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.
<July 22> to your for defence, to you, , for pro[HC 7:201]tection, and if it is not granted we must be murdered in cold blood. My feelings as a wife, and mother of helpless children, together with the afflictions of an injured people, all constrain me to beseech of you, to exert the power and authority which the people, and God has given you, in the cause of the oppressed. You shall have our prayers that wisdom may be given you from on high to act in this case to the glory of God, your own honor, and that of the we live in.
“Your was warned of our brethren’s danger, who were murdered, but could not believe that men were so base and degraded— the same men are now plotting our destruction. As an individual who feels herself injured, and also in behalf of an oppressed, injured and persecuted people, I again beg your official interference. Your cannot now be mistaken in the men, nor their design, I beseech you then, for the honor of our bleeding country, for the sake of suffering innocence, and the cause of humanity, by the wounds of my , and the blood of those murdured victims, to use prompt measures for our protection, and the bringing to Justice of those murderers.
“Sincerely praying that you, , may become a terror to evil doers, and the praise of those that do well, With great respect,
I have the honor to be,
Your ’s humble servant,
Elder went to Farmington Ct., and spent the night at his father’s house. He ordained his father a high priest.
<24> Wednesday 24 Elders , , , and met in Council: they anointed and administered to Elder , who was very sick.
received the following communication from the . [HC 7:202]
“ July 22. 1844
On Thursday last I wrote to and yourself, requesting you to come or send some person to me at this place, to confer with me in relation to the time and mode of proceeding against the murderers of the Messrs Smith; and I therein stated that I would have to come to for that purpose, were it not for the certainty that my motives and objects for so doing would be misinterpreted. As none of you have come, and have probably not received my letter, I have concluded to write you again, and to send this letter by a special messenger.
“In this letter I will say to you what I intended to say in a personal conference. In the beginning then, you must allow me to say, that [p. 278]