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 .
<5.> Wednesday 5. My Dear was worse, many fears were entertained, that she would not recover, she was [HC 5:167] baptized twice in the , which evidently did her much good. She grew worse again at night and continued very sick indeed I was unwell and much troubled on account of ’s sickness.
called Elder into his Office and said he had some matters to make known. He “had been at and had conversation with concerning ’s proceedings &c and had ascertained that had intentionally issued an illegal writ expecting thereby to draw President Joseph to to get acquitted by before , and having men there waiting with a legal writ to serve on Joseph as soon as he was released under the other one, and bear him away to , without further Ceremony. asked what power the ’s proclamation gave to any man or set of men who might be disposed to take President Joseph. He was answered “Just the same power and authority which a legal warrant gave to an officer” It is more and more evident that is determined to have me taken to if he can; but may the Almighty Jehovah shield and defend me from all their power, and prolong my days in peacce, that I may guide his people in righteousness, until my head is white with old age. Amen.
<6> Thursday 6. is better, and although it is the day on which she generally grows worse, yet she appears considerably easier. May the Lord speedily raise her to the bosom of her family, that the heart of his servant may be comforted again. Amen. My health is comfortable.
<7> Friday 7 This morning Elder states about the same things as were stated by two days ago, and also that he has been informed that many of the Missourians, are coming to unite with the Militia of this voluntarily, and at their own expense; so that after the Court rises at , if [HC 5:168] they dont take me there, they will come and search the &c. It is likely that this is only report. is some better. I am cheerful and well.
From the Situation and appearance of things abroad, I concluded to leave home for a short season, until there should be some change in the proceedings of my enemies, accordingly at 20 minutes after 8 o’clock this evening I started away in company with brothers , , and and travelled through the night and part of next day, and after a tedious journey arrived at Father ’s <in Henderson County> well and in good spirits.
This day the Teachers met in , and organized into a Quorum by appointing , President, and Counsellors, Samuel Eggleston, Scribe, and 11 Members
“To the Saints in and scattered abroad. This may Certify that President Joseph Smith the Trustee in Trust for the called upon the Temple Committee on the 1st. instant to present their books and accounts [p. 1405]