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 .
<July 1> in, and we were introduced to him— the awkward manner in which he entered and his apparent embarrassment was such as to force a smile from me. [HC 3:461] He was then asked for what he had thus cast <us> into prison?— to this question he could not or did not give a direct answer. He said he would let us know in a few days, and after a few more awkward and uncouth movements he withdrew. After he went out I asked some of the guard what was the matter with , that made him appear so ridiculous? They said he was near sighted: I replied that I was mistaken if he were not as near witted, as he was near sighted.
We were now left with our guards, without knowing for what we had been arrested, as no civil process had issued against us— for what followed until came in again to tell us that we were to be delivered into the hands of the civil authorities, I am entirely indebted to what I heard the guards say— I heard them say that had promised them before leaving Coles County that they should have the privilege of shooting Joseph Smith Senior and . And that was engaged in searching the military law to find authority for so doing; but he found it difficult as we were not military men and did not belong to the militia; but he had sent to Fort Leavenworth for the military code of law, and he expected, after he got the laws, to find law to justify him in shooting us.
I must here again digress, to relate a circumstance which I forgot in its place. I had heard that had given a military order to some persons who had applied to him for it, to go to my house and take such goods as they claimed. The goods claimed, were goods sold by the Sheriff of on an which I had purchased at the sale. The man against whom the execution was issued, availed himself of that time of trouble to go and take the goods wherever he could find them.— I asked if he had given any such authority. He said that an application had been made to him for such an order, but he said, “your lady wrote me a letter, requesting me not to do it— telling me that the goods had been purchased at the Sheriff’s sale, and I would not grant the order.” I did not, at the time, suppose that , in this, had barefacedly lied; but the sequel proved he had— for some time afterwards, behold there comes a man to with the order, and shewed it to me, signed by . The man said he had been at our house, and taken all the goods he could find. So much for a lawyer, a Methodist, and very pious man at that time in religion, and a Major General of .
During the time that was examining the military law, there were some thing took place which may be proper to relate in this place. I heard a plan laying among a number of those who belonged to ’s army, and some of them officers of high rank to go to , and commit violence on the persons of Joseph Smith Senior’s , and my wife and daughters. [HC 3:462]
This gave me some uneasiness. I got an opportunity to send my family word of their design, and to make such arrangements as they could to guard against their vile purpose. The time at last arrived, and the party started for . I waited with painful anxiety for their return. After a number of days, they returned. I listened to all they said, to find out, if possible, what they had done. One night I think the very night after their return, I heard them relating to some of those who had not been with them, the events of their adventure. Inquiry was made about their success in the particular object of their visit to . The substance of what they said in answer, was, “that they had passed and repassed both houses, and saw the [p. 1648]