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

October 30 Hawns Mill Massacre— Elder Joseph Young

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

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First President of the Seventies—
“On the sixth day of July last, I started with my family from 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, for the State of 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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, the County of Caldwell

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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, in the Upper part of the State, being the place of my destination. On the thirteenth of October I crossed the Mississippi

Principal U.S. river running southward from Itasca Lake, Minnesota, to Gulf of Mexico. Covered 3,160-mile course, 1839 (now about 2,350 miles). Drains about 1,100,000 square miles. Steamboat travel on Mississippi very important in 1830s and 1840s for shipping...

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at Louisiana, at which place I heard vague reports of the disturbances in the Upper Country, but nothing that could be relied upon. I continued my course westward till I crossed 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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, at a place called Compton’s ferry; at which place I heard, for the first time, that if I proceeded any farther on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped by a body of armed men. I was not willing, however, while treading my native soil, and breathing republican air, to abandon my object; which was to locate myself and family in a fine healthy country, where we could enjoy the society of our friends and connexions. Consequently, I prosecuted my journey till I came to Whitney’s Mills, situated on Shoal Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

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in the Eastern part of Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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. After crossing the Creek and going about three miles, we met a party of the Mob, about forty in number, armed with rifles and mounted on horses, who informed us that we could go no farther west— threatning us with instant death if we proceeded any farther. I asked them the reason of this prohibition, to which they replied, that we were Mormons, that every one who adhered to our religious faith would have to leave the State

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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in ten days or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the mills above mentioned. Here we tarried three days; and, on Friday the twenty sixth, we re-crossed the Creek, and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding the Mob for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend in Myers’ Settlement. On Sunday twenty eighth October, we arrived about twelve o’clock, at Hauns Mills, where we found a number of our friends collected together, who were holding a Council, and deliberating upon the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the Mob, who were collecting in the neighborhood, under the command of Col. Jennings, of Livingston

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

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, and threatening them with house burning and killing. The decision of the Council was, that our friends there should place themselves in an attitude of self defence. Accordingly about 28 of our men armed themselves, and were in constant readiness for an attack of any small body of men that might come upon them. The same evening, for some reason, best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty with our friends, which was accepted, on the condition of mutual forbearance on both sides, and that each party, as far as their influence extended, should exert themselves to prevent any farther hostilities upon either party. At this time, however, there was another mob collecting 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...

More Info
, at William Mann’s, who were threatening us, consequently we remained under arms on Monday, the 29th., which passed away without molestation from any quarter. On Tuesday the 30th. that bloody tragedy was acted; the scenes of which I shall never forget. More than three fourths of the day had passed in tranquility, as smiling as the precedeing one. I think there was no individual of our Company that was apprised of the sudden and awful fate that hung over our heads like an over whelming torrent, which was to change the prospects, the feelings, and circumstances, of about 30 families. The banks of Shoal Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
on either side, teemed with Children sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestic employments, and their fathers employed in guarding the Mills, and other property, while others were engaged in gathering in their crops for their winter consumption. The weather was very pleasant— the Sun shone clear— all was tranquil; and no one expressed any apprehension of the awful crisis that was near us— even at our doors— It was about 4 o’clock, while sitting in my cabin with my babe in my arms, and my Wife

14 Aug. 1814–15 Jan. 1913. Born in Utica, Oneida Co., New York. Daughter of Calvin Field Bicknell and Chloe Seymour. Moved to Geneseo, Livingston Co., New York, 1817; to Livonia, Livingston Co., by 1830; and back to Geneseo, by 1834. Baptized into LDS church...

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standing by my side, the door being open. I cast my eyes on the opposite bank of Shoal Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
, and saw a large company of armed men, on horses, directing their course towards the mills with all possible speed. As they advanced through the scattering trees that stood on the edge of the [p. 845]
<October 30  Hawns Mill  Massacre—> Elder Joseph Young

7 Apr. 1797–16 July 1881. Farmer, painter, glazier. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Moved to Auburn, Cayuga Co., New York, before 1830. Joined Methodist church, before Apr. 1832. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
First President of the Seventies—
“On the sixth day of July last, I started with  my family from 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...

More Info
, Ohio, for the State of 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...

