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 .
<December 14> visited with wrong which the law is slow to redress and some of which are never redressed in this world. This fact however has never been held to be a justification for violence not warranted by law.
If any of the people of should invade for the purpose of rescuing persons there in jail, the consequence would be that indictments would be presented against them and demands made upon me for their arrest and surrender, which demands I would be compelled to obey, and thus they would be harrassed by interminable demands and prosecutions. And very likely it would lead to a species of border warfare which would be exceedingly annoying to a peaceable city: and if you could be placed in the wrong might lead to exceedingly unpleasant consequences with reference both to law and public opinion.
You inform me that you are informed that is about to make a new demand for you; and you implore my protection from what you term this renewed persecution. In the month of August last, I was furnished by your friends with a very large amount of affidavits and evidence, said to be intended to show cause why no further writs should be issued against you. As they are very volumin[HC 6:114]ous I have not yet read them and probably never will, unless a new demand should be made, in which case they will receive a careful perusal and you may rest assured, that no steps will be taken by me but such as the constitution and laws may require.
I am very Respectfully &c.. .”
It appears from this letter that has never taken pains to examine the evidence placed in his hands “and probably never will” in relation to the Writs; and evidently as little pains to examine the Constitution of the , or even reflect upon the ordinary principles of human rights; to suppose that a State after having by a union of Executive, Judicial, and Military powers exterminated 15,000 of its innocent inhabitants who were not even charged with any crime: robbing them of all they possessed on Earth, murdering hundreds of men women and children; and expelling all the others from the among strangers in midwinter; destitute of every thing upon the face of the earth that could possibly have a tendency to make life desirable should be constitutionally entitled to demand back from banishment, persons who have thus suffered its absolute decrees of exile to satiate a yet unsatiated thirst for human blood and cruel torture; Oh! reason where art thou fled? Oh! Humanity where hast thou hidden thyself? Patriots of ’76 has your blood been spilt in vain? that in 1843 the Executive of a great republican State, can coolly say “I have not yet read them, and probably never will.” Is liberty only a name? is protection of person and property fled from free ? Let those answer who can.
<15> Friday 15. I awoke this morning in good health, but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat; sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely; my waited on me assisted by my Scribe Dr. and his brother , who administered to me herbs and mild [HC 6:115] drinks. I was never prostrated so low in so short a time before, but by evening was considerably revived.