Deed from Robert and Mary Crane McQueen, 20 February 1843
and , Deed for property in , Henderson Co., IL, to JS, 20 Feb. 1843; printed form with manuscript additions possibly in the handwriting of ; signatures of and ; witnessed by and ; certified by , 20 Feb. 1843, and by on behalf of John McKinney, 25 Apr. 1843; two pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket and notations.
Single leaf, measuring 12⅞–13⅛ × 12⅛ inches (33 × 31 cm). The leaf was unevenly cut along the top and bottom edges. Once the deed form was completed, signed, witnessed, and certified, it was folded and docketed for filing. The document has undergone conservation.
Likely on 22 April 1843, the deed was presented to the Henderson County, Illinois, recorder’s office in along with an accompanying power of attorney granted to . The deed was recorded by 25 April 1843 and was then likely returned to JS or Lyman. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL).
See the full bibliographic entry for JS Collection, 1827–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 20 February 1843, and of Henderson County, Illinois, deeded thirty-nine town lots in , Illinois, to JS. Robert McQueen and Charles Smith founded the town in 1836, but, despite their boosterism, Shokokon had not attracted many settlers. Many of the early residents apparently suffered from considerable illness due to the swampy environment and soon abandoned Shokokon. Nevertheless, McQueen continued to reside in the region and operated a mill, later referred to as McQueen’s Mills, a few miles south of town. In 1843 McQueen apparently arranged for another local resident, , to approach JS regarding the possibility of a Latter-day Saint settlement in Shokokon. On 10 February, Cowan met with JS in , Illinois, and invited him to send a missionary and immigrants north to Shokokon. That afternoon JS discussed Cowan’s suggestion at a meeting with the , and the quorum approved Cowan’s request.
On 14 February, returned to , and the next day JS, , and accompanied Cowan north to Henderson County. On 16 February, the party stopped at McQueen’s Mills and ate a midday meal before continuing on to . According to JS’s journal, when the men arrived at Shokokon, JS “veiwd the place” and determined that it was “very desirable for a city.” They then returned to McQueen’s Mills, where JS preached to “a large & attentive audience” of local residents for two hours. That night JS dined with , ’s father and the owner of several lots in Shokokon. The party then returned to Nauvoo the next day.
According to JS’s journal, upon arriving at JS’s home in , “proposed to give me [JS] 1/4 of city lots in .” Although the wording in JS’s journal suggests that these lots were to be a gift, Cowan actually offered to sell the lots to JS. The journal does not record a reply, but JS seems to have agreed to Cowan’s proposal and terms. Cowan then apparently returned to Henderson County to finalize the sale with . Someone, possibly McQueen, prepared a deed using a form that was printed at , Iowa Territory, across the from Shokokon, by the “Hawkeye Office,” a publishing company that printed newspapers, books, and other documents. The deed granted 39 lots in Shokokon to JS in exchange for $1,230. On 20 February, both McQueens signed the deed before a justice of the peace in Henderson County. The 39 lots (of a total of 240 in Shokokon) represented less than the quarter of the town Cowan had apparently proposed earlier. Additionally, at over $31 per lot, JS paid nearly three times as much as the only other known investor in the town at the time. Cowan returned to Nauvoo on 22 February and again met with JS, presumably to give him the signed deed.
The day he registered the Shokokon town plat, McQueen also contracted with Illinois governor and land speculator Joseph Duncan to sell town lots, though it is unclear whether Duncan ever acted on the contract. (Warren Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1908, vol. 2, pp. 344–345, 361–362, 16 July 1836, microfilm 1,329,671, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; History of Mercer and Henderson Counties, 888–889.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
History of Mercer and Henderson Counties: Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, etc. . . . Chicago: H. H. Hill and Co., 1882.
JS spoke on Revelation 19:10, showing that “any man who denied his being a prop[h]et was not a prea[c]her of righteousness.” His journal reports that the congregation was “well pleased” at his discourse—a statement echoed by Pratt, who noted in his autobiography that “the crowded congregation seemed deeply interested—most of them being strangers to ‘Mormonism.’” (JS, Journal, 16 Feb. 1843; Pratt, Autobiography, 365, italics in original.)
Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.
