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 16> can then save them. We shall try Smith on the case when we get him into [.] The war goes bravely on, and altho’ Smith thinks he is now safe— The enemy is near, even at the door. He has awoke the wrong passenger. The will relinquish Joe up at once on the new requisition, there is but one opinion on the case, and that is, nothing can save Joe on a new requisition and demand predicated on the old charges, on the institution of new Writs. He must go to , but he shall not be harmed if he is not guilty, but he is a murderer and must suffer the penalty of the law. Enough on this subject. I hope that both of your kind and amiable families are well, and you will please to give them all my best respects. I hope to see you all soon. When the officer arrives I shall be near at hand. I shall see you all again— Please to write me at immediately. Yours respectfully— — P.S. Will please to hand this letter to after reading? ”
This is his letter verbatimet literatim
In the foregoing the designs of are very plainly manifest; and to see his rascality you have only to read some Articles from his pen published in the “Times and Seasons” about 2 years ago, on the subject of the affair. I shall be happy to hear from you on this subject as soon as convenient, also if you have received any communication from . We are ready to execute the Mortgage at any time— Yours very respectfully Joseph Smith by — Agent. P.S. I would just remark that I am not at all indebted to for this letter, but to , who after he had read it immediately brought it to me. J. S.” [HC 5:251]
<The Ship Swanton sailed from with a company of Saints for led by Elder >
<17> Tuesday 17. being the time appointed by the Twelve as a day of humiliation[,] fasting, praise, prayer and thanksgiving before the great Eloheim, I attended a public meeting in my own house, which was crowded to overflowing. Many other—— meetings were held in various parts of the , which were well attended, and there was great joy among the people that I had once more been delivered from the grasp of my enemies. In the evening I attended a reference with 6 others, on a land case of ’s.
<18> Wednesday 18. At 10 A.M. The party invited began to assemble at my house and before 12. they were all present except and Wife, and brother ’s wife who was sick. I distributed cards among them, printed for the occasion, containing the Jubilee song of brothers and , also one by Sister , as printed on the 96th. page 4th. Volume of Times and Seasons, which were sung by the—— Company with the warmest feelings. I then read’s <Letter> to Mr. and of the 10th. instant, and told them that shewed me the letter. did not want to have it known that he had any hand in showing the letter, but wanted to keep it a secret, as though he were holding a <private> correspondence with . but as soon as got the letter, he brought it to me, which proves that had no correspondence with , and had no fellowship for his works of darkness. I told them I had sent word to by , that before I would be troubled any more by I would fight first. Conversation continued on various topics until two o’clock, when twenty one sat down to the dinner table, and and myself waited on them, with other Assist[HC 5:252]ants. My room was small so that but few could be accommodated at a time. Twenty sat down to the second table [p. 1455]