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> on any such subject. All that has ever been said by me, has been said to your face, all of which you know as well as I. As to your rights in the Post Office, you have just the same as any other man. In the new case which occurred yesterday, I have examined all the laws and rules in this office and find but one section in relation to it, and that indirectly, but gives the Post Master no right to abate the postage nor make any disposition of the letter or letters, but address the Department, and they will give such instruction in the case as they may deem correct. I have written on the subject to the Department.
I can conclude by only saying that I had hoped that all former difficulties had ceased forever; on my part they were never mentioned to any person, nor a subject of discourse at any time nor in any place, I was tired hearing of them, and was in hopes that they slumbered forever. While at the subject was never once mentioned; the only thing was the enquiry I made myself to find out as far as I could, whether the report made to me by <was> correct or no, and this in relation to myself only. If being entirely silent on the subject at [HC 5:315] all times and in all places, is an error, then I am guilty. If evading the subject at all times whenever introduced by others be a crime, then I am guilty, for such is my uniform custom. If this letter is not satisfactory let me know wherein, for it is peace I want. I have been interrupted a great many times since I began to write by people calling at the office. Respectfully
P.S. I do consider it a matter of just offence to me to hear about ’s assisting me to office. I shall have a lower opinion of myself than I now have when I think I need his assistance. ”
Opened court to try Field [A. Fields] for drunkenness, and abusing his wife; I fined him $10. and costs, and required him to find bail of $50 to keep the peace for 6 months
A Conference held at Hartland, Niagara County, New York, 3 and 1 were , and 5 added to the .
It is estimated that the Chinese loss in their recent war with was 15,000 men, 1500 pieces of cannon, and a great portion of their Navy.
<30> In the in relation to a new bond, presented to me by , which I rejected as informal; and told he might improve my share of the Ferry one year; and cautioned him, that if he did not consider good for heavy damages, he would be foolish to be his bondsman. [HC 5:316] afterwards took an appeal to the Municipal Court, to be tried on the 10th of April.
returned from having delivered ten Lectures and baptized 3 persons. [p. 1505]