Minute Book 1

6–7 June 1835 • Saturday–Sunday

New Portage June 6th 1835
Elders and brethren of the church of the Latter-Day Saints, met  in conference agreeably to previous notice given, and organized  a council at the place aforesaid. Oliver Cowdery was called to  the chair, and Warren A. Cowdery was duly appointed secretary.  Elders present, compossing the council, were severally seated accor ding to their respective ages. and then united in solemn prayer to  Almighty God for wisdom to guide us in our deliberations.  The church in this place was now called upon by the chair  for the number, now belonging to said church, and was rep resented by Elder Ambrose Palmer, the presiding Elder of said  church, to be 100. Branch of the church at Strongsville, rep resented by Elder Z. Coultrin [Zebedee Coltrin], to be fifteen in number.—  The council then called on the presiding officer of the church,  for all matters of difficulty, (if any he had,) for adjudi cation by the council. Elder David Matthews case was  called up; he having been suspended for unchristian  conduct, at a previous conference. After hearing the  statements of a number of those who were acquainted  with brother Matthews: the council unanimously agreed  that there had been due contrition of spirit, manifested by  him, in his walk and conversation, since his suspension.  Brother Matthews manifested a wish, to see an[d] converse  with Israel .W. Barlow, with whom his former difficulty  occurred and then a decision could be made; The interview was  had, and brother Matthews was restored by unanimous vote  of the council. Elder J[oseph] B. Bosworth, preferred a charge  against Elder A. Palmer for aiding and assisting, a brother,  in this church, to abscond, who was involved in debt, and for  acting without the counsel of the Elders of or brethren of the church  over which he presides. Witnesses were called on to sub stantiate the charges, but none were found who were willing  to crimenate brother Palmer. but all were compelled to say, from  the conviction of their own minds, that he had acted from [p. 89]
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.