Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 December 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

An act to incorporate the City of .”
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the people of the State of represented in the General Assembly, That all that district of country embraced within the following boundaries, to wit: beginning at the north east corner of section thirty one, in township seven, north of range eight west of the fourth principal meridian, in the county of , and running thence west to the north west corner of said section, thence north to the , thence west to the middle of the main channel of the said , thence down the middle of said channel to a point due west of the south east corner of fractional section number twelve, in township six north of range nine west of the fourth principal meridian, thence east to the south east corner of said section twelve, thence north on the range line between township six north and range eight and nine west, to the south west corner of section six, in township six, north of range eight west, thence east to the south east corner of said section, thence north to the place of beginning, including the town plats of and , shall hereafter be called, and known, by the name of the “City of ,” and the inhabitants thereof are hereby constituted a body corporate and politic by the name aforesaid, and shall have perpetual succession, and may have, and use, a common seal, which they may change, and alter, at pleasure.
Sec. 2. Whenever any tract of land adjoining the “City of ” shall have been laid out into town lots, and duly recorded according to law, the same shall form a part of the “City of .”
Sec. 3. The inhabitants of said , by the name and style aforesaid, shall have power to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity, and in all actions whatsoever; to purchase, receive, and hold property, real and personal, in said city, to purchase, receive, and hold real property beyond the city for burying grounds, or for other public purposes, for the use of the inhabitants of said city; to sell, lease, convey, or dispose of property, real and personal, for the benefit of the city, to improve and protect such property, and to do all other things in relation thereto as natural persons.
Sec. 4. There shall be a City Council to consist of a Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Councillors, who shall have the qualifications of electors of said , and shall be chosen by the qualified voters thereof, and shall hold [p. 281] their offices for two years, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified. The City Council shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns, of their own members, and a majority of them shall form a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members under such penalties as may be proscribed by ordinance.
Sec. 5. The Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors, before entering upon the duties of their offices shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that they will support the Constitution of the , and of this , and that they will well and truly perform the duties of their offices to the best of their skill and abilities.
Sec. 6. On the first Monday of February next, and every two years thereafter, an election shall be held for the election of one Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Councillors; and at the first election under this act, three judges shall be chosen viva voce by the electors present; and the said judges shall choose two clerks, and the judges and clerks before entering upon their duties shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation such as is now required by law to be taken by judges and clerks of other elections; and at all subsequent elections, the necessary number of judges and clerks shall be appointed by the City Council. At the first election so held the polls shall be opened at nine o’clock A. M., and closed at six o’clock P. M.; at the close of the polls the votes shall be counted and a statement thereof proclaimed at the front door of the house at which said election shall be held; and the clerks shall leave with each person elected, or at his usual place of residence, within five days after the election a written notice of his election, and each person so notified shall within ten days after the election take the oath or affirmation herein before mentioned, a certificate of which oath shall be deposited with the Recorder whose appointment is hereafter provided for, and be by him preserved; and all subsequent elections shall be held, conducted, and returns thereof made as may be provided for by ordinance of the City Council.
Sec. 7. All free white male inhabitants who are of the age of twenty one years, who are entitled to vote for officers, and who shall have been actual residents of said sixty days next preceding said election shall be entitled to vote for city officers.
Sec. 8. The City Council shall have authority to levy and collect taxes for city purposes upon all property, real and personal, within the limits of the , not exceeding one half per cent per annum, upon the assessed value thereof, and may enforce the payment of the same in any manner to be provided by ordinance, not repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of this .
