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 .
<August 19> language as on a former occasion, viz, that he was satisfied there was “no excitement any where but in amongst the Mormons themselves,” all was quiet, and no apprehension of trouble in other places so far as he was able to ascertain. He afterwards stated when conversing on another subject, that “persons were offering their services every day either in person, or by letter, and held themselves in readiness to go against the Mormons whenever he should call upon them, but he never had the least idea of calling out the Militia, neither had he thought it necessary.” There was evidently a contradiction in his assertions in the above instances and although he said “there was no excitement but amongst the Mormons,” it is evident he knew better. He also said that it was his opinion that if Joseph would give himself up to the Sheriff he would be honorably acquitted and the matter would be ended; but on asking how he thought Mr. Smith could go through the midst of his enemies without violence being used towards him? and if acquitted, how he [HC 5:118] was to get back? the was evidently at a loss what to say, but made light of the matter as though he thought it might be easily done. He took great care to state that it was not his advice that Mr. Smith should give himself up but thought it would be soonest—— decided. It appeared evident by the conversation that was no friend to the Saints, and they could expect no good things from him. He explicitly acknowledged his ignorance of the law touching the case in question—
After spending the day in conversation and reading, in the evening I received a visit from my Aunt , and at night went to the , and concluded to tarry at home until something further transpired relative to the designs of my persecutors.
<20> Saturday 20. Spent the day in my general business office, otherwise called the Lodge or assembly room, or Council Chamber— which is over my , and the place where most of the business of the and Church is transacted. My health very indifferent. In the evening had an interview with my Brother , , and on the illegality of the proceedings of our persecutors.
The High Council in session
“Resolved that the City of be divided into ten wards, according to the division made by the “Temple Committee” and that there be a Bishop appointed over each Ward, and, also that other Bishops be appointed over such districts immediately out of the and adjoining thereto as shall be considered necessary. Resolved that be appointed Bishop in the place of Bishop deceased, also that be appointed Bishop of the 4th. Ward, of the 5th. Ward, of the 6th. Ward, < of the 7th. Ward,> of the 8th. Ward, of the 9th. Ward, of the 10th. Ward, David Evans of the District south of the called the 11th. Ward. of the District East of the [HC 5:119] and South of Knight Street— of the district, East of the and North of Knight Street.”
The City Council instructed the Sexton, to report weekly, to the Editor of some Newspaper published in this , the names and ages of persons deceased, and nature of their disease, or cause of their death.
<The Twelve met in Council and ordained to be one of the Twelve Apostles.—— was born in Lyman, Grafton Co. N.H. 30 March 1813 where he received the gospel through the ministry of 27 April 1832, ordained an Elder under my hands 23 August 1832 in , Portage Co. Ohio. He was one of my fellow prisoners, bound with the same Chains in Jail. Missouri.>
was declared unworthy to hold the Office of Chancellor of the University and was discharged— and was elected in his stead—— [p. 1379]