Minutes, , Adams Co., IL, 24 Apr. 1839; handwriting of ; two pages; Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, CHL. Includes redactions and docket.
One leaf measuring 9⅞ × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). The document was folded in half vertically and then folded twice horizontally to pocket size. The top center of the recto contains a “2” in the handwriting of , indicating these minutes were the second of four sets of minutes that Mulholland recorded and numbered in 1839. A docket on the recto, in the handwriting of , reads: “April 24. 1839 | Minutes of Conference”. Bullock worked in the Church Historian’s Office between 1842 and 1856, and he likely filed the minutes during that period, suggesting the document has been in continuous institutional custody since at least 1856. The minutes were placed in the General Church Minutes collection with other loose church minutes created by the general church scribe and other clerks affiliated with the Church Historian’s Office.
Historian’s Office. General Church Minutes, 1839–1877. CHL
After escaping from custody in , JS arrived in , Illinois, on 22 April 1839. Two days later, on 24 April, he chaired a meeting in Quincy to discuss church affairs. The first item of business was to review and approve a document that prepared, in which he expressed gratitude for Quincy residents’ generosity in assisting the . Taylor also disavowed “disorderly persons” in the area who claimed to be church members but in reality had been excommunicated or had no ties to the church. Taylor was concerned that they were abusing Quincy residents’ charity by incurring debts without intending to repay them and that the church would unfairly be “charged with dishonesty” because these “wicked and designing people” were arriving with the Latter-day Saint refugees. Taylor also worried that these individuals’ habits, such as drinking and swearing, would degrade the reputation of the church in the Quincy area. Quincy residents had welcomed impoverished Saints to the area, providing food, housing, and funds, and the church council hoped to maintain good relations. The council approved Taylor’s document, and Taylor sent a copy to the editors of the Quincy Argus for publication.
Next, the council members passed two resolutions concerning the settlement of church members in and . First, the council members resolved that a committee composed of JS, , and should immediately visit land in Iowa Territory for possible purchase. The three men acted on this resolution the following day, 25 April 1839, when they left to inspect tracts along the in Iowa Territory and Illinois; this trip led to land purchases in both areas. Second, the council members resolved that as many church members as possible should move north from to , Illinois. JS soon moved his family to a “small Log house” about one mile south of Commerce, on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River on land purchased from . In addition to these matters, the council members passed several resolutions regarding administrative matters.
The minutes indicate that served as clerk for the council meeting, and he presumably took minutes during the meeting. The minutes featured here were inscribed by , who probably copied Ripley’s minutes, which are no longer extant. Mulholland’s version contains three clarifying notes that , who likely attended the 24 April meeting, added at a later time, possibly when he became general church recorder and clerk. The minutes, including Thompson’s insertions, were copied into JS Letterbook 2 by in 1840.
On 30 April 1839, church agents purchased approximately 189 acres in the Commerce, Illinois, area from Isaac Galland and Hugh White. On 21 May, JS and others went on a scouting trip to investigate land in Iowa Territory; this trip eventually resulted in the purchase of 18,920 acres of land from Galland. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12 G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195; Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 1, pp. 31–32, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,776; Lee Co., IA, Land Records, 1836–1961, vol. 1, pp. 507–510, 29 May 1839, microfilm 959,238; vol. 2, pp. 3–6, 13–16, 26 June 1839, microfilm 959,239, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Historian’s Office, JS History, Draft Notes, 25 Apr.–4 May 1839; Alanson Ripley, Statements, ca. Jan. 1845, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, 1839–1860, CHL; Woodruff, Journal, 21 May 1839.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
Met in on the 24th day of April— (1839) Joseph Smith Jr was called to the chair, and Br chosen Clerk.
After prayer by the Chairman, arose and explained the object of the meeting.
A document intended for publication was handed in, touching certain things relative to disorderly persons who have or may represent themselves as belonging to our ; which document was approved by the council.
After which It was Resolved
1rst That President, J, Smith Jr , and Br visit the immediately
2nd Resolved— That the advice of of this to the Brethren in general is, that as many of them as are able, move on to the north as soon as they possibly can.