, Bond for Property in , IL, to , JS, and , 12 Aug. 1839. Featured version copied 4 Sept. 1839 in Hancock County Deed Record, 1817–1917, vol. 12 G, p. 299; unidentified handwriting.
, IL, Recorder, Deed Record, vol. 12 G, 24 Apr.–7 Nov. 1839; 462 pages; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL. Includes notations and archival marking.
Volume containing 236 leaves measuring 17½ × 11 inches (44 × 28 cm). At an unknown time, the original leather binding was covered with white canvas. The spine of the canvas was stamped in black ink: “DEED RECORD | 12 G | HANCOCK COUNTY”. The bound volume measures 18¼ × 12 × 3⅛ inches (46 × 30 × 8 cm). This volume has been in the continuous custody of the Hancock County, Illinois, Recorder’s Office since the volume’s creation.
On 12 August 1839, prepared a bond for land in the northern part of the , Illinois, area that Hotchkiss and his partners, and , agreed to sell to JS and his in the . This transaction and another one that day with Hotchkiss and were the largest land purchases the had made in . The tract of land that Hotchkiss, Gillet, and Tuttle were selling consisted of approximately four hundred acres in and around the platted towns of Commerce and Commerce City, Illinois, minus the lots in the Commerce plat that had already been sold.
In the bond, (who was representing his partners and ) specified that he would provide JS, , and with a warranty deed for the land if the men made the scheduled payments, which totaled $110,000. Half the amount was to be paid to Hotchkiss in the form of twenty promissory notes for $1,500 each, due annually for the next twenty years, with a final note for $25,000 due in 1859. The other half was to be paid to Tuttle and Gillet jointly in the same manner. The annual payments of $1,500 likely represented interest, although they were not specified as such in the bond. JS, Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith promised to make the scheduled payments by signing the forty-two promissory notes outlined in the bond. The original bond is apparently not extant; the version featured here was copied into a Hancock County deed record book in September 1839. In 1843, the bond was canceled by mutual agreement, and most of the land was returned to Hotchkiss, Tuttle, and Gillet through a quitclaim deed.
Hotchkiss, Gillet, and Tuttle were land speculators from Connecticut who bought land in northwestern Illinois in 1836. Hotchkiss and Gillet purchased the land mentioned in this 12 August 1839 bond from Alexander White in June 1836. This land was originally set aside by the federal government as bounty land to be sold to men who held a military commission during the War of 1812. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. B, p. 322, microfilm 954,192, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Anthony Hoffman, Rushville, IL, to John Reid, Argyle, NY, 1 Nov. 1833, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Hoffman, Anthony. Letter, Rushville, IL, to John Reid, Argyle, NY, 1 Nov. 1833. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.
An 1841 report by unidentified churchagents noted that “$3000 are now due to Mr Hotchkiss being the first payment of Int.” An 1841 letter written by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and printed in the church newspaper listed $53,500 as the amount the church owed for its August 1839 land transactions with Hotchkiss; the letter also noted that interest was accumulating on the promissory notes. The $53,500 appears to combine the two 12 August 1839 bonds made with Hotchkiss, with $50,000 representing the principal for the bond featured here and $3,500 representing the amount specified in the second bond. Therefore, the annual payments of $1,500 mentioned in the featured bond likely represent interest payments. (“Report of the Agents of the Church for Buying and Selling Land in Nauvoo,” ca. Jan. 1841, JS Office Papers, CHL; “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:568.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Know all men by these presents that I of the City and County of and State of Connecticut for the Consideration herein after mentioned have this day sold and I do hereby bargain sell and confirm unto Joseph Smith Jr and all of Hancock County and State of Illinois and further agree and bind myself to give unto the said & Smiths a full indisputable & perfect title to the following property namely the North half of the North East quarter of Section number two in township Number Six North and Range number nine West of the fourth principal Meridian (Reserving therefrom four Rods Square Deeded to Mrs Cutler for her husbands grave) also the south East fractional quarter of Section thirty five in township Seven North and Range nine West of the fourth principal meridian Also the West half of the South West quarter of Section thirty six in township Seven North and in Range nine West of the fourth principal Meridian— Also the South West fractional quarter of section number thirty five in township Seven North and in Range nine West of the fourth principal Meridian also the North East fractional quarter Section number thirty five in township number Seven and in Range nine West of the fourth principal Meridian Reserving from the above property in this sale the following Lots as described in Alex Whites survey of the town of and Recorded upon the Records at to wit;— Lots 3— 4— 7 and 8 in block 3. Lot 4 in block 4. Lots 1— and 4 in block 5. Lots 2— 7 and 8 in Block 6. Lot 8 in block 10. Lots 1— 2— 3— 5— 7 and 8 in block 11 Lots 1— 2 and 3 in block 12 Lots 1— 2— 3 and 4 in block 13 also Lots 2— 3— 6 & 7 in block 14. and for the above property I have received as a consideration the following Notes namely Two Notes for twenty five thousand Dollars each payable in twenty year and forty Notes of Fifteen hundred Dollars each two of which are payable every twelve months for twenty years one half of the whole being drawn to my own order and the other half to the order of and amounting to the sum of One hundred And Ten Thousand Dollars and dated this 12th day of Augt. 1839
Now if the said and Smiths shall pay or cause to be paid the aforesaid Notes according to their tenor then I do hereby bind myself my heirs executors administrators and assigns to deliver the said and Smiths or their assigns a perfect Absolute and Warrantee Deed of all the property described in this instrument (except the specific reservations) together with all the buildings and the appurtenances in any way thereunto belonging
<Fee $1.> In Witness Whereof I have this 12th day of August 1839 set my hand and Seal
Probably Mary Ann Munson Cutler Whitney, who became postmistress of Commerce in 1834 after the death of her first husband, George Y. Cutler. She married Daniel G. Whitney in August 1838. (Munson, Munson Record, 810–811; Obituary for Mary Ann Munson Whitney, Quincy [IL] Whig, 10 July 1844, ; Blum, Nauvoo, 4.)
Munson, Myron A. The Munson Record: A Genealogical and Biographical Account of Captain Thomas Munson (a Pioneer of Hartford and New Haven) and His Descendants. Vol. 2. New Haven, CT: Munson Association, 1895.
Quincy Whig. Quincy, IL. 1838–1856.
Blum, Ida. Nauvoo—an American Heritage. Carthage, IL: By the author, 1969.
A section comprised 640 acres; a quarter section, 160 acres; a half of a quarter section, 80 acres. The term fractional quarter indicated that the acreage of the parcel was less than the standard 160 acres.
Hancock Co., IL, Plat Books, 1836–1938, vol. 1, pp. 10–11, 24 May 1834, microfilm 954,774, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. The Commerce plat was commissioned by Alexander White and Joseph B. Teas; the survey was performed by John Johnston.