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 27> and sent it to him by , to which I received the following reply.
“Prest. J. Smith. Dear Sir,
I received your letter by the hand of a few minutes since, the contents of which are surprising to me, though I am glad that you have let me know your feelings, so as to give me a chance to reply to them. Why it is that you have the feelings which you seem to entertain I know not, and what caused you to think that I had any connection with , at any time, is not within my power to say. As to the Post Office I never asked one word about it when I made application for it. If he ever wrote to the Department at anything about it, it was, and is, without my knowledge,
<revised Feb 25/56>
for surely I know of no such thing being done at any time neither did I <know> at the time I applied for the office, that you intended to apply for it, nor did I know it for some time afterwards; as far as the Post Office is concerned these are the facts. I wrote myself to the department to the Department offering myself as an applicant, and referred the Department to several members of Congress to ascertain my character. This is all I ever did on the subject. I never wrote but one letter to the Department on the subject, neither had I at the time any acquaintance of any amount with , nor for a very considerable time afterwards. He never was at our house, but very little, and then always on business and always in a hurry, did his business and went off immediately. I know not that ever knew that I had applied for the office, and I am quite satisfied he did not till some time after I had written to the Department on the subject, and if he ever did anything about it, it was, and is, to this day without my having any knowledge of it.
As to the difficulties here, I never at any time gave any countenance in relation to it, and he knows it, as well as I do, and feels it keenly, he has threatened me severely, that he could do with me as he pleased, and if I did not cease to aid you, and quit trying to [HC 5:314] save “my Prophet” as he calls you, from the punishment of law, he would turn against me: and while at on his way to Upper , he, in one of his speeches made a violent attack on myself, all predicated on the fact that I would not aid him. Such are his feelings on the subject, and his threatenings. As to if there is anything in his mind unfavorably disposed to you, he has, as far as I know kept it to himself, for he never said anything to me, nor in my hearing from which I could draw even an inference of that kind. He was here yesterday when you came, much dejected in spirit in relation to his temporal affairs, and commenced telling of the great injuries he had received by his son-in-law, and the great losses he had sustained by him, and seemed greatly dejected on account of it; but he never mentioned any other subject. When I went to on Friday, it was purely in relation to temporal matters making arrangements for provisions for the ensuing season and to regulate some matters in relation to property only. While there, I heard the report of the new indictments, and told me, the day before I went out that I was among the number of those who were to be demanded, in relation to this I made such enquiry as I thought would enable me to determine the fact, but failed in the attempt. I confess I felt some considerable interest in determining this fact, and felt anxious to know if I could find out how it was. Now on the broad scale I can assert in truth that with myself and any other person on this globe there never was, nor is there now existing anything privately or publicly to injure your character in any respect whatever neither has any person spoken to me [p. 1504]