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 27> myself, nor any other person, to my knowledge, has ever, nor do we at this time wish your to swerve from your duty, as an Executive in the least, But we do believe that it is your duty to allow us in this place, the [HC 5:132] privileges and advantages guaranteed to us by the laws of this , and the ; this is all we ask, and if we can enjoy these rights unmolested, it will be the ultimate end of all our ambition; and the result will be peace and prosperity to us, and all the surrounding country, as far as we are concerned Nor do we wish to take any undue advantage of any intricate technicalities of law; but honorably and honestly to fulfil all of the laws of this , and of the , and then, in turn, to have the benefits resulting from an honorable of those laws. And now, your will not consider me assuming any unbecoming dictation; but recollect that the many—— prosecutions that has have been got up unjustly and pursued illegally against Mr. Smith, instigated by selfish and irreligious motives, has obliged me to know something for myself; therefore, let me refer you to the eleventh section of our City Charter “All power is granted to the City Council, to make, ordain, establish and execute all ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of the , or, as they may deem necessary for the peace and safety of said .” Accordingly there is an ordinance passed by the City Council to prevent our people from being carried off by an illegal process. And if any one thinks he is illegally seized, under this ordinance he claims the right of , under section 17th. of the Charter, to try the question of identity, which is strictly constitutional. These powers are positively granted in the Charter over your own signature; and now, dear sir, where can be the justice in depriving us of these rights which are lawfully ours, as well as they are the lawful rights of the inhabitants of and and many other places, where the Citizens enjoy the advantages of such ordinances, without controversy. With these considerations, and many more which might be adduced, give us the privilege, and we will show your , and the world besides, if required, that <the> Mr. Smith referred to, in the—— demand from , is not the Joseph Smith of , for he was not in ; neither is he described in the Writ, according as the Law requires; and that he is not a fugitive from justice. Why then, be so strenuous to have my husband taken, when you know him to be innocent of an attempt on the life of , and that he is not a fugitive from justice? It is not the fear of a just decision against him, that deters Mr. Smith, from going into ; but it is an actual knowledge that it was never intended he should have a fair trial. And now Sir, if you were not aware of the fact; I will acquaint you with it now, that there were lying in wait, between this place and [HC 5:133], twelve men from , Missouri, for the purpose of taking Mr. Smith out of the hands of the Officers who might have him in custody. Also those two men from that were here with Messrs. and , divulged the most illegal and infernal calculations concerning taking Mr. Smith into , the evidence of which, we can furnish you at any time if required, And dear Sir, our good feelings revolt at the suggestion that your is acquainted with the unlawful measures taken by those engaged in the prosecution— [p. 1386]