Power of Attorney to Reuben McBride, 28 October 1841
JS, Power of Attorney, to , , Hancock Co., IL, 28 Oct. 1841. Featured version copied [between ca. 2 Nov. 1841 and ca. 10 Dec. 1841] in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 214–215; handwriting of ; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 2.
In , Illinois, on 28 October 1841, JS wrote a power of attorney for . The power of attorney authorized McBride to act on JS’s behalf and to assume the financial responsibilities formerly held by one of JS’s primary , , who had been appointed to settle the ’s debts acquired throughout 1833–1836 in the , Ohio, area. JS had attempted to contact Granger to discover his progress in settling those debts but learned Granger had passed away in August 1841 before completing his task. JS had urged Granger to pass his knowledge and duties on to , another church agent sent east from Nauvoo, but Galland had suddenly departed for the West without contacting JS and likely without meeting with Granger. In need of a new agent to handle the financial affairs in the East, JS appointed McBride to take over Granger’s responsibilities.
had remained in after the main body of church members departed in 1838. In 1841 he was elected counselor to the Kirtland , , and in August of that same year, McBride attended to on his deathbed. Shortly after Granger’s death, McBride traveled to . While there, he attended a 4 October 1841 general of the church; the conference resolved “that Reuben Mc Bride be vested with power of attorney to go, settle, and if possible close a business concern left in an uncertain condition by Elder Oliver Granger deceased.”
JS’s 28 October 1841 power of attorney consists largely of the legal language common to such documents at that time and may have been prepared for JS by a clerk or attorney. JS signed the original document, which is no longer extant, and inscribed a seal. JS’s signature and seal were witnessed by and JS’s scribe . Five days later, in another document, JS revoked ’s power of attorney and transferred Babbitt’s authority and assignment to . Although the original documents are no longer extant, both were copied into JS’s Letterbook by .
Baugh, Alexander L. “‘Blessed Is the First Man Baptised in This Font’: Reuben McBride, First Proxy to Be Baptized for the Dead in the Nauvoo Temple.” Mormon Historical Studies 3, no. 2 (Fall 2002): 253–261.
That I, Joseph Smith, of Hancock County and State of Illinois, “Sole trustee in trust for the ,” have made, constituted and appointed and by these presents do make constitute, and appoint, of Lake county and State of Ohio, my true and lawful attorney: for me and in my name, and for my use as, “sole trustee in trust for the [p. 214]