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History, 1834–1836

29 November 1835 • Sunday

Sunday Nov. 29th. This morning he went to meeting at the usual hour Eldr. Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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occupied the desk in the A.M. & Bp. Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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in the P.M. Their discourses were well adapted to the times in which we live, and the circumstances, under which we are placed; their words were truly words of wisdom “like apples of gold in pictures of silver,” spoken in the unaffected simple accents of a child; yet sublime as the voice of an angel. The saints appeared to be much pleased with the beautiful discourses of these two fathers in Israel. After these servises closed, three of the Zion brethren came forward and received their blessing. Solon Foster was ordained to the office of an Eldr. The Lord’s supper was then administered, and the meeting closed. Our brother returned home and spent the evening in his family circl, around the social fire side.— The weather continues cold and stormy.

30 November 1835 • Monday

Monday morning 30th. The snow continues falling and is already sufficiently deep to make good sleighing This is uncommon for this country, at this season of the year. He spent the day in writing, or in other words dictating a letter for the Messenger & Advocate on the subject of the gathering in the last days from Matthew 13th ch. This afternoon Henry Capron

14 Mar. 1815–18 Jan. 1865. Farmer, town officer. Born in New York. Son of Joseph Capron and Sabra Avery. Moved to Perrinton, Ontario Co., New York, by 1820. Lived next to JS’s family at Manchester, Ontario Co. Visited JS, 30 Nov. 1835, in Kirtland, Geauga...

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called to see him Mr. Capon

14 Mar. 1815–18 Jan. 1865. Farmer, town officer. Born in New York. Son of Joseph Capron and Sabra Avery. Moved to Perrinton, Ontario Co., New York, by 1820. Lived next to JS’s family at Manchester, Ontario Co. Visited JS, 30 Nov. 1835, in Kirtland, Geauga...

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is an old acquaintance of his from Manchester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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NewYork. He showed him the ancient records and explained them to him.

1 December 1835 • Tuesday

Tuesday December 1st. This is a delightful morning indeed; Pres. Joseph made preperations to ride to Painesville

Located on Grand River twelve miles northeast of Kirtland. Created and settled, 1800. Originally named Champion. Flourished economically from harbor on Lake Erie and as major route of overland travel for western emigration. Included Painesville village; laid...

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, his wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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& children with some others of his household, accompanied him. When we were passing through Mentor street

Road running southwest from Painesville to Mentor and on to Willoughby. Intersected at Mentor with road leading south to Kirtland. JS took family on sleigh ride over part of road, 2 Dec. 1835.

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, we overtook two men with a team, & politely asked them to let us pass; they granted our request, and as we passed them, they abruptly bawled out to Pres. Smith do you get any revelations lately, with an addition of blackguard & vulgarity, to us uninteligable. This is a fair specimine of the character of the inhabitants of Mentor; who have rendered themselves notorious, for mobing & persecuting the saints; [p. 138]

29 November 1835 • Sunday

Sunday Nov. 29th. This morning he went to meeting at  the usual hour Eldr. Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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306

Morley served as one of Edward Partridge’s counselors in the Missouri bishopric. They had recently served a mission together in the eastern states.  


occupied the  desk in the A.M. & Bp. Edward Partri[d]ge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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in the P.M.  Their discourses were well adapted to the times in  which we live, and the circumstances, under which  we are placed; their words were truly words of  wisdom “like apples of gold in pictures of silver,”307

See Proverbs 25:11.  


spoken  in the unaffected simple accents of a child; yet sublime  as the voice of an angel. The saints appeared to be  much pleased with the beautiful discourses of these  two fathers in Israel. After these servises closed, three  of the Zion brethren308

Veterans of the 1834 expedition to Missouri. (See “Camp of Israel,” in Glossary.)  


came forward and received their  blessing. Solon Foster was ordained to the office of an  Eldr. The Lord’s supper was then administered, and  the meeting closed. Our brother returned home and  spent the evening in his family circl, around the  social fire side.— The weather continues cold and  stormy.

30 November 1835 • Monday

Monday morning 30th. The snow continues falling and is  already sufficiently deep to make good sleighing  This is uncommon for this country, at this season  of the year. He spent the day in writing, or in other  words dictating a letter for the Messenger & Advocate on the  subject of the gathering in the last days from Matthew  13th ch.309

This was the third in a series of three letters written by JS and published in successive issues of the LDS Messenger and Advocate to provide instruction for traveling elders. (JS, “To the Elders of the Church of Latter Day Saints,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, 2:225–230; see also Sept. 1835, 1:179–182; and Nov. 1835, 2:209–212.)  


This afternoon Henry Capron

14 Mar. 1815–18 Jan. 1865. Farmer, town officer. Born in New York. Son of Joseph Capron and Sabra Avery. Moved to Perrinton, Ontario Co., New York, by 1820. Lived next to JS’s family at Manchester, Ontario Co. Visited JS, 30 Nov. 1835, in Kirtland, Geauga...

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called to see him  Mr. Capon

14 Mar. 1815–18 Jan. 1865. Farmer, town officer. Born in New York. Son of Joseph Capron and Sabra Avery. Moved to Perrinton, Ontario Co., New York, by 1820. Lived next to JS’s family at Manchester, Ontario Co. Visited JS, 30 Nov. 1835, in Kirtland, Geauga...

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is an old acquaintance of his from Manch ester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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NewYork. He showed him the ancient records  and explained them to him.

1 December 1835 • Tuesday

Tuesday December 1st.310

In the 1835–1836 journal, the 1 December 1835 entry consists of the following: “at home spent the day in writing, for the M[essenger] & Advocate, the snow is falling and we have fine sleighing.” The entry here for 1 December corresponds to the entry dated 2 December in the 1835–1836 journal.  


This is a delightful morning  indeed; Pres. Joseph made preperations to ride to  Pain[e]sville

Located on Grand River twelve miles northeast of Kirtland. Created and settled, 1800. Originally named Champion. Flourished economically from harbor on Lake Erie and as major route of overland travel for western emigration. Included Painesville village; laid...

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, his wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
& children with some others of  his household, accompanied him. When we were  passing through Mentor street

Road running southwest from Painesville to Mentor and on to Willoughby. Intersected at Mentor with road leading south to Kirtland. JS took family on sleigh ride over part of road, 2 Dec. 1835.

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, we overtook two men  with a team, & politely asked them to let us pass; they  granted our request, and as we passed them, they  abruptly bawled out to Pres. Smith do you get any revelations  lately, with an addition of blackguard & vulgarity, to  us uninteligable. This is a fair specimine of the chara cter of the inhabitants of Mentor; who have rendered  themselves notorious, for mobing & persecuting the saints;311

The passage from “who have rendered” to this point is a scribal elaboration not found in the 1835–1836 journal. Before joining with the Latter-day Saints, Sidney Rigdon led the Reformed Baptist congregation in Mentor, some of whom now deeply resented the new religion that had taken Rigdon and many from the neighboring Kirtland congregation. On Mentor-based opposition to the Mormons in 1835, see Adams, “Grandison Newell’s Obsession,” 170–173.  


[p. 138]
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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.

Facts