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 3.> give you wisdom if you will seek to him; and you shall prosper in your printing.
“We also wish you to unfurl your flag on your shipping office, and send all the saints you can to , or , or , or any other port in the ; but not at our expense any longer. We have need of something to sustain us in our labors, and we want you to go ahead with printing and shipping, and make enough to support yourself and help us a bit. You will doubtless find it necessary to employ brother Ward. Keep all your books straight, so that we in the end can know every particular. Ship every body to you can get the money for— saint and sinner— a general shipping office. And we would like to have our shipping agent in sleep on as good a bed, eat at as respectable a house, keep as genteel an office, and have his boots shine as bright and blacked as often, as any other office keeper. Yes, sir; make you money enough to wear a good broadcloth, and shew the world that you represent gentlemen of worth, character, and respectability. We will by and by have offices from the rivers to the ends of the earth; and we will begin at from this time and increase, and increase, and increase the business of the office as fast as it can be done in safety, and circumstances will permit. Employ a runner if necessary, and shew the world you can do a better and more honorable business than anybody else, and more of it. Don’t be afraid to blow your trumpet. We need not say deal with everybody, so that they will want to deal with your again, and make all the money you honestly can. Send no more emigrants on emigration, books, or Star money. Temple orders for emigrants may be filled on Temple funds. Keep account of all moneys in their separate departments, and favor us with a report occasionally. Sell the Books of Mormon the first opportunity if it be at a reduced price, and forward the money by the first safe conveyance to . We will pay your wife as you request<ed> in your letter as soon as possible. We wish you to take care of yourself and family, and with all help us beside; and we have now put you in possession of means to do it. Let no body know your business but the underwriters; our wives know not all our business, neither does any wise man’s wife know all things; for the secret of the Lord is with those that fear him, and do his business: a hint to the wise is sufficient; but we will add, if you want us to do any thing for your wife, write us and we will do it: but [HC 6:352] keep our business from your wife, and from every body else.
“We are glad to hear a door is open in France, and sure we have no objections to your going over and preaching &c; but we think perhaps you will now find as much to do in as you can find time to do it in; if not, go by all means. We are in hopes of sending a special messenger to France in a few days; if so, very likely he may call on you, and you pass over and give him an introduction: this would be pleasant for you all.
“(, a word with you privately: Joseph said last Conference that Zion included all North and South America; and after the was done, and the elders endowed, they would spread abroad and build up cities all over the : but at present we are not to teach this doctrine; Nay, hold your tongue; but by this you can see why it is wisdom for the saints to get into the — any where— rather than stay in to starve.) [p. 3]