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 .
<January 5> at the close I arose and bowed to the Court which adjourned to 10 o clock tomorrow. I accepted an invitation to see in his room and spent an hour in conversation with his , in which I explained to him that I did not profess to be a prophet more than every man ought [HC 5:231] who professes to be a preacher of righteousness, and that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, and gave the a brief but general view of my principles— asked me “to prophecy how many inhabitants would come to ” I said I will not tell how many— inhabitants will come to , but when I went to , I told the people I would build up a City, and the old inhabitants replied “we will be damd if you can” So I prophesied that I would build up a City, and the Inhabitants prophesied I could not, and we have now about 12000 Inhabitants. I will prophecy we will build up a great city, for we have the Stakes and have only to fill up the interstices. The was very attentive and agreeable, and requested of me that my Secretary would furnish him a copy of his decision for the press— dined at ’, and in the afternoon visited with . In the evening visited and lodged at ’ with .
<6> Friday 6 In the morning went to see with , who presented the with a report of his decision, called on and gave him two notes of $230.00 each, having paid him $40.00 as fee for his service in my suit. I took certified copies of the doings of the Court, and waited on for his certified thereto, after which he offered me a little advice, which was that I “should refrain from all political electioneering”. I told him that I always had acted on that principle, and proved it by and , and that the “Mormons” were driven to union in their elections by persecution, and not by my influence, and that the “Mormons” acted on the most perfect principle of liberty in all their movements— During the day I had considerable conversation in the [HC 5:232] Court Room with the Lawyers &c on various topics, and particularly on Religion. ’s son wished me well, and hoped I should “not be persecuted any more” and I blessed him. said I must deposit my discharge, and all my papers in the Archives of the Temple when it is completed— My discharge here referred to commenced with my Petition for , and closed with the Certificate of , Governor of , including all the documents relating to my trial, on separate sheets of paper, attached by a blue ribbon, and secured by the seal of the Court, and reads as follows
“Pleas before the Circuit Court of the for the District of at the December Term A.D. 1842— December 31st.
In the matter of Joseph Smith Petition for Habeas Corpus Attorney for said Petitioner comes and moves the Court for the allowance of a writ of Habeas Corpus and files the annexed Petition, and the Papers referred to therein. To the Honorable the Circuit Court of the for the District of — The Petition of Joseph Smith respectfully sheweth that he has been arrested and is detained in Custody by Sheriff of , upon a Warrant issued by the of the State of upon the requisition of the of as a fugitive from justice a copy of the said Warrant and the requisition, and the affidavit upon which the same was issued is hereto annexed. And your Petitioner is also arrested by and by him also held and detained in custody (jointly with the said of ) upon a proclamation issued by the of the State of a copy of which proclamation is hereunto annexed— Your Petitioner prays that a [p. 1444]