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 .
<November 15> Tuesday 15 About home, Wrote for the Times and Seasons the following
“Valedictory— I beg leave to inform the subscribers of the Times and Seasons that it is impossible for me to fulfil the arduous duties of the editorial department any longer. The Multiplicity of other business that daily devolves upon me, renders it impossible for me to do justice to a paper so widely circulated as the Times and Seasons. I have appointed Elder , who is less encumbered and fully competent to assume the responsibilities of that office, and I doubt not but that he will give—— satisfaction to the patrons of the paper. As this number commences a new volume, it also commences his editorial career. Joseph Smith.”
proceeded to his duties as Editor. <Elder Bradley Wilson died suddenly in his 74th year. He received the gospel in , removed his family to , and was driven to in 1839 (He has left seven sons and thirty nine Grandchildren residing in .>
<17.> Thursday 17. There was a severe Snow Storm <and Elder Alpheus Harmon (who was just returning from a [HC 5:193] mission)> and another man were frozen to death <on the Prairie> between and — The was frozen over <which fulfilled my prophecy of the 5th. inst.>
<21.> Monday 21 A Council of the Twelve, namely, , , , , , , and assembled at the house of , in , and decided by unanimous acclamation that the printing of the Millenial Star, and all other publications in , relating to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, be suspended on the—— return of Elder , from that , until further instructions from the Quorum; and that the foregoing minutes be forwarded to , or the Editor of the “Star” which was done by letter from the and Clerk of the Council.
<24> Thursday 24. by report of the papers, the Island of Madeira was visited by a dreadful storm, The Summer was hot and weather fine till the 15th. when the rain commenced falling heavily, and continued to the 24th. at 1 o’clock <in the afternoon> the water fell in torrents, the sky became dark, the Streets in the Capital became—— inundated, and the affrighted inhabitants in town and country fled to the mountains Upwards of 200 houses were destroyed at Funchal, and much Corn and Wine The damage to lives, houses, and crops on the Island, and boats in the harbors was incalculable.
<26> Saturday 26. At home in the morning, at 10 met— in City Council which resolved that the inscription for the Seal to be procured for the Municipal Court of this shall consist of a Circle including the words “Municipal Court— City of ”. within which is to be a Book [HC 5:194] circled with Rays on which is to be inscribed the words “Constitution and Charter”.
Wrote as follows——
“ November 26. 1842— Esqr. Dear Sir— Yours of the 8th. inst. to has been received, and in consequence of his not knowing any thing concerning the matters therein mentioned, nor being in any way connected or interested in my affairs he of course has handed the letter to me which I shall proceed to answer, and sir permit me to say on the subject of the deal between myself as Trustee in Trust for the Church of Latter Day Saints, and you, that I am as anxious as ever to have the contract continue good between us, and to meet the obligations specified in the contract. I am not, neither have I ever been wishful to shrink from it, in any manner—— [p. 1421]