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 25> sound currency for the having previously arisen. I addressed the Council at [HC 5:288] considerable length, giving amongst others, the following hints.
Situated as we are, with a flood of—— emigration constantly pouring in upon us, I consider that it is not only prudential but absolutely necessary, to protect the inhabitants of this , from being imposed upon by a spurious currency. Many of our Eastern and old Country friends are altogether unacquainted with the situation of the banks in this region of country, and as they generally bring specie with them, they are in danger of being gulled perpetually by speculators. Besides there is so much uncertainty in the solvency of the best of banks, that I think it much safer to go upon the hard money system altogether. I have examined the Constitution upon this subject, and find my doubts removed. The Constitution is not a law, but it empowers the people to make Laws; for instance the Constitution governs the land of but it is not a law for the people. The Constitution tells us what shall not be lawful tender, the 10 Section declares that nothing else except Gold and Silver shall be lawful tender, this is not saying that Gold and Silver shall be lawful tender; it only provides that the States may make a law to make Gold and Silver lawful tender. I know of no State in the Union that has passed such a law, and I am sure that has not. The Legislature has ceded up to us the privilege of enacting such laws as are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the and the State of ; and we stand in the same relation to the State, as the State does to the Union. The clause referred to in the Constitution is for the Legislature, it is not a law for the People. The different States and even Congress itself have passed many laws diametrically contrary to the Constitution of the . The State of has passed a stay law making property a lawful tender for the payment of debts, and if we have no law on the subject, we must be governed by them. Shall we be such fools as to be governed by their laws which are Unconstitutional? No! we will make a law for Gold and Silver, and then their law ceases and we can collect our debts. Powers not delegated to the States or reserved from the States are Constitutional. The Constitution acknowledges that the People have all power not—— reserved to itself. I am a Lawyer, I <am> a big Lawyer, and comprehend Heaven, Earth, and Hell, to bring forth knowledge that shall cover up all Lawyers, Doctors, and other big bodies. This is the doctrine of the Constitution, So help me God. The Constitution is not law to us, but it makes provision for us whereby we can make laws. Where it provides that no one shall be hindered from worshipping God according [HC 5:289] to his own conscience is a Law. No Legislature can enact a Law to prohibit it. The Constitution provides to regulate bodies of men and not Individuals.
and objected to the Ordinance regulating the Currency from taking immediate effect. and spoke in favor of the Bill— I invited and , who were present, to give their opinion on the Bill. they both spoke in favor of a Gold and Silver Currency, and that it take immediate effect in the . <The Bill was postponed until next Council.>