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1.2.21 July 7, 1843

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July 7, 1843 • Friday

Second Meeting of Society.

Meeting of the

First Ward.

In consequence of having no room sufficiently commodious for the whole Society, it was recommended by the President that the Society be divided for the purpose of meeting, according to the 4 City Wards,1 and meet by rotation, one Ward at a time, that all might have equal privileges: Accordingly notice was given at the Grove on sunday the 2d of July that the members residing in the first City Ward, would convene at the room occupied as a Masonic Hall,2 on the friday following, at 2. o,clock.

Agreeably with the before mentioned appointmment, the members of the Society residing in the 1st Ward, and a few individuals of other Wards, who had not understood the recent arrangement; convened in the room under the Hall, the Hall being occupied by the Masonic Fraternity.

Friday July 7th 1843.

Relief Society Meeting Minutes, July 7, 1843

Meeting minutes, July 7, 1843. In their second meeting in the year 1843, women of the Nauvoo Relief Society began assembling in four separate ward groups “in consequence of having no room sufficiently commodious for the whole Society.” The four groups later combined back into one that fall. The July 7, 1843, entry is the last one in the minute book inscribed by Eliza R. Snow, who moved south of Nauvoo not long after this meeting. (Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Photograph by Welden C. Andersen.)

Present Councillor [Elizabeth Ann] Whitney, Mrs. Billings &c.

Meeting opened by singing “Redeemer of Israel” &c.3

Pray’r by Coun. Whitney.

Coun. Whitney then arose and after expressing her regret that we were not favored with the presence of our Prest. on this occasion, and after many appropriate remarks, requested the sisters to speak and express to each other their feelings as the members of one family.

Mrs. Pratt mentioned the needy circumstances of br. Henderson, a widower with nine children— she recommended him as an industrious, and worthy person &c.

Mrs Durfee presented the case of [Orrin] Porter Rockwell [p. [93]]— express’d much feeling of sympathy awakened in her heart by recent recitals of his sufferings— recommended the sisters to unite like the ancient saints in faith & pray’r for his deliverance.4

Mrs. Sessions mentioned the case of a man whose name she did not know, who had been fo[r] some length of time begging— had heard he had plenty of money— She described his dress.— Mrs. Pratt said she knew him— that his appearance bespoke deep poverty.

Mrs. Sessions spoke of some articles of clothing, to wit. 2 pr. pantaloons and 1 shirt, which she designed either to donate to the Society or to the Temple, as Society shall think proper.

Sis. Pratt recommended an English family, mostly females, who wished the influence of the Society in supplying them with work— can do millinery— fine washing &c.

Mrs. Pratt proposed taking the responsibility of overseeing the cutting & making of clothes, being herself a tailoress.

Sis. [Anna] Downey wishes to take sewing & knitting for Society.

Sis. Abbott wishes the same

Sis. Wooley [Mary Woolley] said she has red yarn which she purpos’d for a carpet, but thinks it will do more good in mittens, & will contribute it for the sisters to knit.

Sis. Geene [Esther Gheen] said she has some coarse linnen which will do for pantaloons, which she will donate, also thread to make it.

Coun. Whitney spoke of a young man from England, who had been sick for a year— now at her house— he came from Mr. Ivan’s, who said he had sooner pay his board than keep him. Mrs. W. said she wished to do all in her power, but her family being large, thought perhaps he might be better accommodated at another place. She said bishop W. [Newel K. Whitney] was soliciting means for his support.

Sis Jones said she is willing to take the sick man [p. [94]] to her house if it is thought wisdom— that her house is not so still as desirable for a sick person.

Sis. Markham said— has been requested by a sister of La Harpe to ask of the Society for a girl from 12 to fourteen to live with her till of age.— recommended the sis. as a suitable person for the charge of such a girl.

Sis. Allen recommended a daughter of br. Parks, who wants to get situations for 2, who are now in Mo.

Sis. Lyons said when the poor come to sis. W. and sis. [Elvira Cowles] Holmes, if they cannot supply them, send them with orders to her.

Coun. W. said it is the counsel of Prest. E. Smith to keep accounts of small donations, when the sisters are call’d upon at their homes to assist from time to time; and bring such accounts to the Treasurer.

Sis. Snow said she will do knitting & sewing

Sis. Granger is willing to do any thing that is needed

Sis. [Olive] Farr has flax which she will contribute

Sis. Kelsey proposes to spin said flax upon shares.

Sis. Farr has tow more than she needs.5

Sis. Smith proposes to spin said tow, which the sisters think advisable to make into pantaloon cloth.

Sis. Lyons will give one Bunch cotton yarn and Sis. Wooley one do [ditto], to fill the tow on, for sd. cloth,

Sis. [Mahala] Overton will weave said cloth as a donation.

Sis. Geen will give some flax and

Sis. Chase will spin it.

Sis [Lucinda] Turner will donate in work when needed.

Sis. Jones said Miss Fulmer [Desdemona Fullmer] wished needlework and proposed giving to Society one third of the price of making pr. pantaloons which Sis. Jones furnished her to make.

cts

Sis. Esther Smith donated

12½

[p. [95]]

cts

Sis. Sarah Kimball do

50

A union of feeling prevail’d through the meeting, all present manifested a disposition to do all in their power towards assisting the poor and in forwarding the building of the Temple.

Meeting closed with prayer by Sis. [Sophia] Packard.

E. R. Snow, Secy.

[p. [96]]

Footnotes

  1. [1]In March 1841 the Nauvoo City Council divided the city into four municipal wards to facilitate, as in other towns and cities in the United States, the transaction of local public business. Church leaders also divided the city into ecclesiastical wards. In December 1842 Nauvoo was divided into ten tithing wards in the city and three tithing wards in the adjacent rural areas. Under the direction of bishops, the wards helped facilitate the organization of work parties for the temple and the care of the poor. (See Leonard, Nauvoo, 177–178; and “An Ordinance Dividing the City into Wards,” Times and Seasons, Mar. 1, 1841, 2:337–338.)

  2. [2]This room was the assembly room on the second floor of Joseph Smith’s red brick store in Nauvoo. (“Store [JS’s red brick store],” in JSP, J2:424.)

  3. [3]Hymn 119, Collection of Sacred Hymns [1841], 127.

  4. [4]On March 4, 1843, Rockwell was arrested on a charge of assault with intent to kill former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs. Rockwell was incarcerated in Missouri in the Jefferson City jail from March until August, when he was transported to the Liberty jail and later to the Independence jail, where he remained until his acquittal and release on December 13, 1843. (See Document 1.5; and JS History, vol. E-1, 1827–1829.)

  5. [5]Tow is the “coarse and broken part of flax or hemp, separated from the finer part by the hatchel or swingle [instruments used to clean flax].” (“Tow,” in An American Dictionary of the English Language, ed. Noah Webster [New York: Harper and Brothers, 1845], 847; see also “Swingle,” in American Dictionary [1845], 818.)