Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846; Volume 1, 10 March 1844–1 March 1845

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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11 March 1844 • Monday

Editorial Note
On 11 March 1844 the Council of Fifty met at 9:00 a.m. in a large upstairs assembly room in the home of church member that was often used for meetings of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge. JS’s journal also noted a meeting convened in the afternoon in the same location, and ’s journal noted that the men were “in Council again all day.” After the men took an oath to keep their proceedings secret, JS oversaw the formal organization of a new council. The twenty-three men present received JS as the council’s “standing chairman.” JS also gave them instructions on the unanimity required in decision making. In 1846 William Clayton recalled that at this meeting, the council resolved that their organization would be “an eternal principle.”
As with the minutes for the other initial meetings through 14 March 1844, evidently reconstructed these minutes at a later date. This may explain why the minutes do not mention a committee to draft a constitution. At the end of the 19 March minutes, likely the first minutes in this record written from loose contemporaneous notes, Clayton added the following: “On Monday the 11th. it was Resolved to draft a constitution which should be perfect, and embrace those principles which the constitution of the lacked, and on motion , and were appointed a committee to draft a constitution and present it to this council for their approval or disaproval.”

Monday March 11th. 1844 The council met in the room over brother s house at 9 o clock A.M. The brethren continued to express their views on the foregoing subjects and many others of importance. All seemed agreed to look to some place where we can go and establish a Theocracy either in or or somewhere in &c. The brethren spoke very warmly on the subject, and also on the subject of forming a constitution which shall be according to the mind of God and erect it between the heavens and the earth where all nations might flow unto it. This was considered as a “standard” to the people an ensign to the nations &c. [p. [25]]
11 March 1844 • Monday

Editorial Note
On 11 March 1844 the Council of Fifty met at 9:00 a.m. in a large upstairs assembly room in the home of church member that was often used for meetings of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge. JS’s journal also noted a meeting convened in the afternoon in the same location, and ’s journal noted that the men were “in Council again all day.” After the men took an oath to keep their proceedings secret, JS oversaw the formal organization of a new council. The twenty-three men present received JS as the council’s “standing chairman.” JS also gave them instructions on the unanimity required in decision making. In 1846 William Clayton recalled that at this meeting, the council resolved that their organization would be “an eternal principle.”
As with the minutes for the other initial meetings through 14 March 1844, evidently reconstructed these minutes at a later date. This may explain why the minutes do not mention a committee to draft a constitution. At the end of the 19 March minutes, likely the first minutes in this record written from loose contemporaneous notes, Clayton added the following: “On Monday the 11th. it was Resolved to draft a constitution which should be perfect, and embrace those principles which the constitution of the lacked, and on motion , and were appointed a committee to draft a constitution and present it to this council for their approval or disaproval.”

Monday March 11th. 1844 The council met in the room over brother s house at 9 o clock A.M. The brethren continued to express their views on the foregoing subjects and many others of importance. All seemed agreed to look to some place where we can go and establish a Theocracy either in or or somewhere in &c. The brethren spoke very warmly on the subject, and also on the subject of forming a constitution which shall be according to the mind of God and erect it between the heavens and the earth where all nations might flow unto it. This was considered as a “standard” to the people an ensign to the nations &c. [p. [25]]
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