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 .
<January 28> I am inclined to believe, that a far greater number of manifest displays of the power of God would be therein recorded, than is found in the journals of the Elders of the church of Jesus Christ, in the early ages; at least, <so> far as they are faithfully handed down to us in the New Testament Scriptures. And, although as in days of old, we are frequently branded with the epithets of “fools,— fanatics,— religious enthusiasts,— dupes and vile imposters;”— yet, “what we have felt and seen, with confidence we tell.” We have frequently heard, from individuals on whose testimony we can rely with the greatest confidence, of extraordinary displays of the power of God in the gift of healing; such for instance, as the blind receiving their sight, the deaf having their hearing restored; the lame man being made to “leap as an hart”, the dumb spirit being cast out, and one instance of the dead being restored to life. Another instance of the kind last mentioned, with a heart overflowing with gratitude. I desire to record. On the afternoon of yesterday, a child of mine, a girl, aged 8 years, was sliding on the rails of the staircase, when on a sudden she turned over, and fell from top to bottom with a most tremendous crash, falling on her head, and being completely double when picked up by her mother, so much so indeed, that [HC 6:186] her brother, who heard the noise, looked out of the kitchen, and seeing something lying in the passage motionless, concluded that his sister had thrown some dirty linen over the rails, and took no further notice; his her mother on hearing the noise occasioned by her fall, hastened out of the Parlor to the fatal spot, and immediately discovered it was poor Mary Jane, who lay motionless,— speechless,— senseless, yea, lifeless; she instantly took her up in her arms, and when she beheld her appearance, in an agony she cried out, my child is dead, she has fallen and killed herself. By this time, I had hastened to the horrid scene, where I beheld my lovely girl stretched on the lap of her disconsolate mother without the slightest appearance of life: I immediately examined her, and found that she breathed not, and that her pulsation had ceased; her eyes also were wide open, and quite fixed as in death, and there appeared to be gathering over them the film of dissolution; in fact if it be true that Eutychus (the young man mentioned in the 20th chap. of the Acts of the apostles, who fell from an upper story,) was taken up dead, it is equally true, that my daughter was taken up dead; for there was not the slightest vestige of life apparent. At this moment, with heart uplifted to my heavenly Father, I, in mighty faith placed my hands upon her and ejaculated, “Lord heal my child,” when in one moment she shewed signs of life, and attempted to speak, I immediately gave her to drink a little cold water, bathed her head with the same; she then sat up and vomited considerably, and she is now so far recovered, as this morning to sing a verse of a hymn, and walk about as usual. During my Presidency over the Conference, which is nearly eighteen months, I have witnessed many cases of healing, but never any so very striking as the one I have just related. If you deem the narrative worthy of a place in the pages of the Millennial Star, you are quite at liberty to insert it.
I remain, Dear Brother Yours sincerely, in the Gospel of Jesus—