Appendix 2: Council of Fifty, Minutes, 27 February 1845
Council of Fifty, Minutes, , IL, 27 Feb. 1845; handwriting of ; six pages; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 1839–1877, CHL. Includes redactions. Three loose leaves, measuring 5⅞ × 8 inches (15 × 20 cm); 7¼ × 7¾ inches (18 × 20 cm); and 6½ × 8 inches (17 × 20 cm), respectively. Bullock’s docket on page 6 reads: “Feb 27. 1845 | Meeting of the Twelve & others | in the Recorder’s office”.
On 27 February 1845 the council convened to discuss the group of Mormons that had followed west from and into . A member of Emmett’s company, Moses Smith, had recently returned to Nauvoo bearing information about the company, and recorded that “the Twelve & others, mostly of the Council repaird to my office” with him. Since council clerk was ill, , a church clerk who was not a member of the council, recorded the minutes featured here. Because these minutes were kept separately, they were never copied into the Council of Fifty record books kept by Clayton, nor does it appear that Clayton used these minutes when providing a summary of the meeting in the record books. For the historical context in which these minutes were recorded, see the entry for 27 February 1845 in the main body of this volume.
Richards, Journal, 27 Feb. 1845. In his journal Heber C. Kimball erroneously dated this meeting to 28 February but recorded, “Held a council at Elder Richards on the case of Emit and Smith.” (Kimball, Journal, 28 Feb. 1845.)
Kimball, Heber C. Journals, 1837–1848. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL.
— has no confidence in
proposes that some man be sent with Br Smith as a Messenger of Salvation
— does say that the Church will be scattered— & gathered again in the Wilderness? no!
d[itt]o. he consider himself that he is independent of us as a body— Smith cant tell— & gave his feelings “we have <been> kept in the dark” many wanted to come & fetch their families— he opposed it I have not heard of any communicatn. with —
after I ret[urne]d. from I asked what he had been doing— he refused to let me know— I referred him to his chastisement he would only speak in parables—
M. Smith “is willing to be governed by this council”—
also asked — & he sd. this mission was given him before J[oseph Smith’s] death & that the 12 had nothing to do with it—
we had a mission to the Lamanites— Br. J. gave us a frank relation of the work, and he said “dont stop” till this is accomplished”—
the in buying the lands were to give the Indians 40 miles square— but the agent wrote 40 square miles—
Jos. wanted we “visit the Lamanites— I commit to the keys of the Kingdom to the Lamanites— he committed them to me— we visited & preached to them they believed it, we have heard a many times from them—
sd. 6 or 8. went over the boundaries of the to preach— Jos. went to prayer— he then commenced a revelation that was to marry among the Laminites— & that I was to preach that day— &c &c it was a long revelation— we have a living Constitution— there is enough for every day— if we die let us all die together, & there will be a jolly lot of spirits dancing into the next world— it wont be to hell, for there is no fiddles there— [p. 5]
Young may have been referencing a traditional belief held by the American Indians living on the Allegany Reservation of New York that during treaty negotiations in 1797 the United States had promised them 40 miles square (that is, 160 square miles) for their reservation instead of the 42 square miles they received. (“From Cattaraugus,” New-York Daily Tribune, 2 Nov. 1858, ; Contract [15 Sept. 1797], Public Statutes at Large, vol. 7, p. 602.)
New-York Daily Tribune. New York City. 1841–1924.
The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845. . . . Edited by Richard Peters. 8 vols. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846–1867.
At a 12 March 1835 meeting of the newly organized Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, it was proposed that Brigham Young “should open a door to the remnants of Joseph [American Indians] who dwelt among the Gentiles” while on a mission to the eastern states with the other apostles. In May 1835 Young, in the company of John P. Greene and Amos Orton, separated from the other missionaries to fulfill this assignment. Young recorded speaking with “meney of the seed of Joseph” during this mission, including at least two chiefs in the vicinity of the Allegany Reservation of New York. (Record of the Twelve, 12 Mar. 1835; Young, Journal, 25 May–1 June 1835.)
Although the earliest reference to this revelation suggested that it applied only to Harris, William W. Phelps wrote in 1861 that JS dictated a revelation on 17 July 1831 commanding not just Harris but several elders who had traveled to Missouri to marry American Indians. (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—Nos. VIII–IX,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 8 Dec. 1831, ; William W. Phelps to Brigham Young, 12 Aug. 1861, Revelations Collection, CHL.)
Ohio Star. Ravenna. 1830–1854.
Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583.