Recommendation from Quincy, Illinois, Branch, between 20 October and 1 November 1839
, IL, branch, Recommendation, for JS, , Adams Co., IL, [between 20 Oct. and 1 Nov. 1839]; handwriting of ; signatures of and ; one page; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Record Group 233, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC. Includes dockets.
One leaf, measuring 12½ × 7½ inches (32 × 19 cm). The document was folded in half and then trifolded—apparently for traveling.
In March 1840, collected all of the papers submitted to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of the church’s memorial to Congress and returned them to , Illinois. This recommendation was presumably included with the memorial and was still with that collection of documents when subsequent church delegations resubmitted the documents with additional petitions to the federal government. Congress apparently stored this recommendation with other documents it received in the 1840s relative to the church’s ongoing petitioning efforts. Those records were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration sometime after its creation in 1934. Since then, the National Archives and Records Administration has had continuous custody of the document.
Sometime between 20 October and 1 November 1839, , the clerk of a meeting of the in , Illinois, prepared this recommendation for JS. The timing and content of the recommendation strongly suggest that it was produced in support of JS’s trip to , where he and other appointed church members planned to petition the federal government for redress for property losses church members sustained in . According to the recommendation, the Quincy branch voted unanimously at a 20 October 1839 meeting to sustain JS as the “” of the church. Sloan then drafted the recommendation sometime before 1 November, when JS and his travel companions left Quincy for Washington DC. JS likely carried the recommendation—signed by Sloan and the meeting’s presiding elder, —with him to Washington and submitted it to Congress with other documents pertaining to the church’s petition for reparations.
At a public Meeting of the of the , held in the City of , Illinois, on the 20th Day of October 1839, the expression of the Church was called for, concerning the standing and Fellowship of Joseph Smith Junior, in said Church, there were present about One Hundred Members, composed of the , , , <> , , and lay Members, who gave their Unanimous Voice, that he be considered the over said Church, and have ever considered him as such since the rise of the Church,—uncriminated of any Crime whereby he might be— amenable to the Laws of the Land, and as such they recommend him, to all to whom this may Come.—
“High Council” likely refers to the high council of the Quincybranch. Because records of the Quincy branch’s organization are scant prior to June 1840, it is unclear who constituted this council. (See Quincy, IL, Branch, Record Book, 21 June 1840, 2.)
Quincy, IL, Branch, Record Book / “Record of the Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints in Quincy, (Ill),” 1840–1846. CHL. LR 5361 21, fd. 1.