Minutes, 30 October 1841, Copy

Document Transcript

Saturday October 30th. 1841.
City Council met pursuant to adjournment:— Meeting opened by prayer. Colr. [councilor] , who was formerly appointed a Colr. subscribed his oath of office & the Aldermen & Colrs. who were appointed at last Meeting, subscribed their oaths & were sworn:— Minutes of last Meeting read, & amended.
Colr. one of the Committee respecting the Burying Ground, reported orally, and the report was accepted
A Petition was presented on behalf of relative to a Pauper who had been at his House for a length of time it was referred to a Committee viz: and to enquire into the Circumstances & report generally [p. 25]
Upon Motion of , it was carried that the Street east of Warsaw Street be openend from Parley Street to the Limits.
It was unanimously adopted <​that​> Counsellor at Law and be permitted to act as Lawyers in the discussion of the subject matter of the fine imposed upon .
It was moved & carried that the City Council have Jurisdiction and authority over all Fines imposed by the City officers whether in retaining or remitting them.
Colr. Joseph Smith moved & it was seconded that the Fine imposed upon be remitted.
spoke at considerable length, on the part of , to have the fine imposed upon him, remitted.
spoke at length upon the propriety of a Confirmation of the fine.
Several of the City Council spoke on the motion in debate, and it was carried that the Council adjourn for two Hours:— Council met pursuant to adjournment
& were appointed Counsellors, in the City Council.
, & were appointed Aldermen of the .
was appointed High Constable in the place of resigned.— for the 4th. Ward.
The Freedom of this City <​was​> Conferred upon Esqr., & Esqr..
& were sworn into office.
spoke on the case of .
Esq. spoke on the same Case.
The spoke to a considerable length.
Colrs. J. Smith, & both spoke at length,
It was carried, by vote, that the Fine stand, & be, not Mitigated.
was Sworn, as High Constable. [p. 26]
Counsellor J. Smith moved, that one hundred & twenty five Dollars, be appropriated for Damages, for the Building which was removed on the Hill, as a Nuisance.
The Motion was laid upon the Table.
Adjourned until Ten OClock A. M. on Monday next.
October 30th. 1841.
, Mayor.
, Recorder. [p. 27]


  1. 1

    The previous meeting took place on 23 October 1841. The minutes of that meeting state that the next meeting was to take place on 30 October 1841 at one o’clock in Hyrum Smith’s office. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841, 25.)  

  2. 2

    Brigham Young was elected a city councilor on 4 September 1841 to replace Don Carlos Smith, who had died. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 4 Sept. 1841, 21.)  

  3. 3

    At the 23 October meeting of the Nauvoo City Council, John Taylor, Orson Pratt, Hugh McFall, and Heber C. Kimball were added as councilors. Gustavus Hills and Orson Spencer were also appointed as aldermen at that meeting. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841, 25.)  

  4. 4

    At the city council meeting held on 1 May 1841, a motion was carried that ten acres “be procured for the Burying Ground,” or cemetery, for the city of Nauvoo. On 16 October, the city council requested a report from the committee appointed to purchase the burying ground, but at the 23 October meeting, the committee asked for more time to prepare before giving a report. The contents of the committee’s report are not known. (Minutes, 1 May 1841; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 16 and 23 Oct. 1841, 23, 25.)  

  5. 5

    The committee formed to investigate Hill’s petition reported on 6 November 1841. The city council discussed the report, after which Hill was asked to withdraw his petition. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 6 Nov. 1841, 29.)  

  6. 6

    The street immediately east of Warsaw Street appears to have been Rich Street. (See map of Nauvoo, Illinois.)  

  7. 7

    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.)  

  8. 8

    On 23 October 1841, the city council condemned a “grog shop,” owned by Pulaski Cahoon and John Eagle and located on the hill near the temple lot, as a nuisance. Two days later, two companies of the Nauvoo Legion destroyed the building, and in the process, Eagle became involved in an altercation with one of the troops, John Scott. Eagle was charged with assault and battery. A jury in the mayor’s court found him guilty of the charge and ordered him to pay a fine of $65 plus costs. Stiles, acting as Eagle’s attorney, asked the city council on 30 October to remit “the fine returned by the jury.” The council, advised by Emmons, voted against remitting the fine. Eagle may have also violated a Nauvoo city ordinance that prohibited all persons and establishments from “vending Whiskey in a less quantity than a Gallon, or other Spirituous Liquors in a less quantity than a quart, to any Person whatever, excepting” someone with a doctor’s recommendation. According to a later source, Eagle threatened JS when he tried to summon Eagle to appear in court for violating the ordinance. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 15 Feb. 1841, 8; Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 23 and 30 Oct. 1841, 26, 28–30; Woodruff, Journal, 30 Oct. 1841; and Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841, State of Illinois v. Eagle [Nauvoo Mayor’s Ct. 1841], in Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 12; Osborn, Reminiscences and Journal, 66.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

    Osborn, David. Reminiscences and Journal, 1860–1893. CHL. MS 1653.

  9. 9

    All three men were apostles. Woodruff wrote in his journal that he was notified of this appointment on the morning of 30 October. (Woodruff, Journal, 30 Oct. 1841.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  10. 10

    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.

  11. 11

    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.)  

  12. 12

    On 23 October 1841, JS proposed a resolution that four houses in Nauvoo be declared nuisances. One of the houses was to be removed by Monday, 25 October—“a small frame House upon the Hill, near, the Temple Lot,” kept by John Eagle and Pulaski Cahoon, son of prominent Latter-day Saint Reynolds Cahoon. However, a later JS history states that the action did not take place until 30 October, when JS, “in obedience to an order from the Mayor . . . called out two Companies of the Nauvoo Legion, and removed a Grog shop, kept by Pulaski S. Cahoon, which had been declared a nuisance by the City Council.” An article in the Times and Seasons described Cahoon’s shop as a small building kept “for the purpose of transacting the business of a Grocer.” In other words, the shop traded in tea, sugar, spices, coffee, liquors, and fruits. The article noted the public’s disapprobation with the business and indicated that the building was a “lonely wreck of folly.” Although Cahoon is not named here, JS was evidently submitting Cahoon’s petition requesting the city council to cover the damages caused by the destruction. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 23 Oct. 1841, 24; JS History, vol. C-1, 1242; “The Neusance,” Times and Seasons, 15 Nov. 1841, 3:599; Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 23 and 30 Oct.; 1 Nov. 1841, 25–30, 33–34; Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841, State of Illinois v. Eagle [Nauvoo Mayor’s Ct. 1841], in Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 12.)  

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

  13. 13

    When the Nauvoo City Council met two days later, on the evening of 1 November, Pulaski Cahoon presented his petition “claiming Damages for the House which was removed on the Hill as a Nuisance.” The council approved the “acts of the Mayor, as respects the removal & destruction of the Nuisance” and denied Cahoon’s petition. Although the city council denied the petition, the mayor’s court honored a $30 bill of damages submitted by Cahoon and John Eagle, which partially offset the initial fine. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 1 Nov. 1841, 28; Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 1 Nov. 1841, 33–34; Docket Entry, between 25 Oct. and ca. 29 Nov. 1841, State of Illinois v. Eagle [Nauvoo Mayor’s Ct. 1841], in Nauvoo Mayor’s Court Docket Book, 12.)