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 .
<September 7> of in all cases of imprisonment, or custody, arising from the authority of the ordinances of said , but that the power was granted, or intended to be granted to release persons held in Custody under the authority of writs issued by the Courts, or the executive of the , is most absurd and ridiculous, and an attempt to exercise it, is a gross usurpation of power, that cannot be tolerated. I have always expected, and desired; that Mr. Smith should avail himself of the benefits of the laws of this , and of course that he would be entitled to a writ of Habeas Corpus issued by the Circuit Court, and entitled to a hearing before said Court, but to claim the right of a hearing before the Municipal Court of the City of is a burlesque upon the City Charter itself. As to Mr. Smith’s guilt, or innocence of the crime charged upon him, it is not my province to investigate or determine, nor has any court <on earth> jurisdiction of his case, but the Courts of the State of , and as stated in my former letter, both the Constitution and laws presume that each and every state in this Union, are competent to do justice to all who may be charged with crime committed in said State. Your—— information that twelve men from , Missouri, were lying in wait for Mr. Smith between and , for the purpose of taking him out of the hands of the officers who might have him in Custody, and murdering him, is like many other marvellous stories that you hear in reference to him— not one word of it true, but I doubt not that your mind has been continually harrowed up with the fears produced by that, and other equally groundless stories— that that statement is true is next to impossible, and your own judgment, if you will but give it scope will soon set you right in reference to it. [HC 5:154] if any of the Citizens of had designed to Murder Mr. Smith they would not have been so simple as to perpetrate the crime in , when he would necessarily be required to pass through to the interior of the State of , where the opportunity would have been so much better, and the prospect of escape much more certain— that is like the statement made by Mr. Smith’s first Messenger after his arrest to Messrs. and , saying that I had stated that Mr. Smith should be surrendered to the authorities dead or alive— not one word of which was true. I have not the most distant thought that any person in or contemplated personal injury to Mr. Smith by violence in any manner whatever. I regret that I did not see when last at , a previous engagement upon business that could not be dispensed with prevented, and occupied my attention that evening until dark. At half past one o’clock P.M. I came home and learned that the had called to see me— but the hurry of business only allowed me about ten minutes time to eat my dinner and presuming if he had business of any importance, that he would remain in the until I returned. It may be proper here in order to afford you all the satisfaction in my power to reply to a question propounded to my Wife by in referrence to Mr. Smith. viz— whether any other, or additional demand had been made upon me by the of for the surrender of Mr. Smith I answer none, no change whatever has been made in the proceedings— Mr. Smith is held accountable only, for the charge as set forth in my warrant, under which he was—— arrested. In conclusion you presume upon my own knowledge of Mr. Smith’s innocence [p. 1397]