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 .
<August 26> to me swearing mad— Went on until 3 o’Clock then baited our horses and prepared; for a shower that was <apparently> nigh at hand, we went until sundown then pitched our tent in the grass and such rain and thunder and lightning I never before witnessed,— lay all night in the rain, our tent blowed to the four winds <blew over>. Friday 29 July we dried our things by the fire, and then went on about 25 miles, came to <a village of> the Pottawatamie’s about sunset found no body at home, at his <went into the> house <of my guide> his wife was dead and his son and wife were gone to the North on a Buffalo hunt,— we made a fire and got something to eat: late in the night there came four Indians and one old squaw, they brought some jerked venison and some half boiled corn. Saturday morning 30th. July we were sent for to the chief’s house we went the Indians, sqaws and children came from every quarter to see the man that had come with Neotanah, breakfast was ready for us <as> soon as we came in, this was the first time that I ever eat at a wigwam, amongst little and great, when the victuals relished as it did at this time, but this is easily accounted for Hunger will make any thing that is eatable taste good. Staid all day at the Chief’s house, my rifle seemed to be the great wonder amongst all, Indians and sqaws, it went the rounds from one to another, as if it had been one of the seven wonders of the world. This Indian town stands on the creek called the Pottawatamie Tour-se-paa; this creek is from three to eight rods wide and deep, and often overflows its banks— its length is 60 miles, <and it> empties into the 30 miles from Pottawatamie Town. Sunday 31st. Nothing this day transpired worth mentioning. About 3 o’Clock p.m. a delegate from the Pottawamie tribe returned from Iowa river, where he met in Council with 2 of the Sioux and 1 Winnebago. (he said the distance from the Pottawatamies to is 500 miles) Monday 1st. August 1843 this day I spent in looking up the creek for a mill seat and found one, and two beds of iron ore— Tuesday 2nd. This morning the chief of the warriors brought me two catfish and left them in the Wika up where I staid, I cooked half of one of them and it eat very good,— the Indians all are very kind to me, more so than I could expect. This tribe is some what scattered [HC 5:543] about by <thro’> the Timber <up> and <down> by the creek, but the main village or Town, stands on an eminence that overlooks the whole of the rest of the Indian habitations. It appears to be a healthy habitation, the water is good, and the climate wholesome, some considerable timber, though no very good sawing timber except basswood, Black Walnut, some cotton<wood>. This tribe have been here for six years— from Rock River. The Pottawatamies this side of the , they say, will number 2,000 men women and children. 34 miles from this Pottawatamie Town to the Council bluffs, 200 miles South lies Fort Leavenworth, and about the same distance South East lies — 100 miles North is a buffalo country where the Pottawatamies hunt and catch Buffalo. Wednesday <August> 3d.of August. Council met at 2 o’Clock: they own five millions of acres of land— last annuities the number <was> fifteen hundred and fifty two souls Council arose at sunset, when the decision was made that Neotanah should conduct me back again to the Agency in on the nearest and most convenient route; the head chief was to conduct me home, but in council a messenger arrived, <and> brought news that the superintendant of the Annuities had arrived at the garrison Leavensworth and the middle of August he would visit the chiefs at Council bluffs [p. 1699]