Minutes, , Adams Co., IL, 6 May 1839; handwriting of ; two pages; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, CHL.
Single leaf measuring 9¾ × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was trifolded for filing and transmission. A vertical tear of 2½ inches begins at the middle of the top edge of the leaf. The top left of the recto contains a “4” in the handwriting of , indicating these minutes were the last of four sets of minutes that Mulholland recorded and numbered in 1839. The document shows signs of wear. It appears that these minutes were folded with the minutes for a 4–5 May 1839 meeting. likely filed both documents in the Church Historian’s Office when he worked there from 1842 to 1856, suggesting continuous institutional custody since at least 1856. The document, as well as a rough copy, was placed in the General Church Minutes collection with other loose church minutes gathered from files in the Historical Department of the LDS church.
From 4 to 7 May 1839, JS presided at several meetings in , Illinois. On 4 and 5 May, he convened the first general of the since before his incarceration in . On 6 and 7 May, JS met with members of the and “others.” The minutes featured here record the events of a 6 May 1839 meeting of church leaders held at ’s residence.
acted as the scribe, taking minutes for the meeting; after preparing a rough draft of the minutes, he prepared a fair copy. The rough draft terms the meeting “a Conference.” The fair copy, featured here, originally labeled the gathering as a “Council,” but at a later date that word was stricken and replaced with “Conference.” The label of “Conference” was repeated in later iterations of the minutes, such as those copied in JS’s multivolume manuscript history and ’s autobiography. The 6 May conference was apparently an extension of the general conference held the previous two days; whereas the meetings on 4–5 May were for all church members, the 6 May meeting was attended by church leaders only.
Those at the 6 May meeting discussed matters closely related to resolutions passed at the general conference. Leaders at the 6 May meeting also passed resolutions regarding church administration in , Illinois, and in , as well as the imminent mission of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to Europe. Thirteen members of the Quorums of the , along with five , were approved to join the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on the mission.
The primary difference between ’s two versions of the minutes is that the fair copy contains spelling corrections and standardized formatting; consequently, the fair copy is featured here. Substantive changes are noted in annotation.
JS, Journal, 4–6 May 1839. In contrast to other records, Kimball’s history states that the 6 May meeting was part of the general conference. (Kimball, “History,” 103–104; see also Woodruff, Journal, 6 May 1839; and Quorums of the Seventy, “Book of Records,” 12 May 1839, 72.)
Kimball, Heber C. “History of Heber Chase Kimball by His Own Dictation,” ca. 1842–1856. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL. MS 627, box 2.
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
Record of Seventies / First Council of the Seventy. “Book of Records,” 1837–1843. Bk. A. In First Council of the Seventy, Records, 1837–1885. CHL. CR 3 51, box 1, fd. 1.
Marks relocated from Kirtland, Ohio, to Quincy in early 1839 and was appointed president of the Quincy congregation in February 1839. (Quincy Committee, Minutes, ca. 9 Feb. 1839, Far West Committee, Minutes, CHL.)
Far West Committee. Minutes, Jan.–Apr. 1839. CHL. MS 2564.
During fall 1838, Whitney and his family moved from Ohio, intending to settle in Missouri. However, they stopped in Carrollton, Illinois, after learning of the expulsion order that Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued 27 October. While Whitney traveled, first to Kirtland and later to Quincy, his family remained in Carrollton. The Whitney family apparently had not moved to Quincy by the time of this meeting. ([Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney], “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Nov. 1878, 91; Letter to Newel K. Whitney, 24 May 1839.)