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 .
<January 6> The opinion of as recorded in this history was copied from the “Sangamo Journal”, and believed to be ’s opinion as corrected and altered by him from the report furnished him by my . [HC 5:244] In the Judge’s opinion on the bench he remarked like this “were it my prerogative to impeach Congress, for any one thing, it would be for granting power for the transportation of fugitives on Affidavit, and not on indictment alone”. He also passed several severe strictures on the actions of different Governors and Officers concerned in my case, but which I suppose he thought proper to omit in his printed copy. I received many invitations to visit distinguished Gentlemen in , which time would not permit me to comply with. Also a ticket from the Manager to attend the Theatre this evening. but the play was prevented by the rain. [HC 5:245]
<7> Saturday 7. At 8½ <in the morning> We left ’ to return to , and arrived at Captain [Ebenezer] Dutch’s at 4 <in the evening> Travelling very bad, with Snow and Mud, and yet so cold as to whiten the horses with frost. While riding this day and composed a Jubileesong, which they wrote and sung in the evening, and “Dedicated to all <lovers> of Liberties,” as printed on the first page of the 37th. Number of “The Wasp”
Recent accounts from Alexandria in Egypt, state the Mortality -[Murrain]- among Cattle still continued, and it was calculated that upwards of 200,000 Oxen had already died.
<8> Sunday 8. at 8 in <morning> we left Captain [Ebenezer] Dutch’s, and passing through and , and crossing the on the Ice, arrived at at 4 P.M. After supper I went to Mr. ’s, with several of the brethren, and spent the evening very agreeably, partly in examining drafts of improvements he had made in some operative, and defensive Machinery.
<9> Monday 9. at 8½ <in morning> Started for ; roads very hard, smooth and icy. When [HC 5:246] about 2 miles west of at 12½ P.M. the Horses of the Large Carriage slipped and became unmanageable, and horses and carriage with and in it went off the embankment, some 6 or 8 feet perpendicular, doing no damage, except breaking the fore axletree and top of the Carriage. It was a remarkable interposition of Providence that neither of the brethren were injured in the least. The company agreed that should pay the damage, cut down a small tree, spliced the axle, drove on, and arrived at ’s in about 4 P.M. After supper I visited my Sister Catherine Salisbury, accompanied by and Sister Durphy. This was the first time I had visited her in the State of , and the circumstance brought vividly to my mind many things pertaining to my ’s house of which I spake freely and particularly of my brother . He was a very handsome man, surpassed by none but Adam and Seth, and of great strength. When two Irishmen were fighting, and one was about to gouge the other’s eyes, took him by his collar and breeches, and threw him over the ring, which was composed of men standing around to witness the fight (“While there” said “my heart was pained to see a Sister of Joseph’s almost barefoot, and four lovely children entirely so, in the middle of a severe winter. What has not Joseph and his ’s family suffered to bring forth the work of the Lord in these last days”) We returned to ’s just before the close of the meeting at the School House where preached. After passing the usual salutations with several who had called [p. 1452]