31772

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

the horse from you? Ansr No, he told me no such story. Q— Well; How had he the horse of you? Ansr He bought him of me, as any other man would do. Q— Have you had your pay? Ansr That is not your business. The question being again put, the witness replied, “I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay— for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr, and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms”.——
Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined— Q— Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr had a yoke of oxen of you? Ansr Yes. Q— Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them? Ansr No, He did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen; he purchased them, same as any other man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that two young women (daughters to Mr Stoal

22 Mar. 1770–12 May 1844. Farmer, sawmill owner. Born in Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Stowell and Mary Butler. Member of Presbyterian church. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, 1791. Married Miriam Bridgeman...

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) with whom I had at times kept company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them which might be made a pretext against me. The young Ladies arrived and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general but particularly as to my behaviour towards them both in publick and private, when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a pretext on their account.— Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in Broome County

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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were brought forward; but these, my lawyers would not admit of as testimony against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors managed to detain the court, untill they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broom Co

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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, and which warrant they served upon me, at the very moment that I was acquitted by this court.
The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner arrested me, than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any thing to eat since morning, yet he hurried me off to Broom Co

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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, a distance of about fifteen miles before he allowed me any kind of food whatever.
He took me to a tavern, and gathered in a number of men, who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying prophesy, prophesy, and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Saviour of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time not far distant from my own house, I wished to be allowed the privilege of spending the night with my wife

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

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at home, offering any wished for security, for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. The Constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only pr food I received that night. At length we retired to bed; the constable [p. 45]
the horse from you? Ansr No, he told me no such story. Q— Well; How  did had he the horse of you? Ansr He bought him of me, as another <any other> man would  do. Q— Have you had your pay? Ansr That is not your business. The  question being again put, the witness replied, “I hold his note for the price of the  horse, which I consider as good as the pay— for I am well acquainted with Joseph  Smith Jr, and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let  him have another horse on the same terms”.——
Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined— Q— Has  not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr had a yoke of oxen of you? Ansr Yes.  Q— Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the  effect that he was to have them? Ansr No, He did not mention a word of the kind  concerning the oxen; he purchased them, same as another <any other> man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that  two young women (daughters to Mr Stoal

22 Mar. 1770–12 May 1844. Farmer, sawmill owner. Born in Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Stowell and Mary Butler. Member of Presbyterian church. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, 1791. Married Miriam Bridgeman...

View Full Bio
) with whom I had at times kept  company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them  which might be made a pretext against me. The young Ladies arrived  and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general  but particularly as to my behaviour towards them both in publick and private,  when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a  pretext on their account.— Several attempts were now made to  prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have  taken place in Broom[e] County

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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were brought forward; but these, my lawyers  would not here admit of <as testimony> against me, <in thi> in consequence of which, my persecutors  managed to detain the court, untill they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant  from Broom Co

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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, and which warrant the[y] served upon me, at the very moment  in which I had been <that I was> acquitted by this court.
The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner ar rested me, than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he  with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any  thing to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broom Co

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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, a distance  of about fifteen miles before he allowed me any thing <kind> of food whatever.
He took me to a tavern, and gathered in a number of men, who used every means  to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers  at me, saying prophesy, prophesy, and thus did they imitate those who crucified  the Saviour of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time  not far distant from my own house, I wished to be allowed the privilege of spen ding the night with my wife

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

View Full Bio
at home, offering any wished for security, for my  appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. the  The Constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only  fare <pr food> I that night received <that night>. At length we retired to bed; the constable [p. 45]
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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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