31772

History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]

confusion, and continued our journey till Friday the 17th. [18th], when we arrived at the house of [Eleazer] Freeman A. Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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’s in upper Canada

British colony of Canada divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 1841. Upper Canada’s boundaries corresponded roughly to portion of present-day Ontario south of Hudson Bay watershed. Population in 1840 about 430,000. Immigrants mainly from...

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; having passed through a fine and well cultivated country after entering the province; and having had many peculiar feelings in relation to both the country and people. We were kindly received at [Eleazer] Freeman A Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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’s. Sunday morning, 19th. [20th] at 10 oclock we met an attentive congregation at Brantford

In 1784, area designated by British government for Mohawk Indians to compensate for their losses in American Revolution and their faithfulness to Britain. First known as Brant’s ford. First white settlers arrived, 1805; Mohawks surrendered land to Crown, ...

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and the same evening a large assembly at Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

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, at Mr [Eleazer Freeman] Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
’s. The people gave good heed to the things spoken.

22–28 October 1833 • Tuesday–Monday

Tuesday 21st [22nd] we went to the village of Colburn [Colborne]

First settled, 1798. JS held meeting at Colborne, 22 Oct. 1833.

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, and, although it snowed severely, we held a meeting by candle light, on wednesday evening and were publicly opposed by a Wislyan Methodist, He was very tumultuous, but exhibited a great lack of reason, knowledge and wisdom; and gave us no opportunity to reply. 23d at the house of Mr Beman, in Colburn

First settled, 1798. JS held meeting at Colborne, 22 Oct. 1833.

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, whence we left on the 24th. for Waterford

Located on road between Colborne and Brantford. Population in 1846 about 150. Contained Baptist church, two taverns, and three stores. JS preached in Waterford, 1833.

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where we spoke to a small congregation, occasioned by the rain; thence to Mount pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

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, and preached to a large congregation the same evening, when [Eleazer] Freeman A Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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and his wife

12 Sept. 1812–16 Aug. 1835. Born at Burford Township, Oxford Co., London District (later in Ontario), Upper Canada. Daughter of Samuel McAlister and Elizabeth Salmond. Married Eleazer Freeman Nickerson, 9 Feb. 1831, at Woodhouse, Norfolk Co., London District...

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declared their belief in the work and offered themselves for baptism

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
. Great excitement prevailed in every place we visited. 25th [26th] preached at Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

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, the people were very tender, and enquiring. Sunday 26th. [27th] preached to a large congregation at Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

More Info
, after which I baptized twelve; and others were deeply impressed and desired another meeting which I appointed for the day following. 27,th [28th] In the evening we broke bread, and laid on hands

A practice in which individuals place their hands upon a person to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost; ordain to an office or calling; or confer other power, authority, or blessings, often as part of an ordinance. The Book of Mormon explained that ecclesiastical...

View Glossary
for the gift of the Holy Ghost and for confirmation

After baptism, new converts were confirmed members of the church “by the laying on of the hands, & the giving of the Holy Ghost.” According to JS’s history, the first confirmations were given at the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. By March 1831...

View Glossary
, having baptized two more The spirit was given in great power to some. and peace to others.
28.th after preaching at 10 o clock A.M. I baptized two— and confirmed them at the water’s side. Last evening we ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
F. [Eleazer Freeman] A. Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
an Elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
, and one of the Sisters received the Gift of tongues which [p. 362]
confusion, and continued our journey till Friday  the 17th. [18th], when we arrived at the house of [Eleazer] Freeman  A. Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
’s in <upper> Canada

British colony of Canada divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 1841. Upper Canada’s boundaries corresponded roughly to portion of present-day Ontario south of Hudson Bay watershed. Population in 1840 about 430,000. Immigrants mainly from...

More Info
; having passed through  a fine and well cultivated country after entering  the province; and having had many peculiar  feelings in relation to the both the country and  people. We were kindly received at [Eleazer] Freeman <A>  Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
’s. Sunday morning, 19th. [20th] at 10 oclock  we met an attentive congregation at Brantford

In 1784, area designated by British government for Mohawk Indians to compensate for their losses in American Revolution and their faithfulness to Britain. First known as Brant’s ford. First white settlers arrived, 1805; Mohawks surrendered land to Crown, ...

More Info
 and the same evening a large assembly at  Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

More Info
, at Mr [Eleazer Freeman] Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
’s. The people  gave good heed to the things spoken.

22–28 October 1833 • Tuesday–Monday

Tuesday 21st [22nd] we went to the village of Colburn [Colborne]

First settled, 1798. JS held meeting at Colborne, 22 Oct. 1833.

More Info
,  and, although it snowed severely, we held a  meeting by candle light, <on wednesday evening> and were publicly  opposed by a Wislyan Methodist, He was very  tumultuous, but exhibited a great lack of reason,  knowledge and wisdom; and gave us no opportunity to  reply. 23d at the house of Mr Beman, in Colburn

First settled, 1798. JS held meeting at Colborne, 22 Oct. 1833.

More Info
, whence  we left on the 24th. for Waterford

Located on road between Colborne and Brantford. Population in 1846 about 150. Contained Baptist church, two taverns, and three stores. JS preached in Waterford, 1833.

More Info
where we spoke to  a small congregation, occasioned by the rain; thence  to Mount pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

More Info
, and preached to a large con gregation <the> same evening, when [Eleazer] Freeman <A> Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
 and his wife

12 Sept. 1812–16 Aug. 1835. Born at Burford Township, Oxford Co., London District (later in Ontario), Upper Canada. Daughter of Samuel McAlister and Elizabeth Salmond. Married Eleazer Freeman Nickerson, 9 Feb. 1831, at Woodhouse, Norfolk Co., London District...

