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.
<August> but deliver up all offenders to be dealt with according to law and justice— The assembly dispersed on these friendly terms, myself and friends returning to where we arrived about Midnight and found all quiet
<10.> Friday 10th. Being somewhat fatigued I spent the day with my family transacting but little business.
<Camp> Sickness continued in the Camp. Brother Carrico’s child died, Elder Tyler was healed by the prayer of Faith.
The Spirit of Mobocracy continued to stalk abroad, notwithstanding all our treaties of peace, as will be seen by the following Affidavit [HC 3:60]
<’s affidavit> “State of Missouri— — Personally appeared before me the undersigned judge of the fifth judicial circuit and makes oath that he has good reason to believe, and that he verily does believe that there is now collected &— embodied in the a large body of armed men, whose movements and conduct are of a highly insurrectionary and unlawful character, that they consist of about five hundred men, and that they, or a part of them to the number of one hundred & twenty have committed violence against by surrounding his house, and taking him in a violent manner, and subjecting him to great indignities, by forcing him under threats of immediate death to sign a paper writing of a very disgraceful character and by threatening to do the same to all the old Settlers & Citizens of , and that they have as a collected and armed body, threatened to put to instant death this affiant, on sight, and that he verily believes they will accomplish that act without they are prevented, and also that they have threatened the same to Wm. Bowman, and others, and this affiant states that he verily believes all the above facts to be true, and that the body of men now assembled do intend to commit great violence to many of the citizens of , and that they have already done so to , and this affiant verily believes from the information of others that Joseph Smith Jr. & are the leaders of this body of armed men, and the names of others thus combined are not certainly known to this Affiant, and he further states the fact to be that it is his opinion and he verily believes that it is the object of this body of armed men, to take vengeance for some injuries or imaginary injuries done to some of their friends, and to intimidate and drive from the all the old Citizens & possess themselves of their lands, or to force such as do not leave, to come into their measures and submit to their dictation. .— Sworn to & subscribed before me the undersigned judge as aforesaid this 10th. day of August 1838. .”—
the above was also sworn to by William Bowman, Wilson McKinney and John Netherton— So it is that when Men’s hearts become so hard and corrupt as to glory in devising, robbing, plundering, mobbing and murdering innocent men women and children by wholesale, they will more readily swear to lies than speak the truth— At this time <in some of> the brethren had removed with [HC 3:61] their families from the vicinity of , to , and , for safety.
<11. Joseph goes to > Saturday 11th. This morning I left with my Counsel and Elder to visit the Brethren on the , who had come from with and settled at that place contrary to Counsel. In the afternoon, after my departure, a Committee < Committee> from arrived at to enquire into the proceedings of our Society, in going armed into , complaint having been entered in by , and others. The committee from requested an interview with a Committee of , and a general meeting was called at the city Hall at six in the evening. When it <Public Meeting> was stated that they were assembled to take into consideration the doings of the Citizens of , wherein they have accused the Mormons of this place of breaking the peace, in defending their rights and that of their brethren in the ; and the meeting organized by appointing Bishop Chairman, and Clerk—
Resolved first that this Committee of seven be appointed to confer with the Committee from — Resolved second that this Committee with their Secretary, be authorized to answer such questions as may be offered [p. 814]