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.
<August 5> recorded the following dream:— [HC 7:227]
“I dreamed of speaking before a large congregation on the policy of the nation, and the policy of our religion. I said that Joseph the Prophet had laid the foundation and we would have to carry out his measures. Joseph was present and heard all I said and sanctioned it: all seemed perfectly natural.”
<6> Tuesday 6. Elders , , , and met in Council at ’s. <-[See addenda Page 10.>
The following is extracted from ’s Journal:—
“We (the brethren of the Twelve returning to ) stopped at various places while going down the ; among others, the town of , after which we prepared our minds to once more behold the City of and embrace our families and friends.
“We were landed at the upper stone house, at 8 in the evening, and were welcomed with joy by all the citizens we met. We hired a coach and I accompanied my brethren to their families, after which I was conveyed to my own and truly felt to rejoice to once more meet with my wife, children and friends. Thus it is with me I have spent but one summer either at home or with the body of the Church for the last ten years, as my lot has been cast abroad in the vineyard most of the time.
“When we landed in the a deep gloom seemed to rest over the city of , which we never experienced before.”
<7> Wednesday 7. Elders , , , , , , and met in council with at his house. They found him recovering from his wounds received at the massacre of the Prophets. [HC 7:228]
The Twelve felt to rejoice at having the privilege of again meeting in Council together, after having passed through such trying scenes, and to be welcomed by the Saints who considered it very providential for the Twelve to arrive at this particular juncture, when their minds were agitated, their hearts sorrowful, and darkness seemed to cloud their path, feeling like sheep without a shepherd, their beloved prophet having been taken away.
4 p. m. Meeting of the Twelve Apostles, High Council, and High Priests at the Seventies’ Hall.
Prest. called upon to make a statement to the Church concerning his message to the Saints and the vision and revelation he had received.
“The object of my mission is to visit the Saints and offer myself to them as a guardian. I had a vision at , June 27th: this was presented to my mind, not as an open vision, but rather a continuation of the vision mentioned in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. It was shown to me that this Church must be built up to Joseph, and that all the blessings we receive must come through him. I have been ordained a spokesman to Joseph, and I must come to and see that the Church is governed in a proper manner. Joseph sustains the same relationship to this Church as he has always done: no man can be the [p. 295]