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.
< May 16> society; and this I can do without prejudice or animosity against any man or set of men. I believe in the broad principle of equal rights and privileges, so far as religion or politics are concerned; and while I seek to enjoy my religion according to the knowledge in me, I will interfere with the rights of no man, nor persecute because my neighbor does not think as I do.
“A multitude of business compels me to close, and I must forbear.
I have the honor to be your brother in the everlasting covenant,
, May 16th., 1844.”
From the Neighbor:—
“Steam Boat Election.
“On the last upward voyage of the ‘Osprey’ from to this place, as usual the merits of the several candidates for the next Presidential election was discussed. A vote was taken, and the following was the [HC 6:384] ‘state of the polls’ as handed to us by a gentleman who came as passenger:
Gen. J. Smith, 26 gentlemen, 3 ladies
, 6 " 2 "
, 2 " 0 ".
“The ladies are altogether forsaking , and the gentlemen as a matter of course are following after. There is a wonderful shrinkage in , but the General is going it with a rush.
<17> Friday, 17 The State Convention met in the Assembly Room; I copy the minutes:—
“Convention met according to appointment, and was organized by appointing Gen. to the chair, and Dr.F. Merryweather, secretary.
“Dr. presented the following letter, and took his seat in the Convention. Several letters of the same character were presented by other gentlemen, but we have not room to insert them.
‘Muscoutah, St. Clair Co., Ill.
May 4th., 1844
At various meetings held in this county, where I have had the honor of attending; and the interesting topic of the selection of a suitable person for the high station of President of the being at this time the most important to Americans, and with the names that are now before the people, Joseph Smith of is recognized respectfully as a candidate, declarative in the principles of Jeffersonianism, or Jefferson Democracy, Free trade and Sailors’ rights, and the protection of person and property.
‘A Convention being about to be held in the City of on the 17th of this month, (May) your name has been on every occasion given as a delegate to said convention, and through me the message to be imparted you, asking you to represent our expressions in the case.
‘Please say for us as Americans, that we will support Gen. Joseph Smith in preference to any other man that has given, or suffered his name to come before us as a candidate. And that at the great Baltimore Convention, to be held on the 13th of July, our delegation to said convention be authorized to proclaim for us submission to the Nominee as may be by them brought before the people in case of a failure to [HC 6:386] nominate Joseph Smith, (our choice) and unite approbatively [p. 39]