Journal, December 1841–December 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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4 December 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 4th. The day being very wet Prest. Joseph remained at home all day

5 December 1842 • Monday

Monday 5th. A.M. Attendend in council with Prest. & others on the Bankrupt  case. P.M. had conversation with bro. [William A.] Gheen. In the evening  attended the Lodge at which time charges were preferred against   for unmasonic conduct towards prest. Joseph.

6 December 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 6th. Attended trial of before the municipal Court.

7 December 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 7th. This day dined with E[lde]r & family. has this  day returned home from his Mission to , his presence  was gratifying, spent the day with & drawing wood.

8 December 1842 • Thursday

Thursday 8th. Had a visit from & . Spent the day at home.

Editorial Note
JS’s journal from 9 December through 20 December 1842 chronicles the efforts of several of his friends—including , who was keeping the journal at this time—to obtain a discharge of his debts through bankruptcy during a trip to , Illinois. JS himself remained in during this time. While in Springfield, JS’s friends also consulted with state officials and others about a possible course of action JS might pursue in regard to the ongoing effort to extradite him to to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on . These discussions provided Clayton with access to some of the documents that had been generated during the extradition attempt, as well as to letters to JS from newly elected Illinois governor and district attorney , recommending that JS come to Springfield for a judicial review of his case. Clayton copied these documents and letters into this lengthy journal entry. A day-by-day account of JS’s activities resumed on 21 December following the party’s return to Nauvoo, when JS asked to serve as his private secretary and historian.

9–20 December 1842 • Friday–Tuesday

Friday 9th. This day prest. Joseph went to chopping wood.
On this day started in company with .  , , Benjamin Covey, , , & for .  bro. Covey & to attend to his case and the others to attend  to prest. Joseph’s case. We arrived at on tues-day the 13th. about 3  P.M. Same evening we were visited by E[lde]r who is a member  of the house of Representatives. He stated that the subject of the repeal of  our charter had been brought before the house, and the house had referred  the subject to the committee on Corporations. He had made a spirited speech  before the house on the subject; and thought from the appearance of things  that the only way to preserve our charter was, to present a resolution to  repeal all the charters in the , if they repealed the Charter.  He stated that we had a many warm friends in both Houses who had  determined that if our charter was repealed all the Charters in the  should, especially , & .
It is evident that there would have been little said on this subject  before the Houses, had not in his inaugural address,  referred to it in strong terms. In that address he says “ [3 lines blank]
It was expected that would not have recommended any  alteration in our charter, inasmuch as there is no extraordinary  privileges granted to the citizens of , more than is granted by  the Charter, to the citizens of . Such however  was not the case, and his remarks have in some measure added  a new stimulus to our enemies to agitate the subject. It is, however,  evident that saw that his remarks were not of the wisest  as he said to us afterwards that he regretted he had not recommended  a repeal of all the charters in the at the same time. [p. 212]

4 December 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 4th. The day being very wet Prest. Joseph remained at home all day

5 December 1842 • Monday

Monday 5th. A.M. Attendend in council with Prest. & others on the Bankrupt case. P.M. had conversation with bro. William A. Gheen. In the evening attended the Lodge at which time charges were preferred against for unmasonic conduct towards prest. Joseph.

6 December 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 6th. Attended trial of before the municipal Court.

7 December 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 7th. This day dined with Elder & family. has this day returned home from his Mission to , his presence was gratifying, spent the day with & drawing wood.

8 December 1842 • Thursday

Thursday 8th. Had a visit from & . Spent the day at home.

Editorial Note
JS’s journal from 9 December through 20 December 1842 chronicles the efforts of several of his friends—including , who was keeping the journal at this time—to obtain a discharge of his debts through bankruptcy during a trip to , Illinois. JS himself remained in during this time. While in Springfield, JS’s friends also consulted with state officials and others about a possible course of action JS might pursue in regard to the ongoing effort to extradite him to to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on . These discussions provided Clayton with access to some of the documents that had been generated during the extradition attempt, as well as to letters to JS from newly elected Illinois governor and district attorney , recommending that JS come to Springfield for a judicial review of his case. Clayton copied these documents and letters into this lengthy journal entry. A day-by-day account of JS’s activities resumed on 21 December following the party’s return to Nauvoo, when JS asked to serve as his private secretary and historian.

9–20 December 1842 • Friday–Tuesday

Friday 9th. This day prest. Joseph went to chopping wood.
On this day started in company with . , , Benjamin Covey, , , & for . bro. Covey & to attend to his case and the others to attend to prest. Joseph’s case. We arrived at on tues-day the 13th. about 3 P.M. Same evening we were visited by Elder who is a member of the house of Representatives. He stated that the subject of the repeal of our charter had been brought before the house, and the house had referred the subject to the committee on Corporations. He had made a spirited speech before the house on the subject; and thought from the appearance of things that the only way to preserve our charter was, to present a resolution to repeal all the charters in the , if they repealed the Charter. He stated that we had a many warm friends in both Houses who had determined that if our charter was repealed all the Charters in the should, especially , & .
It is evident that there would have been little said on this subject before the Houses, had not in his inaugural address, referred to it in strong terms. In that address he says “ [3 lines blank]
It was expected that would not have recommended any alteration in our charter, inasmuch as there is no extraordinary privileges granted to the citizens of , more than is granted by the Charter, to the citizens of . Such however was not the case, and his remarks have in some measure added a new stimulus to our enemies to agitate the subject. It is, however, evident that saw that his remarks were not of the wisest as he said to us afterwards that he regretted he had not recommended a repeal of all the charters in the at the same time. [p. 212]
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