27466

Journal, 1832–1834

his enemy, even Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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,49

Doctor Philastus Hurlbut, a former Latter-day Saint, had worked vigorously to discredit JS and the church. During summer 1833, JS noted that the church was “suffering great persicution on account of” Hurlbut, who was “lieing in a wonderful manner and the peopl are running after him and giveing him mony to brake down mormanism which much endangers our lives.”a In summer and autumn 1833, Hurlbut traveled in Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York to collect statements against JS by his former neighbors and to build a case that the Book of Mormon had been copied from a work of fiction written by Solomon Spalding. On his return in mid-December, Hurlbut defamed JS in lectures and stirred up further persecution.b Antagonism against the church in Ohio grew to such proportions that Mormon Heber C. Kimball reported, “Our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.”c  


aJS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps et al., Independence, MO, 18 Aug. 1833, JS Collection, CHL.

bWinchester, Origin of the Spaulding Story, 9–11.

cKimball, “History,” 11; see also Grua, “Joseph Smith and the 1834 D. P. Hurlbut Case,” 35–38.

who has threatened his life, whom Brother Joseph has caused to be taken with a precept;50

A “command in writing by a Justice of Peace, or other Officer, for bringing a person or records before him.”a Hurlbut threatened JS’s life. JS’s cousin George A. Smith later recalled that “in delivering lectures he [Hurlbut] had said he would wash his hands in Joseph Smith’s blood.”b Kirtland justice of the peace John Dowen later claimed that when Hurlbut said he would “kill” JS, “he meant he would kill Mormonism.”c On 21 December 1833, JS filed a complaint with the Kirtland justice of the peace, whose decision in a preliminary hearing stated that JS “had reason to fear that Doctor P. Hurlbut would Beat wound or kill him.”d The justice of the peace then issued a warrant for Hurlbut’s arrest.e This legal action was intended to impede Hurlbut from carrying out the threat. Preliminary evaluation of JS’s complaint against Hurlbut began two days later, on 13 January.  


a“Precept,” in Law-Dictionary, 5:271.

bGeorge A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:8.

cJohn C. Dowen, Statement, 2 Jan. 1885, 3, Manuscripts about Mormons at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, Chicago Historical Society.

dGeauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Court Records, 1807–1904, vol. P, p. 432, 31 Mar. 1834, microfilm 20,278, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

eDowen, Statement, 2 Jan. 1885, 3.

that the Lord would fill the heart of the court with a spirit to do justice and cause that the law of the land may be magnified in bringing him to justice.
Fourthly, that the Lord would provide, in the order of his providence, the bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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of this church51 with means sufficient to discharge every debt that the Firm owes,52

Part of the firm’s debt stemmed from the purchase of the French farm—the property upon which the House of the Lord was being built. In the coming months, efforts were made to retire church debts. On 20 February 1834, a church council commissioned Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt to raise funds to retire this debt. (Minute Book 1, 20 Feb. 1834.)  


in due season, that [p. 45]
his enemy, even Docter P. [Doctor Philastus] Hurl but

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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,49

Doctor Philastus Hurlbut, a former Latter-day Saint, had worked vigorously to discredit JS and the church. During summer 1833, JS noted that the church was “suffering great persicution on account of” Hurlbut, who was “lieing in a wonderful manner and the peopl are running after him and giveing him mony to brake down mormanism which much endangers our lives.”a In summer and autumn 1833, Hurlbut traveled in Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York to collect statements against JS by his former neighbors and to build a case that the Book of Mormon had been copied from a work of fiction written by Solomon Spalding. On his return in mid-December, Hurlbut defamed JS in lectures and stirred up further persecution.b Antagonism against the church in Ohio grew to such proportions that Mormon Heber C. Kimball reported, “Our enemies were raging and threatening destruction upon us, and we had to guard night after night, and for weeks were not permitted to take off our clothes, and were obliged to lay with our fire locks in our arms.”c  


aJS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps et al., Independence, MO, 18 Aug. 1833, JS Collection, CHL.

bWinchester, Origin of the Spaulding Story, 9–11.

cKimball, “History,” 11; see also Grua, “Joseph Smith and the 1834 D. P. Hurlbut Case,” 35–38.

who has threatened his  life, whom brother Joseph  has <caused to be> taken with a precept;50

