26017

History, 1834–1836

Eldr. Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

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was appointed to inform the said Dr. Piexotto

18 July 1800–13 May 1843. Physician, author. Born at Amsterdam, Holland. Son of Moses Peixotto and Judith Lopez Salzedo. Moved to Curacao, West Indies, before 1807. Moved to New York City, 18 July 1807. Married Rachel M. Seixas, 19 Mar. 1823. Graduated from...

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that his servises were not wanted;408

The letter has not been located, but Peixotto’s 5 January letter of reply and Warren Parrish’s 11 January rejoinder were transcribed into the 1835–1836 journal. The entirety of Peixotto’s letter and part of Parrish’s response were also copied into this history. (JS, Journal, 18 Jan. 1836; entry for 18 Jan. 1836.)  


and Eldr’s Wm. McLellen William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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, & Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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were appointed by the voice of the school to go to Hudson Seminary,409

Western Reserve College at Hudson, Portage County (now Summit County), Ohio. (See Perrin, History of Summit County, 450–453.)  


to hire a teacher and notwithstanding our disapointment we concluded to go on with our school and do the best we can until we can obtain a teacher. By the voice of the class Pres. Joseph Smith Jun. was solicited to take charge of school for the time being, to which he concented.— This being the first day that this room410

This was the westernmost of the five rooms on the third story of the House of the Lord, which JS intended to use as a translating room. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 55, figs. 4–7; see also entry for 31 Dec. 1835.)  


was occupied, we thought meet to dedicate it to God, which was solemnized by the venerable patriarch Joseph Smith Sen.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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— This evening we met at the chapel

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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to make arangements for a singing school; after some altercation, a judicious arangement was entered into, and a committe of 6 was chosen to take charge of the singing department.
This is a rainy unpleasant time, and the roads are extremely mudy.

5 January 1836 • Tuesday

Tuesday 5th. He attended the Hebrew school, & made several divisions in the class, had some debate with Eldr. Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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respecting the Hebrew pronunciations which was unpleasant, he manifested a stubourn spirit, which grieved Joseph much.

6 January 1836 • Wednesday

Wednesday 6th. At 9 oclock AM. he repaired to the school room

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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, and spent most of the fore noon in setling the difficulty that took place the preceeding day between him and Eldr. Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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, and after much controversy he Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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confessed his fault and asked the forgiveness of the whole school, which was cheerfully, & readily granted by all.— Eldr. McLellen William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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returned from Hudson

Settled ca. 1800. Organized by 1802. Population in 1830 about 780. Included Hudson village; incorporated 1837. Western Reserve College chartered in township, 1826.

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and reported to the school that he had engaged a man to teach 40 schollars for the term of 7 weeks at 320 Dollars, to commence about fifteen days from this time. His name is Joshua Seixas

4 June 1802–1874. Hebraist, textbook writer, teacher. Probably born at New York City. Son of Gershom Mendez Seixas and Hannah Manuel. Married Henrietta Raphael of Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia. Taught Hebrew at New York and Charlestown, Massachusetts. His...

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a Jew by birth & education411

McLellin hired Joshua Seixas, a member of a prominent New York Jewish family, who had taught Hebrew in connection with several educational institutions. Seixas’s Hebrew textbook was organized for a six-week curriculum. As noted in the journal, Seixas commenced classes 26 January. (Goldman, “Joshua/James Seixas,” 73–77; Seixas, Hebrew Grammar, iv; JS, Journal, 26 Jan. 1836; see also F. C. Waite, Cleveland, OH, to Joseph L. Rubin, Washington DC, 19 Oct. 1933, in Milton V. Backman, Ohio Research Papers, ca. 1975, CHL; and Snow, “Who Was Professor Joshua Seixas?”)  


and highly celebrated as a Hebrew teacher, and proposes to give us sufficient knowledge of the language to read and translate it, in the above mentioned time;412

The remainder of this sentence is not found in the 1835–1836 journal.  


or at least to those who attend to his instruction and diligently apply themselves to study [p. 170]
Eldr. Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

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was appointed to inform the said  Dr. Piexotto

18 July 1800–13 May 1843. Physician, author. Born at Amsterdam, Holland. Son of Moses Peixotto and Judith Lopez Salzedo. Moved to Curacao, West Indies, before 1807. Moved to New York City, 18 July 1807. Married Rachel M. Seixas, 19 Mar. 1823. Graduated from...

