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 .
<September 8> with him, may be assured that I will not persecute them; but I do not wish their association; and what I have said may suffice on that subject so far as his character is concerned. Now in relation to his book that he may write, I will venture a prophecy; that whosoever has any hand in the matter will find themselves in a poor fix, in relation to the money matters. And as to my having any fears of the influence that he may have against me; or any other man, or set of men may have, is the most foreign from my heart; for I never knew what it was, as yet, to fear the face of , or the influence of man My fear, Sir, is before God. I fear to offend him, and strive to keep his commandments. I am really glad that you did not join in relation to his book, from the assurance which I have that it will prove a curse to all those who touch it. In relation to the honor that you speak of, both for yourself and of the Herald, you are both Strangers to me, and as kept all his letters, which he received from you, entirely to himself; and there was no correspondence between you and me, that I know of; I had no opportunity to share very largely in the getting up of any of those matters. I could not, as I had not sufficient knowledge to enable me to do so. The whole, therefore was at the instigation of , and a quiet submission on the part of the rest, out of the best of feelings. but as for myself, it was all done at a time when I was overwhelmed with a great many business cares, as well as the care of all the Churches. I must be excused therefore, for any wrongs that may have taken place, in relation to this matter: and so far as I obtain a knowledge of that which is right shall meet with my hearty approval. I feel to tender you my most hearty and sincere thanks. for every expression of kindness you have tendered towards me or my brethren; and would beg the privilege of obtruding myself a little while upon your patience in offering a short relation of my circumstances. I am at this time persecuted the worst of any man on earth; as well as this people, here in this place; and all our sacred rights are trampled under the feet of the mob. I am now hunted as an hart by the mob, under the pretence or shadow of law, to cover their abominable deeds. [HC 5:157] An unhallowed demand has been made from the of , on oath of ; that I made an attempt to assassinate him on the night of the sixth of May; when on that day, I was attending the Officer Drill, and answered to my name when the roll was called; and on the seventh, it is well known by the thousands that assembled here in , that I was at my post in reviewing the Legion in the presence of twelve thousand people: and the of the State of , notwithstanding to his being knowing to all these facts, yet he immediately granted a Writ and by an unhallowed—— usurpation, has taken away our chartered rights, and denied the right of ; and has now about thirty of the blood thirsty kind of men in this place, in search for me; threatning death and destruction, and extermination upon all the Mormons; and searching my house continually from day to day; menacing and—— threatning, and intimidating an innocent and children, and insulting them in a most diabolical manner; threatning their lives &c if I am not to be found, with a gang of Missourians with them; saying they will have me dead or alive; and if alive, they will carry me to in Chains, and when there they will kill me at all hazards. And all this is backed up, and urged on, by the of this , with all the rage of a demon; [p. 1399]