Minute Book 1

11 August 1834 • Monday

Kirtland August 11th 1834
This day a number of high priests and elders of the church  of the Latter-Day Saints assembled in the new school-house  in this place, for the purpose of investigating a matter  of difficulty growing out of certain reports or statements  made by brother Sylvester Smith, one of High coun sellors of this Church, accusing brother Joseph Smith Junr.  with criminal conduct during his journey to and from  Missouri this Spring & Summer. After coming to order,  brother Joseph commenced and spake to a considerable  length upon the circumstances of their journey to and  from Missouri, and very minutely laid open the causes  out of which those jealousies of brother Sylvester’s and  others had grown. He made a satisfactory statement  concerning his rebukes and chastisements upon  Sylvester & others, and also concerning the distribution  of monies and other properties, calling on brethren  present who accompanied him to attest to the same.  All of which, was satisfactory to the brethren present as  appeared by their own remarks afterward. After  brother Joseph had closed his lengthy remarks, brother  Sylvester made some observations relative to the  subject of their difficulties and begun to make a  partial confession for his previous conduct, ask ing forgiveness for accusing brother Joseph publicly  on the Saturday previous, of prophsying lies in the name  of the Lord, and for abusing (as he had said) his (Sylvester’s)  character, before the brethern while journeying to  the West. Brother Sidney Rigdon made some  remarks by way of reproff upon the conduct of  brother Sylvester, J. P. Green [John P. Greene], and others, followed by  the Clerk, after which by motion of brother S. Rigdon  the assembly arranged itself into a council. brother  N[ewel] K. Whitney presiding, and proceeded to discuss how this [p. 52]
Minute Book 1, [ca. 3 Dec. 1832–30 Nov. 1837]; handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery, Frederick G. Williams, Orson Hyde, Marcellus F. Cowdery, George W. Robinson, Phineas Richards, and Harlow Redfield; 263 pages; CHL. Includes dockets, redactions, copy notes, use marks, and archival stamping and marking.
Medium-size blank book. The paper, which is ruled with thirty-four blue-green horizontal lines (now faded), measures 12 × 7½ inches (30 × 19 cm). The book originally contained 149 leaves, consisting of twelve gatherings of twelve leaves each, two front flyleaves, and three back flyleaves. The text block is sewn all along over recessed cords. The front and back covers of the volume are pasteboard. The book has a tight-back case binding with a brown calfskin quarter-leather binding, the bound volume measuring 12⅜ × 7¾ × 1 inches (31 × 20 × 3 cm). The outside covers are adorned with shell marbled paper, with a red, green, and black body and veins of black. The back pastedown bears the inscriptions “c”, “c/i”, and “pep”—possibly original merchandising notes.
A single leaf—the conjugate of the leaf bearing pages 15 and 16—was removed from the first gathering of the book, but this occurred before the adjacent leaves were inscribed or paginated. Page 1 is the first lined page. Minutes were inscribed in the book on pages 1–219 and 226–265. Pages 220–225 were left blank, except for their page numbers. Following page 265, the remaining twenty-one pages and the three back flyleaves were left blank. At some point, Frederick G. Williams began a table of contents, which was continued by Warren A. Cowdery but never completed; this table of contents is inscribed on all four pages of the two front flyleaves. The minute book was kept with quill pens. The entries and pagination were inscribed in ink that is now brown. Pages 39–55 include entry-dividing lines inscribed in red ink. There is also residue from an adhesive wafer on pages 156 and 157, indicating a sheet of paper was attached there at one time.
At some point, probably in the early 1840s, the front cover of the volume was labeled “Conference | A” in black ink. The “A” is written in a formal style that matches the covers of other early manuscript books in the CHL’s holdings. Copy notes and use marks, in¬scribed in graphite, were made by later scribes who used the minute book when compiling JS’s 1838–1856 history. At some point, probably in Utah, a white paper label was pasted on the spine; the label is now only partially extant, with the remaining inscription illegible. Another white paper label, also only partially extant, was pasted over this. It reads: “Kirtland Coun”. The rest of the label, which would have included approximately two more words, is missing. The pastedown on the inside of the book’s front cover bears an archival identification number inscribed in black ink and a more recent Historian’s Office library sticker. The spine also bears a more recent sticker with an identification number. Ink has bled through on several of the pages. The book has also suffered some wear and staining in the front and back.
The volume is listed in the 1846 Historian’s Office inventory as “Book of Conference A” and referred to as a Kirtland High Council record in subsequent Historian’s Office inventories from the 1850s. In 1988, the Church History Department transferred Minute Book 1 to the First Presidency’s Office. The minute book was transferred to the Church History Library in 2009. Archival records and the markings mentioned above indicate continuous institutional custody.