Nauvoo high council, Minutes, , Hancock Co., IL, 17 Aug. . Featured version copied [between 14 Feb. 1842 and 1 Jan. 1843] in Nauvoo High Council Minutes, fair copy, pp. 70–74; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minutes, 27 Oct. 1839.
On 17 August 1840, the of the met with the and the high council to consider a dispute between and , both of whom had been appointed to the Iowa high council in October 1839. The difficulties between Fordham and Patten extended back to February 1840, when Fordham and “expressed some dissatisfaction with J. Patten for some of his teaching at a meeting on the preceding Sabath” in , Iowa Territory. When the Iowa high council discussed the issue in a meeting on 6 March 1840 (which JS attended), “an unpleasant scene” unfolded, and Patten, Snow, and Fordham were all removed from the high council “till the affair was Settled.” According to these 17 August minutes, the situation between Patten and Fordham had escalated to encompass issues relating to Patten’s land claims in Iowa Territory and the actions of a Rogers, who was likely . Patten accused Fordham, among other offenses, of sanctioning the destruction of Patten’s garden, perjuring himself in court over the matter, and preventing Rogers from paying off his debts. The Iowa high council assigned a committee to investigate the difficulties. At a 1 August 1840 high council meeting, this committee reported that conflict between Patten and Fordham continued, leading to the convening of this 17 August meeting at JS’s office in Nauvoo, Illinois. After JS admonished Fordham and Patten, the two men reconciled.
As clerk pro tempore, took the minutes of the meeting. Sometime after 14 February 1842—but likely still in 1842—he entered the minutes into the high council record book.
Stout indicated that he had recorded minutes of earlier meetings on 14 February 1842. He misdated these minutes as 17 August 1842, suggesting that he was recording the minutes sometime in 1842. A rough draft of the minutes has the correct date of 17 August 1840. (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 19 Apr. 1840, 56; Nauvoo High Council Minutes, draft, 17 Aug. 1840, 14.)
Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.
Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. Draft. CHL.
effecting a complete and radical cure; when it is a well known fact that and his family were sick nigh unto death during the fall and winter: thus endeavoring to vindicate the conduct of in palming his deception on community.
Eighthly— For acting an unrighteous and unholy part in the , and because I. opposed his course he sought for evil against me, to slander and defame my character, destroy my influence and drive me from my seat in the Council— that the Council might enter immediately into the law which he publickly declared was the determination of the High Council (of ) and I alone opposed their proceedings and had spoken against the proceedings of the High— Council in public; stating that the council of the was contrary to the proceedings of the High Council (of ) and that Prest was vested with the authority of the First Presidency [p. 72]
The sickness mentioned here may have been malaria, which Fordham apparently contracted in summer 1839. Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal that on 22 July 1839, JS went to Montrose and healed several Saints, including Fordham. Later accounts also depict Fordham as being near death in July before JS healed him. These accounts do not indicate whether Fordham suffered a relapse or from other sicknesses thereafter in 1839. (Woodruff, Journal, 22 July 1839; Kimball, “History,” 110; Mace, Autobiography, 41–42; Historian’s Office, Brigham Young History Drafts, 25–26.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
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.
Mace, Wandle. Autobiography, ca. 1890. CHL. MS 1924.