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 10> endeavors for the promotion of truth and justice, and can still give you the fullest assurance that all is perfect peace at ,— [HC 7:175] calmly waiting the fulfilment of ’s pledge, to redeem the land from blood by legal process. You can do much to allay the excitement of the country in your travels, and the friends of peace will appreciate your labors.
Elder arrived at .
A committee of nine ladies, among whom were , Mrs John Taylor, and waited upon Mr. and told him they would not bear his taunts and insults any longer: they ordered him to leave the forthwith, or he would be visited by a stronger force tomorrow. These ladies having good reason to believe that was accessory to the murder of their relatives, the Prophets, took the liberty of pursuing this course towards him.
Mr. obligated himself that should leave before morning, accordingly he got his team ready and took him out of the that evening.
We copy from the Neighbor:—
“ is recovering as fast as can be expected. His wounds are doing well.”
“Goodness shall be rewarded.
“The senior editor of this paper, , at the horrible assassination of Joseph and in Jail, on the afternoon of the 27th day of June, received three wounds in his left thigh and knee, and one one in his left wrist; besides which a fifth ball spent its force against his watch in his left vest pocket. This ball, but for the timely interference of this valuable watch, must have caused instant death, as it would have passed directly into his lungs. This watch, though dreadfully shattered, is a friend that points to the very moment when he stood between life and death, the hands pointing to 5 o’clock, 10 minutes and 26 seconds.
“While upon this subject, and his friends wish, through this channel to tender their thanks to and family, and to all who assisted him in any manner during his stay at , while unable to be removed to his own home. Kindness, assistance, and the tender offices of humanity in such times of deep distress, give the noble mind a chance to appreciate help when it is needed, and [HC 7:176] to remember such friends in future. Nor should the assistance rendered to lay out the bodies of the Messrs. Smith, preparatory to their removal to be forgotten. Though the people of , under the excitement of the moment, generally fled, yet those who did stay did all they could to forward the bodies, as well as to make me as comfortable as the circumstances of the case would permit.
“One thing further; In this awful tragedy, Dr. , equal<ly> exposed to the shower of bullets which were fired into the room at the door and windows, escaped unhurt,— and while he would render thanksgiving and praise to his God for this signal preservation of his life, he would also return his grateful acknowledgements to the Messrs s and others who rendered all the [p. 261]