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

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

number, one of their converts, Dr 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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, bid an affectionate farewell, and went on their way rejoicing.
The Lord, who is ever ready to instruct such as diligently seek in faith, gave the following revelation at Fayette

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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New York.
Octo. 1830 Revelation to N Sweet

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

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and E Thayr

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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A revelation to Ezra Thayre [Thayer]

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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and Northrop Sweet

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

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given October, 1830
1. Behold I say unto you, my servants Ezra

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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and Northrop

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

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, open ye your ears and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God whose word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of the joints and marro soul and spirit; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. For verily, verily I say unto you, that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump, to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse generation: for behold the field is white already to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour, and for the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard. And my vineyard has become corrupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances, because of priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds.
2. And verily, verily I say unto you, that this 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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have I established and called forth out of the wilderness: and even so will I gather

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

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mine elect from the four winds quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice; yea, verily, verily I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind and strength. Open your mouths and they shall be filled. And you shall become even as Nephi of old, who Journied from Jerusalem in the wilderness: yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you: yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled saying, Repent, repent and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand: yea, repent and be baptized

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...

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every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
3 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel, and remember that they shall have faith in me, [p. 76]
number, one of their converts, Dr Frederic[k] 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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, bid  an affectionate farewell, and went on their way rejoicing.
The Lord, who is ever ready to instruct such as diligently  seek in faith, gave the following revelation at Fayette

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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New York.
<Octo.  1830 Reve lation  to  N Sweet

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

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 and  E Thayr

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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>A revelation to Ezra Thayre [Thayer]

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

View Full Bio
and Northrop Sweet

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

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given October, 1830
1. Behold I say unto you, my servants Ezra

Ca. 1792–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall 1830...

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and Northrop

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

View Full Bio
, open  ye your ears and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God  whose word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two edg ed sword, to the dividing asunder of the joints and marro  soul and spirit; and is a discerner of the thoughts and  intents of the heart. For verily, verily I say unto you,  that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound  of a trump, to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse  generation: for behold the field is white already to harvest; and  it is the eleventh hour, and for the last time that I shall call  laborers into my vineyard. And my vineyard has become cor rupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save  it be a few; and they err in many instances, because of  priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds.
2. And verily, verily I say unto you, that this 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
have I estab lished and called forth out of the wilderness: and even so will  I gather

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
mine elect from the four winds quarters of the earth,  even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my  voice; yea, verily, verily I say unto you, that the field is white  already to harvest; wherefore thrust in your sickles, and rea[p]  with all your might, mind and strength. Open your mou[ths]  and they shall be filled. And you shall become even as  Nephi of old, who Journied from Jerusalem in the wilder ness: yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall  be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with  you: yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled  saying, Repent, repent and prepare ye the way of the Lord,  and make his paths straight: for the Kingdom of heaven  is at hand: yea, repent and be baptized

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
every one of you,  for the a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by  water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the  Holy Ghost.
3 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gos pel, and remember that they shall have faith in me, [p. 76]
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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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