Minutes, 20 June 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

June 20th 1840. The of the of Illinois met in council at the office [of] Joseph Smith jr.—
1. A memmorial was presented to the council, by , from Joseph Smith jr praying that the Council would relieve him from the temporalities of the Church [p. 60] which he necessarily had to engage in. In order that a location might be effected for the of the saints.—
That he felt it his duty to engage, more particularly, in the spiritual welfare of the Saints & also, to the translating of the Egyptian Records— the Bible— & wait upon the Lord for such revelations as may be suited to the condition & circumstances of the .
That in order to relieve him from the anxiety and troubles necessarily attendant on buisness— transactions, they would appoint some one to take charge of the City Plot & attend to the buisness transactions which have heretofore rested upon him.
That when he is relieved from such temporal— duties he would have no means of support whatever & requested that some one might be appointed to see that all his necessary wants are provided for as well as sufficient means or appropriations for a clerk or clerks which <​he​> may require to aid him in his important work.
The relieved Joseph Smith jr according to this the request of the memorial and [p. 61] appointed Elder to take charge of the City Plot and act as clerk in that buisness and also to attend to the disposing of the remaining lots and the buisness transactions which have heretofore rested upon him
was appointed steward to see that all the necessary wants of the be supplied, as well as, to provide sufficient means or appropriations for a clerk or clerks to aid Prest J. Smith jr in his important work.—
Page [blank] , for and in behalf of the , prefered a charge against Ebenezer A. Black, for a course of fraudulent proceedings and conduct by him practized on said Church, relative to a town lot and lots in , commencing in falshood continuing in error & eventuating in unchristian-like conduct, done and conducted within the last twelve months
Plead not Guilty. whereupon it was voted that 2. speak on each side to wit (9) (10) (11) (12) pro tem for . The charge was fully [p. 62] sustained after which it was decided that Ebenezer A. Black stand expelled from the society of the untill he make a satisfactory confession and restore all the damages which he has caused to be done by his unchristian-like conduct &c
Resolved that , and be appointed a committee to visit for the purpose of making inquiriy and an examination into the affairs of the purchase and also of the Church Records and make a report of the same to the Adjourned.
Clk pro tem. [p. 63]


  1. 1

    Thompson acted as the scribe for the memorial. For a full annotated treatment of the memorial, see Memorial to Nauvoo High Council, 18 June 1840.  

  2. 2

    On 21 October 1839, the high council appointed Sherwood to supervise the sale of Nauvoo town lots, subject to the approval of JS and Hyrum Smith. (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 21 Oct. 1839, 26.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.

  3. 3

    Ripley was appointed bishop of a church branch in Iowa Territory by an October 1839 general conference. As outlined by earlier instructions, bishops were responsible for administering to the wants of the elders in the church, as well as caring for the poor. (Minutes and Discourses, 5–7 Oct. 1839; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–B [D&C 72:9–12].)  

  4. 4

    The rough draft of these minutes has the marginal notation “P 30” here. On page 30 of the rough draft minutes, there are minutes of a 28 May 1841 meeting in which Ebenezer Black asked to be restored to the church. There is a notation on page 30 referring back to the 20 June 1840 minutes. When Stout was copying the minutes into the Nauvoo high council record book, he apparently put in this marginal note, but not knowing on which page the 28 May 1841 minutes would appear, he left a blank space after “Page.” (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, draft, 10, 30.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. Draft. CHL.

  5. 5

    Sherwood was a member of the Nauvoo high council. (Minutes and Discourses, 5–7 Oct. 1839.)  

  6. 6

    On 10 January 1840, Black purchased block 45, lot 2, of the Nauvoo plat for $350. Black was to pay $35 a year plus interest for ten years and signed ten promissory notes to that effect. (JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith to Ebenezer Black, Bond, Hancock Co., IL, 10 Jan. 1840; Ebenezer Black to JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith, Promissory Notes, 10 Jan. 1840, Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU.)  

  7. 7

    When high councils judged cases, up to six individuals were to speak on a case, depending on its difficulty. According to earlier instructions given to the high council at Kirtland, Ohio, “the accused in all cases has a right to one half of the council to prevent insult or injustice.” (Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:13–15].)  

  8. 8

    In April 1839, Robinson, on behalf of the church, paid Galland $18,000 for nearly sixty acres of land, some buildings, and Galland’s right to a ferry running from Nauvoo across the Mississippi River to Montrose, Iowa Territory. That same month, Ripley, Knight, and JS were appointed as a committee to determine where land for the Saints should be purchased. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Agreement with George W. Robinson, 30 Apr. 1839; JS History, vol. C-1, 931–932; Minutes, 24 Apr. 1839.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.