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History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1]

Mean time our translation drawing to a close, we went to Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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, and agreed there with Mr Egbert Granden [Grandin]

30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...

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to print five thousand copies for three thousand Dollars, and about this time secured the copy right. I would mention here also in order to correct a misunderstanding, which has gone abroad concerning the title page of the Book of Mormon, that it is not a composition of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation, but that it is a literal translation taken from the last leaf of the plates, on the left hand side of the collection of plates, the language running same as all Hebrew writing in general. And that no error can henceforth possibly exist I give here the Title so far as it is a translation.
Title page—
 
Revelation page 174
 
Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still continued to bear testimony, to such as would hear as far as we had opportunity. We made known also to those who had already been baptized, that we had received commandment to organize the Church: and accordingly we met to together, (being six in number) besides a number who were beleiving—met with us on Tuesday the Sixth day of Aprile A.D. One thousand, Eight hundred and thirty, and proceeded, as follows, at the house of the above mentioned Mr Whitmer

14 Apr. 1773–13 Aug. 1854. Farmer. Born at Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer and likely Maria Salome. Member of Presbyterian church. Married Mary Musselman, before 1798, in Pennsylvania. Lived in Lebanon Township, Dauphin Co., by...

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s——
Revelation Page 177——
Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father and the brethren & sisters having by a unamious vote, accepted us as &c I proceeded to lay my hands upon 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 ordained him an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, & brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present, to confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and that they might receive the Holy Ghost, when immediately the Holy Ghost was poured out upon us all to a greter or less degree. . Father Smith [Joseph Smith Sr.]

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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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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baptized this evening 6th April Mother [Lucy Mack] Smith

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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& Sister Rockwell 2 or 3 days afterwards Some [p. [9]]
Mean time our translation drawing to a close, we went to  Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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, and agreed there <with Mr> Egbert Granden [Grandin]

30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...

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to print and publish  it five thousand <copies> for three thousand Dollars, and about this  time secured the copy right. I would mention here also  in order to correct a misunderstanding, which has gone abroad  concerning the title page of the Book of Mormon, that it is not  a composition of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does  live in this generation, but that it is a literal translation taken  from the last leaf of the plates, on the left hand side of the collec tion of plates, the language running same as the <all> Hebrew <wr[i]ting>  language <in general>. And that no error can henceforth possibly  exist I give here the Title so far as it is a translation.
Title page—
 
Revelation page 1745

TEXT: James Mulholland inscribed this revelation reference and left blank lines to be filled in later. He subsequently inserted the next paragraph, which flowed beyond the reserved space and into the space he left after “Revelation Page 177”. It is unknown exactly where the insertion ends and the original inscription after “Revelation Page 177” recommences.  


 
<Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still  continued to bear testimony, and preach to such as would hear  as far as we had opportunity. And <We> made known also to the <those> members  who had already been baptized, that we had received commandment  to organize the Church: and according to accordingly <we> met to together, <(being about 30 <six> in number) besides a number who were beleiving—met with us> on Tuesday  the Sixth day of Aprile in the year of our A.D. A thousand &  One thousand, Eight hundred and thirty, and proceeded, as follows,  <at the house of the above mentioned Mr Whitmer

14 Apr. 1773–13 Aug. 1854. Farmer. Born at Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer and likely Maria Salome. Member of Presbyterian church. Married Mary Musselman, before 1798, in Pennsylvania. Lived in Lebanon Township, Dauphin Co., by...

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s——>>
Revelation Page 177——6

That is, Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 46, 1835 ed. [D&C 21], copied into drafts 2 and 3.  


Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father  <and the meeting Ch brethren & sisters having by a unamious vote, accepted us as &c>  I proceeded to lay my hands upon 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 ordained him  an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which he  ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took  bread, blessed it, & brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it  with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church  present, to confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and that they  might receive the Holy Ghost, when immediately the Holy Ghost was  poured out upon <us all> the whole community <to a greter or less degree.> in a <very> miraculous manner. <Father Smith [Joseph Smith Sr.]

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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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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baptized this evening 6th April  Mother [Lucy Mack] Smith

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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& Sister Rockwell 2 or 3 days afterwards>7

TEXT: This insertion by James Mulholland runs along the bottom of pages 9 and 10 of Draft 1, with the page break occurring between “April” and “Mother”.  


Some [p. [9]]
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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