“A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841”; handwriting of , , , and ; 432 pages, including one inserted leaf; CHL. Includes insertions, notes, tables, redactions, and use marks.
The minutes were inscribed in a commercially produced blank book measuring 13 × 8¼ × 1½ inches (33 × 21 × 4 cm). The volume contains 216 leaves measuring 12¾ × 7½ inches (32 × 19 cm) and consists of nineteen gatherings of leaves. The first and last gatherings consist of six ruled leaves and two flyleaves, while the other gatherings are each composed of twelve ruled leaves. The book contains three front flyleaves and three back flyleaves. The volume is covered in brown leather, with a dark brown pattern decorating both the front and back covers as well as the spine. At some point, an unknown scribe inscribed “Records | OF THE | City Council | of the | City of Nauvoo | commencing AD. 1841” on the front cover in black ink, and “Sermons | by | Joseph Smit[h] | and others.” on the back cover. The spine is divided into five segments. The second and fourth segments are black with gold designs; the word “RECORDS” is printed in gold on the second segment. At an unknown time, white labels inscribed with black ink were placed upon the first and fifth segments of the spine to identify the two purposes of the book. “NAUVOO | CITY COUNCIL” was written on the label on the first segment, while an inverted label reading “SERMONS” was placed on the fifth segment of the spine. The second back flyleaf is inscribed with an index for a compilation of sermons inscribed in the book. Each page has thirty-six horizontal blue lines. At some point, a clerk used a pencil to rule pages 1–189 with a single vertical line running the length of each page on the left side. The same side of pages 190–261 was also vertically ruled in black ink with either a single or double line. An unknown clerk numbered the pages with blue ink on the top outside corner of each page. Following page 403, the remaining pages of the book were misnumbered 304–332.
Pages 1–239 were used to record minutes, ordinances, resolutions, and other matters pertaining to the meetings of the Nauvoo City Council between 1841 and 1845. The city council items are inscribed in blue and black ink. A loose sheet containing minutes inscribed in black ink was inserted into the volume between pages 238 and 239. Pages 240–362 were left blank. Although the volume contains some minutes, its main function was to record the decisions of the city council rather than to give a detailed exposition of the minutes. The volume accordingly corresponds with the Nauvoo City Council rough books. The rough books capture the discussions and debates of the council, while this volume includes the decisions and resolutions following those debates. At some point after 1843, a clerk turned the volume upside down and began inscribing sermons given by JS and others during 1843 and 1844, beginning at the end of the volume and continuing through page 363. These pages were renumbered 1–70 in their upside-down state. The sermons are inscribed in black ink with occasional insertions and other redactions written in graphite.
The inside cover of the book includes an insertion from the Niles National Register for 21 March 1840; a loose copy of the Times and Seasons for 15 January 1841; and an index of ordinances, resolutions, and other Nauvoo City Council matters discussed within the volume. The index consists of four leaves, with each page measuring 13¼ × 4¼ inches (34 × 11 cm). The entries were inscribed in blue and black ink. It is ruled with forty-one horizontal black lines and a single blue line that runs vertically along the left side of each page.
The contents of the book suggest that clerks made entries in the volume as early as 3 February 1841 and finished sometime after 8 February 1845. An inventory of church records indicates that the volume came into the possession of by 1846. The volume was included in the 1846 inventory of church records prior to the exodus and was taken to Utah Territory with other church records. Subsequent inventories indicate that it has remained in continuous institutional custody since that time.
An ordinance concerning Libels, and for other purposes
Whereas the Saints in all ages of the world, have suffered persecution and death, by wicked and corrupt men under the garb of a more holy appearance of religion; and whereas the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from the moment that its first “truth sprang out of the Earth” till now, has been persecuted with death, destruction and extermination; And whereas men, to fulfill the Scriptures, that a man’s enemies are they of his own household, have turned traitors in the Church and combined and leagued with the most corrupt scoundrels and villains that disgrace the Earth unhung, for the heaven daring and damnable purpose of revenge on account of disappointed lust, disappointed projects of speculation, fraud, and unlawful designs. to rob and plunder mankind with impunity, and whereas such wicked and corrupt men have greatly facilitated their unlawful designs; horrid intentions and murderous plans by polluting, degrading and converting the blessings and utility of the press, to the sin smoking and blood stained ruin of innocent communities, by publishing lies, false statements; coloring the truth, slandering men, women, children, societies, and countries, by polishing the characters of black legs, highwaymen and murderers, as virtuous. And— whereas a horrid, bloody, secret plan, upheld, sanctioned, and largely patronized by men, in and out of it, who boast that all they want is for the word “go”, to exterminate or ruin the Latter day Saints, is, for them to do “one” unlawful act, and the work shall be done, is now fostered, cherished, and maturing in , by men too, who helped to obtain the very charter they would break; and some of them drew up and voted for the very ordinances they are striving to use as a “scare crow” to frighten the surrounding country in rebellion; mobbing and war; and whereas, while the blood of our brethren, from wells, holes, and naked prairies, and the ravishment of female virtue, from , and the smoke from the altars of infamy, prostituted by and continued in the full tide of experiment and disgraceful damnation, by the very self called fragments of a body of degraded men that have got up a press in , to destroy the Charter of the , to destroy Mormonism, men, women, and children, as did, by force [p. 210]