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 .
<August 16> you will retain in your hands for the present. [HC 5:113] my respects to your amiable and all friends, and believe me as ever, tho, not a mormon, your sincere friend— — P.S. I know of no reason why the Wasp was not continued to be sent to me. I don’t like the name. Mildness should characterize every thing that comes from , and even a name as Peleg says in his Ethics has much influence on one side or the other— My respects to your , its Editor[.] I would just say that General appeared to me to be in very low Spirits and I find that many communications intended for you from me, have never reached you. Those books were made over to on the presumption that he would in his own name present them for the benefit of the — [”]
<17> Wednesday 17. I walked out into the woods for exercise in company with , where we were accidentally discovered by a young man, we asked him various questions, concerning the public feeling, and situation of matters around, to all which he answered promptly, on being requested not to make it known where we were, he promised faithfully he would not, and said time would tell whether he did or no.
“, Illinois, August 17. 1842— Lieutenant General Joseph Smith— Dear friend— Every thing is moving along in the in the usual tranquil and industrious manner, there is no change in the appearance of things that a common observer could see, altho’ to one who knows, and is acquaint<ed> with the countenances of the thinking few, it is evident that their minds are troubled more than common, and I know by myself that they cannot help it, and why should it be otherwise when the Lord’s anointed is hunted like a Lion of the Forest by the most wicked and oppressive generation that has ever been since the days of our Savior, indeed every movement of this generation re[HC 5:114]minds me of the history of the people who—— crucified Christ, it was nothing but mob law, mob rule, and mob violence all the time, the only difference is that the Governors then, were more just than the Governors now, they were willing to acquit innocent men, but our Governors now, despise justice, garble and <pervert> the law, and join in with the mob in pursuit of innocentblood. I have been meditating on your communication of yesterday and will just add a thought or so on the subject, respecting particularly your going to the . I think I would not go there for some time if at all. I do not believe that an armed force will come upon us at all, unless they get hold of you first, and then we rescue you which we would do under any circumstances with the help of God, but I would rather do it within the limits of the , under the laws of the ; therefore I would think it better to quarter in the and not long in one place at once— I see no reason why you might not stay in safety within the for months without any knowing it only those who ought, and that as few as is necessary. I must close for the present remaining as ever your affectionate friend and obedient servant— —”
“ August 17. 1842— To his Excellency — Sir— It is with feelings of no ordinary cast that I have retired after the business of the day and evening too, to address your honor. I am at a loss how to commence; my mind is crowded with subjects too numerous to be contained in one letter. I find myself almost destitute of that confidence, necessary to address a person holding the authority of your dignified [p. 1376]