland stores. Earlier in April 1840, the had discussed Granger’s upcoming trip to the eastern to “settle some buisness transactions for the church.” Granger had previously acted as an for the church and for JS, most notably in selling property and settling outstanding debts in after church members migrated to in 1838. This April 1840 agreement would allow Granger to continue to conduct business for JS and his counselors in the First Presidency while Granger visited and Ohio.
Both and JS signed the agreement. At least two copies of the document were made at the time it was created: the one featured here (apparently retained by JS) and another copy kept by Granger (also containing original signatures). Except for minor differences in punctuation and wording, the two texts are identical.
For an explanation of the debts JS and the church owed in Kirtland, see Madsen, “Tabulating the Impact of Litigation on the Kirtland Economy,” 227–246.
Madsen, Gordon A. “Tabulating the Impact of Litigation on the Kirtland Economy.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker, and John W. Welch, 227–246. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.
Articles of Agreement made and entered into this twenty ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty. Between of the County of and State of of the one part, and Joseph Smith Jr, of the and aforesaid, of the other part:— Witnesseth, That the said for considerations hereinafter set forth, hereby, covenants to and agrees with the said Joseph Smith <Jr>, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, to assume all the debts, notes, & obligations owing by the said Joseph Smith Jr. & , which the said parties contracted for the use of the , in the State of and in the State of — and that the said, shall use all necessary dilligence in Settling said debts, notes or obligations whatever which the said Joseph Smith Jr & may have contracted for the purposes aforesaid
In consideration whereof the said Joseph Smith Jr hereby covenants to and with the said his heirs executors administrators and assigns, to pay the said the full amount of said debts notes or obligations which he may liquidate or take up. in money or lands as may be agreed upon by the said and Joseph Smith Jr when the said shall deliver up said notes or obligations and or give satisfactory proof that said debts are liquidated and security to that effect
It is further agreed upon by the said parties that the Senior has property in the Town of Geauga County and State of Ohio, which has now incumbrances upon it— Now provided the said Shall free the said property from whatever incumbrances may be upon it. the said Joseph Smith Jr [p. ]
It is not clear what property this was or what the encumbrances were. It may have been the sixty-six rods of land that Joseph Smith Sr. purchased from Jacob Bump on 1 April 1837 for $2,500. Joseph Smith Sr. apparently still owned this property in 1840 because there is no record of its sale. In January 1840, Joseph Smith Sr. expressed an interest in traveling to Kirtland with Granger, perhaps in part to sell the property he still held in Kirtland. (Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 24, p. 410, 1 Apr. 1837, microfilm 20,240, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Letter from Hyrum Smith, 2 Jan. 1840.)