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 .
I issued an against , and a search warrant on oath of , to search the house of Dial Sherwood; in the evening the brought 2 try squares, 1 padlock, 1 shirt, also a bit stock, smoothing plane, and other tools, some of which were claimed as stolen property.
I with , [HC 5:300] and many others, about 7 P.M. discovered a stream of light in the south west quarter of the heavens, its pencil rays were in the form of a broad sword, with the hilt downward, the blade raised, pointing from the west, south west, raised to an angle of 45 degrees from the horizon, and extending nearly, or within 2 or 3 degrees to the zenith of the degree where the sign appeared; this sign gradually disappeared from 7½ o’clock and at 9 had entirely disappeared. As sure as there is a God who sits enthroned in the heavens, and as sure as he ever spoke by me, so sure will there be a speedy and bloody war, and the broad sword seen this evening is the sure sign thereof.
Last night I dreamed that a silver headed old man came to me, and said there was a mob force coming upon him, and he was likely to lose his life, he had heard that I was a Lieutenant General, and [blank] had the command of a large force, <and> that I always sought to defend the oppressed, and I was also a Patriot and disposed to protect the innocent and unoffending, and wanted I should protect him, and he had come to hear with his own ears what I would say to him. I told him I wanted <some> written documents to shew the facts that they are the aggressors, and I would raise a force sufficient to protect him, that I would collect the Legion. The old man then turned to go from me, when he got a little distance, he suddenly turned again and said to me “You must call out the Legion and he would have the papers ready when I arrived, and says he “I have any amount of men, which you can have under your command”
A shock of an Earthquake felt in Lancashire, , and on the isle of Guernsey,producing considerable alarm.
The papers teem with accounts of singular phenomena, fearful sights are seen in all parts of the world. [HC 5:301]
<11> Very cold last night, the water froze in the warmest rooms in the
At 9 A M I started in company with Bro. to , and had a delightful drive, arrived at at a quarter to four: lodged with bro. . In the evening I pulled up Justus A Norse, the strongest man in , with one hand, at pulling sticks.
It is reported in the papers that the workmen employed on the “General Pratte (which was burned and sunk last fall near , in the ,) with a Diving bell, on the 3rd January, found the wreck in about 24 feet water; on that night was an earthquake; next day the wreck had disappeared, no trace could be found, and the water was from 100 to 120 ft deep, and for about 100 ft no bottom; and in another place, a bar was discovered where previous was deep water. [p. 1496]