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History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838]

October 30 Hauns Mill Massacre Prairie they seemed to form themselves into a three square position forming a vanguard in front. At this moment David Evans seeing the Superiority of their numbers, (there being 240 of them, according to their own account) swung his hat, and cried for Peace— This not being heeded they continued to advance, and their leader, Mr. -[Nehemiah]- Comstock

Ca. 1805–ca. May 1845. Born in Kentucky. Married first Lurana Fox, 28 June 1827. Resided in Knox Co., Kentucky, 1830. Married second Susan Rupe, 15 Apr. 1838, in Lafayette Co., Missouri. Served as captain in Livingston Co., Missouri, militia during Mormon...

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, fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of 10 or 12 seconds, when, all at once, they discharged about 100 Rifles, aiming at a blacksmith shop into which our friends had fled for safety; and charging up to the Shop, the cracks of which between the logs were sufficiently large to enable them to aim directly at the bodies of those who had there fled for refuge from the fire of their murderers. There were several families tented in rear of the Shop, whose lives were exposed, and amidst a shower of bullets fled to the woods in different directions— After standing and gazing on this bloody scene for a few minutes, and finding myself in the uttermost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed my family to the protection of heaven, and leaving the house on the opposite side, I took a path which led up the hill, following in the trail of three of my brethren that had fled from the Shop. While ascending the hill we were discovered by the Mob, who immediately fired at us, and continued so to do till we reached the Summit. In descending the hill I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight o clock in the evening, at which time I heard a female voice calling my name in an undertone, telling me that the Mob had gone and there was no danger. I immediately left the thicket, and went to the house of Benjamin Lewis, where I found my family, (who had fled there) in safety, and two of my friends mortally wounded, one of whom died before morning. Here we passed the painful night in deep and awful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening. After day light appeared, some four or five men, with myself, who had escaped with our lives from the horrid massacre, repaired as soon as possible to the mills, to learn the condition of our friends, whose fate we had but too truly anticipated. When we arrived at the house of Mr. Haun Jacob Hawn

13 Jan. 1804–27 Jan. 1860. Miller, builder, carpenter. Born in Genesee Co., New York. Son of Henry Hawn. Consistently spelled surname as “Hawn” throughout life, but many contemporary records spelled name as “Haun.” Married Harriet Elizabeth Pierson, 18 Nov...

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, we found Mr. Merrick’s body lying in rear of the house;— Mr. Thomas Mc. Bride

12 Mar. 1776–30 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Virginia. Son of James McBride and Mary White. Married Catharine John, 28 Sept. 1797, in Berkeley Co., Virginia (later in Jefferson Co., West Virginia). Moved to Lancaster, Fairfield Co., Ohio, 1810. Moved to Amanda...

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s in front literally mangled from head to foot. We were informed by Miss Rebecca Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up, and then cut to pieces with a Corn Cutter, by a Mr. Rogers of Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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, who keeps a ferry on grand River

Flows from current state of Iowa approximately 225 miles southeast through Daviess and Livingston counties in Missouri en route to its mouth at Missouri River near De Witt, Missouri. Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, Hawn’s Mill, Whitney’s Mill, Myers settlement...

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, and who has since repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity. Mr. John York

Ca. 1778–30 Oct. 1838. Married Hannah Hammer, 8 Jan. 1801, in Randolph Co., North Carolina. Moved to Milford, Butler Co., Ohio by 1820. Moved to Henry Co., Indiana, by 1830. Likely baptized into LDS church. Moved to Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, ...

