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 6> trading in, said paper money, as all that was issued as genuine was redeemed; after the first officers who signed said bills retired, a new set of officers were appointed, and the vault of the institution was broken open and robbed of several hundred thousand dollars, the signatures forged upon the said stolen bills, and those bills are being slily bartered or had in trade for the purpose of wilful and malicious prosecution and collection. In the first place the bills are not collectable by law in an unchartered institution; in the second place they are spurious, the signatures being a forgery, and every person passing or trading a bill is guilty of passing counterfeit money, besides the barefaced act of swindling. And lastly, he that uses said bills in any way as a medium of trade, is guilty of fraud, and shows a wicked and corrupt determination to wilfully, maliciously, and feloniously rob the Latter Day Saints; and if the executors of the laws are as ready to mete out even handed justice to such [HC 6:429] men as to the Mormons, more indictments will indicate more honesty. Time will show.
<7> Friday 7 called professedly to make some concessions in order to return to the Church; he wanted a private interview which I declined. I had some conversation with him in the hall in the presence of several gentlemen. I told him I would meet with him in the presence of friends; I would choose three or four, and he might chose an equal number, and that I was willing to settle every thing on righteous principles. In the evening a report was circulated that had said I would receive him back on any terms, and give him a hatful of dollars into the bargain.
I went to the about 2 P. M, and instructed Elder to answer a certain bill or receipt of .
The first and only number of the Nauvoo Expositor was published, edited by .
In the evening I received an extremely saucy and insulting letter from .
<8> Saturday 8 From 10 A. M. to 1 P. M. in the City Council, also from 3 to 6½ P. M. The subject of the “Nauvoo Expositor” was taken under consideration. An Ordinance was passed concerning the City Attorney, and his duties.
Elder preached at the this evening. Thunder and rain this evening and during the night.
A ferry boat came down from with a pleasure party, and landed at the at 2 P. M.
I sent to to give in some lots for assessment, and while there Backenstos told him that had been gone to eight days to try to get another writ for me. also got [HC 6:430] news that the democrats had dropped , and substituted James K. Polk, of Tennessee, for President, and Silas Wright, of , for Vice President.
I walked out in the evening with .
The following appears in the Times and Seasons:—
“, June 8th., 1844.
Dear Sir:— It is with mingled feelings of gratitude and pleasure that I again seat myself to address you a few lines agreeably to promise expressive of my feelings with regard to your prophet— his doctrine, character, views, &c. During my short stay in your , I have found nothing to alter my opinions of its inhabitants, as expressed [p. 71]