Sec. 9. The City Council shall have power to appoint a Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor, Marshal, Supervisor of Streets, and all such other officers as may be necessary, and to prescribe their duties, and remove them from office at pleasure.
Sec. 10. The City Council shall have power to require of all officers appointed in pursuance of this act, bonds with penalty and security, for the faithful performance of their respective duties, such as may be deemed expedient; and, also, to require all officers appointed as aforesaid to take an oath for the faithful performance of the duties of their respective offices.
Sec. 11. The City Council shall have power and authority to make, ordain, establish, and execute, all such ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of this , as they may deem necessary for the peace, benefit, good order, regulation, convenience, and cleanliness, of said ; for the protection of property therein from destruction by fire, or otherwise, and for the health, and happiness, thereof; they shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen by death, resignation, or removal, in any of the offices herein made elective; to fix and establish all the fees of the officers of said corporation not herein established; to impose such fines, not exceeding one hundred dollars, for each offence, as they may deem just, for refusing to accept any office in or under the corporation, or for misconduct therein; to divide the city into wards, to add to the number of Aldermen, and Councillors, and ap [p. 282]portion them among the several wards, as may be most just and conducive to the interest of the city.
Sec. 12. To license, tax, and regulate, auctions, merchants, retailers, grocers, hawkers, pedlars, brokers, pawn-brokers, and money-changers.
Sec. 13. The City Council shall have exclusive power within the , by ordinance, to license, regulate, and restrain, the keeping of ferries, to regulate the police of the city; to impose fines, forfeitures and penalties, for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the recovery of such fines and forfeitures, and the enforcement of such penalties, and to pass such ordinances as may be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers specified in this act; Provided such ordinances are not repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of this : and, in fine, to exercise such other legislative powers as are conferred on the City Council of the City of , by an act entitled “An act to incorporate the City of ,” approved, February third, one thousand eight hundred and forty.
Sec. 14. All ordinances passed by the City Council shall within one month after they shall have been passed, be published in some newspaper printed in the , or certified copies thereof be posted up in three of the most public places in the city.
Sec. 15. All ordinances of the city may be proven by the seal of the corporation, and when printed or published in book or pamphlet form, purporting to be printed or published by authority of the corporation, the same shall be received in evidence in all courts or places without further proof.
Sec. 16. The Mayor and Aldermen shall be conservators of the peace within the limits of said , and shall have all the powers of Justices of the Peace therein, both in civil and criminal cases arising under the laws of the : they shall as Justices of the Peace, within the limits of said city, perform the same duties, be governed by the same laws, give the same bonds and security, as other Justices of the Peace, and be commissioned as Justices of the Peace in and for said city by the Governor.
Sec. 17. The Mayor shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation, and shall issue such process as may be necessary to carry said ordinances into execution, and effect; appeals may be had from any decision or judgment of said Mayor or Aldermen, arising under the city ordinances, to the Municipal Court, under such regulations as may be presented by ordinance; which court shall be composed of the Mayor as Chief Justice, and the Aldermen as Associate Justices, and from the final judgment of the Municipal Court, to the Circuit Court of , in the same manner as appeals are taken from judgments of Justices of the Peace; Provided, that the parties litigant shall have a right to a trial by a Jury of twelve men, in all cases before the Municipal Court. The Municipal Court shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the City Council.
Sec. 18. The Municipal Court shall sit on the first Monday of every month, and the City Council at such times and place as may be prescribed by city ordinance; special meetings of which may at any time be called by the Mayor or any two Aldermen.
Sec. 19. All process issued by the Mayor, Aldermen, or Municipal Court, shall be directed to the Marshal, and in the execution thereof he shall be governed by the same laws as are, or may be, prescribed for the direction and compensation of Constables in similar cases. The Marshal shall also perform such other duties as may be required of him under the ordinances of said , and shall be the principal ministerial officer.
