53992717

History, circa June 1839–circa 1841 [Draft 2]

the horse from you?
Ansr No, he told me no such story.
Q—Well; How had he the horse of you?
Ansr He bought him of me, as another man would do.
Q— Have you had your pay?
Ansr That is not your business.
The question being again put, the witness replied, “I hold his note for the price of the horse, which I consider as good as the pay—for I am well acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr, and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let him have another horse on the same terms”.116

JS purchased the horse from Josiah Stowell in October 1829. (JS, Harmony, PA, to Oliver Cowdery, 22 Oct. 1829, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 9.)  


——
Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined—
Q—Has not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr had a yoke of oxen of you?
Ansr Yes.
Q—Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the effect that he was to have them?
Ansr No, He did not mention a word of the kind concerning the oxen; he purchased them, same as another man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that two young women (daughters to Mr Stoal

22 Mar. 1770–12 May 1844. Farmer, sawmill owner. Born in Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Stowell and Mary Butler. Member of Presbyterian church. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, 1791. Married Miriam Bridgeman...

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) with whom I had at times kept company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them which might be made a pretext against me. The young Ladies arrived and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general but particularly as to my behaviour towards them both in publick and private, when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a pretext on their account.—
Several attempts were now made to prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have taken place in Broome 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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were brought forward; but these, my lawyers would not here admit of against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors managed to detain the court, untill they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant from Broom Co

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 which warrant they served upon me, at the very moment in which I had been acquitted by this court.117

John Reed, counsel for JS, later recalled that the hearing at South Bainbridge began at about ten o’clock in the morning and concluded at about midnight with an acquittal, but that JS was arrested again and within a half hour was being transported to Colesville. (“Some of the Remarks of John S. Reed,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1844, 5:549–552.)  


The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner arrested me, than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any thing to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broom Co

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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, a distance of about fifteen miles before he allowed me any kind of food whatever.
He took me to a tavern, and gathered in a number of men, who used every means to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers at me, saying prophesy, prophesy, and thus did they imitate those who crucified the Saviour of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time not far distant from my own house, I wished to be allowed the privilege of spending the night with my wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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at home, offering any wished for security, for my appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. The Constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only fare I that night received.
At length we retired to bed; the constable [p. 45]
the horse from you?
Ansr No, he told me no such story.
Q—Well; How  did had he the horse of you?
Ansr He bought him of me, as another man would  do.
Q— Have you had your pay?
Ansr That is not your business.
The  question being again put, the witness replied, “I hold his note for the price of the  horse, which I consider as good as the pay—for I am well acquainted with Joseph  Smith Jr, and know him to be an honest man; and if he wishes I am ready to let  him have another horse on the same terms”.116

JS purchased the horse from Josiah Stowell in October 1829. (JS, Harmony, PA, to Oliver Cowdery, 22 Oct. 1829, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 9.)  


——
Mr Jonathan Thompson was next called up, and examined—
Q—Has  not the prisoner, Joseph Smith Jr had a yoke of oxen of you?
Ansr Yes.
Q—Did he not obtain them of you by telling you that he had a revelation to the  effect that he was to have them?
Ansr No, He did not mention a word of the kind  concerning the oxen; he purchased them, same as another man would.
After a few more such attempts, the court was detained for a time, in order that  two young women (daughters to Mr Stoal

22 Mar. 1770–12 May 1844. Farmer, sawmill owner. Born in Winchester, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Stowell and Mary Butler. Member of Presbyterian church. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, 1791. Married Miriam Bridgeman...

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) with whom I had at times kept  company; might be sent for, in order, if possible to elicit something from them  which might be made a pretext against me. The young Ladies arrived  and were severally examined, touching my character, and conduct in general  but particularly as to my behaviour towards them both in publick and private,  when they both bore such testimony in my favor, as left my enemies without a  pretext on their account.—
Several attempts were now made to  prove something against me, and even circumstances which were alleged to have  taken place in Broom[e] 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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were brought forward; but these, my lawyers  would not here admit of against me, in consequence of which, my persecutors  managed to detain the court, untill they had succeeded in obtaining a warrant  from Broom Co

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 which warrant the[y] served upon me, at the very moment  in which I had been acquitted by this court.117

John Reed, counsel for JS, later recalled that the hearing at South Bainbridge began at about ten o’clock in the morning and concluded at about midnight with an acquittal, but that JS was arrested again and within a half hour was being transported to Colesville. (“Some of the Remarks of John S. Reed,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1844, 5:549–552.)  


The constable who served this second warrant upon me, had no sooner ar rested me, than he began to abuse and insult me, and so unfeeling was he  with me, that although I had been kept all the day in court, without any  thing to eat since the morning, yet he hurried me off to Broom Co

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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, a distance  of about fifteen miles before he allowed me any thing <kind> of food whatever.
He took me to a tavern, and gathered in a number of men, who used every means  to abuse, ridicule, and insult me. They spit upon me, pointed their fingers  at me, saying prophesy, prophesy, and thus did they imitate those who crucified  the Saviour of mankind, not knowing what they did. We were at this time  not far distant from my own house, I wished to be allowed the privilege of spen ding the night with my wife

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
at home, offering any wished for security, for my  appearance, but this was denied me. I applied for something to eat. the  The Constable ordered me some crusts of bread, and water, which was the only  fare I that night received.
At length we retired to bed; the constable [p. 45]
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In addition to working on an initial draft of JS’s history in summer 1839, 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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devoted some of his time to inscribing the history compiled to that point into a large manuscript book. He began this new draft of the history in the back of the volume in which the 1834–1836 history had been inscribed, turning it over so the back cover became the front cover. Serving as principal sources for this version of the history were the manuscript that JS, 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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, and 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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had created in 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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in 1838, and Draft 1. Textual evidence that the nonextant 1838 material was used when composing Draft 2 is found in the second paragraph of the latter, which situates the composition in “the eighth year since the [1830] organization of said Church,” and a later passage that gives the date of composition as “the Second day of May, One thousand Eight hundred and thirty eight.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 1, 8.  


