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 .
<September 1> his voice shall be very terrible, then the wicked shall tremble and fall back, they shall be taken in their own snares and fall into the pits which they have digged for others, but the just shall live by faith, and shall shine forth as the stars in the—— firmament, their glory shall be as the brightness of the Sun, for they are God’s.
“To his Excellency Governor of the State of . We the undersigned Members of the Relief Society, and Ladies of hearing many reports concerning Mobs, threats of extermination and other excitement set on foot by calculated to disturb the peace, happiness, and well being of this community, have taken the liberty to petition your for protection— It may be considered irrelevant for Ladies to petition your on the above named subject, and may be thought by you Sir, to be officious, and that it would be more becoming for our husbands, Fathers, Brothers, and Sons to engage in this work, and in our defence. This Sir, we will admit in ordinary cases is right, and that it would be more consistent with the delicacy of the female character to be silent; but on occasions like the present, that our desires for the peace of Society, the happiness of our friends, the desire to save the lives of our husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our children, and our own lives will be a sufficient palliation in the estimation of your for the step we have taken in presenting this petition in support of the one already sent your by the Male inhabitants of this . We would respectfully represent to your that we have not yet forgot the scenes of grief, misery, and woe that we had to experience from the hands of ruthless and blood thirsty mobs in the State of — the cup of Misery was prepared by lying, slander [HC 5:146] and misrepresentation, it was wrung out and filled by tyranny and oppression, and by a ruthless inhuman mob. we had to drink it to the dregs. Your will bear with us if we remind you of the cold blooded atrocities, that we—— witnessed in that , our bosoms heave with horror, our eyes are dim, our knees tremble, our hearts are faint, when we think of their horrid deeds, and if the petitions of our husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons, will not answer with your , we beseech you to remember that of their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters— let the voice of injured innocence in speak, let the blood of our fathers, our brothers, our sons and daughters speak, let the tears of the widows, the orphans, the maimed, the impoverished, speak, and let the injuries sustained by fifteen thousand innocent, robbed, spoiled, persecuted, and injured people speak, let the tale of our woe be told, let it be told—— without varnish, prejudice, or color, and we are persuaded there is no heart but will be softened, no feelings but will be affected, and no person but what will flee to our relief. Far be it from us to accuse your of obduracy or injustice, we believe you to be a humane, feeling, benevolent and patriotic man and therefore we appeal to you— Concerning , who is trying with other political Demagogues, to disturb our peace, we believe him to be an unvirtuous man, and a most consummate scoundrel, a stirrer up of sedition and a vile wretch, unworthy the attention or notice of any virtuous man, and [p. 1391]