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.
I concur fully as to the above, and will add, from an interview with , you can with the utmost safety rely on his protection and that you will have as impartial an investigation as could be expected, from those opposed to you. The excitement is much allayed, and your opponents (those who wish to make capital out of you) do not want you to come to . M r.Johnson has gone East, and that will account for Mr. Reid being here.
Respectfully, Your Obt. Servt.
“ 24th. June 1844.
The Company arrived at Fellows’ house, 4 Miles west of , about 9 p. m., where they stopped about half an hour and partook of such refreshments as they had brought with them. , and his Company of mounted militia, returning with the State arms from , joined them here, and escorted them into , where they arrived at 5 minutes before 12 at night, and went to . While passing the public square, many of the troops, especially the Carthage Greys, made use of the following expressions, which were re-echoed in the ears of the and hundreds of others: “Where is the damned Prophet?” “Stand away you boys, and let us shoot the damned Mormons.” “God damn you old Joe, we’ve got you now.” “Clear the way and let us have a view of Joe Smith, the prophet of God; he has seen the last of — we’ll use him up now, and kill all the damned Mormons.” The rear platoon of the Carthage Greys repeatedly threw their guns over the<ir> heads in a curve, so that the bayonets struck the ground with the breech of their guns upwards, when [HC 6:559] they would run back and pick them up, at the same time whooping, yelling, hooting, and cursing like a pack of savages. On hearing those expressions, the put his head out of the window and very fawningly said, “Gentlemen, I know your great anxiety to see Mr. Smith, which is natural enough, but it is quite too late to night for you to have that opportunity; but I assure you, Gentlemen, you shall have that privilege tomorrow morning, as I will cause him to pass before the troops upon the square, and I now wish you, with this assurance, quietly and peaceably to return to your quarters.” When this declaration was made there was a faint “Hurrah for ,” and they instantly obeyed his wish.
There was a company of apostates also quartered at , viz: and , the Higbees and Fosters. , , (formerly president of the Elder’s Quorum) and others. stated to that it was determined to shed the blood of Joseph Smith by not only himself but by the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, , and many others, whether he was cleared by the law or not. He talked freely and unreservedly on that subject, as though he was discoursing upon the most common occurrence of his life; said he “you will find me a true prophet in this respect.” told what had said; but he treated it with perfect indifference, and suffered and his associates to run at large and mature their murderous plans.
A writ was also issued by R[obert] F. Smith against , on complaint of , charging him with the illegal detention of . [HC 6:560] [p. 154]