, Minutes, , Hancock Co., IL, 10 Feb. 1843; handwriting of ; one page; Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 1840–1844, CHL. Includes docket, redactions, and notation.
Single leaf, measuring 12¼ × 7¼–7⅝ inches (31 × 18–19 cm). The leaf was unevenly cut or torn along the left and right sides.
, who had served as the regular clerk of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since at least 1841, docketed the minutes and at a later point—possibly in fall or winter 1845–1846 while preparing JS’s history—made a handful of minor graphite redactions. Richards presumably retained the minutes in his possession after inscribing them. In 1846 apparently used both the minutes and JS’s journal to construct the account of this meeting for JS’s history. The minutes were likely among the “Minutes of the Twelve 1840 to 1844” listed in an 1846 inventory of the Church Historian’s Office (later Church Historical Department). Andrew Jenson, who began working in the Church Historian’s Office in 1891 and served as assistant church historian from 1897 to 1941, initialed the document to indicate that he had reviewed it. By the mid-1970s, the minutes were included as part of the Brigham Young Office Files at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). In 1986 the minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the 1840s in the Young files were transferred to the Office of the First Presidency. The minutes were returned to the CHL in 2008 but cataloged separately from the Young files in 2016. The document’s early docket, inclusion in the 1846 inventory, and subsequent provenance indicate continuous institutional custody.
See the full bibliographic entry for Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 1840–1844, in the CHL catalog.
On 10 February 1843, JS attended a meeting with the in his home in , Illinois. The meeting had been scheduled a day earlier after “asked for some council” following an informal meeting with JS and others. It is unclear what Pratt wished to discuss with JS and his fellow apostles because the topics of discussion apparently changed on the morning of 10 February. That morning JS conversed with several “strangers,” including from Henderson County, Illinois. During their visit, Cowan, who was not a member of the , claimed to have been deputized by his community to request a Latter-day Saint missionary to come preach in the area and encourage Saints to immigrate to the struggling river town of , Illinois. A few months later, claimed that Cowan had only feigned interest in the church for his own “designing purposes.” Nevertheless, JS considered Cowan’s proposal, and the invitation became the main topic of discussion at the 10 February meeting with the apostles.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, JS and nine of the apostles met according to appointment in the same room in JS’s home where he held the mayor’s court. JS formally opened the meeting at three thirty by requesting that the business agenda be handled briefly. In addition to agreeing to ’s settlement proposal, the men discussed JS’s allegations of improper activities at the as well as the need to call and his family back to Nauvoo because Adams was guilty of adultery. The men adjourned at five in the afternoon, and JS “immediately” transitioned to presiding over the mayor’s court.
, JS’s personal secretary as well as the clerk of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recorded the minutes of this meeting on a loose sheet of paper. The large size and smooth flow of Richards’s handwriting suggest that Richards wrote the first paragraph either before or after the meeting—when he had time to write in a more organized, deliberate manner. The remaining paragraphs all show signs that Richards was writing quickly, in an apparent rush to capture the quorum’s decisions and JS’s words as they occurred. At the bottom of the minutes, Richards signed for as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and for himself as clerk of the . At a later point—presumably that same day—Richards apparently used his minutes to construct the account of the meeting in JS’s journal, which he was keeping.
Assembled at the house of Joseph Smith. Prest. , , , , , , , , & of the — in council— with President Joseph Smith.— according to Previous appointmt of Prest. Joseph— commencing at 3½— o’clock P. M.—
Joseph requested in business. to have matter of fact & no explanation.—
Joseph— stated that , had been delegated <by the inhabitants> to come to — & invite a talented mormon Preacher to go— to 20 miles above the opposite .— & preach offering him a good house. & Support,— & wishing to invite as many mormons as they pleas to settle in that place.——
It was decided that be the man to go and settle among them according to their request
Joseph made observation concerning the Theiving in the & the proposing a General meeting—
Let come to with his family he is orderd to come by the . &. preach no more till he comes,—— he shall be fairly dealt with.—
Young and Richards wrote to Adams the next day, conveying JS’s instructions to cease preaching and return to Nauvoo. (JS, Journal, 11 Feb. 1843; George J. Adams, New York City, NY, to Brigham Young and Willard Richards, Nauvoo, IL, 10 Mar. 1843, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL.)
Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878. CHL. CR 1234 1.