The “Historian’s Office, Martyrdom Account, Draft,” and the “Historian’s Office, Martyrdom Account” are the two complete, extant iterations of efforts by later church historians to record the murder of JS and , including the events leading up to their deaths and the immediate aftermath. As stated at the beginning of both accounts, the information was compiled from a number of different sources, including other journals, letters, and various other documents. It was put into a cohesive narrative during the 1850s by Church Historian’s Office clerks , Jonathan Grimshaw, and , presumably under the direction of the church historian, .
was the initial scribe for approximately the first half of “Historian’s Office, Martyrdom Account, Draft,” and Grimshaw was the primary scribe for the remainder. Sometimes slips of paper were attached to pages of the draft with additional or alternative text to be included with a specific page. Page 12 of the draft has a notation by Grimshaw indicating that previously drafted text was to be added to the draft; instead of copying the text, he simply inserted a whole leaf into the draft. This leaf, in ’s handwriting, contains various numbered vignettes. It appears to be part of a larger collection of vignettes, as it is paginated “5” and “6,” and is likely the surviving portion of an earlier iteration of the martyrdom account by Thomas Bullock. The remainder of Bullock’s effort is not extant.
“Historian’s Office, Martyrdom Account,” which is a more final copy written primarily by Grimshaw in the mid-1850s, similarly has slips of papers attached. It also includes several leaves that were physically removed from “Martyrdom Account, Draft”; these leaves were renumbered to match the pagination of the copy: pages 7–10 in the draft became pages 11–14 in the more final copy; pages 13–14 became 19–20; most extensively, pages 19–52 became 27–60; and finally, page 57, the last page of the draft, became page 73 in the new version. Although these leaves are cataloged with the more final copy, this website presents the pages both in the draft, as originally paginated, and in the more final copy, with the new pagination. Two additional items were added at the end of the more final copy. A bifolium paginated as “75” and “2” and written on the back of a printed Utah Territory legal form gives an account of the arrival of the bodies of JS and Hyrum Smith in Nauvoo as well as the funeral and burial. It was written by Grimshaw and edited by from information given by . On the final leaf, which is torn and is paginated “76,” Bullock drafted an introduction to a passage from ’s History of Illinois, with instructions to include the passage from Ford’s history in the martyrdom account.
Both the draft and the more final copy were edited by , Grimshaw, and . It is not clear when the edits were made. The more final copy of the account appears to be what was used in 1856 when the final version was copied into the last volume of the Joseph Smith’s multivolume manuscript history (JS History, vol. F-1, 147, 151–204).
above <those> expressions were shouted, the put his head out of the window and very meekly said “Gentlemen I know your great anxiety to see MrSmith, which is natural enough, but it is quite too late to night for you to have that opportunity, but I assure you, Gentlemen, that you shall have that privilege tomorrow morning, as I will cause him to pass before the troops upon the square, and I now wish you, with this assurance, quietly and peaceably to return to your quarters.” When this declaration was made, there was a faint “Hurrah for ”. <& they instantly obeyed the ’s wish.>
There was a company of apostates <also quartered at> at Hamilton’s Hotel, viz: and , <the Higbees and Fosters> <, &> (formerly President of the Elders Quorum) <and others. > who stated to , that it was determined to shed the blood of Joseph Smith whether he was cleared by the law or not, by not only himsself, and the mob generally, but by <but by and> the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, <Jackson> and <many> others. <whether he was cleared by the law or not.> <He talked freely and unreservedly on that subject, as thought he had was discoursing upon the most common occurence of his life; said he “you will find me a true prophet in this respect.”> told what said; but he treated it with perfect indifference, <and <suffered> and his associates were suffered to run at large to mature their murderous plans.>
A writ was <also> issued by R[obert] F. Smith against , on complaint of , charging him [p. 6]