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 .
<April 6> Opportunity was then offered to the elders to bring forward their appeals from other conferences, but no case was presented.
President Joseph continued his remarks and said; it is necessary that I make a proclamation concerning ; and also in relation to the economy of the church on that side of the .
The of has issued a writ in the same manner that did, and it is now held in , as a cudgel over my head. I was told by the Attorney that the of had no jurisdiction after the decision of the Supreme Court, and that all writs thus issued were legally dead. Appeals have been made to , but although he has no plausible excuse, he is not willing to kill that writ or to take it back; I will therefore advise you to serve them a trick that the devil never did, i.e:— come away and leave them— come into , pay taxes in , and let the Iowegians take their own course. I don’t care whether you come away or not. I do not wish to control you, but if you wish for my advice, I would say, let every man as soon as he conveniently can, come over here, for you can live in peace with us; we are all Green Mountain boys; Southerners, Northerners, Westerners, and every other kind of ers, and will treat you well, and let that know, that we don’t like to be imposed upon.
In relation to , it has been supposed that I made a great bargain with a certain great man there. In the beginning of August last, a stranger came to my house put on a very long face, and stated that he was in great distress, that he was a stranger in this , and having understood that I was benevolent, he had come to me for help. He said that he was about to lose $1,400 of property at Sheriff’s sale for $300 in cash; that he had money in which he expected in two or three days; that the sale would take place the next day, and that he wanted to hire some money for two or three days. I thought on the subject over night, and he came the next morning for an answer. I did not like the looks of the man, but thought I, he is a stranger. I then reflected upon the situation that I had frequently been placed in, and that I had often [HC 5:334] been a stranger in a strange land, and whenever I had asked for assistance I had obtained it, and it may be that he is an honest man; and if I turn him away I shall be guilty of the sin of ingratitude. I therefore concluded to loan him $200, in good faith, sooner than be guilty of ingratitude. He gave me his note for the same, and said ‘whenever you call on me you shall have the money.’ Soon after, when I was taken with ’s writ, I asked him for the money, but he answered, ‘I have not got it from , but shall have it in a few days.’ He then said, ‘since I saw you, a project has entered my mind, which I think may be profitable both for you and me. I will give you a deed for all the land you bought of , which is twenty thousand acres, you paid the notes and ought to have them, they are in my hands, as his , and I will give them up.’ ‘I also propose deeding to you, one half of my right to all my land in the territory, and all I ask is, for you to give your influence to help to build up .’ I answered, ‘I have not asked for your property, I don’t want it, and would not give a snap of my finger for it, but I will receive the papers, and if I find it as you say, I will use my influence to help to build up the place; but I wont give you any [p. 1518]