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 28> A variety of subjects were called up, each one expressing his feelings freely. Prest said he wished me to keep an account of things as they were passing, as he should look to me for his journal at a future day. said that Joseph told him, while in , Mo., in 1839, he would not live to see forty years, but he was not to reveal it till he was dead.”
<30> Tuesday 30. Elder , brother of the martyred prophet and died. -[See Addenda Page 9.
The brethren of the Twelve arrived at Mackinaw. The steamer stopped a short time, took in some fish, and took some boats with indians in tow. There was a feeling of prejudice manifested by the passengers of the boat against the [HC 7:213] brethren, because they did not mingle with them in their nonsense and folly, and this spirit is more or less manifest throughout the world.
“I am continually informed of your preparations and threats to renew the war and exterminate the Mormons. One would suppose that you ought to rest satisfied with what you have already done. The Mormon leaders, if they ever resisted the law, have submitted to its authority. They have surrendered the public arms; and appeared to be ready to do anything required, to make atonement for whatever wrong may have been done. Since the assasination of their two principal leaders, under circumstances well calculated to inflame their passions, and drive them to excesses for the purposes of revenge, they have been entirely peaceful and submissive; and have patiently complained. There has been no retaliation, no revenge, and, for anything I can ascertain, there will be none. Those of your people who are charged with being the most hostile to them, have lived, if they knew it, in perfect security from illegal violence. I am anxious for a pacification of your difficulties. You cannot drive out, or exterminate the Mormons. Such an effort would be madness, and would not be permitted by the people of the . You cannot be sustained in it either by force or law. You are binding yourselves to your weakness, and keeping up an agitation which must fail of the purpose intended, and recoil with terrible energy upon our yown heads. I exhort you to reconsider your infatuated resolutions. Try your Mormon neighbors again, and if you cannot dwell together in amity, you may at least refrain from injuring each other. From the moderation of the Mormons, under what they conceive to be the deepest injury, you might well hope that if they ever entertained designs inconsistent with your liberty and happiness, that those designs have been abandoned. They are also interested in preserving the peace.— It is not natural to suppose that they, any more than yourselves, wish to live in continual alarm. They hope for quiet, and will be peaceful and submissive in order to enjoy it. But you are con[HC 7:214]tinually driving them to desperation by an insane course of threatening and hostility, and depriving yourselves of peace by the same means used to disquiet them.
“If I have said anything severe in this address, I pray you, attribute it to my deep conviction that your course is improper and unwarrantable. Such is the [p. 286]