43990549

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

December 31 Mummies. of 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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last July. It has been said that the purchasers of these antiquities pretend they have the body of Abraham, Abimelech, The king of the Philistines. Joseph who was sold into Egypt, &c, &c, for the purpose of attracting the attention of the multitude, and gulling the unwarry; which is utterly false. Who these ancient inhabitants of Egypts were I do not, at present, say. Abraham was buried on his own possession “in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the Son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,” which he purchased of the sons of Heth; Abimelech lived in the same country and for ought we know died there; and the children of Israel carried Joseph’s bones from Egypt, when they went out under Moses. Consequently could not have been found in Egypt in the Egyptian Records. nineteenth century. The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the Mummies, is beautifully written on papyrus with black, and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The characters are such as you find upon the coffins of Mummies; hieroglyphics, &c. with many characters or letters like the present (though probably not quite so square,) form of the Hebrew without points. “These records were obtained from one of the Catacombs, in Egypt, near the place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes, by the celebrated French traveller Antonio Lebolo. in the year 1831. He procured license from Mehemet Ali, then Viceroy of Egypt, under the protection of Chevalier Drovetti, the French consul, in the 1828; employed 433 men, four months and two days, (if I understood correctly,) Egyptian or Turkish soldiers, at from four to 6 cents per Diem, each man: entered the catacomb June 7th 1831. and obtained eleven mummies. There were several hundred mummies in the same catacomb; about one hundred embalmed after the first order, and deposited and placed in niches; and two or three hundred after the second and third order; and laid upon the floor or bottom of the grand cavity; The two last orders of Embalmed were so decayed that they could not be removed, and only eleven of the first found in the niches. On his way from Alexandria to Paris he put in at Trieste, and after ten days illness expired. This was in the year 1832. Previous to his decease, he made a will of the whole to Mr Michael H. Chandler, (then in Philadelphia

Port city founded as Quaker settlement by William Penn, 1681. Site of signing of Declaration of Independence and drafting of U.S. Constitution. Nation’s capital city, 1790–1800. Population in 1830 about 170,000; in 1840 about 260,000; and in 1850 about 410...

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. , Pennsylvania.) his nephew, whom he supposed to have been in Ireland. Accordingly the whole were sent to Dublin, and Mr Chandler’s friends ordered them to 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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, where they were received at the Custom house in the winter or Spring of 1833. In April of the same year, Mr Chandler paid the duties, and took possession of his mummies. Up to this time, they had not been taken out of the coffins nor the coffins opened. On opening the coffins he discovered that in connection with two of the bodies, were something rolled up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bitumen, which when examined, proved to be two rolls of papyrus [p. 675]
<December 31  Mummies.> of 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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last July. It has been said that the purchasers of these an tiquities pretend they have the body of Abraham, Abimelech, The king  of the Philistines. Joseph who was sold into Egypt, &c, &c, for the pur pose of attracting the attention of the multitude, and gulling the  unwarry; which is utterly false. Who these ancient inhabitants of  Egypts were I do not, at present, say. Abraham was buried on his  own possession “in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron,  the Son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,” which he pur chased of the sons of Heth; Abimelech lived in the same country  and for ought we know died there; and the children of Israel  carried Joseph’s bones from Egypt, when they went out under  Moses. Consequently could not have been found in Egypt in the  <Egyptian  Records.> nineteenth century. The record of Abraham and Joseph, found  with the Mummies, is beautifully written on papyrus with black,  and a small part, red ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The  characters are such as you find upon the coffins of Mummies;  hieroglyphics, &c. with many characters or letters like the present  (though probably not quite so square,) form of the Hebrew without  points. “These records were obtained from one of the Catacombs, or in  Egypt, near the place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes,  by the celebrated French traveller Antonio Lebolo. in the year  1831. He procured license from Mehemet Ali, then Viceroy of  Egypt, under the protection of Chevalier Drovetti, the French  consul, in the 1828; employed 433 men, four months and  two days, (if I understood correctly,) Egyptian or Turkish soldiers, at  from four to 6 cents per Diem, each man: entered the cata comb June 7th 1831. and obtained eleven mummies. There  were several hundred mummies in the same catacomb; about  one hundred embalmed after the first order, and deposited  and placed in niches; and two or three hundred after the sec ond and third order; and laid upon the floor or bottom of the  grand cavity; The two last orders of Embalmed were so decayed  that they could not be removed, and only eleven of the first  found in the niches. On his way from Alexandria to Paris he  put in at Trieste, and after ten days illness expired. This  was in the year 1832. Previous to his decease, he made a  will of the whole to Mr Michael H. Chandler, (then in Phil adelphia

Port city founded as Quaker settlement by William Penn, 1681. Site of signing of Declaration of Independence and drafting of U.S. Constitution. Nation’s capital city, 1790–1800. Population in 1830 about 170,000; in 1840 about 260,000; and in 1850 about 410...

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. Pa, <Pennsylvania.>) his nephew, whom he supposed to have been  in Ireland. Accordingly the whole were sent to Dublin, and  Mr Chandler’s friends ordered them to 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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, where they  were received at the Custom house in the winter or Spring  of 1833. In April of the same year, Mr Chandler paid the  duties, and took possession of his mummies. Up to this  time, they had not been taken out of the coffins nor the  coffins opened. On opening the coffins he discovered that  in connection with two of the bodies, were something rolled  up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bit umen, which when examined, proved to be two rolls of papyrus [p. 675]
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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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