JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. B-1, created 1 Oct. 1843–24 Feb. 1845; handwriting of and ; 297 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the second volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This second volume covers the period from 1 Sept. 1834 to 2 Nov. 1838; the subsequent four volumes, labeled C-1 through F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, volume B-1, is the second of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. The narrative in volume B-1 begins with the entry for 1 September 1834, just after the conclusion of the Camp of Israel (later called Zion’s Camp), and continues to 2 November 1838, when JS was interned as a prisoner of war at , Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
, serving as JS’s “private secretary and historian,” completed the account of JS’s history contained in volume A-1 in August 1843. It covered the period from JS’s birth in 1805 through the aftermath of the Camp of Israel in August 1834. When work resumed on the history on 1 October 1843, Richards started a new volume, eventually designated B-1.
At the time of JS’s death in June 1844, the account had been advanced to 5 August 1838, on page 812 of volume B-1. ’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and , assisted by , resumed gathering the records and reports needed to draft the history. Richards then composed and drafted roughed-out notes while Thomas Bullock compiled the text of the history and inscribed it in B-1. They completed their work on the volume on or about 24 February 1845. Richards, , and Jonathan Grimshaw later added ten pages of “Addenda,” which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated.
Though JS did not dictate or revise any of the text recorded in B-1, and chose to maintain the first-person, chronological narrative format established in A-1 as if JS were the author. They drew from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. As was the case with A-1, after JS’s death, , , , and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” It was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
The narrative recorded in B-1 continued the story of JS’s life as the prophet and president of the church he labored to establish. The account encompasses significant developments in the church’s two centers at that time—, Ohio, and northwest —during a four-year-span. Critical events included the organization of the Quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, the establishment of the Kirtland Safety Society, dissension and apostasy in Kirtland and Missouri, the first mission to England, JS’s flight from Kirtland to Missouri in the winter of 1838, the Saints’ exodus from Kirtland later that year, the disciplining of the Missouri presidency, and the outbreak of the Missouri War and arrest of JS. Thus, B-1 provides substantial detail regarding a significant period of church expansion and transition as well as travail.
received not so much as one kid to make merry with their friends <December 17 ’s Letter Continued.> These facts, with some others, have disqualified my mind for studying the Hebrew Language at present and believing as I do that I must sink or swim, or in other words take care of myself, I have thought that I should take the most efficient means in my power to get [HC 2:336] out of debt, and to this end I proposed taking the school; but if I am not thought competent to take the charge of it, or worthy to be placed in that station, I must devise some other means to help myself; although having been ordained to that office under your own hand with a promise that it should not be taken from me. The conclusion of the whole matter is such I am willing to continue and do all I can provided we can share equal benefits one with the other, and upon no other principle whatever. If one has his support from the “Public Crib,” let them all have it, but if one is pinched, I am willing to be, provided we are all alike. If the principle of impartiality and equity can be observed by all, I think that I will not peep again. If I am damned it will be for doing what I think is right. There have been two applications made to me to go into business since I talked of taking the school, but it is in the world, and I had rather remain in , if I can consistently. All I ask is right. I am Sir, with respect, Your
Obt. Servt .”—
To Presedent J. Smith Jnr. &c}.
< satisfied> Elder read the foregoing Copy himself and I explained upon the objections he had set forth in it, and satisfied his mind upon every point, perfectly; and he observed after I had got through that he was more than satisfied, and would attend the Hebrew School and took the parting hand with me with every expression of friendship that a gentleman and a Christian could manifest, which I felt to reciprocate with cheerfulness and entertain the best of feeling for him, and most cheerfully forgive him the ingratitude which was manifested in his letter, Knowing that it was for want of correct information, that his mind was disturbed, as far as his reflections related to me.
But on the part of the committee he was not treated right in all things, however all things are settled amicably, and no hardness exists between us and them. <* Note G. addenda page 2> [HC 2:337]
and called this evening to see me upon the subject of the difficulty that transpired at their house, on Wednesday evening between me and my brother . They were sorely afflicted in mind on account of that occurrence. I conversed with them and convinced them that I was not to blame in taking the course I did, but had acted in righteousness in all things on that occasion. I invited them to come and live with me: they consented to do so as soon as it is practicable