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 .
<Sept.3. 1842 page 1391. > In the morning at home, in company with .
A letter was received from to the effect that the Missourians were again on the move, and that two requisitions were issued, one on the of this , and the other on the of . Their movements were represented as being very sacret and resolute. Soon after 12 o’clock, , the Deputy Sheriff, and two other men came into the house. It appeared that they had come up the river side, and hitched their horses below the , and then proceeded on foot, undiscovered, until they got into the house. When they arrived President Joseph was in another apartment of the house, eating dinner with his family. happened to be the first person discovered by the Sheriffs and they began to ask him where Mr Smith was. He answered that he saw him early in the morning; but did not say that he had seen him since. While this conversation was passing, President Joseph passed out at the back door, and through the corn in his garden to brother ’s. He went up stairs, and undiscovered. Meantime went and conversed with the Sheriffs. said he wanted to search the house for Mr Smith. In answer to a question by , he said he had no warrant authorizing him to search, but insisted upon searching the house. She did not refuse, and accordingly they searched through, but to no effect. This is another testimony and evidence of the mean, corrupt, illegal proceedings of our enenemies. Nothwithstanding the constitution of the says, Article 4th “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, homes, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Yet these men audaciously, impudently, and altogether illegally demanded, and searched the house of President Joseph, even without any warrant or authority whatever. Being satisfied that he was not in the house, they departed. They appeared to be well armed, and, no doubt, intended to take him either dead or alive; which we afterwards heard they had said they would do: but the Almighty again delivered his servant from their blood thirsty grasp. It is rumored that there are fifteen men in the along with the Sheriffs, and that they dined together to day at ’s. Soon after sundown, and another person arrived at the house and demanded to search, which they immediately did, but finding nothing, they also went towards ’s. Some of them were seen about afterwards but at <about> 10 o’clock all was quiet. It is said that they started from yesterday, expecting, and fully determined to reach in the night, and fall upon the house unawares, but report says, they lost the road, and got scattered away, one from another, and could not get along until daylight. This, in all probability, is true, as they appeared much fatigued, and complained of being weary and sore with riding. President Joseph, accompanied by brother , left ’s about 9 o’clock; and went to brother ’s, where he was welcomed and made comfortable by the family, and where he can be kept safe from the hands of his enemies. [p. 1 [addenda]]
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 9 Sept. 1842, 100–101.
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book / Nauvoo City Council. “A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841,” ca. 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3435.