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’s body we found in the house, and after viewing these corpses, we immediately went to the Blacksmith’s shop, where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were already dead; the other, Mr. Cox, of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death, who expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of interment. This last office of kindness due to the relics of departed friends, was not attended with the customary ceremonies, nor decency, for we were in jeopardy, every moment expecting to be fired upon by the mob, who, we supposed, were lying in ambush, waiting for the first opportunity to despatch the remaining few who were providentially preserved from the Slaughter of the preceding day— However, we accomplished, without molestation, this painful task. The place of burying was a vault in the Ground, formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously. Among those slain I will mention Sardius Smith, son of Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

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, about nine years old, who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows in the shop where he remained till the Massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Carroll County, who presented his rifle near the boys head and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanly of Carroll told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this fiendlike murder, and heroic deed all over the Country. The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton Slaughter [p. 846]
<October 30  Hauns Mill Massacre> Prairie they seemed to form themselves into a three square position forming a vanguard  in front. At this moment David Evans seeing the Superiority of their numbers, (there being  240 of them, according to their own account) swung his hat, and cried for Peace— This not  being heeded they continued to advance, and their leader, Mr. <-[Nehemiah]-> Comstock

Ca. 1805–ca. May 1845. Born in Kentucky. Married first Lurana Fox, 28 June 1827. Resided in Knox Co., Kentucky, 1830. Married second Susan Rupe, 15 Apr. 1838, in Lafayette Co., Missouri. Served as captain in Livingston Co., Missouri, militia during Mormon...

View Full Bio
, fired a gun, which  was followed by a solemn pause of 10 or 12 seconds, when, all at once, they discharged about  100 Rifles, aiming at a blacksmith shop into which our friends had fled for safety; and charging  up to the Shop, the cracks of which between the logs were sufficiently large to enable them to  aim directly at the bodies of those who had there fled for refuge from the fire of their murderers.  There were several families tented in rear of the Shop, whose lives were exposed, and  amidst a shower of bullets fled to the woods in different directions— After standing  and gazing on this bloody scene for a few minutes, and finding myself in the uttermost  danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed my family  to the protection of heaven, and leaving the house on the opposite side, I took a path  which led up the hill, following in the trail of three of my brethren that had fled  from the Shop. While ascending the hill we were discovered by the Mob, who  immediately fired at us, and continued so to do till we reached the Summit. In  descending the hill I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight  o clock in the evening, at which time I heard a female voice calling my name in  an undertone, telling me that the Mob had gone and there was no danger.  I immediately left the thicket, and went to the house of Benjamin Lewis, where  I found my family, (who had fled there) in safety, and two of my friends mortally  wounded, one of whom died before morning. Here we passed the painful night  in deep and awful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening. After day light  appeared, some four or five men, with myself, who had escaped with our lives from  the horrid massacre, repaired as soon as possible to the mills, to learn the condition  of our friends, whose fate we had but too truly anticipated. When we arrived at the  house of Mr. Haun [Jacob Hawn]

13 Jan. 1804–27 Jan. 1860. Miller, builder, carpenter. Born in Genesee Co., New York. Son of Henry Hawn. Consistently spelled surname as “Hawn” throughout life, but many contemporary records spelled name as “Haun.” Married Harriet Elizabeth Pierson, 18 Nov...

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, we found Mr. Merrick’s body lying in rear of the house;— Mr. [Thomas] Mc. Bride

12 Mar. 1776–30 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Virginia. Son of James McBride and Mary White. Married Catharine John, 28 Sept. 1797, in Berkeley Co., Virginia (later in Jefferson Co., West Virginia). Moved to Lancaster, Fairfield Co., Ohio, 1810. Moved to Amanda...

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s  in front literally mangled from head to foot. We were informed by Miss Rebecca  Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun, after he had given it up,  and then cut to pieces with a Corn Cutter, by a Mr. Rogers of Daviess County

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
, who keeps a  ferry on grand River

Flows from current state of Iowa approximately 225 miles southeast through Daviess and Livingston counties in Missouri en route to its mouth at Missouri River near De Witt, Missouri. Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, Hawn’s Mill, Whitney’s Mill, Myers settlement...

