The Joseph Smith Papers is pleased to announce its latest web release, which includes around 150 administrative records from the Nauvoo City Council from May through December 1842, as well as documents and introductions for nine new Ohio and Illinois legal cases and the calendar of documents for Documents, Volume 9.
During the period of church history that the administrative records cover, John C. Bennett resigned as mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and Joseph Smith took his place, with Hyrum Smith replacing Joseph as vice mayor.
Many of the documents in this release pertain to the day-to-day business of running a growing city, from regulating sanitation efforts to creating public servant positions and hiring people to fill those roles. Highlights from the Nauvoo City Council records include the following:
In the Legal, Business, and Financial Records series, we have added introductions and documents for three Ohio legal cases and five Illinois legal cases involving Joseph Smith. These include five cases involving merchant and tavern keeper Amos Davis. Between 29 November and 6 December 1842, Davis was accused of violating multiple city ordinances and was tried in five legal cases in which Joseph Smith was either justice, complainant, or witness. The accusations included violation of the city’s temperance ordinance by selling liquor, assault against William Walker, and slander against the characters of Ira S. Miles and Joseph Smith.
Another noteworthy item in this release is an introduction to documents regarding the first attempt by Missouri officials to extradite Joseph Smith to Missouri for criminal prosecution. Most of the other cases are financial in nature, concerning unpaid debts.