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 11> hands, thinking that he may act with more efficiency than the Mail.
I am &c, ”
<Our communications by mail appear to be cut off, as no part of our extensive correspondence has come to hand by the U. S. Mail for the last three weeks, and seems to be aware of it. I instructed to [HC 6:450] answer ’s letter, and then rode out with .>
<I received the following letter:— >
<“, Ill. June 6th, 1844. Dear Sir;— I have just received information that is making an effort to procure from the Grand Jury for the now in session at this place, an indictment against the members of your Municipal Court for exercising their legal and constitutional rights, and discharging their sworn duty in acting in the matter of ’s petition for Habeas Corpus. I could hardly have supposed that he would succeed had I not been informed that there is no doubt that he will accomplish his object. I give you this information that you may be able to act as circumstances <may> require. has not had a hearing, and will not until tomorrow morning Yours truly, . Gen. Joseph Smith, Nauvoo.”>
Elder<s &> preached at my in the evening. Cloudy and cool day. The of the Steamer Osprey called this forenoon at the to see me; I rode with him to his boat, which was at the upper landing. When I came up, called the passengers to come and see the meanest man in the world; Mr. Eaton stopped him, and told the passengers that it was who was the meanest man in the world. Rollison attempted to draw a pistol, but Eaton silenced him, and kept them all down.
reported that last evening while on the hill, just before the police arrived, said, while speaking of the printing press of the “Nauvoo Expositor,” if they lay their hands upon it or break it, they may date their downfall from that very hour; and in ten days there will not be a Mormon left in . What they do, they may expect the same in return. Addison Everett also heard him. [HC 6:451]
Jason R. Luce reported that said, while the press was burning, that before three weeks the would be strung to the ground, and he would help to do it; and Tallman Rolf[e] said, the would be strung within ten days. Moses Leonard also heard him, Joshua Miller being also present.
Bryant, (Merchant of ) said before he would see such things he would wade to his knees in blood.
It is reported that runners have gone out in all directions to try to get up a mob, and the mobbers are selling their houses in , and disposing of their property. [HC 6:452]
<12> Wednesday 12. At 10 A. M., in my . At half past one I was arrested by on the following writ:—
“State of Illinois,)
“The people of the State of to all Constables, Sheriffs, and Coroners of said State greeting:
“Whereas complaint hath been made before me, one of the Justices of the Peace within and for the County of aforesaid, upon the oath of of said County, that Joseph Smith, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and , of said , did on the 10th. day of June instant commit a riot, at and within the aforesaid, wherein they with force and violence broke into the Printing office of the Nauvoo Expositor, and unlawfully, and with force burned and destroyed the printing press, type, and fixtures of the same, being the property of , , , , , , and .
“These are therefore to command you forthwith to apprehend the said Joseph Smith, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and , and bring them before me [p. 87]