31772

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

On Friday night, the first of November, a party of the mob, proceeded to attack a branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

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of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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at the prairie, about twelve or fourteen miles from the village. Two of their numbers were sent in advance, as spies, viz, Robert Johnson, and one Harris, armed with two guns, and three pistols. They were discovered by some of the saints, and without the least injury being done to them, said mob (Johnson,) struck Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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with the brich breech of his gun, over the head, after which they were taken and detained till morning; which, it was believed, prevented a general attack of the mob that night. In the morning, they were liberated, without receiving the least injury.
The same night (Friday,) another party in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, commenced stoning houses, breaking down doors and windows, destroying furniture &c. This night, the brick part, attached to the dwelling house of A. Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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, was partly pulled down, and the windows of his dwelling broken in with brick bats and rocks; while a gentleman, (stranger) lay sick with a fever in his house.
The same night, three doors of the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

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of Messrs Gilbert and Whitney, were split open; and after midnight, the goods lay scattered in the streets, such as calicoes, handkerchiefs, shawls, cambricks, &c; An express came from the village after midnight to a party of their men, who had embodied about half a mile from the village, for the safety of their lives; stating that the mob were tearing down house, and scattering the goods of the store in the streets. The main body of the Mob fled, at the approach of this company. One Richard McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

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was caught in the act of throwing rocks and brick-bats into the doors, while the goods lay strung around him in the street, and was immediately taken before Samuel Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

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Esquire; and a complaint was then made to said Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

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, and a warrant requested, that said McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

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might be secured; but said Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

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refused to do any thing in the case at that time. Said McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

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was then liberated. [p. 367]
On Friday night, the first of November, a party of the  mob, proceeded to attack a branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

View Glossary
of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
at  the prairie, about twelve or fourteen miles from the  village. Two of their numbers were sent in advance,  as spies, viz, Robert Johnson, and one Harris, armed  with two guns, and three pistols. They were discovered  by some of the saints, and without the least injury  being done to them, said mob (Johnson,) struck Parley P.  Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
with the brich [breech] of his gun, over the head, after  which they were taken and detained till morning;  which, it was believed, prevented a general attack  of the mob that night. In the morning, they were  liberated, without receiving the least injury. Th
The same night (Friday,) another party in In dependence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, commenced stoning houses, breaking  down doors and windows, destroying furniture &c.  This night, the brick part, attached to the dwelling house  of A. S[idney] Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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, was partly pulled down, and the  windows of his dwelling broken in with brick bats and  rocks; while a gentleman, (stranger) lay sick <with a fever> in his house.
The same night, three doors of the store

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney’s Ohio business partner, to establish store in Independence. Gilbert first purchased vacated log courthouse, located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, to...

More Info
of Messrs  Gilbert and Whitney, were split open; and after mid night, the goods lay scattered in the streets, such as  calicoes, handkerchiefs, shawls, cambricks, &c; to which  fact An express came from their village after midnight  to a party of their men, who had embodied about  half a mile from the village, for the safety of their  lives; stating that the mob were tearing down house , and scattering the goods of the store in the streets.  The main body of the Mob fled, at the approach  of this company. One Richard McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

View Full Bio
was caught  in the act of throwing rocks and brick-bats  into the doors, while the goods lay strung around  him in the streets, and was immediately taken  before Samuel Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

View Full Bio
Esquire; and a complaint  was then made to said Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

View Full Bio
, and a warrant  requested, that said McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

View Full Bio
might be secured;  but said Weston

24 Oct. 1783–14 Dec. 1846. Blacksmith, joiner, carpenter. Born in Belfast, Ireland. Moved to Ulverston, Lancashire, England, by 1812. Married Margaret Cleminson Gibson, 28 June 1812, in Ulverston. Joined British navy, 1812; captured by Americans and defected...

View Full Bio
refused to do any thing in the  case at that time. Said McCarty

Ca. 1805–after 1840. Served as trustee for incorporation of Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri, May 1832. Member of mob that vandalized Gilbert, Whitney & Co. store, 1 Nov. 1833, at Independence. Lived in Jackson Co., 1840.

View Full Bio
was then liberated. [p. 367]
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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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