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 .
<July 1> that you no longer do homage to a man. I would advise you to scatter abroad, and never again organize yourselves with Bishops, Priests, &c, lest you excite the jealousies of the people and subject yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you. You have always been the aggressors— you have brought upon yourselves these difficulties, by being disaffected, and not being subject to [HC 3:435] rule. And my advice is, that you become as other citizens, lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon yourselves irretrievable ruin.”
When asked by the Court if it was correct? and after reading it, he replied—
Yes, as far as it goes— for, continued he, I was present when that speech was delivered, and when fifty-seven of our brethren were betrayed into the hands of our enemies as prisoners, which was done at the instigation of our open and avowed enemies: such as and others, and the treachery of . In addition to the speech referred to, said that we must not be seen as many as five together. If you are, said he, the citizens will be upon you, and destroy you; but to flee immediately out of the . There was no alternative for them but to flee: that they need not expect any redress, for there was none for them. With respect to the treaty, the Witness further says, that there never was any treaty proposed or entered into on the part of the Mormons, or even thought of. As to the leaders being given up, there was no such contract entered into or thought of by the Mormons, or any one called a Mormon, except by . And with respect to the trial of the prisoners at : I do not consider that tribunal a legal court, but an inquisition— for the following reasons: That Mr. Smith was not allowed any evidence whatever <*> on his part, for the conduct of the court, as well as the ’s own words affirmed, that there was no law for Mormons in the State of . And he also knew that when Mr. Smith left the State of , he did not flee from justice, for the plain reason that the officers and the people manifested by their works and their words, that there was no law, nor justice for the people called Mormons. And further he knows that Mr. Smith has ever been a strong advocate for the laws and constitutions of his country— and that there was no act of his life while in the State of , according to his knowledge, that could be implied or construed in any way whatever, to prove him a fugitive from justice; or that he has been guilty of “murder, treason, arson, larceny, theft and stealing,” the crimes he was charged with by , when he delivered him over to the civil authorities; and he supposes that the learned did not know but there was a difference between “larceny, theft and stealing.”
The also says that they compelled the brethren to sign away their property by executing a Deed of Trust, at the point of the bayonet, and that Judge Cameron stood and saw the Mormons sign away their property, and then he and others would run and kick up their heels, and said they were glad of it, and “we have nothing to [HC 3:436] trouble us now.” This judge also said, ‘God damn them, see how well they feel now’. also said he had authority to make what treaties he pleased; and the would sanction it. [p. 1628]