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 6> And afterwards to wit on the same day and year last aforesaid, the following order was made in this cause, viz:
In the matter of Joseph Smith— On —
And now again at this day comes the said Joseph Smith by his Attorney and at the same time also comes Attorney General of the State of and enters his motion to dismiss the proceedings herein for want of Jurisdiction, and the Court having heard the allegations and proofs herein and the arguments of—— Council upon the same, and also upon the aforesaid motion, and not being sufficiently advised took time &c
And afterwards to wit on the same day and year aforesaid Attorney for said Petitioner filed the affidavits of which the following are copies—
Circuit Court of the , District of .
In the matter of Joseph Smith upon Habeas Corpus.
District of — , , Almeron Wheat, , being duly sworn each for himself say, that he they were at , in the County of in this , on the seventh day of May last, that the<y> saw Joseph Smith on that day reviewing the Legion at that place, in the presence of several thousand persons. —
Sworn to & subscribed in open Court this 4th. Jany. 1843 Clk.
Circuit Court of the , District of
In the matter of Joseph Smith, upon Habeas Corpus.
District of = , , , , , , & being duly sworn say that they know that Joseph Smith was in , in the County of , in the State of during the whole of the sixth & seventh days of May last; That on the sixth day of May aforesaid the said Smith attended an officer drill at from ten o clock in the forenoon to about four o’clock in the afternoon at which drill the said Joseph Smith was present— And [HC 5:242] these Deponents , , , and were with the said Smith, at aforesaid during the evening of the sixth day of May last and sat with said Joseph Smith in from six until nine o’clock of said evening. And these deponents , and were with the said Smith at his dwellinghouse in , on and during the evening of the fifth day of May last, & conversed with him;— and all of the deponents aforesaid, do say that on the seventh day of May aforesaid the said Smith reviewed the Legion, & was present with the said Legion all that day, in the presence of many thousand people, and it would have been impossible for the said Joseph Smith to have been at any place in the State of at any time, on or between the sixth and seventh days of May aforesaid, and these Deponents , , & say that they have seen and conversed with the said Smith at aforesaid daily from the Tenth of February last until the first of July last, and know that he has not been absent from said City of , at any time, during that time, long enough to have been in the State of—— — that in the State of , is about three hundred miles from . , , , , , , , , —
Sworn to and subscribed in open Court this 4th. Jan, 1843. Clk— [p. 1450]