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 25> 10.50. Quietness was apparently restored among the Carthage Greys.
11.15. News arrived that the troops were near , and had come of their own accord.
, Marshal for called to see Joseph.
12 min before 1. Intelligence was given to Joseph that the Laws, Higbees, Fosters and others were going to to plunder. The called at the door with some gentlemen, when Joseph informed him of what he had heard, and requested him to send a guard to protect the City of .
wrote a letter to his . [HC 6:564]
1½ P. M. After dinner, of called to see Joseph.
2½. The communicated that he had ordered Captain Singleton with a company of men from to march to to coöperate with the police in keeping the peace; and he would call out the Legion, if necessary.
Joseph wrote to as follows:
“ June 25. 1844. 2½ o’clock P. M.
I have had an interview with and he treats us honorably. Myself and have been again arrested for treason because we called out the Nauvoo Legion, but when the truth comes out we have nothing to fear: we are all <feel> calm and composed.
“This morning introduced myself and to the Militia in a very appropriate manner as Gen Joseph Smith and Gen. . There was a little mutiny among the ‘Carthage Greys’, but I think the has, and will succeed in enforcing the laws. I do hope the people of will continue pacific and prayerful.
“ has just concluded to send some of his militia to to protect the citizens, and I wish that they may be kindly treated: They will coöperate with the police to keep the peace. The ’s orders will be read in the hearing of the police and officers of the Legion, as I suppose.
“3 o’clock. The has just agreed to march his army to and I shall come along with him. The prisoners— all that can— will be admitted to bail.
I am as ever
Joseph also sent a message to not to come to , but to stay in , and not to suffer himself to be delivered into the hands of his enemies, or to be taken a prisoner by any one. 
It was reported by , that he <had> heard resolutions of the troops read, to the effect that they would return to at 3 p. m., then go to Golden’s Point on Thursday, and thence to . [HC 6:565]
Several of the officers of the troops in , and other gentlemen, curious to see the prophet, and to gratify a propensity to see the Elephant, visited Joseph in his room. Gen. Smith asked them if there was anything in his appearance that indicated he was the desperate character his enemies represented him to be; and he asked them to give him their honest opinion on the subject. The reply was “No, sir, your appearance would indicate the very contrary, General Smith, but we cannot see what is in your heart, neither can we tell what are your intentions;” to [p. 157]