Appendix 2: Council of Fifty, Minutes, 27 February 1845
Council of Fifty, Minutes, , IL, 27 Feb. 1845; handwriting of ; six pages; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 1839–1877, CHL. Includes redactions. Three loose leaves, measuring 5⅞ × 8 inches (15 × 20 cm); 7¼ × 7¾ inches (18 × 20 cm); and 6½ × 8 inches (17 × 20 cm), respectively. Bullock’s docket on page 6 reads: “Feb 27. 1845 | Meeting of the Twelve & others | in the Recorder’s office”.
On 27 February 1845 the council convened to discuss the group of Mormons that had followed west from and into . A member of Emmett’s company, Moses Smith, had recently returned to Nauvoo bearing information about the company, and recorded that “the Twelve & others, mostly of the Council repaird to my office” with him. Since council clerk was ill, , a church clerk who was not a member of the council, recorded the minutes featured here. Because these minutes were kept separately, they were never copied into the Council of Fifty record books kept by Clayton, nor does it appear that Clayton used these minutes when providing a summary of the meeting in the record books. For the historical context in which these minutes were recorded, see the entry for 27 February 1845 in the main body of this volume.
Richards, Journal, 27 Feb. 1845. In his journal Heber C. Kimball erroneously dated this meeting to 28 February but recorded, “Held a council at Elder Richards on the case of Emit and Smith.” (Kimball, Journal, 28 Feb. 1845.)
Kimball, Heber C. Journals, 1837–1848. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL.
The Government has passed a law than [that] when 5000 men are got to , they can make their own Legislature <Government>—
we can thank the Legislature for taking away what they never gave— We have no Charter, no laws— “we are free”— the Kingdom is <now> rent from the Gentiles— has found out that we are in Eternity, the Millenium has now commenced—
“That we appoint a delegate to visit ”— Carried—
“—— do—— to be the delegate— & he to pick his man”
“—— write a good fatherly letter of Instruction to them— carried—
“That write the letter” and help him” in behalf of the council— carried [p. 6]
In December 1844, bills were introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to organize a territorial government in Oregon. According to the provisions of both bills, as soon as the number of free white men from the United States reached five thousand they would have the authority to elect representatives for the territory’s general assembly. Although the bill had been approved by the House, it was tabled in the Senate at this time. (A Bill to Organize a Government for the Oregon Territory, and for Other Purposes, S. no. 45, 28th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 4, sec. 12 ; A Bill to Organize a Territorial Government in the Oregon Territory, and for Other Purposes, H.R. no. 439, 28th Cong., 2nd Sess., pp. 3–4, sec. 12 ; Congressional Globe, 28th Cong., 2nd Sess., pp. 201–204, 224–229, 287 .)
A Bill to Organize a Government for the Oregon Territory, and for Other Purposes. S. no. 45, 28th Cong., 2nd Sess. (1844).
A Bill to Organize a Territorial Government in the Oregon Territory, and for Other Purposes. H.R. no. 439, 28th Cong., 2nd Sess. (1844).
The Congressional Globe, Containing Sketches of the Debates and Proceedings of the Second Session of the Twenty-Eighth Congress. Vol. 14. Washington DC: Blair and Rives, 1845.
In his journal Amasa Lyman recorded that he “was in counsil and received an apointment to go and visit the company that were with bro. Emet in company with br. D[aniel] Spencer and Moses Smith to advise and counsil them in maters of salvation in their present circumstances.” (Lyman, Journal, 27 Feb. 1845.)