James Sloan served as Church Recorder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841 and 1842 and served as a scribe to Joseph and Hyrum Smith from 1840 to 1843. He also served as city recorder and municipal court cler from 1841 to 1843. Sloan was elected notary public on September 26, 1842. He was also clerk of the high priests quorum and war secretary of the Nauvoo Legion.
In an interview with the Deseret News at the Church History Library, Sharalyn D. Howcroft, an archivist and document specialist, noted examples of precise and poor penmanship in church history. She said, “Sloan has exquisite handwriting, some of the nicest I have seen. He was a scribe all his own.”
He was born on October 28, 1792, in Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Ireland. After serving a mission to Ireland with his wife Mary in 1843, he served as district clerk of Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Sloan traveled to Utah Territory to join the Saints there, but later became a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and moved to California. He died in Sacramento on October 24, 1886.