Sec. 20. It shall be the duty of the Recorder to make and keep accurate records of all ordinances made by the City Council, and of all their proceedings in their corporate capacity, which record shall at all times be open to the inspection of the electors of said , and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the ordinances of the City Council, and shall serve as Clerk of the Municipal Court.
Sec. 21. When it shall be necessary to take private property for opening, widening, or altering, any public street, lane, avenue, or alley, the corporation [p. 283] shall make a just compensation therefor to the person whose property is so taken, and if the amount of such compensation cannot be agreed upon, the Mayor shall cause the same to be ascertained by a jury of six disinterested freeholders of the .
Sec. 22. All jurors empanneled to enquire into the amount of benefits or damages that shall happen to the owners of property, so proposed to be taken, shall first be sworn to that effect, and shall return to the Mayor their inquest in writing, signed by each juror.
Sec. 23. In case the Mayor shall at any time be guilty of a palpable omission of duty, or shall wilfully and corruptly be guilty of oppression, mal-conduct, or partiality in the discharge of the duties of his office, he shall be liable to be indicted in the Circuit Court of , and on conviction he shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, and the court shall have power on the recommendation of the jury to add to the judgment of the court that he be removed from office.
Sec. 24. The City Council may establish and organize an institution of learning within the limits of the , for the teaching of the Arts, Sciences, and Learned Professions, to be called the “University of the City of ,” which institution shall be under the control and management of a Board of Trustees, consisting of a Chancellor, Registrar, and twenty three Regents, which board shall thereafter be a body corporate and politic with perpetual succession by the name of the “Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of ,” and shall have full power to pass, ordain, establish and execute all such laws and ordinances as they may consider necessary for the welfare and prosperity of said University, its officers, and students; Provided, that the said laws and ordinances shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of this ; and Provided, also, that the Trustees shall at all times be appointed by the City Council, and shall have all the powers and privileges for the advancement of the cause of education which appertain to the Trustees of any other College or University of this .
Sec. 25. The City Council may organize the inhabitants of said , subject to military duty, into a body of independent military men to be called the “,” the Court Martial of which shall be composed of the commissioned officers of said Legion, and constitute the law making department, with full powers and authority to make, ordain, establish, and execute, all such laws and ordinances as may be considered necessary for the benefit, government, and regulation of said Legion; Provided, said Court Martial shall pass no law or act repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the Constitution of the or of this ; and, Provided, also, that the officers of the Legion shall be commissioned by the Governor of the . The said Legion shall perform the same amount of military duty as is now or may be hereafter required of the regular militia of the , and shall be at the disposal of the Mayor in executing the laws and ordinances of the City Corporation, and the laws of the , and at the disposal of the Governor for the public defence, and the execution of the laws of the or of the , and shall be entitled to their proportion of the public arms; and Provided, also, that said Legion shall be exempt from all other military duty.
Sec. 26. The inhabitants of the “City of ,” are hereby exempted from working on any road beyond the limits of the city, and for the purpose of keeping the streets, lanes, avenues, and alleys, in repair to require of the male inhabitants of said city, over the age of twenty one, and under fifty years, to labor on said streets, lanes, avenues, and alleys, not exceeding three days in each year; any person failing to perform such labor when duly notified by the Supervisor, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar per day for each day so neglected or refused.
Sec. 27. The City Council shall have power to provide for the punishment of offenders by imprisonment in the or jail in all cases when such offenders shall fail or refuse to pay the fines and forfeitures which may be recovered against them.
Sec. 28. This act is hereby declared to be a public act, and shall take [p. 284] effect on the first Monday of February next.
, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
S[tinson] H. ANDERSON, Speaker of the Senate.
Approved, Dec. 16, 1840.
.
State of ,)
Office of Secretary of State.)
I, , Secretary of State, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and perfect copy of the enrolled law now on file in my office.
L. S. Witness my hand, and seal of State, at , this 18th day of December, A. D. 1840.
.
Secretary of State.
 
