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 1> Saturday 1 At home; some gentle showers. At one P. M., I rode out with and ; called on Davis at the Boat; paid Manhard $90.; met and paid him $50.; then went to ’s, and paid him and another brother $200.; drank a glass of beer at ; called at ’s, while and called at the ’s new house; returned home at 4½ P. M. At 8 P. M. , John Saunders, and Jacob Peart, called at ’s to consult about a coal bed on ; I suggested that it would be profitable to employ the “Maid of Iowa” in the business of carrying the coal &c, and all approved of this plan.
President and Elder held a conference in .
I received the following letter:—
“, May 9th, 1844
“My dear Sir:
Being so closely confined in the Post Office in this , where I have been but a short time, have not before this morning, being aware that you had petitioned Congress in relation to raising a military force to protect our Southern Frontier.
“My purpose in addressing you is to offer my services either in Military or Civil duty, as I am so much confined that my health must suffer if I remain a great length of time.
“If I can make myself known to you by reputation, which I think possible, I have every confidence, if in your power, you will favor my wishes.
“At any rate hope you will write me at your earliest convenience upon receipt of this. [HC 6:424]
“I was born in Peacham, Vermont, October 14th, 1813. My father is Coll. Joel Walker, now of Belvidere, Ills. Hon. E. Peck of , Ills. is my brother in law. I was in the mercantile business in from 1836 to ’39 (one of the firm of King, Walker & Co); since which time I have been here with the exception of a year. Have been in the Military since the age of 16, and am considered somewhat proficient, having devoted much attention to the study of its principles, and an ardent love for the art. I have received a good academical and mercantile education, and if there is in your place any thing which you think would be for our mutual advanatage.
I am yours respectfuly,
Joel Hamilton Walker.”
“Gen. Joseph Smith, .
I replied as follows:—
“, Ill. June 1st, 1844
Yours of May 9th. is before me, and according to my custom I answer off hand. I have not yet ascertained whether Congress will, by special act, authorize me to protect our beloved country: if it should I have not a doubt but your services could be a agreeably used.
“As to what you could do in I am unable to say. Gentlemen, with a small capital or a large one, can easily employ it to good advantage, our is so rapidly improving.
“Truth, virtue, and honor, combined with energy and industry, pave the way to exaltation, glory, and bliss.