A “command in writing by a Justice of Peace, or other Officer, for bringing a person or records before him.”a Hurlbut threatened JS’s life. JS’s cousin George A. Smith later recalled that “in delivering lectures he [Hurlbut] had said he would wash his hands in Joseph Smith’s blood.”b Kirtland justice of the peace John Dowen later claimed that when Hurlbut said he would “kill” JS, “he meant he would kill Mormonism.”c On 21 December 1833, JS filed a complaint with the Kirtland justice of the peace, whose decision in a preliminary hearing stated that JS “had reason to fear that Doctor P. Hurlbut would Beat wound or kill him.”d The justice of the peace then issued a warrant for Hurlbut’s arrest.e This legal action was intended to impede Hurlbut from carrying out the threat. Preliminary evaluation of JS’s complaint against Hurlbut began two days later, on 13 January.  


a“Precept,” in Law-Dictionary, 5:271.

bGeorge A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:8.

cJohn C. Dowen, Statement, 2 Jan. 1885, 3, Manuscripts about Mormons at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, Chicago Historical Society.

dGeauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Court Records, 1807–1904, vol. P, p. 432, 31 Mar. 1834, microfilm 20,278, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

eDowen, Statement, 2 Jan. 1885, 3.

 that the Lord would fill  the heart of the Court with  a spirit to do justice, and  cause that the law of the  land may be magnified  in bringing him to justice.
Fourthly, That the Lord would  provide, in the order of his  Providence, the bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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of  this Church51 with means  sufficient to discharge  every debt that the Firm  owes,52

Part of the firm’s debt stemmed from the purchase of the French farm—the property upon which the House of the Lord was being built. In the coming months, efforts were made to retire church debts. On 20 February 1834, a church council commissioned Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt to raise funds to retire this debt. (Minute Book 1, 20 Feb. 1834.)  


in due season, that [p. 45]
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JS, “Joseph Smith Jrs Book for Record,” Journal, Nov. 1832–Dec. 1834; handwriting of 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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, JS, Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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, 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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, Freeman Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

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, and six unidentified scribes; ninety-three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes redactions, use marks, and archival marking.
Pocket-size memorandum book, 5⅞ × 3¾ × ¼ inches (15 × 10 × 1 cm). The text block consists of fifty-four leaves measuring 5⅞ × 3⅝ inches (15 × 9 cm). There are four gatherings of six sheets each of ledger paper. Each sheet is folded so that each gathering has twelve leaves (twenty-four pages). These pages are ruled with sixteen blue horizontal lines—now almost entirely faded—as well as with red vertical lines for recording financial information. The endpapers consist of pastedowns on the inside covers and two free flyleaves in both the front and back. The gatherings are sewn all along on sawn-in cords. The front and back covers of the journal are pasteboard. The ledger has a tight-back case binding with a black calfskin quarter-leather binding. The outside covers are adorned in Schrottel marbled paper, with gray body and veins of black and blue. The volume originally had three leather loops—two in the back and one in the front—that were tipped in between the inside covers and the pastedowns. The former presence of the front cover loop, no longer extant, is evident from creasing and staining on the pastedown, which is now detached. The leather loops and their spacing allowed for the book to be fastened by inserting a pencil between all three loops. The vibrant blue veins and the grain of the marbling, now greatly diminished by water damage, are also visible under the now loose front pastedown.
JS wrote “Joseph Smith 1832.<3–4>” on the front cover in brown ink. On the front pastedown, “Joseph Smith” is written sideways, running upward near the bottom of the outer edge. Also, “Joseph” is written sideways, running downward, near the top of the inside of the same page. The handwriting of these inscriptions has not been identified. The journal entries begin on the recto of the second leaf (the first flyleaf) and end on the recto of the back pastedown, making 105 numbered pages. Regular journal entries, inscribed in various shades of brown ink, continue through page 93. Pages 94 to 102 are blank except for page 98, which has JS’s name in graphite pencil at the top in JS’s handwriting. Pages 103–105 record subscriptions, which were evidently solicited during JS’s 26 February–28 March 1834 New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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mission, as well as a note apparently inscribed on 20 April 1834 in preparation for the conference held 20–21 April 1834 at Norton

Area first settled, 1814. Formed from Wolf Creek Township, 1818. Reported location of “great Mormon excitement,” 1832–1838. Population in 1830 about 650. Primarily populated by immigrants from New England states. Increased German Pennsylvanian immigration...

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, Ohio. The book has suffered from water and mud damage, evidenced in part by some extremely faded ink on page 2. Glue from tipping in a damaged leaf has also obscured several characters in the gutter of page 2.
The journal’s textual redactions and use marks, in graphite pencil, were made by later scribes who used the journal to produce the multivolume manuscript history of the church. This occurred in 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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, indicating the journal remained in JS’s possession. The journal is listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records, indicating continuous custody.1

“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; Historian’s Office, [7] “Historian’s Office Catalogue,” Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.  


Facts