JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. B-1, created 1 Oct. 1843–24 Feb. 1845; handwriting of and ; 297 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the second volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This second volume covers the period from 1 Sept. 1834 to 2 Nov. 1838; the subsequent four volumes, labeled C-1 through F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, volume B-1, is the second of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. The narrative in volume B-1 begins with the entry for 1 September 1834, just after the conclusion of the Camp of Israel (later called Zion’s Camp), and continues to 2 November 1838, when JS was interned as a prisoner of war at , Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
, serving as JS’s “private secretary and historian,” completed the account of JS’s history contained in volume A-1 in August 1843. It covered the period from JS’s birth in 1805 through the aftermath of the Camp of Israel in August 1834. When work resumed on the history on 1 October 1843, Richards started a new volume, eventually designated B-1.
At the time of JS’s death in June 1844, the account had been advanced to 5 August 1838, on page 812 of volume B-1. ’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and , assisted by , resumed gathering the records and reports needed to draft the history. Richards then composed and drafted roughed-out notes while Thomas Bullock compiled the text of the history and inscribed it in B-1. They completed their work on the volume on or about 24 February 1845. Richards, , and Jonathan Grimshaw later added ten pages of “Addenda,” which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated.
Though JS did not dictate or revise any of the text recorded in B-1, and chose to maintain the first-person, chronological narrative format established in A-1 as if JS were the author. They drew from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. As was the case with A-1, after JS’s death, , , , and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” It was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
The narrative recorded in B-1 continued the story of JS’s life as the prophet and president of the church he labored to establish. The account encompasses significant developments in the church’s two centers at that time—, Ohio, and northwest —during a four-year-span. Critical events included the organization of the Quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, the establishment of the Kirtland Safety Society, dissension and apostasy in Kirtland and Missouri, the first mission to England, JS’s flight from Kirtland to Missouri in the winter of 1838, the Saints’ exodus from Kirtland later that year, the disciplining of the Missouri presidency, and the outbreak of the Missouri War and arrest of JS. Thus, B-1 provides substantial detail regarding a significant period of church expansion and transition as well as travail.
<July 22. Camp.> Sunday 22d. the camp was obliged to travel a part of the day to get forage Received a salute of rotten eggs from a house as they passed, and administered the sacrament for the first time on their journey. Some time during this night a luminous body about the size of a cannon ball, came down over the encampment near the ground, then whirled around some 40 or 50 times and moved off in a horizontal direction, passing out of sight. 188 miles from .
<23> Monday 23, a <wheel of a> a waggon, heavy <heavily> loaded ran over the leg of Elder Peck’s son, which nearly severed the flesh to the bone. Elder Peck laid his hands on his son in the name of the Lord, and he was able to walk, and the next morning, there was not so much as a colored spot to be seen on the leg.
<x 26 Council at , to dispose of the consecrations> Thursday 26th. The First Presidency, High Council and Bishop’s Court assembled at . To dispose <of> the public properties of the church, in the hands of the , many of the brethren having consecrated their surplus property according to the Revelations. It was agreed that the First presidency should keep all their property properties, that they could dispose of to advantage for their support, and the remainder be put into the hands of the Bishop or Bishops, according to the Commandments. [HC 3:47]
Moved, Seconded and carried unanimously:
1st. That the first Presidency shall have their expences defrayed in going to, and returning from ; equally by the Bishop of each place: 2nd. That all the travelling expences of the <1st.> presidency shall be defrayed: 3d That the be outhorized to pay orders coming from the east. inasmuch as they will consecrate liberally; but this is to be done under the inspection of the First Presidency: 4th that the first Presidency shall have the prerogative to say to the whose orders shall or may be paid by him in this place, or in his jurisdiction; 5th That the of Zion receive all consecrations, East, West, and South, who are not in the jurisdiction of a Bishop of any other stake; 6th that we use our influence to put a stop to the selling of liquors in the city, , or in our midst, that our streets may not be filled with drunkenness; and that we use our influence to bring down the price of provision: 7th That Bro , be requested to draw up a petition to remove <locate> the seat to .
<28 Joseph, Goes to .> Saturday 28. I left , for , in co— with , to tran[s]act some important business, and to settle some, Canadian brethren in that place, as they were are emigrating numerously <rapidly> to this land, from all parts of the Country. with his company from has arrived; and is with him.