53992719

History, circa 1841, fair copy

he might destroy this work for he has put it into their hearts to do this that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate 2 Verily I say unto you that I will not suffer that satan shall accomplish his design in this thing for behold he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God in asking to translate it over again and then behold they say and think in their hearts we will see if God has given him power to translate if so he will give him power again or if he translate again or in other words if he bringeth forth the same words behold we have altered the them therefore they will not agree and we will say that he has lied in his words and that he has no gift and that he has no power therefore we will destroy him and also the work and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end and that we may get glory of the world 3 Verily verily I say unto you that satan has great hold upon their hearts he stireth them up to iniquity against that which is good and their hearts are corrupt and full of wickedness and abominations and they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil Therefore they will not ask of me Satan stireth them up that they may lead their souls to distruction and thus he has laid a cunning plan thinking to destroy the work of God But I will require this at their hands and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgement Yea he stireth up their hearts to anger against this work yea he saith unto them decieve and lie in wait and catch that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie that they may distroy him and thus he flattereth them and leadeth them along until he drageth their souls down to hell and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own Snare and thus he goeth up and down to and fro in the earth seeking to destroy the souls of men [p. 18]
he might destroy this work for he has put it into their  hearts to do this thing that by lying they may say they  have caught you in the words which you have pretended  to translate 2 2 Verily I say unto you that I will  not suffer that satan shall accomplish his design in  this thing for behold he has put it into their hearts  to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God in asking to  translate it over again and then behold they say and  think in their hearts we will see if God has given him  power to translate if so he will give him power again  or if he translate again or in other words if he bringeth  forth the same words behold we have altered the words  them therefore they will not agree and we will say that  he has lied in his words and that he has no gift and  that he has no power therefore we will destroy him and  also the work and we will do this that we may not be  ashamed in the end and that we may get glory of the  world 3 Verily verily I say unto you that satan has great hold  upon their hearts he stireth them up to iniquity against that which  is good and their hearts are corrupt and full of wickedness and  abominations and they love darkness rather than light because  their deeds are evil Therefore they will not ask of me Satan stireth  them up that they may lead their souls to distruction and thus  he has laid a cunning plan thinking to destroy the work of God  But I will require this at their hands and it shall turn to their shame  and condemnation in the day of judgement Yea he stireth up their  hearts to anger against this work yea he saith unto them decieve and  lie in wait and catch that ye may destroy: behold this is no harm  and thus he flattereth them and telleth them that it is no sin to  lie that they may catch a man in a lie that they may distroy him  and thus he flattereth them and leadeth them along until he  drageth their souls down to hell and thus he causeth them to catch them selves in their own Snare and thus he goeth up and down to and fro  in the earth seeking to destroy the souls of men [p. 18]
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Howard Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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was a recent convert to Mormonism when he visited Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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in 1840. There he was immediately engaged by JS as a clerk at his office. Coray later reminisced in his autobiography that after he completed his initial assignment, JS requested that he “undertake, in connection with E[dwin] D. Woolley

27 June 1807–14 Oct. 1881. Farmer, coal miner, cattleman, builder, merchant. Born in East Bradford Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Woolley and Rachel Dilworth. Raised in Quaker faith. Married Mary Wichersham, 24 Mar. 1831, in Columbiana Co...

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, the compilation of the Church History.”
At the time Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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received his charge, JS’s and the church’s “history” had been an ongoing project for a decade. Several early attempts had apparently fallen short and been abandoned. However, JS and 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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’s 1838 effort initiated with 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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, and JS’s ensuing collaboration with 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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, had begun to bear fruit. Unfortunately, Mulholland had died 3 November 1839 after inscribing fifty-nine pages of text in a large record book subsequently designated as volume “A-1” of the manuscript history of the church. 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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was appointed “general church clerk” in October 1840 and succeeded Mulholland as scribe for A-1.
Meanwhile, JS assigned Woolley

27 June 1807–14 Oct. 1881. Farmer, coal miner, cattleman, builder, merchant. Born in East Bradford Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of John Woolley and Rachel Dilworth. Raised in Quaker faith. Married Mary Wichersham, 24 Mar. 1831, in Columbiana Co...

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and Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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to draft additional historical material, using sources JS provided. Woolley eventually withdrew from the project and was replaced by a “Dr. Miller,” who remains unidentified. Their work evidently resulted in two different kinds of drafts. According to Coray’s later reminiscences, the first grew out of instructions “not only to combine, and arrange in cronological order, but to spread out or amplify not a little, in as good historical style as may be.” No manuscript matching this description has survived, but their work may have provided the basis for material subsequently copied into the history by other scribes.
Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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did, however, produce an edited version of the narrative inscribed in the large history volume (A-1). According to Coray’s later account, JS was directly involved in this reworking of the history, reading aloud and dictating revisions from the large volume. Two drafts of this work have survived. However, the main history endeavor continued in the large history volume, and there is no indication that either draft was used in subsequent compiling or in publication of the history. Though a short-lived effort, Coray’s manuscript represents the intention to revise the history, suggesting that JS had not yet settled on a final historical product even after he had directed scribes to begin inscribing the history in the large, more permanent volume in 1839.
Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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’s history draft includes departures from the material recorded in A-1 which, though minor, show an intention to refine the story. Coray deleted passages that seemed to be defensive, to plead the cause of the Saints, or to play on the reader’s sympathies—a list of grievances, for example, or complaints against individuals. The draft often softened wording about the persecution of JS and employed more moderate language in describing opposition, avoiding the word “mob” and glossing over accounts of violence.
Coray

6 May 1817–16 Jan. 1908. Bookkeeper, clerk, teacher, farmer. Born in Dansville, Steuben Co., New York. Son of Silas Coray and Mary Stephens. Moved to Providence, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, ca. 1827; to Williams, Northampton Co., Pennsylvania, by 1830; and...

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’s work on JS’s history was not located until 2005, when two manuscripts in Coray’s hand were identified among documents in the possession of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These two manuscripts consisted of a lightly edited draft of the material 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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and 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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had written in the large history volume, and a fair or clean copy of that material that incorporated the revisions Coray made in his earlier draft. The first draft was published in volume 1 of the Histories series of the The Joseph Smith Papers. (See History Drafts, 1838—ca. 1841.) The second or “fair copy” of the two drafts is the document herein featured. An inscription in Coray’s handwriting at the bottom of the first page of this document identifies it as the second copy. In 1869 Coray signed a statement that was later attached to the paper wrapper that enclosed the two drafts: “These hundred pages of History were written by me, under Joseph the Prophet’s dictation. Dr Miller helped me a little in writing the same.”
For more information about the relationship between the history drafts, see Introduction to Early Drafts of History, 1838–1856.

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