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.
<May 17> they represent, and also to send delegates to the Baltimore Convention.
“Resolved, that and John Reid, Esqre., be requested to furnish a copy of their speeches for publication. [HC 6:391]
“Resolved, that the electors be instructed to make stump speeches in their different districts.
“Resolved, that the thanks of this meeting be given to for his patriotic song.
“It was moved and seconded that , , , , and , represent this Convention at the Convention to be held in Baltimore on the 13th of July next.
“, Esqre., then addressed the meeting, and was succeeded by the following gentlemen:— Gen. Joseph Smith, Dr. , , , , , and John Reid, Esqre..
“It was moved, seconded, and carried, that the thanks of this meeting be given to the and Secretary.
“The Convention was addressed in an eloquent speech by , Esq., showing the political dishonesty of both and , and stating his views, and the present condition of the country.
“ rose and addressed the Convention in the following eloquent strain:
‘ and Fellow Citizens,—
‘As an American— a citizen of St. Clair County, and of the State of , with the deference ever acknowledged on occasions like this, I feel the spirit of obedience that was required of one of old when he was bade to take off his shoes for he was walking on holy ground, and that this was a holy cause.
‘Influenced by the distinguished honors paid me on the 24th. of April in the convention then here held, and the invitation to associate on this occasion, I feel that on occasions of this importance it commands the rallying excuses of more than a Bonapartean or Mortier desperation; that to have names now brought before an American people that have for the last fourteen years or longer, been like the foot ball of the sportsman and the extraordinary selected subjects of derision and contumely, that new expressions are about to be made that the people are about to trace back the erroneous doings of a nation, to weep and repent for malefactors, to examine the old building that in those days was founded by our forefathers, and for want of qualified tenants, has become occasionally tinged with filth and spurious matter— that its anticipated solidity to the beating storms has ceded— and its firmness in various ranges assumed dubitable type. The Jeffersonian doctrines have been forsaken; merit and qualification have been abandoned, humbuggery and sarcasm in their stead adopted, and modern American growth in the unhealthy tones of vice, farce, non-sustenance of truth, and non-valorous deeds in their stead, the only objects for promotion captioned by these expressions, to this august assembly. In the character of a delegate from St.Clair county, I say, that reform— politically as well as morally, claims the present field; that the many gubernative exercises of the various Presidents since those days that were honored by a [George] Washington, a [Thomas] Jefferson, [James] Madison, [James] Monroe, and [Andrew] Jackson, have been to Americans, thorns whose irritability never cease, whose national maligne depot has been indelible and that has cankered the lovely cement that germinated in the days of the Revolution in 1776, and that were by our forefathers fostered with hope of ameliorizing the conditions of this and previous generations. Unwilling as I may be to offer [p. 44]