Appendix 6: Council of Fifty, Minutes, 18 January 1846

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

18 Sunday Jan. 18th. 1846 at 10 morng a meeting of the Commandants of Co[mpanies] that were appointed— to— lead companies West— assembled— in the atic story of the — this meeting calld the the better to assertain— the number that are ready— & willing to start at a moment warning— warning should neccessity require it at our hands.—— as I well know that evil is intending towards us— & that our safety alone will depend on our safe elopement— from this place— before our enemies should intercept & prevent our escape in order to effect this we shall— have to use Policy & econemy— that we &. by the help of Almighty God may be delivered from this untoward generation—— General interest was manifested by the whole council &—— every man— felt willing— to yield to the circumstances that surrounded us— & do what ever was considered best— for the common Interest of all.— we, are willing Say they to be used. & to let our property also be [p. 102] use for the purpose of acomplishing this wise & deep preconcertd elopement— for the safety of this people the subject having been delibratd & the members presant— having— freeed their minds to some considerable extent— I made the following selections that were to tarry & act— as a commity [committee]— to dispose— of our property & effects— & aid such in emigrating— as shall have to go & give them a Power of Eternity [attorney]— to act— for— us— & represent us— also to to complete the — & —— the Names of this commity were— & —— I then dismised the council— with instructions to learn the exact amount of cash & such article as will be requiset— for our tour— in contemplation— The No. of men who can leave their families comfortable & go— with us & look out a location for the church to come—— also the No of Horses waggons Mules & so on—— [p. 103]


  1. 1

    TEXT: Possibly “numbrs”.  

  2. 2

    Based on warnings from Illinois governor Thomas Ford, Young believed that federal troops might attempt to impede the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo.  

  3. 3

    Acts 2:40; Revelation, 9 Dec. 1830 [D&C 36:6]; Prayer, 27 Mar. 1836, in Prayer, at the Dedication of the Lord’s House, [2] [D&C 109:41].  

  4. 4

    On 11 January, Young proposed that council members Babbitt, Heywood, Fullmer, and Bernhisel, as well as non-Mormon Jacob B. Backenstos, remain in Nauvoo to finish work on the temple and the Nauvoo House and to act as “agents or a committee to transact business for and in behalf of this council.” It is unclear why Backenstos was dropped from this proposed group. At a public church meeting on 24 January, the men chosen by the council were sustained by a vote of the congregation, with the exception of Backenstos. According to Young’s journal, during the meeting Babbitt suggested to Young that Backenstos be dropped from the committee; church member Henry W. Miller was appointed to take Backenstos’s place. During this 24 January meeting Young explained that these five men were to serve as agents for George Miller or Newel K. Whitney—the two trustees-in-trust for the church—in their absence in order that “the work of the Lord may continue here—that is the finishing of the Temple & Nauvoo House—& the disposing of Property & fitting of the Saints—& sending them on after us.” Specifically, Babbitt, Heywood, and Fullmer were to act as trustees for the temple while Henry Miller and Bernhisel were to serve as trustees for the Nauvoo House. Immediately following the 24 January meeting, George Miller and Whitney signed a certificate announcing their resignation as trustees-in-trust and certifying that Babbitt, Heywood, and Fullmer had been “duly elected” by a meeting of the church to replace them. (Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Jan. 1846; Young, Journal, 24 Jan. 1846; George Miller and Newel K. Whitney, Certificate of Election, 24 Jan. 1846, Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 2, p. 144, microfilm 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  

    Young, Brigham. Journals, 1832–1877. Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878. CHL. CR 1234 1, boxes 71–73.

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.