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 .
<November 26> whatever, but intend to make payments as fast as my circumstances will admit. But Sir, you are not unacquainted with the extreme hardness of the times, and the great scarcity of money, [blank] which put it out of my power to meet all the payments as they fell due, and which has been the only cause of any failure on my part, and should you feel disposed not to press the payments but offer a lenity equivalent to the state of the times, then Sir, I shall yet endeavor to make up the payments as fast as possible, and consider the contract still good between us. I would here say that when I found it necessary to avail myself of the benefits of the Bankrupt Law I knew not but that the Law required of me to include you amongst the list of my Creditors, notwithstanding the nature of the contract between us, this explains the reason of my doing so. I have since learned from a decision of the Judges of the Supreme Court, that it was not necessary, and that the Law has no jurisdiction over such a contract, consequently as I have before stated I am disposed to hold it, provid<ed> you will not press the payments. Under these circumstances I consider it unnecessary to give you the information required in your letter in regard to the number and kind of houses on the land &c. I shall expect to hear from you again soon. In regard to your having wrote to me some few weeks ago. I will observe that I have received no communication from you for some months back; if you wrote to me, the letter has been broke open and detained no doubt; as has [HC 5:195] been the case with a great quantity of letters from my friends of late and especially within the last three months. Few if any letters for me can get through the in this place and more particularly letters containing money, and matters of much importance I am satisfied that and others connected with him, have been the means of doing incalculable injury not only to myself but to the Citizens in general, and sir under such a state of things, you will have some idea of the difficulties I have to encounter, and the censure I have to bear through the unjust conduct of that man and others, whom he permits to interfere with the business. Having said so much I must close for the present. You will hereby understand my feelings upon the subject, and the reasons of the course I have hitherto pursued. With sentiments of due respect I remain as ever— Yours respectfully— Joseph Smith. P.S. Should it suit you better, I am ready on my part to renew the contract and would prefer it. J.S.”
In the evening went to see President in Company with he was suddenly and severely attacked with disease with strong symptoms of Apoplexy which was followed immediately with laying on of hands and prayer— accompanied with the use of herbs— profuse vomiting and purging followed, which were favorable indications, although few so violently attacked, ever survive long, yet the brethren were united in faith, and we had firm hopes of his recovery.
<28> Monday 28 At home all day, charges of an unequal distribution of provisions, giving more iron and steel tools to ’s Sons than to others, giving short measure of wood to ; also letting the first course of Stone around the to the man who would do it for the least price &c having been instituted by the Stone Cutters against the Temple Committee viz and . I requested the parties to appear at my house this [HC 5:196] day to have the difficulties settled by an investigation before myself and Counsellor . President [p. 1422]