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 .
This was probably the reason why they did not carry the decision of the Court Martial into effect. It was finally agreed that we should be carried into , accordingly on the third day after our arrest the army was all paraded, we were put into wagons and taken into the — our families having heard that we were to be brought to town that morning to be shot. When we arrived a scene ensued such as might be expected, under the circumstances. I was permitted to go alone with my family into the house, there I found my family so completely plundered of all kinds of food that they had nothing to eat but parched corn which they ground with a hand mill, and thus were they sustaining life. I soon pacified my family and allayed their feelings by assuring them that the ruffians dare not kill me. I gave them strong assurances that they dare not do it, and that I would return to them again. After this interview I took my leave of them, and returned to the wagon got in and we were all started off for . Before we reached the a man came riding along the line apparently in great haste. I did not know his business. When we got to the river came to me and told me that he wanted us to [HC 3:460] hurry as had arrived from with a message from Gen. ordering him to return with us to as he was there with a large army, he said he would not comply with the demand, but did not know but might send an army to take us by force. We were hurried over the as fast as possible with as many of ’army as could be sent over at one time and sent hastily on, and thus we were taken to the Shire town of , and put into an old house and a strong guard placed over us, In a day or two they relaxed their severity, we were taken to the best tavern in town and there boarded, and treated with kindness— we were permitted to go and come at our pleasure without any guard. After some days Colonel arrived from ’s army with a demand to have us taken to Ray County. It was difficult to get a guard to go with us, indeed, we solicited them to send one with us, and finally got a few men to go and we started; after we had crossed the on our way to , we met a number of very rough looking fellows, and as rough acting as they were looking, they threatened our lives.— We solicited our guard to send to for a stronger force to guard us there, as we considered our lives in danger. met us with a strong force and conducted us to where we were put in close confinement.
One thing I will here mention which I forgot— while we were at I was introduced to , a lawyer of some note in the country. In speaking on the subject of our arrest and being torn from our families, said he presumed it was another scrape. He said the Mormons had been driven from that county and that without any offence on their part. He said he knew all about it, they were driven off because the people feared their political influence. And what was said about against the Mormons was only to justify the mob in the eyes of the world for the course they had taken. He said this was another scrape of the same kind.
This , by his own confession was one of the principal leaders in the mob.
After this digression I will resume— The same day that we arrived at , came into the place where we were, with a number of armed men, who immediately on entering the room cocked their guns, another followed with chains in his hands, and we were ordered to be chained all together— a strong guard was placed in and round the house, and thus we were secured. The next day came [p. 1647]