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.
<July 7> for this , to prevent any such occurrence. We request to interfere in this matter,— we request that no troops be quartered among us, for any such purpose, lest excitement arise between them and the citizens. We desire that ’s business be transacted by agency, or some way, so that there may be no cause of contention or excitement in our midst. Nothing shall be wanted, on our part, to keep the peace, but without the cooperation of government it would seem impossible to accomplish it.
We are, Sir, Most respectfully—
Your servts., and the friends of peace
“P. S. knows the threats which have been made by , and the cause we have to fear his presence, as well as troops in such a case.”
’s journal records a conference held this day at . He preached in the forenoon, Elder in the afternoon, and Elder in the evening. [HC 7:169]
<The conference went off well, the brethren realizing they had a good time.>
A conference was held in the Presbyterian meeting house in Scarborough, Maine, which continued through the 6th and 7th; Elder presided.
The conference was addressed, and business attended to by Elders , , , and Saml. Parker.
A large mob assembled in on the 6th, and gathered in front of St Philip’s Church, with the intention of burning it, because of some difficulty existing between the Protestants and Irish Catholics, the mob continued two days. The Governor of the called out 3000 of the militia. There were 14 killed and 50 wounded during the riot.
<8> Monday 8. About this time a letter was received from , reporting progress for the Baltimore convention to nominate candidates for the Presidency.
Elders , , , , , and held three meetings in the Concert Hall . The house was full and the brethren felt well.
The following is extracted from the New York Tribune:—
“The Troubles at .
“We begin almost to fear that the terrible scenes of cruelty, devastation of peaceful homes and indiscrimate hunting down of men, women and children, which disgraced a few years since, during the expulsion of the Mormons from that , are to be re-enacted in . The history of these deeds has never been, and probably never will be written; but enough of their atrocities has been heard from casual recitals of eye and ear witnesses to make the soul sicken with horror at their contemplation. We are not the apologists of Joe Smith, or of the mummeries of Mormonism; we are ready to admit that the existence of that sect [HC 7:170] in the shape which it would seem Smith is bent on imparting to it, is fraught with danger, and should be looked to by the proper power; but in the name of common humanity we stand up for the lives [p. 256]