Pay Order to Nauvoo City Treasurer, 12 July 1842
JS as mayor, Pay Order, to Nauvoo City Treasurer , for JS, , Hancock Co., IL, 12 July 1842; handwriting of ; signature of JS; one page; JS Collection, CHL. Includes docket.Single leaf measuring 3 × 7½ inches (8 × 19 cm), ruled with ten horizontal blue lines (now faded). The bottom edge was unevenly cut from a larger leaf. The order was docketed by , who served as scribe to JS from 1842 to 1844 and as temple recorder from 1842 to 1846. Sometime after Clayton docketed the leaf, it was trifolded vertically, presumably for filing.The pay order was likely included in the Church Historian’s Office inventories that consistently list City financial records. The first inventory lists a “Cash Book” and Nauvoo City Council disbursements, either of which may have included the pay order. By 1973 the document had been included in the JS Collection at the Church Historical Department (now CHL). The document’s early docket, the early inventory, and inclusion in the JS Collection by 1973 indicate continuous institutional custody.
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On 12 July 1842, JS, acting as mayor of , Illinois, issued a pay order to , the city treasurer, to reimburse JS for printing a pamphlet containing the city laws. Rising concerns that outsiders might infringe on the Latter-day Saints’ legal rights seem to have inspired the city council to print the pamphlet. The laws had earlier been printed separately in periodicals. Publishing the laws accorded with the city charter’s stipulation that city ordinances, within one month of being passed, must be made public by being either “published in some newspaper printed in the city” or posted in three public places.In March 1842, ’s city council resolved to publish the city’s laws as a pamphlet. The pamphlet had not been published by 11 June, when the city council resolved that “the publication of the City Charter, and ordinances of the City Council, and , be procured to be done before the first day of July next.” A month later, on 12 July, the city council passed an ordinance to include all new laws in the pamphlet “that is now being printed” and appropriated funds for the publication. Later that day, , the city recorder, inscribed the featured pay order to provide JS with fifty dollars to pay for the printing of the city laws, which was by then in process and would be completed soon after.The decision to publish ’s charter and city laws came at a time when the Latter-day Saints feared their legal rights would come under attack. ’s recent break with the and spreading rumors of JS’s alleged involvement in the attempted assassination of former governor alarmed the Saints and inspired them to prepare for possible mob attacks and a threatened attempt to extradite JS to Missouri. JS and the city council may have believed that publishing the charter and laws would remind their antagonists of the Saints’ legal rights. Printing the laws in pamphlet form also made them accessible to the Saints, so they could easily reference them in legal proceedings. JS may have used them a month later, on 8 August, when he issued a petition for a writ of “in pursuance of . . . the City Charter and an ordinance in pursuance of said provision.”This 12 July pay order is representative of many similar pay orders issued by JS during his time as mayor. For example, on the same day this pay order was written, another was issued to James Sloan in the amount of fifty dollars as partial payment for his work as city recorder. After JS signed the pay order featured here, he presumably gave it to to issue the requested payment. The payment was later recorded in the Nauvoo City Treasury Ledger.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
Quincy Whig. Quincy, IL. 1838–1856.
Nauvoo City Treasury Ledger, 1842–1845. Nauvoo, IL, Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 16800.