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 .
“ Augt. 16th. 1842— Dear Sir:— Your polite and friendly note, was handed to me a few days since by Dr. , who I must say, is very fine specimen of the Mormon people if they are all like him, and indeed I think him a very excellent representative of yourself as I find he is your most devoted admirer and true disciple. He spent two days with me, and from his arguments and from his mild and gentlemanly demeanor almost made me a Mormon. You have another representative here (who spent a day with me some time since) of the name of , who is, I think President of the Church in , and most unquestionably a most excellent and good man, and would be so if he were Turk, Jew or Saint. He is ab initio a good man, and to you a most true enthusiastic and devoted disciple He has no guile— of too, is a most excellent man and true Christian. These are men with whom I could associate for ever, even if I never joined their Church of acknowledged their faith. General called on me last Friday and spent just two hours, when he left as he said for the Eastern States. Being aware that is here he had very little to say. He however proposed to me to aid him, whether serious or not, in arranging materials for publishing “an exposition of Mormon secrets and practices” which I peremptorily refused on two grounds. 1st. That I had nothing to do with any quarrel that might arise [HC 5:112] between you and him, as I could not be a judge of the merits or demerits of the matter, and 2ndly. That inasmuch as he himself had proposed to you and your Council to confer on me honors which I never sought, yet which I highly prize, it would be the height of ingratitude as well as inconsistent with every principle of common honesty and propriety, for me to join him in an effort to lower my own honors by attempting to lower in public estimation the people from whom those honors emanated. He gave of the Herald his Commission which I opposed from the very first, and you now see by that paper the sport which that man has made of it. I tell you there is no dependence on the friendship of that when his interest is at issue. I am assured that is going to publish conjointly with on half profit, the exposition against you and your people, which is going to contain a great number of scandalous cuts and plates— But don’t be concerned, you will receive no injury whatever from any thing that any man or set of men may say against you. The whole of this Muss is only extending your fame and will increase your numbers ten fold. You have nothing to expect from that part of community who are bigotedly attached to the other Churches. They have always believed and still believe every thing said to your disadvantage; and what General is now saying in the papers is nothing more than what was common report before throughout this whole community, insomuch that I had to contradict it in the Herald under the signature of “Cincinnatus”, and even requested the Elders at the Mormon Church to do so long ago. You therefore have lost not a whit of ground by it. I must in Charity forbear commenting on the course of in this matter considering all things, delicacy forbids such a course. There are some things however, I feel very sorely and could wish they had not transpired. He and the Herald will make money out of the Book and there the matter will end as you will find that the Herald will puff it to the Skies. The books which I sent you, [p. 1375]