26017

History, 1834–1836


Editorial Note
The blank lines following 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...

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’s abandoned transcript of JS’s letter to church elders suggest a new direction in the 1834–1836 history. The final section of the history, a daily narrative beginning with the 22 September 1835 entry and ending abruptly with the 18 January 1836 entry, was begun 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...

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and continued by Warren Parrish. It is a polished version of JS’s second 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...

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journal, a document written mostly by scribes but apparently dictated by JS.148 Although Cowdery and Parrish adhered closely to their journal source, they occasionally went beyond the making of a mere clerical copy. They changed the journal’s first-person narrative to third-person and altered the tone or emphasis of several passages. In particular, Parrish took the opportunity to fill in the details of events he had witnessed, especially when those details enhanced the image of JS in his prophetic role. Where differences between journal and history are significant, they are noted herein. Selected annotation from The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839 also appears here; for more complete annotation, see pages 52–223 of that volume.
It is clear that this section of the history was intended to be a more refined and permanent document than the journal. The messy wipe erasures, roughly executed knife erasures, and other forms of revision in the journal contrast with the careful erasures and insertions found in this section of the history, and the introductory paragraph to the revised entries expresses the importance of providing a polished historical account of JS’s life for future generations. Although 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...

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probably composed this introductory explanation, he attributed ultimate authorship of the history to JS, referring to him not only as “the subject of this narrative” but also as “our author.”
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...

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began transcribing JS’s 1835–1836 journal into the history after he received the journal from 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...

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in early April 1836.149

Parrish did not give the journal to Cowdery before 1 April 1836, the date of the last entry Parrish wrote. Cowdery presumably received the journal soon after that date, as he wrote the journal entries for 2 and 3 April 1836. In early April, Parrish was preparing to leave Kirtland to proselytize, like many others who were recently “endowed” at the solemn assembly held in the House of the Lord in Kirtland for that purpose. Parrish’s mission departure, however, was delayed until May, and it was probably during this delay that Parrish retrieved the journal and history from Cowdery and used the journal to write the entries dated 18 November 1835–18 January 1836 in the history. (JS, Journal, 1, 2, and 3 Apr. 1836; Woodruff, Journal, 19 Apr. and 27 May 1836.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. Also available as Wilford Woodruff’s Journals, 1833–1898, edited by Scott G. Kenney, 9 vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983–1985).

The journal entries from which Cowdery and Parrish drew covered the period when JS and the Latter-day Saints anticipated the completion of the House of the Lord

JS revelation of Jan. 1831 directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” JS Revelation of Dec. 1832 directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS Revelation of 1 June 1833 chastened Saints...

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in 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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, the solemn assembly to be held therein, and the promised “endowment of power from on high.” These late March events were recorded in JS’s journal; however, the history carries the narrative only up through mid-January. Cowdery’s pagination of the book indicates the intent to adapt more of JS’s journal than was accomplished; he numbered the pages of the blank book up to 241, which was ultimately 107 pages further than he wrote and 54 pages further than Parrish wrote.

Warren Cowdery handwriting begins.  

 
Here the reader will observe, that the narrative assumes a  different form. The subject of it becoming daily more and more  noted, the writer deemed it proper to give a plain, simple, yet  faithful narration of every important item in his every-day- occurrences. Therefore, he trusts, that to the man of God, no apol ogy will be necessary for such a course: especially when he takes  into consideration, that he writes, not so much for the benefit  of his co[n]temporaries as for that of posterity. The candid, reflec ting mind will also realize, how highly we all estimate every  species of intelligence or correct information we can obtain  relative to the ancient Prophets & Apostles, through whom the  Most-High condescended to reveal himself to the children of men.  Such revelations, therefore, as may at any time be given through  him will be inserted, and the characters of other men, from  their necessary connexion with him, will in some instances  be plainly pourtrayed; but the digression from the main thread  of the narrative, when short, will, the writer trusts, constitute  that pleasing variety, those lights and shades, that picture of  human life on which the eye rests with most pleasure.  The ear, and the mind of both reader and hearer, will be relieved  from that formal sameness, or tiresome monotony, that char acterize a dull tale of no merit, and enable future gen erations, to duly appreciate the claims the subject of this150

TEXT: Possibly “the this”.  

 
 narrative may <have> had, on his co[n]temporaries for their implicit  reliance on what he taught them.

22 September 1835 • Tuesday

Sept. 22d. 1835 This day he labored, with his friend and brother in the Lord, 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...

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, in obtaining and writing blessings.151

The phrase “his friend and brother in the Lord” is not in the corresponding entry of the 1835–1836 journal. On this date, 22 September, JS dictated blessings for David Whitmer, John Whitmer, John Corrill, and William W. Phelps.  

 
They were thronged a  part of the time with company, so that their labor was rather  retarded; but they obtained many precious things and their souls  were blessed, to that degree, that they were constrained to cry out  in ecstacy, O. Lord, may thy Holy Spirit, be with thy servants  forever. Amen.
Sept. 23 [22],152

In the 1835–1836 journal, JS wrote this paragraph and the following two entries in his own hand. Because the entry follows Oliver Cowdery’s entry dated 22 September, JS mistakenly dated his own entry 23 September; the events described here occurred on the twenty-second.  

 
This day he was at home, wri ting blessings for his beloved brethren. He was hindered by multitudes  of visitors, but remarked, that the Lord had blessed their souls, this day,  and may God grant to continue his mercies unto my house this night  for Christ’s sake. This day his soul brethren had desired the salvation of  brother Ezra Thayer

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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. His soul was also drawn out in love153

This sentiment is not found in the 1835–1836 journal entry, which notes only, “Also Brother Noah, Packard. Came to my house.”  

 
for brother [p. 105]
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JS, History, [Dec. 1834–May 1836?]; handwriting 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...

