Motiond & seconded <and carried> that C. be delegated to prese[n]t the same to Congress.
Mayor proposed a combind delegation of the Repres[en]tatives of , in presenting the bill.
An Ordinance to prevent unlawful search or seizure of person or property by foreign process in the city of read twice,— 3 time by its tittle & passed. satisfied with its title.
Mayor suggested the propriety of making all coloured people free,— so that the[y] cannot be carried out of the , unless guilty of crime,
suggested the propriety of giving instructions to the committee to bring in an ordinance concerning the Registry of deeds.—
Charles Warner had leave & spoke, enquiring the reason of his removal from the office of City auctioner,—
The Mayor explained also
Warner asked leave to pay auction tax in treasury orders — objected; spoke. thought Warners claim had priority. thought there was no action called for,
Motioned and Carried that the be instructed to give C. Warnes s orders <for services rendered the city priority> priority, in payment
resigned his appointment office <Elect> as City Auctioneer, & <Charles> Warner— was <re> duly <re->elected City Auctioner
Motiond & seconded and carried that be Marshal of the for the , expecting soon to <leave <the >> was duly elected Marshall of the ,
, spoke of the duties of a Marshal— &c
spoke, The Mayor gave instruction to the & polic[e]men— to see that all carrion is removed, that all <public> houses are kept in order,— stops boys fighting, prevent children floting off on the ice, correct any thing out of order; like a father,
resigned his office as assessor & collector to with other approbation of the council, [p. 29]
Pratt did not depart for Washington DC to present the memorial to Congress until March 1844. (Historical Introduction to Memorial to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, ca. 16 Dec. 1843–12 Feb. 1844, p. 376 herein.)
Assembling a delegation to present the bill follows the procedures Latter-day Saints took when submitting an 1840 memorial to Congress. (See Historical Introduction to Memorial to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, ca. 30 Oct. 1839–27 Jan. 1840, in JSP, D7:139–143.)
According to established city council rules, all bills must be read aloud three times before they were passed: once to introduce the bill, a second time prior to opening debate and amendments, and a final time prior to passage. In this instance, the city council suspended the usual rules and simply passed this ordinance after hearing the title and text read twice and the title read a third time. (“Rules of Order of the City Council,” 22 Jan. 1842, 5–6, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)
This statement reflects JS’s stance on slavery in the United States at the time. On 30 December 1842, JS stated in a private conversation that “he had decided that he would not vote for a Slave holder” because keeping slaveholders in political office empowered them to continue to subdue minority peoples. When asked how he would advise a man who held a hundred enslaved people, JS responded, “I have always advised such to bring their slaves into a free county— & set them free— Educate them & give them equal Rights.” A few days later, JS spoke again on slavery and enslaved persons. He stated that “Slaves in washington [are] more refind than the presidents” and that if given an equal opportunity with whites, they would rise to an exalted and respected state. By early February 1844, just over a month after this 21 December 1843 statement, JS decided to run for president. As part of his political platform, he called for the emancipation of enslaved persons in the United States, which would be paid for from the sale of lands by the federal government. (JS, Journal, 30 Dec. 1842 and 2 Jan. 1843, in JSP, J2:197, 212; JS, General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States, 9.)
Although Illinois was nominally a free state, its constitution and anti-Black laws allowed slaveholders to bring their enslaved persons into the state and even sell them under the guise of voluntary indentured servitude contracts lasting up to a year. Additionally, all free Blacks living in the state had to be registered by the county and carry with them certificates proving their free status. Any Black person found without a certificate was to be arrested as a fugitive enslaved person. The kidnapping of Black people to put them into bondage was also a common occurrence in the early United States. In 1793, the United States Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which enabled slaveholders to recapture escaped enslaved persons. The act also put free Blacks in danger of being kidnapped and sold into slavery based upon the color of their skin. For example, Solomon Northup, a free Black man living in New York, was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery in Louisiana, where he remained enslaved for twelve years before regaining his freedom. An editorial equating the kidnapping of white Illinois citizens with slaveholders stealing free people of color appeared in the Nauvoo Neighbor the day before this city council meeting. JS’s remarks were part of a larger national discussion about the rights of people of color and appealed to a broader concept of protecting the rights of all Americans, including racial and religious minorities. (Constitution of the State of Illinois , art. 6, secs. 1–3; An Act respecting Free Negroes, Mulattoes, Servants and Slaves [30 Mar. 1819]; An Act respecting Free Negroes, Mulattoes, Servants and Slaves [17 Jan. 1829], Public and General Statute Laws of the State of Illinois , pp. 32–33, 501–505, 506–508; Foner, Fiery Trial, 7–8; An Act Respecting Fugitives from Justice, and Persons Escaping from the Service of Their Masters [12 Feb. 1793], Public Statutes at Large, 2nd Cong., 2nd Sess., chap. 7, pp. 302–305; Northup, Twelve Years a Slave; Editorial, Nauvoo Neighbor, 20 Dec. 1843, .)
In June 1842, Warner was unanimously elected city auctioneer. On 16 December 1843, the city council elected Kimball to that office and carried the motion to remove Warner as city auctioneer. Warner was reinstated later in this 21 December meeting, and he remained city auctioneer until October 1844. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 11 June 1842, 85; 16 Dec. 1843, 194; 12 Oct. 1844, 219; see also Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 21 Dec. 1843, 198; and Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 11 June 1842, 31; 16 Dec. 1843, 26; 12 Oct. 1844, 49.)
In February 1841, the Nauvoo City Council appointed Sherwood as marshal “to continue for two years ensuing.” He was elected to another two-year term in February 1843. (Minutes, 3 Feb. 1841, in JSP, D8:19; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 11 Feb. 1843, 159.)
In March 1842, JS submitted a motion to the city council calling for “the inhabitents of this City” to “keep their children at home except on lawful business on Sundays and from skayting on the ice and from marauding upon their neighbours property.” Joseph Smith III later recalled that JS gave his children strict instructions to never go on the ice in the Mississippi River without permission, because “a number of accidents had occurred upon the ice at the river.” (Motion, 5 Mar. 1842–B, in JSP, D9:220; Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, “The Memoirs of President Joseph Smith,” Saints’ Herald, 27 Nov. 1934, 1513.)