JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. F-1, created 9 Apr.–7 June 1856 and 20 Aug. 1856–6 Nov. 1856; handwriting of and Jonathan Grimshaw; 304 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the final volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This sixth volume covers the period from 1 May to 8 Aug. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1 through E-1, go through 30 Apr. 1844.
History, 1838-1856, volume F-1, constitutes the last 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 May 1844 to the events following his 27 June 1844 death, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in 1856.
The material recorded in volume F-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin, and also assistant church historian . Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the volume and creating a set of draft notes, which Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks. Woodruff gathered additional material concerning the death of Joseph Smith as a supplement to George A. Smith’s work recording that event. Jonathan Grimshaw and , members of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed the draft notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents.
According to the Historian’s Office journal, Jonathan Grimshaw initiated work on the text of volume F-1 on 9 April 1856, soon after Robert L. Campbell had completed work on volume E-1. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.) Grimshaw’s scribal work begins with an entry for 1 May 1844. Unlike previous volumes in which the numbering had run consecutively to page 2028, Grimshaw began anew with page 1. He transcribed 150 pages by June 1856, and his last entry was for 23 June 1844. Though more of his writing does not appear in the volume, he continued to work in the office until 2 August, before leaving for the East that same month. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 and 10 Aug. 1856.)
assumed the role of scribe on 20 August 1856. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 20 Aug. 1856.) He incorporated ’s draft notes for the period 24–29 June 1844 on pages 151–189, providing an account of JS’s death and its immediate aftermath. He next transcribed a related extract from ’s 1854 History of Illinois on pages 190–204. Pages 205–227 were left blank.
provided the notes for the final portion of the text. This account begins with an entry for 22 June 1844 and continues the record through 8 August 1844, ending on page 304. (The volume also included ten pages of addenda.) The last specific entry in the Historian’s Office journal that captures at work on the history is for 6 November 1856. A 2 February 1857 Wilford Woodruff letter to indicates that on 30 January 1857, the “presidency sat and heard the history read up to the organization of the church in , 8th. day of August 1844.” (Historian’s Office, Journal, 6 Nov. 1856; Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to George A. Smith, 2 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, p. 410; see also Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich, 28 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, pp. 430–431.)
The pages of volume F-1 contain a record of the final weeks of JS’s life and the events of the ensuing days. The narrative commences with and arriving at , Illinois, on 1 May 1844 from their lumber-harvesting mission in the “” of Wisconsin Territory. As the late spring and summer of 1844 unfold, events intensify, especially those surrounding the suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor in mid-June. Legal action over the Expositor leads to a charge of riot, and subsequently JS is charged with treason and is incarcerated at the jail in , Illinois. The narrative of volume F-1 concludes with an account of the special church conference convened on 8 August 1844 to consider who should assume the leadership of the church.
<June 13> Precinct, , ; Saml. Williams, ; Elisha Worrell, Chili; Capt. Maddison, St. Mary’s; John M. Ferris, ; James Rice, Pilot Grove; John Carns, ; , ; Geo. Robinson, ; and Geo. Rockwell, , were appointed; said Committee.
“On motion of , , Esq., was requested to address the meeting during the absence of the Committee. He spoke long and eloquently upon the cause of our grievances, and expressed his belief that the time was now at hand, when we were individually and collectively called upon to repel the innovations upon our liberties; and [HC 6:464] suggested that points be designated as places of encampment at which to rendezvous our forces— that we may be ready when called upon for efficient action.
“Dr. Barns, one of the persons who went with the officers to for the purpose of arresting the rioters, having just arrived, came into the meeting, and reported the result of their proceedings— which was, that the persons charged in the writs were duly arrested, but taken from the officers’ hands on a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court, and discharged, and the following potent words entered upon the records— honorbaly discharged.
“On motion of , Esq., a vote of thanks was tendered to Dr. Barns for volunteering his services in executing said writs.
“ was now loudly called for. He stated his personal knowledge of the Mormons from their earliest history, throughout their hellish career in and this — which has been characterised by the darkest and most diabolical deeds which has ever disgraced humanity.
“The Committee appointed do draft resolutions brought in the following report, which after some considerable discussion was unanimously adopted:
“Whereas, the charged with the execution of a writ again Joseph Smith and others, for riot in the county of , which said writ said has served upon said Smith and others— and whereas said Smith and others refuse to obey the mandate of said writ— and whereas, in the opinion of this meeting it is impossible for said to raise a posse of sufficient strength to execute said writ— and whereas, it is the opinion of this meeting that the riot is still progressing, and that violence is meditated and determined on; it is the opinion of this meeting that the cirumstances of the case require the interposition of Executive power: Therefore,
“Resolved, That a deputation of two discreet men, be sent to to solicit such interpostion.
2nd, “Resolved, That said deputation be furnished with a certified copy of this reolution— and be authorized to obtain evidence by affiidavit and otherwise in regard to the violence which has already been committed, and is still further meditated.
“Dr. Evans here rose and expressed his wish that the above resolutions would not retard our operations— but that we would each one arm and equip ourselves forthwith.
“The resolutions passed at was <were> again read by Dr. Barns, and passed by acclamation.
“On motion of , Esqr., the suggestion of [HC 6:465] appointing places of encampent was adopted, to wit: , , Green Plains, Spilman’s Landing, Chili and .
“On motion, and , Esqrs., were appointed a Committee to bear the resolutions adopted by this meeting to his Excellency the , requiring his executive interposition.
“On motion of , a Central Corresponding Committee was appointed. [p. 96]