JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. B-1, created 1 Oct. 1843–24 Feb. 1845; handwriting of and ; 297 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the second volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This second volume covers the period from 1 Sept. 1834 to 2 Nov. 1838; the subsequent four volumes, labeled C-1 through F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, volume B-1, is the second of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. The narrative in volume B-1 begins with the entry for 1 September 1834, just after the conclusion of the Camp of Israel (later called Zion’s Camp), and continues to 2 November 1838, when JS was interned as a prisoner of war at , Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
, serving as JS’s “private secretary and historian,” completed the account of JS’s history contained in volume A-1 in August 1843. It covered the period from JS’s birth in 1805 through the aftermath of the Camp of Israel in August 1834. When work resumed on the history on 1 October 1843, Richards started a new volume, eventually designated B-1.
At the time of JS’s death in June 1844, the account had been advanced to 5 August 1838, on page 812 of volume B-1. ’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and , assisted by , resumed gathering the records and reports needed to draft the history. Richards then composed and drafted roughed-out notes while Thomas Bullock compiled the text of the history and inscribed it in B-1. They completed their work on the volume on or about 24 February 1845. Richards, , and Jonathan Grimshaw later added ten pages of “Addenda,” which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated.
Though JS did not dictate or revise any of the text recorded in B-1, and chose to maintain the first-person, chronological narrative format established in A-1 as if JS were the author. They drew from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. As was the case with A-1, after JS’s death, , , , and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” It was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
The narrative recorded in B-1 continued the story of JS’s life as the prophet and president of the church he labored to establish. The account encompasses significant developments in the church’s two centers at that time—, Ohio, and northwest —during a four-year-span. Critical events included the organization of the Quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, the establishment of the Kirtland Safety Society, dissension and apostasy in Kirtland and Missouri, the first mission to England, JS’s flight from Kirtland to Missouri in the winter of 1838, the Saints’ exodus from Kirtland later that year, the disciplining of the Missouri presidency, and the outbreak of the Missouri War and arrest of JS. Thus, B-1 provides substantial detail regarding a significant period of church expansion and transition as well as travail.
<June 29 Resolutions> 4th. That said committee consist of Andrew Robertson, , Littleberry Sublet, John Baxter, Jas. M. Hughes, W. J. Moss, , Peter Rogers, , and J. T. V. Thompson, who shall meet on the morrow at the house of Mr Cowen, and confer with the Mormons, and report to this meeting as soon thereafter as convenient, the reply of the Mormons to these requisitions.
5th. That if the Mormons agree to these propositions, we will use every means in our power to allay the excitement among our own citizens, and to get them to await the result of these things.
6th. That it is the opinion of this meeting that the recent emigrants among the Mormons, should take measures to leave this immediately, as they have no crops on hand and nothing to lose by continuing their journey to some more friendly land. On Motion of , the preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted. Be it Resolved that this meeting adjourn until Saturday next. , Chair. John F. Doherty, Secy”
<28 ’s Letter.> On the day previous, June 28th Elder wrote from Hickman County, Tennessee, stating that many citizens of the county of Benton, and some of Carroll, had met in convention, headed by a Methodist Priest, who was called to the chair, and the county clerk appointed Secretary. They drew up resolutions to drive all the “Mormon” preachers from their coast, signed by the Sheriff and many who were sworn to be civil peace officers, also Colonels, Majors, &c.
“We enjoyed our meeting unmolested at Bro [Seth] utley’s on saturday the 19th. instants. Hundreds had entered into the conspiracy. In the afternoon a little before sunset, a company of some forty or fifty men made their appearance, some on foot others mounted, two on a horse, with guns, sticks, clubs, &c. They were led by a sheriff, Col, first, and second Major, other officers, and <, & , Mobbed in Tennessee> a Methodist priest, with a gun on his shoulder. The Sheriff informed us that he had a states Warrant for , , and , issued on complaint of the Methodist priest, Matthew Williams, chairman as above, who swore that we had put forth the following false and pretended prophecy, viz: That Christ would come the second time before this generation passed away, also that four individuals should receive the Holy Ghost within four and twenty hours. The company consisted, as we were informed, of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, liars, drunkards, hog and horse theives. So determined were they to force us off at that late hour, that it was with much difficulty we could prevail on them to shew us any lenity: however they protracted the time of our appearance at court until tuesday by giving our bond, with surety of two brethren. in the sum of one thousand dollars. Then They intended to have led us into the woods under the dark curtain of night, with the pretension of taking us before the magistrate, that they might the better execute their diabolical designs upon us. On Tuesday, in company with about twenty brethren and warm friends who were ready and [p. 739]