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 21> Norton Jacobs, and Moses Smith, arrived direct from on their way to .
“20th. We have appointed a political meeting in Newark, this evening, and one at Juliet tomorrow evening; where we expect to present to the citizens, General Smith’s views of the powers and policy of the government, and discuss the subject of politics.
<22> Wednesday 22 At home, watching, as the officers from were after me. At 10 A. M., about 40 Indians of the Sacs and Foxes, came up in front of the , four or five of them being mounted; among whom was Black Hawk’s brother, Kis-Kish-Kee, &c. I was obliged to send word I coud not see them at present. They encamped in the Council Chamber afternoon [HC 6:401] and night. I was with the police on duty, and saw several individuals lurking around.
Very pleasant day.
President preached to the brethren in this evening.
<23> Thursday 23 rather better. Read Hebrew with , and counseled with various friends. At 10 A. M, the Municipal Court met, presiding; but there not being a quorum present, adjourned for one week. At one P. M., had a talk with the Sac and Fox Indians in my <back> kitchen. They said: “When our fathers first came here, this land was inhabited by the Spanish; when the Spaniards were driven off the French came, and then the English and Americans; and our fathers talked a great deal with the Big Spirit.” They complained that they had been robbed of their lands by the whites, and cruelly treated. I told them I knew they had been wronged, but that we had bought this land and paid our money for it. I advised them not to sell any more land, but to cultivate peace with the different tribes, and with all men; as the Great Spirit wanted them to be united and to live in peace. “The Great Spirit has enabled me to find a book, (shewing them the book of Mormon) which told me about your fathers, and the Great Spirit told me, ‘you must send to all the tribes that you can, and tell them to live in peace’; and when any of our people come to see you, I want you to treat them as we treat you.”
At 3 p. m., the Indians commenced a war dance in front of my ; our people commenced with music and firing cannon. After the dance which lasted about two hours, the firing of cannon closed the exercise, and with our music, marched back to the . Before they commenced dancing the saints took up a collection to get the Indians food. [HC 6:402]
came to my clerk, , and told him an officer was on his way with an attachment for him; and that the Grand Jury had found a Bill against me for adultery, on the testimony of ; he had come from in two hours and thirty minutes to bring the news. came to my and staid all night. came from , and said that had been swearing that I swore to the complaint on which Simpson was arrested. I instructed and to go to in the morning, and have him indicted for perjury, as I never did swear to the complaint. The officer was after also, and report says , , and . Past nine p. m, I walked a little way with for exercise.
My brother called in the evening, and cautioned me against speaking so freely about my enemies &c, in such a manner <as> to make it actionable. I [p. 52]