Minutes, 1 May 1841, Copy

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Saturday May 1st. 1841.
City Council met pursuant to adjournment.— Meeting opened by Prayer.— It was carried by vote that the do notify the absent Colrs. [councilors] for<​th​>with:—
Minutes of the last three Meetings were read.
Upon Motion of Colr. J. Smith it was resolved that the sympathies of this council be tendered to the relatives of deceased who was the Assessor for this
Lewis Robison was appointed Assessor <​& Collector​> in the place of deceased.
Colr. J. Smith moved and it was seconded and carried that a Buring Ground be procured, out of the . and purchased at the expence of the .
It was adopted that Colrs & be a Committee to procure a Buring Ground.
Upon Motion of it was seconded & carried that ten acres be the quantity of Land to be procured for the Burying Ground
Colr. J. Smith moved, and it was seconded & carried that the sexton be fined to the extent of the Charter if he refuses to act in his office & that the Marshal give him notice thereof. [p. 18]
presented a petition from for liberty to put his Mill upon the outside Butment.
moved that petition be accepted, which <​was​> seconded, & after being debated, the motion was lost.
Upon Motion of a petition was granted (from ) that the be instructed to open that part of Wells Street which is North of Knight Street, as far North as Young Street & also that part of Young Street West of Knight Street to the next Corner by Mr. [Hugh] Herringshaw.
Colr. J. Smith moved & it was adopted that the Citizens be protected for Killing all dogs running at large which are set upon Cattle, or Hogs, or molest any person.
Upon Motion of , it was resolved, that all persons who keep a Slut, & lets her run at large, while she has Dogs following her, be fined Twenty Dollars
Adjourned Sine Die.
May 1st. 1841.
, Mayor.
, Recorder. [p. 19]


  1. 1

    The previous city council meeting took place on 26 April 1841. At that meeting, “a majority of the Council” was absent. JS then moved that “the Marshal be ordered to enforce the attendance of the Aldermen & Colrs who are absent” for the next meeting, and the motion carried. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 26 Apr. 1841, 18.)  

  2. 2

    The previous three city council meetings took place on 29 March, 12 April, and 26 April, respectively, at JS’s office. During those three meetings the council conducted little business. It passed only one ordinance, relating to dogs, and briefly continued discussions on the city plat. The council also heard a committee report on city streets. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 29 Mar. 1841, 17; 12 and 26 Apr. 1841, 17–18.)  

  3. 3

    According to an obituary in the Times and Seasons, James Robison died in Nauvoo on 20 April 1841. The obituary did not list a cause of death, only noting Robison was “aged 30 years.” Robison had lived in Hancock County for many years and was described as a “highly respected” individual in the community. (“Obituary,” Times and Seasons, 1 May 1841, 2:406.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  4. 4

    Lewis Robison, not then a member of the church, was also appointed the sergeant major in the second regiment of the second cohort of the Nauvoo Legion on 1 May 1841. (Nauvoo Legion, Hancock Co., Illinois State Militia Commission Records, 1834–1855, vol. 17, p. 40, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)  

    Illinois State Militia Commission Records, 1834–1855. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.

  5. 5

    This sentence refers to the city council’s effort to create a new city cemetery to replace the old Commerce City burying grounds located on Durphy Street between White and Hotchkiss streets. The old grounds were in the heart of the city and possibly in the path of projected urban development, necessitating a move to the outskirts of the city.  

  6. 6

    According to James Sloan’s rough minutes of this meeting, the city council “voted that a Committee of three be appointed to make purchase.— Viz Aldmn Wells, Col Wilson Law, & Col Barnett, were appointed accordingly. Aldmn Wells wished to know where Land wd be, & quantity. Col Law moved & it was seconded & Carried that it be Ten Acres, out of the City.” John Barnett reported on behalf of the committee on 30 October 1841. (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 1 May 1841, 19; Minutes, 30 Oct. 1841.)  

  7. 7

    It is unknown who served as Nauvoo city sexton at this time. William D. Huntington was appointed the city’s sexton on 4 September 1841. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 4 Sept. 1841, 21.)  

