JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<13>. came in early in the morning and gave a brief history of our second visit to , Missouri. I then read a while in German, and walked out in the with , returning at 12 oclock. brother John C. Annis called for Council— the called and informed me that Mr. Rollison was trying to get the Post Office and that Dr. was the first to sign the Petition. I gave instruction about a bond for a part of a lot to brother — a ¼ before 4 went to the Printing Office with— I spent the evening at Elder ’s, in the course of conversation I remarked that those brethren who came here having money and purchased without the [HC 5:272] Church and without Counsel must be cut off— this with other observations aroused the feelings of brother Dixon from Salem, , who was then present, and he appeared in great wrath—
I received the following communication
“To the Hon. Mr. Bryant 2nd. Asst. P. M. General— We your petitioners respectfully beg leave to submit, that as an attempt is now by certain individuals being made to place the Post Office in this place into the hands of William H. Rollison a stranger in our place, and one whose conduct since he came here, has been such as to forbid our having confidence in him; and we do hope and pray both for ourselves and that of the public, that he may not receive the appointment of Post Master in Ills. but that the present Post Master may continue to hold the office—
Bro. J. Smith if the foregoing can have a number of respectable subscribers, I believe Rollison cannot get the Office— I should like to have it so as to send it out on Sunday’s Mail— Respy. .”
A letter from the Army dated at Fort Leavenworth, , states
“that on the 14th. of February, at 3 o clock A.M. the moon which had been obscured by a cloud for some hours, burst forth in a deep blood red color, with a black cross of equal proportions over the face, extending beyond the rim; while on the two sides small pieces of rainbow were visible. After continuing in this way for about an hour, the color of the moon changed to its ordinary hue, and the cross became a silvery white, with the edges extending beyond the rim, and touching the rainbows. It continued so for half an hour and heavy clouds then intervening obscured the moon, which set unseen.”
<14> Tuesday 14. Sent to , and by him deposited five hundred dollars with General [Samuel] Leach for Mr. [John] Walsh for land which lies between my and the , agreeable to my letter to — read proof of the Doctrine and Covenants with — read in German from 9 ½ to 11 forenoon— had the stove removed from the large room in my house into a small brick building which was erected for a , designing to use it for a Mayors Office until I could build a new one— had much conversation with and various individuals.
<15> Wednesday 15 This morning I spent time in changing the top plate of the Office Stove which had been put together wrong: read a libellous letter in the Alton Telegraph written to of concerning , and the Ladies attending my late trial at . and published the following letter in the Times and Seasons— [HC 5:273]
Mr. Editor— Sir— Ever since I gave up the editorial department of the Times and Seasons, I have thought of writing of piece for—— publication, by way of valedictory, as is usual when editors resign the chair editorial. My principal remarks I intended to apply to the gentlemen of the quill, or if you please, that numerous body of respectable gentlemen who profess to regulate the tone of the public mind,in regard to politics, morality, religion, literature, the arts and sciences &c &c viz the editors of [p. 1468]