26017

History, 1834–1836

same things and much more, also the third time bearing the same tidings and departed. During the time I was in this vision I did not realize any thing around me, except what was shown to me in this communication. After the vision had all passed, I found that it was nearly day light; The family soon arose, and got up also. On that day while in the field at work with my father, he asked me if I was sick, I replied, I had but little strength. He told me to go to the house. I started and went part of the way, and was finally deprived of my strength and fell; but how long I remained I do not know. The Angel came to me again and commanded me to go and tell my father what I had seen & heard. I did so. The old man wept and told me that it was a vision from God, and to attend to it. I went and found the place where the plates were, according to the direction of the Angel, I also saw them and the Angel as before. The powers of darkness strove hard against me. I called on God. The Angel told me, that the reason why I could not obtain the plates at this time, was because I was under transgression, but to come again in one year from that time. I did so but did not obtain them, also the third and the fourth year the last of which time I obtained them, and translated them into the english language by the gift and power of God and have been preaching it ever since.
While President Smith was relating this brief history of the establisment of the Church of Christ in these last days, Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
seemed to be highly entertained. After he had gone through he observed to him (Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
) that the hour of worship and time to dine had now arrived, and asked him to tarry, to which he consented, After dinner the conversation was resumed, & Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
proceeded to make some remarks on the Prophecies as follows. He observed that he was aware that, he (Joseph) could bear stronger meat than many others, therefore he should open his mind the more freely. Daniel has told us that he is to stand in his proper lot in the latter days. According to his vision he had a right to shut it up and also to open it again after many days, or in the latter times.239

See Daniel 12:4.  


Daniel’s image whose head was gold, and body, arms legs and feet were composed of the different materials described in his vision, represents the different governments [p. 122]
same things and much more, also the third time bearing  the same tidings and departed. During the time I was in  this vision I did not realize any thing around me, except  what was shown to me in this communication. After the  vision had all passed, I found that it was nearly day light;  The family soon arose, and got up also. On that day while  in the field at work with my father, he asked me if I was  sick, I replied, I had but little strength. He told me to go to  the house. I started and went part of the way, and was finally  deprived of my strength and fell; but how long I remained  I do not know. The Angel came to me again and command ed me to go and tell my father what I had seen & heard.  I did so. The old man wept and told me that it was a vision  from God, and to attend to it. I went and found the place where  the plates were, according to the direction of the Angel, I also  saw them and the Angel as before. The powers of darkness  strove hard against me. I called on God. The Angel told  me, that the reason why I could not obtain the plates at  this time, was because I was under transgression, but to  come again in one year from that time. I did so but  did not obtain them, also the third and the fourth year  the last of which time I obtained them, and translated  them into <the> english language by the gift and power of God  and have been preaching it ever since.
While President Smith was relating this brief history of the estab lisment of the Church of Christ in these last days, Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
 seemed to be highly entertained. After he had gone through  he observed to him (Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
) that the hour of worship and  time to dine had now arrived, and asked him to tarry, to which  he consented, After dinner the conversation was resumed, &  Joshua

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

View Full Bio
proceeded to make some remarks on the Prophecies  as follows. He observed that he was aware that, he (Joseph)  could bear stronger meat than many others, therefore he should  open his mind the more freely. Daniel has told us that  he is to stand in his proper lot in the latter days. According  to his vision he had a right to shut it up and also to open it  again after many days, or in the latter times.239

See Daniel 12:4.  


Daniel’s  image whose head was gold, and body, arms legs and feet  were composed of the different materials described in  his vision, represents the different governments [p. 122]
PreviousNext
JS’s 1834–1836 history is a composite historical record consisting of genealogical tables, journal-like entries, and transcripts of newspaper articles. It shifts abruptly in format from one unfinished section to the next. The order of handwriting in the history roughly matches that found in the 1835–1836 journal, and like the journal, the history passed from Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
to 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...

View Full Bio
to Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

View Full Bio
to Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

View Full Bio
. Finally, it returned to Parrish. The purpose for which the record was created is unclear, as is the rationale for its differing formats. At the beginning, the 1834–1836 history may have had as much to do with Oliver Cowdery, its first scribe, as with JS. Cowdery was serving at the time as scribe for JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
journal. He had transformed that journal into a jointly authored document by writing in the first person plural, making both himself and JS the protagonists. Cowdery made his final entry in the first Ohio journal 5 December 1834, the day he was ordained an assistant president to JS in the general church presidency and placed ahead of JS’s other assistants. He may have begun the 1834–1836 history in response to his new appointment.
The new record was begun in a massive blank book. Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
left the first twelve pages blank, possibly for a title page and other introductory material to be written later. He then inscribed columns and headings on the next eight pages to reserve them for the genealogies of the four members of the new church presidency. On the following page, he began an entry dated 5 December 1834, the same date as his last entry in JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
journal.
Just as Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
converted JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
journal into a JS-Cowdery journal, he may have conceived of the 1834–1836 history as a record for all four members of the church presidency. Cowdery’s entry for 5 December 1834 provided a lengthier and more formal account of his elevation to the church presidency than did JS’s first Ohio journal. Regardless of its purpose, however, the daily log was discontinued after two entries.
The next section of the history, begun months later, is a transcript of Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
’s series of eight letters on church history published in the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate between October 1834 and October 1835. 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...

View Full Bio
, who began the transcription, may have begun working under Cowdery’s direction, but by 29 October 1835 JS had assumed effective control of the document. JS’s journal entry of that date, which notes his employment of Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

View Full Bio
as his scribe, also records that Parrish “commenced writing in my journal a history of my life, concluding President Cowdery 2d letter to W. 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,...

View Full Bio
, which president Williams had begun.”1

JS, Journal, 29 Oct. 1835; see also entry for 29 Oct. 1835 herein. In this case, “my journal” refers to JS’s 1834–1836 history, which JS also called his “large journal.”  


The final section of JS’s history, transcribed by Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

View Full Bio
and Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

View Full Bio
, is a revised version of JS’s daily journal entries from late September 1835 to late January 1836.2 Warren Cowdery explained that the intention was to provide a “faithful narration of every important item in his every-day-occurrences.”3

JS History, 1834–1836, 105.  


The revised entries continue to 18 January 1836. Warren Parrish, the final scribe to write in JS’s 1834–1836 history, may have ceased his work in order to embark on a proselytizing mission. However, the reasons for JS’s discontinuing the history entirely are not known.
Further information about the different sections of the 1834–1836 history may be found in intratextual notes preceding each section.
As noted above, the first section of the history includes initial work to compile genealogical data for each member of the church presidency. In an 1832 letter to church leaders in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
, JS outlined the contents of the church history to be kept by John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
. In addition to an account of “all things that transpire in Zion,” JS instructed that the record include the names of those who had formally consecrated their property and received church land. At the second coming of Jesus Christ, he wrote, this record would be used to reward “the Saints whose names are found and the names of their fathers and of their children enroled in the Book of the Law of God.”4

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1, 3.  


Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
apparently followed this model when he began this new historical record in early December 1834. He reserved the pages at the beginning of the history to record family information for JS, himself, 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...

View Full Bio
, and 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...

View Full Bio
, the four members of the general church presidency as designated on 5 December 1834. Inscribing headings to eight pages, Cowdery intended to prepare two genealogical tables for each of the four presidents, one to identify wife and children and the second to identify parents and siblings. The left column lists births and marriages; the column on the right was reserved for deaths. That Cowdery did not create or even leave room for similar tables for the two assistant presidents appointed on 6 December 1834 suggests that he inscribed both the tables and the entry for 5 December between the 5 and 6 December meetings.

Facts