On 1 March 1841 the , Illinois, city council met for the fifth time since the council was created. As with previous meetings, the council met at ’s house. In all city council meetings to date, JS had played an active role as a city councilor. This 1 March meeting was no different, and these minutes are presented to provide an example of JS’s participation on the council. JS offered one resolution, made two motions respecting city appointments, and presented six city ordinances, all of which passed. Two of the ordinances JS introduced placed particular emphasis on protecting liberties and constitutional rights for people in Nauvoo, something JS and his coreligionists found lacking in . The passage of these ordinances highlights the commitment of the city council to guarantee civil, political, and religious liberty to all in Nauvoo.
recorded the minutes of the 1 March 1841 city council meeting in a notebook. Those original minutes were then used by Sloan to record the official minutes in the city council’s ledger. The official minutes are featured here.
City Council met pursuant to adjournment.— Meeting opened by Prayer.— Minutes of last Meeting read.
Colr. [Councilor] J. Smith moved an ordinance respecting roads & Town Plots, which went through the usual readings (the rules being dispensed with) and passed as follows.
An ordinance <in relation> to Roads and Town Plots.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , That all state and County roads within the limits of this , excepting where they occupy the same ground as the City streets; and the original surveys and plots of the old Town of and ; be, and the same hereby are, vacated.
Sec. 2. This Ordinance to take effect, and be in force, from and after its passage.— passed March 1st. 1841.—
Colr. J. Smith moved an Ordinance respecting the surveying of any addition to the City Plot, which went through the usual readings (the Rules being dispensed with) and passed as follows.— An Ordinance in relation to the City Plot.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , That no tract of Land that within the Limits of this , shall hereafter by surveyed, plotted and laid out into city Lots, unless, the same be surveyed, and plotted, so as to correspond with the Original survey and plot, of the City of .— and any survey or plot, made in violation of this ordinance shall be null & void.
Sec. 2. This ordinance to take effect, and be in force from and after its passage.
The city council met previously on 22 February 1841. Among the matters discussed at that meeting were the city plat, an ordinance on the city university, an ordinance on temperance and the selling of liquor in the city, an ordinance dividing the city into four wards, and a resolution on adjusting a county road. The 1 March meeting was scheduled during the 22 February meeting. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 22 Feb. 1841, 8–11.)
The Nauvoo plat was surveyed by Hancock County surveyor James W. Brattle and attested by him on 30 August 1839. The plat was drawn in the Hancock County plat book by John C. Mather on 3 September 1839. (Hancock Co., IL, Plat Books, 1836–1938, vol. 1, pp. 10–11, 37–39, microfilm 954,774, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)