170 years ago today - Sunday, Mar 4, 1849

At 9, agreeable to adJournment, the council of Ytfif [Fifty] convened. The first buseness before House was the case of Ira E. West. The council al[l] agreed that he had forfeited his Head, but the difficulty was ho[w] he should be disposed of. Some were of the oppinion that to execut[e] him Publickly, under the traditions of the People, would not be safe; but to dispose of him privately would be the most practi[cable], & would result in the greatest good. The People would know tha[t] he was gone, in some strange manner, & that would be all they could sugest, but fear would take hold of them & they wo[uld] tremble for fear it would be their time next. Others thought to appoint a Supreme Judge & twelve counsellors or a Jury of twelve men, to try criminals['] offenses in public, & pass Sentances upon them; that it would meet the entir[e] approbation of the community at large, for it would be in accordance with the gentiles' customs of the Land; whereupon H[eber] C. Kimble was nominated for the office [o]f Supreme Judge, and after several counsellors had spoken on the Subject, it was voted that an Election be held on the 12th day of March in the city of the great Salt Lake for the purpose of Electing the following men to fill the different Stations in office. Namely: Pres. Brigham Young, governor; Heber C. Kimble, Supreme Judge; Willard Richards, Secretary of state; N[ewel] K. Whitney & John Taylor, associate Judges; ...

Pres. B. Young said to the Marshal, ["]take Ira E. West & Thomas Byrns into custody & put them in chai[ns], & on the day of the Election, there offer them for Sale to the highest Bidder. They have both forfeited thier h[e]ad[s] & shall loose them; and if this council wants me to shoulder it, I can do it, but to consent to do anything in the dark, I will not. There will not be half so much danger to Just declare the Sentance publically, but let those two cases pass until we have State officers, & should Ira E. West be miss[ing] on the day of the Election, I motion that we forgive him the debt.["] ...

[John D. Lee diary, 98–100, as quoted in Jedediah S. Rogers (editor), The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, Signature Books (2014)]

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