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.
<September 15> on the morning of the 12th., I took the command in person, and marched to the line of at which point, I ordered the Colonels to march the Regiments to the timber on . I then started for , the County Seat of , accompanied by my aid alone. On arriving at that place I found , , and [William] McHaney, the prisoners mentioned in your order. I demanded of the Guard, who had them in confinement, to deliver them over to me, which was promptly done. I also found, that the guns that had been captured by the Sheriff and Citizens of , had been distributed and placed in the hands of the soldiery and scattered over the country; I ordered them to be immediately collected and delivered up to me. I then sent an express to Col. Dunn to march the Regiment by daylight, for that place, where he arrived about 7 o clock A.M. making forty miles since 10 o clock A.M. on the previous day. When my command arrived, the guns were delivered up, amounting to forty two stand three stand could not be produced, as they had probably gone to . I sent these guns under a guard, to your command in , together with the prisoner , the other two being citizens of . I retained and brought with me to this , and released them on parol of honor, as I conceived their detention illegal. [HC 3:78] At 8 o clock A.M. I took up the line of March, and proceeded through Mill Port, in , thirty seven miles from our former encampment, and arrived at the Camp of the Citizens of and other adjoining Counties— they amounted to between two and three hundred, as their commander, Dr. Austin of Carroll informed me. Your order, requiring them to disperse, which had been forwarded in advance of my command, by your aid, James M. Hughes, was read to them, and they were required to disperse; they professed that their object for arming and collecting was solely for defence, but they were marching and counter marching guards out, and myself and others who approached the camp were taken to task, and required to wait the approach of the Sergeant of the Guard. I had an interview with Dr. Austin, and his professions were all pacific, but they still continue in arms, marching and counter marching. I then proceeded with your aid, J. M, Hughes, and my aid, Benj. Holliday, to the Mormon encampment, commanded by Col. ; we held a conference with him, and he professed entire willingness to disband and surrender up to me every one of the Mormons accused of crime, and required in return, that the hostile forces, collected by the other Citizens of the County, should also disband. At the Camp commanded by Dr. Austin, I demanded the Prisoner, demanded in your Order, who had been released on the evening after my arrival in their vicinity. I took up line of March, and— encamped in the direct road between the two hostile encampments, where I have remained since, within about two and a half miles of s encampment, and some times the other Camp is nearer, and sometimes further from me. I intend to occupy this position until your arrival, as I deem it best to preserve peace, and prevent an engagement between the parties, and if kept so for a few days, they will doubtless disband without coercion”. I have the honor to be, yours with respect, Brig. Gen. 1st. Brig 3rd. Div, . Mi.”
By this it is clearly seen that the Officers and Troops acting under the s Orders, had very little regard for the laws of the Land, otherwise , and McHaney would not have been discharged by them. I was at and about home this day attending to my business as usual—
<Camp> The Camp travelled twelve miles before breakfast, and pitched tents near Elder Keelers— there was some contention among them, and brother Pierces child <died> this afternoon and was buried in <16> the Camp Ground Sunday 16th. and held meeting in the afternoon had [HC 3:79] preaching and breaking of bread—