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980 > Page 980 of Annals of the West : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories, from the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six.

980 MORMONS IN MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. 1840. The leaders of both parties believed that the Mormons would soon hold the balance of power, and exerted themselves, on both sides, hy professions of kindness and devotion to their interest, to win their support. "In this state of the case, Dr. Bennet presented himself at the seat of government, as the agent of the Mormons. He was a man of some talent, and then had the confidence of the Mormons, and particularly of their leaders. He came as the agent of that people to solicit a city charter, a charter for a military legion, and for various other purposes. "This person addressed himself to the senator from Hancock county, (in which Nauvoo is located,) and to Douglass, the Secretary of State, who both entered heartily into his views and projects. Bennet managed matters well for his constituents. He flattered both sides with the hope of Mormon favor, and both sides expected to receive their votes. "A city charter, drawn up to suit the Mormons, was presented to the senate, and referred to the judiciary committee, of which one Snyder was chairman, who reported it back, recommending its passage. The vote was taken, the ayes and noes were not called for, no one opposed it, but all were busy and active in hurrying it through. In like manner it passed the house of representatives, where it was never read, except by its title; the ayes and noes were not called for, and the same universal zeal in its favor was manifested here, which had been so conspicuously displayed in the senate. " This city charter, and other charters passed in the same way by this legislature, incorporated JYauvoo, provided for the election of a mayor, four aldermen, and nine councilors; gave them power to pass all ordinances necessary for the peace, benefit, good order, regulation, and convenience of the city, and for the protection of property from fire, which were not repugnant to the constitution of the United States, or this State. "This seemed to give them power to pass ordinances in violation of the laws of the State, and to erect a system of government for themselves. This charter also established a Mayor's Court, with exclusive jurisdiction of all cases arising under the city ordinances, subject to an appeal to the municipal court. It established a municipal court, to be composed of the mayor, as chief justice, and the four aldermen as his associates; which court was to have jurisdiction of appeals from the mayor, or aldermen, subject to an appeal again to the circuit court of the county. The municipal court was