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 .
<June 12> to organize the second Battalion, first Regiment, second Cohort, into a Regiment of Light Infantry, to be called “The Escort Regiment of light Infantry” to take place in the second Cohort according to assignment, on parade days, and do such other duties of escort &c. as may be necessary, and that he organize the first Battalion, first Regiment second Cohort, into a Regiment of artillery.”
About 40 Saints arrived from Peterboro New Hampshire.
<13> I started North with and the children to see her Sister Mrs. [Elizabeth Hale] Wasson and family living near , Lee County.
when going to the Prairie with several brethren to fence his five acre lot, broke the reach of his wagon, and all fell in a pile together; the wheel fell on his arm and bruised him considerably, but he was able to mend his wagon and continue his journey; after working hard all day, he went to brother Cheney’s house to obtain a drink of water, when an ugly dog bit him thro’ the calf of his leg, which made him very lame.
<14> Business is progressing; buildings are going up in every direction; and the citizens manifest a determination that shall be built up. the Stones of the begin to rise tier upon tier and <it> it already presents a stately and noble appearance.
The has been rising 3 or 4 days, and is now 3 or 4 inches above high water mark.
<15> We give the following extract from the “Salem Advertizer and Argus” being an extract from a lecture delivered in Salem by Mr J. B. Newhall. [HC 5:431]
“The Nauvoo is a very singular and unique structure. It is 150 feet in length, 98 feet wide, and when finished will be 150 feet high. It is different from any thing in ancient or modern history. Every thing about it is on a magnificent scale and when finished and seen from the opposite side of the , will present one, if not the most beautiful, chaste, and noble specimens of Architecture to be found in the World. We should like to be in possession of a model of this building, both on account of its great notoriety, as being connected with the Mormon or Latter day Saints’ religion, and also a work of art. Did our limits here permit, we might give a very minute description of the whole order of architecture This splendid drawing was executed by Mr. Newhall, while in , from a copy in the archives of that . We wish he had taken it on a large scale, but he probably did not on account of transportation. We regret exceedingly that we did not have the privilege of a near inspection of the Map of the city of ; the place which for sometime past has created more intense interest perhaps than any other city town or village in the country, if not in the World. But on inquiring for it, we found it had been rolled up and packed away. He gave a very glowing and interesting account of this . The location is one of the most beautiful upon the earth. Situated on the , rising in an inclined plane till it reaches the height where it overlooks an extensive tract of territory, unrivalled in rich and varying scenery. [p. 1577]