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.
“Mayor’s Office & Head Quarters of the Nauvoo Legion,
, June 22nd, 1844
“To Col , Acting. Major Gen. Nauvoo Legion,
Sir:— You will proceed without delay with the assistance of the Nauvoo Legion to prepare the back ground of said for defence against an invasion by mobs, cause the Legion to be furnished with tents, and make your encampment in the vicinity of your labors.
Joseph Smith, Mayor of the City of & Lieut. Genl. of the Nauvoo Legion.”
“To Col. , Major Genl in command, Nauvoo Legion.
At 6 P. M, I prophesied that in the sickly seasons sickness would enter into the houses of the mob and vex them until they would fain repent in dust and ashes; they will be smitten with the scab &c.
At 7 P. M., I received the following:— [HC 6:532]
“We the undersigned Citizens of , respectfully request General Joseph Smith to preach on tomorrow, and that we have liberty of seats near enough to the to hear, inasmuch as we have an opportunity to hear him but seldom, and some of us have not heard him at all.
James Hamilton and Co y, Capt. at the Liberty Branch.
Nathaniel Case, Capt. 7th Coy., 4th Regt., 2nd. Cohort, N. L. from .
Hugh <Uri[j]ah> H. Yager and Coy Capt. at the Branch of Macedonia, 2nd Cohort.
, 1st Lieut. at the Miland Branch Company.
Z. D. Wilson’s Company.
, Major of the 1st Battalion of 3rd Regiment.
Warren Snow, Capt. & Coy, 4th Regt. 2nd Cohort, of N. Legion”
At 10 P. M. I received the following letter by the hands of <Captain [Christopher] Yates, who accompanied> Elders and <on their return from :—>
“Head Quarters, , June 22nd, 1844.
“To the Mayor & Council of the City of ,
Gentlemen:— After examinining carefully all the allegations on the part of the citizens of the country in , and the defensive matters submitted to me by the Committee of your citizens concerning the existing disturbances, I find that there appears to be but little contradiction as to important facts; so that it may be safely assumed that the immediate cause of the existing excitement is the destruction of the press and fixtures of the Nauvoo Expositor, and the subsequent refusal of the individuals accused to be accountable therefor according to the general laws of this , and the insisting on your parts to be accountable only before your own Municipal Court, and according to the ordinances of your
“Many other facts have been asserted on both sides as tending to increase the excitement, but as they mostly relate merely to private persons, and committed by individuals, and tend simply to show the present state of affairs, I will not further notice them in this communication.
“The material facts to be noticed are, that a Newspaper called the ‘Nauvoo Expositor’ was established in ; that this Newspaper was [HC 6:533] deemed offensive to the people of that ; that the Common Council without notice or process to the owners, entered into a trial, and heard statements not under oath, and evidence which was under oath, in relation to the character of that paper, and in relation to the character, conduct, and designs of the owners and editors of the press; that upon hearing such statements and evidence the Common Council passed an ordinance [p. 140]