Recommendation for Oliver Granger, 1 November 1839
JS, , and , Recommendation, for , , Adams Co., IL, 1 Nov. 1839; handwriting of ; signatures of JS, , and ; one page; private possession. Includes docket. Transcription from a digital color image made of the original in 2009.One leaf, measuring 6½ × 7⅞ inches (17 × 20 cm). The main body of the document and the signatures are on the recto. The verso is blank except for a docket written by . The leaf was folded into fourths and then folded in half, presumably for filing but possibly also for carrying. There is wear along the folds and a smudge mark on the top half of the recto.The original recommendation was apparently kept by and at some point was given to his son-in-law . The recommendation may have been given to Kimball’s brother Phineas Kimball Jr., a land speculator. It was passed on to Phineas’s granddaughter Margaret Rheinberger Burke, who gave the recommendation to her daughter Sylvia Burke Van Blarcom. The original remains in private possession, but a digital color image of the item was donated to the Church History Library in 2009.
This recommendation was provided to , who previously had helped JS and the settle business at , Ohio, after many church members departed from the area. The recommendation states that Granger was to continue fulfilling the business already appointed to him and to collect money for the poor of the church. Granger received several assignments from church leaders in 1839. On 4 May 1839, a general of the church in , Illinois, appointed Granger “to go to Kirtland and take the Charge and oversight of the and preside over the general affairs of the Church in that place.” On 13 May, the —consisting of JS, , and —authorized Granger “to go forth and engage in vast and important concerns as an for the Church.” The same certificate that authorized Granger also directed the Saints “to put such means into his hands as shall enable him to accomplish his lawful designs And purposes” and specified that the donations should include “moneys, lands, chattles [chattels] And goods.” Granger was working to sell church land in Kirtland in order to pay off debts from collection cases against JS and against , , and Hyrum Smith, who had constituted a committee for the construction of the Kirtland House of the Lord. Granger was also assigned by the to obtain “funds to print a hymn book” for the church.The recommendation is dated 1 November 1839 and is in ’s handwriting. It includes the original signatures of JS, , and . JS and Rigdon were part of the traveling party that left , Illinois, for on 29 October 1839. This group arrived in on 30 October and stayed there until 1 November to complete “the papers necessary for us on our mission.” It appears that while the group was in Quincy, Higbee wrote the recommendation and JS and Rigdon signed it. Even though he did not travel with JS’s group, Hyrum Smith may have been in Quincy as well and possibly signed the document at the same time. The recommendation was given to at some point, as evidenced by the docket in his handwriting on the document’s back.
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.
Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.