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History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1]

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About this time David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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baptized the following viz: John Poorman, John Jolly

2 Mar. 1812–11 Feb. 1885. Farmer. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Son of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1831. Married...

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, Julia Anne Jolly

7 Feb. 1815–25 Feb. 1889. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Daughter of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Married David Whitmer, 9 Jan. 1831, at Fayette. Moved...

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—and Harriette Harriett Jolly

Apr. 1816–May 1865. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Daughter of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1831. Married Arza Bisbee...

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Jerushee Jerusha Barden Smith

15 Feb. 1805–13 Oct. 1837. Born in Norfolk, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Seth Barden and Sarah. Moved to Greene, Chenango Co., New York, by 1820. Married Hyrum Smith, 2 Nov. 1826, in Manchester, Ontario Co., New York. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co...

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Katharine Smith

28 July 1813–2 Feb. 1900. Seamstress, weaver. Born at Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1813; to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817; and to Manchester, Ontario...

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Wm Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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, Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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Orrin Porter Rockwell

28 June 1813–9 June 1878. Ferry operator, herdsman, farmer. Born in Belchertown, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington (later in Manchester), Ontario Co., New York, 1817. Neighbor to JS. Baptized into LDS church...

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Caroline Rockwell

Ca. 1812–20 Feb. 1887. Born in Massachusetts. Daughter of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington, Ontario Co., New York, by Aug. 1820. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, ca. 9 June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co., New York. Moved to Ohio...

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and Electa Rockwell

May 1816–12 Nov. 1900. Farmer. Likely born in Belchertown, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington, Ontario Co., New York, by Aug. 1820. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, ca. 9 June 1830, in Seneca...

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in Seneca Lake.
Immediately after the conference, I returned to my own house & from thence (in company 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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) Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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—& David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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) journeyed again on a visit to Mr Knights’ Joseph Knight Sr.’s

3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...

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Broome 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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We found a number in the neighborhood still believing and now anxious, to be baptized, accordingly we appointed a meeting on the next Sabbath day, intending to attend to the ordinance. On the afternoon previous, we had erected a dam across a stream in order to form a place for baptism, but during the night a mob collected (at the instigation of sectarian Priests of the neighborhood) and tore away our dam, which hindered our intentions of baptizing those who wished at this time, We however held our meeting, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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preached, & many of us bore record & testimony to the truth of the book of Mormon, the doctrine of repentance &c Amongst our Audience were those who had torn down our dam the night previous, seemed wishful to give us trouble, but did not untill after our meeting had been dismissed, when they immediately commenced talking to those who they considered our friends—to try to turn them against us and our doctrines. [p. [15]]
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About this time David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
baptized the following viz:  John Poorman, John Jolly

2 Mar. 1812–11 Feb. 1885. Farmer. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Son of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1831. Married...

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, Julia Anne Jolly

7 Feb. 1815–25 Feb. 1889. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Daughter of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Married David Whitmer, 9 Jan. 1831, at Fayette. Moved...

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—and Harriette [Harriett] Jolly

Apr. 1816–May 1865. Born in New York, likely at Fayette, Seneca Co. Daughter of William Jolly and Elizabeth Stones. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1831. Married Arza Bisbee...

View Full Bio
 Jerushee [Jerusha Barden] Smith

15 Feb. 1805–13 Oct. 1837. Born in Norfolk, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Seth Barden and Sarah. Moved to Greene, Chenango Co., New York, by 1820. Married Hyrum Smith, 2 Nov. 1826, in Manchester, Ontario Co., New York. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co...

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Kath[a]rine Smith

28 July 1813–2 Feb. 1900. Seamstress, weaver. Born at Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1813; to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817; and to Manchester, Ontario...

View Full Bio
Wm Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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, Don C[arlos] Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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 [Orrin] Porter Rockwell

28 June 1813–9 June 1878. Ferry operator, herdsman, farmer. Born in Belchertown, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington (later in Manchester), Ontario Co., New York, 1817. Neighbor to JS. Baptized into LDS church...

View Full Bio
Caroline Rockwell

Ca. 1812–20 Feb. 1887. Born in Massachusetts. Daughter of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington, Ontario Co., New York, by Aug. 1820. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, ca. 9 June 1830, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co., New York. Moved to Ohio...

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and Electa Rockwell

May 1816–12 Nov. 1900. Farmer. Likely born in Belchertown, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Orin Rockwell and Sarah Witt. Moved to Farmington, Ontario Co., New York, by Aug. 1820. Baptized into LDS church by David Whitmer, ca. 9 June 1830, in Seneca...

View Full Bio
 in Seneca Lake.
Immediately after the conference, I <returned to my own house & from thence> (in company 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
)  Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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—<&> David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
) returned journeyed <again>  on a visit to Mr Knights’ [Joseph Knight Sr.’s]

3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...

