The minutes are recorded in a single bound gathering measuring 12¼ × 7¾ inches (31 × 20 cm) and containing twenty-four leaves (forty-eight pages). Each page is ruled with thirty-seven lines (now faded). The gathering was bound with string. The gathering, which contains minutes kept by dated from 1 January to 26 November 1842, is the second in a collection of gatherings and bifolia known as the “rough copy” of the Nauvoo City Council minutes. This book has a cover page of thicker, unlined, tan-colored paper on which are inscribed the rough book’s title and the words “Jas. Sloan, Recorder.” Pages 1–48 were paginated by Sloan and inscribed in blue and black ink, with later use marks made in graphite. Titles and numbers appear in the margins of the minutes; these were written contemporaneously and appear to be in Sloan’s handwriting.
was appointed the first city recorder in February 1841. He appears to have kept minutes on loose leaves—some of which are still extant—and then copied them into the rough minute books. He then inscribed a fair copy of the minutes into the Nauvoo City Council Minute Book. By 1842, the more detailed minutes for the city council were entered in the rough minute book; proceedings such as council decisions and ordinances were recorded in the official minute book. The warping of the spines of the rough minute books suggests they were stacked together. These minutes were presumably kept among Nauvoo city records. In 1845, the city of Nauvoo was disincorporated. The city council rough books were listed in an inventory that was produced by the Church Historian’s Office (now CHL) in 1846, when they were packed up with church records that were taken to the Salt Lake Valley. Subsequent inventories of church records in Salt Lake City indicate continuous institutional custody.
“An Act to Repeal the Nauvoo Charter,” 14th General Assembly, 1844–1845, Senate Bill no. 35 (House Bill no. 42), Illinois General Assembly, Enrolled Acts of the General Assembly, 1818–2012, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.
Illinois Office of Secretary of State. Enrolled Acts of the General Assembly, 1818–1993. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.
“Inventory. Historian’s Office. 4th April 1855,” ; “Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” ; “Index to Papers in the Historians Office,” ca. 1904, 7, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
, city recorder for , Illinois, took the minutes of a 19 May 1842 meeting in which the city council elected JS mayor and conducted other city business. had resigned as mayor just two days before, citing “circumstances of a personal nature”; he had served in that capacity since February 1841. Also on 17 May, Bennett had his name removed from records. In the 19 May meeting, the city council accepted Bennett’s resignation and then elected JS mayor and vice mayor. After each man took his oath of office, the city council proceeded to elect other officers, pass resolutions, make appointments, and address pressing financial concerns.
JS’s journal captured two details of this meeting that were not recorded in the minutes. During the election of officers, JS wrote a revelation and “threw it across the room to .” The revelation warned Kimball not to make evil accusations against JS. The journal also noted that during the council meeting JS asked Bennett to address Bennett’s claims that JS had authorized him to engage in extramarital sexual relations. Bennett responded by saying that JS had not “given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with women” and expressed a hope to be “restored to full confidence. & fellowship.”
As city recorder, apparently took notes during the meeting and then later inscribed the minutes in a record book in which he kept the rough minutes of Nauvoo City Council meetings. He apparently referred to those rough minutes when he recorded the 19 May resolutions and appointments in the Nauvoo City Council Minute Book. Of the two record books, the rough minute book provides the more complete account of the 19 May proceedings, but no substantial differences exist between these two accounts. The version of the minutes in the rough minute book is therefore featured here.
to— d[itt]o — of public Works,— do,— Joseph Smith.
to— do— of Municipal Laws, do.—— do——
to— do— of Ways & Means, do,— do—
The following Resolution was passed, upon Motion of <Colr. [Councilor]> .
Resolved by the City Council of the City of , that this Council tender a vote of Thanks to Genl. , for his great Zeal in having good & wholesome Laws adopted for the Government of this , & for the faithful discharge of his Duty while Mayor of the same.
passed May 19th. 1842.
The following Resoln. was passed upon Motion of Colr. .
Resolved by the City Council of the City of , that a night Watch be <& the same is hereby Ordered to be> established in this , & that the number of Persons to Compose said Watch, & the Regulations & Duties connected therewith, be at the <sole> appointment and discretion of the Mayor.
passed May 19th. 1842.
The Committee of Claims brought in their Report upon the Petition of & o[the]rs, to have their Wages answer on their Taxes for the year 1841, the Report was Accepted, <which was,> that they do not Recommend the adoption of the Petition, & the <Upon> vote, the Petn. was rejected.
<Gave Orderthis day.—> The Certfe [certificate] of , for Surveying the Burying Ground, was presented, & referred to the Committee of Claims, who Reported, recommending that his Claim for Twenty four Dollars be allowed, which Report was adopted by a Resolution.—
Resolved by the City Col. &c., that the Military officers do make such Arrangements as they deem proper for the preservation of the Cannon of belonging to the .—
The city council formed the Committee of Municipal Laws on 15 January 1842. The committee consisted of “five Members, to whom shall be referred all Bills for Ordinances presented to the Council.” JS was appointed to the Committee of Municipal Laws in January 1842. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 15 and 22 Jan. 1842, 41, 51, 52.)
Created by the city council on 15 January 1842, the Committee of Ways and Means consisted of “One Member from each Ward, to whom shall be referred all Subjects of Taxation & Revenue.” JS was appointed to the Committee of Ways and Means in January 1842. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 15 and 22 Jan. 1842, 41, 50, 52.)