, Journal Excerpt, 23–27 June 1844; handwriting of ; nineteen pages; in Willard Richards, Journal, CHL. Portions of some entries were written in pencil before they were overwritten in ink.
JS’s journal, kept by , ended with the entry of 22 June 1844, just before JS left , Illinois, in company with Richards, , and . Richards, who remained with JS until the moment of JS’s death on 27 June, evidently left JS’s journal in Nauvoo when the four men departed for , Illinois. Richards, however, recorded in his own journal many of the events of the last five days of JS’s life. These events include JS’s arrival on the bank in on the morning of 23 June and his trip to Carthage, during which JS and Hyrum gave themselves up to authorities on the charge of treason. Richards’s journal also recounts JS’s activities in Carthage during the days preceding his and Hyrum’s deaths. The material Richards recorded in his own journal during this time is in the same format and style as the record he had been keeping for JS. Richards’s hasty, terse notations and precise attention to details—illustrated by his practice of recording the specific times events occurred—indicate that he continuously carried his journal with him and recorded many of the events as he witnessed them, possibly with the intention of using the record to fill in JS’s journal at a later date. Richards’s journal entries for 23–27 June 1844 provide a contemporaneous firsthand account of JS’s activities during the last five days of his life, and they are reproduced here in full. Richards first inscribed portions of these entries in pencil and then rewrote them in ink. In a few cases, while overwriting, he skipped or altered the original penciled text. The transcription here reproduces the final ink version and does not capture the slight variations in the penciled text.
23 Sunday— 2. A.M.— arrivd on the bank— abo[u]t day— break— walked up to B [blank] about sun rise wrot[e]— [blank] & sent express ab[o]ut noon came. &—— and explid [explained] [’s] Letter [13 lines blank] [p. ]