View Full Bio
declared their belief in they work and  offered themselves for baptism

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
. Great excitement pre vailed in every place we visited. 25th [26th] preached  at Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

More Info
, the people were very tender, and  enquiring. Sunday 26th. [27th] preached to a large  congregation at Mount Pleasant

First settled, 1799. Population in 1846 about 130. JS preached at Mount Pleasant and baptized several people during mission to Upper Canada, Oct.–Nov. 1833.

More Info
, after which I  baptized twelve; and others were deeply impressed  and desired another meeting which I appointed  for the day following. 27,th [28th] In the evening we broke  bread, and laid on hands

A practice in which individuals place their hands upon a person to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost; ordain to an office or calling; or confer other power, authority, or blessings, often as part of an ordinance. The Book of Mormon explained that ecclesiastical...

View Glossary
for the gift of the  Holy Ghost and for confirmation

After baptism, new converts were confirmed members of the church “by the laying on of the hands, & the giving of the Holy Ghost.” According to JS’s history, the first confirmations were given at the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. By March 1831...

View Glossary
, <having baptized two more> The spirit was  given in great power to some. and peace to others.
28.th after preaching at 10 o clock A.M. I baptized  two— and confirmed them at the water’s side.  Last evening we ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
E. F. [Eleazer Freeman] <A.> Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
an Elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
, and  one of the Sisters received the Gift of tongues which [p. 362]
PreviousNext
This document, volume A-1, is the first of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. Volume A-1 encompasses the period from JS’s birth in 1805 to 30 August 1834, just after the return of the Camp of Israel (later known as Zion’s Camp) from 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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to Kirtland

Located in Newel K. Whitney store in northwest Kirtland on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads. Whitney appointed postmaster, 29 Dec. 1826. JS and others listed “Kirtland Mills, Geauga County, Ohio” as return address for letters mailed, 1833...

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, Ohio. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
In April 1838 JS renewed his effort to draft a “history” with the aid of his counselor 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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. George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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served as scribe. JS’s journal for late April and early May 1838 notes six days on which JS, Rigdon, and Robinson were engaged in “writing history.” Though not completed and no longer extant, that draft laid the foundation for what became a six-volume manuscript eventually published as the “History of Joseph Smith,” and at least a portion of its contents are assumed to have been included in the manuscript presented here.
On 11 June 1839 in Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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, Illinois, JS once again began dictating his “history.” 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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now served as scribe. Apparently the narrative commenced where the earlier 1838 draft left off. When work was interrupted in July 1839, Mulholland inscribed the draft material, including at least some of Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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’s earlier material, into a large record book already containing the text of an incomplete history previously produced over a span of two years, 1834–1836. For the new history, Mulholland simply turned the ledger over and began at the back of the book. The volume was later labeled A-1 on its spine, identifying it as the first of multiple volumes of the manuscript history.
Prior to his untimely death on 3 November 1839, 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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recorded the first fifty-nine pages in the volume. Subsequently, his successor, Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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, contributed about sixteen more pages before his death in August 1841. William 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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then added a little over seventy-five pages. However, it was not until 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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was appointed JS’s “private secretary and historian” that substantial progress was made on the compilation of the history. Richards would contribute the remainder of the text inscribed in the 553-page first volume. The narrative recorded in A-1 was completed in August 1843. Thomas Bullock and Charles Wandell subsequently added sixteen pages of “Addenda” material, which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated. For instance, several of the addenda expanded on the account of the Camp of Israel as initially recorded.
JS dictated or supplied information for much of A-1, and he personally corrected the first forty-two pages before his death. As planned, his historian-scribes maintained the first-person, chronological narrative format initially established in the volume. When various third-person accounts were drawn upon, they were generally converted to the first person, as if JS was directly relating the account. After JS’s death, Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, George A. Smith

26 June 1817–1 Sept. 1875. Born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York. Son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph H. Wakefield, 10 Sept. 1832, at Potsdam. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Labored on Kirtland temple...

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, and others modified and corrected the manuscript as they reviewed material before its eventual publication.
Beginning in March 1842 the church’s Nauvoo periodical, the Times and Seasons, began publishing the narrative as the “History of Joseph Smith.” At the time of JS’s death only the history through December 1831 had been published. When the final issue of the Times and Seasons, dated 15 February 1846 appeared, the account had been carried forward through August 1834—the end of the material recorded in A-1. The “History of Joseph Smith” was also published in England in the church periodical the Millennial Star beginning in June 1842. Once a press was established in Utah and the Deseret News began publication, the “History of Joseph Smith” once more appeared in print in serialized form. Beginning with the November 1851 issue, the narrative picked up where the Times and Seasons had left off over five years earlier.
Aside from the material dictated or supplied by JS prior to his murder, the texts for A-1 and for the history’s subsequent volumes were drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources including JS’s diaries and letters, minutes of meetings, the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, church and other periodicals, reports of JS’s discourses, and the reminiscences and recollections of church members. The narrative in A-1 provides JS’s personal account of the foundational events of his life as a prophet and the early progress of the church. It also encompasses contentions and disputations that erupted between the Latter-day Saints and their neighbors in New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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, 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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, and 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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. While it remains difficult to distinguish JS’s own contributions from composition of his historian-scribes, the narrative trenchantly captures the poignancy and intensity of his life while offering an enlightening account of the birth of the church he labored to establish.

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