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 .
After meeting many of the Saints repaired to the landing at the ; the Steamer “Maid of Iowa” arrived during meeting from , where it went last night after the freight which it left to enable it to get over the rapids. [HC 5:357]
I was among them until about 3 o’clock, when the boat left, I walked with .
18 vessels wrecked on the Irish Coast, by the Easterly winds.
The Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey, exploded, killing seven persons.
The Siamese Twins Chang and Eng, married the two sisters Sarah and Adelaide Yeates, of Wilkes County, North Carolina.
<14> Rode out to my and to the Prairie, with some of the Emigrants; sold 20 acres of land and when I was again riding out in the evening, broke the Carriage on the side hill, when we all returned home on foot.
I give the following speech entire, as copied from the National Intelligencer, as a specimen of the way the seed of Joseph are being “wasted before the Gentiles.”
“Speech of Colonel Cobb.
Head Mingo of the Choctaws, East of the , in reply to the Agent of the Brother: We have heard you talk as from the lips of our Father, the great White Chief at , and my people have called upon me to speak to you, The red man has no books, and when he wishes to make known his views, like his fathers before him, he speaks from his mouth. He is afraid of writing— When he speaks, he knows what he says; the Great Spirit hears him. Writing is the invention of the pale faces; it gives birth to error and to fends. The Great Spirit talks— we hear him in the thunder— in the rushing winds and the mighty waters— but he never writes.
Brother: When you were young we were strong; we fought by your side; but our arms are now broken. You have grown large. My people have become small.
Brother: My voice is weak; you can scarcely hear me; it is not the shout of a warrior, but the bewail of an infant. I have lost it in mourning for the misfortunes of my people.— These are their graves, and in those aged pines you hear the ghosts of the departed. Their ashes are here, and we have been left to protect them. Our warriors are nearly all gone to the far country West; but here are our dead. Shall we go too, and give their bones to the wolves?
Brother: Two sleeps have passed since we heard you talk. We have [HC 5:358] thought upon it— You ask us to leave our country, and tell us it is our father’s wish. We would not desire to displease our father. We respect him, and you his child. But the Choctaw always thinks We want time to answer.
Brother: Our hearts are full. Twelve winters ago our chiefs sold our country. Every warrior that you see here was opposed to the treaty. If the dead could have been counted, it could never have been made; but, alas! though they stood around, they could not be seen or heard. Their tears came in the rain drops, and their voices in the wailing wind, but the pale faces knew it not, and our land was taken away. [p. 1532]