175 years ago today - Mar 18, 1845 • Tuesday

[Council of Fifty]

... Council members then discussed possible destinations for a Mormon migration, with particular focus on Upper California and Oregon. Young clarified that he hoped to find a place of safety "not far distant" where the Mormons could stay for a year or two before moving west to California. In support of Young's proposition, John Taylor asked Erastus Snow to sing "The Upper California," a song that Taylor had apparently composed during the meeting. ...

Toward the close of this meeting Jonathan Dunham clarified some of the details regarding the Western Mission. Referring to earlier proposals to send representatives "to all the different tribes," Dunham stated that such measures would be unnecessary because he had received intelligence that a "grand council of the principal men among all the tribes" would convene in June. "We

calculate to be there and meet with them," Dunham reported. He was almost certainly referring to a pan-Indian council to be convened by the Creek Nation in May 1845 in response to violent altercations with both the Pawnee and the Comanche. ...

... Various remarks were then made on the subject of preparing for our own defence and devising means to keep the enemy off till we have finished the Temple.

Coun. G.A. Smith presented the following "Resolved that we send to Pittsburgh immediately after soft mettle enough to make ten peices of Cannon and twenty mortars, and Shells, Balls, Grape and Cannister Shot sufficient for one years campaign and also make preparations for casting the same". He made some remarks in favor of the resolution.

The chairman said he had for some time thought it would be good policy for brother Turley to go to making six and fifteen shooters. We have no need of Cannon here for if the State of Illinois calls out her military against us we will leave here and go and put our women and children where they will be safe, and then we will turn round and wipe them out of existance. If this mission succeed it will not be more than one year before we need shipping to go from the Eastern shores and also from New Orleans to California, and they will necessarily want ballast, and we can ship our Cannon for ballast. We can send to England and get good swords for a dollar and a half, such as we have to pay five dollars for here. In regard to brother Turley he wants the council to agitate the subject and come to some conclusion whether it is not best for brother Turley to go to work and make fifteen shooters.

Coun. J. Smith believes that the State of Illinois will not undertake to drive us, without help from other States. The policy is in time of peace to prepare for war and to have a place to retreat to if any thing should happen. He believes the murder of Joseph and Hyrum was concocted amongst the highest authorities in the United States, and they all rejoice in the murder. He dont believe they can drive us but we will have to leave, and Nauvoo will be like Kirtland, left to apostates. ...

[Joseph Smith Papers: Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846]

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