Nauvoo City Council Standing Committees, 1842–1845

The City Council was formed in February 1841 under authority granted by the December 1840 act incorporating the city of Nauvoo. In 1841, the council had no standing committees. Ad hoc committees were appointed on an as-needed basis.
By January 1842, as part of their efforts to formalize procedures, the mayor and council began appointing committees. At the 15 January 1842 city council meeting, Mayor appointed five committees: Ways and Means, Claims, Public Grounds, Finance, and Municipal Laws. A week later, at the 22 January 1842 meeting, a committee, under the direction of the mayor, presented a document they called “Rules of Order of the City Council.” This document outlined the duties of the various city officers; spelled out procedures to follow in council meetings, including order of the meeting and rules of debate (following parliamentary procedure); gave directions for how committees should be appointed; and provided a list of standing committees. These standing committees were Ways and Means, Improvement, Claims, Unfinished Business, Elections, Police, Municipal Laws, Public Grounds, and Public Works. The Committee of Finance, appointed on 15 January, was not included on this formal list but appears to have functioned throughout the year and into 1843.
When JS replaced as mayor on 19 May 1842, the committees remained largely the same, except that JS was replaced by others on all the committees he had served on. was also replaced on the Committee of Claims, as he had moved out of the city of .
After the 6 February 1843 election of a new city council, JS made new appointments to the standing committees at the 11 February 1843 council meeting. had been elected as an alderman and was appointed to various committees. However, he declined to serve, and at the 4 March 1843 council meeting, was chosen to replace Markham as alderman, and he also served on the committees Markham had been appointed to.
At the 1 June 1843 city council meeting, , , , and were appointed members of the city council pro tem. Notations on the “Revised Committee Appointments” list indicate that Hunter replaced , Parley P. Pratt replaced , Adams replaced , and Phelps replaced and .
The state legislature revoked ’s charter in late January 1845, but city leaders proceeded with elections in February, hoping they could appeal the legislature’s decision. A new city council was elected and new standing committees were appointed. By March, leaders in Nauvoo had given up on appealing to the state and no city council meetings were held after March 1845.
15 January 1842 22 January 1842 19 May 1842
Ways and Means Ways and Means Ways and Means
Improvement Improvement
Claims Claims Claims
Unfinished Business Unfinished Business
Elections Elections
Police Police
Municipal Laws Municipal Laws Municipal Laws
Public Grounds Public Grounds Public Grounds
Public Works Public Works
11 February/4 March 1843 (names in parentheses indicate pro tem council members) 8 February 1845
Ways and Means Ways and Means
Improvements Improvements
Claims Claims
() Jonathan C. Wright
Unfinished Business Unfinished Business
Elections Elections
Jonathan C. Wright
Police Police
Municipal Laws Municipal Laws
Jonathan C. Wright
Public Grounds Public Grounds
Public Works Public Works
Finance Finance
  1. 1

    Minutes, 15 Jan. 1842.  

  2. 2

    Rules of Order for Nauvoo City Council, 22 Jan. 1842.  

  3. 3

    See Report of Committee, 14 Jan. 1843.  

  4. 4

    Minutes, 19 May 1842; see also Committee Appointments, ca. 19 May–ca. Aug. 1842  

  5. 5

    Committee Appointments, 11 Feb. 1843, Draft. The committee of finance does appear on this February 1843 list.  

  6. 6

    Minutes, 11 and 25 Feb. 1843; 4 Mar. 1843; Revised Committee Appointments, 11 Feb.–ca. 10 June 1843.  

  7. 7

    Minutes, 1 June 1843.  

  8. 8

    Revised Committee Appointments, 11 Feb.–ca. 10 June 1843; see also Minutes, 10 June 1843.  

  9. 9

    Minutes, 8 Feb. 1845; Committee Appointments, 8 Feb. 1845.  

  10. 10

    See “Part 2: Feb.–May 1845.”  

  11. 11

    Vinson Knight died 31 July 1842; he was replaced on the city council, and presumably on this committee, by Amasa Lyman on 5 August 1842 (Minutes, 5 Aug. 1842.)  

  12. 12

    William W. Phelps was added to the Committee of Claims on 9 November 1844. (Minutes, 9 Nov. 1844.)  

  13. 13

    George Stiles was added to the Committee of Municipal Laws on 13 April 1844. (Minutes, 13 Apr. 1844.)  

  14. 14

    Bennett was replaced by Orson Pratt on the Committee of Public Grounds at the 9 November 1844 council meeting. (Minutes, 9 Nov. 1844.)