Rules of Order for Nauvoo City Council, 22 January 1842

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Jan.y. 22nd. 1842.—
s Communication, &; Rules of Order of Col..
Rules of Order of the City Council.
Extract from the minutes of the City Council.
“The Council then received the following communication from the ; to wit:
Mayor’s Office, City of . Illinois, Jan. 22nd, AD. 1842.
Gentlemen of the City Council,
Aldermen, and Councillors:—
I have carefully selected and prepared the following “Rules of Order of the City Council of the City of ,” and present them for your adoption; to wit,—
Rules of Order
of the
City Council of the City of .
Duties of the Mayor.
1st. The Mayor, or President pro tempore, shall take the chair and organize the council, them within thirty minutes after the arrival of the hour to which it shall have been adjourned, and, while presiding, shall restrain all conversation irrelevant to the business then under consideration.
2nd. The Mayor having taken the chair, and a quorum (which shall consist of a majority of the entire council) being present, the council shall be opened by prayer, after which the journal of the preceding meeting shall be read <​by the Recorder​>, to the end that any mistake may be corrected that shall have been made in the entries; after which no alteration of the journal shall be permitted, without the unanimous consent of the members present.
3rd. He <​The​> <​Mayor​> shall decide all questions of order— subject, nevertheless, to an appeal to the council, by any member.
4th. When the question is taken on any subject under consideration, the Mayor shall call on the members in the affirmative to say, aye,— those in the negative to say, no— and he shall declare the result. When doubts arise on the decision, he may call on the members voting to rise, or take the yeas and nays— the yeas and [p. 1] nays, likewise, may be taken on the call of any four members.
5th. The Mayor shall have a right to vote upon all occasions; and when his vote renders the division equal, the question shall be lost.
6th. The Mayor shall sign his name to all acts, addresses, and resolutions, of the council.
Of the Vice-Mayor.
7th. The council shall elect a Vice-Mayor, to serve as President pro tempore, who shall preside during the absence of the Mayor, and who shall be chosen by ballot— and a majority of the votes of the members present shall be necessary to a choice.
8th. If at any meeting when a majority shall be assembled, neither the Mayor, nor the President pro tempore, shall be present, the council shall proceed to the election of a President for that meeting.
Of the Recorder.
9th. When the Mayor shall have taken the chair, and 9th. The Recorder shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the council, and shall enter therein whatever a majority of the members shall order; and, in all cases, the yeas and nays, or dissent of any members, when required to do so.
10th. The Recorder shall read whatever is laid before the council for the consideration of the members, and shall counter-sign every act, address, or resolution, passed by the council, noting the date of its passage.
11th. When the yeas and nays are called upon any question, the Recorder shall read over distinctly, first, the names of the members who voted in the affirmative; and next, the names of those who voted in the negative.
Of the Marshal. [p. 2]
12th. The Marshal shall serve as Door-Keeper, & Sergeant-at-Arms, to the council.
Order of Business.
13th. After the reading of the journal of the preceding meeting, the Mayor shall call for petitions, beginning with the members from the 1st Ward and so on to the 4th— and no petition shall be received thereafter, unless, by unanimous consent.
14th. Petitions having been called for and disposed of, reports of Standing Committees shall next be received, then reports of Select Committees, and then any miscellaneous business shall be in order.
15th. The Mayor shall always be at liberty to deliver his sentiments in debate, on any question before the council; but when the Mayor speaks, it shall be from his chair.
16th. In case of disorderly conduct in spectators, the Mayor may either order the persons out, committing the disorders; have the room cleared; or fine or convict the offenders to prison, for contempt.
Of Order and Debate.
17th. When any member is about to speak in debate, or offer any matter to the council, he shall rise from his seat, and address the Mayor as “Mr. President,” and avoid personalities.
18th. When two members rise at the same time, the Mayor shall name the person to speak, but in all other cases, the member first rising shall speak first. No member shall speak more than twice <​three times​> to the same question without leave of the council, nor speak more than once, <​without leave,​> until every person choosing to speak shall have spoken.<​; without leave.​>
19th Any member may call another to order, and when a member is so called to order, he [p. 3] shall immediately sit down <​desist speaking​>, until the Mayor decide whether he is in order, or not; and every question of order shall be decided without debate; but any member may appeal from his decision, to the council; if the decision be in favor of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, the council shall detemine upon the propriety of his proceeding with his observations.
20th. When a question has been taken and carried in the affirmative, or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move for the re-consideration thereof; but no motion for the re-consideration of any vote shall be in order, after the paper upon which the same shall have been taken, shall have gone out of the possession of the council.
21st. No motion, or proposition, shall be received as an amendment which shall be a substitute for the proposition before the council; but nothing shall be considered a substitute which shall have relation to the subject matter under consideration.
22nd. When the yeas and nays are called, every member shall vote, unless specially excused; but no member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and particularly interested; and in voting by yeas and nays, the Councillors shall be called first, the Aldermen next, and the Mayor last.
