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 10> of the mob spirit which they tend to produce; he had made the statements he had, and called the witnesses to prepare the council to act in the case.
“ was blackguarded out of , and dubbed with the title of Judge (as he, had understood from citizens of ); was poor, and Mayor helped him to cloth for a coat before he went away last fall, and he () labored all winter to get the post office from , (as informed.)
“Mayor referred to a writing from , showing that the Laws presented the communication from the ‘Female Relief Society’ in the Nauvoo Neighbor to , as the bone of contention, and said, if God ever spake by any man, it will not be five years before this is in ashes and we in our graves, unless we go to , , or some other place, if the does not put down every thing which tends to mobocracy, and put down their murderers, bogus makers, and scoundrels; all the sorrow he ever had in his family <in this > has arisen through the influence of .
“Councilor spoke in relation to the Laws, Fosters, Higbees, of the Signal, &c, and of the importance of suppressing that spirit which has driven us from &c; that he would go in for an effective ordinance.
“Mayor said, at the time was pursuing him with his writs, came to his house with a band of Missourians for the purpose of betraying him. Came to his gate, and was presented by , who was set to watch; came within his gate, and called ‘Mayor’, and the Mayor reproved for coming at that time of night with a company of strangers.
“ sworn; said that about 10 o’clock at night, a boat came up the with about a dozen men. came to the gate with them, on guard, stopped them. called Joseph to [HC 6:438] the door, and wanted an interview. Joseph said, ‘, you know better than to come here at this hour of the night’, and retired. Next morning wrote a letter to apologize, which heard read, which was written apparently to screen himself from the censure of a conspiracy, and the letter betrayed a conspiracy on the face of it.
“Adjourned at half past 6 p. m., till Monday 10th, at 10 o’clock A. M.
“Adjourned session, June 10th, 10 o’clock, A. M. presiding.
“Mayor referred to , and again read his letter of the 7th inst., as before quoted.)
“Cyrus Hills, (a stranger) sworn; said one day last week, believed it Wednesday, a gentleman whom witness did not know, came into the sitting room of the ‘’, and requested the Hon. Mayor to step aside, he wanted to speak with him. Mayor stepped through the door into the entry, by the foot of the stairs, and the General (Mayor) asked him what he wished? , (as witness learned since was his name) said he wanted some conversation on some business witness did not understand at the time; the General refused to go any farther, and said he would have no conversation in private, <&> what should be said should be in public; and told if he would choose three or four men, he would meet with the same number of men (among whom was his brother .) And they would have a cool and calm investigation of the subject, and by his making a proper satisfaction, things should be honorably adjusted. witness judged from the manner in which expressed himself that he agreed to the Mayor’s proposals, and would meet him the same day in the presence of friends; heard no proposals made by Mayor to for settlement; heard nothing about any offers of dollars, or money, or any other offer except those [p. 78]