JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. F-1, created 9 Apr.–7 June 1856 and 20 Aug. 1856–6 Nov. 1856; handwriting of and Jonathan Grimshaw; 304 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the final volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This sixth volume covers the period from 1 May to 8 Aug. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1 through E-1, go through 30 Apr. 1844.
History, 1838-1856, volume F-1, constitutes the last 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 May 1844 to the events following his 27 June 1844 death, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in 1856.
The material recorded in volume F-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin, and also assistant church historian . Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the volume and creating a set of draft notes, which Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks. Woodruff gathered additional material concerning the death of Joseph Smith as a supplement to George A. Smith’s work recording that event. Jonathan Grimshaw and , members of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed the draft notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents.
According to the Historian’s Office journal, Jonathan Grimshaw initiated work on the text of volume F-1 on 9 April 1856, soon after Robert L. Campbell had completed work on volume E-1. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.) Grimshaw’s scribal work begins with an entry for 1 May 1844. Unlike previous volumes in which the numbering had run consecutively to page 2028, Grimshaw began anew with page 1. He transcribed 150 pages by June 1856, and his last entry was for 23 June 1844. Though more of his writing does not appear in the volume, he continued to work in the office until 2 August, before leaving for the East that same month. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 and 10 Aug. 1856.)
assumed the role of scribe on 20 August 1856. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 20 Aug. 1856.) He incorporated ’s draft notes for the period 24–29 June 1844 on pages 151–189, providing an account of JS’s death and its immediate aftermath. He next transcribed a related extract from ’s 1854 History of Illinois on pages 190–204. Pages 205–227 were left blank.
provided the notes for the final portion of the text. This account begins with an entry for 22 June 1844 and continues the record through 8 August 1844, ending on page 304. (The volume also included ten pages of addenda.) The last specific entry in the Historian’s Office journal that captures at work on the history is for 6 November 1856. A 2 February 1857 Wilford Woodruff letter to indicates that on 30 January 1857, the “presidency sat and heard the history read up to the organization of the church in , 8th. day of August 1844.” (Historian’s Office, Journal, 6 Nov. 1856; Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to George A. Smith, 2 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, p. 410; see also Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich, 28 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, pp. 430–431.)
The pages of volume F-1 contain a record of the final weeks of JS’s life and the events of the ensuing days. The narrative commences with and arriving at , Illinois, on 1 May 1844 from their lumber-harvesting mission in the “” of Wisconsin Territory. As the late spring and summer of 1844 unfold, events intensify, especially those surrounding the suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor in mid-June. Legal action over the Expositor leads to a charge of riot, and subsequently JS is charged with treason and is incarcerated at the jail in , Illinois. The narrative of volume F-1 concludes with an account of the special church conference convened on 8 August 1844 to consider who should assume the leadership of the church.
<June 17> I advised my brother Hyrum [Smith] not to mail his letter to at present.
I directed <my clerk> to remain in the , and take affidavits of the men who are constantly coming in with news of the movements of the Mob, and preserve copies to forward to the .
I received the following letter:—
“, Iowa Territory, June 17th, 1844.
“I write to inform you that arrived here yesterday in safety, and free from arrest. He desires through me to thank you for your kindness and attention to him while at .
“I wrote from to apprize you that an effort was making to procure an indictment against the members of your municipal Court for the part they acted in trying the Habeas Corpus petitions. Through the efforts of myself and that result was prevented, and exposed. The boat is casting off, and I must close. Dr. Dunlap will write to apprize you of the < & > Law’s proceedings here. You will hear from me again soon.
“Gen. Joseph Smith,
Thus it appears that the District Court acknowledges the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of in trying the merits of writs of Habeas Corpus.
The mob is still increasing in numbers at and other places. [HC 6:494]
It is reported that and have laid a plan to burn the of the Nauvoo Neighbor this night; I therefore stationed a strong police round the premises, and throughout the .
The of the Steamer Osprey called upon me.
About 11 P. M., a negro came into my with an open letter without any date or name, and said that gave it to him at to give . In that letter said that and swore in my presence that they would kill him () in two days; and that there was a man in would swear he had heard them say so at my house.
I closed the issuing of orders about 12 at night, ready to retire to rest. Pleasant night <weather>.
To refute the lying slanders of the Signal as published in the proceedings of a meeting held at on the 13th inst., I insert the following certificate:
“To the Public.
“We whose names are undersigned having seen in the Signal, containing the proceedings of a meeting held at on the 13th inst., many statements calculated to arouse the indignation and wrath of the people against the citizens of , do certify that did not make any threats, nor offer any reward against the Signal, or its , in the City Council