On 30 October 1841 the City Council, including JS, met to address several issues. After holding intermittent meetings in summer 1841, the council resumed a more consistent meeting schedule in mid-October; they had already met twice before convening on 30 October 1841. At this meeting, council members discussed whether to remit the fine imposed on by a jury after his recent conviction for assault and battery before the Nauvoo mayor’s court. They also conversed about a variety of city planning issues, including an overdue report on a city cemetery, improving streets in Nauvoo, and the removal of a building in the city that had been declared a nuisance. The 30 October meeting also included the appointment and swearing in of several city officers.
, the city recorder, inscribed rough minutes of the 30 October meeting in a notebook. Sloan then used those original minutes to record the official minutes in the council’s ledger. Because the ledger contains a more comprehensive version of the council’s discussion and decisions and represents the official minutes, that is the version featured here.
At the city council meeting held on 16 October 1841, John Barnett motioned “that some work be done on Parley Street, and the Street opened,” and the motion was carried. This proposal to work on another street suggests that the city was interested in continuing to improve the area. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 16 Oct. 1841, 22.)
Conferring the “freedom of the city” was a symbolic gesture of trust and friendship granted to distinguished visitors of a city. It encouraged them to freely move about the city as they pleased. “Freedom of the city” had been previously granted to Stephen A. Douglas. Sylvester Emmons and George Stiles were both attorneys visiting Nauvoo at this time. Each of them later served in Nauvoo city government in different capacities. (Letter to Editors, 6 May 1841; Illustrated Atlas Map of Cass County, Illinois, 23, 40.)
Illustrated Atlas Map of Cass County, Illinois, Carefully Compiled from Personal Examinations and Surveys. [Edwardsville, IL]: W. R. Brink and Co., 1874.
Though JS motioned earlier in the meeting to have Eagle’s fine remitted, he appears to have changed his mind. According to a later history, JS “attended——the City Council and spoke against the Council’s remitting a fine assessed against John Eagle by a Jury of twelve men considering that the Jury might be as sensible men as any of the City Council and . . . asked the Council not to remit the fine.” (JS History, vol. C-1, 1242.)