JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. E-1, created 20 Aug. 1855–5 Apr. 1856; handwriting of Robert L. Campbell, , and Jonathan Grimshaw; 392 pages, plus 11 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fifth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fifth volume covers the period from 1 July 1843 to 30 Apr. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1, constitutes the fifth 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 July 1843 to 30 April 1844, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in the mid-1850s.
The material recorded in volume E-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin. Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the history and creating a set of draft notes that Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks.
Robert L. Campbell, a recently returned missionary and member of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed ’s notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). The Church Historian’s Office journal entry for 2 May 1855 pinpoints the beginning of his work: “R. L. C. on Book D forenoon, afternoon began book E.” Campbell’s work on the volume apparently concluded on 5 April 1856; entries in the Historian’s Office journal indicate that he then moved on to other assignments while another clerk, Jonathan Grimshaw, began work on volume F-1, the last manuscript in the series. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 May 1855; 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.)
Volume E-1 contains 391 pages of primary text and 11 pages of addenda. The initial entry on page 1637 is a continuation of the 1 July 1843 entry that closed volume D-1. The final entry in volume E-1 is for 30 April 1844.
The 391 pages of volume E-1 document a crucial period of JS’s life and the history of the church. Important events recorded here include
• An account of JS’s 2 July 1843 meeting with several Pottawatamie chiefs.
• JS’s 4 July 1843 address regarding his recent arrest, the Legion, and Mormon voting practices.
• JS’s 12 July 1843 dictation of a revelation regarding eternal marriage, including the plurality of wives, in the presence of and .
• Dispatch of the first missionaries to the Pacific Islands on 20 September 1843, led by .
• JS’s 1 October 1843 announcement of ’s appointment to a mission to Russia.
• Minutes of a 6–9 October 1843 general conference inserted under the date of 9 October at which pled his case in regard to his 13 August 1843 disfellowshipment and was permitted to continue as counselor in the First Presidency.
• Text of JS’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of , inserted under the date of 29 November 1843.
• A 20 January 1844 entry that includes a poem by commemorating the presentation of two copies of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by .
• JS’s nomination on 29 January 1844 as an independent candidate for the presidency of the .
<October 11> Wednesday 11. I was at home this morning. In the afternoon I went with my brother , , and our ladies, to brother ’s.
The following is from the Times and Seasons:—
“AncientRuins. Every day adds fresh testimony to the already accumulated evidence in the authenticity of the “Book of Mormon”. At the time that book was translated there was very little known about ruined cities and dilapidated buildings. The general presumption was, that no people possessing more intelligence than our present race of Indians had ever inhabited this continent, and the accounts given in the Book of Mormon concerning large cities and civilized people having inhabited this land, was generally disbelieved and pronounced a humbug. Priest, since then, has thrown some light on this interesting subject. Stephens in his “Incidents of Travels in Central America”, has thrown in a flood of testimony, and from the following statements it is evident that the Book of Mormon does not give a more extensive account of large and populous cities, than those discoveries now demonstrate to be even in existence.— Ed.
(From the Telegraph Oct. 11.)
We have been informed by a gentleman who has traversed a large portion of the Indian country of Northern , and the country [HC 6:53] lying between Santa Fe and the Pacific, that there are vestiges of ancient cities and ruined castles or temples on the Rio Puerco, and on the Colorado of the west. He says that on one of the branches of the Rio Puerco, a few days travel from Santa Fe, there is an immense pile of ruins that appear to belong to an ancient temple. Portions of the walls are still standing, consisting of huge blocks of limestone regularly hewn, and laid in cement. The building occupies an extent of more than an acre. It is two or three stories high, has no roof, but contains many rooms generally of a square form, without windows, and the lower rooms are so dark and gloomy that they resemble caverns rather than the apartments of an edifice built for a human habitation.— Our informant did not give the style of architecture, but he believes it could not be erected by Spainards or Europeans, as the stones are much worn by the rains, and indicate that the building has stood several <many> hundred years. From his description we are induced to believe that it resembles the ruins of Palenque or Otulun. He says there are many similar ruins on the Colorado of the West, which empties into the Californian sea. In one of the valleys of the Cordilleras traversed by this river, and about four hundred miles from its mouth, there is a large temple still standing, its walls and spires presenting scarcely any trace of dilapidation, and were it not for the want of a roof, it might still be rendered habitable. Near it, scattered along the declivity of a mountain, are the ruins of what must have been once a large city. The traces of a large aqueduct, part of which is however in the solid rock, are still visible. Neither the Indians residing in the vicinity, nor the oldest Spanish settlers of the nearest settlements, can give any account of the origin of these buildings. They merely know that they have stood there from the earliest periods to which their traditions extend. The Antiquarian who is desirous to trace [p. 1752]