The following are the legislative powers alluded to in the 13th section of the foregoing act as purtaining to the City Council of the City of , and which, consequently, become a part of the charter of the City of Nauvoo; to wit:—
OF THE LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL.
“Sec. 1. The City Council shall have powers and authority to levy and collect taxes upon all property, real and personal, within the city, not exceeding one-half per cent, per annum upon the assessed value thereof, and may enforce the payment of the same in any manner prescribed by ordinance not repugnant to the Constitution of the and of this
Sec. 2— The City Council shall have power to require of all officers appointed in pursuance of this charter, bonds with penalty and security for the faithful performance of their respective duties as may be deemed expedient, and also to require all officers appointed as aforesaid to take an oath for the faithful performance of the duties of their respective offices upon entering upon the discharge of the same.
Sec. 3. To establish, support, and regulate common schools, to borrow money on the credit of the city: Provided, That no sum or sums of money shall be borrowed at a greater interest than six per cent. per annum, nor shall the interest on the aggregate of all the sums borrowed and outstanding ever exceed one half of the city revenue arising for taxes assessed on real property within the corporation.
Seo. 4. To make regulations to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases into the city, to make quarantine laws for that purpose, and enforce the same.
Sec. 5. To appropriate and provide for the payment of the debt -[and]- expenses of the city.
Sec. 6. To establish hospitals, and make regulations for the government of the same.
Sec. 7. To make regulations to secure the general health of the inhabitants, to declare what shall be a nuisance, and to prevent and remove the same.
Sec. 8. To provide the city with water, to dig wells and erect pumps in the streets for the extinguishment of fires, and convenience of the inhabitants.
Sec: 9. To open, alter, widen, extend, establish, grade, pave, or otherwise improve and keep in repair streets, avenues, lanes and alleys.
Sec. 10. To establish, erect, and keep in repair, bridges.
Sec. 11. To divide the city into wards, and specify the boundaries thereof, and create additional wards, as the occasion may require.
Sec. 12. To provide for lighting the streets and erecting lamp posts.
Sec. 13. To establish, support, and regulate night watches.
Sec. 14. To erect market houses, establish markets, and market places, and provide for the government and regulation thereof.
Sec. 15. To provide for erecting all needful buildings for the use of the city.
Sec. 16. To provide for enclosing, improving, -[and]- regulating all public grounds belonging to the city.
Sec. 17. To license, tax, -[and]- regulate auctioneers, merchants and retailers, grocers, taverns, ordinaries, hawkers, peddlers, brokers, pawn brokers, and money changers. [p. 285]
Sec. 18. To license, tax and regulate hacking, carriages, wagons, carts and drays, and fix the rates to be charged for the carriage of persons, and for the wagonage, cartage, and drayage of property.
Sec. 19. To license and regulate porters and fix the rates of porterage.
Sec. 20. To license and regulate theatrical and other exhibitions, shows and amusements.
Sec. 21. To tax, restrain, prohibit and suppress, tipling houses, dram shops, gaming houses, bawdy and other disorderly houses.
Sec. 22. To provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires, and to organize and establish fire companies.
Sec. 23. To regulate the fixing of chimneys and the flues thereof, and stove pipes.
Sec. 24. To regulate the storage of gunpowder, tar, pitch, rosin, and other combustible materials.
Sec. 25. To regulate and order parapet walls and partition fences.
Sec. 26. To establish standard weights and measures, and regulate the weights and measures to be used in the city, in all other cases not provided for by law.
Sec. 27. To provide for the inspection and measuring of lumber and other building materials: and for the measurement of all kinds of mechanical work.
Sec. 28. To provide for the inspection and weighing of hay, lime, and stone coal, the measuring of charcoal, fire wood, and other fuel, to be sold or used within the city.
Sec. 29. To provide for and regulate the inspection of tobacco, and of beef, pork, flour, meal, and whiskey in barrels.
Sec. 30. To regulate the weight, quality, and price of bread sold and used in the city.
Sec. 31. To provide for taking the enumeration of the inhabitants of the city.
Sec. 32. To regulate the election of city officers, and provide for removing from office any person holding an office created by ordinance.
Sec. 33. To fix the compensation of all city officers and regulate the fees of jurors, witnesses and others, for services rendered under this act or any ordinance.
Sec. 34. To regulate the police of the city, to impose fines, and forfeitures and penalties, for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the recovery and appropriation of such fines and forfeitures, and the enforcement of such penalties.
Sec. 35. The City Council shall have exclusive power within the city, by ordinance, to license, regulate, and suppress and restrain, billiard tables, and from one to twenty pin alleys, and every other description of gaming or gambling.
Sec. 36. The City Council shall have power to make all ordinances which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers specified in this act, so that such ordinances be not repugnant to, nor inconsistent with, the constitution of the or of this .
Sec. 37. The style of the ordinances of the city shall be: “Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of .”
Sec. 38. All ordinances passed by the City Councll shall, within one month after they shall have been passed, be published in some newspaper published in the city, and shall not be in force until they shall have been published as aforesaid.
Sec. 36 [39]. All ordinances of the city may be proven by the seal of the corporation, and when printed and published by authority of the corporation, the same shall be received in evidence in all courts and places without further proof.” [p. 286]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Commerce was surveyed and platted by Hancock County surveyor John Johnston in May 1834. The Nauvoo plat was surveyed by Hancock County surveyor James Brattle and attested by him on 30 August 1839. That plat was drawn in the Hancock County plat book by John 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.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

