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 18> a man by the name of Norton had threatened to shoot me; an examination was immediately had, but no proof found.
This evening I appointed Armorer General of the Legion.
I insert the following affidavit:—
“State of Illinois,)
City of )
“June 18th 1844.
Personally appeared before me, , a Justice of the Peace, and of , and being duly sworn, depose and say, that on yesterday, June 17th, 1844, [HC 6:502] at , certain persons to wit, Dr. [blank] Barnes and , having entered into conversation with your deponents, among other things, declared that the of was as big a scoundrel as Joseph Smith, and that he is the d——dst scoundrel that was ever suffered to live— that they did not care for the , and had rather that the would side with Smith— that they (the Mob) were coming to with a sufficient force to take Smith, and if the people endeavored to prevent them— that they should kill the people— and that if Smith had left , they had determined to destroy the and other buildings. And your deponents further say that one John Eller declared that he had lived in and was at the Massacre of the Mormons at — that he had killed one Mormon, and that he had left on purpose to fight the Mormons, and would hunt a Mormon as he would a deer. And your deponents further say that they heard that about one hundred persons had already arrived from , and were expecting a[s] many more from that . And your Deponents further say that they heard in that they had already received a number of guns and ammunition, and provisions from , in order to prosecute their attack upon ; and further your Deponents say not.
“Sworn and subscribed to before me this eighteenth day of June 1844.
<19> Wednesday 19 The Legion assembled on the parade ground. A company of the Legion came in from Green Plains about 11 A. M.; I met them at the front of my , and an escort came down from the parade ground below the , and escorted them to the ground.
At 1 P. M, a company of volunteers arrived from , and were also escorted to the parade ground.
On Sunday the 16th a committee of the mob, headed by James Charles, a constable <of ,> went to the house of Captain , who lives four miles south east of , and required him to call out his company to join the posse of to go to and arrest me and the City Council; he peremptorily refused to comply with their request; the same posse returned on the 17th with an order as they stated from the , which believed (and no doubt correctly) to be a forgery, and therefore still refused to go on any terms; the posse then reported his refusal to , who appointed a committee of Twelve, to lynch, tar, and feather on the 18th, which committee went that evening, and arrived about midnight. , who had been informed of ’s order, prepared himself for defence and kept watch; as soon as they came, and he saw their number, and that they were [HC 6:504] provided with tar bucket, bag of feathers, and a bundle of withs, in addition to their fire arms, he blew out his light and placed himself in a suitable position to defend the door (which he had fastened, and [p. 121]
Hosea Stout, History of the Nauvoo Legion, Draft 3, p. , Nauvoo Legion Records, CHL.
Stout, Hosea. History of the Nauvoo Legion, Draft 3, ca. 1844–1845. Nauvoo Legion Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3430, fd. 10. One of three drafts of the history; includes material dated 17 June through 28 September 1844. Pages are out of order; in the current order, this draft includes pp. –.