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.
<August> by the committee from , and as are named in the document presented this meeting purporting to be the preamble and resolutions of the Citizens of — Resolved third that whereas the document referred to has no date or signature, that our Committee judge of the fact and act accordingly— Resolved fourth that our committee report their proceedings to this meeting as soon as possible— — Secretary— — Chairman.
<Camp> Elder Dominicus Carter’s little daughter Sarah died in the Camp.
<13 Returned to > Monday 13 I returned with my Council to — We were chased by some evil designing men ten or twelve miles but we eluded their grasp. When within about eight miles of home we met some brethren who had come to inform us that a Writ had been issued by for my arrest, and that of , for attempting to defend our rights against the Mob.
<Camp.> The Camp continuedtoworkontheRoadandembankmentbut, as a body they were not united, and did not improve their time and labor as they ought; some were faithful. In the evening, they werecalledtogetherandreceivedpreceptuponprecept—thattheymighthavenoexcuse,and were instructed in all meekness, forbearance and love but in great faithfulness by Elders and .
<16. Writ to arrest Joseph> Thursday 16 I spent principally at home— The Sheriff of accompanied by , called and notified me that he had a writ for to take me to on trial for visiting that County on the seventh instant— It had been currently reported that I would not be apprehended by legal process, and that I would not submit to the laws of the Land, but I told the Sheriff that I calculate always to submit to the laws of our , but I wished to be tried in my own as the citizens of were highly— exasperated at me, and that the laws of the Country gave me this privilege. Upon hearing this, the Sheriff declined serving the Writ, and said he would go to and see on the subject. I told him I would remain at home until his return— The Sheriff returned from and found me at home (where I had remained during his absence) and informed me very gravely that I was out of his jurisdiction and that he could not act in , and retired.
<Camp> Some of the laborers <brethren> passed on from the Camp, to work on another job near .— ElderNathanK.Knightandfamilywerecutoff from the Camp by the Assistant Council— ElderwasappointedCouncillorprotemintheabsenceofElderStringham.
<20> Monday 20 th. Elders <Nathan K.> Knights [Knight] and <having previously been cut off.> left the Camp with their families— In the evening one of the Children of the Camp was seized by an evil Spirit, which drew the child’s face quite out of shape and produced great suffering. The Elders rebuked the Spirit and it departed. This evening Elder Willey was taken sick, he had laid his hands on his Child and rebuked an Evil Spirit which left the child and entered into him. The Elders gathered [p. 815]