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.
“We command you that you take Joseph Smith, if to be found within your , and him safely keep, so that you have his body before the Circuit Court of said County of on the first day of the next term thereof, to be holden at the Court house in on the third [HC 6:359] Monday of May instant, to answer , of a plea of the case; damage, the sum of five thousand dollars as he says; and you have then there this writ, and make <due> return thereon in what manner you execute the same.
“Witness, , Clerk of said Circuit Court, at , this first day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hunded and forty-four.
By D. E. Head, Deputy.”
“The is directed to hold the within named defendant to bail in the sum of five thousand dollars.
By D. E. Head, Deputy.”
“This is a true copy of the original now in he possession of , sheriff of .
By , Deputy.”
“State of Illinois,)
City of .)
“To Mr. :—
“Sir, You will please to take notice that Joseph Smith, Senior, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court of said , praying that he may be liberated from the custody of , Deputy sheriff of , by whom he is held in custody on a capias ad respondendum, issued by the circuit court of on the first day of May instant, to answer on a plea of the case, &c.; which writ is granted, and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Municipal Court at 10 o’clock A. M. on the 7th. of May instant, at the Council Chamber in said , and show cause why said Joseph Smith, Senior, should not be liberated on said habeascorpus.
“Witness my hand and seal of Court this 6th. day of May, 1844.
Clerk M. C. C. N.”
“The above trial is deferred until Wednesday, the 8th. instant, 10 o’clock A. M.
“I have served the within by reading to the within named .
“ did not appear either by himself or counsel.
“Mr. then said:
‘The petition and papers have been read in your hearing; it is a petition for a writ of habeascorpus on the grounds— 1st. [p. 9]