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 17> which is laid upon me and my family, which materially affect the peace and—— welfare of this whole community; for [HC 5:116] let me assure you that there are many whole families that are entirely dependent upon the prosecution and success of Mr. Smith’s temporal business for their support. And if he is prevented from attending to the common avocations of life, who will employ those innocent, industrious poor people and provide for their wants. But my dear Sir, when I recollect the interesting interview, I and my friends had with you when at your place, and the warm assurances you gave us of your friendship and legal protection, I cannot doubt for a moment your honorable sincerity; but do still expect you to consider our claims upon your protection from every encroachment upon our legal rights as loyal citizens as we always have been, still are, and are determined always to be a law abiding people; and I still assure myself that when you are fully acquainted with illegal proceedings practiced against us in the suit of , you will recall those writs which have been issued against Mr. Smith and , as you must be aware that Mr. Smith was not in , and of course he could not have left there; with many other considerations which if duly considered will justify Mr. Smith in the course he has taken. And now I appeal to your as I would unto a Father, who is not only able but willing to shield me and mine from every unjust prosecution. I appeal to your sympathies and beg you to spare me, and my helpless children. I beg you to spare my innocent children the heartrending sorrows of again seeing their father unjustly dragged to prison or to death. I appeal to your affections as a son and beg you to spare our aged — the only surviving parent we have left— the unsupportable affliction of seeing her son, who she knows to be innocent of the crimes laid to his charge, thrown again into the hands of his enemies, who have so long sought for his life; in whose life and prosperity she only looks for the few remaining comforts she can enjoy. I entreat of your to spare us these afflictions and many sufferings which cannot be uttered; and secure to yourself the pleasure of doing good, and vastly increasing human happiness; secure to yourself the benediction of the aged, and the gratitude of the young, and the blessing and veneration of the rising generation— Respectfully your most obedient— —
P.S. Sir— I hope you will favor me with an answer— ”
Several rumors were afloat in the , intimating that my retreat had been discovered, and that it was no longer safe for me to remain at ; consequently [HC 5:117] came to see me at night and informed me of the report. It was considered wisdom that I should remove immediately, and accordingly I departed in company with and and went to s who lived on the North East part of the — Here we were kindly received and well treated—
<19> Friday morning 19. presented ’s letter of the 17th. to at in presence of . The read the letter with much attention, apparently, and when he got through he passed high encomiums on , and expressed astonishment at the judgment and talent manifest in the manner of her address. He presented the letter to requesting him to read it. then proceeded to reiterate the same [p. 1378]