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.> dollars, which, on account of expenditure for the poor, he was not able to pay to within some 70 or 80 dollars, which they pressed him for as soon as they wanted it, although he offered them good property at considerable less than the market value; as was obliged to leave the city on church business for a little season. threatened and intimidated ’ family during his absence for the pay.
“ made a public dinner on the 4th of July. was obliged to be absent, and deposited meat, flour &c., with to give to the poor at that dinner, and handed it out as his own private property. carried a load of wheat to ’s mill to be ground; would not grind it only to give a certain quantity of flour in return by weight. used up the flour, promising from time to time he would refund it. As was about to start on a mission to the south, with his valise in hand, saw before his door, talking with , called on and told him he was going away, and his family wanted the flour; promised on the honor of a gentleman and a saint that his family should have the flour when they wanted.
“Councilor said he recollected the time and circumstance.
“ said, when he returned he found his family must have starved if they had not borrowed money to get food somewhere else; could not get it of . And was preaching puntuality, punctuality, punctuality, as the whole drift of his discourses to the saints; and abusing them himself all the time, and grinding the poor.
“Mayor said if he had a council who felt as he did, the establishment (referring to the Nauvoo Expositor) would be <declared> a nuisance before night; and he then read an editorial from the Nauvoo Expositor. He then asked who ever said a word against until he has attacked this council; or even against or the Laws, until they came out against the ? Here is a paper (Nauvoo Expositor) that is exciting our enemies abroad. has been proved a murderer before this council, and he declared the paper a nuisance, a greater nuisance then a dead carcase. They make <it> a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven, according to the Keys of the holy priesthood; and he then read a statement of ’s from the Expositor, where the truth of God was transformed into a lie concerning this thing. He then read several statements of in the Expositor concerning a private interview, and said he never had any private conversation with on these subjects; that he preached on the stand from the bible, shewing the order in ancient days, having nothing to do with the present times. What the opposition party [HC 6:441] want, is to raise a mob on us and take the spoil from us, as they did in ; he said it was as much as he could do to keep his clerk , from publishing the proceedings of the Laws, and causing the people to rise up against them; said he would rather die tomorrow, and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy among the people, and bringing death and destruction upon us.
“ recalled a circumstance which he had forgot to mention, concerning a Mr. Smith who came from and soon after died; the children had no one to protect them. There was one girl 16 or 17 years old, and a younger sister; took these girls into his family out of pity. , then Major General of the Nauvoo Legion, was familiar with the eldest daughter; ed cautioned the girl. was soon there again and went out in the evening with the girl, who when charged by the ’s wife confessed that had seduced her. told her he could not keep her; the girl wept, made much ado, and many promises; told her if she would do right, she might stay; but she did not keep her promise. came again, and she went out with him; then [p. 80]