JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. E-1, created 20 Aug. 1855–5 Apr. 1856; handwriting of Robert L. Campbell, , and Jonathan Grimshaw; 392 pages, plus 11 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fifth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fifth volume covers the period from 1 July 1843 to 30 Apr. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1, and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume E-1, constitutes the fifth 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 July 1843 to 30 April 1844, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in the mid-1850s.
The material recorded in volume E-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin. Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the history and creating a set of draft notes that Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks.
Robert L. Campbell, a recently returned missionary and member of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed ’s notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). The Church Historian’s Office journal entry for 2 May 1855 pinpoints the beginning of his work: “R. L. C. on Book D forenoon, afternoon began book E.” Campbell’s work on the volume apparently concluded on 5 April 1856; entries in the Historian’s Office journal indicate that he then moved on to other assignments while another clerk, Jonathan Grimshaw, began work on volume F-1, the last manuscript in the series. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 May 1855; 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.)
Volume E-1 contains 391 pages of primary text and 11 pages of addenda. The initial entry on page 1637 is a continuation of the 1 July 1843 entry that closed volume D-1. The final entry in volume E-1 is for 30 April 1844.
The 391 pages of volume E-1 document a crucial period of JS’s life and the history of the church. Important events recorded here include
• An account of JS’s 2 July 1843 meeting with several Pottawatamie chiefs.
• JS’s 4 July 1843 address regarding his recent arrest, the Legion, and Mormon voting practices.
• JS’s 12 July 1843 dictation of a revelation regarding eternal marriage, including the plurality of wives, in the presence of and .
• Dispatch of the first missionaries to the Pacific Islands on 20 September 1843, led by .
• JS’s 1 October 1843 announcement of ’s appointment to a mission to Russia.
• Minutes of a 6–9 October 1843 general conference inserted under the date of 9 October at which pled his case in regard to his 13 August 1843 disfellowshipment and was permitted to continue as counselor in the First Presidency.
• Text of JS’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of , inserted under the date of 29 November 1843.
• A 20 January 1844 entry that includes a poem by commemorating the presentation of two copies of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by .
• JS’s nomination on 29 January 1844 as an independent candidate for the presidency of the .
At noon met with the city Council. The following is a copy of the Minutes:—
“Special <City> Council Jan 3rd. 1844. 12 o’Clock
Names of Members called, all present. <The Mayor> directed the to notify and that the Council was in Session, <and> informed the Council that had said to <his> Brother that the police had been sworn by <him> secretly, to put — out of the way,— ‘I have had no private conversation with any of the police but the High Policeman , and that was to request him to have especial care of my personal safety,— as I apprehended attempts to kidnap me by the Missourians.’ <He> called on the policemen to say, if they had received any private oath from <him> when they all said No!
Councillor said that told him the police [HC 6:162] had sworn him, () to keep the secret, which was that he was to be put out of the way in 3 months.
The Mayor said he wished policemen to understand forever, that all he wanted was, <that> they should execute the ordinances of the , and his orders, according to law. Several of the police called for the individual to be named who had made the statement to .
The said he thought proper that should come and make his statement to the Council on oath.
The then said to the Police: ‘If you see a man stealing, and you have told him <3 times> to stand [blank], and warned him that he is a dead man if he does not stand, and he runs, shoot off his legs; the design of the office of the police is to stop thieving, but an enemy should not be harmed until he draws weapons upon you.
came in and was sworn to tell the whole truth, touching the case before the council.
said he had been informed that some of the policemen had had another oath administered, besides the one administered to them publicly; that one of them said there was a Judas in Gen. Smith’s cabinet,— one who stood next to him, and he must be taken care of, and that he must <not be allowed to go into the world, but must be——> taken care of; and he was not only a do<ugh> head and a traitor, like Judas, but an assassin like Brutus, that the idea had been advanced that the scriptures support such a doctrine.
. Who is the person, and who told you?
. I am under obligations not to tell.
. That is immaterial, you are bound to disclose the whole truth here by virtue of your oath.
. I am afraid to tell, one oath is as good as another.
The Mayor said he would protect him— he was bound to tell.
. Eli Norton told me.
. Was Eli Norton one of the Police?
. No— but he got his information from who is a Policeman. [p. 1851]