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 11> to the consideration of the brethren, the situation of our President, who has long had all his business deranged, and has been recently obliged to expand large sums of money in—— procuring his release from unjust persecution, leaving him destitute of necessaries for his family, and of means for prosecuting the History of the Church and the translations which he is anxious should be in the hands of the brethren as speedily as possible. We therefore recommend that collections be taken at the different meetings, for his benefit, and such as have not cash will recollect that provisions will be an excellent substitute whenever it is convenient to bring them in; and we hope our brethren who are farmers in , , &c and the region around, will have the opportunity of reading these few hints. A word to the wise is sufficient. The lord loveth a cheerful and bountiful giver, and will restore an hundred fold— for the laborer is worthy of his hire.
President. — Clerk— January 11. 1843.[”] [HC 5:249]
<13> Friday 13. At home till near Sun set, then went to brother with to see Sophia Marks, who was sick: heard her relate her vision or dream of a visit from her two brothers who were dead, touching the associations and relations of another world.
<16> Monday 16. I was about home, and directed a letter to be written as follows
“ January 16. 1843— Esqre.— Dr. Sir— I now sit down to inform you of our safe arrival home on Tuesday last, after a cold and troublesome journey of four days. We found our families well and cheerful. The news of our arrival was soon generally known, and when it was understood that justice had once more triumphed over oppression, and the innocent been rescued from the power of Mobocracy, gladness filled the hearts of the Citizens of , and gratitude to those who had so nobly and manfully defended the cause of justice and innocence was universally manifest, and of course I rejoiced with them and felt like a free man at home. Yesterday a letter was received by Esqre. from which was handed to me this morning[.] From that letter it appears that was at a few days after we left there, and that he is determined if possible to keep up the persecution against me[.] I herewith transmit a copy of his letter and shall rely upon your Council, in the event of any further attempt to oppress me, and deprive me of liberty; but I am in hopes that will not gratify the spirit of oppression and mobocracy so glaringly manifest in the conduct of .” The following is a copy of his letter
“ Ill. Jany. 10. 1843 Mr. and . Dear Friends— It is a long time since I have written <to> you, and I [HC 5:250] should now much desire to see you, but I leave to night for to meet the messenger charged with the arrest of Joseph Smith, , and others for murder, burglary, treason &c &c who will be demanded in a few days on new indictments, found by the grand jury of a called court on the original evidence, and in relation to which a was entered by the district Attorney. New proceedings have been gotten up on the old charges— and no [p. 1454]
JS, Journal, 14 Jan. 1843; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 14 Jan. 1843, 131–147
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book / Nauvoo City Council. “A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841,” ca. 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3435.