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.
<October 26> Citizens of , in this State, for protection, and to be restored to their homes and property: with intelligence that the Mormons, with an armed force, have expelled the Inhabitants of that from their homes, have pillaged and burnt their dwellings, driven off their Stock, and were destroying their crops. That they (the Mormons) have burnt to ashes the towns of and Mill Port in said ; the former being the County seat of said , including the Clerk’s Office, and all the public records of the , and that there is not now a civil officer within said . The Commander in Chief therefore orders, that there be raised the 1st. 4th. 5th. 6th. and 12th. Divisions of the Militia of this State, four hundred men each; to be mounted and armed as infantry or riflemen, each man to furnish himself with at least fifty rounds of ammunition and at least fifteen days provisions. The troops from the 1st. 5th. 6th. and 12th. will rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard County, on Saturday, the 3rd. day of next month, (November) at which point they will receive further instructions as to their line of March. You will therefore cause to be raised, the quota of men required of your Division (four hundred men) without delay, either by volunteers or drafts, and rendezvous at Fayette, in Howard County, on Saturday the 3rd. day of next month, (November) and there join the troops from the 5th. 6th. and 12th. Divisions. The Troops from the 4th. Division will join you at , in — You will cause the Troops raised in your Division to be formed into Companies according to law, and placed under officers already in commission. If volunteer companies are raised they shall elect their own officers. The preference should always be given to volunteer companies already organized and commissioned. You will also detail the necessary field and staff officers. For the convenience of transporting the camp equippage, pro[HC 3:173]visions and hospital stores for the troops under your command, you are authorized to employ two or three baggage waggons— By order of the Commander in Chief— B. M. Lisle— Adj. Gen”
<’s letter> “To all people that are or may be interested— I of , Geauga County & State of Ohio— feeling the importance of recommending to remembrance every worthy citizen who has by their conduct commended themselves to personal acquaintances by their course of strict integrity, and desire for truth and common justice, feel it my duty to state that ’s management in the arrangement of the unfinished business of people that have moved to the , in redeeming their pledges and thereby sustaining their integrity, has been truly— praiseworthy, and has entitled him to my highest esteem, and ever grateful recollection. Octr. 26. 1838”
“To all whom it may Concern— This may certify that during the year of Eighteen hundred and thirty seven I had dealings with messrs. Joseph Smith Jr. and together with other Members of the Society, to the amount of about three thousand dollars and during the Spring of Eighteen hundred and thirty Eight I have received my pay in full of Col. to my satisfaction, and I would here remark that it is due Messrs. Smith & & the society generally to say that they have ever dealt honorable and fair with me, and I have received as good treatment from them, as I have received from any other Society in this Vicinity: And so far as I have been correctly informed, and made known of their business transactions generally they have so far as I can judge been honorable and honest, and have made every exertion to arrange & settle their affairs; & I would further state that the closing up of my business with said Society has been with their Agent appointed by them for that purpose; and I consider it highly due, from me, here to state that he has acted truly and honestly with me in all his businesss with me, and has accomplished more than I could have reasonably expected. And I have also been made [p. 841]