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.
<July 2> are now determined to uphold you by their prayers, in all things. I must confess this was not the case when we came here, with all. We learned that it is too much the case that the Twelve often find their way hedged up by the presiding elders endeavoring to exalt themselves and debase us, but you will find it different with your case in .
“June 24. 1844
“Just returned from Wilmington conference accompanied by several of the brethren and sisters who went from this place. We can truly say that this was one of the most pleasant trips in our life; we went down on the steamer ‘Balloon’, and returned by railway.
“Our conference commenced on Saturday the 22nd; the brethren came in from the adjacent country, and after much instruction from Bros and , we took a vote to know whether they would go withersever the Presidency, and Patriarch, and Twelve wish <went>, should it be to , or , or any other place directed by the wisdom of Almighty God. The saints, numbering about 100 rose to their feet and exclaimed, withersoever they go, we go, without a dissenting voice. This was truly an interesting meeting: we have not the least idea that any one will back out, [HC 7:157] <they are> nearly all men of wealth, and have commenced this morning to offer all surplus property for sale, that whenever you say, go, they are ready. We ordained ten as promising young elders as we ever laid hands upon, they pledged themselves to start this week and go through the State of Delaware from house to house, and proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
“On Sabbath the 23rd we preached alternately to a large and respectable congregation, and left the warmest of friends in that place, both in and out of the Church. We have hundreds of pleasant sceneries in our journals, which are too numerous to mention at present.
Yours as ever,
Elder was brought home from to the joy of his friends.
“A special session of the City Council was called to devise ways and means for supplying the city with provisions. , , and others, stated to the council that many were destitute; and that unless active measures were taken, many must suffer with hunger, as some had already; wherefore it was
Resolved, by the City Council of the City of , that special committees be appointed to visit the different sections of the surrounding country and solicit the benvolent for donations, or provisions and means for supplying the wants of the destitute of this . And so far as donations fail, supply the deficiency by loans.
Resolved, that Charles Patten, W. H. Jordan, and L. S. Dalrymple be this committee for : That D. M. Repsher, , and Capt. Ross go to , and the North country; that Benjamin Clapp, [p. 248]
Thomas Bullock, Record of Events, 2 July 1844, Nauvoo Legion Records, CHL.
Stout, Hosea. History of the Nauvoo Legion, Draft 1, ca. 1844–1845. Nauvoo Legion Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3430, fd. 10. One of three drafts of the history; includes material dated 4 February 1841 through 22 June 1844. Pages are out of order; in the current order, this draft includes pp. –, –.