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, and who has since repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity.  Mr. [John] York

Ca. 1778–30 Oct. 1838. Married Hannah Hammer, 8 Jan. 1801, in Randolph Co., North Carolina. Moved to Milford, Butler Co., Ohio by 1820. Moved to Henry Co., Indiana, by 1830. Likely baptized into LDS church. Moved to Hawn’s Mill settlement on Shoal Creek, ...

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’s body we found in the house, and after viewing these corpses, we immediately  went to the Blacksmith’s shop, where we found nine of our friends, eight of whom were  already dead; the other, Mr. Cox, of Indiana, struggling in the agonies of death, who  expired. We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of interment.  This last office of kindness due to the relics of departed friends, was not attended  with the customary ceremonies, nor decency, for we were in jeopardy, every moment  expecting to be fired upon by the mob, who, we supposed, were lying in ambush,  waiting for the first opportunity to despatch the remaining few who were providentially  preserved from the Slaughter of the preceding day— However, we accomplished,  without molestation, this painful task. The place of burying was a vault in the Ground,  formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously.  Among those slain I will mention Sardius Smith, son of Warren Smith

1794–30 Oct. 1838. Blacksmith. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy. Born in Massachusetts. Married Amanda Barnes, 9 July 1826, at Black River (later in Lorain), Lorain Co., Ohio. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1832. Labored...

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, about nine years old,  who, through fear, had crawled under the bellows in the shop where he remained till the  Massacre was over, when he was discovered by a Mr. Glaze of Carroll County, who presented  his rifle near the boys head and literally blowed off the upper part of it. Mr. Stanly  of Carroll told me afterwards that Glaze boasted of this fiendlike murder, and heroic  deed all over the Country. The number killed and mortally wounded in this wanton Slaughter [p. 846]
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This document, volume B-1, is the second of the six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church.” The collection was compiled over the span of seventeen years, 1838 to 1856. The narrative in volume B-1 begins with the entry for 1 September 1834, just after the conclusion of the Camp of Israel (later called Zion’s Camp), and continues to 2 November 1838, when JS was interned as a prisoner of war at Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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, Missouri. For a fuller discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to the history.
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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, serving as JS’s “private secretary and historian,” completed the account of JS’s history contained in volume A-1 in August 1843. It covered the period from JS’s birth in 1805 through the aftermath of the Camp of Israel in August 1834. When work resumed on the history on 1 October 1843, Richards started a new volume, eventually designated B-1.
At the time of JS’s death in June 1844, the account had been advanced to 5 August 1838, on page 812 of volume B-1. 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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’s poor health led to the curtailment of work on B-1 for several months, until 11 December 1844. On that date, Richards and 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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, assisted by Thomas Bullock, resumed gathering the records and reports needed to draft the history. Richards then composed and drafted roughed-out notes while Thomas Bullock compiled the text of the history and inscribed it in B-1. They completed their work on the volume on or about 24 February 1845. Richards, Willmer Benson, and Jonathan Grimshaw later added ten pages of “Addenda,” which provided notes, extensive revisions, or additional text to be inserted in the original manuscript where indicated.
Though JS did not dictate or revise any of the text recorded in B-1, 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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and Thomas Bullock chose to maintain the first-person, chronological narrative format established in A-1 as if JS were the author. They drew 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. As was the case with A-1, 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.” It 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.
The narrative recorded in B-1 continued the story of JS’s life as the prophet and president of the church he labored to establish. The account encompasses significant developments in the church’s two centers at that time—Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, and northwest 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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—during a four-year-span. Critical events included the organization of the Quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, the establishment of the Kirtland Safety Society, dissension and apostasy in Kirtland and Missouri, the first mission to England, JS’s flight from Kirtland to Missouri in the winter of 1838, the Saints’ exodus from Kirtland later that year, the disciplining of the Missouri presidency, and the outbreak of the Missouri War and arrest of JS. Thus, B-1 provides substantial detail regarding a significant period of church expansion and transition as well as travail.

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