March, 2, 2012

The Nauvoo Charter

On March 2, 1843, the Nauvoo Charter was under the scrutiny of the Illinois Legislature. The charter granted Nauvoo full status as a city of Illinois. “The passage of the Charter of Nauvoo gave the budding city ‘a government within a government.’” [1]

The Nauvoo Charter empowered the city to expand and grow with regards to politics, society, and economics. The passage and survival of the charter required the effort and dedication of many early Saints.

One unique element of the charter was that it had provisions for a university. The University of the City of Nauvoo administered the city’s entire educational system.

A strong enthusiasm for learning existed among the citizens of Nauvoo. Many adults sought a broad education in subjects such as English literature, languages, mathematics, rhetoric, and music.

The work that kept the Nauvoo Charter functioning served to establish education as a key element of Latter-day Saint culture. If you would like to learn more about the Nauvoo Charter, read this article available through BYU Studies.

[1] James L. Kimball, Jr., “A Wall to Defend Zion: The Nauvoo Charter,” BYU Studies Vol. 15:4.