53992720

John Corrill, “Brief History,” Manuscript, circa 1838–1839

John Fletcher Darby Papers, Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.
[page 36 missing] and other branches, they also employed the celebrated Hebrew teacher, Mr Joshua Seixas

4 June 1802–1874. Hebraist, textbook writer, teacher. Probably born at New York City. Son of Gershom Mendez Seixas and Hannah Manuel. Married Henrietta Raphael of Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia. Taught Hebrew at New York and Charlestown, Massachusetts. His...

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, who gave them much insight into the Hebrew leanguage in a short time. They had been previously commanded to seek learning and study the best books, and get a knowledge of countries, kingdoms, languages, &c, which inspired them with an extravagant thirst after knowledge. Several months previous to this, they had been commanded to prepare themselves for a Solemn Assembly, as may be seen by referring to the Book of Covenants. At length the time arrived for their assembly to meet, previous to which, Smith exhorted the elders to Solemnise their minds, by casting away every evil from them in thought, word or deed, and let their hearts become sanctified, because they need not expect a blessing from God without being duly prepared for it, for the Holy Ghost would not dwell in unholy temples. This meeting took place in March, 1836, a little previous to which the house of the Lord

JS revelation of Jan. 1831 directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” JS Revelation of Dec. 1832 directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS Revelation of 1 June 1833 chastened Saints...

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had been dedicated. As well as I can remember, the Solem Assembly was conducted nearly as follows. The cerimony was first performed upon the first presidency, together with the bishops and their counsellors, after which the elders in their turn attended to the cerimony, and it was alike upon all. [p. 37]
[page 36 missing] and other branches, they also employed  the celebrated Hebrew teacher, Mr [Joshua] Seixas

4 June 1802–1874. Hebraist, textbook writer, teacher. Probably born at New York City. Son of Gershom Mendez Seixas and Hannah Manuel. Married Henrietta Raphael of Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia. Taught Hebrew at New York and Charlestown, Massachusetts. His...

View Full Bio
,  who gave them much insight into the  Hebrew leanguage in a short time. They had  been previously commanded to seek learning  and study the best books, and get a know [l]edge of countries, kingdoms, languages, &c, which  inspired them with an extravagant thirst  after knowledge. Several months previous  to this, they had been commanded to prepare  themselves for a Solemn Assembly, as may  be seen by referring to the Book of Covenants.  At length the time arrived for their assem bly to meet, previous to which, Smith exh orted the elders to Solemnise their minds, by  casting away every evil from them in  thought, word or deed, and let their hearts  become sanctified, because they need not  expect a blessing from <God> without being  duly prepared for it, for the Holy  Ghost would not dwell in unholy  temples. This meeting took place in  March, 1836, a little previous to which  the house of the Lord

JS revelation of Jan. 1831 directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” JS Revelation of Dec. 1832 directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS Revelation of 1 June 1833 chastened Saints...

More Info
had been dedicated.  As well as I can remember, the Solem  Assembly was conducted nearly as  follows. The cerimony was first per formed upon the first presidency, together  with the bishops and their counsellors,  after which the elders in their turn  attended to the cerimony, and <it was> alike upon <all.> [p. 37]
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Even while the embers of the 1838 Mormon War smoldered 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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, John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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labored on the manuscript for his 1839 publication, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, (Commonly Called Mormons;) Including an Account of Their Doctrine and Discipline; with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church. Corrill had begun serving the church as a historian after 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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’s excommunication in March 1838, replacing Whitmer in that role in April. Whatever his initial labors as historian, Corrill completed A Brief History after distancing himself from JS and the Saints, as the full title implies.
Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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, a careful observer, had enjoyed a close association with Mormon leaders, and consequently his account provides valuable insights into the development and structure of the early church. He summarized many of the doctrines taught by JS and provided a detailed description of the conflict between the Latter-day Saints and other 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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settlers. But his chronicle also related the story of a personal spiritual journey into and then out of the church as Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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came to disapprove of the church’s course in 1838 in Missouri. Yet despite his estrangement from the church and his excommunication in 1839, he retained a degree of sympathy for the Saints and maintained some contact.
Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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apparently began compiling portions of his account while serving as an officially appointed church historian in 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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. He probably completed his narrative by 11 February 1839, when he secured a copyright with the 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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district federal copyright office. He arranged for Thomas Watson & Son of St. Louis

Located on west side of Mississippi River about fifteen miles south of confluence with Missouri River. Founded as fur-trading post by French settlers, 1764. Incorporated as town, 1809. First Mississippi steamboat docked by town, 1817. Incorporated as fourth...

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to print A Brief History. The entire print run may have included up to twelve hundred copies.
The document presented here, Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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’s circa 1838–1839 rough draft of his history, is incomplete. It includes the title page, copyright notice, and preface but is missing twenty-one pages, including the nineteen pages that constitute chapters 1 through 6. The manuscript is almost entirely in Corrill’s handwriting, though some of the chapter summaries (added after he drafted the narrative) were written in a different hand, possibly that of the printer.
Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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’s published version of A Brief History receives comprehensive treatment in volume 2 of the Histories series of The Joseph Smith Papers and is available on this website as part of the history series.

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