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 .
<August 15> with who informed him that he had ascertained, that the Sheriffs were determined to have me and if they could not succeed themselves they would bring a force sufficient to search every house in the , and if they could not find me there they would search the &c As before stated the Sheriffs left the about four—— o’clock saying they were going to but did not meet them on the road— It is believed they are gone to . In consequence of these reports it was considered wisdom that some of the brethren should go and inform me accordingly about 9 o’clock , , , , , , and started by different routes on foot and came to the place where I was— when the statement was made to me I proposed to leave the , expecting I was no longer safe, but upon hearing the whole statement from those present, I said I should not leave my present retreat yet, I did not think I was discovered, neither did I think I was any more unsafe than before. I discovered a degree of excitement and agitation man[HC 5:97]ifest in those who brought the report and I took occasion to gently reprove all present for letting report excite them, and advised them not to suffer themselves to be wrought upon by any report, but to maintain an even, undaunted mind— each one began to gather courage, and all fears were soon subsided, and the greatest union and good felling prevailed amongst all present— Various subjects then were conversed upon, and Counsel given, which was felt to be both seasonable and salutary, after conversing a while in the grove the company retired into the house, and sat and conversed until about 2 o’clock, at which time they departed evidently satisfied and much encouraged by the interview.
<Issued the following editorial> -[See Times and Seasons page 886 &c on persecution]-,
<A great whirlwind at Chauffailes— France—— Thirty houses were carried away— over 20 persons killed— Six hundred houses, with all they contained burned at Nowa Ussel in Russia. > [HC 5:98] [HC 5:99] [HC 5:100] [HC 5:101] [HC 5:102]
“ August 16. 1842— My Dear — I embrace this opportunity to express to you some of my feelings this morning. First of all I take the liberty to tender you my sincere thanks for the two interesting and consoling visits that you have made me during my almost exiled situation. Tongue cannot express the gratitude of my heart, for the warm and true hearted friendship you have manifested in these things toward me. The time has passed away since you left me, very agreeable, thus far; my mind being perfectly reconciled to my fate, let it be what it may. I have been kept from melancholy and dumps, by the kind heartedness of , and his interesting chit-chat from time—— to time, which has called my mind from the more strong contemplation of things, and subjects, that would have preyed more earnestly upon my feelings. Last night, brother , , and others came to see us. They seemed much agitated, and expressed some fears in consequence of some manoeuvreings and some flying reports which they had heard in relation to our safety; but after relating what it was, I was able to comprehend the whole matter to my entire satisfaction, and did not feel at all alarmed or uneasy. They think however, that the Militia will be called out to search the , and if this should be the case I would be much safer for the time being at a little distance off, until could get weary and be made ashamed of his corrupt and unhallowed proceedings. I had supposed, however, that if there were any serious operations taken by the , that or would have notified us; and cannot believe that any thing [p. 1369]