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 16> very [HC 5:103] serious is to be apprehended, until we obtain information from a source that can be relied upon. I have consulted whether it is best for you to go to , and see the ; but on the whole, he is a fool; and the impressions that are suggested to my mind, are, that it will be of no use; and the more we notice him, and flatter him, the more eager he will be for our destruction. You may write to him, whatever you see proper, but to go and see him, I do not give my consent at present. again suggested to me the propriety of my accompanying him to the pine woods, and then he return; and bring you and the children. My mind will eternally revolt at every suggestion of that kind, more especially since the dream and vision that was manifested to me on the last night. My safety is with you, if you want to have it so. Any thing more or less than this cometh of evil. My feelings and Counsel I think ought to be abided. If I go to the , you shall go along with me, and the children; and if you and the children go not with me, I dont go. I do not wish to exile myself for the sake of my own life, I would rather fight it out. It is for your sakes therefore, that I would do such a thing. I will go with you then, in the same carriage, and on Horse back from time to time as occasion may require; for I am not willing to trust you, in the hands of those who cannot feel the same interest for you, that I feel; to be subject to the caprice, temptations or notions of any body whatever. And I must say that I am pre-possessed somewhat with the notion of going to the any how; for I am tired of the mean, low, and unhallowed vulgarity of some portions of the Society in which we live; and I think if I could have a respite of about six months with my family, it would be a savor of life unto life, with my house. Nevertheless if it were possible I would like to live here in peace and wind up my business; but if it should be ascertained to a dead certainty that there is no other remedy, then we will round up our shoulders and cheerfully endure it; and this will be the plan. Let my horse, saddle, saddle bags and valise to put some shirts and clothing in, be sent to me. Let brothers and take a horse and put it into my buggy with a trunk containing my heavier clothes, shoes, boots &c and let —— accompany us to his Father’s, and there we will tarry, taking every precaution to keep out of the hands of the enemy, until you can arrive with the children. Let bring you. Let and come along and bring all the writings and papers, books and histories, for we shall want a scribe in order that we may pour upon the world, the Truth, like the Lava from Mount Vesuvius. Then, let all the goods, household furniture, clothes and store goods that can be procured be put on the Boat, and let 20 or 30 of the best men that we [HC 5:104] can find be put on board to man it, and let them meet us at ; and from thence we will wend our way like larks up the until the touring mountains and rocks, shall remind us of the places of our nativity, and shall look like safety and home; and then we will bid defiance to the world, to , , and all their whorish whores and motly clan, that follow in their wake, not excepted, and until the damnation of hell rolls upon them, by the voice and dread thunders and trump of the Eternal God. then, in that day will we not shout in the victory? and be crowned with eternal joys, for the battles we have fought, having [p. 1370]