  2. 2

    This stipulation that candidates for the positions of mayor, alderman, and city councilor must have the same eligibility requirements as voters was Nauvoo’s only requirement for these positions. Some earlier city charters, such as Alton’s, required that the mayor, aldermen, and other city officers be citizens of the United States. Galena’s, Springfield’s, and Quincy’s charters required the same, with the additional requirement that city officers be landowners. The process of reviewing the act to incorporate Nauvoo apparently prompted the Illinois legislature to revisit some of the other city charters. In the two months following the passage of Nauvoo’s charter, the general assembly passed acts amending the charters of Chicago, Quincy, and Springfield. Notably, the Springfield charter was amended to eliminate the United States citizenship requirements for both city officers and voters. (An Act to Incorporate . . . Alton, p. 18, sec. 3; An Act . . . Incorporating . . . Galena, p. 26, sec. 5; An Act to Incorporate . . . Springfield, pp. 7–8, art. 2, sec. 3; art. 3, sec. 2; An Act to Incorporate . . . Quincy, pp. 114–115, art. 2, sec. 3; art. 3, sec. 2; An Act to Amend an Act Entitled “An Act to Incorporate the City of Quincy,” . . . [7 Jan. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], pp. 57–58, sec. 1; 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. 2; An Act to Amend “An Act to Incorporate the City of Springfield,” . . . [27 Feb. 1841], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], pp. 61–62.)  

    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.

  3. 3

    In the manuscript bill submitted to the Illinois legislature, section 6 originally began, “On the first Monday of April next, and annually there after.” “April” was later canceled and replaced by “February,” and “annually” was later canceled and replaced by “every two years.” (“A Bill for an Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo,” 12th General Assembly, 1840–1841, House Bill no. 219 [Senate Bill no. 3], Illinois General Assembly, Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)  

    Illinois General Assembly. Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.

  4. 4

    Section 9 addresses the appointment of the city recorder.  

  5. 5

    The sixty-day residency requirement for Nauvoo voters was shorter than the requirement in earlier Illinois city charters. Quincy’s charter required ninety days of residency to vote for city officers; the charters of Chicago, Alton, and Springfield required six months; and the charter of Galena required one year. The Nauvoo requirement may have reflected an anticipation that church members would gather there from other parts of the United States and Europe. (An Act to Incorporate . . . Quincy, p. 115, art. 4, sec. 2; An Act to Incorporate . . . Chicago, p. 52, sec. 9; An Act to Incorporate . . . Alton, p. 18, sec. 3; An Act to Incorporate . . . Springfield, p. 8, art. 4, sec. 2; An Act . . . Incorporating . . . Galena, p. 26, sec. 5.)  

    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.

  6. 6

    The Springfield charter’s section on the legislative powers of the city council is reproduced in full herein. (See also An Act to Incorporate . . . Springfield, pp. 9–11, art. 5, secs. 1–39.)  

    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.

  7. 7

    The earlier Illinois city charters likewise gave the mayor the same authority and powers as a justice of the peace, but Nauvoo’s charter was unique in extending these powers to the city’s aldermen. (An Act to Incorporate . . . Chicago, p. 75, sec. 68; An Act to Incorporate . . . Alton, p. 20, sec. 7; An Act . . . Incorporating . . . Galena, p. 28, sec. 13; An Act to Incorporate . . . Springfield, p. 12, art. 6, sec. 7; An Act to Incorporate . . . Quincy, p. 119, art. 6, sec. [8].)  

    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.

  8. 8

    The authority to grant writs of habeas corpus was shared by the cities of Alton and Chicago. The original acts to incorporate Chicago and Alton did not include these powers, but they were added in 1837 for Chicago and in 1839 for Alton. Chicago’s amending act stated that the judge of the municipal court “shall possess all and singular the powers, and he is hereby required to perform all the judicial duties appertaining to the office of judge of the circuit courts of this state, and to issue all such writs and process as is or may hereafter, by statutory provisions, be made issuable from the circuit courts of this state.” The Chicago act’s language pertaining to judicial powers generically stated “all such writs,” whereas the Nauvoo charter and the 1839 amendment to the Alton charter specified habeas corpus writs. (An Act in relation to the Municipal Court of Chicago, and for Other Purposes [21 July 1837], Laws of the State of Illinois [1837], pp. 15–16; An Act to Amend an Act, Entitled “An Act to Incorporate the City of Alton” [2 Mar. 1839], Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 240, sec. 1.)  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Tenth General Assembly, at Their Session Commencing December 5, 1836, and Ending March 6, 1837. Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1837.

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly, at Their Special Session, Began and Held at Springfield, on the Ninth of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Nine. Springfield: William Walters, 1840.

  9. 9

    The Nauvoo city council passed “An Ordinance Organizing the ‘University of the City of Nauvoo’” at its first meeting on 3 February 1841. Other Illinois city charters authorized city councils to establish elementary and common schools but not universities, which were traditionally created by their own legislative incorporating act. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 3 Feb. 1841, 4, underlining in original.)  

