JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth 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 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<February 18> was not the first time he had missed it, by not following my advice. While at dinner I remarked to my family and friends present, that when the Earth was sanctified and become like a sea of glass, it would be one great Urim and Thummim, and the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen.
“The Twelve, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in , Greeting: Beloved Brethren— We wish to present briefly, one important item, for your serious consideration. Our beloved President Joseph Smith, is now delivered from the prosecution and oppression from without, by which he has been bound, and also, by the same process has been relieved of his property, so that he has nothing now to hinder his devoting his time to the history of the Church, and the Spiritual interest thereof, except he has to spend his time in gathering food for his family. This is the point brethren, whether you will do your duty in supplying the President with food, that he may attend to the business of the [HC 5:279] church, and devote his whole time to the Spiritual affairs thereof, or shall he attend to your business, by running here and there for a bushel of wheat or a pound of Beef and Pork while the Revelations to the Church cease? This Question is for the Church to answer: therefore we call upon the brethren in , at this time, for immediate relief, you are all well aware that we do not raise wheat, corn, beef, pork, tallow, lard, butter, eggs and provisions, and vegetables in the such as you all use, which you are all well acquainted with. And we are the same kind of beings in as in the Country; and what you raise and eat in we would eat in if we could get it, our President not excepted— And every thing which is required to fill a Larder in is required in this place, and by this you may know what is wanting by our President to prosecute the Lord’s work and bring about your Salvation, not excepting cotton or woollen goods or groceries. Brethren we hope you will give an immediate answer to this by loaded teams or letter— Feb. 18. 1843. [B[righam] Young]. Prest. . Clerk.”
<19> Sunday 19 Spent the [blank] day, from nine in the morning till midnight, in the High Council who were attending to the case of and Uriel C. Nickerson who were in dispute about the title to certain lands on the Island, after hearing the testimony, I explained the laws of the , , and , and shewed them that Nickerson had the olderest claim, and best right, and left it for Law to say how much Nickerson should have, and the parties shook hands in token of a Settlement of all difficulties—
The following is copied from the Times and Seasons
“ Ill. Feb. 19. 1843 Mr. Alfred Ed Stokes— Dear Sir— In obedience to your request, I send you one number of each of the papers published in this place. I am well aware, that designing men, for sinister purposes, have put in circulation reports con[HC 5:280]cerning the people here, which are so monstrous, that it is a matter of surprise how any rational being could profess to believe them at all. If I were to even profess to believe such incredible and ridiculous nonsense about any people, I should consider the public would have sufficient cause to scorn me, as the mere tool of corrupt and foul slanderers, but any thing to stop the progress of that, which cannot be done by fact and scripture truth. That man must have a large stock of moral courage, who dare, in any wise, profess belief in such outlandish representations as are made in the public papers concerning the people of , and circulated orally by wicked and designing men. The old stale story about common stock, in defiance of fact and truth, it would appear by your letter, and that of your friend Evans, is professedly believed by the people in the vicinity of Waynesville, . This falsehood was invented by an ignorant blockhead, by the name of Matthew Clapp, who for want of any other means to stop the progress of truth, in its more incipient stages, invented this falsehood, and finding it took with persons [p. 1472]