26017

History, 1834–1836

seek it at my hand. he shall be privileged with writing much of my word as a scribe unto me for the benefit of my people.
Therefore, this shall be his calling until I shall order it otherwise in my wisdom: and it shall be said of him in a time to come, behold Warren

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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, the Lord’s Scribe, for the Lord’s Seer whom he hath appointed in Israel. therefore, if he will keep my commandments he shall be lifted up at the last day, even so. Amen.
A gentleman called this afternoon, by the name of Erastus Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

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of Newbury Clemon Clermont Co. Ohio, to make inquiry about the establishment of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and to be instructed more perfectly in the doctrine & principles of it. He (Smith) commenced and gave him a brief relation of his experience while in his youthful days, say from the age of six years up to the time he received the first visitation of Angels which was when he was about 14 years old.264

JS may have recounted the traumatic leg operation he underwent at age seven, as he did in a later history. His recounting of “the first visitation of Angels” corresponds with the vision he described earlier in the week to Robert Matthews, wherein he saw two “personage[s]” and “many angels” when he “was about 14.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 131nA; entry for 9 Nov. 1835; compare JS History, ca. summer 1832, 1–3; and JS History, vol. A-1, 3.)  


He also gave him an account of the revelations he afterward received concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and a succinct account of the rise and progress of the church up to this date. He listened very attentively and seemed highly gratified. and expressed a determination to unite with the Church. He truly appeared to be a sincere inquirer after truth, which rendered his society endearing.265

In place of this sentence, the 1835–1836 journal has “he is a verry candid man indeed and I am much pleased with him.”  


15 November 1835 • Sunday

Sunday 15th. He, (President Smith) and his friend, Erastus Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

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, of whom mention has been made above, went to meeting, which was held in the School-house

Two-story structure measuring thirty by thirty-eight feet, built during fall and winter of 1834. Located immediately west of temple lot on Whitney Street (now Maple Street) in Kirtland. School of the Elders met here from winter 1834–1835 to Jan. 1836. Ground...

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.266

The 1835–1836 journal notes, “on account of the Chappel not being finished plastering.”  


President 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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preached on the subject of men’s being called to preach the gospel and their qualifications &c. He was happy in the delivery, and in his peculiar, entertaining manner gave an interesting, instructing discourse.267

In place of this sentence, the 1835–1836 journal has “we had a fine discourse it was verry interesting indeed.”  


Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

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appeared to be well satisfied. He has been a member of the Methodist Church and was excommunicated for receiving the Elders of the Church of the Latter-Day-Saints into his house. In the afternoon before partaking of the Sacrament, the case of Isaac Hills Hill

28 Sept. 1806–25 June 1879. Blacksmith, brick maker. Born near Brighton, Beaver Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Hill and Nancy Warrick. Moved to East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., Ohio, by Dec. 1826. Married first Mary Bell, 7 June 1827, at East Liverpool. Joined...

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, an offending brother, was called up & agitated. This case was settled after much controversy and Hills

28 Sept. 1806–25 June 1879. Blacksmith, brick maker. Born near Brighton, Beaver Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Hill and Nancy Warrick. Moved to East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., Ohio, by Dec. 1826. Married first Mary Bell, 7 June 1827, at East Liverpool. Joined...

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retained in the Church by his making a humble acknowledgement before the Church, and consenting to have his confession published in the Messenger & Advocate.268

Hill’s case was first heard the previous Sunday. His confession was never published. (Entry for 8 Nov. 1835.)  


Sacrament was then admininstered and congregation [p. 129]
seek it at my hand. he shall be privileged with writing much of  my word as a scribe unto me for the benefit of my people.
Therefore, this shall be his calling until I shall order it other wise in my wisdom: and it shall be said of him in a time  to come, behold Warren

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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, the Lord’s Scribe, for the Lord’s Seer  whom he hath appointed in Israel. therefore, if he will keep  my commandments he shall be lifted up at the last day,  even so. Amen.
A gentleman called this afternoon, by the name of Erastus  Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

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of Newbury Clemon [Clermont] Co. Ohio, to make inquiry about  the establishment of the Church of the Latter Day Saints,  and to be instructed more perfectly in the doctrine & principles  of it. He (Smith) commenced and gave him a brief relation  of his experience while in his youthful days, say from the age  of six years up to the time he received the first visitation of Angels  which was when he was about 14 years old.264

JS may have recounted the traumatic leg operation he underwent at age seven, as he did in a later history. His recounting of “the first visitation of Angels” corresponds with the vision he described earlier in the week to Robert Matthews, wherein he saw two “personage[s]” and “many angels” when he “was about 14.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 131nA; entry for 9 Nov. 1835; compare JS History, ca. summer 1832, 1–3; and JS History, vol. A-1, 3.)  


He also gave him  an account of the revelations he had afterward received concern ing the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and a succinct  account of the rise and progress of the church up to this date.  He listened very attentively and seemed highly gratified. and  expressed a determination to unite with the Church. He  truly appeared to be a sincere inquirer after truth, which  rendered his society endearing.265

In place of this sentence, the 1835–1836 journal has “he is a verry candid man indeed and I am much pleased with him.”  


15 November 1835 • Sunday

Sunday 15th. He, (President Smith) and his friend, [Erastus] Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

View Full Bio
,  of whom mention has been made above, went to meeting,  which was held in the School-house

Two-story structure measuring thirty by thirty-eight feet, built during fall and winter of 1834. Located immediately west of temple lot on Whitney Street (now Maple Street) in Kirtland. School of the Elders met here from winter 1834–1835 to Jan. 1836. Ground...

More Info
.266

The 1835–1836 journal notes, “on account of the Chappel not being finished plastering.”  


President [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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 preached on the subject of men’s being called to preach the  gospel and their qualifications &c. He was happy in the  delivery, and in his peculiar, entertaining manner gave  an interesting, instructing discourse.267

In place of this sentence, the 1835–1836 journal has “we had a fine discourse it was verry interesting indeed.”  


Holmes

12 Oct. 1800–26 Aug. 1863. Clerk, trader, merchant. Born at Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Son of George Holmes and Betsy Ball. Moved to Newbury (probably later Mulberry), Miami Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, 1821. Married Mary Ann Leming, after Jan...

View Full Bio
appeared to be  well satisfied. He has been a member of the Methodist  Church and was excommunicated for receiving the Elders of  the Church of the Latter-Day-Saints into his house. In the  afternoon before partaking of the Sacrament, the case  of Isaac Hills [Hill]

28 Sept. 1806–25 June 1879. Blacksmith, brick maker. Born near Brighton, Beaver Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Hill and Nancy Warrick. Moved to East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., Ohio, by Dec. 1826. Married first Mary Bell, 7 June 1827, at East Liverpool. Joined...

View Full Bio
, an offending brother, was called up & agit ated. This case was settled after much controversy and  Hills

28 Sept. 1806–25 June 1879. Blacksmith, brick maker. Born near Brighton, Beaver Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Hill and Nancy Warrick. Moved to East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., Ohio, by Dec. 1826. Married first Mary Bell, 7 June 1827, at East Liverpool. Joined...

View Full Bio
retained in the Church by his making a humble  acknowledgement before the Church, and consenting to  have his confession published in the Messenger & Ad vocate.268

Hill’s case was first heard the previous Sunday. His confession was never published. (Entry for 8 Nov. 1835.)  


Sacrament was then admininstered and congregation [p. 129]
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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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. 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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’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...

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, 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...

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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,...

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, 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...

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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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, 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...

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, 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...

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. 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...

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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...

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, 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...

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, 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.

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