On the evening of 13 November 1841 in , Illinois, JS attended and participated in a meeting of the Nauvoo City Council, which met at ’s office to conduct a variety of business matters. For example, JS, one of the city councilors, presented three new city ordinances that were then passed by the council: one regarding financial liabilities assumed by those appealing cases from the mayor’s court, one regarding the salaries of city officers, and one concerning vagrants and disorderly people.
Recorder took rough minutes during the meeting in a notebook and then used those original minutes to record the official minutes in the city council’s ledger book; that is the version featured here.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of That the Mayor & Recorder shall receive one hundred Dollars, each, for the current year, as a compensation for their services. This Act to take effect and be in force, from and after its Passage,— passed Novr. 13th. 1841.
Colr. J. Smith presented the following ordinance, which passed unanimously.
An Ordinance Concerning Vagrants and Disorderly Persons.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of . That all persons vagrants, Idle or disorderly persons; Persons found <drunk> in or about the Streets; all suspicious persons; Persons who have no fixed place of Residence, or visible means of support, or cannot give a good account of themselves; persons guilty of Profane or indecent language, or behaviour; persons guilty of using indecent, impertinent, or unbecoming language towards any City officer when in the discharge of his duty, or of menacing, threatening, or otherwise obstructing, said officer; shall on conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, be required to enter into security for good behaviour for a reasonable time, and indemnify the Corporation against any charge, and in case of refusal or inability to give security, they shall be confined to labour for a time not exceeding ninety days, or be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred Dollars; or be imprisoned not exceeding six months; or all; at the discretion of the <said> Mayor or Court. This act to take effect, and be in force from and after its Passage.— Passed Novr. 13th. 1841.
moved that the Resoln. passed on the 6th. Inst. relative to the assessment of Property, be reconsidered, & gave his reasons therefor.
Other Midwestern cities compensated their mayors at different rates around this time: Quincy, Illinois, provided an annual salary of $250; Chicago, Illinois, provided a salary of $500; and Cleveland, Ohio, paid its mayor $100. (Collins and Perry, Past and Present of the City of Quincy, 82; An Act to Amend “an Act to Incorporate the City of Chicago” [27 Feb. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], p. 58, sec. 1; “A Statement of the Receipts & Expenditures of the City of Cleveland,” Cleveland Daily Herald, 24 Apr. 1841, .)
Collins, William H., and Cicero F. Perry. Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1905.
Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly, at Their Session, Began and Held at Springfield, on the Seventh of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty. Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841.
Richards is here referring to a resolution passed at the previous meeting of the city council: “That the City Assessor be instructed to assess all property both real & personal within the City Limits, which is taxable by the State, for state, or County purposes.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 6 Nov. 1841, 29.)