Minute Book 1 contains a note stating that on 9 January 1833, , the , Ohio, branch of the , voted to compensate for his work as assistant scribe. This note does not explain for whom Williams was working, and neither does the index to the volume, which titles the note “for employing F.G. William[s] as assistant scribe Jany. 9th 1833.” Williams appears to have been working for the , the branch of the United Firm responsible for publications. Williams was doing scribal work for JS at this time, copying revelations into Revelation Book 2 and serving as scribe for JS’s Bible revision, which may explain the United Firm’s financial obligation to Williams.
stated that he started “writing for Joseph Smith Jr.” on 20 July 1832, at a time when , JS’s chief scribe, was relieved of his responsibilities because of statements Rigdon made at a meeting. JS also reported, in a 31 July 1832 letter to , that “Brother Frederick in [is] employed to be a scribe for me of the Lord.” According to this same letter, JS had “restored” Rigdon “to his high standing in the church of God,” but Williams continued his scribal work, perhaps as a replacement for , counselor to JS, who left on a mission on 1 August. Copies of August and September 1832 revelations in Revelation Book 2, for example, contain the notation “F. G. WilliamsScribe.” After Gause was excommunicated in December 1832, Williams replaced him as a counselor to the , while also continuing his scribal duties. This 9 January note, however, may be the first time that Williams was officially designated as “assistant scribe.”
, who is listed in this note as clerk, recorded the action of the United Firm in Minute Book 1. Although it is likely that the decision recorded in the note was made at a formal meeting of the firm, Williams’s entry reads less like minutes of a meeting and more like a record of an action taken, similar to some of the entries in the book referring to the of individuals.
Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 1 Aug. 1832; see also Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183–186. In an undated list of debts owed to him, Williams included time for “writing,” beginning “the first august 1832.” (Frederick G. Williams, “Account on Farm,” no date, Frederick G. Williams, Papers, CHL.)
Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary and Notebook, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443, fd. 2.
Jennings, Erin B. “The Consequential Counselor: Restoring the Root(s) of Jesse Gause.” Journal of Mormon History 34 (Spring 2008): 182–227.
Williams, Frederick G. Papers, 1834–1842. CHL. MS 782.
See Revelation, 29 Aug. 1832 [D&C 99]; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832, in Revelation Book 2, p. 31 [D&C 84]. These copies were probably made soon after the revelations were dictated. Williams also spent much of the latter part of 1832 and the first part of 1833 writing for JS’s revision of the Bible. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70–72.)
Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.