More Info
, the County of Caldwell

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

More Info
, in the Upper part of  the State, being the place of my destination. On the thirteenth of October I crossed the Mississippi

Principal U.S. river running southward from Itasca Lake, Minnesota, to Gulf of Mexico. Covered 3,160-mile course, 1839 (now about 2,350 miles). Drains about 1,100,000 square miles. Steamboat travel on Mississippi very important in 1830s and 1840s for shipping...

More Info
 at Louisiana, at which place I heard vague reports of the disturbances in the Upper Country,  but nothing that could be relied upon. I continued my course westward till I crossed 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...

More Info
, at a place called Compton’s ferry; at which place I heard, for the first time, that if I  proceeded any farther on my journey, I would be in danger of being stopped by a body of  armed men. I was not willing, however, while treading my native soil, and breathing  republican air, to abandon my object; which was to locate myself and family in a fine  healthy country, where we could enjoy the society of our friends and connexions. Consequently,  I prosecuted my journey till I came to Whitney’s Mills, situated on Shoal Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
in the Eastern part  of Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

More Info
. After crossing the Creek and going about three miles, we met a party of  the Mob, about forty in number, armed with rifles and mounted on horses, who informed  us that we could go no farther west— threatning us with instant death if we proceeded  any farther. I asked them the reason of this prohibition, to which they replied, that we  were Mormons, that every one who adhered to our religious faith would have to leave  the State

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...

More Info
in ten days or renounce their religion. Accordingly they drove us back to the  mills above mentioned. Here we tarried three days; and, on Friday the twenty  sixth, we re-crossed the Creek, and following up its banks, we succeeded in eluding  the Mob for the time being, and gained the residence of a friend in Myers’ Settlement.  On Sunday twenty eighth October, we arrived about twelve o’clock, at Hauns Mills, where  we found a number of our friends collected together, who were holding a Council, and  deliberating upon the best course for them to pursue, to defend themselves against the  Mob, who were collecting in the neighborhood, under the command of Col. Jennings, of  Livingston

Organized 1837. Population in 1840 about 4,300. Hawn’s Mill Massacre planned by mob in eastern part of county.

More Info
, and threatening them with house burning and killing. The decision of the  Council was, that our friends there should place themselves in an attitude of self defence.  Accordingly about 28 of our men armed themselves, and were in constant readiness for an  attack of any small body of men that might come upon them. The same evening, for  some reason, best known to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty  with our friends, which was accepted, on the condition of mutual forbearance on both sides,  and that each party, as far as their influence extended, should exert themselves to prevent any  farther hostilities upon either party. At this time, however, there was another mob  collecting 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...

More Info
, at William Mann’s, who were threatening us, consequently we remained  under arms on Monday, the 29th., which passed away without molestation from any quarter.  On Tuesday the 30th. that bloody tragedy was acted; the scenes of which I shall never forget.  More than three fourths of the day had passed in tranquility, as smiling as the precedeing  one. I think there was no individual of our Company that was apprised of the sudden and  awful fate that hung over our heads like an over whelming torrent, which was to change  the prospects, the feelings, and circumstances, of about 30 families. The banks of Shoal  Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
on either side, teemed with Children sporting and playing, while their mothers were  engaged in domestic employments, and their fathers employed in guarding the Mills, and  other property, while others were engaged in gathering in their crops for their winter consumption.  The weather was very pleasant— the Sun shone clear— all was tranquil; and no one expressed  any apprehension of the awful crisis that was near us— even at our doors— It was  about 4 o’clock, while sitting in my cabin with my babe in my arms, and my Wife

14 Aug. 1814–15 Jan. 1913. Born in Utica, Oneida Co., New York. Daughter of Calvin Field Bicknell and Chloe Seymour. Moved to Geneseo, Livingston Co., New York, 1817; to Livonia, Livingston Co., by 1830; and back to Geneseo, by 1834. Baptized into LDS church...

View Full Bio
standing  by my side, the door being open. I cast my eyes on the opposite bank of Shoal Creek

Stream that flows eastward for about forty-five miles from east central Clinton Co. through Caldwell Co. to confluence with Grand River in central Livingston Co. Thousands of Saints moved from Clay Co. to sites along Shoal Creek in Caldwell Co., beginning...

More Info
, and  saw a large company of armed men, on horses, directing their course towards the mills with  all possible speed. As they advanced through the scattering trees that stood on the edge of the [p. 845]
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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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