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.
Colr. J. Smith moved an Ordinance, to divide the into 4 Wards, and appoint the Aldermen and Colrs. to their Respective Wards, the Bill received 3 readings and passed. Entitled— An ordinance dividing the into Wards
Colr. J. Smith brought forward an ordinance relative to public Meetings which was read 3 times and Passed, to Wit:
An Ordinance in Relation to public Meetings.
Sec. 1. Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of , That in order to guarantee the Constitutional right of free discussion upon all subject, the Citizens of this , may from time to time, peaceably assemble themselves together for all peaceable, or lawful purposes whatever; and should any person be guilty of disturbing, or interrupting, any such Meeting or assemblage, he shall on Conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred Dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six Months or both, at the discretion of said Mayor, or Court.
Sec. 2. Should any person be guilty of exciting the people to riot, or rebellion or of participating in a mob or any <other> unlawful riotous or tumultuous assemblage of the people, or of refusing to obey any civil officer executing the ordinances of the , or the general Laws of the or , or of neglecting or refusing to obey, promptly, any military order for the due execution of said, Laws or ordinances, he shall on Conviction thereof as aforesaid, be fined, or imprisoned; or both as aforesaid.
Sec. 3. This ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its Passage.