Minutes, 13 November 1841, Copy

Document Transcript

Saturday November 13th. 1841.
Council met agreeable to adjournment:— Meeting opened by Prayer.— Minutes of last meeting Read.
Colr. [councilor] sworn and subscribed his oath of office.
Colr. Chairman of the Committee to whom the [p. 29] The s Petition was referred, presented their report, which was accepted, and the following resolution was agreed to.
It was unanimously adopted by the City Council of the City of , That the provide a Desk and suitable Books of Record, and also Stationary, and draw money from the City Treasury, to pay for the same and the above Property be kept at the Council House.
The presented his Bond which was accepted and it was adopted that it be lodged with the & it was handed to the for that purpose.
Colr. , presented a Petition from the City , Claiming payment for surveying Young Street Parley Street and other Streets; which was accepted, &.
It was unanimously adopted by the City Council of the City of that the Claim of the City for a sum of Thirty two Dollars, be allowed,
Colr. J. Smith presented the following ordinance which passed unanimously, after discussion
An Ordinance in relation to Appeals.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , that where an appeal is taken from any decision of the Mayor or Aldermen, to the Municipal Court, the person appealing shall give notice of his intention, immediately on the rendition of the Judgment, and within five Days thereafter he shall file an approved Bond with the Treasurer of the for all Costs, & Costs that may accrue of which he shall give due Notice to the officer before whom the Judgment was obtained.— This act to take effect & be in force, from and after its Passage.
<​passed Novr 13th 1841.​>
, Mayor.
Colr. J. Smith presented the following Ordinance which passed unanimously after discussion.
An Ordinance fixing the Compensation of the Mayor and Recorder of the City of . [p. 30]
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.
, Mayor.
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.
, Mayor.
moved that the Resoln. passed on the 6th. Inst. relative to the assessment of Property, be reconsidered, & gave his reasons therefor.
The [p. 31] The gave an explination of the Rights, & powers, given by the City Charter, & the right of the City Council to Tax the Citizens.
Colr. J. Smith spoke to considerable length, on the Subject of the right of Taxation, & the Taxation laid on by the , & so forth. Upon which the Motion was withdrawn.
moved that all Dogs in the , be assessed Five Dollars per Head.
Colr. J. Smith proposed an amendment, that it be 12½ Cents each. After considerable discussions, the amendment was lost by vote.— Origl. Motion, also Lost.
Adjourned to Saturday next, at 6 OClock, to same place
Novr. 13th. 1841.
, Mayor.
, Recorder. [p. 32]


  1. 1

    When the previous council meeting—held on 6 November 1841 in Hyrum Smith’s office—adjourned, the council agreed to meet again at “6 oclock P.M. on Saturday next, at same place.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 6 Nov. 1841, 29.)  

  2. 2

    At the 6 November 1841 city council meeting, Wilford Woodruff was sworn in as a city councilor; the council also discussed various petitions and adopted three resolutions relative to meetings and taxes. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 6 Nov. 1841, 28–29; Woodruff, Journal, 6 Nov. 1841.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  3. 3

    On 1 November 1841, William Law was unanimously appointed to the city council “in the stead of Sidney Rigdon,” who was appointed city attorney at that same meeting. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 1 Nov. 1841, 28.)  

  4. 4

    James Sloan was appointed city recorder at the inaugural city council meeting and had been keeping rough minutes of the meetings since that time. At the 6 November 1841 council meeting, Sloan presented a petition requesting a desk, books, and stationery “to make & keep accurate Records of the Ordinances & proceedings” of the council. The city council then referred the petition to a committee consisting of Hyrum Smith and John P. Greene. (James Sloan, Petition, Nauvoo, IL, 6 Nov. 1841; Hyrum Smith and John P. Greene, Committee Report, Nauvoo, IL, [between 6 and 13 Nov. 1841], Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)  

  5. 5

    John S. Fullmer was appointed Nauvoo city treasurer on 4 September 1841 to replace the deceased Robert B. Thompson. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 4 Sept. 1841, 22.)  

  6. 6

    Alanson Ripley was appointed city surveyor on 8 March 1841 by motion of JS. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 8 Mar. 1841, 15.)  

  7. 7

    Section 33 of the act incorporating the city of Nauvoo, also known as the Nauvoo charter, allowed the city council to “fix the compensation of all city officers . . . for services rendered.” (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)  

  8. 8

    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, [1].)  

    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.

    Cleveland Herald. Cleveland. 1843–1853.

  9. 9

    According to James Sloan’s rough minutes, councilor John Barnett suggested an amendment to this ordinance “by striking out a part of the Ordce [ordinance], but it could not be done at that stage of the proceeds.” (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 13 Nov. 1841, 39.)  

  10. 10

    This ordinance may have arisen from the city council’s recent decision to deem Pulaski Cahoon’s grog shop a nuisance and from previous city ordinances and resolutions dealing with liquor and prohibition. Section 11 of the Nauvoo city charter gave the city council power to make all ordinances “they may deem necessary for the peace, benefit, good order, regulation, convenience, and cleanliness, of said city.” The text of this ordinance was published in the 1 December 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons. (Minutes, 30 Oct. 1841; Minutes, 3 Feb. 1841; Minutes, 12 July 1841; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840; “An Ordinance concerning Vagrants, and Disorderly Persons,” Times and Seasons, 1 Dec. 1841, 3:622.)  

  11. 11

    “Corporation” refers to the city and its government.  

  12. 12

    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.)  

  13. 13

    According to section 8 of the Nauvoo city charter, the city council had “authority to levy and collect taxes for city purposes upon all property, real and personal, within the limits of 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 to be provided by ordinance.” (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)  

  14. 14

    According to a later JS history, at this meeting JS “argued before the Council the right of Taxation, but that the expences of the City did not require it at present.” (JS History, vol. C-1, 1244.)  

  15. 15

    Many councilors opposed taxing people for keeping dogs. According to the rough minutes of this meeting, JS, who was himself a dog owner, spoke at length against taxing dog owners, and Brigham Young called for a progressive tax, basing the amount taxed on the dog’s value rather than imposing a flat tax. (Nauvoo City Council Rough Minute Book, 13 Nov. 1841, 40.)