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 21> for he was in when the Committee sold Stock for the Store House— I leave this subject— This meeting was got up by the Committee— The Pagans, Roman Catholics, Methodists and Baptists, shall have place in , only they must be ground in Joe Smith’s Mill. I have been un their Mill. I was ground in and States in a Presbyterian Smut Machine, and the last Machine was in ; and the last of all, I have been thro’ <the> Smut Machine; and those who come here must go thro’ my Smut Machine, and that is my tongue.”
As I closed, Dr. remarked to the Assembly “much good may grow out of a very little, and much good may come out of this. If any man accuses me of exchanging Stock for rags &c he is mistaken. I gave a thousand dollars to this house” (this he said upon his own responsibility) “and fifty dollars to the Relief Society, and some to Fulmer, to get stone to build Joseph a house, and I mean to build Joseph a house, and you may build this, and I will help you. I mean to profit by this: and I will divide the Mammoth bones with you. I am guilty of all of which I have been charged. I have signed my name to a petition to have William H. Rollison to have the Post Office I did not <then> know of a petition for Joseph Smith”
I replied “I thought I would make a coat but it don’t fit the only in the Post office: if it does fit any one let them put it on. The < Mammoth> bones are Skeletons, and as old Ezekiel said, I command the flesh and sinews to come upon them that they may be clothed.”
<22> Wednesday 22 at nine this morning brother Abel Owen presented a claim of considerable amount against , & Co., , and notes of of about $700. for payment, he said he was poor and unable to labor and wanted something to live on. I told him to burn the papers and I would help him. He gave me the papers and I gave him an order on for fifteen dollars worth of provisions. This was a gift, as the Church was not obligated to pay those debts. I rode about the with during the day, and <also> read in German. [HC 5:287]
The latest accounts from the East Indies state that the Cholera was raging in Burmah Asia, to a fearful extent, whole villages in the Interior have become desolate either by flight or death.
<23> Thursday 23 This morning read German and rode out a few miles, but did not get off my horse. In the afternoon Mr. Bagly called to collect County and State Taxes; brother [Alfred] Dixon called concerning some lost or stolen property. I burned twenty three dollars of City Scrip and while it was burning, said, somayall unsoundand uncurrentmoneygo down. Gave my instructions not to pay any more Taxes on the Hotchkiss purchase.
Elder started for Shokoquon this morning, and commenced preaching in that place.
<24> Friday 24. Rode out with , dined abroad, called on had some conversation about the Post office and several other matters: returned to my and at 3 o’clock walked out with . In reply to ’ Vade Mecum or “Go with me” of 20 January last, I dictated the following answer,
1. I will go, I will go, to the home of the Saints,
Where the virtue’s the value, and life the reward;
But before I return to my former Estate
I must fulfil the mission I had from the Lord. [p. 1476]