Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes

Overview

Two incidents are particularly dramatic in this volume, thanks to the careful work of clerks who took the minutes, bringing to life some key moments in LDS history. One of the most memorable meetings of the city council occurred on June 10, 1844; the minutes capture the emotions as members debate whether to detroy the opposition newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor. The publisher of the paper, Sylvester Emmons, had been a councilman until his June 8 expulsion for having “lifted his hand against the ...

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Overview

Two incidents are particularly dramatic in this volume, thanks to the careful work of clerks who took the minutes, bringing to life some key moments in LDS history. One of the most memorable meetings of the city council occurred on June 10, 1844; the minutes capture the emotions as members debate whether to detroy the opposition newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor. The publisher of the paper, Sylvester Emmons, had been a councilman until his June 8 expulsion for having “lifted his hand against the municipality of God Almighty.” As the hawkish councilmen became increasingly agitated, they began shouting slogans, asking whether the others had the neve to do what was right and crush the newspaper. The answer was a sustained, raucous cheer.

Yes resounded from every quarter of the room,” the clerk, Willard Richards, wrote. “Are we offering … to take away the right[s] of anyone [by] this [action] [to]day?” one of the city councilmen, William Phelps, shouted. “No!!!” was the answer “from every quarter.” Should they also tear down the barn of newspaper editor Robert Foster? Yes! they said. By the time the meeting was over, the Nauvoo police, assisted  by 100 soldiers of the Nauvoo Legion, had “tumbled the press and materials into the street and set fire to them, and demolished the machinery with a sledge-hammer.

Another gripping event occurred on September 8, 1844, when the high council gathered outdoors to accommodate large crowds for the trial of Sidney Rigdon of the First Presidency. A behind-the-scenes power struggle became evident as Brigham Young stepped forward to take control of the meeting, culminating in a request for a vote from the audience. Young asked everyone to “place themselves so that [he] could see them, so he would “know who goes for Sidney.” There followed a flurry of denunciations of various Church members who were summarily excommunicated by acclimation rather than by trial in a meeting lasting six hours.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560852148
  • Publisher: Signature Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2011
  • Pages: 700
  • Sales rank: 1,156,662
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John S. Dinger is a graduate of the S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, where he was an editor at the Utah Law Review. He is presently Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Ada County in Boise, Idaho. He has published in the Idaho Law Review, Journal of Mormon History, and Utah Law Review. He is a member of the editorial board of the Mormon History Association. He and his wife have three children.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Morris A. Thurston vii

Author's Preface xv

Introduction xxi

City and Stake Councilmen xlvii

Minutes of the City Council

1 "A Feeble Testimonial," 1841 3

2 "Joseph Smith, Mayor," 1842 45

3 "Regarding the Protection of the Citizens," 1843 131

4 "The Greatest Nuisance," 1844 199

5 "Truth ...Like a Wedge," 1845 309

Minutes of the Stake High Council

6 "The Business of Said Church," 1839 339

7 "According to Church Laws," 1840 355

8 "Acting in Their Proper Places," 1841 387

9 "Evil Practices and Pursuits," 1842 399

10 "Teachings by Presidents Hiram Smith and William Marks," 1843 435

11 "Deceived by His Specious Pretenses," 1844 483

12 "Opened for Business," 1845 541

Appendixes

A The Nauvoo Charter 565

B Prospectus and Excerpts from the Nauvoo Expositor 574

Index 599

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