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.
<November 1 to > wrote from that he considered full and ample powers were [HC 3:191] vested in him to carry into effect the former orders— says
The case is now a very plain one— the Mormons must be subdued and peace restored to the Community. you will therefore proceed without delay to execute the former orders. Full confidence is reposed in your ability to do so; your force will be amply sufficient to accomplish the object. Should you need the aid of Artillery, I would suggest that an application be made to the commanding Officer of Fort Leavenworth, for such as you may need— You are authorized to request the loan of it in the name <of the State> of .” “The Ringleaders of this rebellion should be made an example of; and, if it should become necessary for the public peace, the Mormons should be exterminated or expelled from the State”
<gave up arms Mob marched into > This morning ordered the Militia to give up their arms. < having made a treaty with the Mob on his own responsibility, to carry out his treachery marched the troops out of the and the brethren gave up their arms, their own property which no Government on earth had a right to require> The mob (called ’s troops) then marched into Town and under pretence of searching for arms tore up floors, upset hay stacks, plundering the most valuable effects they could lay their hands on, and wasted and destroyed a great amount of property which could do themselves no good, compelled the brethren to sign deeds of trust at the point of the bayonet to pay the expences of the Mob— even while the chastity of the place was desecrated, about Eighty men were taken Prisoners, the remainder were ordered to leave the , and theremainderoftheCitizens were forbid to be more than three in a place, and if they were, the mob would shoot at them—
<2> Friday 2. About this time was found by the Mob secreted in the Hazle Brush some miles from , and brought into Camp where they were “hail fellows, well [HC 3:192] met,” for told them that Danitism was an order of the Church, and by his lying tried to make the Church a scape goat for his sins. We were taken to the Town, into the public square; and before our departure from , we, after much entreaties, were suffered to see our families, being attended all the while with a strong guard; I found and children in tears, who expected we were shot by those who had sworn to take our lives, and that they should see me no more. When I entered my house, they clung to my garments, their eyes streaming with tears, while mingled emotions of joy and sorrow were manifest in their countenances. I requested to have a private interview with them a few minutes, but this privilege was denied me. I was then obliged to take my departure, but who can realize my feelings which I <Joseph, torn from his family.> experienced at that time; to be torn from my companion, and leaving her surrounded with monsters in the shape of men, and my children too, not knowing how their wants would be supplied; to be taken far from them in order that my enemies might destroy me when they thought proper to do so. wept, my children clung to me and were only thrust from me by the swords of the guards who guarded me. I felt over whelmed while I witnessed the scene, and could only recommend them to the care of that God, whose kindness had followed me to the present time; and who alone could protect them, and deliver me from the hands of my enemies and restore me to my family. [HC 3:193] I was then taken back to the Camp, and then I with the <starts for > rest of my brethren, namely, , , , , and were started off for [HC 3:194] Jackson County, and encamped at night on , under a strong guard commanded by Generals and Wilson [p. 849]