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 19> the window. They went round his house several times, tried his door, rapped, called him by name, and consulted together; some were for breaking the door, others thought it too dangerous; they knew he must be in there, for they were near his door when the light was blown out. Finally their courage failed, and notifying him to leave the country immediately, they took their departure. During this trying time did not speak.
In the afternoon I gave orders to to have a picket guard under posted on all the roads leading out of the ; also an inner guard under Major posted in all the streets, and allies in the and also on the river bank. I also gave orders to have all the powder and lead in the secured, and to see that all the arms were in use, and that all vacant arms be put in the hands of those who could use them.
I insert the affidavit of , David Evans, and :—
“State of Illinois,)
City of .)
“June 19th, 1844.
Personally appeared before me, , Justice of the Peace of said County, , David Evans, and , of , and aforesaid, and being duly sworn depose and say, that on Monday the 17th instant, we started for Rocky Run precinct, and arrived yesterday; we then went to of that place, and there soon assembled twenty or thirty men; we were informed that had gone to to get the Colonel there to bring on his regiment; we then informed them that we were delegated on behalf of the people of to transact business with them; [HC 6:505] they informed us they had a committee set apart to do their business, and that one of their committee was then present, one was absent, and the other two would shortly be here; that while a person was seeking the two men we observed to the people that General Smith was willing to be tried in any for any crime or supposed crime that he had ever committed, except in the State of . One of the persons objected to General Smith being tried by the Municipal Court in , and declared that nothing else would do, but for him to be taken upon the old writ, and by the same person who took him in custody before, and tried at the place where the writ was issued. It was then observed that had advised General Smith to enter into bonds to be tried before the Circuit Court, and this would allay all the excited feelings of the people. It was then moved by one of their company and sanctioned by the people, that a committee should wait on the who gave General Smith that advice, and give him a coat of tar and feathers, when one of notoriety agreed to find the tar and feathers for that purpose. After some further conversation, a man whom they called Lawyer Stevens came in from and asked where was; he was told that he had gone to ; they then observed to the Lawyer that we were delegates from , when he replied, ‘we are expecting delegates too at ’, and he said the people were talking of introducing them to the , and, says he, ‘Gentlemen, you can do with your delegates what you think proper’. A Mr. Crawford, one of the Committee, observed that he went against such proceedings, and advised them as a body to keep cool; they then told the Lawyer the advice that the of the Circuit Court had given to General Smith, when he said it was unlawful advice, and it was a second time moved and assented to, that a committee should wait on , and give him a coat of tar and feathers; the remainder of the Committee having come in, they stated to us, that they had written to the to obtain aid from other counties, and if the did not send them aid, they were too weak to go themselves now, but were summoning all the people that would come into the until they got force enough to come up and take Joseph Smith with the first warrant, and take him [p. 122]
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. –.