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.
<August 4> would receive him; that he wanted to visit other branches around, but he had come here first.
called upon , and said he was dissatisfied with the hurried movement of . He considered inasmuch as the Twelve had been sent for and were soon expected home the notice for meeting was premature, and it seemed to him a plot laid to take advantage of the situation of the Saints. [HC 7:225]
The brethren of the Twelve < and his associates> arrived at at 8 o’clock this morning, nearly exhausted with fatigue, having travelled 48 hours, without stopping, except to take meals and change horses,— distance about 160 miles
From the Millennial Star:—
“Mark of respect shown by the Latter Day Saints in .
“On Sunday, Aug. 4th, very numerous congregations attended at the Music Hall, the majority of the saints in deep mourning, whilst the platform or raised gallery where the priesthood sit, was handsomely decorated with black drapery. We would suggest to the Saints generally, as far as their means will allow them, to pay respect to the memory of our lamented brethren.”
<5> Monday 5. Elders , , , <> and waited upon <in the morning; he said he would meet them in Council> at s after dinner. <-[See Addenda Page 10.]-> [HC 7:226] said he did not expect the people to choose a guardian on Thursday, but to have a prayer meeting, and interchange of thought and feeling, and warm up each other’s hearts.
Jesse Price made the following affidavit:—
“State of Illinois)
County of )
On the 5th day of August 1844, personally appeared before me, , Justice of the peace in and for said , Jesse Price, and after being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that on or about the 18th of April 1844, in the city of , County aforesaid, said, ‘I put pistols in my pockets one night, and went to Joseph Smith’s house, determined to blow his infernal brains out, but I could not get the opportunity to shoot him then, but I am determined I will shoot him the first opportunity; and you will see blood and thunder and devastation in this place, but I shall not be here;’ and deponent saith not further.”
The following letter was sent to :—
“ August 5th 1844
I hasten to inform you that intelligence has arrived in this place to day, by several persons, that the mobocrats at have concocted a plan to intercept the returns of the election at and destroy them before they arrive at . The information is of such a nature that I deemed it necessary that you should be informed of the same that you may act accordingly.
The brethren of the Twelve < and the apostles with him > went on board the Steamer St Croix at , for . They started in the afternoon. [p. 294]