The council met on 11 April 1845 at the in two sessions. When the council adjourned on 5 April, they agreed to reconvene on this date at 8:45 a.m., but the meeting did not begin until 9:45. It was delayed in part because and were asked in the morning to “investigate the subject of some of the boys in the who had on yesterday whistled a man out of town.” Additionally, according to , the council initially met at the but then “adjourned to the Masonic Hall,” probably because the latter venue figured into the business Young hoped to transact in the council that day. The afternoon session convened at 2:30 following an hour-long adjournment.
Following the addition of two members near the beginning of the morning session, reported that all the letters to the governors, requesting their assistance to preserve the rights of the Latter-day Saints and their views on the Mormons’ possible emigration to the West, were ready. After a minor change, the letters were approved and ordered to be sent. However, the letters were not dated until the last week in April and not signed until 10 May. By that time it had been decided to send a modified copy of this letter to President James K. Polk as well. A messenger was dispatched to carry the letters and deposit them at post offices along the route from to . Only two governors are known to have responded to the requests made in the letter. governor Roger Baldwin forwarded the letter to the state legislature, but neither the governor nor the legislature took further action. Thomas S. Drew, the governor of Arkansas, wrote to that while he was unable to help, he thought that the Mormons’ proposed move west was probably the best course for them.
Following this discussion, council members turned their attention to the Western Mission. stated that he wanted , , and “perhaps one or two others” to start immediately and proposed that these men stay with the northern tribes until the grand council of Indian tribes several weeks later. Another group of missionaries would leave shortly after the first group and travel south to meet with the Cherokee and Comanche. With these combined efforts, Young hoped to “find a suitable location, on this side the , where we can be safe & have a suitable place to locate our families, and find that we shall be received by the Indians, and be permitted to settle among them where we can instruct them.”
A significant portion of the afternoon session was spent discussing a proposal made by . Recognizing an ongoing rivalry between the and the British North American provinces in trying to influence Indians, Haws suggested that the council should seek after “the influence of the Provinces of to assist us” in arming and supplying American Indians. After considerable discussion, and called for the council to “drop this subject.” The council then approved Young’s proposal from the morning session to send four missionaries west as soon as possible. Young appointed , , , and .
Attention again turned to the needs and function of the . In a meeting the day before, eight members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had decided “to do our printing at Nauvoo[,] to remove the [printing] office into the , & print the Book Doctrine covena[n]ts, Hymn book & history as soon as possible.” Unlike most subjects discussed in the council, the business surrounding the printing office was never opened for general comments. introduced the proposal and provided a general description of what was needed and what they hoped to print, including the works approved the day before. and , the managers of the printing office, then explained their specific needs: money, paper, type, and a steam-powered press. Following their report, the council accepted their proposal without discussion, suggesting that council members knew they were assenting to a decision that had already been made.
Following brief discussions on ’s commission to manufacture weapons and on raising funds for the Nauvoo Legion arsenal, appointed , , and to a new committee to ensure that the four men assigned to the Western Mission were “fitted out and prepared to start as early as next Tuesday.”
With the addition of two members at this meeting, the council had fifty “standing members.” appended to the minutes a membership list as he had done following the May 1844 adjournment of the council.
Friday April 11th. 1845 Council met pursuant to adjournment and organized at 9 ¾ o clock A.M. President in the chair (In )
George A. Smith, Autobiography, 11 Apr. 1845, 58. The delay in the start time for the meeting was reflected in the diaries of council members. Heber C. Kimball wrote that the meeting began at 9:00 a.m.; Willard Richards recorded that it began at 10:00 a.m. (Kimball, Journal, 11 Apr. 1845; Richards, Journal, 11 Apr. 1845.)
Smith, George A. Autobiography, ca. 1860–1882. George Albert Smith, Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322, box 1, fd. 2.
Kimball, Heber C. Journal, Sept. 1842; May 1844–May 1845. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL. MS 627, box. 3, fd. 4.
See, for example, Brigham Young et al., Nauvoo, IL, to John H. Steele, Concord, NH, 24 Apr. 1845, photocopy, CHL; Brigham Young et al., Nauvoo, IL, to James McDowell, Richmond, VA, 31 Apr. 1845, photocopy, CHL; and Richards, Journal, 10 May 1845.
Young, Brigham et al. Letter, Nauvoo, IL, to John H. Steele, Concord, NH, 24 Apr. 1845, photocopy. CHL.
Young, Brigham et al. Letter, Nauvoo, IL, to James McDowell, Richmond, VA, 31 Apr. 1845, photocopy. CHL.