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 26> <26> 7. A. M. Joseph, and the rest of the brethren took breakfast with , and were then removed to the room up stairs
Dr. Southwick went to see the .
At 7½. , and were severally sent by Joseph with Messages to the ; but at 8 got no return.
He also sent word to his Counsel, that he wanted a change of venue to , Adams County.
At 8. a. m. Joseph and had conversation with the Jailer , who said a week last Wednesday the mob were calcuating to have made an attack on , and they expected about 9000 persons but only about 200 came. They had sent runners to , and all round the Counties in .
At 10 min. past 8. Joseph wrote to as follows:
“ Jail, June 26. 1844. 10 min past 8 A. M.
“His Excellency , Sir,
I would again solicit your for an interview, having been much disappointed the past evening. I hope you will not deny me this privilege any longer than your public duties shall absolutely require. [HC 6:575] We have been committed under a false mittimus, and consequently the proceedings are illegal, and we desire the time may be hastened when all things shall be made right, and we relieved from this imprisonment.
“P. S. Please send an answer per .”
and sent it by .
At 8½ A. M. and returned, stating that the said he was taken by surprise last evening, and was very sorry; was afraid we would think he had forfeited his word about having an interview— that the wrath of the people was about to turn on the head of , the mob &c.— That the was doing as fast as he could.
12 min. before 9. Received the following reply on the same sheet:
“The interview will take place at my earliest leisure to day
10 min. to 9. and others arrived at the Jail, and investigated the merits of the case, and concluded to take a change of venue before , of Augusta, Hancock Co., and to send for Dr. James H. Lyon, Col , , , Dr , Thos. A. Lyne, , Dr , , , , Dr. , , , , Capt. , , , , and Samuel Searles as witnesses.
<-[See Addenda Page 3]-> [HC 6:576] [HC 6:579] [HC 6:580] [HC 6:581] [HC 6:582] [HC 6:583] [HC 6:584] [HC 6:585] 9. 27 a.m. The , in company with Col. Geddes arrived at the Jail when Joseph stated to them the origin of the difficulty, the facts relating to the “Expositor Press”, the course pursued by the City Council; the legality as they thought, of their legislation;— the pledges that he had made by letter and sent by expresses to his , that he was willing to satisfy all legal claims in case it should be shown that the City Council had transcended their legal bounds &c; [p. 162]