Nauvoo City Officers, December 1841–April 1842

The following chart identifies holders of significant city offices in , Illinois, during the period between December 1841 through April 1842. The city charter for Nauvoo, which was enacted in December 1840 and took effect in February 1841, called for a city council consisting of a mayor, four aldermen, and nine councilors, each of whom would be elected and serve for two years. The charter made provision for the city council to add to the number of aldermen and councilors if necessary. Other city officers were appointed or elected by the city council. The first city election was held in February 1841. In October 1841 four additional aldermen and seven additional councilors were added to the council. On 22 January 1842, city officials created the office of vice mayor, and on 5 March 1842, they created the office of registrar of deeds. Aldermen and councilors are listed here in the order in which they most commonly appeared in municipal records.
The mayor and aldermen served as justices of the peace within the limits of the city. The charter prescribed that the mayor’s court had “exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation.” The mayor also served as chief justice of the municipal court, and the aldermen as associate justices of that court, to which appeal could be taken “from any decision or judgment of said Mayor or Aldermen, arising under the city ordinances.” From the municipal court, appeal could be made to the circuit court of .
When council seats became vacant because of death, resignation, or appointment to other office, the vacancies were filled by election or by an appointment made by the city council. If members of the city council were to be absent for significant lengths of time, substitute or temporary councilors were appointed and sworn in to fill the vacancy. These temporary councilors are not listed in the following chart.
1 December 1841–30 April 1842
Vice Mayor Joseph Smith (elected 22 Jan. 1842)
City Councilors Joseph Smith
(temporary appointment, 23 Oct. 1841–9 Apr. 1842)
City Recorder and Clerk of the Municipal Court
Supervisor of Streets
Lewis Robison
City Surveyor
Weigher and Sealer
City Assessor and Collector
City Attorney
Registrar of Deeds Joseph Smith (appointed 5 Mar. 1842)
  1. 1

    Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.  

  2. 2

    “Municipal Election,” Times and Seasons, 1 Feb. 1841, 2:309; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  3. 3

    Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 23 and 30 Oct. 1841, 25–26.  

  4. 4

    Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 22 Jan. 1842, 46; JS, Journal, 5 Mar. 1842.  

  5. 5

    Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.  

  6. 6

    Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 22 Jan. 1842, 52.  

  7. 7

    Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841 and 9 Apr. 1842, 25, 68.  

  8. 8

    JS, Journal, 5 Mar. 1842.