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Note, 9 January 1833

Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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January 9th. 1833
This day we the members of the united firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

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1

The members of the United Firm living in Kirtland, Ohio, were JS, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, and Martin Harris. (Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82].)  


of N K Whitney &c

A partnership between Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert; later the branch of the United Firm responsible for overseeing the church’s mercantile endeavors in Kirtland, Ohio. In late 1826 or early 1827, Whitney and Gilbert established this partnership to ...

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agreed to allow Brother Fredck. G Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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Three hundred dollars pr year for his services as assistant scribe to be paid by the firm
F.G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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Clk [p. 5]
Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

More Info
January 9th. 1833
This day we the members of the united firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
1

The members of the United Firm living in Kirtland, Ohio, were JS, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, and Martin Harris. (Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82].)  


of N K Whitney &c

A partnership between Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert; later the branch of the United Firm responsible for overseeing the church’s mercantile endeavors in Kirtland, Ohio. In late 1826 or early 1827, Whitney and Gilbert established this partnership to ...

View Glossary
 agreed to allow Brother Fredck. G Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
Three hundred  dollars pr year for his services as assistant scribe to  be paid by the firm
F.G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
Clk [p. 5]
Minute Book 1 contains a note stating that on 9 January 1833, N. K. Whitney & Co.

A partnership between Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert; later the branch of the United Firm responsible for overseeing the church’s mercantile endeavors in Kirtland, Ohio. In late 1826 or early 1827, Whitney and Gilbert established this partnership to ...

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, the Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, branch of the United Firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

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, voted to compensate Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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for his work as assistant scribe. This note does not explain for whom Williams was working, and neither does the index to the volume, which titles the note “for employing F.G. William[s] as assistant scribe Jany. 9th 1833.”1

Minute Book 1, Index, [1].  


Williams appears to have been working for the Literary Firm

The branch of the United Firm responsible for church publications. In November 1831, a revelation appointed JS, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and William W. Phelps as “stewards over the revelations & commandments.” In March 1832...

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, the branch of the United Firm responsible for publications. Williams was doing scribal work for JS at this time, copying revelations into Revelation Book 2 and serving as scribe for JS’s Bible revision, which may explain the United Firm’s financial obligation to Williams.
Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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stated that he started “writing for Joseph Smith Jr.” on 20 July 1832, at a time when Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, JS’s chief scribe, was relieved of his responsibilities because of statements Rigdon made at a Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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meeting.2

Williams actually appears to have begun scribal work for JS as early as February 1832, around which time he began copying revelations into Revelation Book 2. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2; Frederick G. Williams, “Statement of Facts Relative to J. Smith and Myself,” no date, [1], Frederick G. Williams, Papers, CHL; and Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


JS also reported, in a 31 July 1832 letter to William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, that “Brother Frederick in [is] employed to be a scribe for me of the Lord.” According to this same letter, JS had “restored” Rigdon “to his high standing in the church of God,”3 but Williams continued his scribal work, perhaps as a replacement for Jesse Gause

Ca. 1784–ca. Sept. 1836. Schoolteacher. Born at East Marlborough, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Gause (Goss) and Mary Beverly. Joined Society of Friends (Quakers), 1806. Moved to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, 1808; to Chester Co., 1811; and to Wilmington...

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, counselor to JS, who left on a mission on 1 August.4

Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 1 Aug. 1832; see also Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183–186. In an undated list of debts owed to him, Williams included time for “writing,” beginning “the first august 1832.” (Frederick G. Williams, “Account on Farm,” no date, Frederick G. Williams, Papers, CHL.)  


Copies of August and September 1832 revelations in Revelation Book 2, for example, contain the notation “F. G. Williams Scribe.”5

See Revelation, 29 Aug. 1832 [D&C 99]; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832, in Revelation Book 2, p. 31 [D&C 84]. These copies were probably made soon after the revelations were dictated. Williams also spent much of the latter part of 1832 and the first part of 1833 writing for JS’s revision of the Bible. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70–72.)  


After Gause was excommunicated in December 1832, Williams replaced him as a counselor to the president of the high priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

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, while also continuing his scribal duties.6 This 9 January note, however, may be the first time that Williams was officially designated as “assistant scribe.”7

The minutes of a 22 January 1833 meeting also list Williams as “assistant scribe.” Williams used that designation in some of the revelations he copied into Revelation Book 2—revelations that were probably copied between late January and late February 1833. (Minutes, 22–23 Jan. 1833; Revelation, 6 Dec. 1832 [D&C 86]; Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126]; and Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:127–137].)  


Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, who is listed in this note as clerk, recorded the action of the United Firm in Minute Book 1. Although it is likely that the decision recorded in the note was made at a formal meeting of the firm, Williams’s entry reads less like minutes of a meeting and more like a record of an action taken, similar to some of the entries in the book referring to the ordination

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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of individuals.8

See, for example, Minutes, 16 Nov. 1832.  


Facts