In 1841 Robert McQueen deeded fifteen lots to his father-in-law for $200. The only other recorded deeds related to Shokokon date from April 1849, when McQueen was preparing to leave Illinois for California. On that occasion, McQueen sold a number of lots at a rate of between $16.50 and $25 per lot—still considerably less than JS paid. (Henderson Co., IL, Deeds, 1841–1893, vol. 1, p. 43, 22 June 1841, microfilm 1,392,775; vol. 4, pp. 81–82, 88–89, 95, 118, 125, 244, microfilm 1,392,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
THIS INDENTURE, Made the Twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three between and of the county of Henderson and State of of the first part; and Joseph Smith of the City of — of the county of and State of of the second part, WITNESSETH, that the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Twelve Hundred and thirty-dollars— lawful money of the , to them in hand paid, by the said party— of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged, have granted, aliened, remised, released, enfeoffed and confirmed, and by these presents do [blank] grant, alien, remise, release, enfeoff and confirm unto the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever, All Those certain Lots in the Town of . Viz In Lot Block No one (1) Lot No seven (7). Block No (3) three. lots Nos five (5) eight (8). nine (9). Bbock [Block] No (4) four, lots No (1) one, (2) two, and three (3). Block No (5) five, Lots (4) four (5) five and (8) eight Block No six (6) Lots No six (6) seven (7) and ten (10) Block No seven (7) Lot No eight (8) Block No nine (9) Lots No one (1) two (2) and three (3). Block No ten 2 (10) Lots No One (1) four (4) and seven (7). Block No eleven (11) Lot No nine (9). Block No fourteen (14) Lot No (7) seven. Block No fifteen (15) Lots No three (3) and eight (8) Block No sixteen (16) Lots No six (6) seven (7) and ten (10). Block No eighteen (18) Lots No two (2) and three (3). Block No twenty (20) Lots No One (1) and four (4) Block No twenty one (21) Lots No four (4) five (5) and eight (8). Block No twenty two (22) Lots five (5) eight (8) and (10). Block No twenty three <(23)> Lot No five (5) and Block No twenty four (24) Lot No six (6) the lots being on section twenty seven (27) in township nine (9) north of Range (six) 6) west of the fourth principal meridian.
Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining, and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof; and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand whatsoever of the said parties of the first part, either in law or equity, of, in and to the above granted premises, with the said hereditaments and appurtenances.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above mentioned and described premises, with the appurtenances, and every part and parcel thereof, to the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns forever. And the said and for their— heirs, executors and administrators, do [blank] covenant, grant, bargain, promise and agree, to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, to warrant and forever to defend, the above granted premises, and every part and parcel thereof, now being in the quiet and peacable possession of the said party of the second part, against the said parties of the first part, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, and against all and every other person or persons claiming or to claim the said premises, or any part thereof.
In witness whereof, the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first above written.
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of
State of Illinois)
I, , a justice of the Peace of said County do certify that and his wife whose signature appears to the foregoing deed and who are personally known to me to be the persons described in and who executed the same did severally acknowledge that they had executed the said conveyance for the use and purposes therein mentioned. And the said having been made acquainted with the contents of the said deed and examined seperate and apart from her said acknowledged that she had executed the same and relinquished her dower to the premises therein conveyed, voluntarily freely and without compulsion of said
Given under my hand and seal this twentyeth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourty three
J. P. H C. [justice of the peace for Henderson County] Ill [p. ]
In 1838 newspaper publisher James Edwards transferred his printing establishment from Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, to Burlington. He began publishing the Iowa Patriot in 1839, changing its name to the Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot later that same year in part to honor the recently deceased Sauk chief Black Hawk. (History of Des Moines County, Iowa, 416–419, 425.)
The History of Des Moines County, Iowa, Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c., a Biographical Directory of Citizens . . . Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1879.
Barnes lived on a farm a short distance northeast of Shokokon. (Early Court Commissioner’s Records of Henderson County, IL, 49; Henderson Co., IL, Deeds, 1841–1893, vol. 2, p. 566, 11 Feb. 1847, microfilm 1,392,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
Early Court Commissioner’s Records of Henderson County, IL: 1841–1853; Copied from WPA Records at Springfield, IL. [Monmouth, IL]: Warren County, Illinois, Genealogical Society, 1992.