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 22> for. We were kept waiting for this instrument some five or six hours. About 5 o’clock in the afternoon we took our departure, with not the most pleasant feelings. The associations of the , the spirit that he manifested to compromise with those scoundrels, the length of time that he had kept us waiting, and his general deportment, together with the infernal spirit that we saw exhibited by those whom he admitted to his councils made the prospect anything but promising” -[Page 146]-
<Page 148> Early in the morning a posse arrived in to arrest Joseph, but as they did not find thim they started back to immediately, leaving one man of the name of [Christopher] Yates behind them, who said to one of the brethren, that <designed> that if Joseph and were not given up he would send his troops and guard the until they were found, if it took three years to do it. -[Page 148]-
<Page 160> Elder says: “As I was informed of this illegal proceeding, I went immediately to the and informed <him> of it; whether he was apprized of it before or not, I do not know, but my opinion is that he was. I represented to him the character of the parties who had made oath, the outrageous nature of the charge, the indignity offered to men in the position which they occupied, and that he knew very well that it was a vexatious prosecution, and that they were not guilty of any such thing. The replied that he was very sorry that the thing had occurred; that he did not believe the charges, but that he thought that the best thing to be done in the premises, was to let the law take its course. I then reminded him that we had come out there at his instance, not to satisfy the law, which we had done before; but the prejudices of the people, in relation to the affair of the press; that we had given bonds, which we could not by law be required to do to satisfy the people, at his instance, and that it was asking too much to require gentlemen in their position in life to suffer the degradation of being immured in a jail, at the instance of such worthless scoundrels as those who had made this affidavit. The replied that it was an unpleasant affair and looked hard, but that it was a matter over which he no control, as it belonged to the judiciary that he, as the , could not interfere with their proceedings, and that he had no doubt but that they would be immediately dismissed. I told him that we had looked to him for protection from such insults, and that I thought we had a right to do so from the solemn promises he had made to me and , in relation to our coming without a guard or arms; that we had relied upon his faith and had a right to expect him to fulfil his engagements, after we had placed ourselves implicitly under his care and complied with all his requests, although extra-judicial. He replied that he would detail a guard, if we required it, and see us protected, but that he could not interfere with the judiciary. I expressed my dissatisfaction at the course taken, and told him, that if we [p. 2 [addenda]]