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 .
<August 11> hailed a person in the bank, but received a very unsatisfactory answer, whereupon we turned about and put to the channel, and upon coming near the middle of the [HC 5:90] discovered two fires a little higher. We immediately steered towards the fires and were happy to find awaiting our arrival. We then proceeded through the timber to ’s house where we were very kindly received and made welcome. and departed each for home expressing their perfect willingness to aid us in every possible manner. also promised to ascertain the state of affairs in and give us the earliest information.
<12> Friday 12. This forenoon it appeared still more evident that the whole course of proceedings by and others were illegal. After some consultation with brother , concluded to despatch a messenger with a Letter to of to request him to go to , Iowa Territory and there see the of , and endeavor to ascertain whether had made any requisition on him for myself and . proceeded to cross the on my horse, Jo. Duncan, in sight of a number of persons— one chief design in this movement was, to draw the attention of the Sherriffs and Public from all idea that I was on the side of the .
At night and left after dark and came to see me, and found me cheerful and in good spirits.
<13> Saturday 13 This forenoon received a letter from at , stating that had said, that his proceedings were illegal, and he should not pursue the subject any further. The letter also stated that Ford (the agent to receive me from the hands of the Sheriff and carry me to ) had concluded to take the first boat and start home: and that he was going to fetch a force from . All this my friends thought was only a scheme got up for the pur[HC 5:91]pose of throwing us off our guard that they might come unexpectedly . . . . . . . kidnap, and carry me to . I had [blank] sent a request to to come and see me, and she had concluded to start in the Carriage, but while it was preparing, it attracted the attention of the Sheriff who kept a close watch of all movements. To avoid suspicion, walked to Sister Durphy’s and waited the arrival of the carriage. which passed off down the with and , with raised curtains, receiving by the way, without any discovery, by the Sheriff. when about four miles down the the carriage turned on the the Prairie and passing round the turned into the Timber opposite Wiggan’s farm. when alighted and walked to ’s and the carriage returned. I was in good Spirits although somewhat afflicted in body, and was much rejoiced to meet my dear once more.
A report came over the that “there are several small companies of Men in , , &c in search of Joseph, they saw his horse go down the yesterday and were confident he was on that side. They swear they will have him. It is said there is a reward of thirteen hundred dollars offered for the apprehnesion and delivery of Joseph and , and this is supposed to have induced them to make search. [blank] The Sheriff and Deputy have uttered heavy [p. 1365]