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 25> they wanted to talk, but their interpreter could not speak much.
The writ of was returned endorsed thereon “Judge absent” when another writ of Habeas Corpus was issued at 7 a.m. by the Master in and was worded at s request, “returnable before the nearest tribunal in the fifth judicial district, authorized to hear and determine writs of habeas corpus” and the Sheriff of served it on them, in a few minutes afterwards. I, my Lawyers, , Dixon and other friends, held a Council and arranged to start before 9 a.m. to go before Judge [HC 5:447] , at , a distance of about 260 miles <*> after these arrangements were made, I sent with a letter to Gen directing him to meet me at on Wednesday evening, with sufficient force to prevent my being kidnapped into as I well know that the whole country was swarming with men anxious to carry me there, and kill me without any shadow of law or justice, and <although> they well know that I had not committed any crime worthy of death or bonds.
* I employed Mr. with the stage coach to convey us on our journey towards .
<26.> It was reported there were state writs in to take , and to , who armed themselves to prevent being kidnapped.
I copy the following from the Chicago Democrat
“Dear Sir; Our little town has been in an unusual state of excitement for the few days past, originating from the arrest of General Joseph Smith, which took place at the Inlet Grove, while he was on a visit, with his family, to a sister, who resides there. He was arrested on Friday last, by an officer from , and delivered over to the of , Missouri, in compliance with the orders of the .
The officers who took him, brought him into town in the evening and confined him closely to his room; refusing admission not only to the citizens, whose curiosity had drawn them to the spot, but to counsel whom he had requested to have employed.
Our citizens, conceiving it a violation of right, that a man should be deprived of that advice and assistance which is accorded to the most degraded and guilty offender in all civilized countries, under such circumstances, expressed themselves in such strong and indignant terms, that the officers finally permitted to Counsel to have access to him. He applied for the benefit of the ; and, while the lawyers were busy drawing <up> the necessary papers, the officers frequently asserted that they would not wait, but would leave for the , at all hazards. [HC 5:448] They were, however, induced by the <force of arg>ument to desist from their intention, and wait until morning: when the habeas corpus was served. After which, they started their determination to go to Rock Island and by steamboat from thence to , before General Smith justly felt fearful that once on a steamboat, he should hardly reach . The distance from this place to Rock Island is the same as from here to . General Smith finding this their determination, commenced suit against the of [p. 1586]