53992719

History, circa 1841, fair copy

who crucified our Savior not knowing what they did.
We were at this time not far distant from my own house and I wished to spend the night with my family offering any amount of security for my appearance they could ask for but this was denied me with threats and taunts. On asking for food the constable ordered some crusts of bread and cold water which was the only sustenance I received that night
Atlength we retired to bed directing me to lie to the wall and placing himself by my side put his arm around me and if I moved he would clinch me fast fearing that I would escape and in this disagreeable manner I spent the night
Next day I was brought before the Magistrates. Court of Broom County

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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and put upon my trial. My former faithful friends again appeared at the bar in my behalf while my former enemies were still arrayed against me. Many witnesses were examined and some of whom swore to the most palpable falsehoods and like those of the day previous contradicted themselves so often and so pointedly that the court was compeled to see the intrigue and injustice of my persecutors and influenced it to prohibit the admittance of their testimony. Others evinced their zeal and desire to convict me of some thing but all they could do was to tell something that other persons had said
At length Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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s was examined by Lawyer [William] Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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assisted by one Burch

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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who had been especially sent for on this occasion and he (Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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) being the more zealous Sectarian of the two seemed determined to put a stop to my preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that the people should not be deluded by one who believed in the power of Godliness and not denying the power thereof. As soon as Mr. Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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s had been sworn Mr. Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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proceeded to examine him as follows [p. 78]
who crucified our Savior not knowing what they did.
We were at this time not far distant from my own house  and I wished to spend the night with my family off  offering any amount of security for my appearance  they could ask for but this was denied me with threats  and taunts. On asking for food the constable or dered some crusts of bread and cold water which  was the only sustenance I received that night
Atlength we retired to bed directing me to lie to the  wall and placing himself by my side put his arm  around me and if I moved he would clinch me fast  fearing that I would escape and in this disagreea ble night manner I spent the night
Next day I was brought before the Mag istrates. Court of Broom County

Area settled by emigrants from western Massachusetts, 1785. County created, 28 Mar. 1806. Population in 1825 about 14,000; in 1830 about 18,000; and in 1835 about 20,000. Susquehanna River flows through eastern and southern portions of county. Several hundred...

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and put upon my  trial. My former faithful friends again ap peared at the bar in my behalf while my former  enemies were still arrayed against me. Many  witnesses were examined and some of whom swore  to the most palpable falsehoods and like those  of the day previous contradicted themselves so often  and so pointedly that the court was compeled to  see the intrigue and injustice <of my> persecutors and inf luenced it to prohibit the admittance of their  testimony. Others evinced their zeal and desire  to convict me of some thing but all they could do  was to tell something that other persons had said
At length Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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s was examined by  Lawyer [William] Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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assisted by one Burch

Ca. 1807–ca. Sept. 1839. Attorney, judge. Likely born in Tennessee. Married first Ann Ross, 20 Jan. 1824, at Howard Co., Missouri. Began law practice, 1831, at Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri. Married second Celenary (Selinary) Jacobs, 23 Jan. 1834, at Ray Co...

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who had  been especially sent for on this occasion and he  (Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

View Full Bio
) being the more zealous Sectarian of the  two seemed determined to put a stop to my prea ching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that the peo ple should not be deluded by one who believed  in the power of Godliness and not denying the pow er thereof. As soon as Mr. Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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s had been  sworn Mr. Seymour

Ca. 1780–28 Dec. 1848. Lawyer, justice of the peace, judge, politician. Born in Connecticut. Moved to Windsor, Tioga Co., New York, ca. 1793. Moved to Binghamton, Tioga Co., ca. 1802. Admitted to bar, 1806. Moved back to Windsor, ca. 1807. Served as justice...

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proceeded to examine him  as follows [p. 78]
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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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