  10. 10

    Illinois law allowed independent or volunteer militia companies to be created. Service in these companies replaced service requirements in the state’s regular militia. (An Act Organizing the Militia of This State [26 Mar. 1819], Laws . . . of the State of Illinois [1819], pp. 275–276, sec. 10.)  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835. Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835.

  11. 11

    The manuscript bill presented to the Illinois legislature originally had a different name for Nauvoo’s independent militia body and included a sentence that was eliminated prior to the act’s passage. The title of the organization originally read “Nauvoo [illegible canceled word, possibly “City”] Guards,” but here and throughout the remainder of the section every reference to “Guards” was canceled and changed to “Legion.” After the name of the unit, a sentence—later canceled—read “which body shall there after be a body corporate and politic with perpetual succession, with all and singular the plenary powers of a corporation.” (“A Bill for an Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo,” 12th General Assembly, 1840–1841, House Bill no. 219 [Senate Bill no. 3], Illinois General Assembly, Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)  

    Illinois General Assembly. Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.

  12. 12

    The manuscript bill submitted to the Illinois legislature originally included an additional phrase, which was later canceled, following “Governor of the State.” The phrase read, “and the commanding or chief officer appointed by him.” (“A Bill for an Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo,” 12th General Assembly, 1840–1841, House Bill no. 219 [Senate Bill no. 3], Illinois General Assembly, Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)  

    Illinois General Assembly. Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.

  13. 13

    The duties of soldiers serving in the regular militia were outlined in the 1819 “Act Organizing the Militia of This State” and subsequent amending acts. All soldiers were required to muster on the first Saturday in April, June, August, and October, in addition to other days depending on the particular regiment, battalion, or company to which they were assigned. (An Act Organizing the Militia of This State [26 Mar. 1819], Laws . . . of the State of Illinois [1819], pp. 277–278, sec. 15.)  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Ninth General Assembly, at Their First Session, Commencing December 1, 1834, and Ending February 13, 1835. Vandalia, IL: J. Y. Sawyer, 1835.

  14. 14

    Later, in a letter “for the Wasp” dated 14 June 1842, John C. Bennett wrote of the Nauvoo Legion: “This military body possesses, in the County of Hancock, the same corporate powers as appertain to the ‘Invincible Dragoons of the 2nd Division of Illinois Militia,’ in the counties of White, Edwards, and Wabash, and no others whatever. I wrote, and procured, the charters for both corporations—they are both alike.” While Bennett may have authored the charters of both organizations, the charters use significantly different language to describe what types of organizations they were to be. Most consequential among the differences was the designation of the Invincible Dragoons as a corporation (the same language in Nauvoo’s bill that would have chartered Nauvoo’s militia as a “body corporate and politic” was removed before the act’s passage) and as a brigade attached to the second division of the Illinois militia (neither the Legion’s charter nor the Nauvoo City Council ordinance organizing the Legion included language attaching—or making subservient—the militia to one of Illinois’s divisions). (John C. Bennett, Nauvoo, IL, 14 June 1842, Letter to the Editor, Wasp, 18 June 1842, [2], emphasis in original; An Act to Incorporate the Invincible Dragoons of the Second Division of Illinois Militia [6 Feb. 1839], Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, p. 45, sec. 1; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 3 Feb. 1841, 2.)  

    The Wasp. Nauvoo, IL. Apr. 1842–Apr. 1843.

    Incorporation Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly, Their Session Began and Held at Vandalia, the Third Day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Eight. Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1839.

  15. 15

    The text of the submitted bill originally read “day of April next,” which was later canceled and replaced with “Monday of February next.” (“A Bill for an Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo,” 12th General Assembly, 1840–1841, House Bill no. 219 [Senate Bill no. 3], Illinois General Assembly, Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015, Illinois State Archives, Springfield.)  

    Illinois General Assembly. Bills, Resolutions, and Related General Assembly Records, 1st–98th Bienniums, 1819–2015. Illinois State Archives, Springfield.

  16. 16

    TEXT: “L. S.” (locus sigilli, Latin for “location of the seal”) is printed within a printed representation of a seal.  

  17. 17

    An Act to Incorporate the City of Springfield [3 Feb. 1840], Laws of the State of Illinois [1839–1840], pp. 9–11, art. 5, secs. 1–39.  

    Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Eleventh General Assembly, at Their Special Session, Began and Held at Springfield, on the Ninth of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Nine. Springfield: William Walters, 1840.