On 1 May 1841 the , Illinois, city council met at JS’s to conduct business concerning the city cemetery, city streets, stray dogs, and ’s mill. As a councilor, JS actively participated in this meeting, making motions for resolutions and speaking about the various topics. took minutes of the 1 May 1841 city council meeting in a notebook. Sloan then used those original minutes to record the official minutes in the council’s ledger, which is the version featured here. For whatever reason, Sloan did not copy all of the text from the original minutes into the official version. Those few omissions are noted in the footnotes to the transcript.
The previous city council meeting took place on 26 April 1841. At that meeting, “a majority of the Council” was absent. JS then moved that “the Marshal be ordered to enforce the attendance of the Aldermen & Colrs who are absent” for the next meeting, and the motion carried. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 26 Apr. 1841, 18.)
The previous three city council meetings took place on 29 March, 12 April, and 26 April, respectively, at JS’s office. During those three meetings the council conducted little business. It passed only one ordinance, relating to dogs, and briefly continued discussions on the city plat. The council also heard a committee report on city streets. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 29 Mar. 1841, 17; 12 and 26 Apr. 1841, 17–18.)
According to an obituary in the Times and Seasons,James Robison died in Nauvoo on 20 April 1841. The obituary did not list a cause of death, only noting Robison was “aged 30 years.” Robison had lived in Hancock County for many years and was described as a “highly respected” individual in the community. (“Obituary,” Times and Seasons, 1 May 1841, 2:406.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Lewis Robison, not then a member of the church, was also appointed the sergeant major in the second regiment of the second cohort of the Nauvoo Legion on 1 May 1841. (Nauvoo Legion, Hancock Co., Illinois State Militia Commission Records, 1834–1855, vol. 17, p. 40, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)
Illinois State Militia Commission Records, 1834–1855. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.
This sentence refers to the city council’s effort to create a new city cemetery to replace the old Commerce City burying grounds located on Durphy Street between White and Hotchkiss streets. The old grounds were in the heart of the city and possibly in the path of projected urban development, necessitating a move to the outskirts of the city.
The amount of the fine would have been determined by the city council. According to section 11 of the Nauvoo city charter, “The City Council shall have power and authority . . . to impose such fines, not exceeding one hundred dollars, for each offence, as they may deem just, for refusing to accept any office in or under the corporation, or for misconduct therein.” (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)