Starting at 15 May 1829, the remainder of the text in Mulholland’s handwriting is a copy of Draft 1. Although the first seven pages of Draft 1 match Draft 2 quite closely, the two versions are markedly less similar after that point. This contrast may indicate that an intermediate draft of the history was made beginning at about page 7 of Draft 1 and that Mulholland copied the text from this intermediate draft, not directly from Draft 1.
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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inscribed pages 1–59 in the large history volume. After his death in November 1839, 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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served as scribe for the history. Little is known about the circumstances surrounding Thompson’s inscription, totaling only sixteen pages, in the large history volume. The transcript of Draft 2 presented herein ends on page 61 of the manuscript volume, after the first two pages of Thompson’s inscription, to correspond with the end of Draft 3; the other fourteen pages in his hand give a biographical sketch of 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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, including a brief narrative of his conversion to Mormonism. Because the majority of the pages in Thompson’s hand deal with Rigdon’s life before joining the church, Rigdon was likely consulted for this portion of the narrative.
The opening statement of the draft in the large manuscript volume refers to defamation and persecution to which the Latter-day Saints and JS in particular had been subjected, and it characterizes such maltreatment as one motivation for telling the story of the church and its founder: “Owing to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil disposed and designing men,” JS proclaimed, the history was designed to “disabuse the publick mind, and put all enquirers after truth into possession of the facts” and set the record straight “in relation both to myself and the Church.” This introduction was written not long after JS had fled 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 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, under threat of several lawsuits; thus, when he began the history in summer 1838 he was especially motivated to justify himself and the church in light of what he considered a long history of persecution. Such an introduction may also have been written as a more general response to the accumulated negative reports transmitted orally and in the press beginning in JS’s youth and continuing throughout the 1830s.2

Although the history was begun in 1838, it is possible that the preamble in the first paragraph was added in 1839 when James Mulholland wrote Draft 2. If so, the concern with negative publicity may also have been a reaction to the widespread news of the Mormon conflict in Missouri in fall 1838 andJS’s imprisonment, or to the growing number of publications critical of JS and the church since 1838. See, for example, Origen Bacheler, Mormonism Exposed, Internally and Externally (New York, 1838), and La Roy Sunderland’s eight-part series published in the Methodist Zion’s Watchman from 13 January to 3 March 1838 and republished in pamphlet form as Mormonism Exposed and Refuted (New York: Piercy & Reid, 1838).  


After briefly narrating JS’s birth and early years, Draft 2 proceeds immediately to the circumstances that culminated in his first vision of Deity in the spring of 1820, followed closely by the visitations of an angel in 1823 and JS’s commission to retrieve a sacred record buried nearby. JS’s religious mission is the primary focus; his personal affairs, like his marriage to Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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, whom he met while employed in digging for a rumored silver mine, are discussed only briefly and in the context of that mission.
Following JS’s recitation of his retrieval of the ancient record, the beginnings of his translation thereof, and the loss of the translation manuscript, 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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began including the full texts of JS’s revelations, which became a major element of the account. The revelations were integrated into the history starting with July 1828, and they generally appear in chronological order. Mulholland copied the revelations into the history from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, rather than from earlier versions. Many of JS’s early revelations underwent significant updating and expansion in order to suit rapidly changing circumstances after the organization of the Church of Christ in 1830, so the inclusion of the 1835 version of revelations into a narrative covering events before 1835 introduced numerous anachronisms. Significant instances of anachronism are identified in the annotation of the text herein.
Additionally, the narrative itself, composed beginning in 1838, necessarily reflects the perspective of JS and his collaborators at the time of its production, thus inadvertently introducing terminology and concepts that were not operative a decade earlier in the period the narrative describes. Examples include using later priesthood nomenclature such as “Aaronic” and “Melchizedek” and calling the church JS established “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” a name not designated until 1838. Such usage makes it difficult to trace the details of the unfolding of church governance and doctrine in the faith’s dynamic early years. Readers wishing to more fully understand these issues may consult the revelation texts and other documents found in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.
While much of the narrative is anchored by documents, particularly published revelations, JS and his associates were dependent upon unrecorded memories for the balance of the historical account found in Draft 2. JS used collective memory and oral recollections of fellow participants, such as 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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, to reconstruct the events of early church history. Such reminiscences formed the basis for not only factual details in the history but likely for quotations as well, such as long portions of the report of the 1830 trial proceedings in South Bainbridge and Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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, New York. JS evidently had to rely on his own memory and that of others to provide some extensive quotations, such as the words of the angel Moroni during his first appearance to JS and the remarks scholars in New York City

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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made to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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when he showed them characters copied from the gold plates. Lists of persons baptized may have come from records no longer extant or possibly from eyewitnesses consulted for the production of the history.
The manuscript itself was a dynamic text, emended at several times by various scribes. Revisions made in the hand of 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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at the time of inscription or shortly after are included in the transcript herein. Later changes in the hand of 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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, made beginning in December 1842, are not incorporated into the transcript, although substantial changes are described in annotation. Thus, the transcript of Draft 2 presents the history in an early stage, before changes were made by Richards and others, and it approximates the state of the history when 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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used it for a new history draft in about 1841.
For more information about the relationship between this draft and Drafts 1 and 3, see Introduction to Early Drafts of History, 1838–1856.

Facts