Chapter 11 – Fraud Perpetrated against the Saints in Iowa

David Kilbourne, a vocal enemy to the Mormons, wrote an anonymous article in a New York magazine claiming the Mormons were occupying the lands in Iowa without valid title.  Isaac Galland responded to the article claiming it was Kilbourne who wrote it and that Kilbourne’s claims were false.  Galland claimed he sold the Church the lands in Iowa he purchased directly from the half breed claimants.

The New York Land Company partnership agreement acknowledged that Galland had purchased lands from the half breed claimants before the partnership was formed in October 1836.  The agreement specified that Galland was to transfer over the prior deeds to the partnership.  Instead, in early 1839 Galland announced he was withdrawing from the partnership and had notice of his termination printed in an Iowa newspaper.  It was after he withdrew from the partnership he sold his prior Indian land purchases to the Mormons.

From various US Supreme Court documents regarding the case of Kilbourne vs. Clagett it appears the New York Land Company claimed the same lands Galland sold to the Mormons as part of their 41% shares after the partition agreement.  Principals of the New York Land Company had not told Francis Scott Key that Galland had left the partnership two years earlier and that the deeds were never transferred back to them.  It appears also that the St. Louis Land Company also claimed in their 15% share lands they had previously sold to the Mormons.  Both land companies had committed fraud against the Mormon land owners.  They needed the Mormons to leave to take over and develop the Mormon lands without their secret fraudulent conduct made public.

(Note: a plat map of Nashville, Iowa is on display at the Church History Museum which identifies the lots held by the New York Land Company which coincides with the Supreme Court documents.)

Thomas Sharp, Mark Aldrich and others started in 1841 an Anti-Mormon Party in Hancock County Illinois to challenge the growing political dominance of the Church.  Mark Aldrich, Calvin Warren and others approached Joseph Smith to sell lands in Warsaw to the Mormons.  In December 1841, Joseph Smith told Calvin Warren to disassociate with Aldrich and work with the Church to develop Warsaw and the surrounding areas.  If not Warsaw would never fully develop commercially.  Warren chose not to accept the Prophets advice.