26017

History, 1834–1836

At a conference held at the schoolhouse

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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on Saturday the 2ond Inst. the following individuals were appointed by the voice of the conference to be ordained to the office of Eldrs, in the church of Latter day Saints.— They were ordained under the hands of Pres. J. Smith Jr.—viz.
Vincent Vinson Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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Hyram Dayton
Thomas Grover

22 July 1807–20 Feb. 1886. Farmer, boat operator. Born at Whitehall, Washington Co., New York. Son of Thomas Grover and Polly Spaulding. Married first Caroline Whiting of Whitehall, 1828. Became a Methodist preacher, by 1834. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus...

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Samuel James

18 Jan. 1806–after 1880. Farmer, salesman, storekeeper. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of William James and Elizabeth Gallaher. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a high priest and appointed to high council in Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 13 Jan. 1836. Received...

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Elisha Elijah Fordham

12 Apr. 1798–9 Sept. 1879. Carpenter. Born at New York City. Son of George Fordham and Mary Baker. Married first Jane Ann Fisher, 23 Nov. 1822. Married second Bethiah Fisher, 12 Apr. 1830. Lived at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan Territory, 1831–1833. Baptized...

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John Herrott Herritt413

The journal also notes that Sidney Rigdon served as clerk. Only Knight, Grover, and Dayton are mentioned in the official minutes. The proceedings to which this entry refers may have taken place during an additional meeting held that day for which no original minutes are extant. (Minute Book 1, 2 Jan. 1836.)  


7 January 1836 • Thursday

Thursday 7th.— He attended a sumptuous feast at Bp. Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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s; this feast was after the order of the Son of God, the lame, the halt, & blind were invited according to the instructions of the Saviour.414

See Luke 14:12–14. As bishop in Ohio, Whitney had an ecclesiastical responsibility to administer to the poor. According to Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney, this feast for the poor continued over the next three days, 7–9 January, with “Joseph and his two Counselors being present each day, talking, blessing, and comforting the poor.” ([Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney], “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Nov. 1878, 83; Whitney, “Aaronic Priesthood,” 129–130; see also entry for 9 Jan. 1836.)  


Our meeting was opend by singing and prayer,415

According to the 1835–1836 journal entry, the prayer was offered by Joseph Smith Sr.  


the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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s father & mother416

Samuel and Susanna Kimball Whitney.  


were blessed, and several others with a patriarchal blessing.
We then received a bountiful refreshment furnished by the liberality of the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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; the company was large and respectable. Before we parted the Lord poured out his spirit upon us in mighty power, and some of the songs of Zion were sung, and our hearts were made glad while partaking of an antipast417

“A foretaste; something taken before the proper time.” (“Antepast,” in American Dictionary, 39.)  


of those joys that will be poured upon the heads of the saints when they are gathered together upon mount Zion, to enjoy eachothers society forever; even all the blessings of heaven and earth, where there will be none to molest or make us afraid.—418

This phrasing appears throughout the Old Testament, as in, for example, Micah 4:2–4 and Zephaniah 3:13.  


He returned home and spent the evening in the bosom of his family.

8 January 1836 • Friday

Friday 8th He spent the day in the Hebrew School, and made rapid progress in his studies, and advanced the students in theirs.

9 January 1836 • Saturday

Saturday 9th. While at school in the A.M. he received the following note.—
Thus saith the voice of the Spirit to me if thy brother Joseph Smith Jun. will attend the feast at thy house this day at 12 oclock, the poor & lame will rejoice at his presence, & also think themselves honoured
Yours in friendship & love
Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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9th Jany 1836 [p. 171]
At a conference held at the schoolhouse

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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on Saturday the 2ond Inst.  the following individuals were appointed by the voice of the  conference to be ordained to the office of Eldrs, in the church  of Latter day Saints.— They were ordained under the hands  of Pres. J. Smith Jr.—viz.
Vincent [Vinson] Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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Hyram Dayton
Thomas Grover

22 July 1807–20 Feb. 1886. Farmer, boat operator. Born at Whitehall, Washington Co., New York. Son of Thomas Grover and Polly Spaulding. Married first Caroline Whiting of Whitehall, 1828. Became a Methodist preacher, by 1834. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus...

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Samuel James

18 Jan. 1806–after 1880. Farmer, salesman, storekeeper. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of William James and Elizabeth Gallaher. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained a high priest and appointed to high council in Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 13 Jan. 1836. Received...

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Elisha [Elijah] Fordham

12 Apr. 1798–9 Sept. 1879. Carpenter. Born at New York City. Son of George Fordham and Mary Baker. Married first Jane Ann Fisher, 23 Nov. 1822. Married second Bethiah Fisher, 12 Apr. 1830. Lived at Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan Territory, 1831–1833. Baptized...

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John Herrott [Herritt]413

The journal also notes that Sidney Rigdon served as clerk. Only Knight, Grover, and Dayton are mentioned in the official minutes. The proceedings to which this entry refers may have taken place during an additional meeting held that day for which no original minutes are extant. (Minute Book 1, 2 Jan. 1836.)  


7 January 1836 • Thursday

Thursday 7th.— He attended a sumptuous feast at Bp.  N[ewel] K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
s; this feast was after the order of the Son  of God, the lame, the halt, & blind were invited accord ing to the instructions of the Saviour.414

See Luke 14:12–14. As bishop in Ohio, Whitney had an ecclesiastical responsibility to administer to the poor. According to Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney, this feast for the poor continued over the next three days, 7–9 January, with “Joseph and his two Counselors being present each day, talking, blessing, and comforting the poor.” ([Elizabeth Ann Smith Whitney], “A Leaf from an Autobiography,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Nov. 1878, 83; Whitney, “Aaronic Priesthood,” 129–130; see also entry for 9 Jan. 1836.)  


Our meeting was  opend by singing and prayer,415

According to the 1835–1836 journal entry, the prayer was offered by Joseph Smith Sr.  


the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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s father & mother416

Samuel and Susanna Kimball Whitney.  


 were bless[ed], and several others with a patriarchal blessing.
We then received a bountiful refreshment furnish ed by the liberality of the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
; the company was  large and respectable. Before we parted the Lord poured  out his spirit upon us in mighty power, and some  of the songs of Zion were sung, and our hearts were  made glad while partaking of an antipast417

“A foretaste; something taken before the proper time.” (“Antepast,” in American Dictionary, 39.)  


of  those joys that will be poured upon the heads of the  saints when they are gathered together upon mount  Zion, to enjoy eachothers society forever; even all the  blessings of heaven and earth, where there will be  none to molest or make us afraid.—418

This phrasing appears throughout the Old Testament, as in, for example, Micah 4:2–4 and Zephaniah 3:13.  


He returned  home and spent the evening in the bosom of his  family.

8 January 1836 • Friday

Friday 8th He spent the day in the Hebrew School, and  made rapid progress in his studies, and advan ced the students in theirs.

9 January 1836 • Saturday

Saturday 9th. While at school in the A.M. he received  the following note.—
Thus saith the voice of the Spirit to me if thy  brother Joseph Smith Jun. will attend the feast at  thy house this day at 12 oclock, the poor & lame will  rejoice at his presence, & also think themselves honoured
Yours in friendship & love
N[ewel] K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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9th Jany 1836 [p. 171]
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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