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 .
<December 9> not Mr. Speaker, detain you or this honorable body much longer. I am heartily sorry that a blow has been aimed at the chartered privileges of . I speak in defence of my Constituents upon this occasion; feeling myself bound to do so, not by any former pledges, but by principle. I believe in defending the cause of the defenceless. As has already been remarked, all that we claim is equal rights and equal provisions. I would remark for the satisfaction of my own feel[HC 5:203]ings in this matter, that I was some little interested in the event of the last election, I then was engaged in the cause of democracy, enlisted in the campaign of canvassing my , and in consequence of the many prejudices that were excited against the Mormons as they are called, I was placed under circumstances of most unparalleled embarrassment. But still I thought it a favorable opportunity to unite the democracy of the . I know that considerable political <Capital> has been made by the question of Mormonism and anti-Mormonism Perhaps one thing that now contributes to that result is that there are hints in the ’s message in regard to a repeal of the Charter. It is a circumstance within my own knowledge, that previous to the last election in that some few individuals there made strong efforts to get our votes for the ’s election. By exertions made there more than a thousand votes were cast for the by Mormon influence and since I have been here, a gentleman, of the opposite politics, has said to me “now your is paying you off”. I do not allude to this to wound the feelings of any person whatever. I do not consider that the recommendation of the was designed to effect the repeal of our Charter. All that we have to say is that we throw ourselves upon your mercy. As democrats we ask for equal justice and equal rights. Give us those rights and we are content; without them, we are deprived of that which was purchased by the blood of our fathers.[”]
<13.> Tuesday 13. I continued to chop and haul wood and attend to my domestic concerns. my delegation arrived at about 3 o’clock this P. M. <afternoon> and found the repeal of the Charter in a high state of agitation in the Legislature.
<14.> Wednesday 14. My delegation at having made Affidavit that I was in on the 6th. of May last, and consequently could not have been concerned in the attempted assassination of , and also having prepared a petition to to revoke the writ, and proclamation of for my arrest. called on at 4 in P. M. <the> afternoon by their own selection— namely— [HC 5:204] ,—— , Elders and , in company with — District Attorney, who read his communication to Esqre. of the 20th. October; my petition to revoke and countermand ’s writ and proclamation; and the affidavit of . in reply stated that he had no doubt, but that the writ of was illegal, but he doubted as to his authority to interfere with the acts of his predecessor. He finally concluded that he would state the case before the Judges of the Supreme Court at their counsel next day, and whatever they decided on shall be his decision. He then stated his reasons for recommending a repeal of the Charter and said that he regretted, that he had not recommended a repeal of all the Charters in the .