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 24> “would not advise Mr. Smith ever trust himself in .” I can only say as I have heretofore said on many occasions that I never have entertained a doubt that if Mr. Smith should submit to the laws of , that the utmost latitude would be allowed him in his defence, and the fullest justice done him and I only intended to refer (in the remark made to you when at my house) to the rabble— and not to the laws of .
Very much has been attributed to me in reference to General Smith that is without foundation in truth, a knowledge of which fact, enables me to receive what I hear as coming from him, with great allowance; In conclusion Dear I feel conscious when I assure you, that all my official acts in reference to Mr. Smith have been prompted by a strict sense of duty, and in discharge of that duty have studiously pursued that course, least— likely to produce an excitement and alarm, both in your community, and the surrounding public, and I will here add that I much regret being called upon to act at all, and that I hope he will submit to the laws, and that justice will ultimately be done. Be pleased to present my best respects to , and your Companions when at , and accept of my highest regard for yourself, and best wishes for your prosperity and happiness— Your obedt. servant— To Mrs. .[”]
<26> Friday 26. At home all day. <In the> evening in Council with some of the Twelve and others. I gave some important instructions upon the situation of the Church, showing that it was necessary, that the officers who could, should go abroad through the States; and inasmuch as a great [HC 5:131] excitement had been raised, through the community at large, by the falsehoods put in circulation by and others, it was wisdom in God that the Elders should go forth and deluge the States with a flood of truth; setting forth the mean, contemptible persecuting conduct of of , and those connected—— with him in his <mean and> corrupt proceedings, in plain terms, so that the world might understand the abusive conduct of our enemies, and stamp it with indignation. I advised the Twelve to call a special Conference on Monday next to give instructions to the Elders, and call upon them to go forth upon this important mission, meantime, that all the Affidavits concerning ’s conduct be taken and printed, so that each Elder could be properly furnished with correct and weighty testimony to lay before the public.
Great distress prevails in on account of the dull state of Trade.
<27> Saturday 27. In the assembly room with some of the Twelve, and others, who were preparing affidavits for the press.
“. Augt. 27. 1842. To his Excellency— — Dear Sir, I received your letter of the 24th. in due time, and now tender you the sincere gratitude of my heart, for the interest which you have felt in my peace and prosperity; and I assure you, that every act of kindness, and every word of consolation have been thankfully received and duly appreciated by me and my friends also; and I much regret your ill health, and still hope that you will avail yourself of sufficient time to investigate our cause, and thoroughly acquaint yourself with the illegality of the persecution instituted against Mr. Smith— And I now certify that Mr. Smith, [p. 1385]