Discourse, circa 21 March 1841, as Reported by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray
JS, Discourse, [, Hancock Co., IL, ca. 21 Mar. 1841]. Featured version copied [between fall 1843 and 1855] in Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, Notebook, ca. 1843–1850s, pp. –; handwriting of Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; CHL.Small book, measuring 5⅝ × 3⅝ × 3/8 inches (14 × 9 × 1 cm). The notebook consists of ninety-two pages in four gatherings of eight, sixteen, ten, and twelve leaves, respectively. The volume is loosely sewn together with thread and lacks a cover. The pages are ruled with now-faded black lines. The beginning of the notebook appears to be missing at least one leaf that likely contained diary entries. The majority of the book’s pages are unnumbered. Coray inscribed most of the entries in the book with black ink, but the volume also includes occasional inscriptions in graphite. Twenty-four pages in the middle of the book are blank. At some point, Coray turned the notebook upside down and used several blank leaves at the back of the notebook for her study of French. These reverse pages are numbered 3 through 20, suggesting that the back of the notebook was also missing at least one leaf.The timing of ’s appointment as in , Illinois (an event referred to in the notebook), and internal dating suggest that Coray made the entries in the notebook sometime between 1843 and 1855. The first date listed in the notebook is 8 August 1853, and the last recorded date is 1 December 1854. The notebook contains diary entries, financial statements, school notes, a copy of Coray’s patriarchal blessing, and transcripts of three sermons given by JS in , Illinois.Coray presumably maintained ownership of the volume until her death in 1881. The volume likely remained in the possession of the Coray family until at least July 1902. Historians later discovered the book filed among the Joseph F. Smith Papers in the Church Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, suggesting that the Coray family placed the notebook in Smith’s custody sometime prior to his death in 1918.
Ehat, Andrew F., and Lyndon W. Cook, eds. The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980.
Jessee, Dean C. “Joseph Smith’s 19 July 1840 Discourse.” BYU Studies 19, no. 3 (Spring 1979): 390–394.
See Historical Introduction to Discourse, ca. 21 Mar. 1841, as Reported by William P. McIntire.