23rd. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be reduced to writing, and shall be first read aloud before any order be taken thereon; but the question “Will the council now consider it” shall not be put, unless called for by a member, or is deemed necessary by the Mayor: and on motions to amend, the question of consideration shall in no case be put. [p. 4]
24th. Any motion may be withdrawn or modified by the mover, at any time before a final decision or amendment.
25th. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order they stand arranged. A motion to strike out the enacting words of a bill, shall have precedence of a motion to amend, and, if carried, shall be considered a rejection.— And a motion to refer to a Standing Committee, shall have precedence of one to refer to a Select Committee. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order; that, and a motion to lie on the table, shall be taken without debate.
26th. The previous question shall be in this form, “Shall the main question be non put?” It shall only be admitted when demanded by a majority of the members present; until it is decided, shall preclude all amendment and further debate of the main question, and upon said question there shall be no debate.
27th. Any member may call for the division of a question where the sense will admit of it, but a question to strike out and insert, shall be indivisible.
28th. When a question is carried in the affirmative by yeas and nays, any member may enter on the journal, his reasons for dissenting.
29th. It shall not be in order to introduce a bill, unless by way of report from committee, or leave be previously asked and obtained.
30th. Every bill or resolution requiring the signature of the Mayor and Recorder, shall receive [p. 5] three several readings, previous to its passage.
31st. The first reading of a bill shall be for information, and if opposition be made to it, the question shall be “Shall this bill be rejected?” If no opposition be made it shall go to the second reading without a question, when it shall be open for discussion and amendment, or such order as the council may think proper to take, except the question on the passage thereof, which can only be taken, on the day of the introduction of the bill, by the consent of two-thirds of the members present.
32nd. Before any bill or joint resolution requiring the signatures of the Mayor and Recorder, shall be read a third time, the question shall be put, “Shall this bill be read a third time?” and if a majority of the members present shall not vote in the affirmative, the same shall be declared to be rejected.
33rd. On the third reading of a bill, the question shall be on its passage, but it may be committed at any time previous to its passage.
34th. When a blank is to be filled, the <​and​> different sums or dates are proposed, the question shall be first taken on the highest sum, or longest date, and thence downwards.
35th. The council may, at any time, suspend any of its rules by a majority of three-fourths of the members present.
36. After the arrival of the hour to which the council may stand adjourned, no member who may have appeared, shall absent himself without leave of those present, or of the council when formed.
Of Committees.
37th. All Standing and Select Committees shall be appointed by the Mayor, unless otherwise [p. 6] directed, and the first named member shall be the Chairman. The following Standing Committees shall be appointed, to wit:
A Committee of Ways and Means, to consist of one member from each ward, to whom shall be referred all subjects of taxation and revenue.
A Committee of Improvement, to consist of one member from each ward, to whom shall be referred all subjects relative to repairs and opening of roads and streets, and other subjects of a similiar nature.
A Committee of Claims, to consist of three members, to whom shall be referred all matters of claims against the city, and applications for remission of penalties.
A Committee of Unfinished Business, to consist of two members, who shall examine the journal of the preceding council, and report such business as may have remained unfinished.
A Committee of Elections, to consist of three members.
A Committee of Police, to consist of one member from each ward, who are empowered to call upon any officer of the Corporation, for any information, report, paper or other matters, relative to the police.
A Committee of Municipal Laws, <​to consist of five members,​> to whom shall be referred all bills for ordinances presented to the council. to consist of three members
Of Amendment to Rules.
38th. All motions for amendment of the rules, shall be submitted one month previous to the a final determination thereof, unless three-fourths of the members present shall assent that it shall be finally acted on the day on which it is submitted.
Of Balloting.
39th. In balloting for committees, a plurality [p. 7]
<​*​> A Committee of Public Grou[n]ds to consist of one member from each ward.
A Commitee of Public Works, to consist of three members.
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of votes shall be sufficient to make a choice, but in other cases a majority of the whole number of votes shall be required to decide.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
, Mayor.
The above communication was read by the to the City Council, on the 22nd Jan. 1842, and referred to a Select Committee consisting of Joseph Smith, and — the committee reported back the communication and recommended its adoption, which was carried as follows; to wit:
Yeas— Joseph Smith, , , , , , , , , , , , , , (Councillors,) , , , , , , (Aldermen,) , (Mayor,) 21.
Nays— None.
Absent, , (Councillors,) , , (Aldermen,) 4.
The Council then proceeded to the election of Vice-Mayor, whereupon Gen. Joseph Smith was declared to be duly elected, and took the oath of office.
The then announced the following Standing Commitees; to wit: [p. 8]


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    Docket in handwriting of James Sloan.  

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    TEXT: Beginning from this point, insertions were written in graphite, then rewritten in blue ink.  

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    TEXT: Asterisk keyed to an inserted slip of paper with additional committees listed.  

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    TEXT: Asterisk keyed to page 7, where the additional text should come in.