JS, Revocation of Power of Attorney for , , Hancock Co., IL, 18 Jan. 1842; sealed by JS; attested by . Featured version copied 31 Jan. 1842 in Hancock County Bonds and Mortgages, vol. 1, p. 194; handwriting of ; Hancock County Courthouse, Carthage, IL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Appointment as Trustee, 2 Feb. 1841.
On 18 January 1842 JS revoked the power of attorney he had given to . The power of attorney—which named both Galland and as attorneys—was drafted on 1 February 1841 and was filed with Justice of the Peace five days later. Galland and Hyrum Smith then traveled to the eastern in their role as to settle debts the church owed to , , and for land in . In addition to being commissioned to settle debts, Galland and Smith were charged “to sell stock in the boarding and obtain subscriptions and donations for building the ‘’” in Nauvoo, Illinois.
and apparently met with to discuss repayment, soon after which Smith returned to . Though Galland was expected to complete the assignment to repay Hotchkiss, , and , in August 1841 JS learned from Hotchkiss that Galland had made no further efforts to transact business with the church’s creditors. Because Galland did not correspond with JS before he left the East or during the trip, JS was uncertain of his whereabouts until after he returned home to nearby , Iowa Territory. Galland did not report to JS when he returned, but JS learned of his arrival and on 10 December 1841 wrote a nonextant letter to Galland, apparently urging the agent to visit him in Nauvoo. Galland promised to come to Nauvoo, but by mid-January he had not done so. JS wrote again on 17 January 1842, requesting money. The next day Galland responded tersely, noting his lack of funds and assuring JS that he would visit Nauvoo when he completed undisclosed business dealings in Keokuk. JS apparently received this letter, likely delivered by the same messenger who carried his 17 January letter to Galland, the same day and determined that the best course of action was to revoke the power of attorney giving Galland authority to act for JS personally and as the church’s trustee.
The legal document revoking ’s authority was created to fulfill the state requirement that a power of attorney “be revoked by a deed, duly acknowledged and proven, and recorded.” It was likely inscribed by someone other than JS, after which JS signed it and affixed a seal. JS’s clerk attested it. The original document is apparently not extant, but it was published in the 15 January 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons. Church members sustained the revocation during a in on 20 January 1842. On 31 January the document was copied into a record book at the Hancock County Courthouse in , Illinois, and that copy is featured here.
An Act concerning Conveyances of Real Property [31 Jan. 1827], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 153, sec. 16.
The Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois: Containing All the Laws . . . Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835; and at Their Second Session, Commencing December 7, 1835, and Ending January 18, 1836; and Those Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837; and at Their Special Session, Commencing July 10, and Ending July 22, 1837. . . . Compiled by Jonathan Young Scammon. Chicago: Stephen F. Gale, 1839.
Know all Men by These Presents that <whereas> I Joseph Smith of the County of and State of as trustee in trust for the in and by my <Letter of> attorney bearing date on or about the 15th of Feb. 1841 did constitute and appoint Dr. of I. T. [Iowa Territory] my attorney to transact business business in general for Said Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and whereas as appears by said letter; and whereas I the said Joseph Smith, for myself, on or about the date above mentioned, in and by my letter of attorney did constitute and appoint the Said , my attorney to transact <certain> business for myself individually, as appears by said Letter— Now Know ye, that I the said Joseph Smith, for myself, and also as Trustee in trust, for said Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, have revoked countermanded, annulled and made void, and by these Presents do revoke, annul, countermand, and make void the Said Letters of Attorney, and all power and authority thereby given or intended to be given to the said Dr ; and also, all other Letters or instruments of writing, whatsoever, if any such there are authorizing the said to act as or transact any business for myself or Said Church, are revoked, countermanded, annulled, and made void by these presents, and are of no power or virtue in law whatsoever, and will not be so acknowledged by me.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal at the City of , County of Hancock, and State of Illinois this 18th day of Jan. AD 1842
Joseph Smith L.S.
and Sole trustee in trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of JesusChrist of Latter Day Saints
TEXT: The county recorder, Chauncey Robison, added the notations on this line and the preceding line in the left margin when copying the revocation into the bonds and mortgages book; “189” is an identification number.