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, 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...

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, 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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, and 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...

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; includes genealogical and financial tables; 154 pages; verso of JS History, 1838–1856, vol. A-1, CHL. Includes redactions, use marks, and archival marking.
Large blank book composed of ruled paper printed with forty horizontal lines in (now faint) blue ink. The text block includes thirty gatherings of various sizes, each about a dozen leaves per gathering, and originally had 384 interior leaves cut to measure 13⅝ x 9 inches (35 x 23 cm). The text block, which was conserved in the late twentieth century, was probably originally sewn on recessed cords and was apparently also glued on leather tapes. The binding features false bands. The endpapers were single-sided marbled leaves featuring a traditional Spanish pattern with slate blue body and black and red veins. The block was bound to pasteboard covers, probably with a hollow-back ledger binding, making a book measuring 14¼ x 9½ x 2½ inches (36 x 24 x 6 cm). The boards were bound in brown suede calfskin. At some point, blind-tooled decorations were made around the outside border and along the board edges and the turned-in edges of the inside covers.
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...

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began the text of the document on the thirteenth page of the text block, numbering it as page 9. Cowdery set aside pages 9–16 for genealogical tables for the members of the church presidency. He inscribed the page numbers, table headings, and column and row ruling for the tables in red ink with a quill pen. The content of the tables was inscribed in ink that is now brown with a quill pen, as was the rest of the history. Cowdery inscribed journal-like entries for 5 and 6 December 1834 on pages 17–20. Pages 21–45 are blank except for page numbering. 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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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...

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copied Cowdery’s 1834–1835 historical articles, published serially in the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, onto pages 46–103. A passage that Parrish missed while copying the first installment of the Cowdery history is supplied on a slip of paper attached to page 50 with adhesive wafers. On pages 103–104, Parrish copied part of a JS letter, also published in the church newspaper. On pages 105–187, Parrish and 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...

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wrote historical entries based on the entries in JS’s 1835–1836 journal. The genealogical table headings written by Oliver Cowdery, the letter headings and closings written by Williams and Parrish, and the datelines written by Parrish and Warren Cowdery are slightly larger than the ordinary script of these individuals. Parrish’s datelines also feature a vertical stress that contrasts with the oblique stress of his entry inscriptions. In their copying from the Messenger and Advocate, Frederick G. Williams and Warren Parrish often used a slightly larger script for words that appear in small caps in the printed version. Although pagination for the 1834–1836 history was inscribed up to page 241, the actual chronicle reaches only to page 187. Oliver Cowdery numbered pages 9–21, Frederick G. Williams numbered pages 22–58, Warren Parrish numbered pages 59–111, and Warren Cowdery numbered pages 112–241. Sometime later, Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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inscribed year and month-and-year headings in black ink on pages 17–20, 46–47, 105–173, and 176–187. Various pages also bear redactions in unidentified handwriting in black and blue pencil.
In 1839, the book was repurposed for the inscription of a new history. The book was turned over so that the back cover became the front and the last leaf became the first. From this new front of the book, JS’s scribes began writing what became the first volume of JS’s multivolume manuscript history (the first 61 pages of which are transcribed as “Draft 2”). That later history filled most of the remaining leaves of the book, running well into the blank pages that were numbered for the 1834–1836 history and up to within five pages of the inscribed entries in the earlier history. However, only numbering on pages 235–241 of the 1834–1836 history were erased (by knife eraser). With the later history’s side of the book upward, the spine of the book was labeled as volume “A | 1” of the multivolume history. Archival stickers were also added at some point to the spine and the inside front cover. Two interior leaves are now missing from the initial gathering of the volume and one leaf is missing from the final gathering. The flyleaves and pastedowns were also lost or removed from the book.1

See JS History, vol. A-1, microfilm, Dec. 1971, CHL. Only one leaf of the original pastedowns and flyleaves is extant. The pastedowns were replaced with undecorated paper in 1994, according to a conservation note on the verso of the extant marbled leaf archived with the volume.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JS History, vol. A-1. Microfilm, Dec. 1971. CHL.

The volume shows moderate wear, browning, water staining, and brittleness. It has been resewn, rebound, and otherwise conserved.
While the 1834–1836 history was being created, the volume was apparently kept in the homes of JS’s scribes.2

See JS, Journal, 29 Oct. 1835 and 25 Jan. 1836 (see also entry for 29 Oct. 1835 herein).  

 
In 1839, scribe James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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converted the book into the first volume of JS’s multivolume manuscript history.3

Jessee, “Writing of Joseph Smith’s History,” 439–441, 450–451, 464.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Jessee, Dean C. “The Writing of Joseph Smith’s History.” BYU Studies 11 (Summer 1971): 439–473.

In 1842, the church newspaper in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, began publishing this later history.4

The serialized publication of this history began in the 15 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

JS maintained custody of the volume through his later life, as indicated by a note he inscribed memorializing his deceased brother Alvin Smith

11 Feb. 1798–19 Nov. 1823. Farmer, carpenter. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; returned to Tunbridge, before May 1803. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804, and to...

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, which was attached to the verso of the flyleaf preceding the later history. The volume is listed in the first extant Historian’s Office inventory, made in Nauvoo in February 1846 by clerk Thomas Bullock, and it is listed in inventories of church records made in Salt Lake City in the second half of the nineteenth century.5

“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; “Historian’s Office Catalogue 1858,” 2, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL.

These and later archival records, as well as archival marking on the volume, indicate continuous institutional custody.

Facts