JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.
The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.
According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”
A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.
continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.
The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are
• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.
•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .
• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.
•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.
• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.
• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.
• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.
• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .
• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.
• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.
• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
Nays— Messrs , , Andrus, , Brown of Pike, , , , Dougherty, Dubois, Graves, Hanniford, Hanson, , , Jackson of McHenry, Jackson of Whiteside, , Kendall, Langworthy, Lockhart, Logan, McDonald of Calhoun, McDonald of Joe Davis, Owen, Pickering, Smith of Crawford, Smith of , Spicer, [Levi] Stewart, Tackerbury, Vandever, Whitcomb and Mr Speaker— 33.
The Speaker The Bill is passed. The title of the bill The Speaker recited the title of the bill. Mr Smith of . I wish to amend the title of the bill. (Profound silence)
The Speaker. The title has passed
By several members. In time, in time.
Mr Smith sent his amendment to the chair.
The Speaker. The amendment is not respectful, and not in order.
Great sensation. Several members called for a reading of the amendment.
The amendment was read— “A bill for an act to humbug the citizens of .”
(Profound sensation) Mr Smith said he considered the amendment as perfectly describing the contents of the bill. He was anxious that things should be called by their right names. The Chair decided that the amendment was not in order.
A member. I wish to vote to ascertain if the House does not sustain the decision of the chair. [HC 5:295] Mr Smith withdrew his amendment.
The title of the Bill then passed.”
English papers report an Eruption of Mount Etna; considerable torrents of lava flowing towards Bronte, doing immense damage.
<4> In Council with brother and others from , on the subject of building a Meeting House there, out of Church Property. I told them the property of the Church should be disposed of by the direction of the Trustee in Trust appointed by the voice of the whole church, and made the following comparison: There is a wheel, <> is the hub, we will drive the first spoke in , 2nd in , 3rd in Shokoquon, 4th, in , that is half the wheel; the other half is over the , we will let that alone at present, we will call the Saints from to these spokes, then send Elders over and convert the whole people,
I agreed to go to this day week.
At 10 o’clock I attended the City Council, prayer by , when a bill regulating the currency was read, and as the Legislature of have long been trying to repeal the Charter of , I made some remarks, (as I had frequently done on former occasions,) to shew the Council and others, that the Legislature can not <constitutionally> repeal a charter, where there is no repealing clause; [illegible] <after> which I read a letter from , dated Feby. 1st. 1843 which confirms my decision. [p. 1488]
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 4 Mar. 1843, 167–168.
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book / Nauvoo City Council. “A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841,” ca. 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3435.