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 .
A conference was held at Batavia, on the 6th and 7th of April. Elder , President, R. J. Coats, Clerk, 11 , 167 Members, 1 , 48 Elders, 2 and 3 , were represented in good standing, a general spirit of inquiry prevailing 7 Elders were . and others delivered addresses to the young Elders; on the signs of the Times; the Mission of the Prophet; and the building of the
A conference was also held in the at , <at> which <was> passed a resolution for the removal of all the Saints in that place, to . Elder the President, preached several times, and about one hundred apostates, and a few new members were during the conference.
wrote to on the 7th as follows:
“ Mo. April 7th 1843,
Sir. At the request of who is now confined in our jail. I write you a few lines concerning his affairs. He is held to bail in the sum of $5000, and wishes some of his friends to bail him out, he also wishes some friend to bring his clothes to him, he is in good health and pretty good spirits. My own opinion is, after conversing with several persons here, that it would not be safe for any of ’s friends to come here, notwithstanding I have written the above at his request, neither do I think bail would be taken (unless [HC 5:352] it was some responsible person, well known here as a resident of this ) Any letter to (post paid) with authority expressed on the back for me to open it, will be handed to him without delay. In the meantime he will be humanly treated, and dealt with kindly until discharged by due course of law. Yours &c Mr . ”
The plague appeared at Alexandria, Manshura, and Diamelta, making great ravages.
<12> In conversation with concerning the purchase.
In consequence of misunderstanding on the part of the , and their interference with the business of the Architect, I gave a certificate to to carry out my designs and <the> architecture of the in , and that no person or persons shall interfere with him, or his plans, in the building of the .
Before the closed, the Steamer “Amaranth” appeared in sight of the , coming up the , and about noon landed her passengers at the wharf opposite the old Post Office building; consisting of about 240 Saints from under the charge of Elder , who left last January, after a mission of nearly 3 years.
I with a large company of the brethren and sisters was present to greet the arrival of our friends: and gave notice to the new comers to meet at the tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock to hear instructions.
After unloading the Saints, the “Amaranth” proceeded up the , being the first boat up this season. [HC 5:353] [p. 1528]