Nauvoo Registry of Deeds, Deed Record Book A, 1840–1843
Nauvoo, Hancock Co., IL, Recorder, Deed Record, Book A, 18 Apr. 1842–2 Sept. 1843; handwriting of and ; 235 pages; CHL. Includes notations.
Commercially produced bound volume measuring 18¼ × 12 × 1½ inches (46 × 30 × 4 cm). The volume contains 246 pages, including pastedowns and flyleaves, each measuring 18⅛ × 11½ inches (46 × 29 cm). The endpaper, including three flyleaves and a pastedown in the front and one flyleaf and pastedown at the back of the volume, are not lined. The interior pages consist of ledger paper ruled horizontally with thirty-four preprinted blue lines and two red double lines, demarcating a row at the top of the page, and ruled vertically with two red double lines, demarcating a column to the right of each page, now faded. The volume is composed of fifteen gatherings, each of which contains eight leaves, except for the fourth gathering, which has ten leaves, and the last, which has six leaves. The recto of the final leaf of the last gathering was glued to the flyleaf. The boards are covered in marbled paper, now faded. The cover has a calfskin spine and corners. The spine bears two labels, the first of which reads: “DEED RECORD | NAUVOO | A”. The title page of the volume has an inscription in graphite: “No 1 or Book of | Entry”.
The first inscribed page was paginated with the numeral 3, and there is consistent pagination in the handwriting of or running to the last page, numbered 237, resulting in 235 inscribed pages. The top of the first inscribed deed was labeled with “No. 1”, and each inscribed deed thereafter was assigned a number in like manner, except that there are two deeds labeled “190”. The volume contains 216 items, mostly deeds, dating from 20 April 1840 to 28 August 1843, recorded between 18 April 1842 and 2 September 1843. Inserted into the book between pages 2 and 3 is a slip of paper inscribed with what looks like material for JS’s multivolume manuscript history; this inserted slip is not included here. The title page and the flyleaves of the volume show significant discoloration and dirt buildup. The wear pattern indicates that a smaller booklet, an index for the volume, was stored in the book. The entire volume shows significant discoloration due to water damage and mold damage, the boards and cover are deteriorated, and several pages have a central vertical tear between 2 and 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) in length from the top of the page.
On 5 March 1842, the Nauvoo City Council appointed JS registrar for the city of , authorizing him to record and certify official deeds for land transactions. JS appointed as recorder for the Nauvoo registrar, and by mid-April 1842 Clayton began recording deeds into this record book. was doing general clerical work for the church beginning in April 1842 and was appointed a private secretary to JS on 11 June 1842. His handwriting also appears in this record book, though it is often difficult to distinguish which handwriting is Whitehead’s and which is Clayton’s. Along with other records, this record book was kept in JS’s Nauvoo office and transported to Utah Territory, where it was kept in the Church Historian’s Office. The spine bears a red-bordered label that reads “02473R | 9 Fo”, likely placed on the record by Church Historian’s Office (now CHL) staff in the 1950s or 1960s.
the first part, have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year above written.
Polly Z Johnson L S
Signed sealed and delivered)
in Presence of)
State of Illinois,)
I, a Justice of the Peace, of said do certify, that and Polly Z, his wife, whose signatures appear 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 uses and purposes therein mentioned. and the said Polly Z Johnson having been by me made acquainted with the contents of the said Deed, and examined separate 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 her said . Given under my hand and seal, this Thirty first day of December in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty one.
J. P. L. S.
Recorded May 3rd. 1842.
Joseph Smiths to Philendia Merick [Philinda Merrick] For N. W. 1/4 of L 2 B 158 of
This Indenture made, and entered into, this Twenty fourth day of March in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty Two between Joseph Smith and his wife, of the county of and state of , of the one part and Philendia Merrick of the county of and aforesaid, of the other part Witnesseth, that the said Joseph Smith and his wife, for and in consideration of the sum of Three hundred dollers dollars, to them in hand paid, the reciept whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby grant, bargain, sell, convey, and confirm unto the said Philendia Merrick her heirs and assigns forever, all that tract or parcel of Land, situate and being in the county of in the State of viz: The North West quarter of Lot No Two in Block No one hundred fifty eight of the city of . together with all and singular the appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining.
To Have and to Hold the above described premises unto the said Philindia Merrick her heirs and assigns forever, and the said Joseph Smith and his wife, their heirs and assigns, the aforesaid premises, unto the said Philindia Merrick her heirs and assigns against the claim or claims of all and every person whomsoever, do and will warrant and for ever defend by these presents.
In Testimoney Whereof, the said Joseph Smith and his wife of the first part, have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year above Written.
Joseph Smith L. S.
Signed, Sealed and delivered)
in Presence of)
State of Illinois,)
I, a Justice of the Peace of <the City of do> certify, that Joseph Smith and his wife, whose signatures appear 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 [p. 20]