  8. 8

    The amount of the fine would have been determined by the city council. According to section 11 of the Nauvoo city charter, “The City Council shall have power and authority . . . to impose such fines, not exceeding one hundred dollars, for each offence, as they may deem just, for refusing to accept any office in or under the corporation, or for misconduct therein.” (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)  

  9. 9

    Annis, a millwright and member of the Nauvoo Legion, met with the city council three times in March to discuss the placement of his mill, which was near the river bank and in proximity to Sidney Rigdon’s residence at the Lower Stone House on the north side of Parley Street. On 15 March, the city council ordered in favor of ferry rights and required Annis to remove his mill at his own expense within the following four months. A month and a half later, on 30 April, Annis wrote a petition to the city council asking for the “privaledg of putting Said mill out on the Out Side butment and the ferry boate goe up on the Shore Side.” Annis further indicated in his petition that removing his mill from its current location would cause great damage to him financially. (Minutes, 1 Mar. 1841; Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 8 Mar. 1841, 10; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 and 15 Mar. 1841, 15–16; John C. Annis, Petition, Nauvoo, IL, 30 Apr. 1841, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

  10. 10

    Sloan’s rough minutes state: “The Mayor spoke, & wished to be excused from voting as he did not consider it beneficial to Mr. Annis to have it accepted. Col D: C: Smith spoke, & wished to be excused from Voting, as he did not consider Mr. Annis’ labour wd be available. Voted, that Mr. Annis be at liberty to explain his Views, & he did so. Col Law wished that Mr. Annis shd have privilege of trying out his experiment, & thinks he is entitled to it. Aldmn Wells said if the Col tampered with this business, they wd have their first works to do over again. Col J: Smith stated the rights & priviledges of the owners of the Ferry, & that City Col has not right to take away Ferry rights, without damages being paid to the Proprietor, & he will set his Face agst the Petn altogether, if the Ferry rights be infringed upon. Question put, & motion put whether Petn wd be recd, & lost.” (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 1 May 1841, 19–20; for earlier discussions of Annis’s case, see Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Mar. 1841, 15.)  

  11. 11

    For the remainder of this paragraph, Sloan lifted the language directly from Higbee’s petition. (Elias Higbee, Petition, 1 May 1841, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

  12. 12

    JS had recently agreed to deed land in block 80 to Hugh Herringshaw and Edward Thompson, who had jointly paid JS $400 for the same. The land in the block sat between Young and Knight streets, which ran east to west, and adjacent to Wells Street, which ran north to south. Because the city council granted Higbee’s petition, Wells Street on the eastern edge of block 80 was constructed, or opened. (JS, Bond, Hancock Co., IL, to Hugh Herringshaw and Edward Thompson, 12 Apr. 1841, Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU.)  

  13. 13

    On 29 March the city council passed an ordinance “in relation to Dogs” that fined any owner of a dog that attacked cattle, hogs, or persons. Other cities in Illinois also had laws giving the city power to repress dogs from running free in the streets and to fine their owners for improper regulation. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 29 Mar. 1841, 17; see also An Act to Incorporate the Town of Caledonia, [21 July 1837], Laws of the State of Illinois [1837], p. 32, sec. 6; An Act to Incorporate the Town of Danville [3 Feb. 1839], Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 9, sec. 6; An Act to Increase the Corporate Powers of the Town of Chester [12 Feb. 1839], Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, pp. 51–52, sec. 7; and Gregg, History of Hancock County, Illinois, 1035.)  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837. Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1837.

    Gregg, Thomas. History of Hancock County, Illinois, Together with an Outline History of the State, and a Digest of State Laws. Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1880.

  14. 14

    A “slut” referred to a female dog. The city of St. Louis, Missouri, passed a similar ordinance requiring dog owners or keepers to pay costs for any damage done by their animals running at large. The St. Louis ordinance also contained a section stating that “every slut found running at large in this city during her season of salacity shall be slain by any person appointed for the purpose by the constable.” (See “Slut,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 9:251; and An Ordinance for Registering and Restraining Dogs from Running at Large [3 June 1835], Revised Ordinances of the City of Saint Louis, pp. 93–94, secs. 7, 8.)  

    Oxford English Dictionary. Compact ed. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

    The Revised Ordinances of the City of Saint Louis; Revised and Digested by the Board of Aldermen, during the Years 1835 and 1836. To Which Are Prefixed the Constitution of the United States, and the Amendments Thereto; The Constitution of the State of Missouri, and the Amendments Thereto; The Charter of the City of St. Louis, and the Act of the Legislature for the Sale of the Common. St. Louis: Missouri Argus, 1836.