View Full Bio
that his servises were not wanted;408

The letter has not been located, but Peixotto’s 5 January letter of reply and Warren Parrish’s 11 January rejoinder were transcribed into the 1835–1836 journal. The entirety of Peixotto’s letter and part of Parrish’s response were also copied into this history. (JS, Journal, 18 Jan. 1836; entry for 18 Jan. 1836.)  


and Eldr’s  Wm. McLellen [William E. McLellin]

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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, & Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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were appointed by the voice  of the school to go to Hudson Seminary,409

Western Reserve College at Hudson, Portage County (now Summit County), Ohio. (See Perrin, History of Summit County, 450–453.)  


to hire a teacher  and notwithstanding our disapointment we concluded to  go on with our school and do the best we can until we  can obtain a teacher. By the voice of the class Pres. Joseph  Smith Jun. was solicited to take charge of school for the time  being, to which he concented.— This being the first day that  this room410

This was the westernmost of the five rooms on the third story of the House of the Lord, which JS intended to use as a translating room. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 55, figs. 4–7; see also entry for 31 Dec. 1835.)  


was occupied, we thought meet to dedicate  it to God, which was solemnized by the venerable  patriarch Joseph Smith Sen.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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— This evening we met  at the chapel

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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to make arangements for a singing school;  after some altercation, a judicious arangement was  entered into, and a committe of 6 was chosen to take  charge of the singing department.
This is a rainy unpleasant time, and the roads  are extremely mudy.

5 January 1836 • Tuesday

Tuesday 5th. He attended the Hebrew school, & made several  divisions in the class, had some debate with Eldr.  Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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respecting the Hebrew pronunciations which  was unpleasant, he manifested a stubourn spirit,  which grieved Joseph much.

6 January 1836 • Wednesday

Wednesday 6th. At 9 oclock AM. he repaired to the school  room

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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, and spent most of the fore noon in setling  the difficulty that took place the preceeding day  between him and Eldr. [Orson] Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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, and after much  controversy he [Pratt]

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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confessed his fault and asked the  forgiveness of the whole school, which was cheer fully, & readily granted by all.— Eldr. McLellen [William E. McLellin]

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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returned  from Hudson

Settled ca. 1800. Organized by 1802. Population in 1830 about 780. Included Hudson village; incorporated 1837. Western Reserve College chartered in township, 1826.

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and reported to the school that he  had engaged a man to teach 40 schollars for the  term of 7 weeks at 320 Dollars, to commence about  fifteen days from this time. His name is Joshua  Seixas

4 June 1802–1874. Hebraist, textbook writer, teacher. Probably born at New York City. Son of Gershom Mendez Seixas and Hannah Manuel. Married Henrietta Raphael of Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia. Taught Hebrew at New York and Charlestown, Massachusetts. His...

View Full Bio
a Jew by birth & education411

McLellin hired Joshua Seixas, a member of a prominent New York Jewish family, who had taught Hebrew in connection with several educational institutions. Seixas’s Hebrew textbook was organized for a six-week curriculum. As noted in the journal, Seixas commenced classes 26 January. (Goldman, “Joshua/James Seixas,” 73–77; Seixas, Hebrew Grammar, iv; JS, Journal, 26 Jan. 1836; see also F. C. Waite, Cleveland, OH, to Joseph L. Rubin, Washington DC, 19 Oct. 1933, in Milton V. Backman, Ohio Research Papers, ca. 1975, CHL; and Snow, “Who Was Professor Joshua Seixas?”)  


and highly celeb rated as a Hebrew teacher, and proposes to give  us sufficient knowledge of the language to read  and translate it, in the above mentioned  time;412

The remainder of this sentence is not found in the 1835–1836 journal.  


or at least to those who attend to his instruction  and diligently apply themselves to study [p. 170]
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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.  


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.  


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.  


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.  


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

Facts