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.
Daughter Sarah, Two Sons, Stephen and Samuel and her husband, who died October 30th. 1830, and left 5 Sons and 3 Daughters <still> living. At the Death of my grand father who had kept a record, there were 110— Children, Grand Children & Great grandchildren.) and was buried in the Burial Ground near the after a funeral address had been delivered by . My Uncle Stephen and Aunt Sarah were buried side by side in the burial ground in Royalton Windsor Co Vermont. Stephen Died July 25th. 1802 Aged 17 years 3 months, and 11 days. (page 733
<Note S.> we were detained here all day by malicious and vexatious Law suits, about Sun set I got into my Carriage to return home to , at this moment the sheriff sprang into the Carriage— seized my lines and served another writ upon me, which was sworn out by a man who had a few weeks previously brought a New fashioned Cooking stove to and prevailed on me to put it up in my Kitchen, saying that it would give credit to his stove wishing to have it tested by our people and now he thought would be a good time to get pay for it. I gave my watch to the officer for security and we all returned home, on the following day I remained at home untill evening when we set out again in brother s Waggon to a distance of 30 miles and arrived there a little after day break, and staid till afternoon and enjoyed ourselves very much in walking on the beach and bathing in the beautiful Clear water of the Lake; at 4 P M we took a Deck passage on Board the steamer for ; at night we all lay down to rest on the upper Deck of the boat, and for pillows some took their Boots others their valisse’s and had a comfortable nights repose we arrived in the next morning in safety. here we seperated from Brother and then going to the eastern <States> and myself brothers and — started for Toronto upper Canada. (page 767)
<Note T> on the morning of the 22nd. of December 1837 Brother left in consequence of the fury of the mob the spirit that prevailed in the apostates who had threatened to destroy him because he would proclaim publicly and privately that he knew by the power of the holy Ghost that I was a prophet of the most high God, that I had not transgressed and fallen as the apostates declared.