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 .
<February 15> of either of the prominent candidates, , or , obtaining the Presidential chair, we should not be placed in any better situation. In speaking of his politics are diametrically opposed to ours; he inclines strongly to the old school of federalists, and as a matter of course, would not favor our cause, neither could we conscientiously vote for him. And we have yet stronger objections to , on other grounds. He has sung the old song of congress— ‘congress has no power to redress your grievances.’ But did the matter rest here it would not be so bad. He was in the Presidential chair at the time of our former difficulties. We appealed to him on that occasion, but we appealed in vain, and his sentiments are yet unchanged. But all these things are tolerable in comparison to what we have yet to state. We have been informed from a respectable source, that there is an understanding between , of ; and , and a conditional compact entered into, that if will use his influence to get elected, that when elected, shall use his executive influence to wipe away the stain from , by a further persecution of the Mormons, and wreaking out vengeance on their heads either by extermination, or by some other summary process. We could scarcely credit the statement, and we hope yet for the sake of humanity, that the suggestion is false; but we have too good reason to believe that we are correctly informed.
If then this is the case can we conscientiously vote for a man of this description, and put the weapons into his hands to cut our throat with? we cannot: and however much we might wish to sustain the democratic nomination we cannot— we will not vote for . Our interests, our property, our lives and the lives of our families are too dear to us to be sacrificed at the shrine of party-spirit, and to gratify party feelings. We have been sold once in the State of , and our liberties bartered away by political demagogues through executive intrigue, and we wish not to be betrayed again by and .
Under the circumstances the question again arises, who shall we support? General Joseph Smith. A man of sterling worth and integrity and of enlarged views; a man who has raised himself from [HC 6:216] the humblest walks in life to stand at the head of a large, intelligent, respectable, and increasing society, that has spread not only in this land, but in distant nations; a man whose talents and genius, are of an exalted nature, and whose experience has rendered him every way adequate to the onerous duty. Honorable, fearless, and energetic; he would administer justice with an impartial hand, and magnify, and dignify the office of chief magistrate of this land; and we feel assured that there is not a man in the more competent for the task.
One great reason that we have for pursuing our present course is, that at every election we have been made a political target for the filthy demagogues in the country to shoot their loathsome arrows at. And every story has been put into requisition to blast our fame, from the old fabrication of “walk on the water” down to “the murder of .” The journals have [p. 1891]