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 .
<March 4> In debate [blank], said imprisonment was better than hanging.
I replied, I was opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I would shoot him or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God, and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so.
In reply to some of the Councillors, who thought it impolitic to stop circulating Bank Notes as currency, at once; I replied I would use a figure, and talk like some foolish fathers do to their children, if you want to kill a serpent don’t cut off his head, for fear he will bite you, [HC 5:296] but cut off his tail piece by piece, and perhaps you won’t get bit; it is the same with this bill: I say if paper currency is an evil, out it down at once. When Councillors get up here, I want to hear them speak sense; Great God where is common sense and reason? Is there none on the earth? Why have the canker remaining any longer to sap our life? If you get hold of a $5. bill, you can get nothing with it; there is no one dare touch it fearing it to be a counterfeit, or the note of a broken bank; I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels, I say it is expedient when you strike at an enemy, to strike the most deadly blow possible.
asked me what an Editor should do, I told him, advertize in your next paper to your agents, to send you gold and silver, as paper will be no longer taken as pay.
The Ordinance regulating currency in the , passed by a unanimous vote, as follows.
“Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , That from and after the passage of this bill, gold and silver coin only, can be received as lawful tender in payment of city taxes and debts, and also of fines imposed under the ordinances of the
Sec. 2. That city scrip shall not hereafter be emitted as moneyed currency; provided however that nothing in this bill shall be so construed as to prevent the redemption of previous emissions.
Sec. 3. That any person passing counterfeit gold, or silver, or copper coin, or counterfeit or spurious paper currency, or aiding or abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it, knowing it to be such; shall be liable to a fine not exceeding <five thousand dollars, or to imprisonment or hard labor <in the > for a term, not exceeding> fourteen years, or all these penalties at the discretion of the court.
Sec. 4. That any person passing a paper currency, or aiding and abetting therein, or holding the same with intent to pass it within the bounds of this city corporation, shall be liable to a fine of one dollar for every dollar thus offered or passed, to be recovered as in action of debt; one half of said fine to be paid to the complainant, the other half to said corporation.
Joseph Smith, Mayor.”
I was reelected Registrar of Deeds for the ,
Dr. was chosen Alderman, and , and firewardens in the . [HC 5:297]
By my suggestion, the Committee on Public works were instructed to prepare an <Ordinance to provide> for the erection of a City Prison.
On returning to my after dinner, I spoke the following proverb, For a man to be great, he must not dwell on small things, though he may enjoy them; showing [p. 1489]