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 .
<14> Sunday 14 Spent the forenoon chiefly in conversation with on various subjects, and in reading my history with her. Both felt in good spirits and very cheerful— Wrote the following letter to (who was <officially> reported to have been duly elected to the office of Major General <of the Legion>) as follows— [HC 5:92]
“Head Quarters of Legion Aug 14 1842 — Dear General, I take this opportunity to give you some instructions how I wish you to act in case our persecutors should carry their pursuits so far as to tread upon our rights as free born American Citizens. The orders which I am about to give you, is the result of a long series of contemplation since I saw you— I have come fully to the conclusion both since this last difficulty commenced, as well as before, that I never would suffer myself to go into the hands of the Missourians alive; and to go into the hands of the officers of this is nothing more nor less, than to go into the hands of the Missourians; for the whole farce has been gotten up,—— unlawfully and unconstitutionally; as well on the part of the as others, by a mob spirit for the purpose of carrying out mob violence, to carry on mob tolerance in a religious persecution. I am determined therefore, to keep out of their hands, and thwart their designs if possible, that perhaps they may not urge the necessity of force and blood against their own fellow citizens and loyal subjects; and become ashamed and withdraw their pursuits. But if they—— should not do this and shall urge the necessity of force; and if I by any means should be taken, these are therefore to command you forthwith without delay, regardless of life or death, to rescue me out of their hands. And further to treat any pretensions to the contrary unlawful and unconstitutional, and as a mob got up for the purpose of a religious persecution to take away the rights of men. And further that our chartered rights and privileges shall be considered by us as holding the supremacy in the premises and shall be maintained; nothing short of the supreme court of this having authority to disarmed them; and the—— Municipal Court having jurisdiction in my case, you will see therefore that the peace of the City of is kept, let who will endeavor to disturb it. You will <also see> that whenever any mob, force or violence is used, on any Citizen thereof, or that belongeth thereunto, you will see that that force or violence is immediately, dispersed and brought to punishment; or meet it, and contest it at the point of the Sword with firm—— undaunted and unyielding valor; and let them know that the Spirit of old Seventy six, and of George Washington yet lives, and is contained in the bosoms and blood of the children of the fathers thereof. If there are any threats in the let legal steps be taken against them: and let no man, woman or child be intimidated, nor suffer it to be done. Nevertheless as I said in the first place we will take every measure that lays in our power and [HC 5:93] make every sacrifice that God or man could require at our hands, to preserve the peace and safety of the people without collision. And if sacrificing my own liberty for months and years, without stooping to the disgrace of persecution and violence, and ’s mis-rule and corruption, I bow to my fate with cheerfulness, and all due—— [p. 1366]