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 .
<June 26> for tresspass, and held him to bail, which he was unable to procure, which circumstance lowered his tune a littl: and thus finally, to day, have left for , in search of .
The severe treatment of the General, together with his pleasing deportment and egnanimity under all his trials, have made him many friends and created almost universal sympathy. Persecution or oppression always helps the cause of the persecuted and oppressed, whether their cause is right or wrong. In haste yours G.”
From we travelled about 40 miles and staid for the night at a Farm house. rode to Genesseo with my letter and staid all night.
<27> I started with the Company and took dinner at Gennesseo, about 2 p.m. we resumed our journey, while crossing Fox river I requested to give me the privilege of riding on horseback, which he refused; but by the intercession of Sheriff Campbell and Mr. — took my seat in the Stage Coach and I his, in the buggy with Son in Law, and Law student of , in about two miles we met Peter W Conover and , and shook hands with both of them at the same time, and could not refrain from tears at seeing the first of my friends come to meet me, and then said to “I am not going to this time. These are my boys”. I next enquired how many were with them and was answered there was ten started, but they had sent one with my letter to and two to ; [HC 5:449] while we were talking, with Captain and the other five Brethren then rode up, at the same time the Company who started with me from rode up, I then said to — “now I can have the privilege of riding <old> Joe Duncan” and mounted my favorite horse, and the entire Company then rode towards a farm house where we made a halt. and who trembled much, then rode up to Conover who was an old acquaintance of ’s— when Conover asked “what is the matter with you, have you got the ague.” replied “no”. asked “is Jim Flack in the crowd” and was answered “he is not now, but you will see him to morrow, about this time.” then said “I am a dead man, for I know him of old”, Conover told him not to be frightened, <for he would> not be hurt. stood trembling like an aspen leaf, when walked up to him, and shook hands with him. said “do I meet you as a friend? I expected to be a dead man when I met you again” replied “we are friends, except in Law, that must have its course. The Company moved on to , where the Sheriff of requested lodgings for the night for all the Company. I was put into a room and locked up with , it was reported to me that some of the Brethren had been drinking whiskey that day in violation of the word of wisdom. I called the Brethren in, and investigated the case, and was satisfied that no evil had been done. [p. 1587]