Special Feature | BYU Studies

Special Feature

Council of Fifty Minutes Now Online
September 25, 2018
Special Feature
Council of Fifty Minutes Now Online
Author Joseph Smith Papers Project,

In 2016, the Joseph Smith Papers Project published in print the minutes from the Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois. We are pleased to announce that those minutes are now available on the project's website, including images of the record books. On 11 March 1844, Joseph Smith organized a council that he and his closest associates saw as the beginning of the literal kingdom of God on earth. Among other things, the council explored possible Mormon settlement sites outside the boundaries of the United States and oversaw Joseph Smith's electioneering campaign for United States president. For more on the Council of Fifty, see the volume introduction, "The Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois."

In addition to the Council of Fifty minutes, this latest web content release includes more than 125 documents from March, April, and May 1844, including letters, discourses, deeds, and Nauvoo City Council business. Some highlights:

  • discourse about the spirit of Elias, Elijah, and the Messiah, given 10 March 1844
  • letter to presidential candidate Henry Clay dated 13 May 1844 chastising him for not taking a stronger stand on protecting liberty
  • memorial to the United States Congress concerning Texas and Oregon, 26 March 1844

In the Legal, Business, and Financial Records series, we have added documents to four Missouri legal cases against Joseph Smith (for riottreason, and arson), as well as editorial introductions to the riot case and several Ohio court cases.