Minutes, 24 March 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

The of met pursuant to adjournment, Saturday March 24th 1838.
Council ws organized as follows;
Joseph Smith jr. and Presidents
no 1 no 2
" 3 " 4
" 5 " 6
" 7 " 8
" 9 " 10
" 11 " 12
The Council was opened by prayer by Prest .
A Charge was prefered against for unchristian-like conduct, in speaking reproachfully of youngsters, by .
After a short deliberation it was considered a most difficult case, therefore Six Councellors were appointed to speak on the case, viz: , and , on the part of the and , , and on the part of the accused.
testifies that was at his house, the subject of Spelling Schools, in the evening was introduced, which he disapproved of also, mentioned about a young man’s undertaking to hug a girl in an evening meeting but mentioned no names, he disapproved of evening schools and meetings on account of the young people being light minded & tended to draw away their minds from their studdies [p. 110]
Sister [Mary Snow] Gates testifies that was at her house and disapproved of evening schools &c she concurs with the testimony of her .
Br Outhouse testifies that he labored with together with when denied making a motion to show how undertook to hug the girl.
He was there then <​cross​> examined <​and​> says said in meeting that in making the motion to show how undertook to hug the girl, he did not intend to hit as hard as he did as he was the one to whom he made the motion.
Alonzo Herrick testifies that he was at school one day when the master & got to disputing about hugging the girl, the boy denied undertaking to hug the girl & made a motion to show how he done the thing when the boy said it was not so, he also says <​that​> he never heard twit the boys of being with the girls, also, that he believes used his best endeavors for the good of the school; also, saw one of the schollars shake his fist at the master; also, that he saw some verses in the hands of , Joseph Outhouse & Edward Prindall, which served to tantalize the master.
George P. Dydes testifies that the Elders were called together & presented a case which was investigated, but he thought proper weight was not put upon the testimony
Edward Prindal testifies that he saw make a motion to show how undertook to hug the girl in meeting which denied, saying he never done any such thing also that he heard the master say that he did not like to have spelling schools because there was too much [p. 111] going home with the girls also he shook his fist at the master because he thaught the master meddled with that which was none of his buisness in correcting them for going home with the girls, also, that he thinks was not in the habit of running about more than common, also, that it was rumoured about by one or two before being mentioned in school that some of the boys had hugged a girl in meeting. also, said in a the meeting of that he had not taken the regular steps with , and he was sorry that he had not.
A testimony was presented from , in writing, which was read.
John Lowrie [Lowry] testifies he was at a meeting where requested the Elders to take a seperate as he had a matter to have investigated, he made his statement to the Elders & in it he said that he had done wrong in speaking of the matter of ’s hugging the girl in meeting before going to him and laboring, with him, for which he was sorry, also, testifies that he thought the young men did not treat with that respect with which they ought.
Lyman Leonard <​testifies​> that he was at the meeting of the Elders before mentioned when and laid before them their agrieveances and the matter was investigated. made confession, saying that he had done wrong in mentioning about the young man’s attempting to hug the girl, before laboring with him. also, that a decision was had, and a settlement took place between the parties. also, that he did not approve of the treatment of the young men towards and reproved them for it. also that the Court of Elders was called by mutual consent as far as he knew, and both made their statements.
Sister Leonard concurs with the testimony of her husband and that she was at the meeting in which [p. 112] the young man was accused of attempting to to hug the girl & she saw wink and smile when the girl went to get water, which she did not like.
Elizabeth Legg testifies that she attended the school & she did not hear twit the boys of going home with the girls, also, she saw the boys shake their fists at when his back was turned, viz: and Joseph Outhouse.
testifies that he was pleased with the conduct of the young men while before him on account of their steadiness.
testifies that he did not have any hand in writing or composing the verses spoken of in Orlando Herrick’s testimony.
The Councellors made a few very appropriate remarks, all of whom thought the charge was not sustained, but rather the accuser was in the fault
Decided that the charge was not sustained, but Br was in the fault in treating as he did.
The question was then put to the if they concur[r]ed with the decision if so to manifest it by saying aye. which was done unanimous.
Council adjourned one hour to meet at the s office
6 o’clock P.M. The council met pursuant to adjournment & was organized as follows;
no 1 no 2
" 3 " 4
" 5 " 6
" 7 " 8
" 9 " 10
" 11 " 12
The Council opened by prayer by . [p. 113]
The subject of absent Councillors was discussed when it was decided that those who can not attend the Councils, resign their seats and let others fill their them who will be able to attend punctually.
Clk [p. 114]


  1. 1

    In the high council’s previous meeting, the council planned to meet on 24 March at “9 o’clock.” (Minute Book 2, 17 Mar. 1838.)  

  2. 2

    Higbee was standing in for John Murdock, the defendant. Murdock resumed his usual position as the twelfth council member when the council reconvened at 6:00 p.m. (See Minute Book 2, 7 July 1834; 1 Aug. 1837; and 23 Dec. 1837.)  

  3. 3

    “Spelling schools” were spelling competitions between neighborhoods or ad hoc teams and were usually held in the evening at a local or neighboring schoolhouse. Spelling schools were largely social events, which provided an opportunity for youth to meet. These events were sometimes criticized as opportunities for flirtation and were associated with activities that some pious Protestants considered questionable, such as dancing, marching games, and sleigh rides. (“‘Spelling Down’: Old Times Revived,” Cambridge [MA] Chronicle, 6 July 1872, [1]; Tatum, “Please Send Stamps,” 100n47; Bohn, “Early Wisconsin School Teachers,” 60; Loehr, “Moving Back from the Atlantic Seaboard,” 95.)  

    Cambridge Chronicle. Cambridge, MA. 1859–1873.

    Tatum, Margaret Black. “‘Please Send Stamps’: The Civil War Letters of William Allen Clark, Part I.” Indiana Magazine of History 91, no. 1 (Mar. 1995): 81–108.

    Bohn, Belle Cushman. “Early Wisconsin School Teachers.” Wisconsin Magazine of History 23, no. 1 (Sept. 1939): 58–61.

    Loehr, Rodney C. “Moving Back from the Atlantic Seaboard.” Agricultural History 17, no. 2 (Apr. 1943): 90–96.

  4. 4

    Simeon Carter was the father of Orlando Carter, who testified on behalf of Newberry. (Warr, History of the Carter Family, 39.)  

    Warr, Helen C. History of the Carter Family, 1976–1978. CHL.

  5. 5

    Apparently a reference to Alonzo Herrick’s testimony, given above.  

  6. 6

    In the quarterly conference held two weeks later, high council member John Murdock announced that “the seats of Elisha H. Groves, Calvin Bebee [Beebe], and Lyman Wight was vacant in consequence of their having moved away so far that they could not attend the council.” (Minutes, 7–8 Apr. 1838.)