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 .
<September 4> attended with my family until 5 p.m.
I copy from the New York Sun as follows
“This Joe Smith must be set down as an extraordinary character, a prophet-hero, as Carlyle might call him. He is one of the great men of this age, and in future history will rank with those, who, in one way or other, have stamped their impress strongly on society.
Nothing can be more plebian, in seeming, than this Joe Smith. Little of dignity is there in his cognomen; but few in this age have done such deeds, and performed such apparent miracles. It is no small thing, in the blaze of this nineteenth century, <to give to Man a New Revelation; found a new religion; establish new forms of worship,> to build a city, with new laws, institutions, and orders of architecture; to establish ecclesiastical civil, and military jurisdiction; found colleges; send out missionaries, and make proselytes in two hemispheres: yet all this has been done by Joe Smith, and that against every sort of opposition, ridicule, and persecution. This sect has its martyrs also, and the spirit in which they were imprisoned and murdered, in , does not appear to have differed much from that which has attended religious persecutions in all ages of the world.
That Joe Smith, the founder of the Mormons, is a man of great talent— a deep thinker, and eloquent speaker; an able writer, and a man of great mental power, no one can doubt who has watched his career. That his followers are deceived, we all believe; but, should the inherent corruptions of Mormonism fail to develop themselves sufficiently to convince its followers of their error where will the thing end? A great military despotism is growing up in the fertile West, increasing faster, in proportion, than the surrounding population, spreading its influence around, and marshalling multitudes under its banners, causing serious alarm to every patriot.”
What is the reason that men are so blind that they cannot, or will not, see the hand of the Lord in his work of the last days?
<5> Tuesday Went to the office at 9 A.M. with Mr Hamilton, of , who had obtained a deed from [HC 6:3] the Sheriff of the for Lot 2 Block 103 in the city of for taxes, although I had previously paid them: which is another specimen of the oppression, injustice, and rascality of Mr. Collector [Walter] Bagby who by such foul means robs me and other Saints, and abuses all who come unfortunately in his power.
I requested my Clerk to make out a Bill of Fare for the mansion.
The Ship “Metoka” sailed from with a company of Saints on board.
<7> Thursday I took home the letter written to for the Church history, a small fragment of which only has been preserved and is as follows:
“Messrs Editors:— The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been, according to the scriptures: [-[Amos 3.7 and Acts 1. 2.]]- and through the will and blessings of God, I have been an instrument, in his hands, thus far, to move forward the cause of Zion: Therefore, in order to fulfil the solicitations of your letter of July last, I shall commence with my life.
“I was born in the town of , Windsor Co., Vermont, on the 23rd of December A. D. 1805. When ten years old my parents removed to [p. 1714]