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 8> putting at defiance the constitution of this , our Chartered rights, and the constitution of the : For not as yet have they done onething in accordance to them.
While all the Citizens of this enmasse have petitioned the with remonstrances and overtures, that would have melted the heart of an adamantine tonoeffect. And at the same time if any of us open our mouths, to plead our own cause; in the defiance of law and justice, we are instantly threatened with Militia and extermination. Great God! when shall the oppressor cease to prey and glut itself upon innocent blood? Where is Patriotism? Where is Liberty? Where is the boast of this proud and haughty nation? O humanity! where hast thou fled? Hast thou fled for ever? I now appeal to you Sir, inasmuch as you have subscribed yourself our friend; will you lift your voice and your arm, with indignation, against such unhallowed oppression? I must say, Sir, that my bosom swells with unutterable anguish, when I contemplate the scenes of horror that we have passed through in the State of ; and then look, and behold and see the storm and cloud gathering ten times blacker; ready to burst upon <the heads of> this innocent people Would to God that I were able to throw off the yoke. Shall we bow down and be slaves? Are there no friends of humanity, in a nation that boasts itself so much? will not the nation rise up and defend us, <if they will not defend us,> will they not grant to lend a voice of indignation, against such unhallowed oppression? Must the tens of thousands bow down to slavery and degradation? Let the pride of the nation arise and wrench these shackles from the feet of their fellow Citizens, and their quiet and peaceable, and innocent and loyal, subjects. But I must forbear for I cannot express my feelings. The Legion would all willingly die in the defence of their rights; but what would this accomplish? I have kept down their indignation and kept a quiet submission on all hands; and am determined to do so at all hazards. Our enemies shall not have it to say, that we rebel against government or commit treason; however much they may lift their hands in oppression and tyranny, when it comes in the form of government— we tamely submit, although it lead us to the slaughter, and to beggary; but our blood be upon their garments: And those who look tamely on and boast of Patriotism shall not be without their condemnation. And if men are such fools, as to let once the Precedent be established, and through their prejudices, give assent to such—— abominations; then let the oppressor’s hand lay heavily throughout the world, until all flesh shall feel it together; and until they may know that the Almighty takes cognizance of such things. And then shall Church rise up against Church; and party against party; mob against mob; oppressor against oppressor; army against army; and kingdom against kingdom; and people against people; and kindred against kindred. And where, Sir, will be your safety, or the safety of your children; ifmy childrencan be ledto the slaughterwith impunitybythe handsof murderousrebels? Will they notlead yoursto the slaughterwiththe sameimpunity? Ought not then, this oppression Sir, to be check’d in the bud; and to be looked down with just—— indignation by an enlightened world, before the flame become unextinguishable, and the fire devour the stubble? But again I say I must forbear, and leave this painful subject, I wish you would write to me in answer to this, and let me know your views. [HC 5:158] On my part, I am ready to be offered up a sacrifice, in that way that can bring to pass the greatest benefit and good, to those who must necessarily be interested in this important matter. I would to God that you could know all my feelings [p. 1400]