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 .
Sir– The progress of Mormonism or the doctrine of the Latter Day Saints in , the closing of ’s official labors in the east; preparations making for his immediate departure for the west; the great Mormon tea party at Boylston Hall, that came off in high glee; and your liberality in giving to the readers of your ‘busy Bee’ the latest news on every subject;— has induced me to give you a short sketch of the closing up of the labors of this great apostle of Mormonism in . On Thursday evening, March 23rd, agreeable to appointment, addressed an immensely large concourse of people, on the character and mission of Joseph Smith, the prophet. In speaking of him, he bears a positive and direct testimony to the divinity of his mission. He does this without hesitation; just as if he meant what he said, and said what he meant. He does not say he hopes Joseph Smith is a true prophet, but says he is positive that such is the fact.— On Sabbath, March 26th, during the day, he introduced Elder E.P. Magnum and gave him a high recommendation as an able minister of the fulness of the gospel, who is to take his place in for the present. He also spoke of Elder one of the Twelve apostles, that would probably visit them this spring — and according to ’s account of him, he must be a perfect Apollo in learning and eloquence. As usual, The Boylston Hall was a perfect jam during the day and evening. On Tuesday evening, he gave his farewell lecture. That was a rich treat indeed, embodying the outline of the faith and doctrine of Latter Day Saints.— But on Wednesday evening, at the great tea party, was the time it was clearly manifested that kindest feelings existed in this towards the Mormons. There was present on that occasion over 500 people: 350 sat down at the first table. After supper, delivered a very appropriate and eloquent address. It was listened to with profound attention, during which time we saw the tear start many an eye— plainly indicating that they deeply regretted that was about to leave them. During his remarks he spoke very beautifully of “the marriage supper of the Lamb,” that was to wind up this last dispensation— cause creation to cease to groan— and usher in the long look<ed> for period, when universal religion, liberty and toleration shall be proclaimed from ‘mountain top to mountain top, and every man in every place, shall meet a brother and a friend.’ [HC 5:322] It seems strange to many that should be called away at this time, as his very name is a tower of strength to the Mormon cause in the east. Thousands are looking for the day when he shall return; petitions are getting up here and elsewhere for his return. This is as it should be, and we sincerely hope that the authorities of the Church at the West, will see it their duty to send him to us again as soon as possible. He left with the prayers and blessings of the saints and friends, and I have no hesitation in saying, that thousands will hail with joy the day of his return.
Yours truly, (not a Mormon, but) one of the many friends to that much abused people. D. W. R. , April 1. 1843.
2 Wind N.E. Snow fell several inches, but melted more or less.
At 10 A.M. went to meeting, heard preach comparing the sectarian preachers to crows living on carrion, as they were more fond of lies about the Saints than the truth; and alluding to the coming of the Saviour, he said, “when he shall appear we shall be like him &c, he will appear [p. 1509]