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Broom[e] 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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We found a number in the  neighborhood still believing and now anxious, to be baptized, according ly we appointed a meeting on the <next> Sabbath day, intending to attend to the  ordinance. On the afternoon previous, we had erected a dam across a  stream in order to form a place for baptism, but during the night  a mob collected (at the instigation of sectarian Priests of the neighbor hood) and tore away our dam, which hindered our intentions of  baptizing those who wished at this time, We however held our  meeting, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
preached, & many of us bore record &  testimony to the truth of the book of Mormon, the doctrine of repentance &c  Amongst our Audience were those who had torn down our dam  the night previous, &13

TEXT: Possibly an ink blot rather than a cancellation.  


seemed wishful to give us trouble, but did not  untill after our meeting had been dismissed, when they immediately  commenced talking to those who they considered our friends—<to try  to turn them against us and our doctrines.> [p. [15]]
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The history drafted in 1839 was inscribed by 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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, who began writing for JS on 3 September 1838. In addition to his work on the history, Mulholland served as a scribe for patriarchal blessing records, JS’s second letterbook, and JS’s journals. After an interruption of his clerical work brought on by JS’s 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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imprisonment, Mulholland “commenced again to write for the Church” on 22 April 1839.1

Mulholland, Journal, 22 Apr. 1839.  


JS’s journal noted that JS “began to study & prepare to dictate history” on 10 June and that he dictated history while Mulholland wrote on 11–14 June.2

JS, Journal, 10, 11, and 12–14 June 1839; see also Mulholland, Journal, 10–15 June 1839.  


During JS’s 15–26 June absence from Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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while visiting his brothers William

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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and Don Carlos

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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, Mulholland remained in Commerce, “writing history” on three days and “studying for history” for part of another day.3

Mulholland, Journal, 17–20 June 1839.  


Work done by Mulholland in JS’s absence may have included organizing sources from which to compile history, drafting the history itself from other sources, or making a clean draft of the history, as explained in the next section. After JS returned, he dictated history to Mulholland on three additional days.4

JS, Journal, 3 and 4–5 July 1839; Mulholland, Journal, 3–6 July 1839.  


Mulholland mentioned in his journal spending several more days writing for the church, without specifying which project he was working on.5

See Mulholland’s journal entries from July to October 1839.  


Because the history produced by 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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in 1838 is not extant, it is impossible to know the exact relationship between that work and the extant versions of JS’s history presented here. It is probable, however, that Draft 1 represents the resumption of the historical narrative at the point where the now-lost 1838 manuscript ended. The extant draft picks up the narrative at the baptism of JS and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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and covers the publication of the Book of Mormon, the organization of the Church of Christ, and events later in 1830. The narrative covering mid-April through August 1830, much of which involved 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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as either a participant or an eyewitness, is relatively detailed. It was likely during work on this portion of the history that, according to JS’s journal, JS was “assisted by Br Newel Knight.”6

JS, Journal, 4–5 July 1839.  


When 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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created the twenty-five-page Draft 1, it appears he began with an outline, identifying revelations, events, and other pieces of information and leaving blank space between these notations to be filled in later with connective narrative supplied by JS, 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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, or other sources. Beginning on the second page, Mulholland named particular revelation texts from the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants that were to be inserted into the history, but he did not copy the full texts from the Doctrine and Covenants into this draft. The revelations served as the initial threads around which JS wove his dictated narrative. Beginning with page 9 of Draft 1, following the notation to insert the title page of the Book of Mormon, the inscription pattern becomes much more complex. It appears that at this point, Mulholland began to write in dates of conferences, names of individuals baptized, and other key details, leaving large blank spaces between. This procedure for creating the history was not without drawbacks. When Mulholland came back and composed text or transcribed JS’s dictation to fill in the details, the narrative sometimes exceeded the reserved space, forcing Mulholland to squeeze extra lines of text onto the page. At other times the inserted narrative fell short of filling in all the blank space set aside for it. False starts are evident throughout much of the middle portion of the draft history.
JS’s work on the history was interrupted in early July 1839 when a malaria epidemic in Commerce

Located near middle of western boundary of state, bordering Mississippi River. European Americans settled area, 1820s. From bank of river, several feet above high-water mark, ground described as nearly level for six or seven blocks before gradually sloping...

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and vicinity required JS and 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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to attend to the sick for an extended period.7

See JS, Journal, 8 July–28 Sept. 1839.  


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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continued to work on JS’s history until at least 26 July. Many of the entries in his personal journal that mention “writing for the Church” may refer to additional work on the history. Mulholland’s tenure as a scribe was cut short when he died on 3 November 1839, possibly the victim of a stroke.8

Emma Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to JS, Washington DC, 6 Dec. 1839, Charles Aldrich Autograph Collection, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines.  


For more information about the relationship between this draft and Drafts 2 and 3, see Introduction to Early Drafts of History, 1838–1856. Note that the transcript includes only annotation that relates to textual aspects of this draft; Draft 2 carries the historical annotation.

Facts