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 .
<February 19> of his own stamp, circulated it with untiring perserverence, in direct opposition to the testimony of his senses; knowing at the time he commenced circulating it, that it was false— He was a preacher of the Campbellite faith— It would require the ignorance of barbarians and the credulity of savages, to attempt a belief in the falsehoods which are circulated against the Saints with great zeal, by many. I have never supposed that the authors of these defamatory tales ever expected the public would believe them; but they expected that men of corrupt minds, like themselves would profess to believe them: neither do I now believe that those who profess to believe them do actually believe one word of them; but they profess to do it, thinking that by so doing, they can make some headway against us; but it is a vain attempt; for every attempt of the kind has only excited enquiry, awakened curiosity, and caused investigation, which have in every instance resulted in an increase of members to the church, so that we grant full licence to all defamers to do their utmost. Our is a great thoroughfare; people of all classes are crowding into it; multitudes who do not belong to the Church of “Latter Day Saints” are seeking locations, where they can prosecute their respective callings. If you wish the papers, you can put the money into a letter, and the Postmaster at your place will send it without expence. Yours, with respect— P. M.”
<Elder William Henshaw having been directed by Elder to go to South Wales, he commenced [HC 5:281] preaching privately to several families in Pen y darren, n? Merthyr Tydvil, Glamorganshire— in the English language, a number of whom believed his testimony; and this day baptized William Rees Davis, his Wife and two of his Sons, and commenced preaching publicly in bro. Davis house— about one third of the people only understanding the English Language—>
<20> Monday 20 About Seventy of the brethren came together according to previous notice and drawed, and sawed, and chopped, and split, and moved, and piled up a large lot of wood in my yard— the day was spent by them in much pleasantry, good humor and feeling. A White Oak log measuring five feet and four inches in diameter, was cut through with a Cross Cut saw, in four and a half minutes by and brother — This Tree had been previously cut and hawled by my own hands and team ¶ From 9 to 11 this morning I was reading in German, and from 11 to 12 held Mayors Court on v. which was adjourned ten days.
Last night had a quantity of Books stolen and found them this afternoon in brother ’s hay loft; two boys Thomas Morgan and Robert Taylor were arrested on suspicion, and brought before me for examination, after a brief investigation, the Court adjourned until ten oclock tomorrow morning. While the Court was in Session I saw two boys fighting in the Street, near Mills’ Tavern, I left the business of the Court, ran over immediately, caught one of the boys (who had began the fight with Clubs) and then the other, and after giving them proper instruction, I gave the by standers a lecture for not interfering in such cases, and told them to quell all disturbances in the Street at the first onset— I returned to the [HC 5:282] Court and told them that nobody was allowed to fight in but myself. In the evening called at brother ’s.
presented to the House of Representatives of the , a petition signed by 51,863 Citizens of , praying Congress to pass such acts and propose such Amendments to the Constitution, as would separate the Petitioners from all connection with the Institution of Slavery.
<21> Tuesday 21. Opened Mayor’s Court at 10 oclock forenoon according to adjournment. Taylor was again brought up for stealing, and Morgan for receiving the books, and each sentenced to Six months imprisonment in Jail. at 11 I went to the and found a large assembly and preaching about the , after which Mr. [HC 5:283] the Architect of the continued the subject, and said “When I have had a pound of Meat or a quart of Meal I have divided with the workmen” (pretty good doctrine for Paganism said I, at this time was not baptized and called himself the Pagan Prophet) “we have had about 300 men on the job and some [p. 1473]