JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. F-1, created 9 Apr.–7 June 1856 and 20 Aug. 1856–6 Nov. 1856; handwriting of and Jonathan Grimshaw; 304 pages, plus 10 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the final volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This sixth volume covers the period from 1 May to 8 Aug. 1844; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1 through E-1, go through 30 Apr. 1844.
History, 1838-1856, volume F-1, constitutes the last 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 May 1844 to the events following his 27 June 1844 death, and it was compiled in Utah Territory in 1856.
The material recorded in volume F-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , who was JS’s cousin, and also assistant church historian . Smith collaborated with in collecting material for the volume and creating a set of draft notes, which Smith dictated to Bullock and other clerks. Woodruff gathered additional material concerning the death of Joseph Smith as a supplement to George A. Smith’s work recording that event. Jonathan Grimshaw and , members of the Historian’s Office staff, transcribed the draft notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents.
According to the Historian’s Office journal, Jonathan Grimshaw initiated work on the text of volume F-1 on 9 April 1856, soon after Robert L. Campbell had completed work on volume E-1. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 5 and 9 Apr. 1856.) Grimshaw’s scribal work begins with an entry for 1 May 1844. Unlike previous volumes in which the numbering had run consecutively to page 2028, Grimshaw began anew with page 1. He transcribed 150 pages by June 1856, and his last entry was for 23 June 1844. Though more of his writing does not appear in the volume, he continued to work in the office until 2 August, before leaving for the East that same month. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 2 and 10 Aug. 1856.)
assumed the role of scribe on 20 August 1856. (Historian’s Office, Journal, 20 Aug. 1856.) He incorporated ’s draft notes for the period 24–29 June 1844 on pages 151–189, providing an account of JS’s death and its immediate aftermath. He next transcribed a related extract from ’s 1854 History of Illinois on pages 190–204. Pages 205–227 were left blank.
provided the notes for the final portion of the text. This account begins with an entry for 22 June 1844 and continues the record through 8 August 1844, ending on page 304. (The volume also included ten pages of addenda.) The last specific entry in the Historian’s Office journal that captures at work on the history is for 6 November 1856. A 2 February 1857 Wilford Woodruff letter to indicates that on 30 January 1857, the “presidency sat and heard the history read up to the organization of the church in , 8th. day of August 1844.” (Historian’s Office, Journal, 6 Nov. 1856; Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to George A. Smith, 2 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, p. 410; see also Wilford Woodruff, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich, 28 Feb. 1857, Historian’s Office, Letterpress Copybooks, vol. 1, pp. 430–431.)
The pages of volume F-1 contain a record of the final weeks of JS’s life and the events of the ensuing days. The narrative commences with and arriving at , Illinois, on 1 May 1844 from their lumber-harvesting mission in the “” of Wisconsin Territory. As the late spring and summer of 1844 unfold, events intensify, especially those surrounding the suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor in mid-June. Legal action over the Expositor leads to a charge of riot, and subsequently JS is charged with treason and is incarcerated at the jail in , Illinois. The narrative of volume F-1 concludes with an account of the special church conference convened on 8 August 1844 to consider who should assume the leadership of the church.
<June 17> A Nauvoo Neighbor Extra was issued with the following editorial:—
“To the Public.
“As a soft breeze in a hot day mellows the air, so does the simple truth calm the feelings of the irritated; and so we proceed to give the proceedings of the city council relating to the removal of the Nauvoo Expositor as a nuisance. We have been robbed, mobbed, and plundered with impunity some two or three times, and as every heart is more apt to know its own sorrows, the people of had ample reason, when such characters as the proprietors and abettors of the Nauvoo Expositor proved to be before the city council, to be alarmed for their safety. The men who got up the press were constantly engaged in resisting the authority or threatening something. If they were fined an appeal was taken, but the slander went out <on>; and when the paper came, the course and the plan to destroy the was marked out. The destruction of the city charter and the ruin of the saints, was the all commanding topic. Our lives, our , our charter, and our characters, are just as sacred, just as dear and just as good as other people’s; and while no friendly arm has been extended from the demolition of our in , Missouri, without law to this present day, the city council with all the law of nuisance, from Blackstone down to the charter, knowing that if they exceeded the law of the land, a higher court could regulate the proceedings— abated the Nauvoo Expositor.
“The proceedings of the council show, as sketched, that there was cause of alarm. The people when they reflect will at once say that the feelings and rights of men ought to be respected. All persons otherwise, who, without recourse to justice, mercy, or humanity, come out with inflamatory publications, destructive resolutions, or more especially extermination, show a want of feeling, and a want of respect, and a want of religious toleration, that honorable men will deprecate among Americans, as they would the pestilence, famine, or horrors of war. It cannot be that the people are so lost to virtue as to coolly go to murdering men, women, and children. No— candor and common sense forbid it.”
and sat up all last night writing the proceedings of the City Council for the press.
<18> Tuesday 18. At 8 A. M., the Legion assembled according to orders, and organized at 9 A. M., under acting Major General ; the first cohort under the command of Col. , acting [HC 6:496] Brigadier General; and the second cohort under Col. , acting Brigadier General.
Just before, I was informed that there were several boxes of arms landed at the upper stone house, which were secured by the . Soon after, it was discovered that the arms (40 stand) had been sent by [blank] and the bought them for the .
About 1¾ P. M., I proclaimed the under martial law, and caused the following orders to be issued from the Mayor’s Office:—
“Mayor’s Office, City of , June 18th, 1844.
“To the of the City of ;
“From the newspapers around us, and the current reports as brought in from the surrounding country, I have good reason to fear that a mob is organizing to come upon this , and plunder and destroy said , as well as murder the citizens; and by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor, and to preserve the and lives of the citizens, I do hereby declare declare the said , within the limits of its incorporation, under martial law. The officers, therefore, of the Nauvoo Legion, the police, as well as all others will strictly see that no persons [p. 116]